The Nature of LDS Doctrines: Kevin Christensen

Kevin Christensen recently wrote the following at MADB, and I thought it was worthy of storing here on the blog. It is in an answer the question, “Can Mormonism be falsified?”:

One problem is that Mormonism is not set of static doctrines and immutable, “Official” teachings and unchanging practices. Rather it is a network of interconnected assertions, notions, and interpretations, and practices which is itself, subject to growth and re-evaluation. Ongoing revelation and the openly declared fallibility of the leadership is built in. Critics prefer knocking over houses of cards, and then congratulating themselves for their penetrating skepticism. But in my view, they have not really penetrated those basic LDS premises.

We can, on the other hand, assess, and periodically reassess various claims, in light of new insights and information. Brodie, for instance, thought that she’d falsified the first vision by claiming that no one had heard of it before 1838. That particular claim has not done well in light of new knowledge., including earlier accounts being discovered in the archives. That doesn’t prove the first vision. Just that many claims to have falsified this or that may be under-minded either by new information, or by reexamining the assumptions that frame other queries.

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