Posted by davekeller on June 4th, 2006
I am resuming this feature after a few weeks of an inactive lull. I am learning that blogs some blogs stay viable by keeping the articles fresh and geared towards short attention spans. Others write detailed articles when ever one comes together for them, like Dr. Edward Peter’s blog (see the new Catholic blogs, I have linked to). However, such blogs seem to need help from other blogs to point to them when they have good content up at irregular intervals. Otherwise, causual readers will probably not check in regularly. I am trying to learn by looking at what works at other blogs, so I hope readers here will be patient with us here. I am trying to assemble a group of contributors, but I want to stress that no posting quotas will be expected. I may have to change some of the ideals of this blog. Rather than shooting for equality of output between the two religion‘s authors, although this will still be a concern, the equality will be that of equal invitation and opportunity to post here.
I have spent a little time expanding the blogs I link to. I am trying to point to the Mormon blogs I think Catholics would be interested in and vise versa, although some of my own preferences can’t be denied. I am probably more interested in apologetics than the average Mormon or Catholic, so Jeff Lindsay and Jimmy Akin figure prominently in lists I assemble. There is more likely to be treatments of the other faith as apologetics usually occupy a front line in how faiths interact with each other. I also am a little selective about linking, I don’t want to point to blogs that would be offensive to an adherent of the opposite faith; although at a certain point, any firmly held conviction–no matter how charitably held–can be grounds for offense. Let me include blogs among this week’s picks, check them out, make recomendations and I will try to accomodate. I have also included my old blog, which I hope to use an outlet for writing, so as to not overwhelm other group bloggers. I have two summary reviews of two books on the “apostasy” (my “” acknowledge that not everybody sees it that way), Talmage’s The Great Apostasy and a book new last year called Early Christians in Disarray.
The Fair Journal came out earlier in week and it is always a breath of fresh air. [Note: the link I give archives past issues, to get the latest email-distributed edition, it has to be subscribed to here.] I should mention that I am a junior member of FAIR and occasionally participate in FAIR’s activities, whether that is writing new articles for their site, peer reviewing others, or answering inquiries. FAIR is a group of hard-working, unpaid, volunteers that I have loosely compared to a limited extent to Catholic religious orders that band together on a grass roots level for a common cause.
The President’s message was very thoughtful. He advocates reading religious history charitably. For example, I can replace his references to Mormonism to Early Christianity and not be as eager to prosecute an apostasy from it.
People sometimes ask how a faithful Latter-day Saint can maintain a testimony in light of the things written against the Church. The main thing I have done is to follow the footnotes. This means if someone was quoted, I actually go back and read the source of the quote. They usually are very easy to find on the Internet or on one of the many CDs available at a Church bookstore. In many cases, I find the quote is pulled from its context.
The second thing I do is remember the cultural context of the quote. We had a group of new converts who brought much of their cultural baggage into the Church and had no lesson manuals to go by. I believe it was a miracle that the doctrine preached was as accurate as it was. The Lord gives us line upon line and he gives us what we are ready to receive.
The third thing is that I remember that history involves people. All people say and do things they shouldn’t. All people have faulty memories. And all people interpret the words that are said in different ways, based on their own backgrounds and perceptions.