Recently, the Mormon apologetic organization FAIRMormon has released several aggressive new videos via their YouTube Channel starring the actors Kwaku El, Cardon Ellis, and Brad Witbeck. These videos are intended to appeal to younger Latter-day saints, but also launch aggressive attacks against me (John Dehlin) and Jeremy Runnells (author of the CES Letter). The historical accuracy/honesty of these videos has also been called into question by many.
Today we interview Anthony D. Miller – a wise and thoughtful post-Mormon – about these latest events. Some of the topics we hope to cover are listed below. We would also welcome your questions/comments.
Topics for today:
- Motivations behind Mormon apologetics.
- Differences between Mormon apologetics and critical scholarship
- Contrast traditional apologetics and more progressive, nuanced apologetics
- Examples of people who have shifted from apologetics towards critical scholarship, and their explanations as to “the why.”
- Examples of people who engage with critical scholarship, but operate within Mormonism with a mostly a metaphorical paradigm with an apologetic bent.
- Contrast how GenZ, Millennials, GenX, and Baby Boomers engage with information.
- How GenZ at times experiences fragility, catastrophizing, call-out culture, and perception of violence in speech, and how these things affect engagement with apologetics and scholarship. (Jonathan Haidt’s book, The Coddling of the American Mind).
- Current spectrum of apologetics
- Approaches and methods for distribution
- Firesides and conferences
- Radical Orthodoxy proclamation, Deznat, etc.
- Adaptations to respond to social media, YouTube, TikTok
- What we might expect going forward
- Will this approach work? Will it backfire? Is it ethical?