Religion

Religion

Five Jesus Books

There are quite a few different ideas about the “Historical Jesus”. I run into people who know just one of them and think it’s the only one. Almost always they’re surprised and disappointed that this is an open question. Reza Aslan. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Random House, 2013. John Dominic…

Religion

Laurasian Novel

Have you ever had the feeling that the religious stories we have might be older—far older—than anyone imagines? “Focusing on the oldest available texts, buttressed by data from archeology, comparative linguistics and human population genetics, Michael Witzel reconstructs a single original African source for our collective myths, dating back some 100,000 years. Identifying features shared…

Religion

Talking about Mormons

I’ve been waiting for the dust to settle on this madcap idea of not saying “Mormon” when you mean “Mormon”. That’s President Nelson’s personal demon. My gut says be polite and look the other way. Now, we have some guidance from the Associated Press, via the Salt Lake Tribune, and in my case found on…

Religion

Quitting Mormon

I don’t remember exactly when I left the Mormon church. 1982 or 1983, probably. I was living in the Avenues area of Salt Lake. The Home Teachers stopped by for the first time ever. I tried to put them off. They weren’t having it. They got pushy. I pushed back. We got to the point…

Religion

Christian Identity

The Christian Identity movement has its roots in British Israelism. Amazing. So does Herbert Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God. And so do some of the ersatz genealogies connecting medieval Europe to the Bible. “The history of the Christian Identity movement reveals its startling foundations — which posit that both Christians and Jews are God’s chosen…

Religion

Post-Christian America

My sense from talking to our customers is that there is trend toward post-Christian America that is likely to be vaguely pagan, but not exactly pagan in the way my generation (Boomers) might think of it. “I’ve become interested in books and arguments that suggest that there actually is, or might be, a genuinely post-Christian…