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Three Talks Now Online: Can God Take a Joke? How Can Mormons Do Justice? And Why Is That Chick in Luke 7 Washing Jesus’ Feet with Her Hair?

The last month has been a whirlwind for me. And at the risk of wanton self-promotion, I'm posting links here to three talks or interviews I've given in the last few weeks -- at Ideacity in Toronto, at the Mormon Stories conference in Salt Lake City, and over the interwaves (is that a word?) courtesy of Darkwood Brew's nifty online TV show.
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Reborn on the Fourth of July: A U.S. Soldier Reflects on God and War

Everything about Logan Mehl-Laituri urges us to reconsider the tidy equation of religion and war, even down to his t-shirt, which reads, “God > U.S.” In his new book Reborn on the Fourth of July, the former U.S. soldier reflects on violence and the Christian conscience -- important ideas to chew on this Independence Day.
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Mormon Studies Grows Up

Today's New York Times features a fine article on the explosion of the field of Mormon Studies. "Books relating to Mormon history are appearing in the catalogs of top academic presses, while secular universities are adding courses, graduate fellowships and endowed chairs," the article observes.
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Stop Crapping on Cincy. We’re Hosting the World Choir Games.

This week, 360 choirs from 60+ nations will compete in the World Choir Games. This is the top choral music competition in the world, as the best choral groups on the planet compete to be world champions in 23 categories. It's the first time the Games have ever been held in North America. And it's all happening ten minutes from my house.
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When This Blog Post Goes Live, I’ll Be at Yoga Class: Social Media Series #4

I know you don't have time to blog. I know. But you can make life much easier on yourself with the help of social media aggregator sites and just a little advance planning.
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Can Mormon Voters Put Romney Over the Top?

Some commentators have claimed that Romney's Mormonism will be an advantage with core Republican voters, while others see the candidate's religion as a painful liability. Which is correct?
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5 Gifts of Contemplative Prayer

One of my favorite talks at this weekend’s Wild Goose Festival was Carl McColman, author of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, who gently outlined five ways that contemplative prayer is subversive. Since contemplative prayer was the spiritual practice I crashed on most severely the year I flunked sainthood, and it’s also the practice we’re focusing on for June here at the blog, I figured I should go hear what he had to say. I was not disappointed.
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Get “Flunking Sainthood” in Print for $8.50 This Week

Just wanted to alert blog readers that this week is a great time to buy Flunking Sainthood at a substantial discount. I've heard from some readers that you've scheduled the book for your church and book groups (thank you!), so you may be interested in the half-off promotion Paraclete is running this week.
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10 Things I Learned at the Wild Goose Festival

I had a fantastic time attending the second-ever Wild Goose Festival in rural North Carolina. It was hotter than Hades as we camped, listened to speakers and sat around talking theology, but it was worth it. Here are ten things I learned from Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, Over the Rhine and a particularly revelatory S’more.
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How Not to Be Annoying on Facebook: Social Media Series #3

I have an acquaintance who is an author. Boy, is she ever an author. I never stopped hearing about it on Facebook. I became this person's friend on Facebook because I was interested in her work, yes, but not to the exclusion of every other topic under the sun. I finally had to hide her posts in my news feed because the onsluaght of self-promotional announcements was overwhelming. How can people effectively use Facebook for networking and promotion without being totally irritating?
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