Posted by The_Elves

This and the following entry are sticky. Look for new entries below.

Global South Welcomes Diocese of South Carolina


My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus

As you will recall the 223rd Diocesan Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina meeting at Christ Church in Mt. Pleasant on March 14-15, 2014 unanimously accepted the offer of the Global South Primates Steering Committee for Provisional Primatial Oversight.

Now this morning we receive with gratitude this letter from the Global South Primatial Steering Committee. It is their acceptance of our request for this gracious relationship. I trust you will be heartened as I have been by their welcome of us “… as an active and faithful member within the Global South of the Anglican Communion, until such time as a permanent primatial affiliation can be found.” It is my joy to share it with you.

Faithfully yours in Christ,

+Mark Lawrence

The Right Reverend Mark Joseph Lawrence
XIV Bishop of South Carolina

Read it all

Filed under: * South Carolina

August 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Global South of the Anglican Communion
21 August 2014

Announcement regarding the Diocese of South Carolina

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

The Global South of the Anglican Communion welcomes the unanimous request of The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, XIV Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, and the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina to “accept the offer of the newly created Global South Primatial Oversight Council for pastoral oversight of our ministry as a diocese during the temporary period of our discernment of our final provincial affiliation.”

The decision of the Diocese of South Carolina was made in response to the meeting of the Global South Primates Steering Committee in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014 [1]. A recommendation from that meeting stated that, “we decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.”

Recognizing the faithfulness of Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina, and in appreciation for their contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, the Global South welcomes them as an active and faithful member within the Global South of the Anglican Communion, until such time as a permanent primatial affiliation can be found.

Read more...

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAlternative Primatial Oversight (APO)Anglican PrimatesAnglican ProvincesAnglican Province of the Indian OceanThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle EastEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaGlobal South Churches & Primates* South Carolina

August 21, 2014 at 8:19 am - 15 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

An alternate title for this excellent commentary by Bishop Atwood might be "Manure and the Anglican Soup." It pairs well with the article from Christianity Today which I'd just read and posted below.


[...]There is nowhere in the Church where there is more vulnerability for the Gospel to be undermined than in the Anglican Communion. Certainly, there are other churches and denominations where the historic faith has been more fully and formally abandoned by the official decisions of institutional leadership, but the current vulnerability in the Anglican Communion is that the historic faith and Gospel commitment which has driven missionary zeal and Biblical fidelity for centuries is being de-emphasized in order to “get along.”

Right now, there are countless initiatives at the institutional level to attempt to convince people that the “cut-glass crystal punch bowl” is so beautiful that when it is polished, preserved, and appreciated the recipe of the punch it contains is unimportant. The challenge, however, is how much adulteration to the punch is acceptable. I addressed the House of Bishops in one of our Anglican Provinces and pointed out that the soup that was being made (to switch metaphors) has lovely carrots, beautiful potatoes, succulent chicken, and tasty broth. “How much manure can be added to the soup before you no longer can consume it and stay healthy?” I asked them. Not surprisingly, they did not want to have any manure added to the soup, and yet, quite a number of them were participating in conferences sponsored by liberal entities that completely undermined the Gospel, replacing it with institutional focus and uncritical acceptance of sin.

While I was tremendously excited at the selection of Justin Welby as the Archbishop of Canterbury, and had hoped and prayed for his selection believing that he was the best of the available candidates, I have been concerned at what appears to be a perspective that everything can be reconciled with everything else. While most relational disruptions can be reconciled, theological positions are another matter. It is impossible, for example, for the position “Jesus is Lord of all” to be reconciled with “Jesus is not Lord of all.” While theological disagreements may not seem to be that stark, it is precisely that revelation that is at stake in the Anglican Communion. The Lordship of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture, and how He viewed Scriptural authority is very much in play.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Analysis- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture

August 27, 2014 at 8:23 am - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

A powerful article at Christianity Today by Tish Harrison Warren. The subtitle: "I thought a winsome faith would win Christians a place at Vanderbilt’s table. I was wrong." It's an excellent read from one who was at the center of Vanderbilt University's decision to rescind recognition of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and other Christian groups.

