Blog Archives

The Scholar of Moab: Believing Bees

January 20, 2012 | 3 comments
The Scholar of Moab: Believing Bees

“Belief” is more like an armchair anthropologist’s naive explanation of what’s going on with religious people than a description of what actually happens when someone sits in a pew or kneels by a bed. The way the word gets used as shorthand for willful gullibility is all wrong. These days, talking about religious “belief” is often just a tolerant way for non-religious people to make sense of religious phenomena from across the room by, in effect, saying that the religious phenomena they don’t understand don’t really happen. Stuff doesn’t happen at church, people “believe” stuff happens at church!  Read more »

Exploring Mormon Thought: Signs of the Times

January 19, 2012 | 36 comments
Exploring Mormon Thought: Signs of the Times

 Do Mormons do theology? Sure. Do they do theology qua theologians? Not really. Read more »

The Scholar of Moab: Interviduality

January 17, 2012 | 24 comments
The Scholar of Moab: Interviduality

How many am I? Read more »

Sex as Truth

December 12, 2011 | 30 comments

Joseph Spencer, in his encouraging response to Taylor Petrey’s Dialogue article, “Toward a Post-Heterosexual Mormon theology,” makes the following claim: Read more »


November 30, 2011 | 8 comments

Here’s my wild-eyed claim for the day: religion is about the world, not about religion. Which do you talk about at church? Read more »

The Strait [sic] and Narrow

November 28, 2011 | 37 comments

Say we agree that Mormonism is about progress and progression. A couple of questions might follow. Read more »

Phantom Limb

November 22, 2011 | 15 comments

I can’t speak to your experience. I can’t speak even to my own. But I’ll tell a story. I remember the day and time and place that I stopped believing in God, but not the date. Read more »

Ecce Theologus

October 21, 2011 | 3 comments

Joseph Spencer is indispensable. He is the “not-thoughtless” and the “never-glosses-over.” Read more »


October 19, 2011 | 14 comments

The theologian is indispensible. She is the not-thoughtless. She takes no thought because she gives it. And the more she gives it away, the more it multiplies. Read more »

Theologians Anonymous

October 17, 2011 | 30 comments

1. We admitted we were powerless over our theologies — that our thoughts had become unmanageable. Read more »

Circuitous Machinations – On Mormon Theology

September 19, 2011 | 33 comments

A comically involved, complicated invention, laboriously contrived to perform a simple operation. —“Rube Goldberg,” Webster’s New World Dictionary Read more »


August 29, 2011 | 9 comments

You’re given a pair of binoculars. Read more »


August 14, 2011 | 14 comments

I know a lot of people swear by it, but I’ve never found “belief” to be a reliable way of describing what is (or isn’t) happening when I plant myself in a pew. Read more »

A Primer on Mormon Prayer: Duration

July 22, 2011 | 6 comments

Say that you want to pray. Say that you want to make prayer the center of your life rather than just an aid to it. Say that you want to take up prayer as an end in itself. Say that you understand prayer to be the formal practice of submitting your will to God’s. And say that you think prayer should be at least as much about listening as talking. How long should you pray? Read more »

A Primer on Mormon Prayer: Contributing

July 11, 2011 | 3 comments

Over at BCC, Kristine opined last week on the subject of Mormon “intellectuals.” After admitting that knowing stuff can, in fact, be helpful, she concluded the following: “But this is the suspicion that was nagging at me during our conversation, and has not left me: intellectual gifts, like most of what we bring to the altar, are not nearly as valuable as we think they are.” Read more »

A Primer on Mormon Prayer: Aligning

July 7, 2011 | 18 comments

What exactly is it that you are trying to practice when you practice prayer? In particular, what exactly is it that you are trying to practice when you practice prayer as an end in itself rather than as a means to some other end? I take two things as axiomatic with respect to the practice of prayer. Read more »

A Primer on Mormon Prayer: Deciding

July 6, 2011 | 16 comments

Prayer can be approached as a means or as an end. You’re tired of using God as a crutch to get wherever else you want to go and finally decide, throwing it all over, to just make God your explicit destination. Consecration it is. The kingdom of God or nothing. Read more »

A Primer on Mormon Prayer: Abiding

July 5, 2011 | 2 comments

You know the feeling: you’re hungry for God. Your soul, restless, can find no rest. Your pillow’s warm on both sides. Read more »

A Primer on Mormon Prayer

July 3, 2011 | 28 comments

A religious life is a life of prayer. Don’t skimp on this or, no matter how white your sepulcher, your insides will always just be full of dry bones.  Read more »

Some Articles of Faith

June 8, 2011 | 19 comments

Some (Wednesday morning) articles of faith: 1. The gospel is terrifyingly simple: Give up! Read more »

Faith, Philosophy, Scripture: Breathing

May 17, 2011 | 5 comments

One last post about Jim Faulconer’s Faith, Philosophy, Scripture (Maxwell Institute, 2010). The final chapter is entitled “Breathing” and is a meditation on Romans 8. Read more »

Faith, Philosophy, Scripture: Saying vs. Said

May 15, 2011 | 9 comments

There are persons and there are principles. The gospel is about the former rather than the latter. Granted, there are gospel principles – but the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. Read more »

Faith, Philosophy, Scripture: Literally

May 13, 2011 | 18 comments

Ironically, the trouble with biblical literalism is that it doesn’t take the word “literal” literally. Read more »

Faith, Philosophy, Scripture: Reading Zion

May 10, 2011 | 9 comments

Zion is the world ajar. Zion is the world set on a double hinge. God gives a push, the door goes swinging, and the world opens wide. Read more »