April 21, 2019

    In this passage, from an uncompleted manuscript on my computer, I draw on Erlendur Haraldsson and Karlis Osis, At the Hour of Death: A New Look at Evidence for Life After Death:   Such accounts do not seem to be dismissible as mere bereavement fantasies.  Responding to the question whether “deathbed visions are merely outward projections of the patient’s psyche,” Osis and Haraldsson note that our data have shown that terminal patients did not see in their visions those persons they… Read more

April 21, 2019

    Χριστός ἀνέστη!   Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!   In Greek, the language of the New Testament — and in equivalent phrases in other languages influenced by Greek Orthodox usage — it is customary to greet one another on Easter Sunday with Khristos anesti!  To which the traditional response is Alithos anesti!   Christ is risen!   Truly he is risen!   I’ve been quite moved by the 2019 Easter video message issued by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day… Read more

April 21, 2019

    Luke 17:11-19   To me, Doctrine and Covenants 101:8 has always been one of the most striking passages in that volume of scripture:   “In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.”   The episode in the Savior’s life recorded at Luke 17:11-19 is a clear illustration of that principle — and it’s altogether too humanly familiar.   I doubt that I’m alone in… Read more

April 20, 2019

    An eastern American academic of my acquaintance — neither, I think it fair to say, a believing nor a practicing Latter-day Saint, and somebody who both leans left politically and disagrees with the Church’s teachings and policies on gender issues — has kindly called my attention to a current episode in academic politics of which I had been previously unaware.  To his credit, he is concerned about this matter and its implications.  As am I.   The background… Read more

April 20, 2019

    A recurrent joke, very popular among some atheists and religious skeptics (especially at this time of the year), runs as follows:   “Easter has been cancelled”   “Why?”   “They found the body.”   In that context, I offer the column below, which Bill Hamblin and I published in the Deseret News back on 30 March 2018:   Written most likely A.D. mid-50s — that is, about two decades after the death of Jesus — Paul’s first letter… Read more

April 20, 2019

    I’ll be over in Israel and/or Palestine a bit in May and June, accompanying tours there, so I’ve decided to gather up links to columns that I’ve written for the Deseret News about some of the sites that we’ll be visiting.  I’m not sure that this is an exhaustive collection of such columns, but some might find these links of value:   Lod (David Ben Gurion International Airport):   “A modern airport and a very ancient history”  (18… Read more

April 20, 2019

    One of the obviously false claims that I most enjoy refuting appears in several forms.  The crudest of them holds that religion and science are simply incompatible.  A rational person cannot be both a theist and a scientist.  It’s so obviously false, in that formulation, and so easily rebutted via numerous examples to the contrary, that there is very little satisfaction to be derived from shooting it down — over and over and over again.  So the enjoyment… Read more

April 20, 2019

    We at the Interpreter Foundation began the practice a few years ago of publishing personal essays or personal messages at Christmas and at Easter, from various authors.   “The First Easter” (S. Kent Brown)   “The Crucifixion as a Mockery, Witness, and Warning of the Judgment” (George L. Mitton)   Here are the prior Easter messages that the Interpreter Foundation has published:   “Easters: The Eternal Atoning Sacrifice Testifies of the Everlasting Redeeming Savior”  (Alan C. Ashton)   “The Healing… Read more

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

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