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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

Jerusalem, then and now

1 month 1 week ago
    Continuing with one of my manuscripts, treating the period after the disastrous Second Jewish Revolt, in the second century AD, following which Jews were banned from entering Jerusalem, which was renamed Aelia Capitolina:   Some Jews were martyred, some hid in caves and deserts in order to continue to live the commandments, and some—perhaps […]
Dan Peterson

“We have always underestimated the cell”

1 month 1 week ago
    Three quotations on the living cell, selected from some of my notes:   The first is from Michael Denton: It is astonishing to think that this remarkable piece of machinery, which possesses the ultimate capacity to construct every living thing that has ever existed on Earth, from a giant redwood to a human […]
Dan Peterson

In the bleak midwinter, some cheer

1 month 1 week ago
    In his 1912 book The Four Men, the Anglo-French writer and historian Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) — onetime president of the Oxford Union; for four or five years, Member of Parliament for Salford; devoted Catholic; and author of, among many other things, the wonderful Cautionary Tales for Children (which includes such masterpieces as “Jim, who ran away […]
Dan Peterson

“The worst are full of passionate intensity”

1 month 1 week ago
    I posted an entry yesterday — see “Back of the Bus, Book of Mormon Boy!” — about the disgusting Trumpist bigot Steve Bannon and his cynically dishonest venture into anti-Mormon demagoguery.  Here’s a bit more on that uplifting theme:   National Review:  “The Garbage Case for Roy Moore”   National Review:  “Bannon’s Ill-Conceived War […]
Dan Peterson

Judaism declines in the Holy Land

1 month 1 week ago
    Among other things, in the wake of the Christianization of the Roman Empire that commenced in the fourth century AD, government officials banned Jewish pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  Here’s another passage from one of my manuscripts:   Such treatment merely accelerated a process of de-Judaization that had been going on in Palestine […]
Dan Peterson

The Latest Superstition

1 month 1 week ago
    Some thoughts on scientism from the late Austin L. Hughes (1949-2015), who was Carolina Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina:   “The temptation to overreach . . . seems increasingly indulged today in discussions about science. Both in the work of professional philosophers and in popular writings by natural scientists, […]
Dan Peterson

“Back of the Bus, Book of Mormon Boy!”

1 month 1 week ago
    Washington Monthly:  “Steve Bannon Disparages Mormon Missionary Work”   If I were Orrin Hatch, I would be running for the hills at the very thought of an endorsement from the repulsive Steve Bannon.   Personally, I hope that Mr. Bannon never desecrates the soil of Utah.   “E.J. Dionne: Bannon plays to evangelical anti-Mormon […]
Dan Peterson

Still, still, still.

1 month 1 week ago
    In today’s Deseret News, the latest iteration of my weekly “Defending the Faith” column:   “2 competing visions of ‘restoration'”   ***   It’s Day Seven of the Church’s “Light the World” campaign:   “Suffer the little children to come unto me.”   ***   As you may have noticed, I’ve been devoting […]
Dan Peterson

“Far, far away on Judea’s plains”

1 month 1 week ago
    I’m having a difficult time getting ahead of this campaign.  But here, somewhat late, is the video for Day Six of the “Light the World” initiative that’s being sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:   https://www.mormon.org/christmas/25-ways-25-days/day-6   ***     I expect that this will probably offend a few […]
Dan Peterson

Father Jaki on science

1 month 1 week ago
    Some quotations from the late great historian of science Father Stanley Jaki:   … investing science with a prophetic and messianic role has not been the doing of science. Exact science, or rather its best cultivators, have never claimed that role. Exact physical science came into its own when during the seventeenth century […]
Dan Peterson

Talmudic Judaism and the Christianity of Constantine

1 month 1 week ago
    The Babylonian Talmud became, by a considerable distance, the more important of the two works, partly because Palestinian Jewry was steadily on the wane while the Jews of Babylon were rela­tively well organized and prosperous. “It became,” as Israeli histo­rian Shmuel Safrai observes, the basic—and in many places almost the exclusive—asset of Jew­ish […]
Dan Peterson

Some Points on Sex, Religion, and Politics

1 month 1 week ago
    The execrable Steve Bannon does not appear to be a warm friend of the Latter-day Saints, and I suspect that neither Roy Moore nor his supporters in Alabama would rank among our most enthusiastic fans, either:   “Bannon rails against Romney in Alabama speech: ‘You hid behind your religion’ to avoid Vietnam”   […]
Dan Peterson

Introducing the Talmuds

1 month 1 week ago
    Continuing with a manuscript of mine:   There still existed a large Jewish colony in Mesopotamia, in the area to which the Jews had been carried off during the so-called “Babylonian captivity.” As already mentioned, the captives had pros­pered there, and most of them had chosen to remain in comfortable exile even when […]
Dan Peterson

Of principles and politics

1 month 1 week ago
    I think that this is a very important little essay:   “Is Ideology Becoming America’s Official Religion?”   Let me apply it to the senatorial candidacy of Judge Roy Moore in Alabama:   Two prominent Latter-day Saints have recently indicated their views on Judge Moore:   “Romney on Moore: ‘No majority is worth […]
Dan Peterson

Attorneys invade science

1 month 1 week ago
    I admire the legal profession.  I nearly decided to go to law school myself, and, even now, I occasionally experience wistful regrets that I didn’t.  The study of the law seems to me, at its best, a remarkable kind of training in logic, reasoning, the sifting of evidence, and precise expression.  And the […]
Dan Peterson

“So filled with love that it should overflow”

1 month 2 weeks ago
    “Christians, have we understood the great responsibility that we have taken on before God through baptism? Have we come to know that we must conduct ourselves as children of God, that we must align our will with the will of God, that we must remain free from sin, that we must love God […]
Dan Peterson

Some more thoughts for Christmas

1 month 2 weeks ago
      “For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.” Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol   ***   My apologies.  I’m a bit late with this “Light the World” item for 3 December 2017.  It’s been a long and busy […]
Dan Peterson

Mishnah and Temple

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Continuing with a manuscript that I’m actually working on currently:   What really interested the earliest rabbis was the collection and organization of the so-called “oral law,” the traditions that had already been gathering about the text of the Torah for centuries. This was the next layer, the next level of sediment in […]
Dan Peterson

“I syng of a mayden”

1 month 2 weeks ago
    “I syng of a mayden” is a Middle English poem, perfectly suited to the Christmas season, that was written around AD 1400.  I give you, first, the original.  You’ll understand most of it if you pay close attention.  But I’ve followed that up with a modern English version, just in case:   I […]
Dan Peterson
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