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

Sic Et Non

The Odd Couple (Part One)

2 weeks 4 days ago
    I’ve previously mentioned  my Malevolent Stalker, a curious fellow who, for roughly the past fifteen years, has sought to portray me as among the very worst people alive.  To that end, he’s combed through IRS records, found forty-year-old anecdotes about me on websites of which I had never heard, scrutinized (and critiqued) the […]
Dan Peterson

In the Blue Mountains

2 weeks 4 days ago
    Elder Robert Dudfield kindly took us to the airport in Melbourne very early this morning; he himself was heading up to Cairns a bit later, for the kickoff there of the Church’s 2018 “Light the World” campaign.   We were picked up at the Sydney airport by Keith Thompson, who then generously drove […]
Dan Peterson

Meetings in Melbourne

2 weeks 4 days ago
    Having appeared in the print edition of the Deseret News and online at LDS Living, this is the latest iteration of my biweekly “Defending the Faith” column:   “What J.R.R. Tolkien’s Works Can Teach Us About the Book of Mormon: New Study Reveals”   ***   I was involved in meetings last night […]
Dan Peterson

A Note on Christmas in the Holy Land

2 weeks 5 days ago
    Here’s a special column that I published in the Deseret News, at the editors’ invitation, back on 16 December 2010:   LDS Church history sites that dot the eastern half of the United States all prepare for Christmas with lights, Nativity displays and other decorations. This week Mormon Times highlights Christmas at LDS Church […]
Dan Peterson

Are mind and intelligence woven into the fabric of our universe?

2 weeks 5 days ago
    I published a Deseret News column back in 2015 entitled “The Mystery of the Orderliness of the Universe.”   It drew considerable mockery from certain atheists.  One in particular, a dogmatic fellow with scientific pretensions who’s based in Florida (from which he’s been periodically spewing contempt for me for about eight or nine […]
Dan Peterson

In the beautiful Yarra Valley

2 weeks 5 days ago
    This morning, Elder and Sister Lloyd, public affairs missionaries here in Melbourne whose permanent home is up in Utah’s Heber Valley, in Midway, kindly picked us up and drove us into the serenely beautiful wine and dairy country of the Yarra Valley.   Apart from the gorgeous drive itself, we spent the bulk […]
Dan Peterson

Religion poisons everything?

2 weeks 6 days ago
    During the 25 November 2018 broadcast of the Interpreter Radio Show, Steve Densley and Matt Bowen discussed some recent Interpreter articles as well as the movie A Case for Christ.  The program is now archived online for your listening convenience and enjoyment:   Interpreter Radio Show — November 25, 2018   ***   […]
Dan Peterson

A modest suggestion for Christmas

2 weeks 6 days ago
    Several years ago, I published a biography entitled Muhammad: Prophet of God.  It was essentially my section from David Noel Freedman and Michael J. McClymond, eds., The Rivers of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus and Muhammad as Religious Founders, a hefty (and heftily-priced) volume that featured a foreword by the celebrated/controversial Swiss theologian Hans Küng. […]
Dan Peterson

“This most tremendous tale of all”

2 weeks 6 days ago
    We’re again approaching the wonderful season of Christmas.  Here in Australia, people are gearing up and decorations are going up for this major summer holiday.   I think it appropriate — not least, to get myself into the right mood — to dust off some older Christmas-related newspaper columns.  Here’s one, for example, […]
Dan Peterson

Of matters financial and non-financial

2 weeks 6 days ago
    I have posted a little fundraiser for the Interpreter Foundation on my Facebook page:   Daniel’s fundraiser for the Interpreter Foundation   ***   A few of my especially bizarre anonymous online critics continue to obsess about my personal finances.  I posted a bit on this earlier, but I evidently wasn’t clear enough […]
Dan Peterson

On baptizing an extraterrestrial

2 weeks 6 days ago
    The Vatican astronomer, Guy Consolmagno, SJ, Ph.D. (who, by the way, delivered a wonderful speech at a March 2016 conference of the Interpreter Foundation under the title of “Astronomy, God, and the Search for Elegance” that’s well worth watching), has recounted an amusing experience with the press:   “Except they kept asking me questions […]
Dan Peterson

At the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque

3 weeks ago
    I missed this item when it appeared on the LDS Newsroom website for Australia:   “Daniel C. Peterson to Deliver Religious Liberty Lecture at University of Notre Dame”   That lecture is now, as of tonight, in the past.  I think that it went reasonably well.  (At least I was satisfied with what […]
Dan Peterson

Keeping kosher in a Lebanese restaurant

3 weeks 1 day ago
    My wife and I had dinner this evening — along with Keith Thompson, Elder Robert Dudfield, and the prominent Australian Jewish leader and interfaith activist Jeremy Jones — at the Zahli Modern Middle Eastern Restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Surry Hills.  It was an enjoyable evening.  Jeremy Jones is a great raconteur who […]
Dan Peterson

“The Spirit of Things”

3 weeks 2 days ago
    I’m just back from pre-recording an interview with Rachael Kohn of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for her ABC Radio National program “The Spirit of Things.”  This is, I believe, the third time that I’ve had an interview with her — once before in studio and, on another occasion, at a Sydney hotel down by […]
Dan Peterson

A Quick Thought on Scientism and Logical Positivism

3 weeks 2 days ago
    Whew.  I have to admit that reading the following took a great load off of my mind.  I’ll now be able to go about today’s appointments and obligations in a lot brighter frame of mind:   “Our Universe’s Gravity Isn’t Leaking Into Other Dimensions, Physicists Find”   ***   Many homeowners in Arizona […]
Dan Peterson

A Sunday in Sydney

3 weeks 2 days ago
    We attended church services today with a Young Single Adult ward that meets in a high-rise building at the southern end of Sydney’s Hyde Park.  We had to walk roughly 250 feet from the lobby of our hotel in order to reach sacrament meeting.  The sheer toil and epically heroic sacrifice of that […]
Dan Peterson

Nature, Red in Tooth and Sap

3 weeks 3 days ago
    Here are some further notes from the northern Queensland rainforest near Cairns:   The rainforest can seem tranquil, quiet, and serene.  Despite the relative silence, though, there is a constant battle for survival going on throughout the forest.  (As a sign standing alongside one of the pathways said, “It’s a jungle out there.”) […]
Dan Peterson

In Australia but not even remotely of Australia

3 weeks 3 days ago
    One of the more striking experiences that I had during my last trip to Australia prior to this one was a visit to the Lakemba Mosque (aka the Masjid Ali Bin Abi Talib), in the Sydney suburb of Lakemba.   I was taken there by the late Elder Paul Sybrowsky (1944-2014) of the Seventy, […]
Dan Peterson

Mind-Brain Dualism, Rocks in Upstate New York, and Two New Scriptural Editions

3 weeks 4 days ago
    The latest installment of the biweekly Hamblin-Peterson column has been published in the Deseret News.  It’s not entirely coincidental that the article has something of an Australian connection:   “Two knights, the self and its brain”   ***   The newest article in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture — yes, yes, as […]
Dan Peterson
Checked
1 hour 5 minutes ago
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