Kendall posted several entries on the Vanderbilt situation in 2011-2012. Links here, here, and here.


Tish Harrison Warren/ August 22, 2014
The Wrong Kind of Christian
Image: KEVIN VANDIVIER / GENESIS

I thought I was an acceptable kind of evangelical.

I'm not a fundamentalist. My friends and I enjoy art, alcohol, and cultural engagement.
We avoid spiritual clichés and buzzwords. We value authenticity, study, racial reconciliation, and social and environmental justice.

Being a Christian made me somewhat weird in my urban, progressive context, but despite some clear differences, I held a lot in common with unbelieving friends. We could disagree about truth, spirituality, and morality, and remain on the best of terms. The failures of the church often made me more uncomfortable than those in the broader culture.

Then, two years ago, the student organization I worked for at Vanderbilt University got kicked off campus for being the wrong kind of Christians.

[...]

At first I thought this was all a misunderstanding that could be sorted out between reasonable parties. If I could explain to the administration that doctrinal statements are an important part of religious expression—an ancient, enduring practice that would be a given for respected thinkers like Thomas Aquinas—then surely they'd see that creedal communities are intellectually valid and permissible. If we could show that we weren't homophobic culture warriors but friendly, thoughtful evangelicals committed to a diverse, flourishing campus, then the administration and religious groups could find common ground.

But as I met with other administrators, the tone began to change. The word discrimination began to be used—a lot—specifically in regard to creedal requirements. It was lobbed like a grenade to end all argument. Administrators compared Christian students to 1960s segregationists. I once mustered courage to ask them if they truly thought it was fair to equate racial prejudice with asking Bible study leaders to affirm the Resurrection. The vice chancellor replied, "Creedal discrimination is still discrimination."

Feeling battered, I talked with my InterVarsity supervisor. He responded with a wry smile, "But we're moderates!" We thought we were nuanced and reasonable. The university seemed to think of us as a threat.

For me, it was revolutionary, a reorientation of my place in the university and in culture.

I began to realize that inside the church, the territory between Augustine of Hippo and Jerry Falwell seems vast, and miles lie between Ron Sider and Pat Robertson. But in the eyes of the university (and much of the press), subscribers to broad Christian orthodoxy occupy the same square foot of cultural space.

The line between good and evil was drawn by two issues: creedal belief and sexual expression. If religious groups required set truths or limited sexual autonomy, they were bad—not just wrong but evil, narrow-minded, and too dangerous to be tolerated on campus.

The whole article is highly recommended

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesChurch/State MattersMulticulturalism, pluralismReligion & Culture

August 27, 2014 at 7:56 am - 5 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

All schools in Nigeria have been ordered to remain shut until 13 October as part of measures to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

The new academic year was due to start on Monday.

But the education minister ordered the closures to allow staff to be trained on how to handle suspected Ebola cases.

Five people have died of Ebola in Nigeria. The West Africa outbreak has centred on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, killing more than 1,400 people.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

August 27, 2014 at 6:44 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose grace we have been admitted into the glory of the new covenant: Grant, we beseech thee, that being delivered from the death of sin and the bondage of the law, we may rejoice in the life and liberty of the Spirit, and evermore find our sufficiency in thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Frank Colquhoun

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 27, 2014 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


Filed under: * General Interest

August 26, 2014 at 11:09 am - 7 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Blogger Trevin Wax, at his Kingdom People blog (one of the Gospel Coalition website blogs), has some interesting excerpts of a recent forum at which NYC pastor Tim Keller spoke on the increasing polarization of attitudes towards Christianity in American society:


In a recent forum, “Conservative Christianity After the Christian Right,” Tim Keller predicted moderate growth of conservative evangelicalism even as the culture at large has grown more secular. In these remarks, he explains why these trends are leading to increasing polarization:
When I say “growing moderately,” I mean that the number of the devout people in the country is increasing, as well as the number of secular people. The big change is the erosion is in the middle. The devout numbers have not actually gone down that much. It depends on how you read them. But basically, they are not in freefall by any means.

