October 14, 2020

    Tom Kimball, formerly affiliated with Signature Books as its marketing director and formerly a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, moved some years ago to the vicinity of Kirtland, Ohio.  Tom didn’t exactly consider himself a friend of mine, nor of my religious beliefs.  I was saddened, though, to learn this afternoon of his death, apparently by his own hand.  I wish him peace.   ***   Freshly available via the website of the… Read more

October 14, 2020

    As Muslims began to realize the extent of Western technical and material superiority, they were often appalled. Islam was no longer at the cutting edge, no longer triumphant. Islam, it seemed, was los­ing ground. The impact was as if, not at merely one general confer­ence but at one after another after another, the announcement were to be made from the pulpit of the Conference Center that we had actually lost members during the preceding year. That our missionary… Read more

October 13, 2020

    Tarik LaCour has responded to me over at his blog, The Mad Dog Naturalist:   “Clearing the Air”   He’s right.  If we disagree at all on the general task or tasks of apologetics, the disagreement seems very slight.  I agree that the “heavyweights” of sophisticated philosophical atheism merit response, and he agrees that lightweight anti-theistic and anti-Mormon popularizers such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and the “CES Letter” need to be addressed.   We differ very strongly,… Read more

October 13, 2020

    Why was Napoleon Bonaparte’s conquest of Egypt so important? A West­ern nation had managed to take control of one of the central and largest of Islamic states. Cairo, the greatest Arab city, was under the command of foreigners. Foreigners, of course, had been ruling Egypt for some time. Indeed, they had been ruling since the Persian con­quest of Pharaonic Egypt in the sixth century before Christ. Per­sians, Macedonians (the Ptolemies, who included Cleopatra), Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Kurds, Turks,… Read more

October 13, 2020

    Dr. Lynn Johnson kindly alerted me to this 2014 article from Frontiers in Psychology.  It was written by Anne Berthold  and  Willibald Ruch of the Department of Psychology (Personality and Assessment) at the University of Zürich, in Switzerland — which I can testify (having served as a young missionary in the Switzerland Zürich Mission and visited Switzerland thereafter on numerous occasions) is not precisely a hotbed of Christian apologetics:   “Satisfaction with life and character strengths of non-religious and religious people:… Read more

October 12, 2020

    I have to admit that this little item  is really, really well done.  Take three minutes and watch the video, a hilarious gift from the bishopric of the Highland Utah 19th Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:   “Video: Bishopric invites their congregation back to church with a little Billy Joel flair”   “There is no music in hell,” said President Brigham Young, “for all good music belongs to heaven.”  I suspect that the same is true of… Read more

October 12, 2020

    Below, I share with you three passages from Thomas Dubay, The Evidential Power of Beauty: Science and Theology Meet (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1999):   Our earth’s atmosphere has been called a miracle.  One of its traits is the composition of the air we breathe.  If its makeup included 17 percent oxygen, we could not breathe at all; if it were 25 percent, we would burn up.  It actually is 21 percent, exactly what we need. (215)  … Read more

October 12, 2020

    A new article, this one by Professor Kent P. Jackson, has been posted on the website of the Interpreter Foundation.  It will eventually appear in a volume of Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   “The Visions of Moses and Joseph Smith’s Bible Translation” Abstract: This contribution focuses on the earliest and one of the most significant chapters of the Book of Moses: Moses 1, sometimes called the “Visions of Moses.” Kent Jackson summarizes the sources… Read more

October 12, 2020

    For convenience’s sake, Marshall Hodgson chose 1800 as the beginning of  what he termed the “Modern Period” of Islamic history.  But the event that he had in mind as marking the dawn of the Modern Period in the Middle East actually occurred in 1798.  I quote from Paul Strathern’s fascinating Napoleon in Egypt:   The invasion of Egypt by Napoleon in the summer of 1798 was the first great seaborne invasion of the modern era.  At the time, it may… Read more

October 11, 2020

    Nearly three years ago now, the astoundingly prolific and productive Irish Latter-day Saint writer Robert Boylan posted this interesting blog entry:   “Some tips on becoming an effective apologist”   Now, my friend Tarik LaCour, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy and a master’s degree in neuroscience at Texas A&M University, has published an interesting item on his own blog that I commend to your attention.  It’s entitled   “How to be a Good Apologist.”   I… Read more




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