Advertisement

Flunking Sainthood

Flunking Sainthood

Bio

Jana Riess is the author of Flunking Sainthood, a 2011 book about failing at twelve different spiritual practices. She is also currently working on The Twible, a three-year Twitter project with humorous daily Bible updates for your amusement (find her on Twitter as @janariess). She has a few silly degrees from swanky schools but was never once able to climb the rope in gym class. Her spiritual director is Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The Mormon Temple Ritual You’ve Never Heard Of

posted by Jana Riess

I had been a Latter-day Saint for many years before I first heard about the LDS temple ritual of baptism for healing.  I was fascinated. Kudos to guest blogger Jonathan Stapley and his fellow researcher Kris Wright, who have recovered […]

Advertisement

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: This Week in the Twible, 2 Chronicles 20-26

posted by Jana Riess

In doing research for the Twible I recently came across this chart of the kings and queens of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. Is it just me, or is this chart bending over backwards to give these rulers the benefit of […]

Advertisement

The Best New Intro to World Religions: Stephen Prothero’s “God Is Not One”

posted by Jana Riess

Stephen Prothero was everywhere last month as one of the principal talking heads on PBS’s interesting and balanced series God in America.  Hearing his comments and reading his newest book as part of a blogger roundtable for the Patheos book […]

Advertisement

Forgiveness and Faith

posted by Jana Riess

This week on By Common Consent, Samuel Brown has a gorgeous post about the reconciliation he was able to have with his father when his dad lay dying. Having recently experienced something similar with my own dad, this touched me […]

Does Mormonism Have Room for Everyone? Tania Lyon on the “Big Tent”

posted by Jana Riess

When I joined the LDS Church, one of my treasured guides was Tania Rands (now Lyon), who loved me through my many questions. She remains one of my dearest friends. Her guest post today is adapted from a talk she […]

More Cabbages and Kings: This Week in the Twible, 2 Chronicles 13-19

posted by Jana Riess

I admit it. I am weary of the historical books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. There are only so many ways a king can turn evil, after all. Still, the play-by-play of Chronicles has made me see firsthand the importance […]

Philip Yancey on Publishing, Speaking, and the “Psychosis” of the First Draft (Part Two)

posted by Jana Riess

In October Flunking Sainthood ran the first part of our two-part interview with Christian writer Philip Yancey, whose new book What Good is God? was published yesterday. This week we follow up with some discussion of his writing career in […]

Thank You, Jane Austen’s Editor! Today Is Hug Your Editor Day

posted by Jana Riess

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a fledgling author in possession of raw talent must be in want of an editor. That’s what we now know about Jane Austen, one of the world’s (and my) favorite novelists. Although her […]

“Every Damn Day”: Guest Blogger Elizabeth E. Evans on Finding Hope After Jon Stewart’s Rally

posted by Jana Riess

Friends, I’m in Atlanta for the AAR and so I wasn’t able to attend Saturday’s Rally to Restore Sanity. (My husband attended and sent me jealousy-inducing text messages from D.C.) In today’s post, guest blogger Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans, who writes […]

Hiatus

posted by Jana Riess

Friends, Due to a death in the family, Flunking Sainthood is on hiatus for the next two weeks. I’ll return on Monday, November 1. Thank you to all who have sent their kind words of condolence. Jana

What Good Is God, Anyway? A Q&A with Philip Yancey (Part One)

posted by Jana Riess

Last week I was privileged to have a long phone conversation with one of my favorite contemporary writers, Philip Yancey. Interviewing authors each Wednesday is easily my favorite part of blogging, and this opportunity was a real highlight. Philip Yancey’s […]

Jane Austen Wrote the Book of Ruth, and Other Truths I’ve Learned in My First Year of Tweeting the Bible

posted by Jana Riess

The Twible turned one last week! In celebration of its birthday I wrote a reflective humor piece for the Faith & Leadership newsletter, talking about what I’ve learned in a year of tweeting the Bible. A portion of the article […]

When Is It Permissible to Disagree with an LDS Church Leader?

posted by Jana Riess

Last week’s “Mormon Mondays” column on Boyd Packer’s conference talk has generated a fair amount of controversy, to put it mildly. I read some of the comments on the first day and all of the messages and emails that people […]

