“Remain faithful to the end, and everything will be alright”

    Hugh B. Brown (1883-1975), a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from Canada who served as a counselor in the First Presidency to President David O. McKay between 1961 and 1970, reported an event not too very long before his death that his nephew, Harold B. Lee, recorded in his journal and later shared:   “He [Elder Brown] said it was not a vision, but the Lord appeared to him, very informal, the same as I… Read more

On the deity of Christ

    If you can get access to it, many of you will find this relatively long profile article (from the 4 December 2017 issue of The Weekly Standard) of considerable interest:   “King of the Jungle: The Mayan Empire of Archaeologist Richard Hansen:  On the trail with the man who discovered the preclassic Mayan civilization.”   Dr. Hansen, who leads “what is probably the largest archaeological excavation in the world,” is — to the author’s considerable astonishment — a… Read more

“Knowest thou the condescension of God?”

    The author gets our theology a bit wrong, and he doesn’t seem to have noticed that the Mormon Tabernacle isn’t quite entirely white, but I’m glad he liked its performance of the carol: http://thenet.ng/2016/12/watching-this-white-choir-sing-a-yoruba-christmas-carol-will-make-your-head-swell-seriously/   It’s one of my favorites, too.  I still remember hearing it for the very first time, at the annual BYU Christmas choir concert.  It was unexpected, and thrilling.   ***   Day Twelve of the “Light the World” Christmas initiative:   “Blessed are… Read more

Notes about the eve of the Arab conquests and about the perennial plague of anti-Semitism

    Continuing with my manuscript, covering the period just after the Byzantine Christian defeat of the Sassanid Persians early in the seventh century AD:   But, yet again, the Christians weren’t to savor their victory for long. The Persians were not, it turned out, the greatest threat to Christian dominance in the Holy Land. Another power was rising that would destroy the Persian Empire, deal a critical blow to Zoroastrianism, and seriously wound the Byzantines within only a few… Read more

“The Lost World of Genesis One”

    Back in 2012, I read an interesting book entitled The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009).  I was distracted from it shortly thereafter by a number of things — 2012 was a very bad year for me, both personally and professionally — but I  just came across some notes that I had made from it.   In The Lost World of Genesis One, the author, John H. Walton, an Evangelical… Read more

The final nail in the Book of Mormon’s coffin

    I’ve located the source that Joseph Smith used to create his fictional “Captain Moroni.”   But, first, a little background:   Ernst Gombrich (Sir Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich, 1909-2001) was a very famous Austrian-born art historian who fled the Nazis to Britain in 1939, became a naturalized British subject in 1947, and spent most of his career at the prestigious Warburg Institute in London.   When he was still in his twenties, though, he wrote Eine kurze Weltgeschichte für… Read more

Qur’anic Christmas Stories

    The Qur’an on the Annunciation of Christ   Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee chosen thee above the women of all nations. “O Mary! worship Thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down [in prayer] with those who bow down.” This is part of the tidings of the things unseen, which We reveal unto thee [O Messenger!] by inspiration: Thou wast not with them when they cast lots with arrows, as to… Read more

Scientism, yet again

    Some quotations from Tim Keller, Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical:   “The declaration that science is the only arbiter of truth is not itself a scientific finding. It is a belief.” (35)   “Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov sarcastically summarized the ethical reasoning of secular humanism like this: ‘Man descended from apes, therefore we must love one another.’ The second clause does not follow from the first. If it was natural for the strong to eat the… Read more

“A few months ago I very nearly died.”

    I came across the following on item on Facebook this morning.  It was posted by Kurt A. Lippman on 9 December 2017, and I share it here with his permission:   A few months ago I very nearly died. During that ordeal I passed out of mortality and on into the next world. I had always believed, but to my utter astonishment I stood there and beheld countless wonders. I heard and saw angels singing about The Lord…. Read more

“If that birth had not happened”

    Sigh.  I keep falling behind.  Today (Saturday) was Day Nine of the Christmas “Light the World” initiative sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   I may be late posting a link to today’s item on the “Light the World” advent calendar, but it’s never too late to act on the principle that it teaches:   https://www.mormon.org/christmas/25-ways-25-days/day-9   ***   I have a sad confession to make:  I’ve heard and sung the carol Silent Night so very… Read more

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