Theologian speaks on being a disciple of Jesus Christ at the end of the world

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Adam Miller reads an excerpt of his book “Mormon: A Brief Theological Introduction.” (Courtesy of Ashley Pun Eveson)

Guest speaker Adam Miller discussed material from his book, “Mormon: A Brief Theological Introduction,” on March 10 at an event hosted by the Maxwell Institute.

“As a theologian, I intend to read Mormon’s book as a beginner’s guide to the end of the world,” Miller said in his book.

Miller has had working theories about what theology is and how to do it. He talked on theology being about God’s power — not religion, history, sociology or more.

“It’s about our encounter with the different things we’ve all been through in the world throughout the day, throughout our lives,” Miller said. “It’s about those things as expressions of God’s power, as examples of God’s power. To do theology is to treat them as examples of that power.”

According to Miller, theology can be seen as a particle accelerator. He advised students to treat scriptures as examples of underlying power and run experiments to identify the shape of God’s power. This includes “crashing” hypotheses into details of the texts and looking for underlying patterns in the energy released.

“It was interesting that he was helping everyone else go through his process of how he sees theology,” Ashtyn Fiala, a student in attendance, said. “Instead of focusing on like the specific things that he discussed in the book, he was trying to lead everyone through the same process of connecting theology.”

Miller said that through the bar for success, the reality of God’s power comes into view.

BYU student Rennan McConkie said, “I want to do better at thinking more deeply about the way that God’s power does work in my life because he talked a lot about power and how it plays out in my discipleship.” 

Miller explained his hypothesis: discipleship is the thing that happens at the intersection of sacrificing all things and the inevitability of losing all things.

“In particular, I’m betting on the following thesis: that living through the end of the world on any number of scales is the fundamental framework for Christian discipleship of any kind by anyone, in any world, in any age,” Miller said.

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