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Sex

Response to 40 Questions by a Rainbow Flag Waving Christian

This blog post in response to a series questions posted by Kevin DeYoung at the Gospel Coalition. The essay is 40 questions for Christians Waving Rainbow Flags and while some of the questions are loaded, they help sort out some relevant issues that appear to divide the church over LGBT issues, especially after the Supreme […]

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Drinking with the Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to a Holy Happy Hour

Introduction:  Although drinking alcohol is against what we as Latter-day-Saints know as the word of wisdom. That doesn’t mean we cant learn important truths from those of other faiths, whose customs might differ from out own. Dr. Michael Foley, the author of Drinking With the Saints: A Sinner’s Guide to a Holy Happy Hour. Writes an […]

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The Many Threads of Salvation

“Salvation should no longer be conceived as a singular process or activity. Rather, it comprises all the activities and processes within human affairs which are helping to overcome the violence and disruptions and alienations, the various forms of oppression and exploitation, and all the other historical and institutional momentums today promoting personal and social deterioration […]

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Religion

What Reza Aslan Gets Wrong about the Nature of Religion

“We have to be able to criticize bad ideas,” atheist intellectual Sam Harris recently said on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. And “at the moment,” Harris continued, “Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas.” Harris delivered his remarks over the shouted protests of fellow guest Ben Affleck, who charged him with Islamophobia. In […]

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“Why it matters (to me) that Jesus was born of a virgin”

“I just can’t set aside what I know of biology,” my dear friend Dwight told me as he explained why he had not yet tackled the June 7th topic in his blog series addressing the coordinated sermons being preached by a group of anti-progressive pastors in Arizona this season. The topic at hand? Why it […]

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Mainline Decline: Loss and Possibility

This is a picture of an ecumenical campus ministry I was involved with at North Dakota State for a time. Now it’s sold off and is someone’s private home Derek Penwell writes what I take to be the dominant advice for mainline Protestants who are dismayed the precipitous decline in church membership and affiliation, a […]

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Cats Cradle of Kindness

In 1993, while serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I listened to Sister Chieko Okazaki, then the first counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency of the Church, give a talk that she titled, “Cats Cradle of Kindness.”  In this talk Sister Okazaki compared our lives and the […]

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Why it’s Important that Jesus was Human

Continuing the series that the 8 conservative churches have laid out for us in Fountain Hills Arizona, I want to, as a progressive Christian, explore the flip side of their claim : Why is it important that Jesus was a human being like you and me? I want to do this because I don’t think […]

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Politics

The Victors!

Brave!

While everyone has been talking today about the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold “federal tax credits for eligible Americans living not only in states with their own exchanges but also in the 34 states with federal marketplaces”, and the soon to be decision on Marriage Equality, an equally important decision was made in a courtroom […]

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Ireland Comes Home For Equality

The Republic of Ireland is holding a referendum today to decide whether to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. If the vote turns out in favor, it will be a remarkable historical moment. Ireland will be the first country to adopt marriage equality by a popular vote. And though it is close, it does look […]

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The Pew Report and the Loss of a Public Faith

John Spong starts his book on Eternal Life talking about funerals. In them, he notes, the services are not (or should not be) directed to members of the church. It is really for those who are gathered. And when it comes to weddings and funerals, the one thing you know is that most of the […]

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Baltimore’s Dream and Ours

As has been noted by Martin Luther King, riots are the voice of the unheard. That is not something to be celebrated but mourned. Desperation and fear are not sufficient conduits for social change in and of themselves. They indicate that something is wrong, something must be addressed. But they also indicate something is broken […]

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Fever in Baltimore

America woke up today to news of riots in Baltimore. We’ve seen this before, too often. But what bothers me is the inevitable outrage directed at the protestors and rioters, rather than the systematic violence that created them. Riots are not the problem, but a symptom of something far worse. A riot is like a […]

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Culture

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Mad Max: Furiosa

Mad Max: Fury Road is the movie I have waited for my entire life. It’s not perfect, but it comes close. It is refreshing in many ways–it doesn’t rely on CGI, the secondary characters are fully fleshed out, and it doesn’t waste precious minutes of screen time on unnecessary exposition or explanation.

