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

January 18, 2015

      “And We have sent the Book down to you in truth, confirming what you already have of the Book and as a criterion for it. So judge between them by what God has sent down and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had God willed, He would have made you one faith-community, but [He intended] to test you in what He has given… Read more

January 18, 2015

    “Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life.”  (Isaac Bashevis Singer, Nobel laureate in literature for 1978)     Read more

January 18, 2015

    The disease, or disorder, or complex of disorders and/or diseases commonly known as “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” is a battlefield.   Is the origin of CFS physical?  Or is it psychological?  Or psychiatric?  Or some combination of mental and physiological?   An article in the 17 January 2015 issue of the Economist reports on a controversial recent publication regarding the topic.   I won’t get into the details of the disputes, but I want to note that, according to the article,… Read more

January 18, 2015

    A review in the 20 December 2014 issue of the Economist calls attention to an interesting book by Austen Ivereigh entitled The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope.  I don’t know that I’ll ever get around to reading it — it weighs in at 445 pages — but I wish I could.   Ivereigh lived in Pope Francis’s native Argentina as a doctoral student in the 1990s, focusing on religion and politics, and he… Read more

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