“Born Again”

L. Cranach der Ältere

  Jeff Bradshaw, Bruce Webster, Mike Parker, Ben McGuire, and Dan Peterson discuss John 3-4 (the focus of Lesson 5 in the 2015 Gospel Doctrine manual) in The Interpreter Foundation's one hundred and third (103rd) scripture roundtable, now posted: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/scripture-roundtable-103-new-testament-gospel-doctrine-lesson-5-born-again/   … [Read more...]

“On the Opprobrium of Apologetics”

A green meadow with trees

  There have been a number of attacks recently on the practice of apologetics within the Latter-day Saint community.  Some of these attacks are rather puzzling, since they purport to be motivated by a desire to defend the academic study of religion and scripture -- to which few if any of the Mormon "apologists" I know (John Welch, say, or John Sorenson, or Noel Reynolds, or any of a host of others) have even the slightest objection.  (Quite the contrary, in f … [Read more...]

Dissent may or may not be permitted.

fighting a fire at Wikimedia

  I don't know enough about this case to be able to come to a firm conclusion regarding it.  But it worries me.  It's certainly possible that a prominent and apparently quite successful government employee was fired for expressing his religious viewpoint.  If so, that will represent simply one more erosion of our tradition of free expression and religious li … [Read more...]

“The Man in the Arena”

Teddy Roosevelt's finest sentiment

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New Testament 34

Temple in Maryland

  Matthew 4:18-22Mark 1:16-20 In these accounts, Jesus calls Galilean fishermen -- not Sadducean aristocrats or priests or scholarly Pharisees -- to serve as his apostles. I'm reminded of an experience from my undergraduate years.  A philosophy professor of mine went back for some sort of academic conference at Georgetown University right about the time of the open house for the new Washington DC Temple, and returned with a copy of the … [Read more...]

Academic and Devotional Approaches to Scripture

Got it?

  Sigh.  David Bokovoy is again suggesting that I haven't grasped the utterly obvious and simple distinction between academic and devotional approaches to scripture. He appears to estimate my IQ as somewhere in the range of 50-60. I have absolutely no problem with academic approaches to scripture. Let me restate that, for clarity:  I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM WITH ACADEMIC APPROACHES TO SCRIPTURE. I can't think of a time, … [Read more...]

Scientific expertise doesn’t always guarantee clear thinking elsewhere.

St. Paul's from the air

  "In praising science, it does not follow that we must adopt the very poor philosophies which scientific men have constructed. In philosophy they have much more to learn than to teach."  (W. R. Inge [1860-1954], Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, famous expert on Neoplatonism and Christian mysticism) Compare this.   … [Read more...]

“Expert tracks the top 10 ups and downs of Mormon growth”

First temple in Venezuela

  You may have missed this.  I think it offers some good material for discussion. We shouldn't assume that the Kingdom will roll forth without setbacks and without effort.  I think we may sometimes be much too complacent. That's one of the reasons I keep calling for every faithful member to be an active missionary, online and elsewhere.  The caravan won't move forward without our hard wo … [Read more...]