David’s Not-Quite-Naked Ark Pole-Dancing: This Week in the Twible, 1 Chronicles 15 to 21

posted by Jana Riess

The Chronicler’s Cleanflix version of the Davidic narrative continues this week with a wonderfully PG version of David and the ark. Gone is the full frontal nudity that marked David’s joy in 2 Samuel 6, though other parts of the […]

Does God Hate Clutter? Ellen Painter Dollar Used To Think So, But . . .

posted by Jana Riess

This week over at Episcopal Cafe, Ellen Painter Dollar (at left) has a great post on a question that plagues me perpetually: how much is too much? Why do I feel more virtuous today, when I hauled a bed frame […]

Harry Potter, Christian Hallows, and C.S. Lewis: A Q&A with Greg Garrett

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve been listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows again in preparation for the movie next month–which releases in 45 days, but who’s counting? In listening I have come once more to realize why it is one of my […]

“What Was Lost: A Christian Journey through Miscarriage”

posted by Jana Riess

I am kvelling today, flush with pleasure at the happy news that one of the books I edited has just been nominated for a 2011 Christianity Today book award in the Christian Living category. The book is called What Was […]

LDS Apostle Boyd K. Packer Is Wrong About Homosexual Relationships

posted by Jana Riess

I had a lovely blog post written for today, which I drafted on Saturday after being deeply moved by the beautiful talks from Elder Jeffrey Holland and Elder Dieter Uchtdorf. The blog today was going to be about favorite General […]

Don’t Touch That Ark! This Week in the Twible, 1 Chronicles 8-14

posted by Jana Riess

The first time I ever heard the Bible’s story of Unauthorized Ark Handling was in my temple prep class some years ago. One of the teachers told this story from Chronicles 13 — twice, in fact — to express how […]

How Much Can We Know About God?: Blog Tour Review of Ken Howard’s New Book “Paradoxy”

posted by Jana Riess

Earlier this week on Flunking Sainthood, a fellow Mormon was offended by an offhand remark I had made about some General Authorities not appearing to read widely. I was not surprised by someone taking offense, which is a regular occurrence […]

Wiping Out Hunger in Our Generation: A Q&A with Bread for the World’s David Beckmann

posted by Jana Riess

Do you feel as overwhelmed as I do by statistics on world hunger? When I read about more than a billion people in dire poverty, it’s hard to muster any optimism that things will change. Children are starving. People are […]

How to Get Catholic Teens to Read the Bible, Step One: Make It Worth Reading

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve blogged before on the new sociological research about teen spirituality, the main crux of it being that many Protestant and Catholic teens have very little idea what they believe. According to research by Kenda Creasy Dean and Christian Smith, […]

On Elder Marlin Jensen, Proposition 8 Apologies, and the Future of Mormonism

posted by Jana Riess

The Bloggernacle has been buzzing for several days with reports of an uplifting and wonderful pre-stake conference church meeting last Sunday, September 19, in the Oakland, California stake. Carol Lynn Pearson has blogged here at Flunking Sainthood before about some […]

The Fly-Over Bible: This Week in the Twible, 1 Chronicles

posted by Jana Riess

OK, I admit it. I’ve never actually read the Books of Chronicles before. I went to divinity school, and I’ve been a Christian since I was 14, but 1 and 2 Chronicles were among the many books of the Bible […]

Before You Attend Jon Stewart’s Rally, Read This from James Calvin Davis

posted by Jana Riess

If you’re like me, you’re cheering about the national rally that Jon Stewart is planning for October 30 in Washington, D.C. With all the fearmongering and hatred being spouted these days, we need Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” (as well […]

The Best Value Hotels, Rental Cars & Dream Destinations from the Budget Travel Readers’ Choice Awards

posted by Jana Riess

Have you noticed that as the magazine industry heads into freefall, it’s turning more and more to reader-generated content? In 2008, This Old House had an issue filled with reader tips and renovations, and Budget Travel did an issue where […]

Why Mormons Should Embrace Evolution: BYU Biology Professor Steven Peck

posted by Jana Riess

Recently a young mother complained to me that a non-Mormon family member had given her children the They Might Be Giants album Here Comes Science, which contains a song about evolution called “My Brother the Ape” (check out the great […]

Female Prophets in the OT: This Week in the Twible, 2 Kings 19 to 24

posted by Jana Riess

“But there were female prophets in Old Testament times,” I insisted. I was in the middle of an uncomfortable conversation with a fellow Mormon who had just made the claim that all prophets had always been men. “Well, no, not […]

