For Parts One and Two of this special two-part interview we are joined by ex-Mormon apologist Michael Flournoy for a detailed and highly-personal conversation on his new autobiographical book, Falling into Grace : How a Mormon Apologist Stumbled into Christianity, published in August 2020.
Brought up in the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", Michael Flournoy spent three decades as an ardent follower of the LDS religion. After serving as an LDS missionary in Anaheim California, where he gained experience in publicly debating Evangelical Christians, Michael went on to publish a book entitled, "A Biblical Defense of Mormonism", and continued to debate Christians online and in public. In 2015 he decided to devote himself to studying the subject of "grace" in the Bible in order to become a more effective advocate for Mormon beliefs, only to find his world turned upside-down by the very God of Grace he sought to understand.
TMR is very pleased to welcome Michael back to the show, who joined us back in 2015 for an online debate in his then role as a Mormon apologist.
In-between interviews over the coming weeks, we shall continue the TMR Movie Roundtable with a growing list of titles that connect with themes covered on the podcast over the last several years.
Top of the list at the moment—and in no definite order—are: Silent Running, the 1972 environmentalist post-apocalyptic science fiction film from 1972, starring Bruce Dern; THX 1138, George Lucas's first feature film from 1971, starring Donald Pleasance and Robert Duvall; Minority Report, the conceptual-science-fiction action film from 2002, starring Tom Cruise; Close Encounters of the Third Kind (which needs no introduction); and Hearts and Minds, the famous documentary film about the Vietnam War from 1974, directed by Peter Davis.
(Several other films are being considered, but I'm keeping those quiet for now. If you have any suggestions, do let me know.)
Our roundatble guests will be drawn from the usual talented crew—Frank Johnson, Mark Campbell, GK, Johnny Iron and Anthony Rotunno—but you never know, the guest list keeps growing, so there's no telling what will happen.
We shall welcome once again the one and only Alan "Howling Laud" Hope, leader of the UK's Official Monster Raving Loony Party, for an interview on his new book "The Great White Hope : The Life and Times of Alan ‘Howling Laud’ Hope".
"Alan ‘Howling Laud’ Hope – Hampshire lad, father, grandfather, Rock and Roll star, hotelier, publican, Mayor of Ashburton, and Leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. The longest serving Party Leader in Great Britain in over 150 years. A man who has rubbed shoulders with Prime Ministers and Rock Stars, and everyone in between. A man who enjoys life. A life of many highs, and some lows. If you have an interest in politics, are excited by Rock and Roll, or both, you should read this book and trace Alan’s life from the birth of Rock and Roll to today’s political confusions. And for the very first time, you can read the full story of when Alan sent The Beatles packing with their tails between their legs in December 1961. Alan has lived his life to the full. Or better, has lived all his lives to the full. Some might say that Alan takes the ‘P’ out of ‘Politics’. But Alan would just say: “It’s all been ‘Sutch’ good fun!” "—Publicity
We shall welcome once again the theologian and lecturer Dr. Martin Erdmann, Director of the Verax Institute, for a follow-up interview on the subject of Civil Religion.
"American Civil Religion is the most effective rival religion to true Christianity in the US"—Martin Erdmann
As a fish is unaware of the water in which it swims, so the majority of Americans do not perceive that there exists in the US today a state religion, incompatible with true Christianity, yet not openly opposed to it. Feeding on the many symbols, events, ideals and heroes of America's history and public life, and borrowing from the language and metaphors of Christianity, this state religion vies for the allegiance of every citizen. Arguing that every state cultivates its own particular brand of civil religion, Dr. Erdmann encourages us to stand firm when our allegiance to Christ is challenged by the state, and advises us to remain vigilant as we approach the days of a global civil religion.
The interview will explore Dr. Dentith's own research, as a PhD philosopher, on Conspiracy Theory Theory, and include discussion of various views as expressed in the edited collection.
Matthew Dentith, PhD (Auckland), is the author of The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories (Palgrave, 2014), the first single-author book-length treatment of the philosophical issues surrounding conspiracy theory, and editor of Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018), an edited collection of the most recent work on conspiracy theory theory. He has been a Fellow in the Institute for Research in the Humanities (ICUB) at the University of Bucharest, and the New Europe College in Bucharest. His current research project focuses on conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory theory, and secrecy.