Thursday, December 28, 2017

Doctoral Dissertation concerning justification in the second century Church Fathers

While I was away on vacation, two books I was not aware of were brought to my attention in the combox of THIS THREAD.

On 12-21-17, I ordered Believer's Baptism, and Long Before Luther. I received both books yesterday, and read the latter of two last night. In early 2018, I hope to provide reviews of both books, but until then, I would like to recommend a dissertation referenced in Long Before Luther: Brian John Arnold's, Justification One Hundred Years After Paul. A PDF copy is available online via THIS LINK.

Though I have just started reading the dissertation, I felt compelled to bring it to the attention of those folk interested in the doctrine of justification as taught in the second century Church Fathers.


Grace and peace,


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Urim and Thummim, Seers, and Seer Stones, in the Bible, LDS Scriptures, and early Mormon history

During some internet research this morning, I discovered an online book(let) that gathers together, into a single contribution, dozens of references related to the Urim and Thummim, seers and seer stones, as found in the Bible, LDS Scriptures, and early Mormon history. I copied and pasted this work into a Word document; in this format, it comprises some 67 pages of valuable information, and is an excellent supplement to the BYU Religious Studies Center book, Joseph Smith's Seer Stones, that I referenced in my June 29, 2017 post (LINK).

This online book(let) by Odgen Kraut can be accessed via THIS LINK.


Grace and peace,


Friday, December 1, 2017

Mark Ashurst-McGee's, A Pathway to Prophethood: Joseph Smith Junior as Rodsman, Village Seer, and Judeo-Christian Prophet, now available online for free download

I have a very important announcement to make: as of today, Mark Ashurst-McGee's thesis, A Pathway to Prophethood: Joseph Smith Junior as Rodsman, Village Seer, and Judeo-Christian Prophet (2000), is now available online for free download.

Last week, I pointed out to the Utah State Univeristy's Digital Commons that the above master's thesis was missing from their "ALL GRADUATE THESES AND DISSERTATIONS" site. To my surprise, I received an email that they would soon make the thesis available, and today, they informed me that they have done so.

Back in May, a good friend of mine provided me with a PDF copy of Mark's thesis, but it was an image only scanned document which does not allow text to be copied. The new USU PDF document is OCR (Optical Character Recognition) based, which allows text copying (and pasting), and makes citations so much easier.

The document may be downloaded via THIS LINK

Mark Ashurst-McGee's master thesis is one of the most important contributions on the history of Joseph Smith Jr. as it relates to his involvement in certain aspects of 'folk magic' and 'occult' practices. Mark sees Joseph's participation in such practices as a preparation for his eventual calling as God's chosen prophet for the restoration Christ's Church which had fallen into apostasy, becoming a church in name only, having no divine authority. The following is from the abstract of the thesis:

Joseph Smith Junior, founder of the Mormon faith, presented himself to America and the world as a prophet with the same powers as the widely known prophetic figures of the Bible. Like Moses and Elijah, he made God's will known to humankind. Before assuming this role, Smith had used divining rods and then seer stones to find underground water, buried treasure, lost items, and stray livestock. This thesis charts Joseph Smith's progression from rodsman to seer to prophet. (Page iii)

This thesis is a must read for those who have even just a minor interest in Mormonism.


Grace and peace,