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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

Dispensations

3 weeks 1 day ago
    From the manuscript to which I’m devoting the majority of my attention right now:   The Qur’an clearly and repeatedly teaches a dispensational view of the earth’s religious history, in which there have been repeated reve­lations of God’s truth and repeated human apostasies from that truth that required it to be restored again. […]
Dan Peterson

Winston Churchill, Brigham Young, and Dithering

3 weeks 1 day ago
    On Monday night, my wife and I went to see Darkest Hour, the new movie about Winston Churchill’s first weeks as the prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.   Gary Oldman — previously known as the terrorist Egor Korshunov in Air Force One, Commissioner Gordon in the Batman films, and Sirius Black in […]
Dan Peterson

“New year a time for looking both backward and forward”

3 weeks 2 days ago
    I published this column in the Deseret News on 1 January 2015:   January, the first month of the calendar year, most likely takes its name from the ancient Roman deity Janus, who was believed to be the gatekeeper of heaven. More generally, he was the god of doors, gateways (including city gates) […]
Dan Peterson

The Qur’an and the Doctrine and Covenants

3 weeks 2 days ago
    Continuing with a manuscript-in-progress:   But there is a deeper theological reason for the claim that the Qur’an cannot truly be translated, that what results from the pro­cess of translation is something related to the Qur’an but cannot properly be said to be identical with it. I have said that Muslims believe the […]
Dan Peterson

A memory of Scotland in the summer of 1976

3 weeks 2 days ago
    We have belonged, for many years now, to a remarkable monthly reading group, officially known as the Gadianton Polysophical Marching and Chowder Society, that began decades ago in Santa Barbara — where some of its original members were either on the faculty at the University of California (e.g., Davis Bitton) or affiliated with […]
Dan Peterson

Gratitude for Our Moon

3 weeks 2 days ago
    More notes from my reading.   A couple of passages 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):   It’s […]
Dan Peterson

“Charles Dickens and the Invention of Christmas”

3 weeks 3 days ago
    My wife and I watched The Muppet Christmas Carol this afternoon.  Honest.  We did.   In that connection, I call your attention to an interesting article to which my friend and Interpreter Foundation colleague Craig Foster alerted me the other day:   “The Story Behind the Music of The Muppet Christmas Carol”   *** […]
Dan Peterson

Ending Christmas Day on a high note after the excitement of the morning

3 weeks 3 days ago
    I hope that you have had a wonderful Christmas season and that you’re having a joyous and satisfying Christmas Day, filled with warmth and love.   I will candidly report, though, that I have always found Christmas Day itself both happy and sad, even a bit depressing.   The reasons for this have […]
Dan Peterson

Merry Christmas!

3 weeks 3 days ago
    First of all, something fun, called to my attention by Steven Glover.  It makes my own house’s Christmas decorations seem very, very pedestrian:     ***   “Thousands Honor the Birth of Christ Through Unique Acts of Service: The Light the World initiative encourages people to follow Christ’s example”   ***   This is […]
Dan Peterson

“The Nativity according to Luke”

3 weeks 4 days ago
    Bill Hamblin and I published this column in the Deseret News on 11 December 2015:   When we think about the Nativity of Jesus, we tend to harmonize what the Gospels have to say. We often assume that the shepherds and the wise men all came on the night of Jesus’ birth, though […]
Dan Peterson

Controversy continues to swirl around the shadowy figure known as “Santa Claus”

3 weeks 4 days ago
    “Santa Claus Converts To Calvinism, Moves Everybody To Naughty List”   ***     St. Nicholas of Myra, the prototype for St. Nicholas > Santa Claus, was an active participant at the Nicene Council.  My favorite scene from Nicaea comes when St. Nick, incensed at what the soon-to-be-designated arch heretic Arius of Alexandria […]
Dan Peterson

“And Can It Be?”

3 weeks 5 days ago
    The theme for today, the twenty-third day of the “Light the World” 2017 Christmas initiative sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is   “I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”   ***   In that connection, this was a spectacularly good idea, and I hope that it […]
Dan Peterson

“Prophet’s birthday fits with season”

3 weeks 5 days ago
    Below, I reproduce a column that I wrote for the Deseret News back in 2010.   First, though, here’s a link to the column that Bill Hamblin and I published in the Deseret News this morning:   “Christmas after the Protestant Reformation”   ***   And now on to the main event:   Today […]
Dan Peterson

The intriguing mystery of mathematics and physical law

3 weeks 5 days ago
    The English mathematician, mathematical physicist, and philosopher of science Sir Roger Penrose (b. 1931) is the Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford.  Here are some passages that I’ve extracted from the first few pages of his book The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe (New […]
Dan Peterson

Can the Qur’an be translated?

3 weeks 5 days ago
    Continuing with a manuscript that I’m readying for publication:   This Muslim emphasis on the words and style of the Arabic Qur’an was vividly illustrated for me once on a trip, many years ago now, to Cyprus. That island, of course, is divided between Christian Greeks and Muslim Turks. I found myself, one […]
Dan Peterson

“A modern witness to the baby born in Bethlehem”

3 weeks 5 days ago
    I published this column in the Deseret News back in 2014.  This year, today  is the anniversary of Joseph’s birth:   Tuesday, Dec. 23, will be the 209th anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Appropriately, this year as every year, that anniversary will be vastly overshadowed by celebrations of Christmas, the […]
Dan Peterson

Notes from Egypt on Christmas

3 weeks 6 days ago
    My wife dragged me off tonight, with friends, to see Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman.  I confess that I wasn’t overly thrilled.  I have to be in the right mood for musicals, I’m not much into dance, and I had skimmed a couple of negative reviews.   I was surprised to like […]
Dan Peterson

Beginning with Islam and the Qur’an

3 weeks 6 days ago
    Continuing with a manuscript on which I’m working:   Muslims believe that the Qur’an as they have it today is an actual transcript from a heavenly volume known as the “Preserved Tab­let,” or the “Mother of the Book.”[1] They believe that Muhammad did not write it and that it contains no admixture of […]
Dan Peterson

Expressions of Scientific Humility

3 weeks 6 days ago
    Here are some brief quotations from Chris Impey, University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona:   “The two main ingredients of our universe, dark matter and dark energy, are still enigmatic . . . ”  (x)   (In this context, see my 2015 Deseret News […]
Dan Peterson

On performing baptisms for Jewish Holocaust victims

3 weeks 6 days ago
    Every once in a while, Helen Radkey — an ex-Mormon who left the Church decades ago and plainly can’t leave it alone — tries to embroil the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a scandal regarding its belief in the efficacy of vicarious temple work on behalf of the dead.  Here’s a brief […]
Dan Peterson
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2 hours 51 minutes ago
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