Gut instinct ways to evaluate arguments at first glance

I've been ramping up for next year's SS focus on the New Testament by reading John P. Meier's A Marginal Jew series. [Note: I am not a SS instructor, I'm reading it for myself.] The series contains so much info there's no way I'm going to remember everything he covers, but I believe it will be easier to remember the general thrust of his argument (the over-riding themes, methods he uses to evaluate the information according to the goal he explicitly set at the outset, etc.).In an offhanded … [Read more...]

Research and Responsibility

Recent discussions about the influence a vague entity called "Correlation" has on various Bloggernaclers got me thinking about the problem of responsibility in research. I admit I'm personally less likely to blog about certain sensitive LDS issues. For example, there are elements of temple ritual I feel comfortable writing about and other elements I don't. I personally don't feel like my reticence is due to being trapped in the Panopticon. I admit I'm less likely to be flippant or brash about … [Read more...]

Bounce Back! (The remainder)

As promised, here are the rest of the Bounce Back! tracks. Which is your favorite?See more. … [Read more...]

"Bounce Back!" Best promotional campaign ever?

When the recent "and I'm a Mormon" ad campaign got some national media attention it reminded me of  a phenomenal promotional campaign the Church produced in the mid-eighties. 1985 was a fantastic year in the music world. At the top of the charts Wham!'s "Careless Whisper" beat out Phil Collins's confusingly awesome "Sussudio" and a-ha's "Take On Me" (best music video ever). The Church PR folks must have realized that radical synthesized music was where it was at; "Axel F" was getting regular r … [Read more...]

Announcing my first published book

More shameless self-promotion to distract from other more heated Bloggernacle happenings! My wife and I don't have children yet, but we do have a daughter-dog. Her name is Chicken Delicious and we love her to death. She's a mutt, her litter was rescued from a shelter at the last minute. Of course, we want her to be a part of our family forever, as this baby picture of her suggests:Chicken and I co-edited her papers just in time to present them to my wife for our anniversary. The bound volume … [Read more...]

Leonard J. Arrington on the indefiniteness of Stouffer's cooking instructions

Last night was the 2010 Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture. Appropriately enough, the subject of the lecture was Leonard J. Arrington. Among the 30,000 journal pages, Arrington took the time to record the frustrations of bachelorhood cooking.“My Stouffer’s cooking instructions say ‘place chicken pouch on non-metallic plate and puncture top three or four times with a fork to vent.’ Well, is it three or is it four? If I puncture it three times, what might happen? What if I puncture it fo … [Read more...]

What counts as "Anti-Mormon" today?

I used to throw around the label "anti-Mormon" like it was going out of style (speaking of style, will this "style" colloquialism ever go out of style? Good grief, BHodges, the 7th grade called and it wants its simile back. [This analysis of my rhetorical style could start getting out of hand really fast. Notice my strange use of the third person? There are about three people left in the world who can get away with such bravado. Karl Malone, Macho Man Randy Savage, and Elmo]).Anyway, I've … [Read more...]

Mormon media studies and the Bloggernacle

I've been invited to participate in a panel at the upcoming "Mormon Media Studies" conference at BYU. The panel will discuss the Bloggernacle, and so I'll be badmouthing all of you soon (but most especially, Chris H.).  As for my small part, I'm going to talk about some of the benefits and drawbacks of blogging about religion. Here are some preliminary thoughts, feedback is requested.With apostolic urging following the initial surge, Mormon blogs have been multiplying and replenishing the web f … [Read more...]