Posted by Kendall Harmon

The elves are taking the liberty to sticky this in order to remind blog readers to be praying for the Harmon family in these days. We'll try to keep posting interesting articles while Kendall is unable to blog much.

The rector with whom I work left for sabbatical yesterday, my Father-in-Law is to be buried in Pittsburgh Wednesday, and our youngest daughter graduates from Furman University--God willing--next weekend. There are not too many weeks I remember on the family front like this one--I know you understand. Posts will be catch as catch can but check back for possible posts of interest from others. Many thanks--KSH.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyYoung Adults* Theology

May 5, 2015 at 12:15 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

By Philip Turner and Ephraim Radner
In what way will our General Convention respond to subversion of our church’s governmental forms, common purposes and Gospel character? Viewing these events and trends in the full light of day we are bound to ask ourselves and others the question put to St. Peter by the crowd to which he preached. “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) Peter’s answer was “Repent”—turn around. Given the acrimony and bitterness that now characterizes TEC’s common life it would seem that a turning from our combative ways is certainly called for. As a church we certainly need a fresh start, but a fresh start must begin somewhere. Our analysis of the present treatment of our Constitution and Book of Common Prayer points to this place. Let us pull back and, in the processes of change, adhere to the boundaries the constitution has provided us so that change can come about decently and in order, rather than by slight of hand or the sheer exercise of power. We say this not as a ploy to prevent the blessing of gay unions or changes in the Book of Common Prayer of which we do not approve. We say it for our own common good and for that of future generations of Episcopalians. If, in order to get a result we may want, we disregard the order laid down for us in our constitution we may be certain that at some future date others will come along with a different agenda, and will follow the precedent of lawlessness we will have laid down.

In his play, A Man for all Seasons, Robert Bolt presents a scene between Thomas More and his son-in-law, William Roper. Roper says to More that he would cut through all the law of England to get to the Devil. More responds, “and after you have cut through all the laws and the Devil turns around and there is nothing between you and him, what then son Roper, what then?” Bolt’s point is germane. After we have cut through the restraints of the Constitution to gain an end, what then? Where is our protection from grotesque abuses of power and all their bitter fruits?

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Polity & Canons

April 30, 2015 at 7:14 am - 15 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful,

Praise be to the Lord of the universe who has created and formed us into tribes and nations so that we may know each other, and not so that we may despise each other, Peace be upon all auspicious prophets of God, from Adam, Noah and Abraham to Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed Mustafa, who pulled humanity out of darkness into the light and became guides to peace
the translated succession of prophets is a comprehensible assertion of Islamic theology which errs (to put it mildly), and may cause some theological disquiet (putting it milder still). The succession of prophets “from Adam, Noah and Abraham to Moses, Jesus and Mohammed Mustafa” is chronological: the first four are common to the prophetology of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; Jesus as a prophet is common to Christianity and Islam (with disparity over priest and king); and Mohammed is a prophet of Islam alone (indeed, ‘The Prophet’). ‘Mustafa’ is an epithet ascribed by Muslims to Mohammed: it means ‘The Chosen One’.

For Christians, of course, it is Jesus who is the Anointed of God; the Christ; the Messiah; the Chosen One..
it is not simply a benign multifaith expression of ecumenical respect in a commemorative service of reconciliation: it is a dogmatic affirmation of a perfected prophethood to which Jesus is subordinate, and His divinity thereby denied.
It may not be very PC or neighbourly or conducive to interfaith relations to say it, but Mohammed was a false prophet (Jer 14:14-16; 1Jn 4:1; Acts 4:12; 2Cor 11:3f). By rejecting the crucifixion and denying the resurrection of Christ (who is not the ‘Chosen One’), Islam espouses ‘another Jesus’, ‘another spirit’ and ‘another gospel’. They are and ought to remain free to proclaim their religiosity, however false and erroneous it may be. But not, please God, in The Collegiate Church of St Peter (aka Westminster Abbey), which is a Royal Peculiar of the Supreme Governor.

Read it all

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

April 28, 2015 at 9:06 am - 32 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Bishop of Salisbury has initiated a complaint under the Clergy Discipline Measure against the Hon. Assistant Bishop of Winchester, the Rt. Rev. John Ellison, for violating ecclesiastical law.

