Margaret Barker and the Maxwell Institute

Barker, Margaret, from Wikipedia

  LOL.  I've just happened upon the suggestion, offered pseudonymously online (natch!), that the changes at the Maxwell Institute in 2012 may have been motivated by a desire to persuade the extraordinarily interesting British biblical scholar Margaret Barker to publish with the Institute.  It seems that, until my brand of apologetic pseudo-scholarship was surgically removed from the organization, she and other serious non-Mormon scholars would have nothing to do with i … [Read more...]

“Hebrew Inscriptions”

One of the treasures found at Sillwan

  John Gee weighs in, yet again, on the general topic of history and the Hebrew scriptures, which has been a matter of controversy online over the past few weeks: http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2015_01_01_archive.html It's a discussion that I've proposed continue directly between the three main interlocutors, so that corrections might be made, positions clarified, implications teased out, viewpoints refined, and the air cleared.  I think that w … [Read more...]

“The Parable of Chesterton’s Fence”

CU Boulder

  One of my favorite LDS commentators, Cassandra Hedelius, reflects upon one of my favorite comments from G. K. Chesterton: http://ldsmag.com/the-parable-of-chestertons-fence/   … [Read more...]

“A tribute to heroes in the kingdom”

The Salt Lake Tabernacle organ (Wikimedia Commons)

  This week's Thursday Deseret News Peterson column has appeared: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865620073/A-tribute-to-heroes-in-the-kingdom.html   … [Read more...]

“Who’s Afraid of Secularism (4): Humility, Patience, and Progressive ‘Moral Convictions’”

Salftleven, "Rhineland Fantasy View" (probably Dutch?)

  Another thoughtful piece from my friend and BYU colleague Ralph Hancock: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/soulandcity/2015/01/whos-afraid-of-secularism-4-humility-patience-and-progressive-moral-convictions/   … [Read more...]

How to interact with others

Somewhere in Norway, maybe?

  "Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again." Og Mandino (d. 1996)    … [Read more...]

“How Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ led a radical Muslim to moderation”

A view of Cairo and the Nile

  Here's an interesting personal story: http://www.npr.org/2015/01/15/377442344/how-orwells-animal-farm-led-a-radical-muslim-to-moderation I don't think that we're fighting the war of ideas anywhere near as well as we should be.  This story, though, shows that it can sometimes be won.   … [Read more...]

More on history and the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament)

Where Bill Dever did much of his fieldwork

  John Gee has posted another pair of interesting (and informed) reflections on the question of history (or historicity) and the Hebrew scriptures, a topic of some recent controversy in the small world of the Mormon bloggernacle: http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2015/01/notes-on-israelite-scribal-training-i.html http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2015/01/once-more-on-chroniclers-sources.html   … [Read more...]


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