The Damnation of Theron Ware, by Harold Frederic (1896), is the fictional tale of a sheltered Methodist minister who is suddenly bombarded with new theories of biblical criticism, exposure to Irish Catholic practices, and the allure of emerging ideals of the “modern woman”—all of which shake his religious foundation.
In 1998, the SBC missions board distributed over 45,000 evangelistic kits titled “The Mormon Puzzle: Understanding and Witnessing to Latter-day Saints.” The kit included a video that depicted a typical Mormon family enjoying the weekly LDS ritual of “family home evening.” The commentator noted that the Mormon family “could be the family across the street—wonderful, law-abiding people who adore their children, instilling values we all love and cherish.” But, the commentator continued, this family would be “lost for eternity.” The message was that though Mormons may look clean and righteous on the outside, on the inside they are in the grip of dark forces.
Few biblical tales are more confounding than the legend of Noah and his sons. As narrated in Genesis 9, the ancient patriarch drinks too much, goes to bed naked and is discovered by Ham, one of his three sons. Ham goes off to tell his brothers, Shem and Japheth, who cover their father while averting their eyes. When Noah wakes up and discovers what has occurred he curses Ham's son, Canaan.
Until fairly recently, scholars have not known very much about the everyday lives of enslaved African Americans. But in the past 20 years a wealth of historical studies has lent considerable insight into the worlds of the men, women and children held in bondage in North America. We now know a great deal about how they worked, worshiped, ate and attempted to keep their families together.
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