Bishop Ellison, the former Bishop of Paraguay, is alleged to have exercised episcopal jurisdiction over a church within the geographic boundaries of the Diocese of Salisbury without the permission of the Rt. Rev. Nicholas Holtam when he participated in a service of Thanksgiving last year at Christ Church Salisbury -- a congregation of the Anglican Mission in England.

In an interview broadcast last week with Anglican TV, the former Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Peter Jensen confirmed “the Bishop of Salisbury has delivered a disciplinary note to Bishop John Ellison” and charged him with violating the ecclesiastical boundaries of his diocese.

In their communique released at the close of their London meeting on 18 April 2015 the GAFCON primates gave Bishop Ellison their full backing, denouncing the “unjust and uncharitable charges brought against him by the Bishop of Salisbury.”

Read it all. For more background about the controversial Bishop of Salisbury and the way the CofE House of Bishops changed the rules on divorce to enable him to be appointed see:
Sunday Telegraph: Divorced bishops to be permitted for first time by Church of England, June 6, 2010
Pageantmaster—Comments on the Southwark Bishop Candidates, July 6, 2010
‘Rising star’ made Bishop of Salisbury, April 12, 2011
John Richardson—Bishops married to divorcees ‘pose serious challenge to traditionalist Anglicans,’ April 13, 2011
([London] Times) Bishop of Salisbury Openly Supports Same Sex Marriage, February 3, 2012
The Bishop of Salisbury—Marriage and same-sex relationships, February 24, 2012
Peter Ould responds to the Bishop of Salisbury—Nick Holtam’s Case for Polygamy, May 30, 2013
Bishop Holtam of Salisbury Congratulates and Prays for Same-Sex Couples Getting Married, March 29, 2014

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby

April 27, 2015 at 12:53 pm - 12 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Here are the links to posts that have been recently featured at the top of the blog or on topical issues.

Anglican Communion
[Andrew Symes] on Shared Conversations: “Not enough conservatives; theology too liberal” (May 4, 2015)
Martin Davie: Grace and Disagreement - [Justin Welby’s Shared Conversations on Sexual Immorality] (May 1, 2015)
[Andrew Symes] Shared Conversations begin; an evangelical Bishop steps back (April 29, 2015)
[Bishop Bill Atwood] Some Commentary on the GAFCON Communique (April 29, 2015)
[Cranmer] Westminster Abbey acknowledges Mohammed in succession of prophets (April 28, 2015)
[George Conger] Border-crossing charges filed against British Bishop (Apr 27, 2015)
Bishop John Ellison Interviewed in 2009 and 2010 (Apr 24, 2015)
Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo (Apr 23, 2015)
(AM) James Paice—Anglican unity and diversity: centrifugal or centripetal? (Apr 23, 2015)
Anglican Unscripted Episode 173 - GAFCON in the News (Apr 23, 2015)
A BBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme on the Gafcon Primates Council meeting w/ Archbp Peter Jensen (Apr 21, 2015)
ATV Interviews Archbishop Jensen (Apr 20, 2015)
GAFCON Primates Communique (Apr 17, 2015)
Andrew Symes: Sexuality is irrelevant to Christian witness, says Archbishop (Apr 08, 2015)
Anglican Unscripted 171: The End of the ACC? (Apr 8, 2015)
Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon: The Instruments of Unity and the Way Forward [+Transcript] (Apr 06, 2015)
The GAFCON Chairman’s Easter Pastoral Letter (April 6, 2015)
Nigerian bishop to be the Anglican Communion’s next Secretary General (April 2, 2015)

Episcopal Church Polity
[ACI] What Then Shall We Do? A Note on the upcoming General Convention of the Episcopal Church, (April 30, 2015)
AS Haley: When Is a Church Not a Church? When It’s a Debt Collector (April 29, 2015)
ACI: Misrepresenting ACI’s Concerns About The Constitutionality of [New] Liturgical Material (Apr 21, 2015)
[ACI] The Episcopal Church and the New Episcopal Church (Apr 20, 2015)
Episcopal Clergy: Is This Any Longer a Church One Wants To Join? (March 24, 2015)
A.S. Haley—Annual Litigation Survey for the Episcopal Church (USA) 2015 (Feb 24, 2015)

South Carolina
Leaders from the Diocese of South Carolina and ACNA Meet at St. Christopher (April 30, 2015 )
(Diocese of South Carolina) Motion for Rehearing Denied; Ruling Not Based on Merits of Case (April 30, 2015)
Canon Jim Lewis—A South Carolina Legal Update as Supreme Court to hear the case (Apr 16, 2015)
South Carolina Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Diocese of SC decision by new TEC Diocese (Apr 16, 2015)


