Peggy Fletcher, religion author at the SLC Tribune, shared a new Manifesto with her readers today. It is the Radical Orthodoxy Manifesto. The Manifesto was written by Nathaniel Givens, J. Max Wilson, and Jeffrey Thayne (many of you will recognize those three names, especially J. Max).
In this new Manifesto, it establishes a middle ground between the harsh progressiveness of the left and the extreme fundamentalism of the right. The former encourages worldliness and pushes the beliefs of the voices on the far left. The latter pushes a dangerous form of fundamentalism, such as what we find with Denver Snuffer’s apostate group. Both sides harshly question the teachings of the prophet and scripture, attempting to replace the teachings of the Restored Church with their own views. Often these forms are also displayed in the contentious politics of our day.
What the Radical Orthodoxy Manifesto encourages is a new path down the middle. We accept key concepts: God Lives, Jesus is the Christ, the gospel is Restored, modern prophets, scripture. We embrace the new Proclamations from the Church on Family, Jesus and the Restoration. At the same time, we are open to considering new ways to look at old traditions and beliefs: such as moving past the old canard of the curse of Cain.
“To be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.” (2 Ne 9:29)
There is a middle ground that is radical and orthodox. Orthodox in that it keeps us safely standing in holy places with the living prophets, sustaining them and carefully considering their counsel. Radical in that we believe in continuing revelation and the ability to learn new things.
Perhaps an example of the radical is Pres Nelson’s sharing his story of learning a different translation of the name Israel: Let God Prevail. From this new information, many Latter-day Saints have transformed their gospel view, just since the beginning of October. In fact, Pres Nelson has encouraged us to “take our vitamins” because of modern revelation that allows us to move forward, quickly, from one new concept to the next. Yet, each of these new programs and teachings (from ministering to Come Follow Me to #GiveThanks) is founded upon the orthodox principles that never change.
With this Manifesto, we encourage and invite those on the extreme left and right to return to Christ in the sane center. I am a signer of the Manifesto. I embrace new ideas and possibilities, while standing with the prophets in holy places. I hope you will too.