“Confronting Five-Point Calvinism”

John Calvin: A very great mind, but, from the Latter-day Saint perspective, grievously wrong on some very fundamental matters

  I was so far out in the woods of northern Idaho between Friday and late Monday evening, and my internet connection was so problematic (at best), that I fell behind on announcements from The Interpreter Foundation. On Friday -- the productivity continues like regular clockwork -- Interpreter published a book review by Professor Louis C. Midgley of a critique of Calvinism written by a well-known evangelical historian of theology.  Interesting material. … [Read more...]

“Seek Ye Earnestly the Best Gifts”

A priesthood blessing

  I'm very happy to announce that The Interpreter Foundation's nineteenth (19th) "scripture roundtable" has just been posted: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/scripture-roundtable-19-dc-gospel-doctrine-lesson-15-seek-ye-earnestly-the-best-gifts/ This one features Craig Foster and Martin Tanner (and, for the last portion, one Daniel Peterson) and covers 2o13 Gospel Doctrine lesson fifteen.  The focus is essentially on Doctrine and Covenants … [Read more...]

Humility and Gay Marriage

Of marriage

  Every once in a while -- quite unpredictably -- I’ve been able to get good enough reception on my iPhone to be able not only to receive and make calls but to be able to read a few things on the Web.  And then, without my moving so much as an inch and without any other change that I can discern, I lose contact. Here’s an interesting item that I just read on the topic of same-sex marriage, which seems, right now, to be sweeping all opposition before it like dew … [Read more...]

A few thoughts on the latest announcement from The New Maxwell Institute

The seal or logo of Yale University.  "Lux et Veritas," it reads: "Light and Truth."  And the Hebrew says "Urim and Thummim."  Like virtually all early American (and English and European and Middle Eastern) universities, Yale was founded as a religious institution.  Like most American (and English and European) universities, it has abandoned its committed, religious roots.

  Several people have asked me my reaction to the new editorial team for the new Mormon Studies Review being launched by The New Maxwell Institute in pursuit of its "new course." (I notice, by the way, that the new Mormon Studies Review will be numbered as if it were wholly without predecessor, even though the Maxwell Institute -- of course, it was the bad old Maxwell Institute, not the new, detoxed one -- already published an issue of the Mormon Studies Review … [Read more...]

Idaho Volunteerism

The increasingly familiar yellow "Mormon Helping Hands" shirts

  The local Sandpoint magazine is excited to note that a national study ranks Idaho second among the fifty American states in terms of volunteerism. This is, indeed, something of which to be proud. The fact that the only state outranking Idaho is Utah makes me wonder whether this high level of volunteerism isn’t a Mormon-driven phenomenon.  I’m guessing that it is. The Mormon population up here in the Idaho panhandle isn’t especially hi … [Read more...]

A miserable anniversary


   A year ago today, the worst year of my life began. A nephew called to tell us that my brother had apparently had a major heart attack.  An hour or so later, he called again, to tell us that my brother—my only sibling, and, since the death of my parents in 2003 and 2005, the only survivor, besides me, of my nuclear family—had died. He had just about finished building a “cabin”—really, it’s a beautiful lodge—up in the forests of northern I … [Read more...]

The Shape of Things to Come?

A Detroit scene

   The best current affairs magazine in the English-speaking world, bar none, is The Economist, which is based in London but offers genuinely global coverage—and generally omits the pop cultural fluff that takes up too much space in the likes of Time and the formerly-printed-magazine-known-as-Newsweek.  One of its editorials in the 16-22 March issue (406/8827) is entitled “The America that works: Luckily, dysfunction in Washington is only one side of America’s story … [Read more...]

The King’s Spokane

A view of Spokane, Washington

  Flying into Spokane today, I began to wonder why the name of the city is pronounced Spo-KAN rather than Spo-KAYN. I mean, I flew into Spokane on a “plane,” not a “plan.” A “pram” is a pram, but a flame is a “flame.” The Fram presumably had a "frame," but it shouldn’t be confused with one. A person looking wan may have begun to wane, and you can, I suppose, break a windowpane with a pan, and Al may drink a lot of ale, and, … [Read more...]