New Testament 256

Rembrandt, Laborers in Vineyard

  Matthew 20:1-16Compare Matthew 19:30; Mark 10:31; Luke 13:30 It's common to dismiss or mock deathbed conversions. I certainly understand why this should be so.  Such "conversions" must, I assume, commonly be rather cynical, insincere, self-interested, and ultimately vain attempts at fooling the Supreme Being.  The time for sinning having run out, and eternity staring the sinner starkly in the face, the dying miscreant attempts to get into the … [Read more...]

Kelli O’Hara

O'Hara in DC

  My wife and I went out to dinner with friends tonight, and then, afterwards, attended a BYU concert with them by Kelli O'Hara. She arrived here in Utah yesterday, taking a break from her current role in the Broadway revival of The King and I, and she spent much of today in a master class with BYU music theater students.  I was impressed:  It's obvious that she really gave them her attention, and that she enjoyed it.  She had them come up on stage with her to s … [Read more...]

The universe is orderly, lawful, and rational — which should, perhaps, strike us as rather odd.

A photo of the Rosette Nebula

  "Scientific progress is the discovery of a more and more comprehensive simplicity. . . .  The previous successes give us confidence in the future of science: we become more and more conscious of the fact that the universe is cognizable."  (Father Georges Lemaître [1894-1966], Belgian astronomer, physicist, and priest, and, arguably, originator of the theory of the "Big Bang") "The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible."  ( … [Read more...]

“Faith films can’t be dismissed as irrelevant”

Poster for "Mormons Offer"

  Few religious-themed or religiously motivated films -- whether Mormon or non-Mormon -- have been particularly memorable.  But the effort is important, some have been fairly good, and the best is undoubtedly yet to come: Chris Hicks surveys some of the relatively recent offerings for the Deseret News:   … [Read more...]

“What will be the first great video game movie?”

Who the heck is Sheng Pai?

  Just calling attention to a piece by a talented young author who writes on movies for the Deseret News:   … [Read more...]

A response to a Book of Mormon “Heartlander”

R. E. Lee at Montrose

  I really, really, don't like to see the Saints divide over questions of Book of Mormon geography.  They're not actually that important.  They make for interesting discussion and even debate, but they shouldn't be occasions for impassioned argument, let alone for breaking fellowship or even for  schism. In all candor, I suppose that I should be counted among the "Mesoamericanists."  Not only because I like what I've read from John Sorenson, Mark Wright, David P … [Read more...]

New Testament 255

Two camels, posing

  Matthew 19:23-30Mark 10:23-31Luke 18:24-30Compare Luke 22:28-30 1. First of all, there's no evidence for an ancient gate in the walls of Jerusalem known as "the eye of a needle."  This attempt to explain these passages should be abandoned. 2. So these passages seem, at first glance, to be saying that it's flatly impossible for a rich person to be saved. 3. But Mark 10:24  ("how hard i … [Read more...]

On the theory of evolution and, separately, on the New Testament

Darwin's tree of life

  Today brings both a new article and a book review from Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, which, it seems, is taking an awfully long time to die: "A Treasure Trove of Questions" "The Theory of Evolution is Compatible with Both Belief and Unbelief in a Supreme Being" Enjoy!   … [Read more...]