On not reading good books

Samuel Langhorn Clemens, by another name

  "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them." Mark Twain (1835-1910)    … [Read more...]

“Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God”

Galilee, Tiberias, looking eastward

  Jeffrey Bradshaw, Kristine Frederickson, Benjamin McGuire, Daniel Peterson, and Bruce Webster join up for The Interpreter Foundation's 107th "scripture roundtable": http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/scripture-roundtable-107-new-testament-gospel-doctrine-lesson-9-seek-ye-first-the-kingdom-of-god/ The discussion focuses on Lesson 9 in the 2015 Gospel Doctrine manual, which treats Matthew 6.   … [Read more...]

On the frontiers of geoengineering

Terraforming Mars

  A relatively recent article in the Economist ("Into the great wide open," 13 December 2014) describes forthcoming experiments that might be used to modify earth's climate. If, for example, low-lying maritime clouds -- that is, clouds over Earth's oceans -- could be made just a tiny bit brighter, thus reflecting sunlight back into space, terrestrial temperatures could be sufficiently lowered to compensate for any warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. … [Read more...]

New Testament 57

Perry Mason and his faithful secretary

  Matthew 5:33-37 Some Christian groups have, quite understandably, taken this passage to mean not merely that disciples of Jesus shouldn't swear falsely but that they should never take oaths (e.g., of citizenship) at all. But this seems to me mistaken, and quite impractical. Why?  Because our society runs on promises such as contracts, marriage covenants, and the like.  We could not, and should not, function without t … [Read more...]

Salt in the wound

Maui 2015

 My wife is really rubbing it in.  She sent these last night:     I think that I may change the locks on the doors of our house.   … [Read more...]

Two contrasting responses to the Church’s stance on gay rights and religious liberty

temple in NYC

  A gay activist welcomes the Church's stance on anti-discrimination protection: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/jonathan-rauch-gays-move-mormons-article-1.2097078 However, many -- this one, for example -- haven't been so enthusiastic.  It seems clear to me that some are demanding total surrender.  People who disapprove of homosexual acts must not only tolerate them but, effectively, endorse them.  Or be silent and in … [Read more...]

“The Christian example for modernizing Islam”

Abuja, Nigeria, mosque

  I've tried this link several times, and it's worked for me.  I hope it will continue to work for you, but my experiences with linking to the Wall Street Journal have, thus far, been negative.  Kevin Madigan, a historian of Christianity at Harvard Divinity School, offers his perspective on the current situation in Islam: http://www.wsj.com/articles/kevin-madigan-the-christian-example-for-modernizing-islam-1422578153   … [Read more...]

“Sister missionaries interviewed on ABC’s Nightline as ‘new face of Mormonism’”

Orlando, downtown

  If you have roughly seven minutes, I think you'll find this quite interesting: http://ldsliving.com/story/77938-sister-missionaries-interviewed-on-abcs-nightline-as-new-face-of-mormonism?utm_source=ldsliving&utm_medium=email I think ABC is going a bit overboard, of course.  We actually had female members in the Church even when I was young.   … [Read more...]