February 13, 2019

      Some of you are aware, I think, that I’ll be leading a tour in 2020 centered on the famous “passion play” (devoted to the last days of Christ) that has been performed in the beautiful little Bavarian village of Oberammergau essentially every decade — in years ending in zero — since its first staging in 1634 during a time when the plague was ravaging the area.   http://www.cruiselady.com/tours/oberammergau-2020-passion-play/   I’m quite excited about this.  For one thing,… Read more

February 13, 2019

    “Are 2 church fires in St. George connected?”   ***   From a Catholic journal:  “As Mormons open Rome temple, doctrinal hiccups with Vatican endure”   For the record, I judge the Vatican ruling to have been misguided.  I’ve written on the question of whether or not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Christian church in the book Offenders for a Word: How Anti-Mormons Play Word Games to Attack the Latter-day Saints and I’ve… Read more

February 12, 2019

    Matthew 4:13-17 Mark 1:14-15 Luke 4:14-15 John 4:43-46   The notion that “a prophet is not without honor except in his own country” strikes me as entirely human and very plausible.  Familiarity, the saying goes, breeds contempt.  Not in everybody, of course.  But for many, I’m sure, it’s much easier to believe in prophets and apostles who are very distant from us, either in time or in space or both, than it would be — than it is… Read more

February 12, 2019

    New, on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   “The Church in the DR Congo: A Personal Perspective: Part 11, “The Labourers Are Few””   ***   From the astonishing Jeff Lindsay:   “Souls that Expand and Swell: An Intriguing But Not Unique Book of Mormon Concept”   ***   Do not — do not — entrust the fate of your eternal soul to the tender ministrations of John Dehlin.   Here’s a brand new resource for evaluating his… Read more

February 12, 2019

    Matthew Wheeler kindly brings a really interesting case to my attention.   A fellow by the name of Mickey Green posted the following social media message on Twitter (?), on 11 February 2019:   Well Muslims have no rights!  Nor should be in my country!  No worries!  Muslim will be removed from the usa!  Not welcome and will be leaving   Here is a response from Qasim Rashid, an American Ahmadi Muslim attorney and writer, posted shortly thereafter… Read more

February 12, 2019

    “And they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee; and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees. (Ether 2:3)   Here’s a piece that appeared in the FARMS Review back in 2008, during the dark and evil days when I edited it and when, as a consequence, it was largely if not entirely devoted to brazen lies and vicious personal attacks:   “A Brief Survey of Ancient Near Eastern Beekeeping”… Read more

February 11, 2019

    John 4:4-42   1.   Why did Jesus need to travel through Samaria in order to reach the Galilee from Judea (4:4)?  If, as I’ve been saying, he was baptizing at the Jordan River somewhere not too far from Jericho and the northern end of the Dead Sea, couldn’t he simply have traveled northward up the Jordan Valley, and reached Galilee (or, more specifically, the Sea of Galilee) that way?  Why did he need to climb up to… Read more

February 11, 2019

    I’ve just begun reading Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin, The Banality of Suicide Terrorism: The Naked Truth About the Psychology of Islamic Suicide Bombing (Dulles, VA: Potomac Books. 2010).   Thus far, I’m not favorably impressed.  I can only hope that it gets better.   Dr. Kobrin, a psychoanalyst who has strong ties to Israel but practices in Minnesota, offers an interesting thesis, which she states in various ways:  “Islamic suicide terrorism can be understood as a new variant of… Read more

February 11, 2019

    Continuing from the prior post:   An interesting and, to my mind, important article appeared in the 13 October 2018 issue of The Economist:   “The retreat from meat: Why people in rich countries are eating more vegan food: The further they go, the better”   I’m drawing here from that article:   Across the “First World,” in affluent countries, interest in vegan foods has been rising sharply.  In the United States, for example, according to The Economist, sales of… Read more

February 11, 2019

    Over the past several years, I’ve enjoyed a few dinner table conversations at the annual FreedomFest in Las Vegas that, among others, included John Mackey, the libertarian co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market.  So, a few months ago, I read John Mackey, Alona Pulde, and Matthew Lederman, The Whole Foods Diet: The Lifesaving Plan for Health and Longevity (New York: Grand Central Life and Style, 2017).   I found the book, on the whole, rather persuasive.  And not… Read more

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