Secrets, Lies, & Porn in the Church: A Q&A with “Permission to Speak Freely” Author Anne Jackson

posted by Jana Riess

Christian women might be addicted to porn? Pastors can be sexual predators? Evangelical teens are cutting themselves? Such are the revelations in Anne Jackson’s newest book, Permission to Speak Freely: Essays and Art on Fear, Confession, and Grace. It’s a […]

The First Church of “Glee”: Why I Am a Convert

posted by Jana Riess

I never intended to become addicted to another television show. For starters, I don’t have the time. But a  compelling secondary reason is that too many of the shows I have allowed myself to fall in love with in recent […]

Guest Blogger Stephen Carter on Writing, Repentance, and Choosing to Stay in the Mormon Church

posted by Jana Riess

Stephen Carter lives in rural Wyoming where he edits Sunstone magazine and acts as primary caretaker for the world’s most beautiful baby girl. This excerpt is taken from Carter’s new book What of the Night?, published here by permission of […]

Why “Jews Have No Dealings with Samaritans”: This Week in the Twible, 2 Kings 12 to 18

posted by Jana Riess

Last week we explored the big picture of the decline and fall of Israel (the northern kingdom) and Judah (the southern kingdom). Remember that the north fell to Assyra first, in 722 B.C., and that the south managed to hold […]

From Self-Publishing to Random House: “Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid” Finds a Following

posted by Jana Riess

Last month, Random House’s Three Rivers imprint released Shut Up about Your Perfect Kid: A Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Kids by Patricia (Patty) Konjoian, whose daughter has bipolar disorder, and her sister Gina Gallagher, whose daughter has […]

Islamophobia After 9/11: Enough, Already!

posted by Jana Riess

You know how on Facebook, you sometimes overhear other people’s conversations that you wish you hadn’t? Well, this one came up on my Facebook news feed because one of my friends (the last and only sane individual in this conversation) […]

Guest Blogger Matt Bowman on the Metaphysics of Mormon Sacrament Meetings

posted by Jana Riess

The Metaphysics of Mormon Sacrament Meetings, by Matt Bowman The heart of the Great Tait-Riess Worship Smackdown of 2010 seems to me a dispute about how precisely we should understand worship and what worship is supposed to accomplish. Beyond any […]

The “Big Picture” of the Old Testament: This Week in the Twible (2 Kings 5-11)

posted by Jana Riess

Recently at my church, the regular adult Sunday School teacher was on vacation and the assigned substitute was ill. I offered to substitute and was handed a lesson plan just before I walked in to class. Obviously, there wasn’t a […]

Who Was Julian of Norwich? A Q&A with Author Amy Frykholm

posted by Jana Riess

The only thing I knew about Julian of Norwich before reading Amy Frykholm’s excellent new “contemplative biography” of her was that she was the saint who said “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of […]

The In-Box That Ate Manhattan: Setting Limits for Facebook, Twitter, and Email

posted by Jana Riess

No, I haven’t yet read The Shallows, the recent non-fiction book that everyone’s talking about. It claims that the more time we spend on the Internet, the more shallow and ignorant we become. I wouldn’t know. I’ve been too busy […]

“Emorgent”: Can a Mormon Be an Emergent Christian?

posted by Jana Riess

Over the last five years I have become passionate about what’s going on in the “emerging church conversation,” a grassroots network of Christian thinkers, mostly skewing younger, who claim a grace-full Christian faith that’s grounded in the teachings of Jesus […]

Baal vs. God. Advantage, God! This Week in the Twible (1 Kings 21 – 2 Kings 4)

posted by Jana Riess

It’s been an exciting week for the Twible. Thanks to an article in the Guardian on Sunday, there are new Twible fans in far-flung places like New Zealand, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Australia, Bhutan, the UK and the Czech Republic. Welcome […]

Why Are Jews Funnier Than Christians?

