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

Sic Et Non

A Pleasant Memory and the Horror in New Mexico

2 months 3 weeks ago
    Many, many years ago — on 6 November 1996 — back long before I was as decrepit and washed up as I now am, I presented a little item on “The Concept of God in Islam and Mormonism” to a gathering on the campus of Brigham Young University that was co-sponsored by BYU’s Muslim […]
Dan Peterson

“Once in a saintly passion”

2 months 3 weeks ago
    For those who may have missed the obituary for Richard L. Anderson — whom I consider a friend and a faithful-academic hero — and/or for those who might be interested in attending his funeral services, here’s a link:   https://www.heraldextra.com/lifestyles/announcements/obituaries/richard-l-anderson/article_82ab3705-cc39-5b0f-b082-89247e9aa41c.html   I paid hasty and inadequate tribute to him on this blog and […]
Dan Peterson

Mathematics, Water, and Global Warming

2 months 4 weeks ago
    All our surest statements about the nature of the world are mathematical statements, yet we do not know what mathematics “is” . . . and so we find that we have adapted a religion strikingly similar to many traditional faiths. Change “mathematics” to “God” and little else might seem to change. The problem […]
Dan Peterson

“The Metaphysics of ‘The Healing'”

2 months 4 weeks ago
    Another of the books that appeared in Brigham Young University’s Islamic Translation Series (which, before the whole thing came to an end, blossomed and expanded into the broader Middle Eastern Texts Initiative) was the rather massive The Metaphysics of The Healing, written by Ibn Sīnā (or, in the popular and familiar English corruption of […]
Dan Peterson

“Mysteries of the Middle Ages”

2 months 4 weeks ago
    First off, I readily admit that Mysteries of the Middle Ages, the title of a book by Thomas Cahill, is a bit hokey.  It’s reminiscent of the worst kind of “documentary” on the History Channel or the Discovery Channel, or, even, of those billboards you still sometimes find along rural roads (“Astonishing Caves […]
Dan Peterson

Unforeseen Complexities in Darwin’s Tree of Life

2 months 4 weeks ago
    Life cannot have had a random beginning. . . .  The trouble is that there are about 2000 enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 10^40,000, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic […]
Dan Peterson

“Lord, it is good for us to be here”

2 months 4 weeks ago
    From time to time, when I worship with my home congregation or, as tonight, visit with good friends (some of whom will shortly be leaving to serve others overseas for a couple of years) and share, among other things, “talk of poems and prayers and promises and things that we believe in,” it […]
Dan Peterson

A Modern Apostle

2 months 4 weeks ago
    I was happy to see this:   “Apostle Speaks to Japanese Youth in Their Language at Face to Face Event:  Latter-day Saint youth from all over Japan participated in the first regional Face to Face broadcast in their country on Wednesday, August 15, 2018.”   For what it’s worth, I first met Elder […]
Dan Peterson

Places to avoid next week, as well as in October and November

2 months 4 weeks ago
    For anybody who plans on attending BYU’s Education Week this year, which runs from 21 August through 24 August, I’ll be speaking from 12:30 PM to 1:25 PM in the ballroom of the Wilkinson Student Center, on the theme of “Pivotal Figures in Religion and Politics in Early Christianity.”  This is actually a […]
Dan Peterson

A Response to Margaret Barker (Part Four, et Finis)

2 months 4 weeks ago
    The final portion of the response that I gave to a paper by Dr. Margaret Barker, which she presented in the Varsity Theater on the campus of Brigham Young University on 9 November 2016:   Finally, I wanted to allude just briefly to one area where I think the Latter-day Saints take to […]
Dan Peterson

“God has created me to do Him some definite service.”

2 months 4 weeks ago
    A worthwhile essay on what it means to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:   “To Belong”   ***   It almost seems to be a cottage industry among some religious skeptics and anti-theists to manufacture tales of the injuries inflicted upon the world by theism in general and […]
Dan Peterson

Shakespeare and St. Jeanne d’Arc

2 months 4 weeks ago
    The last play that we saw at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City was the rarely performed Henry VI Part One.  It is, I think, typically written off as one of the lesser of Shakespeare’s plays, and I’m told that some even doubt its Shakespearean authorship.  To the best of my recollection, […]
Dan Peterson

In which I reveal myself to be a young-Earth creationist

2 months 4 weeks ago
    As a person who, I’m reliably informed, believes in young-Earth creationism and who teaches at a school that, I’ve also been told, is committed to the belief that Earth was created only a few thousand years ago, I confess that I’m utterly mystified by the following items, and that, as always and as […]
Dan Peterson

A Response to Margaret Barker (Part Three)

3 months ago
    Here’s yet another part of the response that I gave to a paper by Dr. Margaret Barker, which she presented in the Varsity Theater on the campus of Brigham Young University on 9 November 2016:   I like Dr. Barker’s emphasis on John 17, on the oneness there in the high priestly prayer. […]
Dan Peterson

The Interpreter Radio Show, among other things

3 months ago
    I had a good time on Sunday night, chatting on-air with John Gee and Allen Wyatt for the 12 August 2018 episode of the Interpreter Radio Show.  We hope that our listeners enjoyed it, too.   On 29 July 2018, on the Interpreter Radio Show, Bruce Webster and Kris Frederickson discussed the (then) […]
Dan Peterson

A Response to Margaret Barker (Part Two)

3 months ago
    Here’s another portion of my response to Dr. Margaret Barker, given in the Varsity Theater on the campus of Brigham Young University on 9 November 2016:   In the case of the founder of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad ascends into the physical presence of God and receives his commission as a prophet or, […]
Dan Peterson

Richard Lloyd Anderson (1926-2018)

3 months ago
    I received the sad news this morning that Richard Lloyd Anderson, a quiet and modest giant among Latter-day Saint scholars and one of the great defenders of Joseph Smith and the claims of the Restored Gospel in this dispensation, passed away late Sunday night.  Richard was well into his nineties, and, even amidst […]
Dan Peterson

On the anthropic principle

3 months ago
    Scientists are slowly waking up to an inconvenient truth – the universe looks suspiciously like a fix. The issue concerns the very laws of nature themselves. For 40 years, physicists and cosmologists have been quietly collecting examples of all too convenient “coincidences” and special features in the underlying laws of the universe that […]
Dan Peterson

A Response to Margaret Barker (Part One)

3 months ago
    From a BYU panel on which I appeared with the British biblical scholar Margaret Barker some time ago:   It’s a privilege to be here, and I want to thank Dr. Barker for a really, really interesting, dense, and rich paper.  What I’m going to do is not so much add to it […]
Dan Peterson
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5 hours 30 minutes ago
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