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The Great Apostasy didn’t really happen according to new Maxwell Institute book.

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2023 9:24 pm
by 2bizE
The SLTrib ran an article today from Peggy Fletcher-Stack about a new book out of the Maxwell Institute explaining that Mormons get the Great Apostasy wrong. Here are some excerpts. Let the gaslighting from TBMs begin.

“Latter-day Saints generally believe that Jesus established a church during his ministry, but after the death of his apostles, that body fell away from its gospel foundation due to what is called “the Great Apostasy.”

Many have come to think that God withdrew from the world at that time and remained distant through the Dark Ages until 1830, when Christ’s church was “restored” to its original form in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

That is an overly simplistic, if not completely false, narrative, about early Christians, according to a new book of essays, “Ancient Christians: An Introduction for Latter-day Saints,” from the Maxwell Institute at church-owned Brigham Young University.“

“The narrative of widespread apostasy ignores evidence that good Christians continually served each other and worshipped God throughout the history of Christianity,” Jason R. Combs, who teaches religious education at BYU, writes in his introduction. “Rather than dismissing entire epochs as corrupt or identifying which forms of ancient Christianity are most true, today we work to understand ancient Christians on their own terms.”

“History shows that Latter-day Saints did not originate the idea of a Great Apostasy but rather inherited it from Protestants.

It started with the concept of the Dark Ages, developed in the 1400s with European humanists, Combs says. “Early Protestant reformers then adopted this notion in their critique of the Catholic Church — they argued that the church had fallen into darkness, that there was this ‘Great Apostasy.’”

But Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, never used that term. (Some point to a later Latter-day Saint general authority, B.H. Roberts, as the one who first promoted the apostasy narrative.)“


https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2023/01 ... get-wrong/

Re: The Great Apostasy didn’t really happen according to new Maxwell Institute book.

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:00 pm
by blazerb
I don't suppose they explain why there was a restoration if there was no apostasy. What was restored anyways? If Pope Francis is the successor to Peter and holds the keys he was given, the whole basis for JS falls apart.

I had a companion who once challenged someone on the line of popes in order to demonstrate that the apostasy happened. He asked a faithful, intellectual Catholic who the second pope was. The Catholic forgot Linus' name. My companion pounced and said there was no second pope. The apostasy took hold by 100 C.E. I knew who the second pope was, but I kept my mouth shut. I shared what I knew with my companion after we walked away. He did not believe what I told him.

I remember as a teenager trying to figure out exactly when the apostasy occurred. (This is how I knew the name of the second pope.) Everything the church wrote was vague on that point. It is still vague. I can guarantee that if I shared the information in this book in Sunday School I would be shouted down. This book in one more opportunity for the church to pretend to be intellectually serious while encouraging the most anti-intellectual attitudes in Sunday meetings.

Re: The Great Apostasy didn’t really happen according to new Maxwell Institute book.

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:04 pm
by Palerider
Sooooo.... what about the two main churches mentioned in the BoM? One was the church of the Devil and the other the restored church. How does that work???? :|

Re: The Great Apostasy didn’t really happen according to new Maxwell Institute book.

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:24 pm
by deacon blues
I was given a very negative view of the Catholic Church in my Seminary classes in the 1970's. We were reminded that the Catholic church fit the description of the Church of the Devil in 1st Nephi, and that the Catholic Church was responsible for indulgences and various inquisitions.
This is a big switch from the "good old days."
Here's another book on Amazon by an LDS author that says the same thing.
Eight Myths of the Great Apostasy
by Gregor McHardy | Oct 24, 2022
4.6 out of 5 stars 3


It is a positive switch in most ways, but it is also confusing. Like Pale I'm wondering "how does this work?' What do we do with this?

Re: The Great Apostasy didn’t really happen according to new Maxwell Institute book.

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 10:16 pm
by moksha
This could help free up General Authorities to borrow Catholic sermons for General Conference talks.

Re: The Great Apostasy didn’t really happen according to new Maxwell Institute book.

Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 6:32 am
by Hagoth
blazerb wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:00 pm
This book in one more opportunity for the church to pretend to be intellectually serious while encouraging the most anti-intellectual attitudes in Sunday meetings.
Yes, this does feel a bit schizophrenic. If this is going to be the church's new perspective, it's a 180 degree turnaround from what I grew up with. Everybody was reading and quoting from Talmage's The Great Apostasy when I was on my mission back into late 70s (AD!).

I see it as both an intellectual pretense and another effort to cozy up to other denominations in the ongoing battle to convince them that we're Christians too and we will vote the way they want us to.

Re: The Great Apostasy didn’t really happen according to new Maxwell Institute book.

Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:44 am
by Mormorrisey
One of my early shelf items was a graduate course I took while I was doing my master's degree in history. It was a course on early Christianity, to about 400 CE where we ended with a few lectures/discussions on the age of Augustine.

I was blown away with how vibrant early Christianity was, the theology they came up with, and the level of intellectual stimulation that occurred within their debates. All the major philosophical trajectories in the western tradition started there. And all this having grown up with reading the Great Apostasy and the anti-catholic bias of McConkie-era writings. Sure made me think. To this day, I'm still on Pelagius's side in his battle with Augustine! (Free will vs. God's will.)

Good to see the Neo-apologists destroying another sacred cow, but as mentioned in this thread, they'll gaslight this to death and say things like "nobody EVER compared the Catholic Church to the whore of Babylon! NEVER!"

Re: The Great Apostasy didn’t really happen according to new Maxwell Institute book.

Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 9:35 am
by 2bizE
I think this is just another story of the church doctrine collapsing from within. There are plenty of examples, but a few include:
1) Book of Abraham- the church held onto the theory that the BoA was translated directly from the papyrus….until it finally agreed with Egyptologists that the papyrus was a common funerary text…now it appears the church thinks the papyrus was just a catalyst for opening JS mind.
2) Seer Stones- Church leaders and BYU professors denied the BoM translation using a rock in a hat, until the recent BoM translation essay.

What other stories have changed as more evidence is found?

Re: The Great Apostasy didn’t really happen according to new Maxwell Institute book.

Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:35 pm
by wtfluff
Russel M. Nelson wrote:“We're witnesses to a process of restoration,” said the prophet. “If you think the Church has been fully restored, you're just seeing the beginning. There is much more to come. … Wait till next year. And then the next year. Eat your vitamin pills. Get your rest. It's going to be exciting.”
The Ongoing Restoration

What is this exciting "restoration" that Rusty speaks of?

Re: The Great Apostasy didn’t really happen according to new Maxwell Institute book.

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2023 10:37 am
by Palerider
wtfluff wrote:
Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:35 pm
Russel M. Nelson wrote:“We're witnesses to a process of restoration,” said the prophet. “If you think the Church has been fully restored, you're just seeing the beginning. There is much more to come. … Wait till next year. And then the next year. Eat your vitamin pills. Get your rest. It's going to be exciting.”
The Ongoing Restoration

What is this exciting "restoration" that Rusty speaks of?
This is just a way for leadership to throw open the door for saying "anything we want" and all you suckers out there are going to eat it like it's prime rib even though it tastes like....horse pucky.

Re: The Great Apostasy didn’t really happen according to new Maxwell Institute book.

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2023 10:58 am
by wtfluff
Palerider wrote:
Fri Jan 27, 2023 10:37 am
wtfluff wrote:
Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:35 pm
Russel M. Nelson wrote:“We're witnesses to a process of restoration,” said the prophet. “If you think the Church has been fully restored, you're just seeing the beginning. There is much more to come. … Wait till next year. And then the next year. Eat your vitamin pills. Get your rest. It's going to be exciting.”
The Ongoing Restoration

What is this exciting "restoration" that Rusty speaks of?
This is just a way for leadership to throw open the door for saying "anything we want" and all you suckers out there are going to eat it like it's prime rib even though it tastes like....horse pucky.
Well yeah, but: Related to the original topic of this post... If the "Great Apostasy" never happened, what is there to 'restore'?

Re: The Great Apostasy didn’t really happen according to new Maxwell Institute book.

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2023 3:43 pm
by Hagoth
wtfluff wrote:
Fri Jan 27, 2023 10:58 am
Well yeah, but: Related to the original topic of this post... If the "Great Apostasy" never happened, what is there to 'restore'?
This is a great example of how apologetics works. Evidence shows there wasn't an apostasy, so they acknowledge that academically. At the same time a restoration was necessary, as claimed by religious leaders. I'm sure they'll change the meaning of some word so it represents an apostasy is specific Mormon practices and authority, because that's all that really counts. It's the same as recognizing the Book of Abraham papyrus had nothing to do with Abraham (so they're not laughed out of academia), and yet, by means of piling on layers and layers of excuses, somehow it still contains the Book of Abraham (so they don't fall from grace with LDS authorities).

Re: The Great Apostasy didn’t really happen according to new Maxwell Institute book.

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2023 10:02 am
by wtfluff
Who remembers the hoopla that LD$-Inc. made about the April 2020 General Conference?

Rusty and the other 14 stooges made a big deal out of coming up with a new "Proclamation."

The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Funny. Rusty's own university has now proclaimed that his big, shiny, important "Proclamation" is a complete farce.



I can't believe I forgot about that big fancy "Proclamation." Oh wait, maybe that's a good thing: It means some of the knots MORmONism tied into my brain are working loose?