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Sic Et Non

Some more on “jihad”

5 hours 57 minutes ago
    This is how the text read in my old book Abraham Divided, from the mid-1980s.  This is a passage, I think, that needs considerable expansion and nuancing.  Comments are welcome, as are suggestions of issues that you would want to see covered.   Islam has a very realistic view of the issues involved […]
Dan Peterson

Unimaginable Vastness and Remarkable Order

12 hours 12 minutes ago
    Another attempt to help us imagine the sheer unimaginably astounding size of the cosmos, from Chris Impey, University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona, in his book How It Began: A Time-Traveler’s Guide to the Universe (New York and London: W. W. Norton and Company, 2012), 98:   We live […]
Dan Peterson

Some resources for Latter-day Saints

23 hours 21 minutes ago
    Some further notes from John W . Welch, et al., eds., Knowing Why: 137 Evidences That the Book of Mormon Is True (American Fork: Covenant Communications, 2017), 35-40:   The essay “Did Pre-Christian Prophets Know about Christ?” (35-36) addresses something that is often derided as an anachronism in the Book of Mormon:  Did the pre-Christian Jaredite and Nephite […]
Dan Peterson

Four books to nourish and strengthen testimonies

1 day 2 hours ago
  Every once in a while, I feel moved to post this item, which I first wrote many years ago.  I feel impressed to do so yet again.   Other books and materials could easily be added to this list, addressing these and scores of other specific topics, but these will do for starters:   […]
Dan Peterson

Regarding Jihad

1 day 5 hours ago
    From my manuscript on Islam for Mormons:   The sixth of the five pillars of Islam never quite made it into the authoritative lists, although there were a number of prestigious thinkers who argued that it ought to be included. The word jihad is often translated as “holy war,” but its meaning is […]
Dan Peterson

“Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could.”

1 day 9 hours ago
    Lawrence Krauss is a physicist at Arizona State University — and a very vocal atheist who believes that the universe came out of “nothing” (or, at least, could have done so) without the aid of a divine creator (e.g., in his A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing [2012]).   […]
Dan Peterson

Star Stuff

2 days 1 hour ago
    Some material from Chris Impey, University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona, taken from his book How It Began: A Time-Traveler’s Guide to the Universe (New York and London: W. W. Norton and Company, 2012):   Imagine atoms in the universe scattered like playing cards.  Instead of the […]
Dan Peterson

On the new First Presidency

2 days 3 hours ago
    I was on an airplane this morning, flying from Phoenix to Salt Lake City, when the new First Presidency — Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, and Henry B. Eyring — was announced.   Many were surprised and not a few disappointed that Elder Dieter Uchtdorf is not a member of this new […]
Dan Peterson

The Hajj

3 days ago
    Some notes on the hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage that is among the “Five Pillars of Islam,” from my manuscript on basic Islamic doctrine and history for Latter-day Saints:   It is incumbent upon every Muslim who can afford to do so to make the pilgrimage to “the Ancient House” (the Ka’ba) at […]
Dan Peterson

Four examples of astrophysical fine-tuning

3 days 2 hours ago
    A quotation from Surprised by Meaning: Science, Faith, and How We Make Sense of Things (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), by the Oxford theologian Alister McGrath, who holds three Oxford doctorates — in divinity, intellectual history, and molecular biophysics:   Examples of the astrophysical “fine-tuning” of fundamental cosmological constants include the following:  If the strong coupling […]
Dan Peterson

Notes from “I Saw Heaven” (Part Two)

3 days 3 hours ago
    A few additional notes from Lawrence E. Tooley, I Saw Heaven: A Remarkable Visit to the Spirit World (Springville, UT: Cedar Fort, 2006):   I felt whole, and complete, and more fully alive than at any time I can ever remember.  (58)   “I’ve never felt like this before.  I feel as if all my senses have […]
Dan Peterson

The principle of fasting in Islam, and a mysterious chamber in the Great Pyramid

3 days 22 hours ago
    Just a little bit from the manuscript on which I’m currently working — an introduction to Islam aimed primarily at Latter-day Saints:   Each lunar year, Muslims fast during the entire month of Ramadan—from the rising of the sun until its setting. “Eat and drink,” the Qur’an directs, “until you can tell a […]
Dan Peterson

“The nature of the universe itself seems to raise the ‘God’ question.”

4 days 8 hours ago
    What have the age and size of the observable universe, nuclear energy levels in beryllium and carbon, the remarkable properties of water and the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere have in common?  All these things are essential to the existence of carbon-based life and are determined by subtle balances among the forces […]
Dan Peterson

Notes from “I Saw Heaven” (Part One)

4 days 11 hours ago
    As I’ve indicated before, I’m very interested in the phenomenon of near-death experiences.  I’ve studied hundreds of them.  I’ve read extensively on the subject.   They are so widely reported that I find it inconceivable that the phenomenon is “made-up.”  The crucial remaining question, of course, regards their significance.  Do they really point to […]
Dan Peterson

Almsgiving in Islam, preceded by a bit more on prayer

4 days 22 hours ago
    Remarkably, although the duty of prayer is often mentioned in the Qur’an, that book never specifically mentions a duty of praying formally five times daily. One legend says that Muhammad received the commandment of five daily prayers during his miraculous ascension into heaven from the Temple Mount at Jerusalem. Origi­nally, so the story […]
Dan Peterson

A divine mountain in the Arizona desert

5 days 7 hours ago
    This morning, my wife and I (and the Utah friends with whom we’ve come) participated in an endowment session in the Phoenix Arizona Temple.   I’ve always loved the temple.  Some of my earliest and most pivotal spiritual experiences came in connection with temples, and — along with several others that I know — I […]
Dan Peterson

“Robust” fine-tuning in chemistry?

5 days 22 hours ago
    A passage from Surprised by Meaning: Science, Faith, and How We Make Sense of Things (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), by the Oxford theologian Alister McGrath, who holds Oxford doctorates in both divinity and intellectual history — which he earned after he had first received an Oxford doctorate in molecular biophysics:   Yet it is not […]
Dan Peterson

Muslim prayer

6 days ago
    There are essentially two kinds of prayer in Islam. The one with which we in the West are most familiar is, paradoxically, the one most foreign to us. This is the formal prayer known as salat.[1]  Five times daily—at sunrise, midday, afternoon, evening, and night— pious Muslims prostrate themselves before God, bowing low […]
Dan Peterson

“Almost like a bacillus to which they have no immunity”

6 days 5 hours ago
    A person who wishes to remain anonymous kindly passed a pair of quotations on to me that he found “very relevant to church members encountering new information about the past.”  Especially, he said, the highlighted portions.   The quotations come from the famous psychologist and psycholinguist Steven Pinker:   The other way in which […]
Dan Peterson

“The Demiurge’s hidden message”

1 week ago
    In his stimulating book Biocosm: The New Scientific Theory of Evolution: Intelligent Life is the Architect of the Universe (Makawao, Maui, Hawaii: Inner Ocean Publishing, 2003), James N. Gardner cites The Dreams of Reason, a 1988 book written by the theoretical physicist Heinz Pagels, who, at the time of his tragic death in a Colorado mountain […]
Dan Peterson
Checked
2 hours 53 minutes ago
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