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Teaser From The Maxwell Institute

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The FARMS Review never claimed to speak for the Church. It never claimed to be a gatekeeper of orthodoxy. It published reviews and articles. Good grief, get a life. It's what academics do. They debate academic issues academically. People can have and express any opinion about Dehlin that they wish. And Dehlin can respond. People can make up their own minds. That's just the way life works. Quit being so absurdly melodramatic.

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The FARMS Review never claimed to speak for the Church. It never claimed to be a gatekeeper of orthodoxy. It published reviews and articles. Good grief, get a life. It's what academics do. They debate academic issues academically. People can have and express any opinion about Dehlin that they wish. And Dehlin can respond. People can make up their own minds. That's just the way life works. Quit being so absurdly melodramatic.

Bill, I think you should go back and look over those 7 points. This isn't what academics do; or at least what they should do.

On the gatekeeper point, you don't have to explicitly claim to speak for the Church to be a gatekeeper of orthodoxy.

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Bill, I think you should go back and look over those 7 points. This isn't what academics do; or at least what they should do.

On the gatekeeper point, you don't have to explicitly claim to speak for the Church to be a gatekeeper of orthodoxy.

It's just like I said. Anyone who doesn't like to see the Church defended could accuse the defender of being a "gatekeeper of orthodoxy." It's pure jargon.

Behold the birth of a new buzz phrase.

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Blair seems to be on a telephone offensive. He called me yesterday, and I'm not the only one he's been calling. He's working hard, it seems, as the Institute's publicist.

I have to admit, I rather admire this.

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Were things handled well last summer? Not even close.

It seems to me that it could be used as a case study in Business Grad School about how to do everything wrong. I am astonished at the incompetence displayed.

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How do you reconcile the first part of your statement with the second?

I see no contradiction that requires reconciliation.

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Behold the birth of a new [dismissive] buzz phrase.

I thought this word insertion appropriate.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Way to actually ignore my points, all.

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There has been more than one kind of change in FARMS/Maxwell Institute over the years. From a very personal, very selfish viewpoint, there is one that stands out to me. In the beginning of FARMS, there was a lot of work being done on the ancient context of the Book of Mormon. Nibley was still around and his influence was huge. Sorenson was active. Bob Smith was doing excellent work on the topic. Enter my interests. The one difference between the FARMS-that-was-becoming and the Maxwell-Institute-that-is, is that Maxwell Institute publications have been less and less interested in the type of work that I do.

I have had several articles published with the Maxwell Institute, but they were all with the FARMS review. I have submitted other things to different venues at the Maxwell Institute, but they have not been accepted (which, no doubt reflects on their greater wisdom about such things).

The remnants of what I remember best from the earlier days of FARMS were being moved more and more to the FARMS Review (which began as a Review of Books on the Book of Mormon--which precisely fit my interests). A similar shift in content occurred with the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies. Not only did it broaden scope to include Other Restoration Scripture (not, in itself, a bad move at all), but the type of article shifted away from what it had been to a bit more CES friendly approach (in my opinion).

As for FARMS and apologetics, I see the benefit. I have seen strong criticisms of the very large volume that responded to a single book (New Approaches to the Book of Mormon), but I personally devoured that issue. I didn't always agree with what the writers said, but I needed to see their approaches to help me with some questions I was working through (and my answers have differed from many of theirs). I not only see the benefit, I have felt the benefit.

However, I find myself only a reluctant apologist. I am not interested in writing apologetic works. I write more for those who already believe. However, I also believe that the Book of Mormon is demonstrably ancient, and that position obviously teeters on and over the edge of apologetics. Still, issues of apologetics aside, I mourn the change at the Maxwell Institute because I doubt that I will ever publish with them again (better said, they would not be inclined to publish anything I might write--I hope only because of the content and not the writer).

Again selfishly, I do have a place where I can publish. Unsurprisingly, it is with the same people who previously shared those interests and are now behind the Interpreter Foundation. Of course, this may be the final nail in the coffin demonstrating their collective incompetence in that they would accept anything I write, but it certainly is sufficient for me to know that my interests are better served with Interpreter than with the Maxwell Institute (in any of their publications).

