My Ideological Journey

I grew up a very right wing conservative in the Maryland Suburbs of Washington, DC. I was actually known as “Mr. Republican.” It helped that I wore a tie as a conservative statement. I also wore a Bush/Quayle button for much of 1992 and carried around Rush Limbaugh’s books. After President Clinton took office, I attached an “Impeach Hillary” button to my backpack. I also had pro-life stickers on my binders and was kicked out of a high school sociology class for wearing a shirt with a fetus on it. … [Read more...]

Newest Urban Blogger!

Jupiter's Child has just joined the team! He is a relative newcomer to the blogging world, but I expect great things from him. Basically, he knows a lot of stuff, a lot of interesting people, and has thought and lived through lots of great intellectual experiences.Welcome! … [Read more...]

A Resurrection of Flesh and Bone?

In 1 Cor 15, Paul declares that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." This text appears in the larger context of a defense of the resurrection, which seems to create a problem. How can Paul defend the resurrection, but in the very same passage declare that flesh and blood cannot go to heaven?The difficulty of this passage was debated strenuously in antiquity. Those who defended the "resurrection of the flesh" wrestled mightily with this problem, while those who argued for a … [Read more...]

No Mormon Love for Paul?

There is an aversion to Paul in Mormon thought and culture. A recent comment by Julie Smith at T&S gives some of the reasons for this phenomenon. I must insist, however, that we are completely missing out. For starters, Paul is hot right now. Yeah, he had some bad times at the hands of feminists in previous decades, but he is back with a vengeance now. Jewish scholars like Daniel Boyarin have embraced Paul. Not to mention some of the most cutting edge contemporary atheist philosophers … [Read more...]

A Really Rapid Race Through Repentance

This is a sacrament meeting talk I recently gave. My favorite English dork wants to read it and I want to oblige. So FWIW...For my part in today’s discussion of repentance, I want to present what the NT contributes to the topic. I shall begin with a sample of repentance as taught by John the Baptist and then Jesus, letting Luke stand in for his fellow Synoptic evangelists. If time permits, I will continue with some of the contributions of Johannine and Pauline communities, the two great t … [Read more...]

Can Mormons see Grey? Dealing with Difference Part II

Roughly speaking we can talk of two different ways of conceptualizing a world imbued with morality—as black-and-white or as shades of grey. In regards to our religion, I see faithful members of the Church in both camps. Those that see in black-and-white, view the Spirit as a power that is either present, or is not. Any given thing is either of God or of the devil. A church is either the church of the Lamb or the church of the devil (1Ne. 14:10). Those that see in grey emphasize parts of the g … [Read more...]

Sex, Reproductive Technology, and Mormon Doctrine

This is not a post about whether birth control should be permitted, or about stem-cell research, test-tube babies or even about the ethics of in-vitro fertilization. Rather, this post is about what these technologies do to and for Mormon doctrines about sex and reproduction.One of the results of modern reproductive technology is to completely separate sex and reproduction. They are no longer necessarily related. This must leave an impact on the way that we theologize about both. Sex without … [Read more...]

Mandatory Repentence Periods?

It appears that a new instruction manual to bishops requires certain "waiting periods" for prospective missionaries who commit certain sins, which are specifically enumerated. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?The only reason that I can think that it is a good thing is that it standardizes the waiting period. This way, bishop A who is more strict than bishop B is required to follow the same guidelines.However, this very process of standardization also strikes me as creating a whole new set … [Read more...]


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