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Thanks for the link. I am glad he sees the parallel between this so-called neo-orthodoxy and simple protestantism. Personally I find this trend a bit disturbing.

I think White's analysis is fairly flawed. Seems like he labeled everyone that he and McMurrin didn't like as neo-orthodox (from Nibley to McConkie). I do think there is a definite trend toward protestant fundamentalism in terms of exegesis and analytical approach in the JFSII-McConkie area, from which the Church is still recovering, though.

Eric, it seems to me that the trend that you find so disturbing is the trend that you end out using to support a lot of your ideas, no?

Recall that White suggests "Mormon Neo-Fundamentalism" would be a more accurate description but for the confusing LDS use of the term "fundamentalist" to refer to 20th-century polygamists. That admission seems somewhat inconsistent with his attempt to link a shift in emphasis in LDS doctrine with Protestant Neo-Orthodox thinkers. But I'll wait and see what he says in later chapters.

The general labels fundamentalist, neo-orthodox, and liberal may, at this point, be so broad and malleable as to be of little use in actually describing the set of doctrines held by this or that denomination or thinker. This is even more true given that neo-orthodoxy was a reaction to liberalism and fundamentalism, and that late-20th-century liberalism and fundamentalism changed in response to the neo-orthodox critique, essentially incorporating elements of neo-orthodoxy.

I suspect more clarity comes by eschewing the labels completely and simply looking in some detail at what beliefs individuals or denominations subscribe to, one doctrine at a time.

I really enjoyed this book when I read it years ago, but I concur with the standard critique that there's a bit too much diversity under the neo-orthodox umbrella for the category to be that meaningful.

Also, as I recall, Louis Midgeley loathed this book. So it must be anathema.

Aaron B

Aaron, I just ran across Midgley's review of the book earlier today. I'm going to post the link with some comments sometime in the next couple of days.

Also, as I recall, Louis Midgeley loathed this book. So it must be anathema.
To the contrary; that seems to me to be an excellent reason for taking the time to read it.

Let's see...


How does an absolute sovereignty of God, depravity of human nature, and salvation by grace (Protestant ideas creeping into Mormon thought) consistent with any of my ideas?

I'm not that sure that I have any ideas.

Ann, I think that was Aaron's point.

This looks interesting but I fear that it looks to be a text-book example of a false dichotomy and of begging the question with regards to defining the poles of the dichotomy. For instance, I will be interested to see the argument that the traditional Latter-day Saint belief is actually salvation by merit. Although I know it is popular on the LDS blogs to claim that was the case, I wonder if it is really true, or if Latter-day Saints have always believed in the necessity of the grace of Christ.

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