“The Kingdoms of Glory”

Issues of cosmic import

      The Interpreter Foundation has just put its twenty-fourth "scripture roundtable" up online, this one on lesson twenty in the 2013 Gospel Doctrine manual.  The discussion features Andrew Smith and Lincoln Hale, both of whom are at the Claremont Graduate University in California, and Ben McGuire, who is based in Michigan, and it focuses upon Doctrine and Covenants 76, 131, 132, and … [Read more...]

“The Fall of the Early Christian Church was Almost Inevitable”

Ordaining the Twelve

    In case you haven't seen it, here's the Deseret News column from Thursday.  I'm a bit late in noting it.  Jet lag, and a different time zone, and days crammed full with obligations, and spotty internet access will do that.   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865578897/The-fall-of-the-early-Christian-church-was-almost-inevitable.html   As they often are, the reader comments to this article (dominated mostly by the usual suspects) are full, among … [Read more...]

God’s Universal Love, and the Continuing Human Failure to Emulate It

Jaffa, walking toward it from Tel Aviv (i.e., from the north).
The tower is that the St. Peter's Church, commemorating his vision in the home of Simon the Tanner

  I'm serving as an outside reader for a master's thesis at a university on the east coast of the United States, and I read it through on the flight to Israel the other day.  It outlines different scenarios for the future of the Middle East, based, to a considerable degree, on the likelihood of greater or lesser Sunni/Shi‘ite cooperation over the next couple of decades.  The most probable scenario, according to the author of the thesis, isn't a particularly attractive one.  (Which … [Read more...]

“Muslim Leaders Condemn Bombing Suspects”

The Sultanahmet or Blue Mosque in Istanbul, one of the most glorious cities in the world

    Here's something that I nearly missed, but that's worth reading:   http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/20/muslim-leaders-condemn-bombing-suspects/     … [Read more...]

Fundamental change in the Middle East might take a few more minutes

King John and the barons at Runnymede in AD 1215

    In response to my recent blog posts on Islam and violence, some anti-Islamic readers (writing here, on Facebook, and in personal emails) have pointed out to me that the Middle East and the Islamic world generally are places prone to violence, the oppression of women, undemocratic regimes, and disrespect for human rights.  This, they suggest -- when they aren't absolutely screaming it -- demonstrates Islam to be evil, intrinsically backward, and so on and so … [Read more...]

“Islamic Terrorism”

Gun and Holy Book

    Perhaps relevant to the recent violence in Boston, a column that Bill Hamblin and I did for Meridian Magazine back in 2003:   http://www.ldsmag.com/article/4457     … [Read more...]

“Is Mormon Studies Possible at a Mormon University?”

On the campus of Claremont Graduate University

        A very thoughtful article elsewhere on Patheos:   http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peculiarpeople/2013/04/is-mormon-studies-possible-at-a-mormon-university/   (Not, of course, that that's a first.)     … [Read more...]

John Newton and “Amazing Grace”

The plan of a slave ship

    Here's a golden oldie, a column that Bill Hamblin and I published nearly ten years ago, just after the death of my father, in Meridian Magazine:   http://ldsmag.com/article/4467?Itemid=   It seems to be suffering from one or two odd mechanical glitches, but I hope and think that it remains worth a reading.     … [Read more...]


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