Reasoning with God — understanding authority

In Matthew 8 we read of one man’s persuasive logic, words that actually stopped Jesus in His tracks, so to speak. (This is one of only two places where a particular Greek word is used to express Jesus’ astonishment.) The centurion came to Jesus, and we can see three things he used to persuade Jesus to heal his servant. First was his intercession. From the example of Jesus who prayed almost exclusively for others and not for Himself during His lifetime, we see the importance of praying for others. Secondly, the centurion understood Jesus’ authority. Because of his own background as the commander of troops, the centurion understood that Jesus could command the elements of nature as surely as he himself could order his underlings. This...

“We Don’t Believe That Any More”

How many times when I was a Mormon did I brush off questions about Mormonism’s past, saying, “Oh, we don’t believe that anymore.” No more polygamy, no, we don’t believe that anymore. United Order? Well, that was back then, it was a good idea but didn’t work out. Mormons today say, “Oh, we don’t believe blacks can’t hold the priesthood. We don’t believe that anymore.” While most Mormons are relieved they don’t have to defend polygamy or racism, they have a greater problem. When did polygamy cease to be “eternal”? When was the last “unvaliant” spirit born into a black male body? I do understand how practices change, especially when such practices are based on...

Reasoning with God again

Reasoning with the Lord I previously cited the passage in Isaiah that set me thinking about the possibility that the Lord”‘s invitation, “Come, let us reason together,” could be tied not only logically but also causally to forgiveness. That is to say, I wondered if God was not only calling us to reason about His ability to completely forgive sin, but also suggesting the possibility that our very reasoning with Him could bring about forgiveness. Jesus Himself demonstrated that His ability to forgive sin ““ an intangible ““ is something people doubted. In Matthew 9:1 He told a paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven, and people accused Him of blasphemy, thinking (quite rightly) that He was taking on an attribute of God...

Steven James novel

The Pawn: The Bowers Filesby Steven JamesPublished by Revell Books Reviewed by Jake Chism Steven James takes us into the world of FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers in this exceptional psychological thriller. A serial killer is at large in the Appalachian area of North Carolina, and Bowers, known for his expertise in environmental criminology, is called in to help make sense of this baffling case. The killer has dubbed himself “The Illusionist,” thriving on misdirection and confusion to further confound the authorities at every turn. As Bowers and his team search for clues, they realize they are facing a madman who is as cunning as he is evil. As answers are uncovered, more mysteries surface, linking the Illusionist to a charismatic cult leader with ties...

Reason #5: Today’s Prophet, Seer, Revelator?

One of the great joys I felt when I became a Mormon was with the prospect of living my life under the guidance of a prophet who could settle doctrinal issues and even set standards as specific as how long my skirts should be. (Okay, so I was weird, but I welcomed that kind of guidance, and I know many parents did — and do– welcome it as well.) But that wasn’t the only function of a prophet, the head of the LDS Church. In Doctrine and Covenants 107:91-92, the man who heads that church must be not only a “seer, revelator, and a prophet,” but also a “translator.” When is the last time anyone verified that any prophet of the LDS Church could translate documents? The Book of Mormon? — no, nobody has the gold plates for...