I’m not quite up to creating original content today, so I’m going to link and comment to a few posts and articles that caught my eye. It’s really amazing how much coverage Mormonism is getting lately compared to a few years ago.
- Believing Christ, Revisited, a series at Feast Upon the Word Blog by Joe Spencer discussing Stephen Robinson’s classic book. I think it’s about time they shortened the blog name to Feast Upon the Blog, don’t you?
- Review of the Patheos Guide to Mormonism, by Keven Barney at BCC. This Patheos guide is authored by Steven Taysom of JI. The short guide uses a standard template, covering origins, history, beliefs, rituals and worship, and ethics and community. It might be worth sampling some of the other Patheos guides.
- How do we offer pastoral care? at ZD. This is a real weakness for Mormonism and a real problem for those who need quality pastoral counseling and don’t get it. Four comments? This topic deserves a hundred comments.
- Do scientists understand the origin of life? at Science Meets Religion. I’m just happy that, despite fifty years of misguided commentary by CES blockheads, LDS scientists are still fighting the good fight and deign to contribute to the Bloggernacle.
- What are we Mormons building online? by Andrew S at Wheat and Tares. Kinda longish, but it’s always worth reflecting a bit on the nature and function of LDS online communities. Apparently Sunstone is going to kick this around at an upcoming panel. It would be nice if a solid Bloggernacler showed up on the panel to defend our turf.
- Why Mormons flee their church, at USA Today by journalist Carrie Sheffield (who attended BYU then spiraled out of the Church after a failed attempt to deal with the usual doctrinal and historical issues; read her story here). Hey, I’ve got more sympathy for former Mormons than the average member, but if you’re going to then write about that exit experience as a journalist, remember Journalism 101: get the facts right and don’t let overt bias overwhelm your story. The fact is that the LDS Church has a year-to-year membership gain: every year more people join than leave, a terribly relevant FACT not noted in the story which carries a headline with a BIASED and loaded term (“flee”) that misleadingly suggests an ongoing net loss of membership. Perhaps this explains why subscribers are fleeing mainstream media publications? They actually *are* suffering net subscriber losses, likely because they typically don’t get facts straight and too often let bias drive their stories. The Church will still be growing when the only place you can find newspapers is in a museum.
- Mormonism isn’t like a string of Christmas lights, at WaPo by Melissa Inouye, critiquing the “one strike and you’re out” approach to dealing with LDS doctrine and history. This article at the Deseret News gives some biographical information on Inouye: she is “a Latter-day Saint who holds a PhD from Harvard in East Asian Language and Civilizations and who currently lives in Hong Kong.” Nice work, Dr. Inouye.
If you like this sort of thing, Modern Mormon Men does a similar post from time to time: see here for the most recent post. It’s really clever how they anticipated my use of the “Off-Bloggernacle” term.