Week In Review for October 21–25

Mormon NewsIn the News

Prominent Baptist leader R. Albert Mohler, speaking at BYU on religious liberty on Monday, October 21, said that Mormons and Baptists may not go to heaven together, but they “may go to jail together.” The speech was meant to sound the alarm that by standing up for common beliefs (code for the anti-gay marriage campaign), Baptists and Mormons may soon find themselves at the mercy of an intolerant government. What’s interesting is the acknowledgement that Mohler still doesn’t seem to think too well of Mormons, at least not well enough to think they’re going to heaven, and yet the language of the Deseret News article suggests the church is just so pleased to have the attention of mainstream Christians they don’t even notice the slight.

 On the Blogs

A presentation at the ex-Mormon conference last weekend caused an online stir (at least in some Mormon corners) after the author suggested a new contemporary source of inspiration for the Book of Mormon. Ex-Mormon blogger Chris Johnson notes that the book, The History of the Late War Between the United States and Great Britain by Gilbert J. Hunt, published in 1816 for students and widely available in New York schools, shares numerous linguistic and stylistic characteristics with the Book of Mormon. The conversation spread from Reddit to a well-known Mormon discussion page (linked to above), and to Facebook. While some people who are normally skeptical of such claims were genuinely amazed at the parallels, others noted that finding books with King James-style Biblical language is to be expected in early nineteenth-century America, and referenced a book dedicated to the topic, American Zion: The Old Testament as a Political Text from the Revolution to the Civil War. Still others pointed out that the discovery of Hunt’s book was not even new; Rick Grunder included it in his book, Mormon Parallels.

 In Books

Two Signature titles were positively reviewed this week, both by Blair Hodges, PR guru for the Maxwell Institute. The first review was of Jack Harrell’s collection, A Sense of Order and Other Stories, and was posted at the popular blog, By Common Consent. The second was a review of Why I Stay and was published at the Maxwell Institute’s blog. We appreciate the recognition and are truly excited by the other great work the Maxwell Institute is doing.

News updates by John Hatch, acquisitions editor