Tennyson’s Brook poem always seems Tolkienesque to me. Oddly enough.
[Note: The following is from my ‘Notions’ blog, and attempts to explain something to non-Mormon Christians – especially those who try to ‘explain’ Mormon theology in terms of a borrowing and synthesis of various forms of paganism and Christian heresies such as Arianism and Pelagianism… but it may be of interest here… especially since I am trying briefly to summarize some implicit aspects of Mormon theology which are seldom taken much notice of by active members of the CJCLDS – and indeed why should they be?]
When people talk about ‘free will’ they are implicitly referring to an uncaused cause – in other words, the ability to act (e.g. to think a thought) without that act being caused but coming from within. (more…)
In the LDS church, for Sunday services we take communion (we call it “the sacrament”), then we intersperse sermons with hymns. The sermons come from the congregation. The bishop picks new speakers each week. In most congregations, when some new family moves in, the bishop customarily has the couple speak. The wife speaks first and does the social thing: she introduces the family.
Today the wife told a typical story about how they met. He was her hometeacher at BYU, they dated a few weeks, got engaged, and were married a few months later.
I read everything by Tim Powers. Medusa’s Web, his latest, is good for fans. It has all the good ol’ Tim Powers features: strange and alien orders of being, a thread made out of the unexplained quirks of history, addiction, family love. At the same time, it would not be the first Powers book I would recommend. The ending with the sister is thematically off, and for whatever reason, his books are not at their best when he draws too deep on the California well.
I would recommend the Anubis Gates and Declare. Perhaps also Last Call. But above all, the Anubis Gates.
I don’t like Steinbeck much. But I was predisposed to like Travels with Charlie, right from the subtitle: In Search of America. That spoke to me. I was willing to forgive a great deal of pretension and gawpiness for that subtitle.
But I had to give it up. (more…)
Some sports books suffer from not taking their subject seriously enough. Seriously, not somberly. Meaning that the book does not view game-playing as an end in itself. The Boys in the Boat is not that sort of book. It is one of the best sports books I have ever read. (more…)
We already know that death is necessary for spiritual progression toward a higher and fuller state of divinity – but how does this work?
If the purpose of mortal life is incarnation (to get a body) then why? One answer may be that the body brings us irresistibly into contact with ‘the world’ – because the body is unavoidably part of the world. (more…)
One thing that has had my attention for a while now, is how our language puts good for bad, even when we intend no such thing.
Thus, common language compels us to understand that something that is “wicked”, “sick”, “naughty”, “sinful” or even “perverted” is something good. Bad boys, and rebels, are held in esteem. While on the other hand, a “goody two-shoes” is an obnoxious person.
One bit of language that has really had my attention, is the use of the word “porn”, not in the sense of actual naked bodies, but as a kind of hedonistic indulgence. So, a gallery of fine vintage cars would be called “car porn”. A fine collection of computers would be “computer porn”. I just saw a demonstration of the Hilbert Curve referred to as “math porn”. No one is going to complain about the Hilbert Curve, but then it would seem to suggest, that likewise, no one would object to pornography.
It isn’t at NewSpeak levels yet, but there is a real problem here, where our language itself called evil good, and good evil, even when we do not!
Once a herd of cattle in a field decided that it was unfair that the bull ate so much more grass than the cows. Even the bull said he saw the justice of the complaint. But as he was not willing to eat less grass, it was decided that the cows would have to eat more. (more…)
The most discouraging thing I saw last Sunday was roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of the children in Sacrament meeting being entertained with tablets. Tablets are easy. But they are not a solution to the challenge of taming children to church attendance. They are a way of avoiding the problem. The high road gets to Scotland faster, it turns out, because the low road does not get there at all.