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* AdminFeatured (Sticky)

April 2, 2015 at 7:35 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

During medical school, I spent countless evenings in a library, half-asleep, poring over textbooks and talking through cases with other medical students. What I did not do, ever, was take a class with anyone studying to be a nurse, physician assistant, pharmacist or social worker. Nor did I collaborate with any of these health professionals to complete a project, participate in a simulation or design a treatment plan. It wasn’t until residency that I first began to understand just how many professions come together to take care of a single patient — what exactly they do, how they do it, and how what I do makes their jobs easier or harder.

As a first-year resident, you finally learn to put into practice the theory of medicine you have been nurturing since fumbling around with organic chemistry models in college. You learn in a safe and hierarchical environment — with senior residents, fellows, consultants and attending physicians each demonstrating, with increasing degrees of nuance and sophistication, how much clinical medicine you have yet to learn and how far you have left to go.

But, in all that time, there is surprisingly little education on what it means to be a leader of a medical team, with its nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, dieticians and case managers. There is even less discussion of how to understand one another’s roles, perspectives, frustrations and limitations....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHealth & MedicinePsychology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

May 6, 2015 at 11:21 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In a recent sermon, the rector of my church recommended adding the Psalms to our prayers, if we had not already discovered this wonderful method of praying. At various times, I have used the Psalms in prayer, but that reminder was an encouragement to be more intentional about using this treasure trove of prayers.

Of course, praying the Psalms is also a powerful way to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. If anyone fits the description “the cords of death entangled me,” it is Christians in Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, or wherever Christians are suffering for the sake of Christ.

Wouldn’t it be great if Christians in the West all committed daily to praying Psalms on behalf of our persecuted brothers and sisters?

Here’s an example of doing just that from the Psalm I referenced above...

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

May 6, 2015 at 10:47 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Unity among Christians releases a power that is “impossible to exaggerate”, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told the Leadership Conference 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall this morning.

The Archbishop was speaking during an on-stage interview with Nicky Gumbel, Vicar of HTB, alongside Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby

May 6, 2015 at 10:18 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

With its African leadership, GAFCON represents the future of the Anglican Church. The Episcopal Church of the USA, under the leadership of presiding bishop Katherine Jeffers Schori, has suffered a disastrous decline. Using strong-arm tactics to bully disenchanted Episcopalians into line, Schori has overseen plummeting numbers and falling revenues. Meanwhile, the Church of England, following the Episcopalians’ enthusiasm for liberal causes, has shared the Episcopal Church’s drastic fall in worshippers. The Episcopal Church membership has dropped from 3.6 million in the 1960s to fewer than 1.4 million today; Church of England attendance has halved in the past 40 years.

Meanwhile, as John L. Allen Jr. reports in “The Future Church,” Christianity in Africa is burgeoning, and the Anglican Church accounts for a significant part of the growth. The Pew Forum reports that at the beginning of the 20th century, Anglicans from sub-Sahara Africa made up only 0.4 percent of Anglicans worldwide. Today they comprise more than 45 percent. When that is contrasted with the fact that the Episcopal Church makes up less than 4 percent, one can understand the disenchantment of African bishops at the hugely disproportionate presence that North American Anglicans have at the global Anglican table.

Unless there is some unexpected turnaround in the Church of England and the Anglican churches of the developed world, GAFCON is the Anglican Communion of the future. If so, what does this development mean for Anglican-Roman Catholic ecumenism?

First, it should be recognized that the old form of Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue is finished.

Read it all

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical Relations

May 6, 2015 at 10:06 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Communiqué from the meeting of ARCIC III in Villa Palazzola

5 May 2015
The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) is the official body appointed by the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion to engage in theological dialogue in order that they may come into visible unity and full ecclesial communion. It held the fifth meeting of its current phase (ARCIC III) in an atmosphere of shared prayer and friendship at Villa Palazzola, the summer residence of the Venerable English College in Rome, 28 April–4 May 2015. Members of the Commission are grateful to the staff of Villa Palazzola for the warm welcome extended to them.

Read it all

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical Relations

May 6, 2015 at 9:53 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Rev Nicky Gumbel, vicar of HTB, launched the two-day Leadership Conference by sharing his heartfelt passion for a united global Church.