You don’t so much see secularization as polarization, and what is really disappearing is the middle.


Keller sees the middle as having once leaned toward nominal Christianity, out of a sense of respect, tradition, or for social reasons. He says:
It used to be that the devout and the mushy middle — nominal Christians, people that would identify as Christians, people who would come to church sporadically, people who certainly respect the Bible and Christianity — the devout and the mushy middle together was a super majority of people who just created a kind of “Christian-y” sort of culture.

The mushy middle used to be more identified with the devout. Now it’s more identified with the secular. That’s all.


What does this mean for conservative Christians? Keller uses the analogy of an umbrella:
So what’s happening is the roof has come off for the devout. The devout had a kind of a shelter, an umbrella. You couldn’t be all that caustic toward traditional classic Christian teaching and truth. I spoke on Friday morning to the American Bible Society’s board. American Bible Society does a lot of polling about the Bible. The use of the Bible, reading the Bible, attitudes toward the Bible. They said that actually the number of people who are devout Bible readers is not changing that much.

What is changing is for the first time in history a growing group of people who think the Bible is bad, it’s dangerous, it’s regressive, it’s a bad cultural force, that was just never there. It was very tiny. And that’s because the middle ground has shifted, so it is more identified with the more secular, the less religious, and it’s less identified now with the more devout.


Read the full entry.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture

August 26, 2014 at 9:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Almighty God, who hast revealed thyself in him who veiled his Godhead that he might unveil thy glory, and hast made him the eternal sacrifice and only priest of men: Grant that by the power of thy Holy Spirit the veil on our hearts may be taken away, and we may look on him who loved us and gave himself for us, and so be changed into the same image from glory to glory, until at last we shall see him with unveiled face, for evermore.

--W. M. Clow

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 26, 2014 at 6:06 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Our favorite blog host, the Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon, has been showing off the beauty of Camp St. Christopher in the family vacation photos he's posted (here and here). As August winds down, we invite our readers to share comments about some memorable vacations and vacation destinations - and perhaps also hoped-for vacation destinations. Where would you choose to visit if time and money permitted?

Previous Open Threads:
Books
Guest Blogger
Memorable Sermons
Laughter the Best Medicine

Filed under: * General Interest

August 25, 2014 at 9:03 am - 8 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina is complete, and the case is under the consideration of Her Honor Judge Diane Goodstein.

Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Dear Father in heaven,

We acknowledge that all of these ecclesiastical legal disputes within the Episcopal Church are a poor witness and a sorry mess. However, with You nothing is impossible. So, even in the mess, we say, To You be the glory. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

August 25, 2014 at 7:09 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Jesus and the disciples are in the region of Caesarea Philippi. In Caesarea Philippi there was a huge temple of white marble built by King Herod and dedicated to Caesar Augustus, hailing him as a god. You could see the glistening white temple for miles around. Now, imagine the scene. Jesus, a humble man from among the people, giving them hope and encouragement. Around him his followers, very ordinary men, fishermen, tax-collectors, the like. You wonder, was it deliberately here that Jesus asked his followers who they believed in, who they trusted, where they pinned their allegiance. Was it to him or to the glittering powers of the day symbolised by the pagan temple?

It must have seemed that power would be found in the pagan temple, linked to the Roman Empire and the king. But they are no more than a footnote in history. Jesus turned to his weary, footsore band of fellow-pilgrims and said, in effect: choose. It was a huge leap of faith. The ministry of Jesus must have seemed a fragile thing, that could be swept away at any moment. In fact, a year or so later, Herod and Pilate thought that they had managed to do just that.

But Peter sees that Jesus is the Christ. The long-awaited promises of the coming of the Messiah are being fulfilled. Peter and the other disciples, despite their weaknesses, will be rock-like foundations for the Church, on which God can build. Their faith and love must seem so little against the powerful forces of the world. It must feel the same today for the beleaguered Christians of Iraq. When I see the masked faces of gunmen or evil executioners like those who killed James Foley this week, I see people who think that they have power. But then you have to ask yourself, why do they keep their faces covered? If they are so powerful, why hide their identity? It is because, deep down, they are afraid. Indeed, I would go further and say that despite the swashbuckling with guns, they are cowards.

