New Testament 58-59

    Matthew 5:38-48 Compare Luke 6:27-36   A very memorable passage.  (There are, of course, few sayings of Jesus in the gospels that aren’t memorable.)   First of all, there is his description of radical Christian love, directed even at enemies.  Such love can sometimes even stop an enemy in his or her tracks.  Consider, for example, the case of the people of Ammon, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, described in Alma 24.   Such love is exceedingly difficult to feel and… Read more

“What separates the Bible from a book of moral fables such as Grimms’ Fairy Tales?”

    A prominent American Catholic thinker (in whose company I was once privileged to spend about a week during small meetings on the island of Malta) responds to a granddaughter’s question:   http://www.patheos.com/blogs/michaelnovak/2015/01/emilys-first-question/     Read more

“God, Science, and the Big Questions: Leading Christian Thinkers Respond to the New Atheism”

    If you have two hours — or, perhaps more realistically, if you can watch it in bits and pieces — and if you have any interest in questions about contemporary science and religious belief, you might really enjoy (and profit from) this discussion, held on the campus of Biola University, in La Mirada, California (not far from where my parents lived for many years):   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpJm-qX3rW0&feature=youtu.be&t=15m00s   In it, the nationally syndicated radio commentator and host Hugh Hewitt… Read more

On not reading good books

    “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” Mark Twain (1835-1910)     Read more

“Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God”

    Jeffrey Bradshaw, Kristine Frederickson, Benjamin McGuire, Daniel Peterson, and Bruce Webster join up for The Interpreter Foundation’s 107th “scripture roundtable”:   http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/scripture-roundtable-107-new-testament-gospel-doctrine-lesson-9-seek-ye-first-the-kingdom-of-god/   The discussion focuses on Lesson 9 in the 2015 Gospel Doctrine manual, which treats Matthew 6.     Read more

On the frontiers of geoengineering

    A relatively recent article in the Economist (“Into the great wide open,” 13 December 2014) describes forthcoming experiments that might be used to modify earth’s climate.   If, for example, low-lying maritime clouds — that is, clouds over Earth’s oceans — could be made just a tiny bit brighter, thus reflecting sunlight back into space, terrestrial temperatures could be sufficiently lowered to compensate for any warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions.  And the technological means for doing so may… Read more

New Testament 57

    Matthew 5:33-37   Some Christian groups have, quite understandably, taken this passage to mean not merely that disciples of Jesus shouldn’t swear falsely but that they should never take oaths (e.g., of citizenship) at all.   But this seems to me mistaken, and quite impractical.   Why?  Because our society runs on promises such as contracts, marriage covenants, and the like.  We could not, and should not, function without them.   And God himself is said to have… Read more

Salt in the wound

  My wife is really rubbing it in.  She sent these last night:           I think that I may change the locks on the doors of our house.     Read more

Two contrasting responses to the Church’s stance on gay rights and religious liberty

    A gay activist welcomes the Church’s stance on anti-discrimination protection:   http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/jonathan-rauch-gays-move-mormons-article-1.2097078   However, many — this one, for example — haven’t been so enthusiastic.  It seems clear to me that some are demanding total surrender.  People who disapprove of homosexual acts must not only tolerate them but, effectively, endorse them.  Or be silent and invisible.     Read more

“The Christian example for modernizing Islam”

    I’ve tried this link several times, and it’s worked for me.  I hope it will continue to work for you, but my experiences with linking to the Wall Street Journal have, thus far, been negative.  Kevin Madigan, a historian of Christianity at Harvard Divinity School, offers his perspective on the current situation in Islam:   http://www.wsj.com/articles/kevin-madigan-the-christian-example-for-modernizing-islam-1422578153     Read more

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