‘There is a crisis in the world; there is a crisis in the Church; there is a crisis of faith,’ he said. ‘Unity is the only hope for the world.’

‘The same Spirit lives in the Catholic, the Pentecostals, the Anglicans – that’s what makes us one.’

Unity around Jesus, he said, is the key to the evangelisation of a nation. ‘A divided world demands a united Church.’

Achieving a united Church boils down to our own individual choices in how we lead and how we follow. ‘Ultimately, unity is not doctrinal, it’s relational,’ he said.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby

May 6, 2015 at 9:23 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Doctrine matters—it matters in life and in death. Our doctrine determines our destiny. It not only affects our view about God but our view about everything. We are doctrinal beings by nature. Everyone holds to some sort of doctrine; the question is whether or not our doctrine is biblical. Consequently, we dare not be indifferent about doctrine. Indeed, there is a reason we’ve never heard of a Christian martyr who was indifferent about doctrine. Indifference about doctrine is the mother of every heresy in all of history, and in our day indifference about doctrine is spreading like wildfire in the pulpits and pews of our churches. Ironically, the assertion that doctrine doesn’t matter is in fact a doctrine in itself.

When people tell me they are into Jesus but not into doctrine, I tell them that if they are not into doctrine, they are, in fact, not into Jesus. We cannot know Jesus without knowing doctrine, and we cannot love God without knowing God, and the way we know God is by studying His Word. Doctrine comes from God, it teaches us about God, and by faith it leads us back to God in worship, service, and love. Indifference to doctrine is indifference to God, and indifference to God is indifference to our own eternity. Pastors who think it is relevant and cool to be indifferent about doctrine—who play down the necessity and importance of doctrine and who fail to preach and explain doctrine in their sermons—are in fact failing to give their people that which will save their souls. For us to downplay doctrine or to be intentionally fuzzy in preaching doctrine isn’t cool or humble or relevant, it’s outright arrogant. There is nothing more relevant than doctrine, there is nothing more humbling than doctrine, and there is nothing that more quickly gets our eyes off ourselves and fixes them on our loving and gracious God than doctrine that proceeds from God.

Read it all

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

May 6, 2015 at 9:17 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

This Thursday, millions of Christians will go to the polling stations. Before putting a cross on the ballot paper, here are some things for them to consider
I’ve not decided who to vote for yet and, according to the polls, a lot of you haven’t either. One thing that we Christians have to consider is how the various choices match up to the ideals and aspirations of the Bible. And so I thought it might be helpful to examine where the parties stand on the pertinent issues.

My aim isn’t to assess “what would Jesus do.” If Jesus were alive today, not only would he not vote but there would be no election – we’d all be far too busy dealing with the Apocalypse. Moreover, I appreciate that Jesus instructed his followers to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”, which is often interpreted as a call to recognise some division between one’s personal faith and the will of the state. So I am not looking for perfection or imagining that Christians have a right to impose their views on everyone else. I’m trying to identify what’s important and where the parties stand on it. Using this excellent voting guide produced by the Christian Institute, I've tried to reduce it to four basic themes...

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

May 6, 2015 at 8:12 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to in a Q&A with PinkNews to consider the introduction of Gender X passports.

Answering questions from readers, the Prime Minister ruled out the extension of civil partnerships to straight people due to public opposition, and came out against mandatory sex and relationship education in all schools – but pledged to take a tough stance on ‘gay cure’ therapy.

The Conservative leader also said he would consider following Australia and New Zealand in introducing ‘Gender X’ passports for people who do not identify as male or female – after Ed Miliband also pledged to review the issue in his PinkNews Q&A.

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

May 6, 2015 at 8:09 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

From the Brave New World Department...

Fourteen U.S. and Canadian cancer institutes will use International Business Machines Corp's Watson computer system to choose therapies based on a tumor's genetic fingerprints, the company said on Tuesday, the latest step toward bringing personalized cancer treatments to more patients.

Oncology is the first specialty where matching therapy to DNA has improved outcomes for some patients, inspiring the "precision medicine initiative" President Barack Obama announced in January.

But it can take weeks to identify drugs targeting cancer-causing mutations. Watson can do it in minutes and has in its database the findings of scientific papers and clinical trials on particular cancers and potential therapies.

