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...]

Christianity 101, BoM Style 2

Another little doorway into Christianity lies, I think, in the second of the three enumerated purposes of the BoM and particularly in the phrase I have underlined:that [the remnant of the House of Israel] may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off foreverAs I was looking into this, I discovered something interesting:  in many web citations this particular purpose is completely missing or truncated, as you see … [Read more...]

Christianity 101, BoM Style

Tis the start of the New Year, and therefore the start of a new lesson cycle for those of us who serve as teachers in church.  What to do, what to do, we think.  A class participant who is 48 years old may have heard the lessons we are supposed to present some ten or so times!  And this year the Sunday School lesson cycle is the Book of Mormon, which most people can actually read if they try, so it’s not like we’re going to surprise anyone with some new verses about the theological insights of th … [Read more...]

Mizuko Kuyō (abortion)

During my recent perambulations through various sacred texts searching out how major spiritual traditions claim to handle violence I ran onto a short report on a Japanese Buddhist ritual called mizuko kuyō. This is something of a memorial service for aborted children. There are about a million abortions each year in Japan. For purposes of comparison, I think there are about 1.5 million abortions each year in the U.S., while our population is about double that of Japan.Since most Buddhist … [Read more...]


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