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Faith is By Choice Striving to Build Faith in the Church of Jesus Christ

Sic Et Non

Thinking about and with Jane

17 hours 50 minutes ago
    My wife and I have been on one of our periodic Jane Austen binges again.  First, we re-watched the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice, with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.  Then, inspired, we watched the 1996 Emma again, starring Gwyneth Paltrow.  Really getting into it by this point, we binge-watched the 2008 WGBH […]
Dan Peterson

On the Trump Tweet (1)

22 hours 8 minutes ago
    As a serious social and political conservative who is inclined to libertarianism on economic issues, I’m anything but a fan of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).  I’ve paid scarcely any attention to Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), but, given her political positions, it’s safe to say that I would […]
Dan Peterson

Mr. Jonathan Neville intensifies his puzzling personal attacks.

1 day 1 hour ago
    I don’t follow Mr. Jonathan Neville’s blogs, have never read a book or an article that he has written, and, although I met him once at a FairMormon conference, can’t remember what he looks like.  But a friend — Mr. Neville would surely describe him as a fellow “M2C” conspirator — has just […]
Dan Peterson

“Can the human soul be a scientific concept?”

1 day 2 hours ago
    I have to admit that I was intrigued to see this item, and that I’m very curious to find out more about what the speaker will be saying:   “Can the human soul be a scientific concept? 
One ivy league neuroscientist says, “Yes!””   He seems to be taking a rather daring and […]
Dan Peterson

“A subject so worthy”

1 day 5 hours ago
    Here’s a wonderful case of extracting good from bad or, as the old saying has it, of making a silk purse from a sow’s ear:   “Choir Goes Viral for Singing “I Believe in Christ” During NY Blackout”   ***   In any given month, there’s a whole lot going on in places […]
Dan Peterson

“Finding Nature’s Deep Design”

1 day 16 hours ago
    Frank Wilczek, an American theoretical physicist and mathematician and a 2004 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, is currently the  Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  He has been described as an agnostic, but apparently insists that it would be more accurate to call him a pantheist.   I offer three quotations from Professor Wilczek that […]
Dan Peterson

A note regarding complaints about LDS humanitarian efforts

1 day 18 hours ago
    Stephen Cranney has just published a review in BYU Studies of The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church (New York City: Oxford University Press, 2019), which was written by Jana Riess with assistance from Benjamin Knoll:   It’s well worth a look by anybody who read the book or who is interested in the […]
Dan Peterson

“Occasionally, when the dead are seen by the living . . .”

2 days 2 hours ago
    Three passages taken from P.M.H. Atwater, The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences: The Ultimate Guide to What Happens When We Die (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, 2007):   As he lay dying on the ground near his mangled car, comedian Sam Kinison was heard talking softly with an unseen presence.  An individual at the […]
Dan Peterson

Are evolution and theism incompatible?

2 days 18 hours ago
    I bought Alvin Plantinga’s book Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) shortly after its initial publication.  To my shame, however, it’s been sitting unread on my shelf since that time.  So I’m finally getting around to reading it — although, thus far, only at […]
Dan Peterson

The “Modern Western Mindset”?

3 days 1 hour ago
    My late friend Huston Smith (1919-2016), whom I first met when he was retired from a career of teaching at Washington University in St. Louis (1947-1958), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1958-1973) and Syracuse University (1973-1983) and was serving as a visiting professor of Religious Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote a number of books.  I quote from […]
Dan Peterson

Three fascinating days in August

3 days 6 hours ago
    The 2019 FairMormon conference will be held at the Utah Valley Convention Center, in Provo, Utah, on 7-9 August.  That’s slightly less than a month away.   I’m thinking of attending the conference myself.  I hope to see you there.   You can learn about the conference, register to attend the conference, and/or find […]
Dan Peterson

I’m sincerely worried, and I hope that this will stop.

3 days 18 hours ago
    I have, quite candidly, paid absolutely no direct attention to Mr. Jonathan Neville’s writings, public speeches, and blog.  But perhaps I should have been paying attention.  The more I hear about them, the more concerned I become.  Really.  Genuinely concerned:   “Jonathan Neville accuses Church missionaries of deception”   ***   “I will […]
Dan Peterson

Gender Nineteen Eighty-Fouria

4 days 2 hours ago
    I have to admit that I resonated with this story just a little bit because of my own quite unexpected 2012-2013 experience with nasty campus politics.  But it raises far more important issues than that, and I hope very much that you will read it:   “Gender Dissenter Gets Fired: Dr. Allan Josephson discusses […]
Dan Peterson

Hugh Nibley and the Heartland

4 days 3 hours ago
    Mr. Jonathan Neville’s aggressive advocacy of the “Heartland model” of Book of Mormon geography is generating considerable pushback on at least one blog.  And, considering that much of Mr. Neville’s advocacy consists of unjust and uncharitable attacks on those with whom he disagrees, I can’t say that I’m particularly sad about the response […]
Dan Peterson

“Shazer: An Etymological Proposal in Narrative Context”

4 days 4 hours ago
    I’m pleased to announced a new article from Matthew L. Bowen in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   “Shazer: An Etymological Proposal in Narrative Context”   Abstract: In 1 Nephi 16:13–14, Nephi mentions the name Shazer as a toponym the Lehite clan bestowed on a site in western Arabia “four days” journey south-southeast of the valley […]
Dan Peterson

A sewer leak and the first-century world of Jesus

4 days 18 hours ago
    I think that I may have forgotten to call attention to my column for today in the Deseret News:   “How a sewer leak led to another important archaeological discovery in Jerusalem”   ***   Some additional Church-related links that you might enjoy:   “Jewish and Latter-day Saint scholars just had an interfaith […]
Dan Peterson

A giant marble pyramid-shaped island complex rising from the sea

4 days 21 hours ago
    There are some intriguing echoes here of ancient temple ideas that, in my judgment, at least some Latter-day Saint readers — e.g., those who have read their Hugh Nibley — might find of interest:   “Giant marble pyramid-shaped island complex rising from sea uncovered, revealing secrets of ancient Greece’s origins: Exclusive: Thousands of years of […]
Dan Peterson

Funny, and not so funny

5 days 2 hours ago
    First, the not-so-funny news.  It’s been a bad week for billionaires:   “Chris Cline, billionaire coal executive and philanthropist, dies at 60: The 60-year-old died in a helicopter crash off the coast of the Bahamas alongside his daughter, friends and the pilot, according to his attorney.”   “Ross Perot, self-made billionaire, patriot and philanthropist, […]
Dan Peterson

Pre-Columbian Horses in the Americas, Again?

5 days 7 hours ago
    One of the standard criticisms against the Book of Mormon, and one for which there have been decent responses but no definitive answer, stems from the eight episodes in the book that refer to New World horses before the arrival of Columbus.  These references range, chronologically, from Jaredite times (Ether 9:19) to approximately 20 […]
Dan Peterson

Using media tools to commend and defend the claims of the Restoration

6 days 1 hour ago
    The 7 July 2019 broadcast of the Interpreter Radio Show featured Neal Rappleye, Jasmin Rappleye, Spencer Marsh, Stephen Smoot, and Hales Swift, who held a conversation about such topics as the 4th of July, the physical nature of God, and Philistine DNA.  In the second hour of the broadcast, they discussed the upcoming Come, Follow […]
Dan Peterson
4 minutes 6 seconds ago
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