Christ is Not Leading a Petty Church

There is a common cautionary tale I hear retold within Mormon circles. This tale goes something like this: Once upon a time the LDS Church was going to do something progressive, and amazing. However, these measures were abandoned when some person or group (often unknowingly) decided that they would engage the media regarding a...

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Christmas Reflections: The Three Wise Men

It is joked that if the three wise men had been women, they would have asked directions and thus arrived in time to help with the birth, cleaned the stable, and brought practical gifts. Well, maybe. But I’m not a fan of the bumbling male motif, especially when the gifts which the wise men brought to the baby Jesus are imbued...

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The Question of the Sermon on the Mount

The Sermon on the Mount[1] holds a special place in the Christian canon. So many scholars, thinkers, and writers have commented on its verses that, according to Hans Dieter Betz, a “complete account of the history of the exegesis of these texts does not exist at the present time and may never exist.”[2] There have been attempts...

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Scripture as Totem: Religion and the Importance of the Text

It is easily recognized that throughout the history of religious traditions texts have served an important role in the continued conceptualization and endurance of the individual faith traditions.[1] In the history of studies on religion, monographs, essays, articles, and books have mostly focused on attempting to interpret these...

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By Goddess, I Will Not Be Left Behind!

by Michelle Wiener Recently I found out that Nicholas Cage will be starring in the remake of Left Behind to be released in theatres this October. This came as a total shock to me, considering what a great actor he is. I was equally appalled that he would even consider taking part in a B-grade evangelical film about – of all...

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Stop it! …No, seriously, stop it right now.

Jesus put it rather simply: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” To that simple injunction, he added a more specific warning: “With whatsoever measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you.” Barreling through the King James English, that means, “Your own measuring stick will be used to measure...

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Biblical Inerrancy and the Book of Mormon

Biblical Inerrancy and the Book of Mormon: Creating a Platform for LDS/Evangelical Dialogue by Michelle G. Wiener Question: Is there room for the Book of Mormon within the theological framework of “biblical inerrancy”? Recently the following paragraph from my essay “Two Lampstands: Two Branches” featured in Rational Faiths...

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Putting Down Our Stones

“Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth: ‘If you judge people, you have no time to love them.’ The Savior has admonished, ‘This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.’ I ask: can we love one another, as the Savior has...

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Making a Hole in the Roof

After my kids had gone to bed and all the cleaning was done, I curled up on the couch. In preparation for Stake Conference my husband had been gone all day and I was emotionally and physically exhausted. All wanted to do was drink hot chocolate and go to bed. But I felt pulled towards the scriptures, not out of duty or habit,...

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How the Ancients Read the Bible

By Sheldon Greaves, Ph.D. One of the things that creates problems when we modern folks try our hand at reading an ancient document is we automatically assume certain things about what that ancient text means, but also the role it played in its original context. Ancient peoples had certain expectations of their written works, and...

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