A few months back, Robert F. Smith posted a bunch of footnoted stuff on the BofA over at MDD that may be useful to doubters. He cited me in a footnote, so it must be good. http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/566 ... 1209084229
Well, actually I disagreed with most of it. (Surprise, surprise: the skeptic is skeptical.) But I appreciate Bob's thoughtfulness, and usually find him very reasonable and polite. I'm grateful that he read my article.
I also enjoyed this exchange between Bob and Nomad:
Really? Give us some examples of "countless people" in "countless religions" who are using the "methodology" of personal revelation to determine the truth of things, and coming up with "different results" than what personal revelation from God gives to Latter-day Saints.
I could be wrong, or I could have a lack of knowledge concerning "other religions", but I'm not aware of other religions that believe in and recommend the methodology of personal revelation to get a knowledge of truth from God. In fact, the only time I ever hear things said like this is from people who have left Mormonism.
Robert F. Smith wrote:
One might consider Pentecostalism (the Holiness Movement) to be an example of the belief that the Holy Spirit can directly testify through you and me, even though mainstream Christianity is very suspicious and mistrustful of such charismatic activity and does everything it can to discourage it.
I would go even farther than Bob, and say that these days, Pentecostal/charismatic Christianity is
mainstream Christianity. Pentecostals and charismatics are probably the majority of Protestant and independent Christians living in the world today, and Catholicism never stopped being charismatic in the first place (though it, too, has experienced a modern-day charismatic renewal under Protestant influence). I was absolutely
raised with the expectation of personal revelation, and even believed I had received it on more than one occasion. My family history is rife with revelation. And I could sit here all day and tell you stories of revelations had by other Christians (not to mention Hindus, Buddhists, Bahais, UFO-believers, American Indians, pagans, and countless minor cults). Revelations are far from anomalous throughout world history. To the contrary, I'm tempted to guess that more people in world history have experienced them (or something like them) than not. "I could have a lack of knowledge concerning 'other religions,'" indeed.
Kudos to Bob for his hard work, civil tone, and thoughtful approach. I know better than most how arduous and thankless such research can be.