News and Politics

Politics – Current Events – Media

For Zion – Part 5

February 27, 2015 | 2 comments
By
For Zion – Part 5

From the pen of Ben Peters (see previous post): Chapter five in Joseph Spencer’s For Zion turns to what he calls “the space of hope.” Here his discussion focuses on the space of “what remains to be seen” and to a similar effect as chapter four on the time of hope. Read more »

For Zion – Part 4

February 25, 2015 | 2 comments
By
For Zion – Part 4

From the pen of Ben Peters: I’m thrilled and humbled to take part in this roundtable. By way of introduction, I’m Ben Peters, a husband, a father of four, a media historian and information technology theorist (more on my work here), a lifelong member, a long-time T&S reader, and first-time poster. My family has lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma since 2011, following an education trek stretching from Provo and Stanford to New York and Jerusalem. A disciplinary mutt, I have no real business commenting on the work of professional philosophers, especially chapters likely to trip up readers more careful than I... Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #9

February 24, 2015 | one comment
By
New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #9

Read more »

Black History Month: Elijah Ables in Cincinnati, 1842-1845

February 22, 2015 | 8 comments
By
Black History Month: Elijah Ables in Cincinnati, 1842-1845

  To purchase Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables or For the Cause of Righteousness: A Global History of Blacks and Mormonism, 1830-2013, click here or here. As the first documented priesthood holder of African descent, Elijah Ables already enjoys a singular place in the history of black Mormonism. But in most discussions of Ables’s place in Mormon history, he serves as a foil for understanding the origins and development of the Mormon priesthood restriction on the black community; seldom does he enjoy the full subjectivity and personhood that a person of his accomplishment and stature would demand. Indeed, no phase of... Read more »

On Not Giving a Fig for Historicity Debates

February 21, 2015 | 139 comments
By
On Not Giving a Fig for Historicity Debates

There’s a lot of discussion lately about the relationship between scripture and history. In this post, I suggest, by way of a case study, that the trees are obscuring the view of the forest for those gazing at historicity questions. Read more »

Urkirche, Urtext

February 18, 2015 | 32 comments
By
Urkirche, Urtext

I don’t believe in the historical Jesus Read more »

For Zion – Part 3

February 17, 2015 | 5 comments
By
For Zion  – Part 3

I’m honored to participate in this roundtable on Joe Spencer’s book For Zion: A Mormon Theology of Hope.  I’ll be tackling chapters 2 and 3 today; Adam treated chapter 1 here. Like many T&S readers, I presume, I come at this book as an amateur: I was trained in literature, not philosophy, and the densely analytical style of philosophy can be challenging — though always rewarding — for me to work through. These chapters are full of interesting ideas and new readings. Rather than react or respond to Joe’s theology here, I’m just going to do my best to summarize the... Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #8

February 17, 2015 | 14 comments
By
New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #8

Read more »

When Symbolism isn’t Symbolic

February 16, 2015 | 11 comments
By
969 - Batman Featured Image

A few weeks ago I listened to an episode of This American Life with an unfortunate title: Batman. The title, which really doesn’t set the right tone for the episode to follow, refers to Daniel Kish, a blind man who taught himself to echolocate as a child. He gets around the world relatively unaided (including, for example, riding a bike) by clicking and then listening to the echoes. This ability has made him world famous, but it really shouldn’t be so unusual. And perhaps the most chilling thing is the fact that most blind kids will intuitively start clicking or snapping or stamping... Read more »

Religion of a Different Color

February 16, 2015 | one comment
By
Religion of a Different Color

Read more »

The Branch of Love: A Black History Month Tribute to Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2015 | 7 comments
By
The Branch of Love: A Black History Month Tribute to Valentine’s Day

To purchase For the Cause of Righteousness: A Global History of Blacks and Mormonism, 1830-2013, click here. This piece tells the story of a long-forgotten black Latter-day Saint, William P. Daniels, who enjoys a singular position in LDS history: the only known black branch president to function in his office without holding the priesthood. William P. Daniels loved to cook and looked dashing in a three-piece suit. A tailor by trade, Daniels had a charisma about him. Missionaries adored him, church leaders trusted him, and his name rang throughout the Church. No one enjoyed reading the Book of Mormon more than... Read more »

Is excommunication a medieval solution to a modern problem?

