April 19, 2019

    Luke 17:3-4 Compare Matthew 18:15, 21-22   Please note the requirement in this passage, absent from Matthew 18:21-22, that the sinner acknowledge his sin and repent.     Luke 17:5-6 Compare 17:19-21; 21:21; Mark 9:28-29; 11:22-23   I’m reminded, in this context of the Lectures on Faith:   Lecture One 1. Faith [is] the first principle in revealed religion, and the foundation of all righteousness. 9. Faith is the assurance which men have of the existence of things which… Read more

April 19, 2019

    As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, to howls of protest and irritation from certain quarters, science is a thoroughly human enterprise.  As this article well illustrates, the scientific topics that are pursued are chosen by humans, and the scientific questions that are asked are formulated by human minds:   “‘Invisible Women’ spotlights a gaping and dangerous gender data gap: A new book explains how the failure to study women harms their health”   It’s always nice to have news… Read more

April 19, 2019

    I published this column in the Deseret News back on 25 March 2010:   Serious critics of the Book of Mormon must neutralize the testimonies of the witnesses to the Golden Plates. This, however, is not easy. (It may be impossible.) Largely thanks to the meticulous research of professor Richard Lloyd Anderson, we know a great deal about them and about the six decades, both when they were dedicated followers of Joseph Smith and after they had been… Read more

April 19, 2019

    In connection with the Easter holiday and its celebration of the atonement and resurrection of Christ, two substantial articles were published today in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship.   One is “The First Easter,” written by S. Kent Brown:   Abstract: Scriptural accounts are rife with information about the import of the first Easter. Understanding the events of the week before the death and resurrection of Christ can help us appreciate the words of the witnesses… Read more

April 19, 2019

    Here’s an Easter column that I published in the Deseret News on 28 March 2013:   Modern people commonly assume that pre-modern people were stupid, inhabiting a primitive fantasy world detached from reality, unenlightened by science and awash in superstition. Such gullible minds, some modern “realists” claim, merely imagined the resurrection of Christ. This is a largely baseless prejudice. Pre-modern people knew death intimately, in a way that most of us today don’t. For them, death occurred at… Read more

April 18, 2019

    Luke 16:16-17 Compare Matthew 5:18; 11:12-13; 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33   This passage may not seem entirely clear.  But one thing is clear:  Jesus is not denouncing the Law of Moses.  Forms of Protestantism that denigrate the Law do so in opposition to the Savior himself, in whose name they sometimes claim to do it.     Luke 16:18 Compare Matthew 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11-12   This is an extraordinarily tough standard.  There’s much to be said… Read more

April 18, 2019

    I posted an item the other day entitled “Some preliminary notes on fine-tuning and the ‘four fundamental forces’.”  In it, among other things, I noted that   If the electromagnetic force were slightly stronger or weaker, atomic bonds could not form — which would mean that molecules could not form. If the value of the gravitational constant were slightly larger, stars would become too hot and would burn out too quickly.  If it were smaller, stars would never… Read more

April 18, 2019

    I’m happy to pass this note on from Professor Quinn Mecham, the Coordinator for Middle East Studies — which shouldn’t be confused with the parallel program in Ancient Near Eastern Studies — at Brigham Young University:   The 2019 issue of BYU MESA’s student research publication Al-Buhuuth, has just been published on-line.   Thanks to Nick Hainsworth of the MESAS leadership committee and to Joshua Gubler of the Political Science department for leading out on the editorial work, as… Read more

April 18, 2019

    Here is my 2019 Easter column for the Deseret News:   “Can modern people believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ?”   ***   I published the Easter article below in the 24 March 2016 issue of the Deseret News:   Since the appearance of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith in the spring of 1820 and its formal organization in April 1830, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has resounded with testimonies of… Read more

April 18, 2019

    I published this article in the Deseret News on 13 April 2017:   A decade ago, in February 2007, came the dramatic announcement that Jesus’ ossuary or “bone box” (and perhaps even his bones) had been found in Jerusalem’s southern neighborhood of East Talpiot. Scholars overwhelmingly rejected the claim, and it’s largely forgotten today. Briefly, though, it enjoyed a flurry of media attention — including an interview with Larry King, then a major television celebrity. “Is this the end of… Read more

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