I recently came across a devotional address given November 17, 2009 by Keith H Lane, Associate Professor of Religious Education at BYU-Hawaii. Professor Lane holds a Ph.D. in the Philosophy and Theology of Religion from Claremont Graduate University. He recently published “Kierkegaard & the Concept of Religious Authorship” in the German series Religion in Philosophy & Theology 45 (Mohr Siebeck, 2010), and presented this topic at the SMPT Conference in March 2010.
I listened to his address while doing the final edits of my response to the recent article by Richard J. Mouw, where in he called for Christian hospitality. As I listened to Prof. Lane I began to be surprised at his message, for two reasons. First, he drew upon many of the same quotations from Joseph Smith and other LDS leaders that represent a tolerant tradition that is often not discussed. Secondly because of two paragraphs that spoke openly and bluntly about our discourse about those not of our faith.
Let us as Latter-day Saints reach out to others not of our faith. Let us never act in a spirit of arrogance or with a holier-than-thou attitude. Rather, may we show love and respect and helpfulness toward them. We are greatly misunderstood, and I fear that much of it is of our own making. We can be more tolerant, more neighborly, more friendly, more of an example than we have been in the past. Let us teach our children to treat others with friendship, respect, love, and admiration. That will yield a far better result than will an attitude of egotism and arrogance. (Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Time of New Beginnings,” Ensign, May 2000, 87) Read more…
On September 23, 2008, five Harvard undergraduates were interviewed by journalist for the Washington Post, Sally Quinn, about their religious convictions (video). Students represented Islam, Mormonism, Judaism, Presbyterianism and Buddhism. Before an audience of approximately 50 students, faculty and chaplains of diverse religions at Beren Hall at Harvard Hillel, these five students were asked to reveal their ‘spiritual biographies.’ The panel discussion was titled “Engaging Religious Difference: Personal Quests for Purpose” and was part of day long series of events on “Faith Live on the Harvard Campus: Personal Quest, Public Conversation, and Global Citizenship.”
Notably, Rachel Esplin (left in photo), an undergraduate studying East Asian Studies, and president of the Latter-day Saint Students Association, was asked to explain her background growing up in Idaho, and how coming to Harvard has impacted her religious views and convictions. I was extremely impressed at her ability to articulate her beliefs to others in universal terms and yet in a passionate manner. Read more…
On December 26, 2007 Christ Presbyterian Church in Utah aired the third episode of the television program “The Ancient Paths.” (total run time: 58:53). In this episode, Jason Wallace, pastor of the Christ Presbyterian Church in Utah, engages in dialogue with Alma Allred who teaches church history at the Latter-day Saint Institute of Religion at the University of Utah. The program also accepts questions from callers. Read more…
“The Adventure of the Dead Sea Scrolls—Exploring the Greatest Discovery of the Twentieth Century” is a exciting lecture given by Dr. Peter Flint at the BYU David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, Oct 11, 2006.
Dr. Flint is professor of Biblical Studies at Trinity Western University, in British Columbia, Canada and co-author of “The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Their Significance For Understanding the Bible, Judaism, Jesus, and Christianity.”
“The Dead Sea Scrolls are the greatest archeological find of the 20th Century.”
“..I have just shared with you dynamite. I’ve just shared with you what a Rudolf Bultmann and a generation of New Testament scholars said could not happen in a 1st Century BC Jewish text…”
This is one of my favorite lectures and Dr. Flint is a great passionate speaker. If you are interested in early Christianity, in Judaism, in the Gospels, in Isaiah, and in textual criticism, you will enjoy this.
Update 9/26/2010: Dr. Flint’s lecture is available in video and mp3 format from the BYU Kennedy Center archive.
After considering the possible ways I might describe these videos, I’ve decided to let these videos speak for themselves. Titled “Grounded” this program is for teens and young adults “from mainstream Christian backgrounds who are seeking ways to balance commitment to their faith with the friendships they have developed with Latter-day Saints.” Grounded was produced by David Pascoe and the Salt Lake Theological Seminary and is promoted by John W. Morehead, who served as a consultant, and the Neighboring Faiths Project.
Video One: Sample Session of “Grounded: Relating to Your Mormon Friends in Truth and Love,” a training program for youth ministries.
Video Two: An Overview of the Grounded Program.
Whether you are LDS, Evangelical or of another faith, what are your impressions and responses to “Grounded”?
Bart D. Ehrman, James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was interviewed on Interfaith Voices on May 8, 2007, about his book “Misquoting Jesus.” (listen to audio and mp3).
In addition, Dr. Ehrman gave a lecture as part of Stanford University’s Heyns Lecture Series on April 25, 2007 titled, “Misquoting Jesus: Scribes who Altered Scripture and Readers Who May Never Know.” Download mp4 here.
Nearly four months have passed since the airing of the PBS American Experience four-hour documentary The Mormons on May 1, 2007 (video here). I’ve found discussion about the documentary, and discussion in reaction to the documentary, to be more fascinating than the documentary itself, which I personally found excruciatingly slow paced and unexciting.
Earlier this month, UTAH Now with Doug Fabrizio rebroadcast a one-hour show called ‘Viewing the Mormons’ dealing with the reaction and responses of the documentary (listen to audio – watch video). Read more…