Yes to Apologetics

Yes to Apologetics October 18, 2022


NASA tracking dish sldkflskdjfoiaerhjtiajoai
This photograph, purportedly taken of a C-band 3 megawatt radar with a 50-foot dish antenna located at the north end of the Kennedy Space Center here in Florida, is actually part of the broadcast network for the weekly Interpreter Radio Show. When needed, it can also emit a lethal pulse beam that will take out anybody who dares to disagree with me.

(NASA public domain photograph)


Three new items have gone up today on the website of the Interpreter Foundation.  Ignore them at your eternal peril.  Or, anyway, please feel free to take a look at them:


Come, Follow Me — Old Testament Study and Teaching Helps: Lesson 44, October 24–30: Ezekiel 1–3; 33–34; 36–37; 47 — “A New Spirit Will I Put within You”

Steadily, methodically, generously, and reliably, Jonn Claybaugh continues to produce these concise notes for students and teachers of the Church’s “Come, Follow Me” curriculum and to share them through the Interpreter Foundation.


Audio Roundtable: Come, Follow Me Old Testament Lesson 44 “A New Spirit Will I Put within You”: Ezekiel 1–3; 33–34; 36–37; 47

The one-hour Interpreter Radio Roundtable for Come, Follow Me Old Testament Lesson 44, “A New Spirit Will I Put within You” on Ezekiel 1–3; 33–34; 36–37; 47, has been extracted — liberated from commercial and other extraneous distractions — from the full two-hour 18 September 2022 broadcast of the overall Interpreter Radio Show. The discussants in this roundtable were Bruce Webster and Kris Frederickson. The two-hour complete show may be heard at The Interpreter Radio Show can be heard live and unrehearsed in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake on Sunday evenings, week in and week out, from 7 to 9 PM (MDT), on K-TALK, AM 1640.  If, however, you’re trying to listen to it from anywhere outside the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, you’ll probably do better by tuning in to it via the Internet at  What a wondrous age in which we live!


“Nibley Lectures: Time Vindicates the Prophets — The Schools and the Prophets”

Between 7 March 1954 and 17 October 1954, Hugh Nibley delivered a series of thirty weekly lectures on KSL Radio that were also published as pamphlets. The series, which was called “Time Vindicates the Prophets,” was given in answer to those who were challenging the right of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to call themselves Christians.  This particular lecture is a history of schools and how they’ve affected prophets over the years.


Photo in the public domain
And this one?  It’s supposedly the Lovell Telescope, Jodrell Bank Observatory, United Kingdom

(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


I was present on 19 March 2004 when Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles delivered the address from which this passage is taken.  He died just four months later:


“In a way, LDS scholars at BYU and elsewhere are a little bit like the builders of the temple in Nauvoo who worked with a trowel in one hand and a musket in the other.  Today scholars building the temple of learning must also pause on occasion to defend the Kingdom.  I personally think this is one of the reasons the Lord established and maintains this University.  The dual role of builder and defender is unique and ongoing.  I am grateful we have scholars today who can handle, as it were, both trowels and muskets.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Blending Research and Revelation”


It makes me think of another comment that was sent out to all of the professors at Brigham Young University back on 6 April 2015 by the BYU Faculty Center, who attributed it to one Jeffrey R. Holland.  (He was identified as “President of BYU, 1980-1989.”)  Here it is:


“Defending the faith intelligently is only one kind of aid we might offer our far-flung brothers and sisters, albeit surely the most important one.”


Hypnotic dcp
But we really don’t need elaborate electronic arrays to vaporize dissenters. My eyes aren’t useful only for hypnosis. I can also destroy things directly by means of their laser function.

(Image stolen from the website of Steve Smoot)


I close, though, with some horrors from the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File©.  After all, I’ve just finished reading a book by Stephen King, so horrors are very much on my mind.  So, first some quick links:


“State of Maryland Holds Monthlong JustServe Initiative: The Church donates 40,000 pounds of food to pantries around Maryland; governor calls on residents to serve their communities”

“New Jersey Stake Connects With the Muslim Community: A stake communication director has witnessed the impact of fostering friendships and faith”

“Teenagers of Different Faiths Work Together To Help Ukrainian Refugees: High school students used JustServe to raise money through a community yard sale”


To which I add the titles and abstracts of a pair of appalling academic articles:


Crystal L. Park, “Religiousness/Spirituality and Health: A Meaning Systems Perspective,”  Journal of Behavioral Medicine 30 (2007): 319-328.

Abstract: The existence of links between religion and spirituality (R/S) and health appear to be firmly established, but much less is known about how these various aspects of R/S are translated into health outcomes. Within a meaning systems framework, this article reviews and integrates findings regarding the many pathways through which R/S may influence physical health and well-being. In particular, evidence for the pathways of body sanctification, meaning in life, social support, health locus of control, health behaviors, positive and negative affect and stress moderation, treatment adherence, and coping is examined. The article concludes with suggestions for future research.

Crystal L. Park is affiliated with the Department of Psychology at the University of Connecticut.


Jeff Levin, Linda M. Chatters, and Robert Joseph Taylor, “Religion, Health and Medicine in African Americans: Implications for Physicians,” Journal of the National Medical Association 97/2 (February 2005): 237-249.

Abstract:  Recent years have seen a burgeoning of research and writing on the connections between religion and health. The very best of this work comes from epidemiologic studies of African Americans. This paper summarizes results of these investigations, including findings identifying effects of religious participation on both physical and mental health outcomes. Evidence mostly supports a protective religious effect on morbidity and mortality and on depressive symptoms and overall psychological distress among African Americans. This paper also carefully discusses what the results of these studies mean and do not mean, an important consideration due to frequent misinterpretations of findings on this topic. Because important distinctions between epidemiologic and clinical studies tend to get glossed over, reports of religion-health associations oftentimes draw erroneous conclusions that foster unrealistic expectations about the role of faith and spirituality in health and healing. Finally, implications are discussed for clinical practice, medical education and public health.

The three authors are associated with the University of Michigan School of Social Work, the University’s School of Public Health, and the Program for Research on Black Americans, all in Ann Arbor.


Posted from Miami, Florida



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