Faced with such a data deluge, "the solution is going to be Watson or something like it," said oncologist Norman Sharpless of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Cancer Center. "Humans alone can't do it."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineScience & Technology

May 6, 2015 at 7:26 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Good morning from western Pennsylvania, where it appears the weather will be nice for the funeral of my Father-in-Law Edward James Deenihan. I am looking forward especially to the full military honors and the bagpipes later. Thanks for your prayers--KSH.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals

May 6, 2015 at 7:24 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One derived an impression of his strength of nature from a certain reticence regarding his deepest feelings and experiences. That which he thought and felt was kept under the lock and key of a masterful will, repressing any full expression of much that was characteristic within. In intercourse with him one felt the quiet power of self-control. A man of rare personal dignity, he manifested the gravity of a noble seriousness in tone of conversation and in outward bearing. It was evident that his mind was resolutely set to meditate upon great and worthy things.

Dr. Harwood was a typical scholar. Graduated from the University with high honors, he gave his best energies in loyal devotion to the Queen of Sciences, Theology. He had read widely, studied diligently, and thought profoundly. Especially was he a student of sacred Scripture. From 1854 to 1859 he was Professor of the Literature and Interpretation of the Scriptures in the Berkeley Divinity School. Thence he brought to this parish the treasures of his scholarship. I well remember, as a boy, sitting in this Church, being impressed by his reading of the Scriptures. That office he performed with a reverence and dignity and an accurate touch of emphasis which brought out the meaning of every word of that Holy Writ he knew so thoroughly.

He was a man of vast reading in theology. That which especially characterized him as a theologian, I should say, was, first, his love of truth, and, secondly, his courageous faith in truth. Devotion to truth was with him a passion. His reverence for the authority of truth made him fearless, that is to say, he was not afraid of the truth and he was not afraid for the truth. Nor did he ever fear to speak out what he believed to be the truth. In theological controversy he was truly "a man of war," a foeman of undaunted prowess. As an example of his virile doggedness and fearlessness, let me quote these characteristic words from a pamphlet of his regarding a controversial topic: "We have heard lately that this is a closed topic! Pray, will any one I tell me what is closed? How was it closed? When was it closed? Who closed it? It is not a closed, but a very open I topic." The words sound like him, one who has drunk delight of battle with his peers, "a mighty valiant man."

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

May 6, 2015 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“I was very active in the progressive community in my law school, and most of my friends were politically active progressives,” he said. “But I was unprepared for their response when word started filtering out that I had enrolled in divinity school. Some of them literally disowned me; my own roommates moved out. Several folks literally stopped speaking to me and acted as if I had lost my mind.”

His own background was thrown in his face, with friends saying: “Chris, you’re a scientist, you’re a chemist, you trained as a chemist as an undergraduate, how could you possibly believe this insane stuff...?”

Coons’s message was deceptively simple: that we must find ways of “getting past some of our misunderstandings of each other.” The problem: Respecting each other on matters of faith and politics seems beyond our current capacities.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralSenate* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsSecularism* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

May 6, 2015 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who hast created man after thine own image and made him capable of discerning and striving after truth and goodness, honour and loyalty, unselfishness and purity: Grant that by the power of thy indwelling Spirit we may learn to prize these above all else, knowing that in them we truly live; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

May 6, 2015 at 4:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

--Romans 13:8-14

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

May 6, 2015 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a weekend attack at a center near Dallas, Texas, that was exhibiting cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad - though it offered no evidence of a direct link to the attackers.

An audio statement on the extremist group's Al Bayan radio station said that "two soldiers of the caliphate" carried out Sunday's attack in Garland and promised the group would deliver more attacks in the future

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* Theology

May 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Executive Committee of the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) warmly welcome the appointment of Rod Thomas as the new Bishop of Maidstone and look forward to the new opportunities his role may create as we seek to work together to promote the gospel through local Anglican churches.

Prebendary Rod Thomas has served on the Executive Committee of AMiE since 2012. He was a delegate at the Global Anglican Futures Conference (GAFCON) in 2013 at which the Primates of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans recognized the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) as an expression of authentic Anglicanism both for those within and outside the Church of England.

AMiE General Secretary, Canon Andy Lines said,
"We are delighted by the appointment of Prebendary Rod Thomas as the new Bishop of Maidstone. The appointment opens the door to a new era of co-operation between AMiE and the Church of England."

