Are Mormons Christian? A series of unhelpful questions

Jesus loves Kevin Price and Arnold Cunningham. Heck, Jesus even loves Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Patheos is conducting an “interfaith round table” discussion of the question “Are Mormons Christian?” Here I will try to address this larger question — “Are Mormons Christian?” — by considering a set of other, related questions. These questions, I think, prove unhelpful when considered separately. Added together, however, I suspect they’re even less helpful. [Read more...]

Heart and Soul

At some point in your life this has probably happened to you. And it will likely happen again. Be prepared. You’re in a room with a piano. No one in the room plays the piano very well. A couple of people, however, know one song. It’s a catchy duet that’s fun to play, and they [Read More...]

Witnessing tools and resentment

In a post last week — “You might be an evangelical …” — I touched on some of the esoterica of the evangelical subculture. Much of that post was inside-baseball, jargon and references some readers (maybe the luckier ones) found a bit bewildering. Such as this, for example: If you think the phrase “a witnessing [Read More...]

Subsidiarity and Saddleback

My frustration was showing a couple of weeks ago in a post titled: “Responsibility is differentiated, mutual and complementary, not exclusive, binary and competitive.” That post consisted almost entirely of the sentence “Responsibility is differentiated, mutual and complementary; responsibility is not exclusive, binary and competitive,” repeated 10 times with each repetition linking to a different [Read More...]

You might be an evangelical …

In addition to our unexpected hospital adventure this week we’ve also been puppy-sitting for my brother-in-law’s 6-month-old poodle (energetic, mischievous, adorable). Whenever there’s a quiet moment around here it seems that means someone is probably eating something that isn’t food. My brother-and-law and his family are on vacation in Costa Rica. I was initially confused [Read More...]

Team Hell gets loud

The evangelical blog world seems all atwitter over a forthcoming book by Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. The book's title, "Love Wins," is apparently regarded by many American evangelicals as an astonishingly heretical and controversial claim. Love wins? How dare anyone suggest such a thing? Even more controversial [Read More...]

Sarah Silverman vs. Groupon

I'm a big fan of Sarah Silverman. Her jokes are mostly funny on their own, but her meta-joke — the shallow, self-centered, cruelly oblivious idiocy of her comic persona — is pure genius. That persona allows her comedy to address forbidden topics with forbidden candor, to be both dry and enthusiastic at the same time, [Read More...]

How to respond to the Two Bobs

I'm seeking advice today about an ethical dilemma being posed this week to me and to thousands of others who work for America's largest newspaper chain. We're being asked to "track our time" minute-by-minute. You may be familiar with this task — the nadir of 20th-century corporate management techniques — due to its indelible portrayal [Read More...]