“The Unsung Hero of Western Science”

    Almost every educated person has heard of Aristotle.  How many recognize the name Theophrastus?   http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/06/the-man-who-invented-botany/485780/     [Read more…]

“Are you looking for a church with perfect leaders?”

    My Deseret News column for today is up:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865655847/Are-you-looking-for-a-church-with-perfect-leaders.html   Thus far, though, my regular atheist non-fans don’t seem to be awake.     [Read more…]

“Civil Society: Faith in the Public Square”

    The third of three articles in a series issued by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:   http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/civil-society-faith-public-square   For links to the first two, see here:   Pluralism and Civil Society     [Read more…]

“Trump’s Mormon Problem: ‘That’s Not How We Roll in Utah'”

    I have to say that, on this issue, I’m very proud of my adopted state and of my co-religionists:   https://www.yahoo.com/news/trumps-mormon-problem-thats-not-000000099.html   I do sometimes wonder, though, whether Mr. Trump, who is well known for holding grudges and for seeking to punish those who fail to genuflect before him with sufficient enthusiasm, might [Read More…]

An evening of Mark Twain

    I know that I sound like a broken record: I’ve said this many times.  But the Hale theaters are a Wasatch Front treasure.   With a friend tonight, my wife and I enjoyed dinner at the Market Street Grill in South Jordan and then attended a first-rate performance of the musical Big River [Read More…]

Introducing the Arabs

    I’m working on an introductory book about Islam and Muslims that I’m aiming at a Latter-day Saint audience.  (It will be a heavily revised version of the second edition of my earlier Abraham Divided, but so substantially altered and updated that I don’t regard it as merely a third edition; it will bear a [Read More…]

Seeking our Cincinnatus

    In his treatise Cato Maior de Senectute — generally called, in English, On Old Age — the Roman orator, master Latin prose stylist, philosopher, and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero writes about a semi-legendary figure from even earlier Roman history by the name of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.   Widely respected in Rome for his successful battle [Read More…]

The Continuing Crisis

    A news report this morning says that Mr. Donald Trump is thinking seriously about breaking with tradition at the upcoming Republican national convention:  He may speak all four evenings.   Good grief.  If this doesn’t demonstrate the fact that Trumpism is a weird political personality cult, that it’s an American instantiation of the [Read More…]

Responding to Robert Bowman

    Robert M. Bowman, Jr., is a professional Evangelical polemicist often writes and speaks against Mormonism.  To his considerable credit, he’s both much brighter and substantially nicer and more civil than many in his profession, and my interactions with him have been relatively pleasant.   Here, though, are three pieces in which the redoubtable Robert [Read More…]

“Book Review: ‘Let Your Hearts and Minds Expand: Reflections on Faith, Reason, Charity, and Beauty'”

    A new book is out, anthologizing essays by the Latter-day Saint Russian scholar and playwright Thomas F. Rogers.   Tom has been a friend of mine since I was a student and he was the director of BYU’s Honors Program.  My wife, while an undergraduate, directed his stage adaptation of Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man [Read More…]