The men with masked faces and Kalashnikovs will learn the hard way that earthly power comes and goes, like that pagan temple. But the City of God goes on eternally. I would also remind them of the words of the one who had so little power that he hung upon a cross:

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


These words come from true strength. These words come from a faith that endures. The men with the masked faces will create nothing. They can only destroy. True strength comes from the faith that creates justice, love and integrity. Only if we have these then we can build under God that which endures

From here with thanks to our long-standing member

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeBiblical Commentary & Reflection

August 24, 2014 at 6:24 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Archbishop will be praying on the hour, every hour, from 6am to 6pm, from Sunday 24th August to Sunday 31st August, in the St John’s Chapel at York Minster.

In advance of his vigil of ‘Hope and Trust for the Peace of the World’ Dr Sentamu issued the following statement:

“Dearly beloved Disciples of Jesus Christ, wherever you are in the world, I beseech you, in the Name of our Lord, to join me in heart and mind for seven days of prayer and fasting for peace and justice in God's World.

Please join me in praying especially for those places in our global village devastated by militarism, idolatry (the worship of God wrongly conceived), dictatorships and abject poverty.

One way of making our solidarity and commitment together to be instruments and makers of peace is to place white linen in our windows. All people of good will may do this! Be the change you want to see”.

Read it all and note the prayers: Kyrie Eleison and The Lord's Prayer

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of York John Sentamu

August 24, 2014 at 6:01 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

August 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm - 6 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

August 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach has called for special prayer this Sunday, August 24, for those suffering in Iraq and Syria, and the ACNA has put together a special prayer resource.

The short prayer service includes: A responsive reading from Psalm 83; An Opening Prayer; Time for personal or corporate prayer (with optional prayers provided) and a Closing Prayer.

The optional suggested prayers include prayers: For Our Enemies, For Muslims, Against Evil, Against Jihad, For Those Martyred, For the Church Catholic

You can find Archbishop Foley's exhortation here
The prayer resource is available as a PDF file or as Word Doc. Please pray and please share this widely! The elves

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraqSyria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relationsReligious Freedom / Persecution* Resources & Links

August 24, 2014 at 8:18 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Several Christian book publishers including Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, (both divisions of HarperCollins) are having a major ebook sale this weekend. At least 200 titles are on sale for $0.99 cents. While a hefty proportion of the books on sale are fiction, there are also some exciting non-fiction books on sale as well. You can see a list of most of the non-fiction titles here. Another site has a sortable list, including fiction, (there are also various bibles & devotionals, etc.)

Here are a few titles by well-known authors that caught this elf's eye. (Haven't read many of these so posting this list is not an endorsement of any kind.)

The links we've included are for Amazon (Kindle format), however, these books are also on sale at Barnes & Noble (Nook format), and perhaps available at other vendors as well. Presumably these titles are only available through the U.S. websites of Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Billy Graham: The Reason for My Hope: Salvation
John MacArthur: Strange Fire
John Ortberg: Soul Keeping
Ken & Joni Eareckson Tada: Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story
N.D. Wilson: Death By Living
Tim Stafford: The Adam Quest: Eleven Scientists Who Held on to a Strong Faith While Wrestling with the Mystery of Human Origins
David Murray: Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament
Philip Yancey: The Question that Never Goes Away
Max Lucado: You'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times

Thomas Nelson also has a series of biographies called the Christian Encounters series available. Each title is 0.99 to 1.99. The series includes Winston Churchill, JRR Tolkien, Isaac Newton, Jane Austen, Sargeant York, JS Bach


Several Books on Sale from Other Publishers : 99 cents - $1.99

Available for $0.99
The Promises of God: Discovering the One Who Keeps His Word, by R. C. Sproul
Gospel-Centered Ministry (The Gospel Coalition Booklets) by Timothy Keller and D. A. Carson
Andreas J. Köstenberger: Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue

