Let me lay some cards on the table, if only to provide a bit of context for what I want to say. I am a strong and unequivocal evolutionist who places Darwin at the very core of my philosophical mindset. My relationship to religion, on the other had, is …. complicated. I don’t think any of the standard categories unambiguously matches up with what I think and feel, and I’m somewhat okay with that. I just hope that these confessions serve to clarify rather than obstruct the conversation I hope to have. (more…)
The point of this post is not to give opportunity to arguing whether evolution or no death before the fall (NDBF)is correct. It is not to look at whether S. McMurrin and H. Eyring Sr. or J. Fielding Smith and B. Packer more accurately state the official position of the Church. If you have perspectives along those lines, table them, because those sorts of comments will be deleted here, even if you do have a fancy ™ on the end of your name.
The attempt here is to take the two positions, or for the sake of this post, assume BOTH are true. Then we can look at possible ways that both can work together.
In my recent post on Abraham I brought up the enigmatic figure from scripture, Melchizedek. There is a tradition that claims Melchizedek is actually Shem, the son of Noah. I speculated, based on my reading of our scriptures, that Melchizedek might actually be the pre-mortal Christ himself rather than a mortal prophet. In this post I will briefly sketch out these two ideas. (more…)
In my recent post on the figurative and allegorical aspects I see in the Noah story I admitted to a new thought that I have had as I’ve studied the scriptures recently:
I don’t know about you but I am having an increasingly difficult time seeing the pre-Abraham scriptural narratives as being literal in our modern Western sense. They seem to be symbols of truth rather than literal historical accounts. In other words – they seem like theology rather than history to me.
In this post I’ll discuss Abraham and the parts of his story that make me wonder if he plays the role of our literal “Adam”, or the role of our father and first literal prophet. As I’ve noted recently, I have begun to suspect that the narratives about Adam and successive patriarchs in the scriptures might be allegorical. (Note- I got the ideas for this post after studying the scriptures in Old Testament Sunday school lesson 7 which is about the Abrahamic covenant.) (more…)
With Sunday school lesson #6 on the story of Noah up next I have been reading up on it. Over at Julie’s thread on the subject someone linked to an article in Dialogue by Sheldon Greaves that briefly discussed the Noah story and its parallels with the earlier creation story starring Adam. While the discussion of the Noah narrative was only a side note in the overall article, I found it fascinating. Here are the highlights: (more…)
As the next post in my mini-series on the Garden of Eden story as an allegory, I will respond to an interesting set of questions Tim J. posed in one of my posts over at T&S. He asked:
I think to follow the Fall as an allegory, I would need the allegory to be pretty well spelled-out. What I mean is such things like:
What does the Garden represent?
Is Satan’s role allegorical-if so what is he representing?
Why was Eve first to partake of the fruit?
Why did Adam refuse the fruit (if we are to believe the narrative that he was offered beforehand)?
Is the Atonement (which is inextricably linked w/ the Fall) also purely allegorical, or literal?
There has been all sorts of talk about happiness lately in the ‘nacle. (See here, here, and here.) I think these happiness discussions dovetail nicely into my recent posts and comments about the Garden of Eden story being allegorical. Since I promised I would flesh this idea out better, I figured I could start that process by looking at how an allegorical Fall of Adam and Eve could or should affect our expectations for happiness in this life. (more…)
The Garden of Eden story is packed with symbolism. Jeff Giliam has even made compelling arguments here at the Thang that the Garden story is entirely symbolic. In this post I will riff on this idea that the Garden story is symbolic rather than literal. Before doing so, I want to point out that I am not hinting that there was no literal Adam on this earth. I think the evidence that there was a literal Adam is quite compelling. Rather, I want to look at possible meanings of the garden story and pre-garden story. (more…)