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Posts tagged "Mormonism"

Another Week Ends: Wealth Addiction, Bieber/Britney Compassion, Friends Generation, True Detective, Grand Theft Auto, Better Praise and Conference Calls

Another Week Ends: Wealth Addiction, Bieber/Britney Compassion, Friends Generation, True Detective, Grand Theft Auto, Better Praise and Conference Calls

1. This one really deserves a post of its own. So much writing about Wall Street greed has the air of jealousy and pettiness around it. Nothing’s an easier target or more convenient prop for self-righteousness than a corporate cog (i.e. “I may not be swimming in it, but at least I believe in something–at least my work has meaning–unlike all those soulless automatons I knew in college who are chasing the almighty dollar. How do they live with themselves?!”). Which is part of what makes Sam Polk’s “For The Love of Money” column in The NY Times last week…

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Another Week Ends: Incarnational Kerouac, Lutheran Austerity, Dream Identities, Rev, Arrested Development, Mormon Sci Fi, Foodie Piety and Daytrotter

Another Week Ends: Incarnational Kerouac, Lutheran Austerity, Dream Identities, Rev, Arrested Development, Mormon Sci Fi, Foodie Piety and Daytrotter

1. Newsweek published an excerpt of D.T. Max’s forthcoming Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace and what an excerpt! It concerns Wallace’s relationship with Mary Karr, and the genus of Infinite Jest. Almost enough to dispel the reservations we voiced earlier this week. It also makes for a great lead-in to another literary find, the blog for The Library of America’ amazing interview with Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell, the editor of the forthcoming Jack Kerouac: Collected Poems. Asked why she thinks Kerouac’s poems still speak to us, she gave the following (jaw-dropping) answer, which gets…

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Another Week Ends: Spoiled Kids, Harvard Perfectionism, KKKlan Grace, Lonergan's Lament, Negative Thinking, Mormonism, Golf Ethics, Sorkinisms, and Fall Conference Update

Another Week Ends: Spoiled Kids, Harvard Perfectionism, KKKlan Grace, Lonergan’s Lament, Negative Thinking, Mormonism, Golf Ethics, Sorkinisms, and Fall Conference Update

1. Over at The New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert surveyed the latest swath of parenting books, asking the question “Why Are American Kids So Spoiled?” Much of the article reiterates what we’ve been hearing with alarming frequency the past couple years, namely that the current “helicopter/snowplow” culture of control is backfiring, royally. It’s an honest if also fairly depressing analysis: the “performancism” epidemic being perpetuated (somewhat out of necessity) by US colleges has filtered down to the preschool level, which, combined with the hangover from the self-esteem movement and incredible advances in technology has created this weird situation where kids grow…

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Soul Possession: Just How Much Is Your Soul Worth?

Soul Possession: Just How Much Is Your Soul Worth?

The Freakonomics crew put out a new podcast on selling souls this week, and boy was it a doozie. They featured a Christian from Oklahoma who boldly offered any atheist/skeptic/taker $50 for ownership of his soul. Sure enough, through the comments board on the Freakonomics webpage, he found a skeptic seller, and the two exchanged the money for an official contract of soul ownership. This set off a half-hour discussion around the following questions: can somebody sell their soul? Is it ethical? Is $50 a good bargain for a soul? What’s the market value for such a thing, and what does…

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Top 10 Mockingbird News Stories of 2011

Top 10 Mockingbird News Stories of 2011

Once again, this year’s news cycle provided a whole new set of jaw-dropping gospel fodder for our beloved little blog here. Here are my top 10 stories that were either too short to post or slipped through the cracks in 2011.

"Theologies of Glory only pay short term dividends."

10) “Pay for Spray” Law:  While it isn’t the first time it’s happened, it’s heartbreaking every time it happens. In a rural Tennessee, a family neglected to pay a fee to the local fire department. When their mobile home caught on fire, the firefighters responded, only to watch their house burn down….

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Another Week Ends: Anti-Tebowmania, Hipster Mormonism, Sixty-Six Books, Coldplay, Hypocrisy, and Tullian Tchividjian's Story of Redemption

Another Week Ends: Anti-Tebowmania, Hipster Mormonism, Sixty-Six Books, Coldplay, Hypocrisy, and Tullian Tchividjian’s Story of Redemption

Filling in for DZ this week as the Birmingham Conference kicks off…

1. Can you be a hipster and Mormon at the same time? An interesting NY Times article appearing on Wednesday outlined a Mormon’s guide to looking cool without totally losing your faith (a.k.a “How to be like Brandon Flowers”). It’s a classic case study in the casuistry that arises when navigating between conflicting judgments – slightly appeasing one demand without violating the other, or transgressing just enough but not too much. As Mormonism seeks more and more acceptance from mainstream America, I suspect this will be just one of…

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Another Week Ends: More Forgiveness, Addiction and Maslow; Lying Pundits, Tolerance Cults, Googling Mormons, Santiago Casilla, Elvis, Tom Waits and Cookie Monster

Another Week Ends: More Forgiveness, Addiction and Maslow; Lying Pundits, Tolerance Cults, Googling Mormons, Santiago Casilla, Elvis, Tom Waits and Cookie Monster

1. On the subject of forgiveness, The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan posted a comment from one of his readers that gets at what I was trying to say in this week’s article, namely, that any attempt to tack a requirement or condition onto forgiveness (in the case of the HuffPo piece, repentance) robs it of its power and beauty, rendering it just another peg on the oppressive scale of achievement/deservedness – rather than an escape/rescue from “works” or identity altogether. There’s very little worth getting hot under the collar about vis a vis mainstream coverage of Christianity, but the radical…

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Hello, May I Interest You in a Dissenting View of The Book of Mormon?

Hello, May I Interest You in a Dissenting View of The Book of Mormon?

To the surprise of absolutely no one, The Book of Mormon cleaned up at the Tony Awards, winning the award for Best Musical, among others. Having actually seen it, I can report that The Book of Mormon deserves these awards – it’s a daring production, on pretty much every level, one that both embraces and satirizes its populist ambitions, without remotely blunting its enraged edges. The music, while perhaps a bit uneven, contains a couple of truly inspired numbers. The jokes are frequently hilarious, even if the humor, just like that of South…

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Mormon Than A Feeling

Mormon Than A Feeling

I find the Mormon religion fascinating; I’ve been known to watch BYU TV for hours and am slowly making my way through the vast literature written about its church’s history and development. While it is (fairly) easy to point out some of Mormonism’s extremely questionable claims—see, for instance, South Park—I think that there are some really interesting ways the Mormons have incorporated the concepts of Law and Gospel into their theology. If you’re interested, talk to our resident expert, Jacob Smith (I’m still hoping he’s going to call me up to his planet someday:).

Along those lines, I’ve finally gotten…

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