Available for $1.99
Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me by Kevin DeYoung
When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight For Joy by John Piper
Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes
The Heresy of Orthodoxy by Andreas J. Kostenberger, Michael J. Kruger and I. Howard Marshall
Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian by John Piper and Timothy Keller
Why Cities Matter: To God, the Culture, and the Church by Stephen T. Um, Justin Buzzard and Timothy J. Keller
Rethinking Retirement: Finishing Life for the Glory of Christ by John Piper
Hope...the Best of Things by Joni Eareckson Tada

One blog which featured news of this book sale suggested that this sale makes a good opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping, since at least Amazon makes it possible to buy a book now and send it to someone by email later. [In Amazon you can click on the give as a gift link and then specify the recipient's email and delivery date.]

Happy browsing.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooks

August 24, 2014 at 6:51 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

See if you can match these 20 famous names from church history with their pictures. Let us know in the comments how you did!

The quiz is here.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* General InterestHumor / Trivia

August 23, 2014 at 3:04 pm - 4 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In Kendall's absence, none of us elves have felt comfortable posting on the shooting of Michael Brown and the Ferguson MO situation, not having found any single article or commentary that really seemed worth recommending and up to T19 standards. But it seems a glaring absence on the blog this week NOT to have posted about Ferguson. So, we'd like to ask T19 readers: what links might you recommend? Especially welcome would be articles / commentaries that get beyond the headlines and give some context or offer a Christian perspective on the events. Thanks in advance. - the elves.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

August 23, 2014 at 7:17 am - 5 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Washington’s National Cathedral is for rent. The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington announced this week that it was soliciting proposals for corporations and non-profit groups to lease its premises.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)

August 22, 2014 at 7:14 pm - 10 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Excellent reading. Ed Stetzer interviewed Nancy & David Writebol's adult children about how the family has coped with Nancy's illness with the Ebola virus.
Here's an excerpt.


What do you want to come from this?

Jeremy: I think the perspective that we hope others will gain from this is that in suffering there is hope, namely Jesus himself. Often we are tempted to think “why me” when suffering comes about and unless we see it in the larger picture of God’s glory and the unfolding and revealing of his character and nature to the world we will miss the joy that it is to be part of God’s great story.
In suffering there is hope, namely Jesus himself.

Brian: I think I would like those who look into our lives through this time to see Christ and see He alone in our refuge in trying times. This “strong tower” comes in the form of prayer, Scripture, and the Holy Sprint providing comfort and peace in our hearts in the darkest moments. Through this peace we are able to worship and glorify him no matter the outcome.

Esther: I want people to see Christ lifted high and to see that God’s plans for each of our lives is always for our good and His glory. God is Sovereign, he is Holy and he is good- all the time, no matter what the circumstances in our lives are- we can trust him to lovingly walk us through the dark and scary times as well as the joyful times of our lives.

How has this affected her faith?

Brian: In conversations with Mom I’ve picked up a sense that she has a deeper understanding on Christ sufficiency in all circumstances. He really is able to give peace and comfort when we have no where else to turn.

[...]

Stephanie: I had a wonderful conversation with my mother-in-law one day while she was laying in the bed at Emory University—looking at her through glass. She said:

"Steph, I have asked myself many, many times in my life, Is Jesus enough? I wasn't always sure how I could really answer that. When I was being put on that plane to come to the US, I knew I was leaving my home where all my things would be destroyed. I was saying goodbye to David, not knowing if I would see him again. I was getting on that plane unsure if I would be alive when I got to the US to see all of you. It was that moment when I cried out and knew, 'Jesus, you have to be enough. Jesus, you are all I have - you are enough.'"

Oh how perspective changes—He really is enough!

It's worth reading the whole article.

Filed under: * General Interest* TheologyTheodicy

August 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

August 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Here are links to all of the recent Summer Open Threads we've posted while Kendall is on vacation. We'd still love to hear from readers on these topics!

1) Summer Open Thread: What Book or Books are You Reading right Now?
2) Summer Open Thread #2: Your Chance to be a Guest Blogger
3) Summer Open Thread #3: Recollecting Favorite Sermons


Links to some of the other entries that have been recently featured / stickied at the top of the blog:

**Index of All Recent Entries about Diocese of SC Litigation**

The Sunday on T19 thread with links to great sermons, prayers, etc.