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve been reading The Big Jewish Book for Jews: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Really Jewish Jew. Written by Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman, who brought us the equally hilarious Yiddish with Dick and Jane, the book […]

Mormon Women Talk About Priesthood, Temples, Jobs, and Kids: Claudia Bushman’s New Oral History Project

posted by Jana Riess

Earlier this month I sat down with Claudia Bushman in Salt Lake City, where I had the pleasure of interviewing her about the latest of her many projects: an oral history of Mormon women in the twentieth century. Claudia, a […]

Which E-Reader Should I Buy?

posted by Jana Riess

It’s time. It’s finally time! This fall, I am going to buy an e-reader.  I want your advice. Kindle or Nook? Or — wallet gulp — iPad? I know a lot of book people believe in their stout paper hearts […]

Great Twitter Bibles to Follow

posted by Jana Riess

A number of people have contacted me this week to tell me that someone else has started tweeting out the Bible a chapter a day, news that was carried on CNN and aol.com. A British man, Chris Juby, has just […]

What Will Happen in The Hunger Games? Spoilers & Speculations About Suzanne Collins’s “Mockingjay”

posted by Jana Riess

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! I’m counting the days until Tuesday’s release of Mockingjay, the final installment in Suzanne Collins‘s Hunger Games series. Apparently I’m not the only one, because the book is listed as the #1 bestselling […]

7 Reasons Why Sharon Baker Wants to Raze Hell

posted by Jana Riess

Do you believe in hell? 59% of Americans do, including 92% of weekly churchgoers. If you do believe, what does hell look like for you? Sharon Baker, a professor of theology at Messiah College, found out she was going to […]

Elise Erikson Barrett on What Not to Say After a Miscarriage

posted by Jana Riess

Anyone who has ever had a miscarriage knows that well-meaning people, people who love you, will sometimes say things that they intend to make you feel better but actually have the opposite effect. I asked Elise Erikson Barrett, author of […]

Dull Mormon Sacrament Meetings Revisited: Guest Blogger Lisa Tait Takes Me to Task

posted by Jana Riess

Last month I posted what proved to be a controversial opinion piece about five reasons I feel that Mormon sacrament meetings are not spiritually engaging. Thank you to everyone who read the piece and took the time to offer feedback. […]

How Much is Enough? This Week in the Twible, Solomon’s Wealth (1 Kings 7-13)

posted by Jana Riess

We have a short Twible post this week as I’ve been on vacation …. This week’s Twible entries showcase Solomon’s increasing decadence and life of luxury. Since I’m just coming back from a lovely warm island where I’ve eaten ridiculously […]

Mormon Teens, Protestant Teens: A Review of Kenda Creasy Dean’s “Almost Christian”

posted by Jana Riess

Did you see this article in USA Today yesterday? The upshot is that Protestant teens are skipping church in record numbers. They rarely even come for the pizza anymore. This development didn’t come out of nowhere. Throughout the last decade, […]

Is the Bible Pro-Immigrant?: A Q&A with Ben Daniel about “Neighbor”

posted by Jana Riess

This month, Westminster John Knox is pleased to publish the new book Neighbor: Christian Encounters with “Illegal” Immigration. Author Ben Daniel sits down with Flunking Sainthood to discuss his book, the role of immigration in the Bible, and the new […]

Digital Explosion! New Stats on the Information Revolution

posted by Jana Riess

The back page of Newsweek often has some interesting factoids about cultural change. In the July 26 issue, the focus was on exactly how much the digital revolution has changed our lives in just the last ten years. I was […]

What Is the Future of Mormonism?

posted by Jana Riess

This week on Patheos.com, people are talking about the Future of Mormonism. Patheos has solicited guest posts from a number of different scholars and church leaders (a partial list is below; the final group includes LDS Public Affairs Director Mike […]

Solomon: Wise Ruler or Totalitarian Dictator? This Week in the Twible (1 Kings 1-6)

posted by Jana Riess

I have a like-hate relationship with Solomon. He’s a Tony Soprano character, ruthless on the one hand while unexpectedly blessed with wisdom on the other. How does Solomon get to be king, anyway? He’s fourth in line. He’s that guy […]

New Testament Scholar Marcus Borg Tries His Hand at Fiction: A Review of “Putting Away Childish Things”

posted by Jana Riess

Marcus Borg opens his first novel, Putting Away Childish Things, with an admission: it’s going to be didactic. He sees it as a teaching novel, “the only kind of novel [he] can imagine writing.” He goes on to disarm the […]

Dear Chelsea Clinton: Unsolicited Advice from the Trenches of Interfaith Marriage

posted by Jana Riess

Dear Chelsea, Congratulations on your new marriage! I know that some people are upset that you and your new husband have broken with tradition and chosen to have an interfaith marriage. Some people seem to be blaming you personally for […]

Can Anne Rice Stay a Christian Outside the Catholic Church?

