Mormon Theology Poll: Blake Ostler Edition

March 31, 2011    By: Matt W. @ 7:15 am   Category: Life


  1. I just received Book 3 in the mail. (finally)

    Thus the post.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 31, 2011 @ 7:18 am

  2. Book 2 was the one I struggled to find for a long time. It seemed like it was out of print and people were asking for extraordinary prices on amazon and suddenly there seemed to be an influx of copies.

    I have enjoyed the books a great deal though I think I have become less enamoured with them over time. Although I will certainly buy the fourth volume when (if) it comes out.

    Comment by Aaron R. — March 31, 2011 @ 7:33 am

  3. I have read books 1 and 2. Haven’t had a chance for 3 yet, though I imagine it will be interesting. Book one was excellent. If the Compassion Theory is not how God works, it is at least one important component of it. I wasn’t very convinced with his view of KFD in book 2.

    Comment by Rameumptom — March 31, 2011 @ 7:43 am

  4. I apologize for not including answers in regards to “borrowing” the books. Please assume you can say you read the books, even if you did not purchase them.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 31, 2011 @ 8:17 am

  5. #3 I appreciated his reading of KFD if only because it provide a hermeneutical break with the traditional approach to this text. I agree with Ostler, at the very least, that it is not possible to ground some of the larger theological claims of Mormonism onto the KFD.

    Comment by Aaron R. — March 31, 2011 @ 8:34 am

  6. Read and enjoyed all three. Struggled through physics-related portions, but think I got the gist. (What does it really mean to get he “gist” of something like that?!) These are really fun books, though.

    Comment by BHodges — March 31, 2011 @ 9:02 am

  7. I read one of his books from the BYU library–where does that fall in this poll?

    Comment by austin — March 31, 2011 @ 9:04 am

  8. Err, just saw your #4–poll answered now.

    Comment by austin — March 31, 2011 @ 9:05 am

  9. These are really fun books, though

    Blair: you and I are very different indeed. I’d say they are important, but fun? Harry Potter is fun.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 31, 2011 @ 9:26 am

  10. How about “I plan to purchase and read all three?”
    It’s on my bucket list.

    Comment by Bored in Vernal — March 31, 2011 @ 9:37 am

  11. I have met him in person and I have argued and conversed with him on the bloggernacle. I have not gotten to his books…yet.

    Comment by Chris H. — March 31, 2011 @ 9:59 am

  12. Harry Potter is fun.

    Which Harry Potter character would Blake be?

    Comment by Chris H. — March 31, 2011 @ 10:00 am

  13. Draco Malfoy.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 31, 2011 @ 10:12 am

  14. I should have signed that one Pansy Parkinson.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 31, 2011 @ 10:14 am

  15. Do you get any credit for having them on your amazon wish list :)

    Comment by Toria — March 31, 2011 @ 10:56 am

  16. I have read all 3 and really grasped 75% of it. Great stuff that builds my faith. I have also enjoyed the archives of Blake discussing his books on this site. Well done Thang!

    Comment by Derek Christian — March 31, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

  17. For me the first book in the series had a huge impact. It came at a pivotal moment in my own intellectual life and became more important to me even than the content of the book because it caused me to shift in my approach to philosophical issues in general. The other two had little chance of making a similar impression, but I also prefer the first one because it is heavier on philosophy. The second two are good too though.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 31, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  18. I really enjoyed all of these books and have learned a lot from them. They make a great spring board for those who want to do further reading into Mormon Studies or theology in general. Book 1 was kind of my first introduction to Christian theology. Book 2 took forever to get but it looks like all three are available now. Hope to see a fourth book.

    Comment by Todd Decker — March 31, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

  19. I have only read the first volume. The solid arguments against immaculate foreknowledge had the most influence on me, as did the contrast between typical 19th and 20th century approaches to Mormon theology of divine attributes. I was greatly impressed to find this on the shelves of Deseret Book.

    Comment by Mark D. — March 31, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

  20. I was in a married student ward with Blake Ostler many years ago and he taught Gospel Doctrine. That was very interesting. I’ve read some of his writings here and there over the years but have not been able to commit myself to read a whole book as, while I’m a fairly smart guy, I’m not really smart enough, or just too lazy, to be an intellectual.

    Comment by Grant — March 31, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

  21. I’ve purchased and read most of books 2 and 3. I haven’t read either of them straight through, but I’ve read certain chapters that appeal to me at different times. It is a great read and fills a hole in LDS literature.

    Comment by James — March 31, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

  22. Blair: you and I are very different indeed. I’d say they are important, but fun? Harry Potter is fun.

    Haha, well Matt, I guess I should be more specific, I guess I have multiple types of fun. I mean fun in terms of enjoyable, worth my time, something I would do again, stimulating, challenging, sometimes enlightening and sometimes maddening.

    Comment by BHodges — April 1, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  23. Jacob J: I’d say the same thing as you, except it was the second book that I read first, rather than the first.

    Comment by Matt W. — April 1, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

  24. My copy of Vol. 1 looks like it’s been read 5 or 6 times, yet I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read it cover to cover. One more item on the bucket lists. Sigh.

    Comment by Aaron Brown — April 1, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

  25. What about “I have read at least one of his books, but have not purchased one”?

    Blake’s a leading Mormon philosophy of religion thinker as far as the popular front goes.

    For me, it’s Truman Madsen, then Blake Ostler.

    Comment by Velska — April 14, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

  26. I don’t mean to say that Madsen and Blake are similar–Madsen is more argumentative or something, but I like his line of thought I guess…

    Comment by Velska — April 14, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

  27. Velska, see comment #4 in response to your #25.

    I am surprised you note Ostler as a popular religion thinker like Madsen. I find Ostler (and I say this as someone who really likes his stuff) to be much more deep and less accessible than Madsen, and thus destined for a much more limited audience. I think Madsen works better for most LDS because he doesn’t go that far out on a limb, and keeps things at a devotional level, rather than a logical argument level.

    I like both a lot, I just think thy are different.

    Comment by Matt W. — April 14, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

  28. And…. I just saw your comment #26.

    Comment by Matt W. — April 14, 2011 @ 1:16 pm