So Gee has constructed a straw-man in a published book to attack a church leader that he has a disagreement with? Likely over another matter. Maybe the SCMC needs to look into this.I have a question wrote: ↑Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:36 amThis was where the thread was at before it was spiked.I have a question wrote: ↑Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:37 am"How Many in a Drove?
The problem of overoptimism also works the other way, as some are overoptimistic about the Church losing members. Returning to our original question, are youth leaving the Church in droves? Well, that depends. How many youth are in a drove? The English term drove referred to animals driven or the path along which they were driven and was metaphorically transferred to any crowd or multitude, especially when moving as a body.44 Are youth mindless animals herded by adults and institutions or driven about by every wind of doctrine? This seems unlikely. Philology, then, does not tell us much in this case. It is important to realize that the story about young people leaving the Church in droves is part of a particular narrative,45 one that is largely untrue."
Gee, John (2020-05-10). Saving Faith: How Families Protect, Sustain, and Encourage Faith . RSC, BYU, Deseret Book. Kindle Edition.
Gee's mangling of information so that it fits what he wants to say is also present in this extensive examination of what constitutes "a drove" (it goes on for page after page). The first thing to say is he picked the phrase "leaving in droves" despite already making the point that the General Authority being referenced (Gee refuses to use Elder Jensen's name, presumably because he doesn't want people doing their own research into what he actually said) didn't actually say that. If Jensen didn't say it then there's no need to try and minimise what "leaving in droves" means in terms of actual numbers. The problem Gee refuses to acknowledge is what Jensen actually said...
https://www.fairmormon.org/blog/2013/01 ... xaggerated
So in an examination of the claim around how many young people are leaving the Church, Gee should be addressing the comment "since Kirtland we’ve never had a period of—I’ll call it apostasy—like we’re having right now". But he doesn't do that, it's too specific a phrase, it's too credible because that is what Jensen actually said. Instead he chooses to go to great lengths examining what constitutes "a drove". Cheap, lazy, deliberately misleading.
Gee also claims that the narrative of people leaving the Church "is largely untrue". THEN WHY THE NEED FOR THE BOOK JOHN? But Gee does not supply any evidence to support his statement. Where are the attendance figures that would settle the matter once and for all? Gee is scrabbling around in the dark trying to sound knowledgable about current activity levels in the Church using decades old non faith specific data whilst trying to also maintain that there isn't a problem. Readers of his book might start off being unaware of an apostasy problem in the Church, but within a few chapters they'll realise Gee is trying too hard to explain something he claims isn't happening. He's going to great lengths to explain the man behind the curtain whilst simultaneously claiming there isn't a man behind the curtain. It's a truly bizarre publication.
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It is beyond clear that Gee has some simmering anger over Jensen's willingness to tell the truth.
First he point blank refuses to name him in the book. That's either simple childish pettiness, or else Gee doesn't want to give the reader sufficient references to go looking at what Jensen actually said. Gee doesn't want to have to rebut what Jensen actually said - he can't, it's too well documented that 18 - 30 apostasy is a problem in the Church. So instead he focus's the readers attention on a phrase he knows Jensen didn't say and spends a lot of time unnecessarily (but deliberately) splitting hairs over the meaning of the word drove.
Yes it's a very badly constructed straw-man, yes he has an axe to grind with Jensen and he's using his book to grind it. Not only that, the premise of his book is that FP and Q15 are simply not doing a good enough job of retaining 18 - 30 year olds, and are not giving parents and leaders sufficient resources to help them mitigate the exodus levels not seen since the Kirtland era apostasy. It is no wonder that the Maxwell Institute chose to distance themselves from Gee.