posted by Jana Riess

I’ve been a fan of Anne Rice‘s writing for many years: the vampire fiction, the overtly Catholic fiction about the life of Christ, and more recently, her beautiful memoir Called Out of Darkness, in which she chronicles her journey out […]

The Gospel Doctrine Teacher: Ben Spackman’s Weekly Podcast

posted by Jana Riess

It’s Mormon Monday again at Flunking Sainthood, and since I am on vacation — well, sort of; I am finishing a book — I’m pleased to point readers toward something of good report in Mormondom. Ben Spackman, a very astute […]

Why Are There So Many Different Endings to the Book of Samuel? This Week in the Twible, 2 Samuel 18-24

posted by Jana Riess

Call it Lord of the Rings Syndrome (LOTRS). Remember how we all thought that The Return of the King was going to end with Aragorn’s coronation and the whole company bowing before the hobbits? It seemed fitting. But then the […]

To Kill a Mockingbird: Guest Blogger Matt Litton on Religion & Women in Harper Lee’s Classic

posted by Jana Riess

Here at Flunking Sainthood we’re happy to give some time to author Matt Litton, a teacher here in my adopted hometown of Cincinnati. Matt looks at Harper Lee‘s modern classic To Kill a Mockingbird — celebrating its 50th anniversary this […]

Bonhoeffer for Today: A Q&A with Biographer Eric Metaxas

posted by Jana Riess

Flunking Sainthood is delighted to talk today with author Eric Metaxas, whose study of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer sets a new standard for popular biography. It’s well-written! It’s fascinating! And it’s large enough to insulate your home! Eric, when Thomas Nelson […]

Why Do the Amish Love Mexican Food? And Other Amish Trivia

posted by Jana Riess

We’ve been way too serious here at Flunking Sainthood lately. And since no one knows how to have fun quite like the Amish, let’s spend some time with them. I have an enduring love affair with the Amish that started […]

Every Member an E-Missionary: The Updated Mormon.Org Site

posted by Jana Riess

This month witnesses a surprising development in the relaunching of mormon.org, the LDS Church’s website for visitors and non-Mormons. (It runs another website, lds.org, which is primarily geared for church members, with links to lessons, talks, lime Jell-O recipes, and […]

Did David Plot His Affair with Bathsheba? This Week in the Twible (2 Samuel 11-17)

posted by Jana Riess

Well, here we go. David’s turning evil. Even here at Flunking Sainthood, where there’s quite a lot of grace for spiritual screwups, these actions sure aren’t ones we want to emulate. David’s downfall happens quickly: he stays home from battle […]

Walls and Immigration Reform: Rev. Ben Daniel in the Huffington Post

posted by Jana Riess

The new Arizona immigration law is set to go into effect next week (July 29), and folks on both sides of the issue are busy marshaling their forces to either protest or implement it. Earlier this week, Arizona governor Jan […]

How Do You Unplug?: “Hamlet’s BlackBerry” and My Weekly Digital Sabbath

posted by Jana Riess

I heard a terrific NPR interview yesterday with William Powers, author of the new book Hamlet’s BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. I can’t wait to read the book, because he’s diagnosing a […]

A Glenn Beck Haiku / Contest Can Be Cathartic! / Poetic Justice

posted by Jana Riess

Fun, fun! The Religion News Service blog is reporting that representatives of Jewish Funds for Justice have received over 1,000 entries so far in their Glenn Beck haiku contest.They’re particularly interested in people’s haiku comebacks to Beck’s controversial statements in […]

Why Are Mormon Church Meetings So Dull?

posted by Jana Riess

A couple of years ago I read the memoir Sundays in America by Suzanne Strempek Shea, a Massachusetts novelist. The author’s project was to attend a different religious service every weekend and write about her initial impressions. I felt that […]

King David’s Impressive Resumé: Five Major Accomplishments as King (2 Samuel 4-10)

posted by Jana Riess

You probably know that next week I’m going to rag on David for little things like adultery, murder, bad parenting and the like. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer all the time, though, so I thought I’d devote […]

There Be Witches in YA! A Review of “Beautiful Creatures”

posted by Jana Riess

You’ve probably noticed that I love YA and  read far too much of it, but people find out about my passion and then they keep recommending novels. . . . Darn you, people! And darn you, Kevin Stanford, for recommending […]

