Another little note from John W . Welch, et al., eds., Knowing Why: 137 Evidences That the Book of Mormon Is True (American Fork: Covenant Communications, 2017):   “What is the Doctrine of Christ?” (139-140) The Book of Mormon, says the Lord, contains “the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:8-9; compare 42:12).  But how can this be true, when it doesn’t explicitly mention salvation for the dead, eternal marriage, temple worship, eternal progression, or other distinctively Latter-day Saint… Read more

    Further notes from John W . Welch, et al., eds., Knowing Why: 137 Evidences That the Book of Mormon Is True (American Fork: Covenant Communications, 2017): “What Does It Mean to Be a White and Delightsome People?” (136-138) For many, the Book of Mormon’s contrast between the righteous, light-skinned Nephites and the wicked, dark-skinned Lamanites constitutes obvious proof that it’s a product of nineteenth-century American racism and, thus, can be (and should be) dismissed. But, of course, the contrast isn’t really that simple… Read more

    From Keith Ward, Why There Almost Certainly Is a God: Doubting Dawkins (Oxford: Lion, 2008), continuing with a line of thinking that I mentioned in my earlier blog post, “‘Personal Explanation'”:   The God hypothesis, at its simplest, is the hypothesis that personal explanation is not reducible to scientific explanation, and that it is prior to scientific explanation. . . .  Put another way, mind is prior to matter.  Mind causes matter to exist, as a means of bringing into… Read more

    Winding up my (actually relatively brief) discussion of shari‘a, as that discussion currently stands:   But there is a problem. The shariah has never been fully imple­mented anywhere. Islamic legal theorists developed an approach to the law that does not recognize an intermediary or intercessor between God and man—contrary to some of the claims that were being made for the ever more powerful caliph—and allowed for nei­ther priests nor ritual acts performed by one person on behalf of… Read more

    A few more notes from John W . Welch, et al., eds., Knowing Why: 137 Evidences That the Book of Mormon Is True (American Fork: Covenant Communications, 2017):   “Why Is There a Need for the Testimony of Two Nations?” (134-135)   At 2 Nephi 29:8, Nephi speaks of the Book of Mormon and the Bible as representing the testimonies of two nations: Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of twonations is a witness unto you… Read more

    Continuing with my summary of the nature and sources of the shari‘a:   This is important because Islamic law covers a far wider range of actions than anything we know of as law in our own experience. After centuries of analysis and refinement, Muslim legal thinkers worked out a system in which all possible human acts were placed into one or another of five classes. Some were “obligatory” These actions must be done by every person. (Prayer might… Read more

    From Keith Ward, Why There Almost Certainly Is a God: Doubting Dawkins (Oxford: Lion, 2008), a couple of comments about the notion of an infinite multiverse as a way of accounting for apparent cosmic fine-tuning:   It has to be admitted . . . that this is a very extravagant theory.  It completely contradicts the principle of Occam’s Razor, which says that you should not multiply entities unnecessarily.  One of Dawkins’ main motivations is to explain the complex in terms… Read more

    It’s a big book, and so I’m working very methodically through John W . Welch, et al., eds., Knowing Why: 137 Evidences That the Book of Mormon Is True (American Fork: Covenant Communications, 2017).  Here are some further notes:   “Why Did Nephi Use Isaiah 29 as Part of His Own Prophecy? (126-127) According to Robert Cloward, Isaiah 29 is perhaps the most cited chapter of Isaiah in Latter-day Saint doctrinal and devotional writings.  The Lord himself set the precedent in the spring of… Read more

    I received the following important communication from a correspondent who frequently writes to me, anonymously and pseudonymously, from his perch over at the predominantly atheist apostate website maintained by “Dr. Shades.”  As he sometimes does, he composed this latest treatise under the nom de plume of Nomen Nescio:   “weekend gorge-fest for pasterson glutton.  howfatcha blotus?”   This time, rather exceptionally, his composition contained no obscenities.   ***   Some will find this interesting:   “How Do Volcanoes Make Lightning?”… Read more

    I just keep keeping on:   Islamic law is seen not as a product of human intelligence, nor as something that can be adapted to changing social needs and ideals. Rather, it is direct from God. In theory, it is immutable. As I have pointed out, there have been various ways in which Muslim jurists have been able to adapt the shariah to changing circum­stances. But there is no doubt that this adaptation is quite difficult and can… Read more

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