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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

Snippets from the testimony of David Whitmer (Part 1)

1 month ago
    David Whitmer, the last surviving witness to the Book of Mormon, lived until 1888.  He spent most of his adult life outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but never denied — in fact, often reaffirmed — his testimony of the book.   Here are some passages from his account, […]
Dan Peterson

From amino acid soup to the B-Minor Mass

1 month ago
    Unfortunately, we lost Lewis Thomas quite a number of years ago, in 1993, at the age of eighty.  Not only did he have a distinguished medical career (graduating from Princeton and from Harvard Medical School, then serving as dean of Yale Medical School and the New York University School of Medicine before assuming […]
Dan Peterson

The Bad Old Days of Peterson at the Maxwell Institute

1 month ago
    Sigh.   John Dehlin has posted a new podcast interview (conducted on 13 March 2018) with someone named Bert Fuller, whom I don’t know and whose face and name ring no bells with me, about BYU’s Maxwell Institute.   Mr. Fuller is a former employee of the post-2012 Maxwell Institute and is now […]
Dan Peterson

Meet the Janissaries

1 month ago
    Still discussing the Ottoman Empire:   The Ottomans had yet another military asset that served them well. That was the so-called Janissary Corps. (The name is from the Turkish yeni cheri, meaning “new troops.”) These were soldiers very much on the old mamluk model, but instead of being conscripted from central Asia, the […]
Dan Peterson

“His character was irreproachable”

1 month ago
    John S. Reid was a respected farmer in early nineteenth century rural New York who was well versed in the law and who — such things were considerably less formal and institutionalized in those days — often appeared as an attorney in local courtrooms.  And, although he was not a Latter-day Saint, he […]
Dan Peterson

“Ditchkins,” Science, and Religion

1 month ago
    We know vastly more about extraterrestrial planets today than we did when I was a kid, roughly back in the thirteenth century:   “Mars’ oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions”   ***   “The Alien Planets of TRAPPIST-1 May Be Too Wet for Life”   ***   It’s pleasant to […]
Dan Peterson

The Rise of the Ottomans

1 month ago
    There’s still quite a bit of preliminary-draft manuscript to go, so I need to keep going.  Here’s another installment:   Fascinating as they are, though, neither the Safavids nor the Mughals ruled over Arab peoples. It is the Ottoman Empire that most particularly concerns us, since it was the Ottomans who came to […]
Dan Peterson

Eagleton on Dawkins and Dennett on Science and Religion

1 month ago
    A bit more from the British Marxist literary critic Terry Eagleton’s 2008 Terry Lectures at Yale University, published as Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009):   Dawkins falsely considers that Christianity offers a rival view of the universe to science.  Like the […]
Dan Peterson

LDS Missons and “Eunuchs for the Kingdom”

1 month ago
    I’m reading Terry Eagleton, Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009).  The book is based on the 2008 Dwight H. Terry Lectures that Eagleton delivered at Yale University.   A British literary critic and a committed Marxist radical, Eagleton is both stimulating and […]
Dan Peterson

The Period of the Gunpowder Empires, from 1500 to 1800

1 month ago
      Coming still closer to the present:   As might be guessed from Hodgson’s title for this period, the impor­tant fact about the time was gunpowder. This new technology, bor­rowed from the West (and, ultimately, from China), allowed the existence of greater states and thus permitted greater centralization of power. Putting it less […]
Dan Peterson

“As seedlings of God”

1 month ago
    A wonderful sermon, recently delivered by Jeff Lindsay in Shanghai, China:   “Here, Take My Camera”: Responding to the Miraculous Message and Convincing Power of the Book of Mormon   ***   There are some really interesting items here:   “Mormons Around the World: Country Newsroom Websites March 16, 2018”   ***   […]
Dan Peterson

Setbacks and Advances

1 month ago
    Plowing (or ploughing) forward:   As the Arabs declined, however, new Islamic powers were on the rise. Prominent among these was the Ottoman Turkish Empire. In 1453, the Ottoman sultan Mehmet II conquered the city of Con­stantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Importantly, he used gunpowder and artillery to do so—an omen […]
Dan Peterson

“So I ate his lunch!”

1 month ago
    Another item from Erasing Death: The Science That is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death, by Sam Parnia, M.D., Ph.D., an Anglo-American specialist in cardiac-arrest resuscitation.  Here, he cites comments by Dr. Tom Aufderheide, a professor of emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin:   I was a brand-new doctor. . . […]
Dan Peterson

The Late Middle Period, from 1258 to 1500

1 month ago
    Still moving systematically forward:   As is to be expected, Hodgson’s “Late Middle Period” of Islamic his­tory is marked by Mongol dominance. The problem of political fragmentation was still there, as was the problem of the military elite controlling a population whose language and culture they never fully grasped. But the identity of […]
Dan Peterson

Thinking of Hugh B. Brown

1 month ago
    When I was growing up and beginning to become somewhat aware of the Church — I grew up in a part-member family, with a mother who was semi-active — Hugh B. Brown (1883-1975) was the First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And, since President […]
Dan Peterson

“From a vantage point outside her body”

1 month ago
    I’m still reading Erasing Death: The Science That is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death, by the Anglo-American expert on cardiac-arrest resuscitation Sam Parnia, M.D., Ph.D.  Dr. Parnia, a former fellow in critical care medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, was an assistant professor of critical care medicine at […]
Dan Peterson

Of Mamluks and Mongols

1 month ago
    I believe — and I apologize if I’m wrong — that it was Matthew Wheeler who called my attention to the item immediately below:   “Saudi-backed interfaith center boosted by crown prince’s surprising reforms”   I might note that, for several years, Rabbi David Rosen, who is mentioned in the article, taught Jewish […]
Dan Peterson

“Is the Book of Mormon a Pseudo-Archaic Text?”

1 month 1 week ago
    An important new article from Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:   “Is the Book of Mormon a Pseudo-Archaic Text?”   We wish you a happy, safe, and satisfying weekend, and remind you of the Interpreter Radio Show, which will be broadcast on Sunday evening at 7 PM, Utah time, and which can […]
Dan Peterson

Mamluks and the Question of Political Succession

1 month 1 week ago
    Continuing with my manuscript, as it stands thus far:   Although an extreme example, the mamluk system serves to illustrate several important facets of Islamic society, some of them characteristic not only of the Middle Periods but also of the Near East today. The mamluk system created a ruling elite whose for­eignness was […]
Dan Peterson

Death and Consciousness, Again

1 month 1 week ago
    I continue to read Erasing Death: The Science That is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death, by the Anglo-American specialist on cardiac-arrest resuscitation Sam Parnia, M.D., Ph.D.  Dr. Parnia is a former fellow in critical care medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, and he was an assistant professor of […]
Dan Peterson
Checked
4 hours 58 minutes ago
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