Reactions to the Paris murders

He was Jewish

  Here's a sampling of reactions from world leaders to the murders in Paris: One of those leaders is Egypt's President al-Sisi.  Here's a video showing roughly two minutes of an important speech that al-Sisi delivered at Cairo's al-Azhar University -- the most prestigious Islamic university in the Arab world, founded in the … [Read more...]

The average college freshman reads at a seventh-grade level.

teachers and pupils in 1898 Canada

  This is rather depressing.  But it's also a call to action:   … [Read more...]

“The evidence for Jesus is early and powerful”

During the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem

  It's fashionable, in some circles, to maintain not only that Jesus isn't the Son of God but that he never even existed in the first place. This is silliness. Which my Deseret News column for today tries, diplomatically, to suggest:   … [Read more...]

“Who’s afraid of ‘secularism’?”

John Harvard's place

  Ralph Hancock usefully rejoins the discussion about "secularism" and Mormon studies:   … [Read more...]

The most intelligent human being, and God

Einstein in Wien, 1921

   “I’m not an atheist, and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being t … [Read more...]

“22 Heartbreaking Cartoons from Artists in Response to the Charlie Hebdo Shooting”

Paris under siege These are well worth a look.   … [Read more...]

“Leading Muslim Scholar Tariq Ramadan: Attack on Paris Magazine ‘a Pure Betrayal of Our Religion’”

An informal photo of Tariq Ramadan

  Dr. Tariq Ramadan, a grandson of Sayyid Qutb, is, very arguably, the foremost Muslim intellectual in Europe. I've had some slight contact with him, including, most notably, the experience of chairing a plenary session panel that included him during the Parliament of the World's Religions in Melbourne, Australia, in 2009. This is a very rough transcript, but I think it important to read what so prominent a Muslim thinker has to say about the … [Read more...]

New Testament 28

A helpful map of ancient Israel

  John 3:22 A really short reading today.  Just a single verse.  Which I'll give here, in its entirety: "After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judæa; and there he tarried with them, and baptized." Jesus and his disciples don't seem to be in Jerusalem, because their being in the holy city would have been mentioned as significant.  They're probably not in any major town or city, for the same reaso … [Read more...]