T&S Post: When to Disobey

2014-11-24 rebel-animals-5

This morning’s post for Times and Seasons was about: When to Disobey. Short version? Being willing to say “no” to religious leaders isn’t fundamentally a question about the quantity of obedience. It’s about the quality of obedience. Being open to saying “no” transforms blind, automatic obedience to willing, mindful obedience. Long version? Read the post. (The comment thread is pretty active, too.)

T&S Post: We Are Made to Suffer

2014-08-18 Guernica

After taking a break from posting at Times And Seasons for the last couple of months, I posted this morning about the necessary role of pain and suffering in human life and our society’s maladaptive response to it. I have lots more posts in progress, so I will be returning to every Monday or at least every other Monday for the foreseeable future.

T&S Post: False Choices and Fence Holes

2014-06-02 The Good Shepherd

I skipped the last post or two at Times And Seasons ’cause I thought I was pushing through to the end of another project I’m working on and wanted to give it all my attention. Turns out, however, that I wasn’t as close to the end as I thought. So I’m back to regular posting (every other week) starting this morning with False Choices and Fence Holes. It’s a response to a By Common Consent post that I saw going around on Facebook and deals with the way liberals and conservatives talk to each other about potential problems the Church is facing. It’s relatively short (as m pieces go) and I’ve gotten some positive feedback on it already, so check it out!

Times And Seasons: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

2014-04-28 Dresdenfiles Quote

I have a new post up at Times And Seasons this morning, continuing the series of posts that has, intentionally or not, sort of become my Internet testimony. Not sure that’s how it comes across to others, but it’s pretty much how I see it. The post also features a quote from my favorite Dresden Files book. Some might take a quote from popular urban fantasy to be an indication that I’m not taking my subject matter seriously. They would actually be underestimating how seriously I take my urban fantasy. I say this partly in jest, partly because of how much I genuinely love the Dresden Files, and partly because I just really like the idea of finding serious lessons about serious topics in unexpected, mundane places.

Also, in case y’all missed the announcement, Walker and I got published in Square Two with an article called “No Poor Among Them”: Global Poverty, Free Markets, and the “Fourfold” Mission. It’s about the topic of poverty and religion, and you should all read it because it’s awesome.

What It Would Take to Not Believe (Times And Seasons)

2014-04-14 Paul SamuelsonI got up early this morning and the kids cooperated by sleeping until nearly eight. As a result, I was able to finish up a post for Times And Seasons: What It Would Take to Not Believe. It’s a followup to the piece that I wrote two weeks ago called As Much As I Know Anything. In particular, I wanted to respond to a question from one of the commenters: “What would it take to convince you that (in as much as you know anything) propositions such as God exists or the BoM is historical are false? Or do you consider such propositions unfalsifiable?” That’s the question that I answered today, with a little help from Paul Samuelson and Karl Popper.

Times And Seasons: As Much As I Know Anything

2014-03-31 Before the PulpitToday’s post for Times And Seasons is basically just my testimony. I’ve had lots of people ask me why I believe over the years, and usually I’ve been incapable of giving a simple, concise answer. When I got asked the question again the week before last, however, I finally had an answer. Along with it, I had an understanding of why I’d been unable to express my faith more easily in the past. Read the post at Times And Seasons for the rest. It’s called As Much As I Know Anything.

Incidentally: I neglected to link to my last Times And Seasons post when I posted it two weeks ago. That one was called Human Evolution: Problems and Possibilities.

Times And Seasons Post: Thanking God’s Advocates

2014-02-23 John_Martin_-_Sodom_and_Gomorrah

My post to Times And Seasons this morning is called Thanking God’s Advocates, the Promoters of the Cause. A God’s advocate (also known as “Promoter of the Cause”) is the opposite of a Devil’s advocate (“Promoter of the Faith”). One quote that folks seem to like is this one:

It’s become something of a fashion these days to talk about doubt, and I believe that recognition of our uncertainties and limitations is of vital importance. But so is a willingness to risk being wrong in the interests of trying to say or do or believe something true. Doubt is a part of the larger experience of faith, but it is not the whole experience. Someone needs to play the role of promoter of the cause.

The entire post is online at Times And Seasons.

What are Gender Roles Good For?

Yesterday I decided to poke a hornet’s nest again and write about gender roles at Times And Seasons once more. Some folks are emailing me to tell me how much they like it (which doesn’t happen very often). Other folks are describing it as “the most excruciating pseudo-intellectual, and self-contradicting drivel I’ve read in recent years.” ByCommonConsent provided their own insightful commentary, which you can see below:

2014-02-11 Gender Rolls
Not gonna lie: I laughed. Then I wished I had some rolls.

For what it’s worth, one of the main reasons I write about this issue is because lots of other folks (some of whom could certainly do better than me) won’t touch it. I respect that. It’s sort of like running for political office: you have to question them motives of anyone who voluntarily does it, but you also have to wish that more normal human beings would. I think these hot-button issues are really important, and I hope that I can make a case for a basically socially conservative position that will enhance the discussion.

With that goal in mind, I’m planning on one more post on this topic. This one took 3 from-scratch attempts, though, were most of my blog posts are done in one. So it will probably take another 2-4 weeks before I come out with the next one.

Monday Morning Mormonism: Caring for the Poor and Needy

2013-12-02 Hernando de Soto Polar

Another Monday, another post for Times And Seasons. This morning’s topic is the addition of the fourth point to the threefold mission of the Church: to care for the poor and needy. Why wasn’t it originally included in 1981? Why was it added in 2009? Read the post for my thoughts, and stay tuned for a longer treatment of the topic from Walker and me coming soon.