February 13, 2015 | 53 comments
By
Is excommunication a medieval solution to a modern problem?

I believe it was Joanna Brooks who first formulated the idea that “excommunication is a 19th-century solution to a 21st-century problem.” It bears the marks of her elegant, intelligent phrase-making. Since it was first uttered, this idea has fed a swelling criticism of the practice of excommunication, following from the high-profile disciplinary action against Kate Kelly and now John Dehlin. This particular criticism is separate from — though often prompted by — the specifics of the Dehlin and Kelly cases: it’s a denunciation of the practice in general, either for apostasy or for any transgression. To expel a dissident... Read more »

For Zion – Part 2

February 13, 2015 | 12 comments
By
For Zion – Part 2

The first chapter of For Zion lays the groundwork for Spencer’s reading of Paul’s theology of hope. It focuses especially on Paul’s letter to the Romans. Understanding the details of this “theology of hope” is crucial to understanding Spencer’s full account of what’s at stake in the law of consecration. Read more »

For Zion – Part 1

February 12, 2015 | 15 comments
By
For Zion – Part 1

Whatever happened to Zion?  Whatever happened to the law of consecration? Aren’t these things from a long time ago? Or for some time way in the future? No. They are only ever for now. Saying that we’re not ready for Zion is like telling a guy lost in the desert he’s not ready for water. Read more »

Who gets to be a Mormon?

February 11, 2015 | 103 comments
By

I have a few questions about boundaries and numbers that I would like to put before the group for your collective insight. While the questions are related, they are not building any particular argument. 1. If the Church excommunicated everyone who quietly disbelieves any or all of the core doctrines that John Dehlin has rejected, how many people would we lose? 2. If the Church dropped from its rolls all those people who have slipped or stomped out of activity, those who opt out of meetings and callings and the home and visiting teaching programs, how big would be... Read more »

Congo! Heart of . . .

February 11, 2015 | 11 comments
By
Congo! Heart of . . .

Note: this post was written by Margaret Blair Young. Read more »

A Sad Day

February 10, 2015 | 59 comments
By

Thoughts today are with John and his family. Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #7

February 10, 2015 | 3 comments
By
New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #7

Read more »

No Apology

February 4, 2015 | 70 comments
By
No Apology

"I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early." Hosea 5:15 Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #6

February 3, 2015 | 14 comments
By
New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #6

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.   Read more »

On Reading Scripture and Being Human

February 2, 2015 | 39 comments
By
Darwin's Monkey - Square

About three weeks ago, David Bokovoy wrote an interesting blog post on historicity in the scripture in which he argued that questions of historicity are unhelpful anachronisms that tend to miss the point of scripture: It’s important for modern readers of the Bible to recognize that biblical historians were not motivated to write their accounts out of antiquarian interest. The past was far too important a tool for these authors to simply recount what really happened. Instead, biblical authors used history as a tool to convey themes concerning the God of Israel and his relationship to his chosen people.... Read more »

T&S Welcomes Guest Blogger Russell Stevenson

February 2, 2015 | 10 comments
By
T&S Welcomes Guest Blogger Russell Stevenson

We are pleased to welcome Russell Stevenson as a guest blogger. Russell has a master’s degree in history from the University of Kentucky, and after a stint teaching at Salt Lake Community College he is now in the Ph.D. program in African history at Michigan State University studying Mormonism in Nigeria. He blogs at Mormon History Guy and at Rational Faiths. February is Black History Month, the right time for Russell to share some of the material from his two books, Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables and the just-published For the Cause of Righteousness: A Global History... Read more »

Guest Post: The World Is Improving

January 31, 2015 | 45 comments
By
Guest Post: The World Is Improving

 Today we feature a guest post from Brandon Russell. Read more »

New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #5

January 27, 2015 | 16 comments
By
New Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson #5

Read more »