Will Dan McClellan become our savior?

A friend shared the above Instagram account of one Dan McClellan, who is – according to his bio – a PhD in theology & religion specializing in conceptualizations of deity, scripture & religious identity. At his blog, he says, “I currently work as a scripture translation supervisor for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, and I adjunct teach in the Ancient Scripture Department at Brigham Young University.”

The above video was shared with me specifically, but you can see the sheer volume of his work. The crux of his perspective is to share academic perspectives of extinguishing misinformation on the internet. In the above, Dan addresses the idea that Christmas and Easter are Christian holidays stolen from existing pagan holidays. You can watch it yourself, but basically he says there are lots of websites out there with misinformation, and there’s no real proof that the church ripped off the dates and put Christ on them instead of what the original celebrants gathered to fest.

I find McClellan to be quite interesting to listen to. What bothers me is that he speaks from a position of authority, staking claims without a large amount of citations, just claims that there aren’t many resources to backup the claim that December 25 or the date of we give to resurrection is somehow something that Christians stole for their own because Christians wanted to continue to celebrate the dates that they were already accustomed to.

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Book Diet 2022

Looking back over 2022, I read more than I thought I did. I’d love to do a media diet post, but the sheer volume of films was incredibly difficult to document. I watch an archival streaming site of movies/films and media called CathodeTV and I find it challenging (at best) to keep track. Those movies are on top of ones I watch with Tina.

Books, though, I can keep track a little easier, partly because I can look back on book app I use to borrow them from the library. I’m not going to review each one. But I will make a remark or two where I see fit.

If you don’t use your library to get books on your device(s), I strongly recommend it. We share our time in NC and Illinois, so I can get books from the Chicago network and the Winston-Salem one. There’s a lot of Stephen King, because I’m trying to get through as much of his work as possible.

Pet Semetery | Stephen King (3.5/5)

Educated | Tara Westover (4.5/5)
Favorite book this year. Autobiographical look at a woman who grew up in a poor, mormon home and came out on the other side with a great education and an amazing story.

It | Stephen King (3.75/5)

Elevation | Stephen King (4/5)

Exhalation | Ted Chiang (4/5)
Short stories that are sometimes a little boring, but overall, I enjoy them. When he writes in polite tones, old English-y, I wanna throw the book.

Worth Dying For | Lee Child (3.75/5)
I enjoy the pace and mindlessness of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher character.

101 Essays That will Change the way you think | Brianna Wiest (meh/5)
Bored. Life unchanged.

Revival | Stephen King (4/5)

Calypso | David Sederis (4.5/5)
Reread, but so good. So funny. When I was old enough to listen to NPR on my own, I reveled, because the local NC station featured Sedaris essays often, and they cracked me up.

Stories of Your Life and Others | Ted Chiang (4/5)
Again, some of the stories I get yawn-y, but when they’re good, they’re good.

Later | Stephen King (4.25/5)
One of my favorite shorter Stephen Kings I’ve read in a while. It’s about a guy who sees dead people, and it’s a fun twist on the movie idea in Sixth Sense.

City of Scoundrels The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago | Gary Krist (4.35/5)
I bought this at a friend’s bookstore on his recommendation, and it’s worth a look at the historical picture of Chicago. Recommend!