The Mormon’s Moment


 Whether you're a Latter-day Saint or not, whether you're a conservative or a Republican or not, you surely have to admit that last night was truly historic. I'm sitting, right now, in the Salt Lake Airport, bound for New York City and then for Istanbul.  The trip is going to be fascinating, I suppose.  I've been to Turkey a few times before, and really love the place.  But, as a true political junky, it's going to be very difficult for me to be even slightly separated from … [Read more...]

Home Teaching and the Problem of Evil

The Problem of Evil

   The problem of evil is one of the greatest, most substantial, challenges to theistic belief.  Why do such horrific things befall often innocent people, including children?  Isn't the whole Darwinian struggle for survival of the fittest, in a natural world that's red in tooth and claw, incompatible with the existence of a loving God?  Where was that loving God during the Japanese tsunami or the Indian Ocean earthquake or the Nazi Holocaust?  Given great evils, can … [Read more...]

“Mormon Studies Get a New Online Voice”

This is going to be great.

  There are at least two embarrassing glitches in this article (embarrassing, anyway, for an obsessive-compulsive such as I):  two occurrences of "new" in the very first sentence and a misplaced initial quotation mark.  I'm not responsible for the first.  I checked; a Deseret News editor must have changed my opening words.  But I'm guilty of the second, alas. Anyway, today's column for the Deseret News is about what I genuinely regard as among the most exciting … [Read more...]

A Bit More Good Press for Mia Love

Mia Love, running for Congress from Utah's 4th District

  The wonderfully named Mia Love's speech at the Republican National Convention went over extremely well, which means that she made very good use of a rare and extraordinary opportunity for a small-town mayor who's running for Congress.  Overnight, she's become a star.  Which pleases me very much, though, frankly, it doesn't surprise me a lot:   … [Read more...]

Announcing the First Interpreter Podcast


  The ever-growing Interpreter website now includes not only a blog (look under "Other Posts") but a podcast.  Bill Hamblin and I just recorded it this afternoon.  For twenty-five minutes -- delightful or agonizingly dull or even viciously mean-spirited, depending on one's perspective (or, perhaps, on one's degree of sanity) -- we discuss the origin of Interpreter itself, the reason for launching it, and the kinds of things that it does and will d … [Read more...]

“How Will You Answer?”

The Omega Nebula

 Despite the way some of my detractors like to characterize me, I don't demonize those with whom I disagree.  Good and honest people can see things very differently.  (Which is not quite to say that all of the people of whom I'm critical are good and honest.  A few of them, sadly, don't seem to be, and, in fact, a small handful of them have spent a great deal of time and effort seeking to demonize me.  But the general point holds.) Although I think he's spectacularly wrong o … [Read more...]

A Report from the Beginning of Fall Term, 2012

Brigham Young University, a view toward the north

  Brigham Young University's fall academic term began on Monday. My own classes began on Tuesday. I'm teaching MESA 250 -- "Introduction to Islam" -- and MESA 467R -- a course on the Qur’an that will read and discuss the text in English -- along with an independent readings course (Arabic 490R). I'm happy to report that things are still going well, that I haven't fallen catastrophically behind yet. That's quite an a … [Read more...]

A New Blog, and More on Ben Witherington’s Argument for Excluding Mormons from Christendom

"He is Not Here," by Latter-day Saint artist Walter Rane

   I'm pleased to announce that the ever-growing, ever-improving site for Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture now features a blog. And on that blog now, by the way, is a response by Prof. William J. Hamblin to Ben Witherington's attempt, yesterday, to bar the gate of Christendom against Mormons. Professor Hamblin's reply joins the response from Kevin Barney that is mentioned here.  … [Read more...]