“Making God in Our Own Image to Cast Aside His Prophets”

I THINK it's from Wikimedia Commons.

  An important comment from a young observer of the Mormon scene: http://www.studioetquoquefide.com/2014/12/making-god-in-our-own-image-to-cast.html   … [Read more...]

Music of Christmas 27

Cuba Libre!

  Responding to my request for a Cuban Christmas song, my Havana-born daughter-in-law suggests this one, Felicidades, by the Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cORUlthO04w&app=desktop Cuba proper, under the rule of the Brothers Castro, hasn't been a very favorable place for Christmas meditations or celebrations, so it's fitting, I suppose, that we turn for a Christmas song to the Cuban exile … [Read more...]

“Advent refers to Christ’s second coming”

This wreath (not wraith) brought to you by Wikimedia Commons

  Here's a column that Bill Hamblin and I did for the Deseret News back in 2012: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765617836/Advent-refers-to-Christs-2nd-Coming.html For Christmas 2012 and Christmas 2014, I actually did two series of "Advent" posts here on this blog.  But they were a lot of work, and they seemed to draw minimal interest, so I didn't bother with marking Advent on my blog this year. Nevertheless, I rather wish that … [Read more...]

The Qur’an on Mary and Jesus

From Surat al-Anbiya’

   "And [as for] her who guarded her chastity, We breathed of our Spirit into her and we made her and her son a sign to the worlds."  (Qur’an 21:91)   … [Read more...]

What kind of “poor”?

A mural of Oscar Romero

  Perhaps I should be clear about how I interpret the quotation from Archbishop Romero that I posted early this morning. I don't take him to mean that you can't have a true Christmas unless you're in debt, or unemployed, or working at a subsistence job, or living in a slum or a hovel. He's saying that you can't have a true Christmas unless you're "poor in spirit" (see Matthew 5:3). Unless you realize that, ultimately, you're not … [Read more...]

New Testament 10

From Wikimedia Commons, map of Egypt

  Matthew 2:13-21 Matthew's account of the flight into Egypt exhibits nicely one of the signature elements of his style and approach -- his constant effort to illustrate how Jesus fulfills Old Testament prophecies.  And it demonstrates how he reads those prophecies. For example, in 2:15, he says that the exile of Jesus and his parents fulfills the prophecy given in Hosea 11:1, "Out of Egypt have I called my son."  However, when that verse is read i … [Read more...]

“How academia’s liberal bias is killing social science”

Wikimedia Commons is boring to write

  Geoff Biddulph called this article to my attention: http://theweek.com/article/index/273736/how-academias-liberal-bias-is-killing-social-science Very interesting.  And parts of it ring particularly true to my personal experience in academia, particularly (of course) beyond BYU.   … [Read more...]

Who can celebrate a genuine Christmas?

King, Romero, Bonhoeffer

  No one can celebrate a genuine Christmas without being truly poor. The self-sufficient, the proud, those who, because they have everything, look down on others, those who have no need ever of God — for them there will be no Christmas. Only the poor, the hungry, those who need someone to come on their behalf, will have that someone. That someone is God, Emmanuel, God-with-us. Without poverty of spirit there can be no abundance of God.  (Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero [a … [Read more...]