Friday, April 29, 2011

REVIEWING THE REVIEW: VOL. 18, ISS. 1 (2006)

Overview

            I picked this issue up as a gift for my subscription to FARMS. This is, in my opinion, the best number of the review (that I have read all the way through) to date. With 21 reviews or articles, spanning across more than 500 pages (including the pages numbered with roman numerals), this issue is huge! The entries cover a vast array of topics related to Mormonism, from early LDS history, Mormon theology/philosophy, Evolution, DNA research, and the “New Atheism,” to Old Testament studies, textual criticism, comparative apologetics, and parenting.  An interesting thing about this issue of the Review is that is contained a lot of non-review articles (9 total), most of which I feel represent the most interesting studies in this issue.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

MORONI 10:3-5 AND THE TRUTH OF THE BOOK OF MORMON

            As most are familiar, the Book of Mormon contains a promise, commonly called “Moroni’s Promise,” which asserts that by praying to God, and asking him if the book is true, God will provide a response via the Holy Ghost (see Moroni 10:3-5). Some who are critical of the church refuse to try this method. They argue that it is circular reasoning, that “feelings” are not a sufficient way to learn truth, etc.

Subsequently, they insist the Book of Mormon must be tested on some other grounds; through reason, logic, and empirical evidence. I argue that one can never know if the Book of Mormon is true or not by this method, and not because there will never be enough evidence to “prove” it either true or false; and not because almost any position can be maintained on rational, logical grounds (though I believe both to be the case). Rather, I argue that such a position is impossibly inconsistent, as it suffers from two fatal flaws:

Monday, April 11, 2011

REVIEWING THE REVIEW: VOL. 21, ISS. 2 (2009)

Overview

            I obtained this issue of the Review by attending some of the Nibley Lecture series last year. They were giving copies away at a desk near the entry way as a way of promoting their work.

            This issue of the Review is not especially long, and possess nothing particularly ground breaking. Nonetheless, it contains some solid contributions to Mormon studies and related fields, on topics such as the biblical Christmas story, the influence of Greek philosophy on protestant soteriology, Mesoamerica, the “New Atheism,” the Book of Mormon, early Mormon history, LDS apologetics, and “born-again Mormonism.” Interestingly (and perhaps “bafflingly” to some), this issue only has one review of an anti-Mormon book. It contains an additional article which is directed at an anti-Mormon claim, and a review of an atheist book. In contrast, it has three reviews of LDS publications (two of which are generally positive, while one is critical), a review of recent “reader editions” of the Book of Mormon, and a generally positive review of a book by British Methodist scholar Margaret Barker.