February 20, 2019

    Matthew 5:17-20 Compare Mark 13:31; Luke 16:16-17   There are those, particularly among Evangelical Protestants, who sometimes seem (to me, at least) to come perilously close to teaching an antinomian view of Jesus — one for which (or for whom) rules of conduct are, in a sense, irrelevant.   Today’s reading provides little support for such a view.  Which may be one reason why Martin Luther is reputed, amazingly, to have referred to the Sermon on the Mount… Read more

February 20, 2019

    (6 February 2019):  “BYU researchers find new target for pancreatic cancer treatment”   (14 February 2019): “BYU researchers unfold new class of mechanical devices: ‘Developable mechanisms’ are built into the surfaces of structures”   ***   “Ultima Thule is shaped like two lumpy pancakes: New images reveal the skinny side of the Kuiper Belt object”   “Citizen scientist discovers ancient astrophysical object”   The universe remains inconceivably vast.  Our galaxy alone is inconceivably vast, so try to imagine hundreds of… Read more

February 20, 2019

    I try not to eavesdrop.  I really do.  But sometimes it’s almost impossible to avoid.   Sitting in the airport in Richmond, Virginia, this morning, three people sitting beside me and across from me were having a vigorous conversation at pretty high volume.  They were all Episcopalians, and one of them has been serving on the search committee tasked with choosing a new bishop for an Episcopal diocese somewhere.   He was particularly excited about one candidate, who,… Read more

February 20, 2019

    Here’s an article that I published in the Deseret News way back on 29 April 2010:   China is, by a margin of nearly 200 million, the most populous country on earth. And it appears, at least, to be a rising economic superpower. (According to The Economist, it averaged 15.1 percent annual growth in real GDP between 1997 and 2007, by far the highest rate of any major nation.) Fortified by its increasing wealth, China is integrating itself… Read more

February 19, 2019

    Matthew 4:24; 5:1-12 Compare Mark 3:7-13; Luke 6:17-23   I have a very great deal to say about the Beatitudes, but not the time to say very much of it right now.  I hope to eventually write a small book on them.   For right now, I’ll content myself with a brief comment about Matthew 5:6, which reads “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”     There’s a story that’s… Read more

February 19, 2019

    I doubt that there’s any room left in your bulging Christopher Hitchens Memorial “Religion Poisons Everything” File, but, just in case there’s some area in which to cram some more, you’ll find a rich abundance of blood-curdling evil in this thing:   “2018 LDS Charities Annual Report”   It should actually have been titled Heart of Darkness, but — mwahahahaha! — I already own the copyright to that title for my autobiography.   If you have only a… Read more

February 19, 2019

    Something to watch for tonight (Tuesday night):   “Supermoon, 2019’s biggest and brightest, will light up the sky”   ***   Responding to a blog entry from yesterday (“Can Mormon transhumanists revitalize the Latter-day Saints?”), Lincoln Cannon has sent me a link to his article, which was critiqued in Interpreter by Gregory Smith.  I’m happy to share it:   “What is Mormon Transhumanism?”   ***   “Surprising” and “shocking” are two of the adjectives used in connection with this… Read more

February 19, 2019

    Plainly, comparative religions courses should be more widely taught.  Otherwise, bigots will continue to make rookie mistakes like this one:   “Man arrested for punching, pouring coffee on Sikh 7-Eleven clerk — because he thought the man was Muslim”   This isn’t the first time that a vengeful ignoramus has attacked a Sikh in a vain effort to hurt innocent Muslims.  Some will remember the case of the “Murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi” in Mesa, Arizona, on 15… Read more

February 18, 2019

    Mark 3:7-12 Compare Matthew 4:24-25; 12:15-16; Luke 6:17-19   The accounts of healings given in the passages cited above mention people coming from Galilee, Idumea, Tyre and Sidon,  the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea, and from what used to be called Transjordan (that is, the area across the Jordan River, in what is today the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which was itself known as Transjordan even into the twentieth century).  “His fame spread throughout all Syria,” says Matthew 4:24…. Read more

February 18, 2019

    “Is the Book of Mormon Like Any Other Nineteenth Century Book?”   ***   For your possible reflection:   “Mormon temple changes are a step forward for women”   Please, though, no explicit or detailed discussions of temple content on my blog or the relevant Facebook thread, should one arise.   ***   “Jaredite Barges, Anachronistic Glass Windows, and the grammar of Ether 2:23”   ***   I’m a bit late on this, but it’s still interesting:  … Read more

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