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About churchistrue

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  1. Of course. Prooftexting started as soon as scripture did. I'm acknowledging there is a certain tradition and validity to it. Not sure where you're going with this.
  2. Here's the difference. I think this is an important distinction. Matthew and Abinadi, for example, are reinterpreting or reimagining Isaiah. Repurposing scripture into a higher meaning or a more pressing relevance. They are not doing what Callister is doing, presenting a case like a lawyer, proving something by claiming this is what Isaiah meant originally. Or maybe they are. In which case, they are all wrong. But Matthew and Abinadi didn't have the benefit of modern scholarship, so they are more easily forgiven.
  3. Another point which I didn't bring up in the blog post but plan to in a future post. Among the faithful informed (or Apologists--I want to make sure no one thinks I'm using that as a pejorative), I'm not sure there's a single one of us that haven't blasted church curriculum for the blatant prooftexting. I'm pretty confident in private company, nearly every single one here would have some harsh criticism for those lousy lessons. In that FairMormon interview, Callister basically brags that he's personally responsible for this. I don't expect FairMormon to publicly call out a former general authority and disrespect him for this, but I certainly don't expect them to congratulate him and put him at the head of the table.
  4. I would love to hear someone from FairMormon address this: https://wheatandtares.org/2019/06/13/bad-book-of-mormon-apologetics/ Last year, FairMormon had a big win for their organization when LDS General Authority Kevin Pearson came to speak at their conference and endorsed them. I consider myself an LDS Apologist. I was moved by Elder Pearson’s words at that conference as he encouraged all LDS with the ability to act on their own to publicly defend the Church. I felt a spiritual prompting to do more than I have been in my efforts to provide intellectual answers and paradigms for those in faith crisis. In his talk, he identified three organizations that the Church in some degree officially endorses. He thanked those organizations and encouraged others to support them and to direct questioners to those resources. FairMormon, the journal Mormon Interpeter, and BOM Central. With Elder Pearson’s endorsement comes a level of responsibility. We can’t provide ridiculously bad arguments that critics slice up and mock us for it. We can’t go for the cheap, easy wins that might appeal to a mass, uneducated audience when the people that are actually in faith crisis seeking to know the right answers read both sides and have to admit the critics are right. We can’t come across so bad that we seem dishonest and break trust with honest seekers. Tad Callister’s new book A Case for the Book of Mormon is making a splash. Brother Callister is General Authority Emeritus. I don’t want to pick on Brother Callister. He’s not a scholar. He’s writing to a popular audience. He shouldn’t be evaluated the same way as scholars who are at the forefront of these discussions. He’s the grandson of Legrand Richards, author of Marvelous Work and a Wonder. That book, was for my generation something very comparable to Brother Callister’s book on the apostasy and this one on the Book of Mormon for this day. They are works that are quasi-intellectual, inspiring for LDS, good for introducing one generally to some issues that you can follow up through other sources to get more up-to-date scholarship. But they are not aware of current scholarship both pro-LDS and critical, full of prooftexting scripture out of context, using parellelomania concepts, and generally just not good Apologetics. Brother Callister seems not aware of Brant Gardner’s work on translation and retaining Hebraisms. He’s not aware of the work of BYU professors Nick Frederick and Thomas Wayment that have identified numerous allusions to the KJV New Testament. He’s unaware of Richard Bushman’s concessions to modern Protestant material in the Book of Mormon. He gives no regard for traditional Biblical scholarship in the way he’s prooftexting Bible verses that he claims reference the Book of Mormon. Most LDS scholars, even those on the conservative side, won’t stand with him on that. He’s not aware of Blake Ostler’s Expansion Model. He’s not aware of Skousen-Carmack’s work acknowledging modern elements that must have come through a loose translation. He’s using Smoot’s imperative for a historical BOM, but wielding it in an extremely dangerous and hopelessly naive way, claiming none of the book came through the mind of Joseph. If a regular guy without credentials wrote this book, FairMormon and Book of Mormon Central would ignore it, mock it, or even blast it for being weak on scholarship, similar to how Book of Mormon Central recently blasted the FIRM Foundation Heartlander Group for the same kinds of problems. But for some reason, FairMormon has latched onto this book. Promoting it on their website, doing podcasts and blog interviews, sharing it on Facebook, and also invited Brother Callister to speak at the FairMormon Conference. Last year Elder Pearson spoke at FairMormon and this year Craig Christensen appears to be on the schedule in the role as General Authority speaker. I think that’s great. They’re not scholars, but they come in official capacity from the Church, and it’s great to hear the church’s perspective on the Apologetics landscape. But Callister is not appearing in that context. He is presenting actual apologetic material.
