“In the beginning were the words”

“In the beginning were the words” January 23, 2019


The Big MAC, as it was once briefly called.
The interior of BYU’s Marriott Center, where Elder Corbridge delivered his remarks.
(Wikimedia Commons)


We’re told from time to time that Christianity is dying, and that atheism and agnosticism are on the rise.


Is this true?  It’s undeniable that Europe is adrift, spiritually speaking, and that, in the United States, the number of religiously unaffiliated “nones” has grown dramatically in recent years.  But Europe and North America aren’t the whole story, and it’s ethnocentric to imagine that they’re more important than other areas of the globe.


Here’s a Protestant voice:




I might note, by the way, that China has experienced the unchained and sunny uplands of atheism for generations now, and Christianity may now be undergoing historically unprecedented growth in that country:






I wasn’t quite able to listen to all of Tuesday’s BYU devotional address by Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy, but I heard most of it, and I liked what I heard very much:


“BYU Devotional: Stand forever with faith”


I hope that the video and transcript are made available soon.  (I’ll try to remember to let you know.)




More news from Rome:


“Donny Osmond Posts Video of Rome Temple and Shares Testimony of Temples as ‘Intersection Between Heaven and Earth'”




For various reasons, it seems that I may not be able to attend this conference, though I would very much like to be there.  And, if I’m able to come, it may be for only a short time.  You, however, have no excuse:


“BYU NTC Conference Saturday, January 26, 2019: “In the Beginning Were the Words: A Closer Look at Key New Testament Terms””




“Gladys Knight Offers “Classy” Response to Criticism About Singing at the Super Bowl”




I was delighted, a while back, to discover that the British ITV mystery/detective series Midsomer Murders (1997-) has, at least in the past, featured a character named Dr. Dan Peterson.  My wife and I are avid consumers of English mysteries.


Who, I wondered, could they have hired to portray a person bearing so solemn — so august, respectable, and important — a name?


This would surely have been a decision fraught with cultural significance, entered into after long and serious deliberation.


Several actors came immediately to my mind.


Mr. George Clooney
One obvious possibility


All would, no doubt, be clamoring for the coveted role.  Still, although many are called, only one of them can be chosen.


Daniel Craig on a yacht in Venice
Another pretty obvious option


Viggo Mortensen, looking less Middle Earthish
Thinking of him as Aragorn, of course. The true King of Gondor.


But no.  They selected an actor who surprised me.  Frankly, I wouldn’t have thought of him:


Tobias "Toby" Jones
Toby Jones


Plainly, we live in a fallen world.


The problem of evil is one of the most serious challenges faced by theologians and theistic philosophers, and a case such as this illustrates (pretty well beyond dispute) why that is so.



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