Churches in West Africa call for prayer as Ebola virus spreads
The Gafcon Chairman’s August Pastoral Letter

You can use the "featured (sticky)" category link to find more posts that have been featured in recent weeks. Additional featured entries continue below - click on the read more link..

Read more...

Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)

August 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Archbishop Beach shares some of his vision and priorities for ACNA. Worth watching. (About 20 minutes).




The YouTube link is here.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained

August 21, 2014 at 12:05 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Wonderful news that Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have both been cured of Ebola and released from Emory University hospital today.

Dr. Brantly's press conference is excellent - It's wonderful to hear his testimony to God's faithfulness.
A video of his press conference and an accompanying short article are here.


Update: NBC News has a written transcript of Dr. Brantly's statement.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissions* Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* General Interest

August 21, 2014 at 11:18 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

“They’re having a prayer vigil for you at Marquette. Don’t you feel our prayers?” she asked.

“I do, Mom, I feel them,” and I thought about this for a second. Maybe it was others’ prayers strengthening me, keeping me afloat.

The official made a motion. I started to say goodbye. Mom started to cry. “Mom, I’m strong. I’m OK. I should be home by Katie’s graduation,” which was a month away.

“We love you, Jim!” she said. Then I hung up.

I replayed that call hundreds of times in my head — my mother’s voice, the names of my friends, her knowledge of our situation, her absolute belief in the power of prayer. She told me my friends had gathered to do anything they could to help. I knew I wasn’t alone.

My last night in Tripoli, I had my first Internet connection in 44 days and was able to listen to a speech Tom Durkin gave for me at the Marquette vigil. To a church full of friends, alums, priests, students and faculty, I watched the best speech a brother could give for another. It felt like a best man speech and a eulogy in one. It showed tremendous heart and was just a glimpse of the efforts and prayers people were pouring forth. If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us. It didn’t make sense, but faith did.

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

August 21, 2014 at 7:44 am - 4 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The unsuccessful rescue operation "involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL," the Pentagon said in a statement, using a different name for the militant group. "Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location."

Officials would not say exactly when the operation took place but said it was not in the last couple of weeks.

Obama authorized the mission "earlier this summer," Lisa Monaco, Obama's top counterterrorism aide, said in a separate statement. "The President authorized action at this time because it was the national security team’s assessment that these hostages were in danger with each passing day in ISIL custody," she said.
.......
British anti-terrorist police began an investigation of the video, in which Foley's killer spoke with a London accent.

Possibly a British national, the killer is just one of hundreds of European Muslims drawn to join Islamic State, who authorities say pose a security threat to U.S. and European interests if they return home from the Middle East.
........
Syria has been the most dangerous country for journalists for more than two years. At least 69 other journalists have been killed covering the conflict there and more than 80 journalists have been kidnapped in Syria.

The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists estimates that about 20 journalists are currently missing in Syria. Many of them are believed to be held by Islamic State.

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

August 21, 2014 at 7:27 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

SIR – What we are witnessing in northern Iraq today is a tragedy of historic proportions in which thousands of innocent people are at immediate risk of death for no other reason than their religious beliefs. Freedom of religion and belief, a right set out in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is being denied in the most gross and systemic way possible through the attempted extermination of religious minorities. There is no justification for the violation of this inalienable human right.

Such violations as are currently taking place are crimes against humanity that must be both stopped and punished. The culture of impunity within which these dehumanising atrocities have been committed needs to be challenged most vigorously. Given that Iraq is not a state party to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Government must now work towards a United Nations Security Council resolution that refers this matter to the ICC for investigation and, where necessary, prosecution. The international community must send a clear signal to those who are committing such atrocities that they will be held accountable for their actions.

These violations are, however, sadly part of a global pattern of increased hostility in society towards freedom of religion or belief, together with government restrictions of them. Governments, international institutions and non-governmental organisations need to recognise this wider crisis and commit the necessary time, energy and resources to ensure greater respect for this fundamental freedom and forestall further tragedies.

