New Testament 167

The Pope with a member of the First Presidency

  Mark 9:38-41Luke 9:49-50Compare Matthew 10:42 This passage offers a generous charter for making common cause with people whose values align with ours, but whose doctrinal agreements are only partial and approximate. I've been sounding this theme myself for quite a while, in ways big and small, most recently here and here, but also here -- though it seems that I never actually got around to posting my promised "Richard Mouw, Part … [Read more...]

Morality and happiness

Sunrise at sea

  Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness. Immanuel Kant … [Read more...]

“Colesville Restoration”

Knight Farm

  Some who know me are aware that I have a very strong "sense of place" -- it's among the reasons I travel so much -- and that I'm passionately interested in questions of historical preservation, especially (but not solely) in connection with the story of the Restored Church. So I was thrilled, a couple of weeks ago, to see some changes that had occurred since the last time I visited the area around Harmony (now Oakland), Pennsylvania. There is, of … [Read more...]

“How a Gay-Marriage Study Went Wrong”

Minnesota pro-SSM rally

   I posted an item yesterday about a remarkable case of academic fraud in the medical sciences. As you might imagine, the temptation to falsify results can also be quite powerful in the social sciences, and especially when the subject involved is one on which there are passionate disagreements. Well, here's an apparently quite clear … [Read more...]

“Iraq’s decline into chaos traces back to 2011, not 2003″

Nazi Kultur

  This is an exceedingly important point: And it's important not merely as an academic historical issue.  It sheds valuable light on one of Mr. Obama's most vital foreign policy results -- and on the judgment of Hillary Clinton, who was serving as his Secretary of State during the period in question. Incidentally, you're … [Read more...]

New Testament 166

Lucas Cranach der Jüngere

  Matthew 18:1-5Mark 9:33-37Luke 9:46-48Compare John 3:3, 5; 13:20 The idea that we should be childlike has become a cliche.  Sometimes we scarcely hear it.  And, sometimes, we misuse or misunderstand it. But, coupled with concepts that the greatest of us should (in a sense) be the least of us, and that leadership consists in service to others, it's difficult to understate the radical character of Jesus' teaching on this p … [Read more...]

“The tolerant jeweler who harbored impure opinions about same-sex marriage”

Lesbian wedding cake toppers

  Is this really what we're coming to? A person who objects to same-sex "marriage" cannot refuse to provide services for such a marriage, but must keep his or her moral convictions private even if they seem to implicate him or her in an immoral act.  However, after he or she has provided those services, the person who has received those services can decide not to pay for them, on the grounds that the person's private moral convictions have tainted those se … [Read more...]

“Relief efforts continue in Nepal”

Nepalese earthquake damage

  Here's an item that I missed from over a week ago, about initial Church efforts to aid victims of the massive recent earthquakes in Nepal:   … [Read more...]