Archives for February 2012

Mormon/Methodist Encounters

Here’s a conference that I would very much like to attend, and not only because I’m officially involved with the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, which is co-sponsoring the event.  Alas, though, a major exhibit of Islamic art is opening at the very same time in Brigham Young University’s Museum of Art, and I need to be in [Read More…]

The Hogar del Niño Project

A very worthwhile project, an orphanage in El Salvador that provides a home for 140 persons with disabilities, desperately needs volunteers this summer: Students typically make up the bulk of the volunteers.  If you’re interested, you can contact Rachel Nielson. Even if you can’t go, please spread the word to others. [Read more…]

The Candy Man

My economic views tend strongly in the libertarian direction, so this little ditty appealed to me .  (With thanks to Stan Barker, who brought it to my attention.) [Read more…]

A New Issue of JBMORS

I’m happy to report that the Maxwell Institute’s Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture 20/2 (2011) is out, albeit a tiny tad belatedly.  (In my time zone, at least, we’re already some distance into 2012.) Here’s a look at the Table of Contents: John L. Sorenson, “Mormon’s Sources” Terry B. Ball, [Read More…]

Church Humanitarian Service

Last Monday evening, I had the opportunity to join a small group in a neighbor’s house to hear from Garry Flake, the former head of humanitarian services for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I had heard him at least once or twice before in similar settings, but what he had to say [Read More…]

Baptism for the Dead: “It’s a Beautiful Thing”

I’ve long liked this brief video explaining “Why Mormons Build Temples.” At about the 1:16 mark, the late Krister Stendahl — an eminent New Testament scholar, as well as a former bishop of Stockholm in the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden and a former dean of Harvard Divinity School — has some extraordinarily positive and appreciative [Read More…]

Do Mormons Live in a Protective Bubble?

Today’s new column. When it first appeared on line this morning, it had been posted without its conclusion.  I’ve now gotten it fixed, so that it’s a bit less embarrassing to me. Unfortunately, I’ll bet that the hard copy version was also mutilated in that way.  I’m in California at the moment, so I don’t [Read More…]

Muhammad: Prophet of God

Just a few years ago, I published a biography entitled Muhammad: Prophet of God.  It was essentially my section from David Noel Freedman and Michael J. McClymond, eds., The Rivers of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus and Muhammad as Religious Founders, a hefty (and heftily-priced) volume that featured a foreword by the celebrated/controversial Swiss theologian Hans Küng. [Read More…]

Posthumous Baptisms of Holocaust Victims

An article has appeared on The Daily Beast (and may perhaps yet appear in its printed companion, Newsweek), about vicarious Latter-day Saint baptisms for Jewish Holocaust survivors, a controversial topic that has arisen yet again. I was interviewed for the article. There are several things in it on which I could comment, but, owing to lack [Read More…]

Mysteries of the Middle Ages

First off, I readily admit that Mysteries of the Middle Ages, the title of a book by Thomas Cahill, is a bit hokey.  It’s reminiscent of the worst kind of “documentary” on the History Channel or the Discovery Channel, or, even, of those billboards you still sometimes find along rural roads (“Astonishing Caves of Mystery!  [Read More…]