“Columbus Ledger-Inquirer”: “Longtime Mormon seeks to educate masses with new book”

Aquatic Georgia

  It's a worthy effort.  The article, published by a newspaper based in Columbus, Georgia, has -- as could easily have been predicted -- brought out a number of haters and religious bigots.  But it's a decent article, in and of itself: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/living/religion/article58805308.html Of course, neither the book nor the article was written for bigots or haters.  There are sane, decent people out there -- the "silent majority," as i … [Read more...]

“Capernaum bears witness of Christ”

St. Peter's Church, Capernaum

   Here's a column that I published nearly six years ago in the Deseret News, about one of my favorite biblical sites in the land of Israel: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700038919/Capernaum-bears-witness-of-Christ.html?pg=all   … [Read more...]

“Half-Time” in Ancient Rome

Lion with Christians

  Some propagandists for atheism would have you believe that, in order to be truly evil, humans must be motivated by religion.  This article provides convincing evidence -- though vastly more such evidence could be supplied, from every era and every culture -- that such insinuations are historically unsupportable and, indeed, blatantly untrue: http://www.livescience.com/53615-horrors-of-the-colosseum.html  It was, in fact, only with t … [Read more...]

President Uchtdorf recounts his childhood experience as a two-time refugee

Präsident Uchtdorf, Mitglied der Ersten Präsidentschaft

  A brief article with some still photographs, accompanied by a video that lasts just slightly more than three minutes: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/dieter-uchtdorf-recounts-childhood-refugee-ordeal?cid=HP_FR_2-5-2016_dPAD_fMNWS_xLIDyL2-1_   … [Read more...]

BOM 2 Nephi 19

Israel and Judah (and Moab and Syria and etc.)

  Today's reading, 2 Nephi 19 (= Isaiah 9) is full of messianic language.  No wonder it’s been a favorite over many Christian generations. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined” (verse 2). From a Christian point of view, Isaiah seems to conflate the first coming of the Savior with his second: “For every battle of the warrior is wit … [Read more...]

“13 Hours”

The poster for "13 Hours"

  Well, I finally saw 13 Hours. It's a very gripping movie, and not really -- despite how we know the story turned out -- as much of a downer as I had expected it to be.  Nor, although there's obviously plenty of violence in it, was it unduly graphic.  I went partly out of duty, both as an Arabist and as a political junkie.  But it's a good film. It's not as political as it could have been, and it mentions neither Barack Obama nor his Secretary of S … [Read more...]

What is humility?

Cambridge, UK, with green

  Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less. C. S. Lewis    … [Read more...]

“What Next for the Left?”

UVa's "Rotunda"

  My friend Ralph Hancock calls my attention to this somewhat longish but brilliant essay by James W. Ceaser of the University of Virginia: http://www.weeklystandard.com/what-next-for-the-left/article/2000801#.VrYVAKnoqAk.facebook Its insights and implications go far beyond mere partisan politics, and even beyond politics altogether.   … [Read more...]