The Theological Approach of B.H. Roberts

I recently read Sterling McMurrin’s introduction to ‘The Truth, The Way, The Life’ by B.H. Roberts. McMurrin does an excellent job in reviewing the theological work of Elder Roberts. He also described the fundamental characteristics of Roberts’ approach. This helped me to understand why I enjoy reading Roberts’ stuff so much. His approach can be describes thus:

– A desire to maintain a strong scriptural literalness.

– A thorough knowledge of the teachings of modern prophets, particularly Joseph Smith. And an appreciation for how revolutionary and powerful these teachings are.

– An appreciation for the knowledge provided by science, with the expectation that religious and scientific knowledge would ultimately agree.

– And a desire and talent for philosophical discourse.

Roberts went to great lengths to try and make theological explanations without compromising any of the above foundations. Sometimes in ways that might seem creative, or even imaginative. But I really enjoy his approach to these explanations.

I also want the same things that Roberts wanted. I tend to view the scriptures quite literally. I love the powerful teachings of Joseph Smith. I do not think we should neglect scientific knowledge. And I enjoy philosophical discussions (what I understand of them). I am obviously quite fond of Roberts writing. And now I know why.

2 Responses to “The Theological Approach of B.H. Roberts”

  1. 1 ElGuapo December 1, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    I’m not a member anymore (so not sure I should be posting here?), but I do have respect for B. H. Roberts and what he tried to do for the church. Unfortunately I think it was easier in his day than ours, and it was no cake walk then. Apologists and church leaders nowadays seem far more willing to downplay “so called” science and attack the messenger when seeming conflicts arise.

  2. 2 Eric Nielson December 3, 2007 at 9:33 am


    As long as you are respectful (which you seem to be) feel free to post comments any time you want.

    I am not exactly sure what you are getting at here, but I do feel that church leaders were more ‘free’ to consider deep theological issues than current church leaders are. And it is probably a good thing.

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