Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Few Things I Hope We Can All Agree About

Recent events have caused me to prayerfully reflect on the challenges faced by gay Mormons. There is, of course, much that I do not know and do not understand. However, there are a few things that I believe strongly, and that I hope we can all agree about:

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Carrying Water on Both Shoulders

A thoughtful Latter-day Saint who grows up in his faith and takes it seriously may encounter difficulties as he immerses himself in secular education … When faith and reason meet in [a person’s] life…, something must give; some type of working relationship must be established. … [I]t seems to me that there are three logical models people develop to reconcile their religious faith and their secular studies. …

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Confronting Evolution

I read with great interest about the recent discovery of a new hominin species, which will be called Homo naledi. It is my understanding that this isn’t merely a discovery of more fossils of a species we already knew; rather, it is the discovery of a new piece of the ancestral family tree. There is apparently a Nova/National Geographic program about the discovery, which is available to view online here.
I have to admit that scientific discoveries like this — which are extremely difficult to explain unless you accept evolutionary theory — always make me feel a little uneasy, because I don’t believe that Mormons (or Christians generally) are anywhere close to coming to terms with the theological challenges that evolution presents.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

God and the Israelites' Conquest of Canaan

The shocking and barbaric violence that is attributed to God in scripture, particularly the Old Testament, has bothered me for a long time. I recently read what I consider to be an enlightened, helpful perspective on this issue.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Seeing, Hearing and Including Women at Church

Leaders of the LDS Church have repeatedly taught that women and men are equal, but not identical. For example, Elder Oaks recently said, “In the eyes of God, … women and men are equal, with different responsibilities.” Similarly, Elder Ballard recently said that “men and women have different but equally valued roles.”

Many LDS Church members accept the premise that God’s definition of “equality” means something other than “sameness.” However, does that mean that everything in the LDS Church today is exactly the way it should be with respect to the treatment of women? In other words, even if “equality” means something different to God than it means in modern secular culture, are current Church practices fully consistent with God’s definition of “equality”?

I can’t say that I have a firm conviction that they are. This is one of the reasons why I think Neylan McBaine’s recent book, Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women’s Local Impact, is so important.

Friday, February 27, 2015

My First Taste of Biblical Scholarship (And Now I’m Hooked)

Up to this point in my life, I have not paid much attention to the work of biblical scholars. Perhaps I have been influenced by those within the LDS community who are highly suspicious of their work. Recently, however, I read Authoring the Old Testament: Genesis–Deuteronomy, by LDS scholar David Bokovoy. This outstanding book has piqued my interest in biblical scholarship and helped me see how biblical scholarship can contribute much to my understanding of the scriptures.