A Letter From Salt Lake City

July 2, 2015 | 3 comments
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The Mormon Newsroom has posted a letter from the First Presidency to area and local leaders. This is unusual: generally letters from the First Presidency are read to members over the pulpit in sacrament meeting, where you hear it once (if you’re lucky) but do not get access to the written text for study or review. And the first line of the letter makes it quite clear what prompted the letter: “Enclosed is a statement by the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve in response to the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in... Read more »

The Perversity of Orthodoxy

July 1, 2015 | 29 comments
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I could have called this post “Same-sex marriage: The Belgian perspective,” but it includes more. “The perversity of orthodoxy” – that’s how one of the members in our Belgian ward identified the broader issues which triggered this post. He called me on Sunday afternoon, upset by a Sacrament meeting... Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #27

June 30, 2015 | 8 comments
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New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #27

So here’s the plan: each week that the gospels are covered in Sunday School, I will post one question from my book along with a brief discussion of the issues that it raises. Most ancient manuscripts of Mark end after 16:8 and early Christians do not seem to know any... Read more »

A Nation Divided

June 26, 2015 | 66 comments
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Today our government has taken another step toward moral upheaval, or, if we think more optimistically, toward a crisis that will reshape it and its relationship toward the people... Read more »

C.S. Lewis on Inspired Adaptation and Myth

June 25, 2015 | 12 comments
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C.S. Lewis on Inspired Adaptation and Myth

I wrote recently that there’s no reason why God, who spoke to ancient Israelites “in their weakness, after the manner of their language” could not adapt familiar myths so “that... Read more »

How the New Perspective on Paul Illustrates the Science-Religion Creation Debate

June 24, 2015 | 17 comments
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How the New Perspective on Paul Illustrates the Science-Religion Creation Debate

(As with many of my posts, this is kind of trying things out, thinking them through in public and on the fly. It’s messy, so I welcome thoughts and... Read more »

Pilate and Jesus, a colonial view

June 23, 2015 | 9 comments
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Pilate and Jesus, a colonial view

In studying the last days of Jesus, like in lesson 26 of Gospel Doctrine, we habitually view the complicated chain of events that led to Jesus’ death from the... Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #26

June 23, 2015 | no comments
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New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #26

So here’s the plan: each week that the gospels are covered in Sunday School, I will post one question from my book along with a brief discussion of the issues... Read more »

Review: First Principles and Ordinances

June 20, 2015 | 4 comments
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Review: First Principles and Ordinances

I’m going to say some nice things about Sam Brown’s First Principles and Ordinances: The Fourth Article of Faith in Light of the Temple, published in 2014 by the... Read more »

“Christ & Antichrist” Conference Program, NYC 6/20

June 19, 2015 | one comment
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“Christ & Antichrist” Conference Program, NYC 6/20

“Christ & Antichrist: Reading Jacob 7″ The Second Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology Conference Program   Read more »

Harnessing Fresh RM Enthusiasm to Train Future Leadership

June 17, 2015 | 22 comments
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It’s a truism that lots of people read few books. And certainly as we get married, have jobs, kids, responsibilities, many of us find our leisure time is spent simply... Read more »

2912 Mornings: Reflections on 16 Years of Early Morning Seminary

June 17, 2015 | 17 comments
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2912 Mornings: Reflections on 16 Years of Early Morning Seminary

This morning I am thrilled to share a guest post written by my amazing mother, Christie Frandsen. Christie is a gifted teacher, leader and speaker, and has taught early... Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #25

June 16, 2015 | no comments
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New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #25

So here’s the plan: each week that the gospels are covered in Sunday School, I will post one question from my book along with a brief discussion of the issues... Read more »

On Staying or Straying

June 14, 2015 | 52 comments
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“The prophet will never lead the Church astray.” — Ezra Taft Benson, 1981. Discuss. Read more »

Review: Revelation, Resistance, and Mormon Polygamy

June 10, 2015 | 9 comments
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Merina Smith’s Revelation, Resistance, and Mormon Polygamy: The Introduction and Implementation of the Principle, 1830-1853 (USU Press, 2013) does a very nice job summarizing scholarship on the LDS practice... Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #24

June 9, 2015 | no comments
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New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #24

So here’s the plan: each week that the gospels are covered in Sunday School, I will post one question from my book along with a brief discussion of the issues... Read more »

“Christ & Antichrist,” June 20, New York City

June 4, 2015 | 2 comments
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“Christ & Antichrist,” June 20, New York City

“Christ & Antichrist: Reading Jacob 7″ The Second Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology Conference is free and open to the public Saturday, June 20, 9am-5pm The Refectory Union... Read more »

Inoculation, Apologetics, Intellectuals, and Blogging

June 4, 2015 | 82 comments
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In preparing people to face a skeptical world, we should not confuse inoculation with the administration of poison by degrees. Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #23

June 2, 2015 | one comment
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New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #23

So here’s the plan: each week that the gospels are covered in Sunday School, I will post one question from my book along with a brief discussion of the issues... Read more »

Elder L. Tom Perry, 1922-2015

May 30, 2015 | 13 comments
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Elder L. Tom Perry, 1922-2015

The church announced that Elder Perry died today.  Read more »

Day of the Lamanite, Deferred

May 26, 2015 | 15 comments
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Day of the Lamanite, Deferred

Lamanite: An increasingly dated term that now rubs many people the wrong way when heard in public Mormon discourse. But the category lingers on despite LDS attempts to move... Read more »

She Shall Be An Ensign

May 26, 2015 | 9 comments
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She Shall Be An Ensign

One of the defining characteristics of the Gospel of Luke is that it contains gender pairs, meaning that the same story or event happens twice–once to a man and... Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine #22

May 26, 2015 | no comments
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New Testament Gospel Doctrine #22

So here’s the plan: each week that the gospels are covered in Sunday School, I will post one question from my book along with a brief discussion of the issues... Read more »

Guest Post- Taking Six Years to Teach the Book of Mormon

May 24, 2015 | 9 comments
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This post comes from Mom S. Over the last six years, we’ve had many conversations about the relevant books she was reading, questions that arose, and teaching ideas. I... Read more »

On Conflation; or, Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater in 1911

May 20, 2015 | 63 comments
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Oftentimes, we’re presented with what appears to be a package deal: If you accept A, you accept B-G as well. If you reject A, you reject B-G as well.... Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #21

May 19, 2015 | 5 comments
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New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #21

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Review: Adam Miller’s Grace Is Not God’s Backup Plan

May 16, 2015 | 7 comments
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Whether you are a student of the scriptures who reads 3-4 versions of the Bible simultaneously (at least one of which is in Hebrew or Greek) or you are... Read more »

Writ & Vision: Roundtable on Grace

May 15, 2015 | 2 comments
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Writ & Vision: Roundtable on Grace

At 7pm on Thursday, May 21, Writ & Vision will host a roundtable discussion on grace. Participants include Adam Miller, Joseph Spencer, and Jenny Webb. The discussion will focus... Read more »

Religion in America: Who Needs a Church?

May 13, 2015 | 54 comments
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The Pew Research Center is releasing the results of its “extensive new survey” on religion in America. In “America’s Changing Religious Landscape,” it summarized changes for reported religious identification:... Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #20

May 12, 2015 | 2 comments
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New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #20

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