Nov 30

Books, Mormons, and Statistics

If you like books and statistics, you’ll love LibraryThing. They have 554,277 members who have cataloged 33,647,263 books of which 3,850,295 are unique works not shared by anyone else on the site.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s [Philosopher’s] Stone is owned by more people than anyone else (37,254 copies, 3 of which are mine), although more people have posted reviews of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (704 reviews, with an average rating of 4.43 stars out of 5).

As you might expect, J.K. Rowling is the top author in terms of number of copies of her books owned, but Stephen King is second, even though his top individual book isn’t even in the top 200.

Oh, and one more thing (which is actually the whole point of this post): The Book of Mormon is at the top of a list based on another site-wide statistic. Care to guess what that statistic is?

Nov 28

Why Do We Need the Holy Ghost?

The study of the Holy Spirit (sometimes called pneumatology) is an under-developed area of Christian theology.  While volumes of ink have been dedicated to explicating the precise relationship between the Father and the Son, the third Person of the Trinity remains much more elusive, sometimes showing up only as a kind of afterthought.  This is not to say, of course, that matters of pneumatology remain entirely unaddressed.  For example, the Holy Spirit is often discussed in terms of the relationship of the Father and the Son, as that which binds them together—and also binds us into the trinitarian life which they share. Some theologians grappling with questions of pluralism talk about Christ and the Holy Ghost as a way to balance particularity and universality, as Christ comes in a particular time and place, where the Holy Ghost is sent throughout the world.  One twentieth century theologian (Wolfhart Pannenberg) even attempts to bring the Holy Ghost into the dialogue between science and religion, and proposes that it might be understood as a kind of cosmic force field.  But compared to  many other areas of theology, there isn’t all that much work on the subject. Continue reading