Now Reading… Bad Religion

Published this AM, by Ross Douthout.  Amazing what Kindle can do, no?So the "problem," so far, is the loss the great orthodox Christian center.   And this means heretics, among whom Douthout places us.  He writes: Heretics are often stereotyped as wild mystics, but they're just as likely to be problem solvers and logic choppers, well-intentioned seekers after a more reasonable version of Christianity than orthodoxy supplies.  They tend to see themselves, not irrationally, as rescuers rather … [Read more...]

Safe? Safe?

So, you know, this blog has that stuff about Mormon culture and all up on the masthead, but I don’t usually write much about it.  This probably has to do with a certain snobbishness on my part.  I left Utah at seventeen and haven’t really looked back, so I usually think Mormon culture isn’t.  Then again, I’m not much of a culture person myself, or at least not the culture of the 21st century.  Nevertheless, something has impinged on my cultural awareness, something about BYU from site called “The … [Read more...]

Ironic Unity

Among the many threads of irony that pass through the passion narratives is this story of a second interrogation of Jesus by Herod (Luke 23:7-12): And when [Pilate] learned that [Jesus] was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.  When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign.  He questioned him at some length, but J … [Read more...]

Apologetics Into Doctrine: Romney’s Impact

It appears that Andrew Sullivan published something on Mormons yesterday.  How do I know this without reading Sullivan?  Because there’s a zillion Mormons responding to his comments at sites far removed.  In fact, there’s a bumper crop of Mormon apologetics springing up all over the place and I’m detecting a bit of a common theme.  It is, I think, something of a South Park approach. … [Read more...]

Constantine’s Sword

constantine york minster

Sitting near York Minster in England is the statue of Constantine shown below.  Notice the contemplative look on Constantine's face as he examines his sword.  You’d think he’d never really seen it before!  Why?  Look again, at where the tip of the sword should rest on the ground.  As you can see, the tip of his sword is broken off.  Although the sword could still cut, it’s utility as a weapon is pretty much gone.  It is a cross now, the great symbol of God’s self-gift of life rather than an instr … [Read more...]

The Creation of American Ignorance

Over on BCC, Steve P has posted a nice summary of an article in New Scientist which attributes the decline in scientific literacy in the US to three factors:  relativism in the academy, unserious journalism, and the illiteracy of Congress.Amen to the third one!  In fact, amen to all of them!   However, speaking as someone who has taught both science and religion at the undergraduate level, there is at least one discipline in which student ignorance exceeds that of science:  religion.  Just sa … [Read more...]

Christianity 101, Book of Mormon Style 3

So in this last week we, that is me and the 17-18 year old gentlemen I teach, were looking at the Tree of Life vision and Nephi’s interpretation.  As you know, our goal is to read the BoM and look for foundational Christian doctrine – hence the title “Christianity 101:  BoM Style." This time we started with that mysterious man who pops up in front of Lehi and declares his intent to lead Lehi to the Tree of Life (1 Ne 8:5-7).Who is that guy and what is the Bat Signal that brings him out?  I va … [Read more...]

9-0: Hosanna!!?

In a 9-0 decision the U.S Supreme Court has declared that the government may not second-guess a religious community’s decision about who should serve as ministers, teachers, or leaders even when employment discrimination issues are at stake.  Why did the government even try this?  Beats me.   The unanimity of the decision, though, shows just how unreasonable the Court found the Obama administration’s argument.Now you might ask, “Why do you care, Mogs?”  Well, I teach the sole religion class m … [Read more...]


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