“Al-Ghazali, Galileo, and Pope Benedict’s Critique of Secularism”

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  The other day, I noted an article in First Things that I found both provocative and somewhat wrong-headed, vowing that I would comment more fully on it within a few days. I'm still somewhat distracted (e.g., by visitors, and conferences, and certain other issues), but, fortunately, Ben Huff may have just relieved me of the obligation of saying certain things, since he's said them … [Read more...]

On “Mormon Stories”

A peaceful scene in the Alps

  The long-awaited and much discussed paper from Dr. Gregory L. Smith, "Dubious 'Mormon' Stories," is now online, accompanied by a second article, "The Return of the Unread Review," which follows it at the same location. A whirlwind of criticism has swirled around the first of the two articles for roughly a year now.  It’s been somewhat bizarre criticism, since virtually none of the critics have seen the article before now.  Yet that seemingly relevant fact has … [Read more...]

Gollum Sings “I Dreamed a Dream”

" . . . no fish untasted . . . "

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLpyBwBhoy0&feature=youtu.be   … [Read more...]

“Intersecting Convictions: Core Beliefs and Civil Dialogue”

I, unfortunately, will be unable to attend.

 I, unfortunately, will be out of town.  But, if you're available, perhaps you should attend:     … [Read more...]

“Mormonism and the Temple”

The Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  I'm pleased to announce the publication of a new book entitled Mormonism and the Temple: Examining an Ancient Religious Tradition.  Edited by Gary N. Anderson and published by the Academy for Temple Studies in Logan, Utah, it contains the proceedings of a conference that was held under the same title on the campus of Utah State University on 29 October 2012: Gary N. Anderson, Philip L. Barlow, and John W. Welch, "About This Publication" Philip L. … [Read more...]

Today’s Conference on Enoch and the Temple

The Apia Samoa Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  My wife and I spent most of the afternoon at a conference, held in the moot court room of BYU's law school and co-sponsored by the Academy for Temple Studies, on the subject of Enoch and the Temple.  Professor George Nickelsburg, perhaps the preeminent authority on the ancient Enoch literature today, was the keynote speaker. Responding to Professor Nickelsburg's paper was a panel consisting of Kent Brown, Bill Hamblin, Gordon Thomasson, Jack Welch, Jeff Bra … [Read more...]

“Reflecting on Gospel Scholarship with Abu al-Walid and Abu Hamid”

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  It's Friday, so it's time for yet another article in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture -- which certain militantly hostile critics have taken to dismissing as a "glorified blog" and/or a "smear rag." This article is entitled "Reflecting on Gospel Scholarship with Abu al-Walid and Abu Hamid" (I can't do the diacritical marks here), and was written by somebody who openly and admittedly … [Read more...]

“The Impossible”

Some parts (such as the above) are horrible to watch, and it's anything but a "feel-good" movie, but it's powerfully affecting.

  My wife and I finally saw The Impossible last night.  It's a very, very powerful film, and the acting (by Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, and their three movie "children") is superb.  I highly recommend it, wrenching though some of the early (and subsequent) scenes are.   … [Read more...]


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