Episode 255: The Most Problematic Areas for Mormon Apologists

8 comments on “Episode 255: The Most Problematic Areas for Mormon Apologists”

  1. BATMAN Reply

    I need a reference for that comment about 1930’s Mormon leadership and Jazz music.

  2. Random Reply

    Great podcast, but I think you’re giving apologists too much credit for the anachronisms. The hippopotamus argument doesn’t work because it’s inconsistant. If it can throw out cureloms and cumoms then there’s no reason to assume that it suddenly felt a need to turn a goat or lama into a horse.

    Yes, there are a few cases where words are representative of other ideas, such as the coined monetary system; however, seons and shums are painstakingly explained in ways the 1830’s reader would understand.

  3. Christopher Allman Reply

    As always, I enjoyed listening to this episode.
    However, I think apologetics has recently evolved in dramatic ways and any discussion of apologietics without noting this is incomplete and outdated.
    No doubt there are still old school apologists out there using the same models and methods, but a new generation of has recently emerged and are quickly taking over. This new generation takes a mostly different tack, one that I believe is healthier. Especially because they have dropped the ‘criticize people for having doubts/doubt=sin’ model most of us grew up with.

    I don’t know the details, but I even understand there was a big shake-up at the Maxwell Institute and now, even that old icon of apologetics done wrong, has began releasing good work (at least, as good of work as can be when it takes Mormonism seriously.)
    These new Apologists are more in line with the Post Modern thinking of Bushman and Givens than the old guard like Peterson. They dont deny the difficult issues issues and don’t even try to play them down, but rather approach them from a different angle.
    To be sure, they have their own set of problems, but I don’t think they are quite the same as what is critiqued here.
    If you want a good sense of where these guys are coming from, I suggest listening to John Dehlin’s interview with Adam Miller and Brad Kramer.
    What these new apologists do, tt is not my thing, but I believe will be healthier for the Church as an organization and the memebership as individuals.

  4. Gabriel von Himmel Reply

    The most Problematic area of Mormon Apologetics appears in the fault-line between feral piety and domesticated Zealotry.
    Post-modern Apologetics has evolved beyond pedestrian parochial concerns to include Counter-Apologetic investigation of honest of inquiry of a manichean theology. Mormon Counter-Apologetics is the rising star for an evolving movement to address the frauds perpetrated from the beginning.

  5. Teleste Reply

    Not sure if it was Flip or Thayne who mentioned the Amish as a good source to go to for understanding the difference between “thee” and “you.” I’m pretty sure he was thinking of Quakers, who for a long time avoided using “you” because it was formal, and Quakers are radically egalitarian. Some Quakers continued to favor “thee” over “you” into the 20th century, although the practice has all but faded out since nowadays people mistakenly perceive “thee” as being more formal.

    I’ve never heard “thee” used among Amish. The ones I’ve known speak regular English (of course with their own regional accents) and Pennsylvania German (aka “Pennsylvania Dutch”).

    Not that I’m expecting people on Mormon Expression to be experts in other religions — just thought I’d mention it.

    Which reminds me, another episode I listed to recently (and of course I can’t remember which one) made a misinformed comparison between Mormon church leaders and the Amish, since there is a tendency among both to think that “the way things used to be done” is inherently better and new things are inherently bad, e.g. among Mormons classical music is edifying and rap music is evil, having missionaries act like door-to-door salesmen is good because that’s the way we’ve always done it, etc.; and among Amish, electric light are evil simply because they weren’t around when their religion started.

    I won’t comment on whether that’s true about Mormon church leaders (there are plenty of people here who would be better at arguing about that than I would), but I did want to clarify that the Amish situation is a lot more complicated than that. A lot of Amish do use electricity and adopt new technologies; they are just limited as to the extent that they are permitted to use them (by their bishops/local Amish community). Most of the technology restrictions are designed to increase dependence on the local Amish community and decrease individualism and dependence on outsiders — at least symbolically.

    For example, a bishop may say that it’s okay to use electricity in your barn because it’s for business purposes, but it’s not okay to use it in the home because it makes the family less dependent on each other and on the community. And usually when they use electricity, it’s from a generator or other off-the-grid source, because using the grid makes them dependent on people outside the community. Similar rules apply to phones and computers. An Amish community may have a pay phone that people can make business or emergency calls on, or individuals may own cell phones or even computers that they use in a limited way for business (usually not connected to the Internet), but they aren’t supposed to have these things in their homes because they distract from family responsibilities.

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  7. David Macfarlane Reply

    Two copies of the Doubleday version of what, John? I missed something there at around 1 hour, 10 minutes. Thanks.

  8. John Spencer Reply

    Listening to this late. I will just say that I really enjoyed reading the Journal of Discourses. It was a bloody fascinating read.

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