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Kevin Christensen

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    Canonsburg, PA

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  1. "Often associated with" BLM by whom and how accurately representative of the general case? Most of the protestors and protests were peaceful. Yes, some cars got burned in some places and windows broken, and looting happened. But nothing like Watts in the 1960s. Watching George Floyd being suffocated with such banality, such casual cruelty, was not just tramatic for itself, but because of how it resonated with so much else. While browsing through Amazon books a few decades back, I ran across books with accounts of the public lynchings that occurred at least once a week, somewhere in the U
  2. Read Skins as Garments in the Book of Mormon by Ethan Sproat in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/jbms/vol24/iss1/7/ FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  3. Having read the Book of Mormon, and Nibley's essay on Freeman and Kingman in the Book of Mormon, I missed the parts of the story where Captain Moroni paid off mistresses, separated children from refugee parents as deterrent, hired corrupt and ignorant people to undermine the government, flattered and schmoozed tyrants, stacked the courts, deregulated environmental and financial protections, sought to gut healthcare, refused to personally go down to battle himself (bone spur deferments), denigrated science, undermined relationships with close allies, cut both taxes and accountability for the ri
  4. On WIkipedia as reliable and authoritative source of things LDS: https://www.fairmormon.org/conference/august-2011/something_wiki_this_way_comes After reading that enlightening narrative, notice that your quote about Harris is other people's interpretations and reports of what Harris said, rather than first hand accounts by Harris of what he experienced. That sort of thing makes a difference. Richard L. Anderson, author of the Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses, spent his life collecting information about the witnesses. https://www.fairmormon.org/conference/august
  5. Fundamentalism, like Empiricism, has an history. For Fundamentalism, see the wikipedia essay on the publication of "90 essays between 1911 and 1915". "According to its foreword, the publication was designed to be "a new statement of the fundamentals of Christianity."[1] However, its contents reflect a concern with certain theological innovations related to liberal Christianity, especially biblical higher criticism. It is widely considered to be the foundation of modern Christian fundamentalism." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fundamentals Notice that one of the Fundamental essay
  6. Are living prophets supposed to be God's sock puppets? That is, once called, they stop being people with multiple inputs besides inspiration, and only one output, God's omniscience, expressed in such a way that it immediately conveys that omniscience to every listener, and coerces those listeners into instant conformity on all points and actions? Paul Barnabus admit "We are men of like passions with you." (Acts 14:15). Joseph Smith admits the same of himself. And Nephi and Alma do the same: All of that is exactly why we are asked to "sustain" our leaders and one another. If y
  7. I keep citing Barbour, on Empiricism and why an Empiricist approach to God ideologically unsound. That is, the fundamental assumptions of the Empiricist mindset impede it's capacity to notice and value the kinds of evidence and experience that supports relgious faith. https://www.religion-online.org/book-chapter/chapter-1-introduction-3/ The whole books is very important, exceedingly clear and practical, manageable at just over 200 pages, so not a steep hill to climb, and bursting with relevance for discussions like this. Many years ago, I spotted a bumper sticker that said,
  8. A further question is whether we ought to expect that experience of the Spirit would or ought to be unique to the LDS experience. Thomas Kuhn explains that "anomaly emerges with resistance against a background of expectation." That is, how we react to what we see is a function of what we expect to see. If our expectations are out of whack, say for uniqueness or perfection, so is our interpretation. “the Lord doth grant unto all nations of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, all that he seeth fit that they should have” (Alma 29:8). Nephi remarks that God “speaketh unto
  9. FYI, in 1980 in Abraham in Egypt, Nibley offered this line of thinking: Quoting from my Dialogue essay here: https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V24N03_123.pdf since Abraham in Egypt is no longer freely available online at the Maxwell Institute website. The question remains, "Why has the Book of Abraham been used to justify priesthood restrictions?" The answer comes not from Mormonism, but from the larger culture. Stirling Adams's review of two books by Jewish scholars on the history of the interpretation of Noah's curse on Ham shows that the
  10. In one of my NDE books, an underage girl who was pregnant reported that she dreamed that she was visited by the spirit of her unborn child, who said, "Mom, you've got to decide whether or not to have me, because I'm supposed to get to a particular family, and if you aren't going to do it, I need to make other arrangements." FWIW, Kevin Christensen Canonsburg, PA
  11. I wrote this a while back: And after exploring how such matters are all part of the wine of LDS experience, as they are across the world of religious experience, I conclude this way: The point is to demonstrate that "all or nothing" thinking is not the only, nor the best way to approach our faith. https://oneclimbs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/A-Model-of-Mormon-Spiritual-Experience.pdf That particular essay does not draw on the Perry Scheme of Cognitive and Ethical Growth, but I've elsewhere made similar points using it. For instance, here: https://journal.i
  12. I volunteered around 10 years ago. He did not make me a priority. I've long thought that if I had been a name scholar or had a colorful grievance story to exploit, he might have made an effort. Then after the Maxwell Institute stuff in 2012, I emailed him to take me off the candidate list. Later, I noticed that he had deleted my comments from the Coe interview, while leaving other comments from people who threatened to hire professionals to destroy my reputation. I wouldn't do an interview with Dehlin now. I was interviewed once by Bill Reel, before he turned, and once by FAIR. FWIW
  13. "No death before the fall" in an absolute sense, throughout all time and space everywhere in the cosmos? or "No death before the fall" in the dramatic garden story (which explictly involves figurative language for several things) and expulsion to a different kind of existence in a different kind of place where it takes quite a while before Adam is even appointed his reckoning? I think about how Adam and Eve wearing garments of skins is not just a bit of survival trivia, but in Temple language and symbolism denotes falling from an angelic realm to a mortal animal state. Putting on animal skins
  14. Regarding "I would also like to hear why believers should apply one standard of examination for non religious claims and hold religious claims to a completely different standard." I don't. See Ian Barbour, Myths, Models, and Paradigms: A Comparative Study of Science and Religion. https://www.religion-online.org/book/myths-models-and-paradigms-a-comparative-study-in-science-and-religion/ The Baloney Detection Kit 1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.” AKA Peer Review Helaman 9:1, Behold, when it came to pass that when Nephi had spo
  15. I read The True Believer back when I lived in California, around thirty years ago. Very much worth reading. However, the formal truth claims of the LDS faith represent something quite different. That is not to say that some LDS operate that way (consider the infamous 1945 Home Teaching Message), but the distinction between formal truth claims, and the proclivities of some overzealous and under informed members is extremely important. Take for instance, President Smith's response to the 1945 Home Teaching Message. https://www.sciencemeetsreligion.org/lds/dialogue-thinking.
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