Dust: A Sermon for Good Friday

We began Lent with stark words, as ashes were placed upon our foreheads in the sign of the cross, and we came face to face with human reality: Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. We had no idea then just how fitting it would be. Here we all are, worshipping... Continue Reading →

Going On: A Play in One Act

An audio of a performance of "Going On" from December 21, 2019 at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, with Lauren Diesch as Kate, Lanny Langston as Todd, and Katie Langston as Deanna. Download a PDF of "Going On." You're welcome to perform it (and to cut the swear words for a church performance); please drop... Continue Reading →

How Do We Know What We Know?

The essay that follows can be downloaded as a PDF with references and footnotes here. Pernik, Bulgaria, November 2003 Ivan[1] glanced up, a mix of affection and annoyance in his eyes. “Az znam che nishto ne znam,” he said. “You know what that means, don’t you?”  I nodded. The only thing I know is that... Continue Reading →

God Invites Our Disappointment: Praying the Psalms

Back in February, I had the chance to chat with my dear friend Gina Colvin on her podcast, A Thoughtful Faith, about the practice of praying the Psalms. I thought I'd share the conversation here for those who are interested. Enjoy! God Invites Our Disappointment: Praying the Psalms (A Thoughtful Faith ep. 281)

Are Mormons Christians?

I've seen this tweet blow up in my feed the past couple of days: https://twitter.com/warriorwoman91/status/1138580226496126976 You have the typical replies. "We're not Mormons! We're members of TCoJCoLDS!" https://twitter.com/7AwesomeAustins/status/1138606129720676352 And of course the old, "Jesus is in the name of the church" canard. https://twitter.com/melaya_huffaker/status/1138865258691534848 And my favorite, the "we didn't want to be Christians anyway" response.... Continue Reading →

What is grace?

Today, as I attended Mormon services with my family, an older woman approached me and asked me, "What is grace?" She shared she'd been struggling lately. We had a short conversation, but I wish I'd had the wherewithal to tell her: Grace is bedrock of what is truly real. Grace is the assurance of God's... Continue Reading →

On Being Truly Pro-Life

I know this is controversial, but I am pro-life. I am pro-life because my faith calls me to it: God is pro-life; in fact, it is the most central thing about God, who is the source of all life, and who perfectly loves all the life God has created. As beings created in God's image,... Continue Reading →

When, How, and Why to Baptize Mormons

This piece was originally published in the Fall 2018 issue of Lutheran Forum, an independent Lutheran journal. See the piece on their website or download a PDF. Also included is the baptismal sermon by my friend and professor at Luther Seminary, Kathryn Schifferdecker, who baptized me. It describes my discernment process and the theological considerations that... Continue Reading →

The Veil

NOTE: This post contains explicit discussion of Mormon temple ceremonies before their recent change on January 2, 2019. If discussion of the temple, including a description of its rituals, troubles you, I suggest skipping this one. I wrote this as part of a lengthy exploration of Christology I undertook for an independent study course in... Continue Reading →

A Different Kind of Hope

I wrote this reflection for the December edition of the Luther Seminary newsletter. With a few changes, I thought I’d share it here. It’s been a season of waiting, watching, hoping. And then, in just a few days, the Christ Child will come. There will be feasts and gifts, trumpets and cymbals, visits and noise.... Continue Reading →

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