Is It Wrong to Learn About Other Religions?

In response to my recent posts (here and here) where I talk about the research I’ve begun into Mormonism, I’ve gotten several comments urging me to reconsider, not to learn about Mormonism. Most comments have gone the other way, encouraging me to keep going and to write on this subject. But several have come from folks concerned that either I will be led astray…

Stop Using “Religion” to Mean Bad Religion

Risen from the ashes of his Mars Hill Church career and now nesting in greater Phoenix, “Young, Restless and Reformed” pastor and author Mark Driscoll tweeted the following this past weekend: Religion is rules without relationships. #PrayLikeJesus — Pastor Mark Driscoll (@PastorMark) December 10, 2016 This idea that religion is about “rules” is not unique to Driscoll, of course, nor to his followers, who…

Hearing from Mormons and Ex-Mormons

For my post today, I just briefly wanted to comment a bit on the response I received from yesterday’s piece where I described why I was researching Mormonism. In the roughly 24 hours since I made the post, I not only got a lot of comments on social media but have been contacted by at least a half-dozen people privately, mostly ex-Mormons who are…

Recent Research: Exploring Mormonism

The book and podcast Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy has become the work most associated with me outside of what is really my normal life—my family and my parish. It’s not the only thing I’ve done, but it does seem to be the one I’m most known for now in my little corner of the Orthodox Anglophonic world. There was a while where I wished that…

Post-Evangelical? I Can’t Do That.

My post today for my 40 days of blogging is over at the Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy blog. Here’s an excerpt: One of the things I’ve noticed in recent years is the growth of all kinds of “Post-_______” Christianity. By this I mean varieties of Christianity that are all generally within the Evangelical Protestant genre yet explicitly do not embrace any particular tradition. Typically, what…

The Church is Not the Building… Right?

I hate it when people say that. Yes, there is a certain truth to the statement The Church is not the building. But it is usually said in the context of talking about buildings, and so what is meant by it is not really a counter of an obviously ridiculous idea, namely, that the Church is equal to a building. It is somewhat ironic,…

Worlds Next to Worlds: A Curious Ecumenism

Lunch today was with a good friend I have locally, who describes himself as “Post-Charismatic” and “Ortho-Curious.” He is seminary educated and works in the teaching staff at a mini-mega-church (basically the same style as a mega, but without the thousands of people). We eat lunch and drink coffee together regularly, watch movies together, and he has been to my house many times. It…

Is Orthodoxy “Christianity, Only Tougher”?

Particularly during this season of Great Lent with all its fasting and services and so forth, Orthodox Christians who live in a multi-religious society may be tempted to think or say something like what you see in this image here: “Orthodoxy: Christianity. Only Tougher.” On its face, there is of course a lot of truth to that characterization. Being a faithful Orthodox Christian is…