Should Moms of Young Kids Get to Skip Church Sometimes? Guest Blogger Ellen Painter Dollar Says Yes

posted by Jana Riess

Here at Flunking Sainthood we’re always open to people telling it how it is. Today we welcome guest truth-teller Ellen Painter Dollar, who blogs for Her.meneutics at Christianity Today, on those days when you just can’t quite rustle up the […]

The Top Ten Ways Authors Sabotage Their Non-Fiction Book Proposals: What Not to Do if You Want to Get Published

posted by Jana Riess

I got another of those book proposals recently (in my day job, Gentle Reader, I am a part-time acquisitions editor at Westminster John Knox Press). The author had spat out something half-baked, and then seemed surprised when I was critical […]

Mormons and Gays After Proposition 8: Guest Blogger Carol Lynn Pearson on LDS Efforts to Build Bridges in Berkeley

posted by Jana Riess

By Carol Lynn Pearson Imagine: A room filled to overflowing with LDS Church members there to listen to several gay and lesbian people speak of their spiritual journeys–Pentecostal, Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, Jewish, Religious Scientist, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, LDS–and most […]

Thufferin’ Thuccotash!: On Saul, David, and Killing Kings (1 Sam 29-2 Sam 3)

posted by Jana Riess

You know those old Warner Brothers cartoons where Sylvester keeps trying to kill Tweety Bird? It’s a good image for the dramedy that framed last week’s Twible chapters, in which Saul keeps trying (unsuccessfully) to murder David, his usurper for […]

Demon Seeks Exorcist, Good-Looking, 25-35: Casting Call for New Show on the Discovery Channel

posted by Jana Riess

Friends, I received the casting call below from Stephanie Frasco, who asked me to post it to the blog. The Discovery Channel is seeking a swashbuckling young exorcist type to co-host a documentary series on eeeeeee-vil. So if you dream […]

Attendance is Down, But Giving is Up? Good and Bad News in Recent Research from the US Congregational Life Survey

posted by Jana Riess

Yeah, I admit it. I enjoy wonky sociology books about religion–how many adherents, where they live, what they believe, what they eat for breakfast. So I knew I’d be pretty interested in Cynthia Woolever and Deborah Bruce’s Field Guide to […]

Finding God (Again) After Losing Your Job: Guest Blogger Bob Fryling

posted by Jana Riess

I’m working in Nashvegas for most of this week, so Flunking Sainthood welcomes two guest bloggers (the other will be Carol Lynn Pearson on Saturday). Today we hear from my dear friend Bob Fryling, who has recently written an excellent […]

Yes, Robert Pattinson, There Really Are Mormon Themes in “Twilight”

posted by Jana Riess

I hate to disagree with Robert Pattinson. He’s just so darn beautiful. But when His Hunkiness goes public with ignorant statements like the following, I have to beg to differ. And hope that he won’t crush my skull. “I think […]

The Red, White & Blue Envelope, Please: Answers to Our July 4 Quiz

posted by Jana Riess

On Tuesday we interrupted this blog’s usual silliness to bring you an actual history quiz, based on a terrific book I’m editing: Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? by John Fea. The book will be out in February. If […]

How Long Does It Take to Turn Evil? David, Saul & the Dark Side in This Week’s Twible (1 Samuel 22-28)

posted by Jana Riess

We’ve all heard the saying: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That’s come home to me anew in this week’s chapters of the Twible. How long does it take for political leaders to turn sour? Political leaders who start […]

The Eclipse-d First Filler Novella of Stephenie Meyer: A Review of Bree Tanner

posted by Jana Riess

You’ve got your work cut out for you when you’re Stephenie Meyer. When you dare to write an in-between novella, the same people who criticized your doorstopping tomes of old now complain that you’re holding out on them by penning […]

Indomitable Iconoclast: Q&A with Stanley Hauerwas

posted by Jana Riess

A personal memoir from a theologian? Now, that’s not something you see very often. And not just any theologian. This is Stanley Hauerwas, a man that Time magazine lauded as “the best theologian in America.” I’ve got no argument with […]

July 4 Pop Quiz: How Much Do You Know about America’s Religious Roots?

posted by Jana Riess

Are you a Yankee Doodle Dandy? Take this 10-question quiz to find out! I’ll post the answers and some explanations on Saturday. (And yes, I know you’re just going to look up the answers on Google. Here at Flunking Sainthood […]

Why the Mormon Church is True

posted by Jana Riess

People in my congregation sometimes make reference to the idea that the LDS Church is the “only true Church” on the face of the earth. Such formulations nearly always make me uncomfortable. As I’ve stated here before, I’m basically a […]