  5. I'm not shy about being vocal about anything. What you have in mind? As a covenant keeping member of the church, I think there's a certain way of doing that and not doing that. But I vocally disagree with a lot.
  6. I'm "all-in". To me, it means I'm there on Sunday. I'm trying to do my part to contribute. I watch general conference. I take in the messages. I don't feel like I'm compelled to agree with anything. So the answer to the question "what do you feel free in disagreeing with?" is: everything. I do feel compelled to listen and take everything seriously and struggle with it to see if it's something I should try to bend myself to. Sometimes I disagree because I'm right and others are wrong. Sometimes I disagree because I'm wrong and others are right.
  7. Great article. Both sides can do better. This article focuses on the still Mormon side. I think a lot of defenders want to focus on the other side, which is just as real. When you leave, don't be a jerk about it. The people that complain the loudest about how cult-like the Mormon church is because of how impossible they make it to leave, causing all your friends and family to disown you, usually seem like total jerks, and it's not that difficult to guess why they have fractured relationships in their life.
  8. At least year's FM conference, didn't Elder Pearson thank FairMormon, BOM Central, and The Interpreter and encourage people to support them?
  9. So the Dales included everything in Coe's book, including subtle variations?
  10. For you hypo, I think you misunderstand the probability calculation. We're not calculating the probability that an egyptian dictionary in a bottle could make its way to American coast. We're calculation probability of picking up a bottle on the American coast and then come to find out it has an egyptian dictionary in it. Much different right?
  11. I don't think the 1 in trillion odds on those items are hyperbolic. I thought that was the point of the exercise. To use the model, tweaking the probabilities, to see if it gets different result. The Dales put Reformed Egyptian at 1/50. I put it at 1 in trillion. What about Chinese? Would that be higher or lower than Reformed Egyptian? I think we could agree Chinese would be higher probability than Reformed Egyptian. Now go and ask someone qualified to give an opinion, if you found a book from ancient Mesoamerica, what would be the probability it would be written in Chinese. They would stare at you dumbfounded. Then you would say, serious question, please answer. Would 1 in trillion be hyperbolic in that case? As for the bold above. I agree with you, per the Dales model, there is no requirement in particular to include those data points. But there is no reason not to. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to what was included and what was excluded. So I'm including it. You asked me to set up a new model. Why not list 1,000 insects and say each have a 1/10 negative correspondence for not being included? Maybe it makes sense to do that. Maybe it doesn't. But, this is what the Dales have done. There is nothing scientific about how they set up the model. They've arbitrarily set up the 130 vs 18 and then arbitrarily set up probabilities.
  12. So, you think my little made up story is made up of cherry picked already known traditions of Maya. I guess, that's an impasse. I sort of think it's a generic story that would likely appear in any setting and includes obviously anachronistic details that completely overpower any of the vaguish hits. I think most would think that's laughably not Mesoamerica not one in 8 trillion bullseye. To go back to your assigning probabilities concept. How do you assign a probability to an ancient Mesoamerican record being written in Reformed Egyptian? Is 1 in trillion low enough? What about the ancient Mesoamerican record being written on gold plates that covered 1,500+ pages of published material? (Do I have that right? 500 + another 2/3 sealed?) Is 1 in trillion low enough for that? How do you set probabilities that have no precedent and are completely unimaginable for a non-LDS audience? What is the probability the ancient Mesoamerican record contains an account of people that hold in their possession the Hebrew Bible written on Brass Plates? 1 in trillion? Seems low actually to me. I don't know any numbers bigger than a trillion or I'd throw it out. If I had to choose what's higher probability, aliens came to Earth and built the Egyptian pyramids or the complete Hebrew Bible existed in brass plates translated into Reformed Egyptian in 600 BC Jerusalem, I might take the aliens. What is the probability the people described in this ancient Mesoamerican record spoke Hebrew? 1 in trillion? Meanwhile, let's take another look at all the 1/50 and 1/10 hits. I'd take the 15 examples I used in my hypothetical story that accumulate to 1/3.1E18 and readjust it to about 1/20 tops. That's very generous. The rest of the 130 would get a similar adjustment. Then I'd add another 130 negative correspondences. But why stop there? Let's take it to 1,000 negative correspondences. How about animals? I could list all the animals common to Mesoamerica and give negative 1/10 correspondences if a 500 page book didn't include them. I could list 100 of these. That's 10^100 right there. You see how this is nonsense?
  13. You think that little story shows amazing accuracy about ancient Mesoamerica? That's the point. The Dales model would peg it that way, but actually it's nothing of the sort. The hits are vague and apply to nearly any civilization. The misses are hugely anachronistic and completely rule out the possibility that it's Mesoamerican of origin.
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