February 16, 2019

    For years, I strongly disliked air travel.  Now, though, I rather like it.  I cherish the uninterrupted hours that it gives me for reading and for catching up on films that I’ve wanted to see.   Yesterday, I read Dallas Willard and Brandon Rickabaugh, “Intentionality contra Physicalism: On the Mind’s Independence from the Body,” Philosophia Christi 20/2  (2018): 497-516.  The late Professor Willard taught in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Southern California; Brandon Rickabaugh teaches… Read more

February 16, 2019

    I don’t recall, off hand, whether I mentioned yesterday that the latest installment of the biweekly joint Hamblin/Peterson column had appeared in the Deseret News.  It’s entitled “The 10 incarnations of Vishnu.”   ***   It’s impossible to miss the strong similarities in the designs of the small new temples that have recently been released for Guam, Cabo Verde, and Puerto Rico.  Predictably, some have derided them.  But they clearly reflect President Russell M. Nelson’s desire — about… Read more

February 15, 2019

    On one of the planes today, I began reading Rolf Dobelli, Die Kunst des klugen Handelns: 52 Irrwege, die Sie besser anderen überlassen (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 2014).  The title translates to something like “The Art of Smart Action: 52 Wrong Paths that Would Be Better Left to Others.”  Rolf Dobelli is a Swiss author whose earlier book Die Kunst des klaren Denkens (“The Art of Clear Thinking”) I admired enormously.   One of the chapters that I… Read more

February 15, 2019

    Luke 5:1-11 Compare Matthew 13:1-3; 4:18-22; Mark 4:1-2; 1:16-20; John 21:1-11   On one level, it seems a fairly insignificant miracle.  But it’s a teaching moment.   “You’re impressed by a miraculous catch of fish?” Jesus implicitly asks his astonished disciples.  “Don’t be afraid.  From this point on, you’ll be catching men.”   In after years, persecuted, harassed, traveling with difficulty even when not being threatened, encountering rejection, the apostles could look back on this experience and regain… Read more

February 15, 2019

    It’s Friday.  So, naturally — did you really expect otherwise? — there is a new article up in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   “Curiously Unique: Joseph Smith as Author of the Book of Mormon”   Abstract: The advent of the computer and the internet allows Joseph Smith as the “author” of the Book of Mormon to be compared to other authors and their books in ways essentially impossible even a couple of decades ago. Six criteria can demonstrate the presence… Read more

February 14, 2019

    Matthew 8:14-15 Mark 1:23-31 Luke 4:38-39   The references in all three of the synoptic gospels to Christ’s healing of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law (πενθερὰ) tell us one thing for an absolute certainty:  The first pope was married!     Note, incidentally, how directly Jesus goes from the synagogue into Peter’s house.  The two seem to be located very near each other, as, indeed, the traditional site of Peter’s house in Capernaum is located virtually next door to the… Read more

February 14, 2019

    Another passage from Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin, The Banality of Suicide Terrorism: The Naked Truth About the Psychology of Islamic Suicide Bombing (Dulles, VA: Potomac Books. 2010), a book on which I’ve commented in two previous blog entries:   “‘The psychology of Islamic suicide bombing’?”   “Once more, on the supposed psychology of Islamic suicide bombing”   “The obsession for purity, which dreads the female body while also craving it, is a recurrent theme in political Islam.  [The 9-11 terrorist… Read more

February 14, 2019

    I found this article fascinating on several levels:   “Maya bones bring a lost civilization to life: Trained in both medicine and archaeology, Vera Tiesler has revealed how the human body was deeply woven into the religion, tradition and politics of the Maya world.”   I’ll mention just one:   The warfare and bloodlust mentioned in the article remind me of the somber words of Mormon to his son Moroni, written sometime shortly before the catastrophic destruction of the… Read more

February 14, 2019

    New, on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   “Lasting Happiness Comes from Living the Way Jesus Christ Taught”: A Video Supplement for Come, Follow Me Lesson 8: “Blessed Are Ye”   ***   I’m a bit late on this one, but I provide a link just in case you missed it when it was new.  Don’t miss the video:   “Prophet Invites Arizonans to Turn Homes Into Sanctuaries of Faith: President Nelson also meets with local faith, civic and government leaders”  … Read more

February 14, 2019

    Last night, I read Chapter 3 in Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin, The Banality of Suicide Terrorism: The Naked Truth About the Psychology of Islamic Suicide Bombing (Dulles, VA: Potomac Books. 2010).   Oh my.   If this book is going to make a positive impression on me, it had better start soon.   Chapter Three is entitled “The Death Pilots of September 11.”  It promises its readers a specific examination of “four of the main hijackers” involved in the… Read more

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