Were David and Jonathan Gay Lovers? This Week in the Twible (1 Samuel 15-21)

posted by Jana Riess

This week’s Twible readings cover the Bible’s finest bromance: the love between David and Jonathan. The Bible doesn’t spill the exact details of how they met, but it’s clear that they’re kindred spirits from the start. Jonathan’s heart is “knit” […]

Good-Bye, Lisbeth Salander: A Review of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

posted by Jana Riess

Apparently in Sweden, everyone who works in counter-intelligence drives a neutral-colored Volvo. Even when you’re engaged in international espionage, it’s vital to stay safe. That’s one of a number of important lessons I learned from reading The Girl Who Kicked […]

Donna Freitas Dishes on Sex, Catholic Clergy Scandals, and Her Beautiful New Novel “This Gorgeous Game”

posted by Jana Riess

Donna Freitas (FRAY-tus) has carved out a career as a religion scholar focusing on young adults’ spirituality and sexuality (Sex and the Soul, Oxford). But in her other life, she’s also a YA novelist whose first book, The Possibilities of […]

Harry Potter, Patheos, and the One Book Christians Should Read This Summer

posted by Jana Riess

There’s a thought-provoking blog discussion going on today, where lots of Theobloggers have been asked the question: Apart from the Bible, what book has most deeply affected your faith life in the past ten years?  And, is there any book […]

The Mormon Domestication of Deborah: What the LDS Gospel Doctrine Manual Did to One Kick-Butt Biblical Woman

posted by Jana Riess

Recently my ward’s Gospel Doctrine class tackled the Book of Judges, which the LDS teacher’s manual handles in one tidy lesson, #19. “Who was Deborah?” asked the teacher. “A prophetess,” piped up our bishop’s wife, who is probably the best […]

Mormons to be Exterminated by Federal Government: An Important Religion Update by the Satireday Review

posted by Jana Riess

Millions of American Mormons are about to be uprooted from their homes and families, according to reports by the Yakima Herald and the federal government. Many will be unceremoniously murdered. If all goes as planned, Mormons will soon be blotted […]

But Saul Used to Be Such a Nice Kid: This Week in the Twible (1 Samuel 9-14)

posted by Jana Riess

What the heck has happened to Saul? Remember how just a few chapters ago he was basically a nice guy, and maybe a little star-struck about suddenly becoming king? He was the guy that went out of his way to […]

Kate Gosselin Gets Religion: A New Book from “Kate Plus 8″ Star on Family and Faith

posted by Jana Riess

I blame my mother for introducing me to the Gosselin family. During one of her visits last year, TLC was running a marathon of Jon & Kate Plus 8, and Mom was glued to the screen. I watched several episodes […]

New Monasticism & The Emergent Church: FS Talks with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

posted by Jana Riess

What would it be like to really know your neighbors, and vow never to leave them? To commit to living in your same house, in your same neighborhood, for the rest of your life? That’s what Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of […]

Welcome to Flunking Sainthood

posted by Jana Riess

Welcome! If you’re here, I’m assuming it’s because you enjoy discovering the lighter side in the world of religion, or because you’re interested in reviews of new books and TV shows, or because my mother told you to come and […]

Previous Posts

Another blog to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Flunking Sainthood. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Fellowship of Saints and Sinners Happy Reading!!! ...

posted 3:12:01pm Jul. 05, 2012 | read full post »

Thank You, Flunking Sainthood Readers!
OK, I admit it. I have a Google Alert on the title Flunking Sainthood, so that the search engine lets me know when there are new reviews or discussions about the book. In the last few weeks it has been exciting -- and humbling -- to see the many ...

posted 12:41:10pm Jan. 25, 2012 | read full post »

NYC Conference on Mormonism & American Politics, February 3-4
"First Mitt won Iowa, then he lost Iowa? That's a classic Romney flip-flop." --Stephen Colbert     Working with the theory that there hasn't been nearly enough attention to Mormonism and politics this year, what with it being ...

posted 11:09:19am Jan. 23, 2012 | read full post »

Writing Retreat
Friends, I will be offline until January 23 for a writing retreat. I'm bringing my computer, ...

posted 8:47:20pm Jan. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Fun with the Book of Lamentations
Actually, no. That title was just a ...

posted 11:33:13am Jan. 13, 2012 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.