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Four Dead in Ohio

May 4 1970 – US National Guard shoot dead 4 unarmed students & wound 9 anti-war protesters at Kent State University. pic.twitter.com/jP9FrtfTcb — DailyRadical History (@radicaldaily) May 4, 2015

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Make a Donation For Your Exaltation

If you haven’t heard, the church recently announced that it will allow members to “pay tithing and submit other charitable donations” electronically. Now, if you’re anything like me, you no longer need to feel guilty for getting behind in your tithing because you ran out of checks. Also, you don’t have to feel like a […]

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Education

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In Defense of Higher Education, Loans and All

Thanks to Facebook’s settings, I am privy to whole conversations on others’ timelines simply because my wife makes a comment. A couple years ago, I read through a “discussion” about the movement to forgive student loan debt, which continues to linger, though it has passed through many different phases over the last couple of years, […]

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Anti-Gay Harrassment at Southern Virginia University Drives Away Student

The Roanoke Times recently published an article about Nic Jensen and his battle with Southern Virginia University over allegations of sexual harassment from the school’s provost Madison Sowell. There has been discussion about Nic’s supposed activism in some conservative Mormon circles, where critics are basically calling Nic a whiny child pushing an agenda to undermine the religious convictions of a god-fearing […]

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States Fail to Keep School Vaccination Data #MuckReads

by Amanda Zamora ProPublica, Feb. 6, 2015, 3:50 p.m. How prepared are U.S. schools for measles? Most states don’t keep those records. A USA Today analysis found just 13 states met federal standards for collecting school-level immunization records. In those states — which included California — vaccination rates fell below the minimum standard of 90% […]

A female calliope hummingbird feeding her chicks (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Like a Mother Bird: Don’t Work Harder than Your Students

by Adam Stout My student-teaching supervisor watched what I was doing one day and told me, “Don’t work harder than them.” I was amused. I thought she was offering a sort of life hack, a clue to sliding more easily through the job. It was as though she was telling me I could get away […]

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You Need Credibility

By Adam Stout As a 2nd year teacher, I have learned a lot and have a lot left to learn. So, take this post for what it is – the musings of a new teacher in the trenches. Lately, one of the lessons I am learning is the importance of establishing credibility with students. Bottom […]

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Is the Bible Reliable?

                         The above picture is Paul and Peter arguing over their disagreements Why is it important that the Bible is reliable is the second topic among the 8 churches in Fountain Hills Arizona. Last Sunday they all preached on this topic on in their opposition to progressive Christianity and the Fountains Methodist Church in particular. […]

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Why It’s Important that God Changes

Fountain Hills AZ has come into national attention as eight congregations have come together to do a series against progressive Christianity. Several congratulated themselves on their ecumenism though it appears to be directed against Fountain Hills United Methodist. They also lauded the idea of free discussion but no discussion is had with any progressive Christian […]

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Synagogue, Philosophy, and Judith Butler

In the following video, philosopher Judith Butler discusses her work and philosophy with Wesleyan University President Michael S. Roth. I particularly enjoyed hearing her discuss how the synagogue of her youth played a major role in her path toward philosophy. As a Rawlsian and Kantian, my work and thought has been very different from that […]

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What is the Original Position?

The original position is a social contract mechanism used by the philosopher John Rawls to establish the hypothetical conditions of fairness within which hypothetical participants will select the principles of justice. In many ways, the original position is cross between the state of nature found in Locke and Rousseau and Kant’s construct of the categorical imperative. Justice for […]

Cover of Dennis Pragers Ten Commandment Video

Podcast Episode 3: Interview with Dennis Prager about The Ten Commandments: Still The Best Moral Code.

Shaun sits down with Dennis Prager, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, columnist, author, conductor, and public speaker,to discuss his newest book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code. Dennis makes the case for the Ten Commandments in way that will appeal to both atheists, and religious Christians and Jews. A transcript of this interview can be […]

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Why I Preach on Mother’s Day

It’s always been awkward for me as a pastor to talk about Mother’s Day. Of course I don’t really need to. I have the freedom of the pulpit, which this church has provided and of which I’m very grateful for. And if I had wanted to stick to the church religious calendar versus the Hallmark […]

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Stand By Me

Rest in Peace Ben E King. “This song says no matter who you are, no matter where you go in your life, at some point you’re going to need somebody to stand by you” – Street performer Roger Ridley John Lennon Playing for Change Tracy Chapman Muppets!

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Pay Tithes and Offerings Online!

I know that this type of stuff is not ground breaking or of grand moral significance. In an age when few of us use paper checks, this is one of those things that was bound to come about. However, it is also something that I did not think would change because of the importance we […]

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