August 14, 2020

    Many years ago, during a meeting at Church headquarters with two members of the Twelve, the subject arose of my having delivered several papers at annual conferences of the Sunstone Foundation — a group of which some of you may still be aware.  It once loomed larger on the Latter-day Saint intellectual landscape than I think it does now, and it was a place where liberal and sometimes downright “fringy” Latter-day Saints tended to congregate.  Often, or so… Read more

August 14, 2020

    In an entry that I posted here a few days ago, I commented that Latter-day Saint theological interactions with Muslims will be easier to the extent that we can say positive things about Muhammad, whom Muslims esteem very, very highly — or, at least, to the degree that we’re not obliged to say negative things about him.  Here, I continue that discussion:   Fortunately, we can say good things without cynicism or pre­tense. From its earliest years, leaders of… Read more

August 13, 2020

    The latest installment of my bi-weekly Deseret News column went up earlier today (Thursday):   “Israel may be the most studied archeological site in the world, but discoveries keep coming: Archeologists have found a temple, smaller than Solomon’s Temple, in Tel Moza, about 4 miles outside of Jerusalem.”   ***   A beautifully written and thoughtful little essay on living under the threat of the coronavirus in Israel/Palestine:   “Covid-19 in the land where Jesus walked”   ***… Read more

August 13, 2020

    Sir John Polkinghorne, now in his ninetieth year, is both a Knight of the British Empire (KBE) and a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Society (founded by, among others, Sir Christopher Wren and Sir Isaac Newton).  Sir John was a professor of mathematical physics at the University of Cambridge until he resigned his professorial chair in order to study for the Anglican priesthood.  He was ordained a priest in 1982 and, thereafter, served as the president of Queens’ College, Cambridge, from 1988 until 1996.   Here is a passage from the text… Read more

August 13, 2020

    Evaluations of Muhammad have varied wildly. Skeptical Western writers for years regarded him as a fraud. (Indeed, many liked to link him with Joseph Smith in that regard. To associate the two was to damn both.)[1] The great fourteenth-century Christian poet Dante Alighieri placed him in one of the deepest reaches of Hell.[2] For Muslims, on the other hand, he is the incomparable Messenger of God, “the seal of the prophets.” His place in Islamic piety is astonishingly… Read more

August 12, 2020

    A few days ago, I recorded a lecture for BYU Education Week 2020 entitled “The Book of Mormon Witnesses: Sincerity and Reality.”  As this news item indicates, it will be available for viewing in October of this year:   “BYU Education Week to be held online in October”   ***   In the interim, though, I let Sic et Non slip briefly into People magazine mode with regard to two public Latter-day Saint personalities based in the eastern… Read more

August 12, 2020

    New, via the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   “Producing Ancient Scripture — Thomas Wayment on Joseph Smith’s Use of Adam Clarke in the JST”   ***   Also new on the Interpreter Foundation website:   Audio Roundtable: Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon Lesson 33 “The Rock of Our Redeemer”: Helaman 1-6 The Interpreter Radio Roundtable for Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon Lesson 33, “The Rock of Our Redeemer,” on Helaman 1-6, featured Bruce Webster, Kris Frederickson, and Mike Parker.  This roundtable was extracted… Read more

August 12, 2020

    The uniform silence out there surrounding the question of what I think about Joe Biden’s vice presidential selection proves to me that, although millions of Americanos desperately want to know my thoughts, they’re all too intimidated and too shy to ask.  So, out of kindness and an earnest desire to end the misery of anticipation, I will briefly share here some of my views.   It may not have escaped some of you that I’m not an especially… Read more

August 12, 2020

    By the year 632, Muhammad had subdued all of the Arabian penin­sula. The revelation of Islam was complete. “This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favour to you,” says the Qur’an in the voice of God, in what many believe to be the last verse of the book to be revealed. “I have chosen Islam to be your faith.”[1] The tribes were now united, and the question arose, where could they plunder? They could… Read more

August 11, 2020

    Gemli wonders why anyone cares what people from the 17th century thought about this or that religion. Most were busy dying young of pneumonia and poor sanitation. If they had such great minds, perhaps instead of wasting time thinking about invisible sky spirits they might have investigated the real world that was killing them due to their ignorance.   That’s this board’s amusing resident atheist, “gemli,” speaking of himself, in the third person.   I was struck, when… Read more




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