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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

Extraterrestrial intelligence and the existence of God

8 hours 25 minutes ago
      Since April 2001, Michael Shermer has written a regular monthly column in Scientific American titled “Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye.”  The publisher of Skeptic magazine, Shermer earned a Ph.D. in the history of science from Claremont Graduate University in 1991.  Notwithstanding the title of his Scientific American column, he […]
Dan Peterson

“Muhammad’s Reception Among the Arabs,” Part Two

11 hours 2 minutes ago
    Continuing with the narrative:   In 622, the Prophet and his followers emigrated from Mecca to Yathrib. This emigration, or hijra, as it is called in Arabic, now serves to mark the beginning of the Islamic calendar. Notice that the calendar does not start with the Prophet’s birth, nor with the beginning of […]
Dan Peterson

More on “Joseph Smith: American Prophet”

13 hours 23 minutes ago
    I posted an entry on Wednesday about the premiere of the excellent new film Joseph Smith: American Prophet:   Here are some links where you can see and learn more about it and follow news about it:   Contact your local PBS station and express interest in […]
Dan Peterson

“There truly is no such thing as ‘death'”

14 hours 51 minutes ago
    My weekly column for the Deseret News appeared, as usual, in the Thursday print edition but, for some reason, wasn’t published online until this morning.  It’s now available for reading online, though, by those who’ve learned to endure my inevitable and often-noted viciousness, name-calling, and incandescent rage:   “The Council of Fifty and […]
Dan Peterson

“Muhammad’s Reception among the Arabs,” Part One

1 day 8 hours ago
    Another little installment from a different part of the manuscript:   Muhammad’s Reception among the Arabs In these early days of his prophetic ministry in Mecca, Muhammad reaped much ridicule but few converts. (Among those who did con­vert, however, were some of the greatest names in later Islamic his­tory, names such as Ali, […]
Dan Peterson

The Rise and Fall of Steady State Cosmology

1 day 13 hours ago
    Another passage from Hans Küng, The Beginning of All Things: Science and Religion (Grand Rapids and Cambridge: Eerdmans Publishing, 2007), translated by John Bowden from Hans Küng, Der Anfang aller Dinge: Naturwissenschaft und Religion (Munich: Piper Verlag, 2005):   When around the middle of the twentieth century an attempt was made in apologetic Christian writings to identify the […]
Dan Peterson

Church Acquires Printer’s Manuscript of Book of Mormon

1 day 14 hours ago
    This is a pretty big deal:   “Church Acquires Printer’s Manuscript of Book of Mormon:  Historic documents purchased from Community of Christ”   It also carried a pretty hefty price tag:  $35 million.   To put that in at least some perspective, though:  I noticed an online comment from an experienced dealer in […]
Dan Peterson

The next installment

2 days 5 hours ago
    For all the talk of a land “flowing with milk and honey,” Pales­tine is a relatively difficult place to eke out a living. Tahiti might have been nice, with fruit just waiting to be picked. Switzerland is far prettier. Even in the Near East, there are places where it would have been much […]
Dan Peterson

“The Beginning of All Things”

2 days 8 hours ago
    Some passages from Hans Küng, The Beginning of All Things: Science and Religion (Grand Rapids and Cambridge: Eerdmans Publishing, 2007), translated by John Bowden from Hans Küng, Der Anfang aller Dinge: Naturwissenschaft und Religion (Munich: Piper Verlag, 2005):   There are galaxies that lie beyond our horizon: “Such galaxies are not only in […]
Dan Peterson

The Latter-day Saint Travel Ban

2 days 10 hours ago
    I was pleased, yesterday, to find in my office mailbox an official printed copy of the Brief of Scholars of Mormon History & Law as Amici Curiae in Support of Neither Party that has been filed with the Supreme Court of the United States in the conjoined cases of “Donald J. Trump, et […]
Dan Peterson

“American Prophet” and the Remarkable Power of Film

2 days 12 hours ago
    I was very pleased to be able to attend the premiere, last night, of the new Lee Groberg/Mark Goodman film American Prophet, about Joseph Smith.   It was very powerful.  And the narration, by the late Gregory Peck — something of a miracle itself, in a way — was an added benefit.   […]
Dan Peterson

“Post-Biblical Judaism”

3 days 15 hours ago
    In the previous passage from my forthcoming book, I wrote briefly about the scandal of what we in the West have often called “world history.”  Now I focus a bit more:   Post-biblical Judaism There is a similar gap—not scandalous, but still more than a bit unfortunate—in our knowledge of the history of […]
Dan Peterson

From Chapter 1, “After the Testaments”

4 days 9 hours ago
    Something of an apology (in the classical sense) for the book on Islam that I’m preparing for a Latter-day Saint audience, from Chapter 1:   I have a little book in my home library that I treasure. I love it for its impressive title: The History of the World in Two Hundred and […]
Dan Peterson

A glimpse at one of the (many) wonders inside of you

4 days 12 hours ago
    Below, I offer a passage from a lecture by Francis S. Collins, M.D. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Ph.D. (Yale University), entitled “The Language of God: A Believer Looks at the Human Genome” and delivered on 3 December 2008 in New York City as part of the “Socrates in the City” […]
Dan Peterson

“When Mormons Aspired to Be a ‘White and Delightsome’ People”

4 days 14 hours ago
    It’s probably pure coincidence, but The Atlantic, one of America’s better and more serious magazines, has published two fairly substantial articles of late that have dealt, to some degree or another, with Mormonism.  This one, an interview with the non-LDS (but not, I think, anti-LDS) historian Max Perry Mueller, likely won’t altogether please […]
Dan Peterson

“Paganism Condemned”

4 days 15 hours ago
    Still going:   Paganism Condemned Another common theme beginning in the earliest chapters of the Qur’an is a denunciation of paganism, the worshiping of pagan gods. This theme drew enthusiastic praise from Parley P. Pratt: Mahometanism included the doctrine that there was one God— that He was great, even the creator of all […]
Dan Peterson

A meditation on the rise of the religious “nones”

5 days 9 hours ago
    Imagine there’s no heaven It’s easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people living for today Imagine there’s no countries It isn’t hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too Imagine all the people living life in peace You may […]
Dan Peterson

“O that I were an angel”

5 days 12 hours ago
    During the period immediately prior to and at the beginning of my mission, it seemed that I was hearing the song “O that I were an angel” just about all the time.  It is, of course, based on Alma 29:1-2:   O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I […]
Dan Peterson

Continuing with Muhammad at Mecca

6 days 6 hours ago
    It just doesn’t end, does it?   For this belief [in a physical resurrection] and others, the doubters made fun of the faith­ful.29 Whenever possible, they would deliberately interrupt the rec­itation of the Qur’an. Always they would laugh at it as just “old fairy tales.”30 Muhammad was accused of magic. Sometimes he was […]
Dan Peterson
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