There are 14 thoughts on “Careless Accounts and Tawdry Novelties”.

  1. I drafted a brief note on Lofte(s) Tryk/Payne’s self-published book for the cancelled 2011 issue of the Mormon Studies Review. All the other items waiting to appear in the second number of volume 23 of the Review were soon published, except for my very brief note on Joseph Smith and the Make-Believe Martyr. That book seemed to me to be too ridiculous to even mention.
    However, when two former RLDS/Community of Christ Apostles published books in 2013 arguing that the Book of Mormon is not an authentic ancient history, but a work of fiction, and offered poor arguments. In different ways they both insist that, despite what they see as some clearly false theology, the Book of Mormon is still part of the Community of Christ canon of scripture. They assert that it might have passages that are “inspired” or at least “inspirational.” Neither addresses the question of what constitutes “scripture,” other than the fact that the RLDS canonized it twice, or how a debunked, fictional Book of Mormon could genuinely testify of truly divine things. In this they seem to follow Grant Palmer.
    In addition, there is also a remarkable consonance between the opinions of Robert M. Price on the Book of Mormon and those of John Dehlin, who has celebrated Grant Palmer and his deeply flawed book. Somewhat unlike Palmer, Price and Dehlin see no reasons to believe that there even was a Jesus of Nazareth, or God. They make all talk about sin and atonement pointless. I have dealt in some detail with the opinions of Grant Palmer and Robert M. Price, and Greg Smith has dealt thoroughly with Dehlin’s poorly grounded dogmas. My endeavor is modest: I hoped to show the links between the key element in this literature. I think my conclusion follows. No one seems inclined to challenge my conclusion.

  2. Interesting but I’m afraid I’m disappointed that this review says so little about the work being reviewed. What are Payne’s claims? How are they wrong? Very little actually quoted from the book under review. Or maybe the original intent was to review a class of anti literature and it just got mislabeled as a review of a particular work.

    • With the title “Careless Accounts and Tawdry Novelties” I hoped to signal and leave room for my comment on several exemplars of a very seriously flawed literature on Book of Mormon. In addition, both the abstract and my opening remarks make it clear that I would engage the opinions of several authors who are critical of both the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.
      And yet I appreciate Lillywhite’s comment. He paid attention to my endeavor. He correctly notes that I did not go into great detail on bizarre claims made by Lofte(s) Tryk/Payne. Instead, I quoted his own words that describe his endeavors and also boast about his accomplishment; I also illustrated his bizarre opinions. And I called attention to how he has radically shifted his ground since his first very entertaining book. None of the writings of the other authors I engage are as entertaining as Tryk’s leaflets and his first book. Professor Peterson’s review of that very odd book is also a classic in LDS humor. None of the authors of the literature I address command either the literature on the Book of Mormon or the contents of the book itself. Their trumpets give even less than an uncertain sound.

  3. Dr. Midgley:
    Always a delight to hear your unsparing voice. 🙂 After more than four decades of studying the Book of Mormon myself, I am still amazed at how badly, badly done most Book of Mormon criticism is — poorly sourced, poorly substantiated, poorly reasoned, and poorly thought out, and almost always lacking any real engagement of the last 60 years of Book of Mormon scholarship, not to mention the entire text of the book itself. Said critics really do strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, carp at sawdust while ignoring the sheet of drywall in front of their own faces. To quote an old California bumper sticker: I used to be disgusted, but now I’m just amused.

  4. Commentaries will come and go , but when the BOM directly contradicts the hardest doctrine of the bible , then I’m sorry , but it’s game over . What is this hard doctrine ? It is that God the Father is the God of Abraham , Isaac , and Jacob , and not Christ . Look it up .

    • One can make this kind of unsupported assertion if and only if one is certain that their own understanding of the Bible is both sufficient and infallible.

    • εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἰησοῦς , Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν , πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι , ἐγὼ εἰμί . — John 8:58

      • That passage from the Gospel of John is appropriate.
        In Mosiah 3 the one known as Jesus is called Lord God Almighty. And his rising from the dead is described as a victory over death in all its forms. Only God can save us from the evils that afflict us in this disconsolate world.
        The Jewish officials were, it seems, especially hostile because Jesus of Nazareth presented himself as Yahweh (YHWH). All this seemed to them as blasphemy, and hence worthy of death. And to the Romans his proclamation that with him the Kingdom of God was right then and there present made him seem to to be a real threat to their rule.
        The profound disappointment that Jesus did not call down fire power and vindicate Israel with force of arms was only overcome among his close followers when the women came and announced that he had risen from the dead. This really good news for them (and also for us) is that God had won what the Book of Mormon describes as a final victory over death in all its forms. This victory is already but not quite yet for those of us still undergoing our mortal probation. This is true if and only if we are not confronted with a fictional tall tale. When read as as authentic history, rather than mere fiction, we have the grounds for a firm hope that all the fruits of his victory over death are fully available to us, if we are faithful to the end.

  5. The article was a fun read and brought back memories of reading about Loftes back in the old “FARMS” days. I am glad to see you still writing and publishing I hope you have many more productive years.

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