January 20, 2015

    In the wake of a somewhat cryptic post on his Facebook page in which he speaks of losing faith in religious leaders, etc., there’s been a huge buzz of speculation across the internet over the past week or two about what many have hoped might be Glenn Beck’s disaffection from his Mormon religious affiliation.   Here’s a short item posted yesterday, in which Beck speaks of the man who introduced him to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day… Read more

January 20, 2015

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January 19, 2015

    Matthew 9:9-13 Mark 2:13-17 Luke 5:27-32   This account, of the calling of Levi or Matthew, provides one of our clearest glimpses into the character of Jesus.  And it’s a very impressive one.   Levi or Matthew is himself a tax collector — not the most highly esteemed profession then or now, perhaps, but infinitely worse then.  And Jesus is portrayed as dining with a whole group of “tax collectors and sinners.”   When he’s rebuked for the… Read more

January 19, 2015

    “All history is present history in the sense that the concerns of the present are bound somehow to affect the way history is studied and written. All history is also personal, since it is impossible to avoid the influence of one’s own opinions and prejudices on the selection and emphasis of one’s historical material.” Paul Cartledge, Professor of Greek History and Culture, University of Cambridge     Read more

January 19, 2015

    “Humans think they are free, conscious beings, when in truth they are deluded animals. At the same time they never cease trying to escape from what they imagine themselves to be. Their religions are attempts to be rid of a freedom they have never possessed. In the twentieth century, the utopias of Right and Left served the same function. Today, when politics is unconvincing even as entertainment, science has taken on the role of mankind’s deliverer.”   (John… Read more

January 19, 2015

    Matthew 9:1-8 Mark 2:1-12 Luke 5:17-26 Compare John 5:1-9   The Pharisees and teachers of the law are offended, scandalized, when Jesus tells the paralytic that his sins are forgiven.  “Who, apart from God,” they say, “can forgive sins?”   An excellent question.  Well worth pondering.  Indeed, that, I suspect, is the point.   But Jesus then asks them which is easier — to tell a man to be healed or to tell him that his sins are… Read more

January 19, 2015

    Ben Park posted an interesting interview today with Jared Hickman:   http://www.juvenileinstructor.org/qa-with-jared-hickman/#more-16820   I’d like to comment on one passage from it:   “Exciting things are happening in Book of Mormon studies at the moment. Within the Mormon bubble, there seems now to be increasing support for popping that bubble by moving away from a siege mentality focused on defending the historicity of The Book of Mormon. The emergence of new interlocutors laboring under broad intellectual shifts in… Read more

January 19, 2015

    Nathan Oman, of the Law School of the College of William & Mary in Virginia — a friend and brilliant former student — calls my attention to an article that he’s just published under the title of “International Legal Experience and the Mormon Theology of the State, 1945-2012.”   For details, see here:  http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2015/01/the-influence-of-law-on-mormon-theology-in-the-20th-century/.   Some of you, I think, might find it of considerable interest.     Read more

January 19, 2015

    “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  Martin Luther King, Jr. Today would be an appropriate day to listen to Martin Luther King’s justly famous “I have a dream” speech, which was delivered on 28 August 1963.  Have you ever heard the whole address?  Have you heard it recently?  It’s one of the greatest speeches ever delivered on American soil, and… Read more

January 19, 2015

    Still more dissent from the narrative that’s being zealously promoted about John Dehlin in certain circles:   http://www.plonialmonimormon.com/2015/01/satan-and-satire-on-narratives-of.html   I’ve written and posted very little of my own on the topic, and I don’t intend to do so, but others have had some very interesting (and, I think, important) things to say about it.     Read more

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