February 22, 2019

    I had almost forgotten about the radio interview that I recorded in Sydney with Dr. Rachael Kohn of ABC Radio National, the Australia-wide Public Service Broadcasting radio network run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  It took place while I was in Australia late last year (2018).   It was, I believe, my fifth interview with Dr. Kohn — the third of three interviews recorded in Sydney, Australia, while the others were done in Provo, Utah, and in Istanbul, Turkey.  And, regrettably, it… Read more

February 22, 2019

    Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship enters into an area where controversy is conceivable:   “Assessing the Criticisms of Early-Age Latter-Day Saint Marriages”   Abstract: Critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have accused Joseph Smith and other early Latter-day Saint men of pedophilia because they married teenaged women. Indeed, they have emphatically declared that such marriages were against 19th-century societal norms. However, historians and other experts have repeatedly stated that young people married… Read more

February 21, 2019

    This column — full of my typical vitriolic insults and brazen lies — appeared in the print edition of the Deseret News today, as well as online at LDS Living:   “How Recent Findings on Beekeeping in Ancient America Relate to the Book of Mormon”     ***   From the remarkable Stephen Smoot, who, having been back in Utah for a while now and having even been twice to Egypt since his return from the North, has… Read more

February 21, 2019

    Matthew 5:27-32 Compare Matthew 18:8-9; 19:9; Mark 9:43-48; 10:11-12; Luke 16:18   In my recently posted note on Matthew 5:17-20, I mentioned what I call “antinomian” readings of Christianity, which seem to suggest that it’s all and only about grace, and that good works have very little place in Christian discipleship.  I commented that one would be hard pressed to defend such a reading from the four gospels, and particularly from the Sermon on the Mount.   Today’s reading… Read more

February 20, 2019

    Matthew 5:17-20 Compare Mark 13:31; Luke 16:16-17   There are those, particularly among Evangelical Protestants, who sometimes seem (to me, at least) to come perilously close to teaching an antinomian view of Jesus — one for which (or for whom) rules of conduct are, in a sense, irrelevant.   Today’s reading provides little support for such a view.  Which may be one reason why Martin Luther is reputed, amazingly, to have referred to the Sermon on the Mount… Read more

February 20, 2019

    (6 February 2019):  “BYU researchers find new target for pancreatic cancer treatment”   (14 February 2019): “BYU researchers unfold new class of mechanical devices: ‘Developable mechanisms’ are built into the surfaces of structures”   ***   “Ultima Thule is shaped like two lumpy pancakes: New images reveal the skinny side of the Kuiper Belt object”   “Citizen scientist discovers ancient astrophysical object”   The universe remains inconceivably vast.  Our galaxy alone is inconceivably vast, so try to imagine hundreds of… Read more

February 20, 2019

    I try not to eavesdrop.  I really do.  But sometimes it’s almost impossible to avoid.   Sitting in the airport in Richmond, Virginia, this morning, three people sitting beside me and across from me were having a vigorous conversation at pretty high volume.  They were all Episcopalians, and one of them has been serving on the search committee tasked with choosing a new bishop for an Episcopal diocese somewhere.   He was particularly excited about one candidate, who,… Read more

February 20, 2019

    Here’s an article that I published in the Deseret News way back on 29 April 2010:   China is, by a margin of nearly 200 million, the most populous country on earth. And it appears, at least, to be a rising economic superpower. (According to The Economist, it averaged 15.1 percent annual growth in real GDP between 1997 and 2007, by far the highest rate of any major nation.) Fortified by its increasing wealth, China is integrating itself… Read more

February 19, 2019

    Matthew 4:24; 5:1-12 Compare Mark 3:7-13; Luke 6:17-23   I have a very great deal to say about the Beatitudes, but not the time to say very much of it right now.  I hope to eventually write a small book on them.   For right now, I’ll content myself with a brief comment about Matthew 5:6, which reads “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”     There’s a story that’s… Read more

February 19, 2019

    I doubt that there’s any room left in your bulging Christopher Hitchens Memorial “Religion Poisons Everything” File, but, just in case there’s some area in which to cram some more, you’ll find a rich abundance of blood-curdling evil in this thing:   “2018 LDS Charities Annual Report”   It should actually have been titled Heart of Darkness, but — mwahahahaha! — I already own the copyright to that title for my autobiography.   If you have only a… Read more

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