Skip to main content
Home
Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

Sawing off the branch on which it sits

1 month ago
    Some notes from a manuscript:   It would seem, for example, that evolutionary psychology’s insistence that ideas are the products of evolution, “chosen” for their utility in the battle to survive and replicate, is self-refuting.  For included among those ideas, obviously, is evolutionary psychology itself.  If ideas are nothing more than tactical tools […]
Dan Peterson

“The time had elapsed, and the promise was fulfilled” — but not of Christmas

1 month ago
    ***   A new article in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:   “Jacob’s Protector”   ***   More notes:   Even many decades after the Book of Mormon was published, Katherine Smith Salisbury, Joseph’s sister, was still deeply convinced of the authenticity of his claim to prophethood.  “I can testify to the […]
Dan Peterson

Mormon Miscellaneous

1 month ago
    Just back with my wife from attending an enjoyable concert at BYU, with friends, featuring Jason Robert Brown and Kelli O’Hara.   Things like this are among the principal reasons that I love living near a major university.   ***   A thought that’s exceptionally appropriate for the Christmas season:   “A man filled […]
Dan Peterson

“I am ready to let him have another horse on the same terms.”

1 month ago
    Some notes on Joseph Smith’s honesty and sincerity, based on the impressions of those who knew him well:   “We found him a boy of truth,” remembered Joseph Knight, Jr., of the twenty-one-year-old farmer’s son.[1] “So honest and plain were all his statements that there was no room,” said Newell Knight, “for any […]
Dan Peterson

Senator Barry Goldwater on would-be Senator Roy Moore

1 month ago
    I’m very sad that the Democrat Doug Jones took that Senate seat in Alabama.  On the other hand, my sorrow at his victory is considerably mitigated by my delight that his Republican opponent, Roy Moore, lost.   “Roy Moore Does the Impossible”   “Roy Moore Just Disproved the Legend of Trump”   “Alabama […]
Dan Peterson

“Do you hear what I hear?”

1 month ago
    The first recording of Do You Hear What I Hear? was made by the Harry Simeone Chorale shortly after Thanksgiving 1962, and sold so well during that Christmas season that Bing Crosby eventually recorded it also — making it, by means of his star power, a mega-hit.   Here is that very first choral recording:   […]
Dan Peterson

Is “Jesus” merely a mythical character in four fictional gospels?

1 month ago
    John Betjeman (1906-1984) was poet laureate of the United Kingdom from 1972 until his death:   “Christmas” by John Betjeman The bells of waiting Advent ring, The Tortoise stove is lit again And lamp-oil light across the night Has caught the streaks of winter rain In many a stained-glass window sheen From Crimson […]
Dan Peterson

“Remain faithful to the end, and everything will be alright”

1 month ago
    Hugh B. Brown (1883-1975), a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from Canada who served as a counselor in the First Presidency to President David O. McKay between 1961 and 1970, reported an event not too very long before his death that his nephew, Harold B. Lee, recorded in his journal […]
Dan Peterson

On the deity of Christ

1 month ago
    If you can get access to it, many of you will find this relatively long profile article (from the 4 December 2017 issue of The Weekly Standard) of considerable interest:   “King of the Jungle: The Mayan Empire of Archaeologist Richard Hansen:  On the trail with the man who discovered the preclassic Mayan […]
Dan Peterson

“Knowest thou the condescension of God?”

1 month ago
    The author gets our theology a bit wrong, and he doesn’t seem to have noticed that the Mormon Tabernacle isn’t quite entirely white, but I’m glad he liked its performance of the carol: http://thenet.ng/2016/12/watching-this-white-choir-sing-a-yoruba-christmas-carol-will-make-your-head-swell-seriously/   It’s one of my favorites, too.  I still remember hearing it for the very first time, at the […]
Dan Peterson

“The Lost World of Genesis One”

1 month 1 week ago
    Back in 2012, I read an interesting book entitled The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009).  I was distracted from it shortly thereafter by a number of things — 2012 was a very bad year for me, both personally and professionally — but I  just […]
Dan Peterson

The final nail in the Book of Mormon’s coffin

1 month 1 week ago
    I’ve located the source that Joseph Smith used to create his fictional “Captain Moroni.”   But, first, a little background:   Ernst Gombrich (Sir Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich, 1909-2001) was a very famous Austrian-born art historian who fled the Nazis to Britain in 1939, became a naturalized British subject in 1947, and spent most […]
Dan Peterson

Qur’anic Christmas Stories

1 month 1 week ago
    The Qur’an on the Annunciation of Christ   Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee chosen thee above the women of all nations. “O Mary! worship Thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down [in prayer] with those who bow down.” This is part of the tidings of […]
Dan Peterson

Scientism, yet again

1 month 1 week ago
    Some quotations from Tim Keller, Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical:   “The declaration that science is the only arbiter of truth is not itself a scientific finding. It is a belief.” (35)   “Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov sarcastically summarized the ethical reasoning of secular humanism like this: ‘Man descended from apes, […]
Dan Peterson

“A few months ago I very nearly died.”

1 month 1 week ago
    I came across the following on item on Facebook this morning.  It was posted by Kurt A. Lippman on 9 December 2017, and I share it here with his permission:   A few months ago I very nearly died. During that ordeal I passed out of mortality and on into the next world. […]
Dan Peterson

“If that birth had not happened”

1 month 1 week ago
    Sigh.  I keep falling behind.  Today (Saturday) was Day Nine of the Christmas “Light the World” initiative sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   I may be late posting a link to today’s item on the “Light the World” advent calendar, but it’s never too late to act on […]
Dan Peterson

Three comments about scientism

1 month 1 week ago
    I came to know and admire Huston Smith (31 May 1919 – 30 December 2016) during the two months that I spent in Berkeley, California, in 1990 as part of a seminar led by him and sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Here’s a nice passage from him on scientism:   “For all […]
Dan Peterson

Jerusalem, caught between the Persians and the Byzantines

1 month 1 week ago
    Continuing with excerpts from a manuscript:   But if Christians seemed to be triumphant in the land of Christ’s birth, their triumph would be short-lived. By the seventh century, the Byzantine Empire had weakened itself to the point of seeming feebleness by endless theological disputes and by the kind of political infighting and […]
Dan Peterson

A Christ-like gift

1 month 1 week ago
    Here’s a column that I wrote in December 2011 for the Deseret News:   “In the beginning was the Word,” begins a Christmas story that we seldom read at Christmas, “and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John […]
Dan Peterson
Checked
2 hours 51 minutes ago
Subscribe to Sic Et Non feed