There are 2 thoughts on “Contending without Contention”.

  1. I should have told a story about having one how one morning as I arrived at the Maeser Building, Hugh Nibley was there ready to quote very slowly “Easter Hymn,” and then explain that when its very gifted author was young and very pious, he begged God to cure his mother’s fatal cancer. This convinced him that since God had not responded to his begging, he must not care for human misery. Why pray, when one cannot manipulate God? Hugh thought that “Easter Hymn” gets it right because its author had become an atheist.

    And, if I had explained to my father, who loved poetry, that the author of “Easter Hymn” was an atheist, he would not have changed his opinion of what Houseman had set out as the crucial question.

  2. Professor Peterson’s essay is excellent.

    The Apostle Peter urged the Saints back then to always be prepared to give an answer to critics, but also to do so in such a way that critics will be shamed. Latter-day Saints must, within the limits of our own knowledge and capacities, strive to be apologists for–that is, defenders of–our faith. This may mean that sometimes the very best we can do is to remain silent.

    Endowed Saints make a covenant to build and defend the Kingdom of God on earth, but this has never meant that we have generated the kind of silly or genuinely disgusting endeavors that critics of our faith, or that of of Roman Catholics, or Muslims, as Protestants have done.

    The bizarre Protestant Fundamentalist countercult movement that was launched many years ago by Walter Martin, essentially collapsed when Mitt Romney was nominated by the Republican Party to stand for President of the United States. Then, people previously strongly hostile to the faith of Latter-day Saints ended up actually getting to know a Latter-day Saint, and even ended up voting for him because the unseemly propaganda of the truly awful countercult movement no longer seemed at all plausible.

    In addition, conservative Protestants have also experienced the impact of secular ideologies within their own communities, and hence have found that they have reasons to defend their own version of Christian faith from that recently energized movement. Some of our Protestant critics have come to realize that they need our help on real issues that are currently impacting every community of faith.

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