Read it all and note the signatories

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

August 21, 2014 at 7:05 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



The photo is courtesy of Selimah Harmon; you can out more about Camp Saint Christopher there.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* General InterestAnimals* South Carolina

August 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Kibera, Kenya (CNN) -- Heaps of trash pile up for miles in Kibera, a district of Nairobi that houses nearly 1 million people and is one of the poorest slums in the world. Aluminum shanties fill the horizon, and an odor of urine cuts through the air. A man trots through the narrow, unpaved streets on a camel. If you make your way through this crowded maze, however, you will find the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, a free public school for girls and, recently, a few boys. Peek in through the windows, and you'll see a sight that seems incongruous next to the grimy chaos outside.

In this school, where there is no electricity and temperatures often top 90 degrees, dozens of students in neat wool uniforms are sliding their fingers across touch screens, reading a lesson on their Amazon Kindle e-reader. The students, who range in age from 14 to 20, are cheerful, welcoming and quick to share the genres of books they like to read in both Swahili and English. Their school is one of 28 participating in a program with Worldreader, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that provides modern technology -- usually Kindles -- to improve literacy in the most impoverished parts of the world.

By expanding access to education in areas where books are a scarce resource, the Worldreader team is trying to break the cycle of poverty, one electronic page at a time.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya

August 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Speaking at Holy Trinity Clapham on Sunday


From here with thanks and the audio may be listened to here

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

August 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In this interview, Archbishop Beach announces several important new staff appointments and gives some information about how the ministry of both the Anglican Diocese of the South, and ACNA will function under his leadership. The section with Archbishop Beach starts at about 8 minutes and lasts for about 7 minutes in total.




Here is the YouTube link should you need it.

UPDATE: There is an excerpt of a letter from Archbishop Beach at the ACNA website which explains a bit more about these appointments.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Anglican Provinces

August 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm - 4 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

As my pointy-eared elven colleague reminded us last week "While Kendall's away, the elves may play." It's time to lighten up around here before summer flits away!

Yes, the world news is grim, but Proverbs 17:22 reminds us "A cheerful heart is good medicine", so please take a few minutes to share something that's made you laugh in recent days:
- a good (clean) joke you've heard;
- a limerick;
- a funny video or picture;
- an amusing story

Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)* General InterestHumor / Trivia

August 19, 2014 at 3:05 pm - 20 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

August 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The fiction of Flannery O'Connor, especially her novel The Violent Bear It Away, resists the relegation of Satan to an abstract principle and thus to his ultimate irrelevance. She envisions Luciferian evil in traditional terms as a personal power determined to achieve his own supremacy. When Satan appears in her fiction, she candidly observed, he is not to be understood as "this or that psychological tendency." She cites Baudelaire's celebrated dictum that the Devil's greatest wile is to convince us he does not exist, and she declares his considerable success in our own time.

Yet for all that is traditional in her conception of Satan, O'Connor is concerned not to make him obvious, lest he be easily dismissed as a bogeyman. In fact, her demons disguise themselves in thoroughly Freudian and Jungian terms. Freud regarded Satan as nothing other than a symbol, albeit a powerful one, of repressed erotic desires or else of neuroses lying deep within the unconscious, often negatively projected "onto individuals or groups that we identify as enemies or potential enemies." In the work of Jung, Freud's student, Lucifer represents the massive destructive energy resident in the universe as it stands over against the equally enormous constructive powers that Jung links to the divine. Yet for Jung, Lucifer's name still applies: He is the light-bearer whose demonic negativity dwells in a mandala-like complementarity with divine positivity. Only as good incorporates evil into itself, Jung teaches, can higher wisdom and wholeness be attained.

