Month: June 2009

July 1 – Cheers, Utah!

As reported by World magazine (July 4, 2009):

Some of Utah’s prohibition-minded alcohol laws will be officially loosened today.  Beer lovers may celebrate the rift in the so-called “Zion Curtain” that has up until this day prohibited bars from operating normally in Utah, as establishments will be able to serve alcohol to customers without first making them join a “private club.”  The state’s traditional hard line on alcohol can be traced directly to the Mormon Church, which frowns upon alcohol consumption.

Does that mean when John Calvin’s 500th birthday arrives on July 10, more people in Utah will give a toast?

(For the readers’ curiosity, I will pass on the Calvinus Beer.)

ReJesus & ethical monotheism

I just finished reading one of the latest emergent missional books, ReJesus.

In the book, the authors trash on one of my favorite pictures of Jesus on pages 92-95, dubbing it “The Bearded-Lady Jesus.”  To counter their observations, I am joyfully headed to Oregon in August to pick up from my grandparent’s estate a large framed print of this picture.

But one thing I will say well about the authors of this book – they maintain biblical monotheism, preferring the term, ethical monotheism.

Here is a good quote by Paul Minear:

Monotheism is a outcome of the exclusive claim of Yahweh, rather than a conceptual hypothesis resulting from human effort to gain a unitary view of his world.

In not getting this right, religious zeal causes massive damage to a cultural landscape.

Robert Wright (2009) on Mormonism

Have you browsed his latest book, The Evolution of God  (Little, Brown and Company, 2009) and noticed what he said about Mormonism?

“It may sound cynical to explain the growth of a religion, especially a religion of love, in crass commercial terms, as though religions were mere networking services.  But such practical functions play some role in the power of religion even today.  The Mormon church, whose growth role has been compared to that of early Christianity, is a smooth conduit of commercial contact.”

(1) Wright uses Stark, who is over the top,  for LDS growth role comparison to the early Christianity.  (2)  Do many other religious scholars think that Mormonism is a commercial networking service?  (3)  Do you agree with Wright’s beliefs about the evolution of God(s)?

The life of a dad

1.  My sister wrote a small post on our father, and she included a nice pic.  A Christian father is a wonderful gift from heaven.

2.  My wife and four children spoiled me this weekend.

3.  Also this weekend, I watched The Elizabeth Smart Story (Echo Bridge Home Entertainment, 2008).  It helped me imagine a little more what this LDS father went through.  As I watched this portrayal, I don’t think I would have been as kind to the Salt Lake City police.