What would Wesley do? Methodists coping with decline in numbers

Methodist church, GA

  I have mixed feelings about whether or not the measures that this article mentions will really do much good: http://www.moultrieobserver.com/news/local_news/drift-causes-some-churches-to-rethink-mission/article_99c932fe-0002-11e5-91ad-6b856b4c4f2c.html And I think it significant that, while the socially and theologically liberal Protestant mainstream has seen precipitous decline in recent years, evangelical churches haven't.  Posted … [Read more...]

The Church’s video “World Report”

Argentina's temple #2 fkjgdjgkdfjld

  Perhaps you're already aware of it, but perhaps you're not. Every April and every October, the Church produces an informative (and, to my taste, quite enjoyable) "World Report": http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/world-report Several different viewing options are available there on the page.  Posted from Atlanta, Georgia    … [Read more...]

“Twelve reasons why I never argue with internet atheists”

First temple in Georgia

  My friend and Interpreter Foundation colleague Mike Parker has brought this item, from Father Dwight Longenecker, to my attention: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2015/05/twelve-reasons-why-i-never-argue-with-internet-atheists.html I can't, personally, claim "never" to have argued with internet atheists.  But I generally have little time for them -- for pretty much the same reasons that Father Longenecker gives.  Posted f … [Read more...]

“10 Bands and Musicians You Didn’t Know Were Mormon”

Stirling, Lindsey, with violin

  Something fun, brought to my attention by my Australian friend Ray Agostini: http://www.fuse.tv/2015/05/mormon-bands-artists-musicians#1 Well, actually, maybe you did know some of them.  I did.  But did you know all of them? You should have guessed, of course, from the sheer title of Lindsey Stirling's "Beyond the Veil": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg7L0OQiN78 Here's her "I'm a Mormon" v … [Read more...]

“Religion Poisons Everything!” (31)

The Pieta

  You may already have seen the statue above and regretted its existence. I know, I know. If only the sculptor hadn't been ruined by religion -- even his name is religious! -- he might have amounted to something.  Maybe he could have been a stone mason.  Or a fishmonger.   … [Read more...]

New Testament 167

The Pope with a member of the First Presidency

  Mark 9:38-41Luke 9:49-50Compare Matthew 10:42 This passage offers a generous charter for making common cause with people whose values align with ours, but whose doctrinal agreements are only partial and approximate. I've been sounding this theme myself for quite a while, in ways big and small, most recently here and here, but also here -- though it seems that I never actually got around to posting my promised "Richard Mouw, Part … [Read more...]

Morality and happiness

Sunrise at sea

  Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness. Immanuel Kant … [Read more...]

“Colesville Restoration”

Knight Farm

  Some who know me are aware that I have a very strong "sense of place" -- it's among the reasons I travel so much -- and that I'm passionately interested in questions of historical preservation, especially (but not solely) in connection with the story of the Restored Church. So I was thrilled, a couple of weeks ago, to see some changes that had occurred since the last time I visited the area around Harmony (now Oakland), Pennsylvania. There is, of … [Read more...]