Book Review – “Evolving Faith: Wanderings of a Mormon Biologist”, by Steven L. Peck

Book Review – “Evolving Faith: Wanderings of a Mormon Biologist”, by Steven L. Peck


Maxwell Institute’s newest volume from the Living Faith series is scheduled to be released the end of October 2015.  The author, Steven L. Peck, is an associate professor of biology at BYU and is trained as an entomologist.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of this book, as it seems the Living Faith series appears to be somewhat eclectic, such as Adam S. Miller’s excellent book, “Letters to a Young Mormon.”  And “Evolving Faith” is an eclectic book, as Peck ranges widely in several essays from science to personal musings on death and nature. Continue reading

Book Review: Peter Enns’ The Evolution of Adam

Many years ago, the son of a good friend was preparing for a mission. He was offered a scholarship to a major university, and so decided to attend for a year before leaving on his mission. By the end of the year, he was no longer an active, believing member. His parents raised him believing in a 6000 year old earth, with a Creation that occurred over a very short period of time.  After several science classes that included biology and evolution, he was forced to choose between the incontrovertible evidence of science and the claims made by church leaders and his parents on the age of the earth.  Such is a great danger to many of our kids today, and so various scholars and others are seeking methods to be able to resolve the conflict, and hopefully save some of our people.

Recently, my friend Ben Spackman recommended a book by Protestant Bible scholar Peter Enns, entitled: “The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say About Human Origins”.

It is an interesting book, with the following chapters:

  1. Genesis and the Challenges of the 19th Century: Science, Biblical Criticism, and Biblical Archaeology
  2. When Was Genesis Written?
  3. Stories of Origins from Israel’s Neighbors
  4. Israel and Primordial Time
  5. Paul’s Adam and the Old Testament
  6. Paul as an Ancient Interpreter of the Old Testament
  7. Paul’s Adam

Continue reading

Discourses in Mormon Theology: Margaret Toscano article review

Previously, I reviewed a couple of interesting discourses/articles by Dennis Potter and James McLachlan in the book, “Discourses in Mormon Theology”, which contains the discourses for the first Seminar of the Society of Mormon Philosophy and Theology (SMPT).

In this post, I’ll discuss an article written by former LDS member, Margaret Toscano, titled: “Is There a Place for Heavenly Mother in Mormon Theology? An Investigation into Discourses of Power”.

I was hoping for some interesting information regarding the belief in a Heavenly Mother through the ages Continue reading

Dennis Potter on Liberation Theology

in my continued reading of the book “Discourses in Mormon Theology” (ed James McLachlan), covering several topics from the initial 2004  conference of the Society of Mormon Theology and Philosophy (SMTP), I cover an article by Dennis Potter (UVSC) on Liberation Theology.

Dennis gives a generous overview of what Liberation Theology is.  He focused on the events of 4 Nephi, where the people had their hearts knit together in unity, sharing all things in common, and having no poor nor rich among them.  Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?  People coming together as a mandate from God to share all things and erasing poverty from the earth.

And it is a mandate. Sort of. As we are asked to consecrate ourselves in the temple to the Lord and his service.

Unfortunately, Dennis only gives a part of the story on Liberation Theology. Continue reading