Links: Reimagining discipleship as craftsmanship, offering our best to God’s glory

I’m going to try a new post format, “Links,” where I share snippets of my favorite reading from the last while, along with a short note on what I liked (or didn’t). We’ll see how this develops!

Keepapitchinin, “Our Best for the Glory of God”
“I think that’s what hurts me, personally, about the announced destruction of elements of the Salt Lake and Manti Temple service and fabric. More than the loss of great beauty and a sense of where we have been as a people, more than the separation of form and function, it is the loss of the best gifts that our ancestors had to offer to the glory of God. It’s as if the workmanship of our hands is no longer good enough, and that the sterility of the assembly line, the uniformity of the Smith’s sheet cake, the passivity of consumerism, has overtaken and conquered what should be the crowning experience of a Latter-day Saint’s religious life.”

Ardis is a fantastic writer and historian, and reading her mourn the loss of the live endowment (as well as the hand-made murals and craftsmanship of the pioneers) was moving. It also moves me to think about the relationship between craftsmanship–production and creation–and faith, in a world filled with consumerism.

Rob Gardner, Lamb of God Concert Film
“this unique concert film brings composer Rob Gardner’s work to the big screen for the first time. join us for breathtaking performances from new soloists, a new orchestration, and a close-up view of this work that has been compared to Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem.”

My wife and I had the chance to see a production years ago, and it’s been a favorite since. The concert film was special and intimate: like Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of Les Miserables, the cameras get close to the singers, creating a wonderful sense of intimacy. I highly recommend. Check out this story for the background.

Alan Jacobs, “The Gospel of Life”
“… the categories of American politics determine the way that many American Christians think about ministry, mission, and service. The talking points and platform statements of the two major political parties provide the guidelines that many Christians use to judge things of the Gospel. Simply put, many American Christians have been intellectually formed by our political debates — especially as they are digested and interpreted on television news programs — far more than by immersion in Scripture or the great movements and figures of Christian tradition.”

This essay talks uses the above point to describe a family in Christian history that is incredible. As he says, “one family; three generations; eight saints.” I’ve also wrestled with the idea in this main quote, which I think is right for Christians AND Latter-day Saints.

Ben Spackman, “Science as a Legitimate Contributor to our Knowledge of Creation and Earth History”
“We should all be interested in academic research. We must go out on the research front and continue to explore the vast unknown. We should be in the forefront of learning in all fields, for revelation does not come only through the prophet of God nor only directly from heaven in visions or dreams. Revelation may come in the laboratory, out of the test tube, out of the thinking mind and the inquiring soul, out of search and research and prayer and inspiration.” (Hugh B. Brown)

A great article by Ben on the science-and-faith debate. I love this expansive view of revelation: revelation—the uncovering of truth—can come from a variety of places. It’s one of my favorite aspects of our theology.

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