Come and join us in person! Lectures are held at The Gnostic Society center ( 3363 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90039 - Map ) every Friday evening at 8:00 PM -- See our schedule of upcoming lectures for this month. Unless otherwise noted, all lectures are presented by Dr. Stephan Hoeller. Lectures are free and open to the public (donations are appreciated). Refreshments are offered following the lecture. Further information is available by calling 323-467-2685.
Several years ago I read a story in a news magazine about flooding in several western states that resulted from the rapid spring melting of a heavy accumulation of snow. One photo showed thousands of Mormon citizens in Salt Lake City who had been mobilized with only a few hours’ notice through a call from their local church leaders. They were shown filling sandbags that would channel the flow of run-off water. The article marveled at the command-and-control precision – almost military in character – through which the LDS church was able to put its people onto the front lines of this civil crisis. Another photo in an article the next week showed a thirty-something resident of a town along a flooding stream in another state, sitting in a lawn chair reading while national guardsmen filled sandbags nearby. The author of the article attributed what he saw to the “organizational efficiency” of the LDS church, but he completely missed the point. Thousands of people instinctively showed up and went to work because they do this sort of thing all the time, week after week, in over a hundred countries around the world, as part of being Mormon. This was not an unusual event – just another week in the life of a typical Mormon.
Timo Laato, Paulus und das Judentem (Ǻbo: Ǻbo Akademi, 1991). Laato recognizes Sanders’ contribution of undoing the caricature of Judaism as “legalism” but criticizes Sanders on various points: (1) Sanders fails to adequately appropriate the late nature of rabbinic materials; (2) Sanders does not recognize the difference between Paul and Judaism as being Paul’s pessimistic outlook on the human condition; and (3) Sanders is effectively arguing for a concept of “normative Judaism” which did not exist in the first-century (see esp. 65-82).