I’ve recently picked Stephen T. Davis’s Risen Indeed: Making Sense of the Resurrection up again.1 It’s an impressive book that had a pivotal effect on my thinking when it first appeared. Davis, the Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College in California, argues that “Christians are within their intellectual rights in believing that Jesus was raised from the dead.”2 “The thesis of the book,” he explains, “is that the two central Christian resurrection claims — namely, that Jesus was bodily raised from the dead and that we will all be raised from the dead — are defensible claims.”3 Continue reading
Philosophers and theologians, believers and unbelievers, friends to faith and enemies, scientists, historians — these and many others have devoted a very great deal of time and attention for centuries to the relationship between faith and reason.
There is little if any general consensus on the matter, and I have no intention, in just a few pages here, of trying to settle things. I’m inclined, though, to share a few thoughts on the topic from my Latter-day Saint perspective. Continue reading
3 May 2014
Dear friends of The Interpreter Foundation:
As I write, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture is closing in on its hundredth straight week of publishing at least one article every Friday, the Foundation has just recorded its seventy-first scripture roundtable, our blog is flourishing, we’ve hosted a major conference on religion and science (the proceedings of which will eventually appear in print), we’ve established an article prize, we’ve obtained 501(c)(3) status from the United States Internal Revenue Service, and our first published book is selling well. And even that list doesn’t exhaust what The Interpreter Foundation has accomplished and what it has still in the works.
We’ve been able to do this on a remarkably small budget—and we’ve been wholly transparent about that budget. Some expenses are unavoidable, and we pay a few people (mostly well below market rates) because . . . well, we simply didn’t feel right about exploiting their willingness to serve to the degree that the work demands. But our donated funds have been used very efficiently. A very large proportion of our work is performed by volunteers, and I’m astonished at what’s regularly accomplished, every week. I can’t adequately express my gratitude for the generosity of so many people out there.
That said, our expenses are rising. (This is the inevitable penalty of success.) It costs significant money to sponsor conferences and publish books, and we intend to continue to do both—on an even larger scale.
So, just as I thank all of those who have contributed their time and their effort to make The Interpreter Foundation the resounding success that it is, I express my appreciation to all those who’ve contributed financially. This isn’t sentimental boilerplate: We couldn’t have pulled this off without you.
But there’s more to be done and—to put it bluntly—that’s going to require more money. Our expenditures of late have been higher than our income. Not by much, and we’re not in a crisis. But I’m writing with the long-term prospects of the Foundation in mind.
So I wish to say to those who’ve contributed to The Interpreter Foundation what I’ve said to those who work with us. We’re deeply grateful for what you’ve done in the past . . . and we need more. Whether it’s an hour of time or a five-dollar bill—or, of course, a million dollars!—we are and will be grateful.
Instructions on how to donate to The Interpreter Foundation can be found at http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/donations/ .
Very sincerely yours,
Daniel C. Peterson
Chairman and President
The Interpreter Foundation
Abstract: Among the covenant obligations taken upon themselves by faithful Latter-day Saints is the consecration of their talents, gifts, and abilities to the building of the Kingdom of God on the earth. Those who established and lead The Interpreter Foundation see their mission in terms of this covenant. The Foundation’s goal is to foster honest and accessible scholarship in service to the Church and Kingdom of God, scholarship that will be of use and benefit to our fellow Latter-day Saints. Continue reading
The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, or FARMS, was organized by John W. Welch in California in 1979 and then moved to Provo when Professor Welch joined the law faculty at BYU the following year. In 1997, while I was serving as chairman of the FARMS Board of Directors, Gordon B. Hinckley, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Brigham Young University (BYU), invited the Foundation to become a part of the University. “FARMS,” President Hinckley said at the time, “represents the efforts of sincere and dedicated scholars. It has grown to provide strong support and defense of the Church on a professional basis. I wish to express my strong congratulations and appreciation for those who started this effort and who have shepherded it to this point.”1 Continue reading
“FARMS Becomes Part of BYU,” Ensign (January 1998), 80; online at https://www.lds.org/ensign/1998/01/news-of-the-church/farms-becomes-part-of-byu?lang=eng&query=hinckley,+%22FARMS+represents%22. ↩