Narnia, the Solstice, and Heaven

I.Some of my fascination with The Last Battle, the last in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, might stem from the draw of the bittersweetness of finality and my awe (in the dual senses of “awesome” and “awful”) at apocalypse. But good portion of it derives from Narnia’s heaven, one of the most compelling visions of a literal, Christian heaven in literature.Mr. Tumnus explains a key aspect of this heaven: there, “no good thing is destroyed.” At its most straightforward, Mr. Tumnus is refer … [Read more...]

The “Thoughts and Prayers” Backlash is Deserved

After so many shootings this year, it just feels like nothing is ever going to change. But after the San Bernardino shooting, there was a decent amount of backlash against the many politicians who responded to the news with a very bland, “thoughts and prayers” tweet. Tweeting "thoughts and prayers" is right up there with American politicians' favorite past time of making excuses for why we can’t have any sensible firearm legislation.here’s a template tweet for all politicians to use. “My thou … [Read more...]

Finding Hope From The Westboro Baptist Church

For years, the Westboro Baptist Church have been synonymous with bigotry. I learned this when they protested at my high school in 2004 over a production of The Laramie Project (documented by my embarrassing teenager blog). A large counter protest was organized, and an event originally sparked with hate turned into a largely positive, jovial affair. The Phelps clan were woefully outnumbered, and they left rather quickly, while the crowd left behind cheered and laughed and prayed together. As an … [Read more...]

Death, Sealing Power, and “Trusting into Transformation”

[Preliminary note: This is the first of two posts relaying insights from a few years of reflecting on Mormon ideas about salvation and family in light of Sam Brown’s masterful study of early Mormonism, In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death.] My favorite invocation/description of what Mormons call “the sealing power” comes from the eulogy that inspired the King Follett Discourse, Joseph Smith’s boldest challenge to the brand of Calvinism popular among ma … [Read more...]

Religious and Gay: A Catholic-Mormon Dialogue (Part 2 of 3)

This is part 2 of a 3-part discussion with Alex Griffin and Eve Tushnet. In the first post, Alex and Eve discussed discourse on homosexuality in Mormonism and Catholicism. In this post, they discuss what elements of their faiths and other faiths they have found useful in interpreting their sexual orientation. In the third post, they turn their questions toward each other. In the third post, they turn their questions toward each other. What cultural, theological, scriptural, or ri … [Read more...]

The Problem with “Conscience”

The last time a state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) made news, I argued that the law’s critics were letting the word “discrimination” distract them from the real issues at stake. Everything I said then bears repeating: not all discrimination is wrong, not all wrongful discrimination should be illegal, and sometimes religious freedom really does give people the right to discriminate.But it’s only fair to acknowledge now, with another RFRA controversy lining outrage-mongers’ pocket … [Read more...]

Junia The Apostle and Mormonism’s Priesthood

Most Mormons don’t know it yet, but Romans 16:7, "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was," may soon become one of the most important and contested verses in our community. If we look at how other Christians dealt with their own internal struggles over women’s ordination, we can see that in the 1980’s-1990’s, this text received a dramatic increase in attention from mainline Protestant and Evan … [Read more...]

What do we mean by “Another Testament”?

Before 1981, the Book of Mormon was simply the Book of Mormon; since then, however, it has borne the subtitle “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” I suspect that this addition had several purposes. First almost certainly was to draw attention to Christ in a church that many consider non-Christian.[1]  Second would be to clarify the relationship of the book to the Bible: not a replacement, but An Other Testament like the Old and New ones.Growing up, I always read “testament” as “testimony”: in … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X