I wish the Maxwell Institute well. I mourn the loss of FARMS. They shared a name for a while, but I'm not sure they were ever really the same.

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I wish the Maxwell Institute well. I mourn the loss of FARMS. They shared a name for a while, but I'm not sure they were ever really the same.

As Interpreter is, FARMS once was. As FARMS is, Interpreter may someday become.

WW

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Taking it upon oneself to determine who is orthodox and who is not is to be a gatekeeper of orthodoxy. Taking it upon oneself to determine who makes good arguments and who makes bad arguments is to be a gatekeeper of argumentation.

...

To say that Dehlin should be dismissed because he is inconsistent in his presentation of his ideas, because he talks about things he really doesn't understand, etc. is to be a gatekeeper of argumentation. To say that Dehlin is actually an exit counsellor masquerading as a faithful member is to be a gatekeeper of orthodoxy.

...

On the gatekeeper point, you don't have to explicitly claim to speak for the Church to be a gatekeeper of orthodoxy.

Hey everyone! I am a gatekeeper of orthodoxy! Edited by LoudmouthMormon

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Hey everyone! I am a gatekeeper of orthodoxy!

...and I have appointed myself as the gatekeeper of academics ( :tribal: ), and I say that no gatekeepers of orthodoxy can play in my academic sandbox. :nea:

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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I wish the Maxwell Institute well. I mourn the loss of FARMS. They shared a name for a while, but I'm not sure they were ever really the same.

I've long been on record as being critical of many things about the FARMS review (I would have liked to have seen authors allowed to defend their works alongside the reviews, for one thing), but as a true "critic", I always hoped things would get better, not worse!

Not to say I don't think Blair and the new advisors won't do lots of interesting things, but there was a particular vein of response (and yes, even "defense") that was published in the Review that obviously won't be coming back, and from which I found particular enjoyment.

Edited by cinepro

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Ya know how the Church refuses to comment on the proceedings of Disciplinary Councils so we only get one side from the disgruntled . . . ?

That standard policy does not necessarily discredit the particulars of what the "disgruntled" have to say.

For the discerning, the attentive, and the sensibly logical, there is always meaningful gray matter residing between the lines.

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I love the comments, just above, from Brant Gardner and Wiki Wonka.

For cinepro: We never actually had a settled policy disallowing responses. The matter actually only came up twice, in all of the years that I edited the Review -- which means, in all of its years. On separate occasions, my friends Todd Compton and Tom Alexander asked to be able to respond. In each case, I responded that I would consult with my colleagues. But Todd and Tom each withdrew their requests before I even had a chance to raise the issue.

Finally, I wanted to call attention to a remarkable, even prophetic, statement made by Elder Neal A. Maxwell about the organization that eventually came to bear his name:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2013/03/elder-neal-a-maxwell-on-what-would-later-become-the-maxwell-institute.html

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Maxwell's words:

I've never made any secret of my appreciation for FARMS. As I see you grow larger and become more significant, I'll never have any greater appreciation than I did a few years back when our enemies were lobbing all sorts of mortar shells into our Church encampment and among the few guns blazing away were the guns of FARMS. . . . As big and wonderful as you will become and I hope you do, my memories are always nurtured by those moments when so few stood up to respond and among those who did were scholars who have taken the lead in FARMS. . . . This organization, independent as it is, is nevertheless committed, as I see it, to protect and to build up the kingdom of God. . . . I hope you don't underestimate the significance of what you do as articulators of the faith. In praising C. S. Lewis Austin Farrar said the following (and when I think of this quote I think of FARMS), "Though argument does not create conviction, lack of it destroys belief. What seems to be proved may not be embraced; but what no one shows the ability to defend is quickly abandoned. Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish." An excellent quote. . . . I mention also to you, in the spirit of appreciation, that I believe much of the vindication that will come to the Prophet and to this work of the Restoration, will come by scholars who are committed to the kingdom, who are unequivocally devoted to it. . . . I myself would be reluctant if you ever moved away from what had become your traditional role. Enterprises of scholarship may be like some businesses who fail at enlargement or lose the essence of what they have been successful at doing.

