May 30, 2020

    A few passages extracted for my notes from John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (New York: Gallup Press, 2007):   Sharia has been equated with stoning of adulterers, chopping off limbs for theft, imprisonment or death in blasphemy and apostasy cases, and limits on the rights of women and minorities.  (49)   dcp:  Shari‘a is, of course, the Islamic legal and ethical code.  It is far more comprehensive than… Read more

May 30, 2020

    The target of Curtis White, The Science Delusion: Asking the Big Questions in a Culture of Easy Answers [Brooklyn and London: Melville Books, 2014], is not science itself but, rather, “science as ideology (or ‘scientism,’ as it is often called),” which White describes as “certainly an abuse of the real value of science.”  (10)  He is particularly incensed by scientism’s reduction of humans to machines:   Are we really just the percolating of leptons and bosons, as philosopher… Read more

May 29, 2020

    Curtis White, who identifies himself as an atheist, had some very interesting things to say in Curtis White, The Science Delusion: Asking the Big Questions in a Culture of Easy Answers [Brooklyn and London: Melville Books, 2014].  Among them are these passages regarding the late Anglo-American “New Atheist” writer Christopher Hitchens:   Hitchens’s God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything is an intellectually shameful book.  To be intellectually shameful is to be dishonest, to tell less than… Read more

May 29, 2020

    Dr. Stanford Carmack will be our guest for the first hour of the program when Martin Tanner and I host the Interpreter Radio Show this weekend from 7 PM to 9 PM on Sunday, Utah time.  Here are his four most recent articles for Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   “Pitfalls of the Ngram Viewer” Abstract: Google’s Ngram Viewer often gives a distorted view of the popularity of cultural/religious phrases during the early 19th century… Read more

May 29, 2020

    A new article — you’re surprised, maybe? — has appeared in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship.  This piece is by Ryan Atwood:   “Lehi’s Dream and the Plan of Salvation” Abstract: Lehi’s dream symbolically teaches us about many aspects of Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation. The central message of Lehi’s dream is that all must come unto Jesus Christ in order to be saved. Each of us has the choice to pursue the path… Read more

May 29, 2020

    I was delighted to receive in the mail this afternoon a copy of the revised 2020 second edition of Brian D. Stubbs, Changes in Languages from Nephi to Now, the first edition of which appeared in 2016.  I actually received three copies, and will try to see that two of them receive good and worthwhile homes other than my own, where they can do real good.   Here are three jacket endorsements that appear on the back cover… Read more

May 28, 2020

    A perfectly astounding passage from Paul Strathern, Napoleon in Egypt (New York: Bantam Books, 2008), regarding Bonaparte’s 1798 invasion of the former land of the pharaohs:   As the invasion fleet sailed east across the Mediterranean, Napoleon would lie in bed reading and dictating to Bourrienne.  His principal reading was from the Koran.  Like Alexander the Great before him, he intended to absorb the religion of the people over whom he would rule.  He insisted that, if necessary,… Read more

May 28, 2020

    I discussed the allegedly obscene greed of the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at some length here back when the story about Ensign Peak Advisors first surfaced (toward mid-December, if I recall correctly).  To me, it was essentially a non-story, since it’s clear beyond reasonable dispute that the leadership of the Church are not personally growing wealthy from the Church’s funds.  On the contrary, it seemed reasonable to me that the Church should… Read more

May 27, 2020

    For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves, “Short and sorrowful is our life, and there is no remedy when a man comes to his end, and no one has been known to return from Hades. 2 Because we were born by mere chance, and hereafter we shall be as though we had never been; because the breath in our nostrils is smoke, and reason is a spark kindled by the beating of our hearts. 3 When it is extinguished, the… Read more

May 27, 2020

    I want to complete some of the thoughts that I shared last night from Graham E. Fuller, A World Without Islam (New York, Boston, and London: Little, Brown and Company, 2010).  So here’s a bit more:   To begin with, Graham Fuller cites the famous British universal historian Arnold Toynbee:   In the first place we can discount the tendency — which has been popular in Christendom — to over-estimate the extent of the use of force in… Read more

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