November 19, 2019

    First, here are a couple of new items on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   Christ as the Mediator of the New Testament (Hebrews 9): A Video Supplement for Come, Follow Me Lesson 44: “An High Priest of Good Things to Come”   Faith without Works in James 2: A Video Supplement for Come, Follow Me Lesson 45: “Be Ye Doers of the Word, and Not Hearers Only”   And there’s this, as well, which you may or may not have… Read more

November 19, 2019

    Here are some provocative thoughts from Ian Hutchinson, who is a professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with a primary interest in plasma physics.  These passages appear in Ian Hutchinson, Monopolizing Knowledge: A Scientist Refutes Religion-Denying, Reason-Destroying Scientism [Belmont, MA: Fias Publishing, 2011], 1-3):   Since discussions of evolution are so fraught with controversy, let me say again that I do not wish to be interpreted as arguing that Darwin’s theory is false.  What I am… Read more

November 19, 2019

    “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that the U.S. now rejects a 1978 State Dept. legal opinion that deemed Israeli settlements in the West Bank ‘inconsistent with international law.’ [T]his dramatic new stance on settlements—considered illegal by the United Nations and EU—further deprives the Palestinians of leverage and validates Benjamin Netanyahu’s close relationship with Trump at an existential moment for the Israeli PM. Perhaps more important for the U.S. President, Monday’s decision is a gift to conservative evangelical voters who support… Read more

November 18, 2019

    I published the Thanksgiving column below in November 2012 in the Deseret News:   William Ernest Henley’s famous Victorian-era poem “Invictus” provided the title and the theme for Clint Eastwood’s inspiring 2009 film about Nelson Mandela.  It also provided the memorable claim “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” It’s a stirring assertion, and, in a very real sense, true.  A great proportion of what we are and do rests upon… Read more

November 18, 2019

    This is the first part of my two-part 2019 Thanksgiving column:   “The miracle of Earth’s atmosphere design and the air we breathe: As the Thanksgiving holiday draws near, there is much for us to be thankful for — including the very air that we breathe”   Part two should appear on Thanksgiving Day itself.   ***   This chapter from one of our books, previously available only in print, is now accessible at (as usual) no charge on… Read more

November 18, 2019

    I was struck by Theodore Dalrymple’s review of Jérôme Fourquet’s L’archipel française: naissance d’une nation multiple et divisée on pages 56-58 in the December 2019 issue of the superb magazine First Things, to which I subscribe.  The reviewer, Anthony Malcolm Daniels — Theodore Dalrymple is a pen name — is an English cultural critic, prison physician, and psychiatrist who worked both in Great Britain and in sub-Saharan Africa before his retirement from medicine and who currently divides his time between England and France.  … Read more

November 18, 2019

    The fact that many highly successful scientists are also people of faith doesn’t, of course, demonstrate in and of itself that there is a God, that theism is true.  However, it does strongly seem to suggest that facile claims that theism is flatly contradictory to science might not be true.   Here are a couple of examples of what I have in mind:     Sir Nevill Francis Mott (1905 -1996), a British physicist, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1977 for… Read more

November 17, 2019

    I continue here with a folkloric account, recorded in the eighth century AD, of the building of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.  (For the earlier portion, see “How Solomon Built His Temple.”)  The tale comes from Ma‘mar ibn Rashid, The Expeditions: An Early Biography of Muhammad, translated by Sean W. Anthony (New York and London: New York University Press, 2015), 106-108.  Centuries after its destruction, that famous building seemed literally magical to many.   When this part of the story opens, the… Read more

November 17, 2019

    I published this column in the Deseret News for Thanksgiving 2013:   It’s the season of Thanksgiving, and, so, minds like mine turn naturally to etymology, to word origins.  Please be patient.  There is method in my madness.   The origin of the word “religion” is obscure, and has been much debated.  But all suggestions for it seem to agree that remembrance, an awareness of dependence and obligation, is at the core of what it means to be… Read more

November 16, 2019

    From Ma‘mar ibn Rashid, The Expeditions: An Early Biography of Muhammad, translated by Sean W. Anthony (New York and London: New York University Press, 2015), 106-108, I quote an interesting folkloric account, recorded in the eighth century AD, of the building of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.  That famous sanctuary was considered so remarkable that its construction absolutely had to be the product of magic:   Solomon declared to the demons [that is, to the jinn], “Verily, God has… Read more

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