I hope everyone succeeds in their endeavors when it comes to the church. But after reading this, I do have to wonder if it just wouldn't be wise to change the name and start new.

After reading a recent mocking attack on a Mormon feminist by an upcoming scholar-blogger, I am hopeful that the MI will stand behind its claim to hold all who expect to engage in Mormon studies to high standard of discourse no matter where they are.

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That standard policy does not necessarily discredit the particulars of what the "disgruntled" have to say.

That is true. However, the extent to which the "disgruntled" cleave to their indignation and continue to whine long after the dust has settled may tend to lead the truly discerning, the attentive, and the sensibly logical, to question their account of the "particulars." Sometimes the better strategy is to simply accept what happened and move on without further comment, in spite of how justified one might feel in continuing the expressions of indignation, etc.

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That is true. However, the extent to which the "disgruntled" cleave to their indignation and continue to whine long after the dust has settled may tend to lead the truly discerning, the attentive, and the sensibly logical, to question their account of the "particulars." Sometimes the better strategy is to simply accept what happened and move on without further comment, in spite of how justified one might feel in continuing the expressions of indignation, etc.

And sometimes you've got to stand up and fight for what you believe is right. Life's funny that way.

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As Interpreter is, FARMS once was. As FARMS is, Interpreter may someday become.

WW

Oh I don't know if we teach that much anymore in our church......... :crazy:

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And sometimes you've got to stand up and fight for what you believe is right. Life's funny that way.

I could, of course, be mistaken, but given what the Savior taught to the Jews at Jerusalem, and the Nephite/Lamanite congregation at Bountiful, I suspect that He might counsel otherwise in matters of this particular nature.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

Agree with thine adversary quickly.

Turn the other cheek.

Love your enemies.

Be perfected.

The over-all tone seems to be one of reconciliation and avoidance of strife, even the face of perceived wrong.

So, while I may be mistaken, I do not believe I am.

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I could, of course, be mistaken, but given what the Savior taught to the Jews at Jerusalem, and the Nephite/Lamanite congregation at Bountiful, I suspect that He might counsel otherwise in matters of this particular nature.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

Agree with thine adversary quickly.

Turn the other cheek.

Love your enemies.

Be perfected.

The over-all tone seems to be one of reconciliation and avoidance of strife, even the face of perceived wrong.

So, while I may be mistaken, I do not believe I am.

So, if Brother Joseph and Brother Brigham had just been kinder and gentler leaders everything would have been a whole lot nicer? Heck, if Jesus himself had just been more cooperative, there might not have been this yen to beat him and kill him?

Let's all blame the victim . . .

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I could, of course, be mistaken, but given what the Savior taught to the Jews at Jerusalem, and the Nephite/Lamanite congregation at Bountiful, I suspect that He might counsel otherwise in matters of this particular nature.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

Agree with thine adversary quickly.

Turn the other cheek.

Love your enemies.

Be perfected.

The over-all tone seems to be one of reconciliation and avoidance of strife, even the face of perceived wrong.

So, while I may be mistaken, I do not believe I am.

Judge not that ye be not judged.

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I could, of course, be mistaken, but given what the Savior taught to the Jews at Jerusalem, and the Nephite/Lamanite congregation at Bountiful, I suspect that He might counsel otherwise in matters of this particular nature.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

Agree with thine adversary quickly.

Turn the other cheek.

Love your enemies.

Be perfected.

The over-all tone seems to be one of reconciliation and avoidance of strife, even the face of perceived wrong.

So, while I may be mistaken, I do not believe I am.

Cherry picking scriptures and then claiming to understand the "over-all tone" is fun, isn't it.

Just like:

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Your turn!

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I could, of course, be mistaken, but given what the Savior taught to the Jews at Jerusalem, and the Nephite/Lamanite congregation at Bountiful, I suspect that He might counsel otherwise in matters of this particular nature.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

Agree with thine adversary quickly.

Turn the other cheek.

Love your enemies.

Be perfected.

The over-all tone seems to be one of reconciliation and avoidance of strife, even the face of perceived wrong.

So, while I may be mistaken, I do not believe I am.

Matthew 10:34

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

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