Nothing like an odd headline, eh? OK, here’s what it’s all about. Concept 2 rowing machines. Here’s what they look like. OK, I got hooked on rowing while on a cruise a while back. They had these in the gym on the ship, and I loved it. Tried to get started with a cheapie Sears type when I got home, killed it in less than two weeks. Couldn’t afford the real thing, stopped rowing. Well, a friend works for a gym, they had a rowing class cancel, and they had extra used Concept 2c units. I snagged one for $200.00. Enter the Holiday Rowing Challenge. Concept 2 sent out an e-mail announcing a challenge to row either 200,000m or 100,000m between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. For some reason I decided to go for it, though I hadn’t rowed since like August. For a few days almost two weeks in I flirted with the idea of going for the 200K, but I would have had to have rowed about 9k a day at that point, and I just had too many other things going. Anyway, today was the last day to row. I did an 8k run, for a total for the Holiday Challenge of 120k.

Now, for the connection. Rowing on a stationery machine can be…boring. So, you need to have something to watch, or something to listen to. So I strapped my mp3 player on and listened to the Stand to Reason segment where Greg Koukl interviewed Craig Hazen of Talbot Seminary, who was very much involved in the November 14th events at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Here’s the show. You may have heard Hazen’s name mentioned (I haven’t mentioned it till now) by some who have, in essence, been calling for his firing (along with a boycott of Michael Card’s music). Those who have followed my comments know I have focused upon Mouw’s outrageous “apology” in behalf of those of us who have labored to accurately represent the LDS people and the teachings of the LDS Church over the past decades, and have avoided such rancorous calls for recrimination.

Now, I found the interview fascinating. During the course of the interview it is affirmed that Mormonism is one of Satan’s greatest creations; that by dialoguing in a “friendly” fashion “we” are moving into a position to deliver the coup de grace, the “final blow” against Mormonism. The heretical nature of Mormonism is affirmed repeatedly. The Mormons in attendance are described as being so theologically illiterate they could not even tell when Ravi Zacharias was promoting the Trinity to them. Etc. and etc. Now, what I find fascinating about all of this is that if I say these things, even if I say them while accurately representing LDS beliefs and providing a solid foundation from my own perspective for why I believe what I am saying, I am an “anti-Mormon.” So, why are these folks not anti-Mormons? Evidently the only thing I can see may not sit will with those involved with the dialogues. And it is just this: maybe, just maybe, the Mormons are “using” these dialogues for their own purposes, too? That is, just as the non-Mormon side is saying they are seeking to convert the Mormons, maybe the Mormons are using these dialogues as well? There is no question that FARMS and BYU long for recognition in the “mainstream.” FARMS has been quick to trot out the Mosser/Owen paper until it is dog-eared and yellowed, all for what reason? Simple: internal apologetics. Damage control. Ad-hominem sniping of anyone who would present a cogent and (here’s the important part) understandable message to the Mormon people. When we challenge LDS scholars to debate the issues in a fair, scholarly fashion, they refuse to do so. There does not seem to be anything positive for them to garner from such an encounter. But when you can trot out Richard Mouw and then say, “See, the president of a major seminary says you all have been lying about us all along! You can now dismiss the integrity of all those folks you have been hearing from,” well, that’s worth missing lunch over. Anyway, listen for yourself. It’s quite interesting. Something tells me the Apostle John would not have had water-bottles printed up for distribution outside the local Neo-Gnostic Sorta-Christian Church, but that’s just one of many things that makes me go, “Huh?”

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