Month: April 2007

Scholar Amy-Jill Levine on Persecuted LDS

for-bolg-hi4lds-1.jpgI have been poorly digesting a large amount of Amy-Jill Levine’s book, The Misunderstood Jew (HarperCollins, 2006). I picked this book up because of Ben Witherington III’s quote on the back cover:

Full of the usual vim, vigor, and vitality that so characterizes Levine’s lectures, and writings, The Misunderstood Jew is quite simply the best book ever written about the Jewishness of Jesus and his earliest followers. This book is such a seminal work that it makes us all reexamine what it really means to be a Jew or a Christian.

For my LDS friends, I quote Levine on page 65 for your interest: (more…)

Let God be God

For Blog LWA

I will be speaking at the God Focus Conference at Red Cliff Bible Camp, June 11-13. My two workshop topics are as follows: 1) Triune God Focus that Produces Humility and 2) Triune God Focus that Produces Holiness.

Here is an excerpt from a book that I have been reading . . .

Why is the revelation of God at Sinai so new that is smashes all categories and idols? What exactly is so brain hammering and conscience wracking? Is it the fire, the smoke, and the thunder? These are but pyrotechnics, the merest fringe sideshow, compared with the nuclear sunburst of the truth revealed—“I am who I am.” (more…)

Isaiah 14 (2 Nephi 24) Millennium Slavery?

First, aren’t all Latter-day Saints millennialists (there is quite a divergence among evangelicals)?  Secondly, does the LDS Church believe they will possess male and female slaves during a future millennium?  In this post, I am not going to get into all the changes made by the JST or BoM to the KJV text because I just want to jump right into a big heart issue phrased in my title.

In Understanding Isaiah(1998), the LDS authors interpret,

Following a lengthy prophecy concerning Babylon’s fall (13:11-22), Isaiah extends hope to us (the house of Israel) that we will be gathered to our promised lands and eventually rest from sorrow.  Certainly our (Israel’s) return to our covenantal lands is a prominent sign of the times.  After we have gathered to our promised lands, we will eventually “exercise dominion domestically (menservants and maidservants), militarily (take . . . captives), and politically (rule over/ ‘dominate’)” (14:2).  We who follow Christ and make his atonement effective in our lives will, in the end, rest from sorrow, fear, and hard bondage (14:3) (140).

 Is this the standard LDS position?  Is this what you believe?  Because I like the guy, I would love to get a response from Mitt Romney regarding his personal view of this chapter.

The Limitations of My Blog

James 3 convicts me . . . sends me to a quiet place somewhere for serious reflection.

As a teacher, I will be judged for every word that comes out of my mouth.  And what makes things worse–the tongue is an “unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

 How can wisdom be shown on a blog?

James writes:  “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?  let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness and wisdom.”

I realize that among my internet audience, I don’t have opportunity for God to help me visually live out a lifestyle full of meekness in front of you.  No real life is seen on a blog.

But I do pray that God will help me show a kind and gracious life in front of my neighbors in Idaho Falls.  I am thankful for the friendships.

Just some musings on a Monday after a good Lord’s Day . . .

Thinking of heart issues . . .

Isaiah 13 (2 Nephi 23) – Exclusively Temple-worthy Soldiers Battling Babylon?

Verse 3

The JST and BoM change the KJV text.

I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones, for mine anger even is not upon them that rejoice in my highness.

While I am thinking about the Mede-Persian warriors (separated out for a work) in the beginning of this verse, Don Parry, Jay Parry, and Tina Peterson in Understanding Isaiah, declares the identity of the “sanctified ones”: 

Jehovah’s sanctified ones (Josh. 3:5) are those who are temple worthy, who actually attend the temple, and who are made holy by Christ’s power.  In ancient Israel the soldiers prepared for the holy war by participating in holy rituals connected with the temple (Deut. 23:10-15).  In this dispensation, Jesus Christ’s soldiers (members of the Church) prepare for the battle against Babylon by participating in temple rituals (131).

Verse 15

And in this verse, the JST and BoM seem to try to make the wicked Mede-Persian warriors more saintly than they really are.

Every one that is found proud shall be thrust through; yea, and every one that is joined unto them to the wicked shall fall by the sword.

But reading on in the context, you will find that the soldiers are vile and awful.

Isaiah 12 (2 Nephi 22)

I love the emotional response commanded in Isaiah 12:6, “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion:  for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.”

John Bytheway writes: 

2 Nephi 22:6.  “Cry out and shout”  Normally we don’t condone shouting in Church, but our joy will be such in the millennial day that perhaps shouting praises will be appropriate, as it is on those rare occasions when we participate in the thrilling “hosanna shout.”  (Isaiah for Airheads, p. 146)

In the margin, the KJV translators pegged this personification of Israel as a woman, the “inhabitress”.  Let this woman sing high and clear that all may hear.  She didn’t deserve it.  But this God—who is infinite, eternal, unchangeable, and characterized by wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, truth, love, peace, faithfulness, mercy, kindness, and love —this God has saved her!

She had everything to fear; but by clinging completely to the Holy One, she is completely secure.

Once again the ancient words of the prophet (Is. 12:3) connect our church family in Idaho Falls to the words of the apostle John (John 4), which we will soon be feasting upon this Lord’s Day.