It is noteworthy that, when I ask students to identify the voice that speaks inwardly to young Francis Marion Tarwater from the very beginning of the novel, they respond in Jungian and Freudian ways. They almost always answer that this "stranger" who gradually becomes Tarwater's "friend" is the boy's sub-conscious mind, his inward self, his alter ego. Such obtuseness is as predictable as it is inexcusable. Yet it plays perfectly into O'Connor's fictional purposes. Far from being an artistic failure, her ploy enables her readers, at least potentially, to experience Francis Marion Tarwater's own terrible awakening to the true identity of his inner voice.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksHistoryReligion & Culture* TheologyTheodicy

August 19, 2014 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

I have been thinking about this one a lot, lately. I was thinking about it long before I read Manage Your Day-to-Day, but that book helpfully distilled it to a single sentence: “We tend to overestimate what we can do in a short period, and underestimate what we can do over a long period, provided we work slowly and consistently.”

This is our temptation in all areas of life: to look for the quick fix, to look for the one or the few great moments that will accomplish more than the hundreds or thousands of smaller moments. “Anthony Trollope, the nineteenth-century writer who managed to be a prolific novelist while also revolutionizing the British postal system, observed, ‘A small daily task, if it be daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules’. Over the long run, the unglamorous habit of frequency fosters both productivity and creativity.”

The spasmodic Hercules: this is how many of us behave. We behave as if one moment of great activity can overcome a thousand moments of inactivity, as if one moment of taking hold of opportunity will overcome all those moments wasted. The unglamorous habit of frequency is what makes up so much of life’s progress. Yet we are constantly tempted to put our hope in the brief and the glamorous.

Read the full blog entry at Challies.com

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life* General Interest

August 19, 2014 at 6:00 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord, who hast given us thy Word for a light to shine upon our path: Grant us so to meditate upon that Word and to follow its teaching, that we may find in it the light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Attributed to the Thought of Saint Jerome

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 19, 2014 at 5:28 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Dear Prime Minister,

Iraq and IS

I am conscious of the speed at which events are moving in Iraq and Syria, and write recognising the complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges faced by the international community in responding to the crises in Syria and Iraq.

However, in common with many bishops and other correspondents here in the UK, I remain very concerned about the Government’s response to several issues. I write with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury to put these questions to you.

1. It appears that, in common with the United States and other partners, the UK is responding to events in a reactive way, and it is difficult to discern the strategic intentions behind this approach. Please can you tell me what is the overall strategy that holds together the UK Government’s response to both the humanitarian situation and what IS is actually doing in Syria and Iraq? Behind this question is the serious concern that we do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamist extremism as it is developing across the globe. Islamic State, Boko Haram and other groups represent particular manifestations of a global phenomenon, and it is not clear what our broader global strategy is – particularly insofar as the military, political, economic and humanitarian demands interconnect. The Church internationally must be a primary partner in addressing this complexity.

2. The focus by both politicians and media on the plight of the Yezidis has been notable and admirable. However, there has been increasing silence about the plight of tens of thousands of Christians who have been displaced, driven from cities and homelands, and who face a bleak future. Despite appalling persecution, they seem to have fallen from consciousness, and I wonder why. Does your Government have a coherent response to the plight of these huge numbers of Christians whose plight appears to be less regarded than that of others? Or are we simply reacting to the loudest media voice at any particular time?

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

August 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Church of England has written to David Cameron accusing him of lacking ‘a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamic extremism as it is developing across the globe’. The letter, signed by the Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, and approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, also reportedly accuses the PM of turning his back on Christians slaughtered or made homeless in northern Iraq – and wonders why Cameron has chosen to concentrate on the plight of the Yazidis instead.

These criticisms are spot on. But I’m surprised that the C of E has had the brass neck to make them.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

August 18, 2014 at 9:32 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

As you probably know, an Islamist terror group that goes by the acronym ISIS has been gobbling up huge swathes of territory, executing Christians and other religious minorities, and even destroying priceless artifacts. Tens of thousands have been forced to flee with little more than the shirts on their backs. My friend, Canon Andrew White, vicar of the only Anglican church in Iraq, says, "The Islamic State simply said 'we can do anything now that the world is just looking at Gaza' . . . in reality that is true. Iraq seems like old news, yet things just get worse and worse here."

Tragically, until last Thursday's announcement of humanitarian aid, the President's silence on this issue has been deafening, too...

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

August 18, 2014 at 9:12 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

[28 : 0.0966]