“Both religion and science require a belief in God”

Planck's stuff

    “Both religion and science require a belief in God. For believers, God is in the beginning, and for physicists He is at the end of all considerations… To the former He is the foundation, to the latter, the crown of the edifice of every generalized world view.” “There can never be any real opposition between religion and science; for the one is the complement of the other. Every serious and reflective person realizes, I think, that the religious element in his natu … [Read more...]

The Church of the Annunciation

The modern Annunciation Church

  As I'm in the habit of pointing out, Christianity isn't a European or American religion.  It began in the Middle East, and, for a very long time, its center of gravity was in the eastern Mediterranean.  So, in that spirit and in the spirit of Christmas, here's a photograph of the magnificent modern Roman Catholic Church of the Annunciation (or Basilica of the Annunciation, كنيسة البشارة) in the Arab city of Nazareth in northern Israel, which was dedicated by the late Pope … [Read more...]

“Intellect and Affection: How to Be a Faithful Mormon Intellectual”

The temple on the Bountiful bench

  Everybody is, or ought to be, busy with Christmas Eve, Christmas preparations, and family right now.  But some of you, when you get a chance, will perhaps find this relatively short new essay from the estimable Ralph Hancock quite interesting and thought-provoking: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/soulandcity/2014/12/intellect-and-affection-how-to-be-a-faithful-mormon-intellectual/ For the record: I like what he's written here very … [Read more...]

An apostolic testimony of Christ

image of SLC temple from Wikimedia Commons (as if the Church would be unhappy with my using a photograph from ITS site!)

   A selection from a speech by Elder Melvin J. Ballard, who served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from 1919 until his death in 1939:  I recall an experience which I had two years ago, bearing witness to my soul of the reality of his death, of his crucifixion, and his resurrection, that I shall never forget. I bear it to you tonight, to you, young boys and girls; not with a spirit to glory over it, but with a grateful heart and with … [Read more...]

Christmas Cheer 3

A Nativity scene, from Japan

  In checking, I realized that I failed to make a third entry in my series on "Christmas Cheer."  But I've found a good one to remedy that lack. This wonderful story of surprising generosity was posted just today: http://www.people.com/article/homeless-man-one-hundred-dollars   … [Read more...]

Music of Christmas 28

What wondrous love is this, O my soul?

  An exquisitely beautiful choral version of today's Christmas hymn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsVnvN3EVxY This is a Christian folk hymn from the American South.  It was first published at Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1811, and has been called a "white spiritual."  That aspect is clearly brought out in these two quite different v … [Read more...]

Christmas Cheer 31

The latest Mormon Channel video, for Xmas

  Another remarkable young girl: http://www.mormonchannel.org/christmas-videos?v=3954526716001 She's twelve years old.   … [Read more...]

New Testament 11

From the Brooklyn Museum via Wikimedia Commons

  Matthew 2:22-23Luke 2:39-40 Matthew's penchant for portraying Jesus as the fulfillment of prophecy is on display again here.  There's just one puzzling aspect:  The prophecy "He shall be called a Nazarene" occurs nowhere in the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible as we have it. Various explanations have been offered for this -- including the possibility that Matthew is citing a now-lost biblical text -- but no explanation has won general a … [Read more...]