Chairman of AMiE, Rev Justin Mote said,
"AMiE exists to promote gospel growth by supporting Anglican churches and individuals both within and outside present Church of England structures. No one is more committed to that task than Rod Thomas. We are excited by the possibilities offered by his appointment and look forward to AMiE churches benefitting from his Episcopal ministry in the future."

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA)

May 5, 2015 at 11:09 am - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Saw this article from Breitbart in the newsfeed from Anglican Mainstream:

The gender-neutral salutation ‘Mx’ is to join the titles ‘Mr’, ‘Mrs’, ‘Miss’ and ‘Ms’ on official documents in the UK. Driving licences, passports, high street banks and even some government departments now accept the title, which is used by people who do not want to identify with a particular gender.

The title is now also under consideration by the Oxford English Dictionary and it may be included in the next edition. The Sunday Times quotes the dictionary’s assistant editor, Johnathan Dent, as saying the new title shows how English can adapt to people’s changing needs.

“When you look at the usual drop-down options for titles, they tend to be quite formal and embrace traditional status such as the relationship between a man and wife, such as Mr and Mrs, or a profession such as Dr or even Lord,” he said. “This is something new.”

Barclays, RBS, Halifax, Santander, Natwest and the Co-operative Bank all use the title, while HSBC is in the process of adding it. The Royal Mail has also introduced Mx on online applications, while Oxford University said it had added the title as it is “the most commonly used and recognised gender neutral title”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchSexuality* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

May 5, 2015 at 10:57 am - 7 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Dean Emeritus of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Adebola Ademowo, has urged Nigerians to turn to God in prayers for peace and tranquility in the country.

Ademowo made the call at a news conference to herald the 3rd session of the 32nd Synod of the Diocese of Lagos, Anglican Communion.

“There is an urgent need for all to go back to God, the author of peace in prayers.

“With the goings-on in our world today, false doctrines, false teachings abound everywhere; the synod wants to enjoin members to go back to the basics.

“We should confess our sins, repent and pray to God to return our nation back to the era of peace and progress,’’ he said.

Ademowo said that the theme of the synod was: `The Authority of the Scriptures’.

According to him, no prophesy ever comes by the impulse to men but that it comes to men moved by the Holy Spirit.

“The word of God is inspired and it speaks to every situation.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria

May 5, 2015 at 10:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Last week, the trustees of the Anglican Alliance visited the diocese and visited the Menara Centre for Special Needs and Ain Shams Community Centre - the mission of Anglican Alliance is to build a world free of poverty and injustice. They also had several important meetings with Bishop Mouneer, Dr. Maged, the director of Episcocare, and Dean Samy of St. Mark’s Pro Cathedral to encourage the community development work of the Diocese.

Read it all and there is more about the Anglican Alliance here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

May 5, 2015 at 10:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

There is no how-to list for praying for someone with an incurable disease. But here are some suggestions:

Listen. Ask. Listen carefully to the concerns of the ones you are praying for. If possible, ask them how they would like you to pray for them. They may not have an answer. Or the answer may surprise you. But starting by listening and asking is a way to honor and support those in need.

Pray with the Psalms. Whether in the hospital bed or at a prayer service, the most powerful and comforting prayers offered to me were from the Psalms. They don't cover up the loss—they bring anger and grief before God. "My heart is stricken and withered like grass; I am too wasted to eat my bread." And yet they bring all of this in petition before the faithful God of the covenant. "Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to you. Do not hide your face from me on the day of my distress" (Ps. 102:4, 1-2).

Present your petitions in light of the Lord's Prayer and Gethsemane. We are to bring our requests before God, in light of Jesus' command and promise to answer our prayers...

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral CareSpirituality/Prayer

May 5, 2015 at 9:48 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In the past many of us voted for the party who, in our minds, could be trusted to run country most effectively, but now the general assumption is that none can be trusted and it comes down to who will break the fewest promises and do the least worst job. The outcome is debilitating for our democracy. As a result voter confidence is at rock bottom and too many choose not to vote at all.

It's easy to lay the blame squarely at the feet of our politicians. Sometimes this is justified. When David Cameron's government announced that he would be bringing in same-sex marriage legislation despite failing to mention it in the Conservative manifesto and then took no notice of a 600,000-strong petition calling for marriage to remain distinctively between a man and a woman, it's not surprising that many Christians with strongly held beliefs felt utterly let down and rejected.

However, too often the ultimate reason that politicians fail to keep their promises is due to the attitude of the electorate..

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Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

May 5, 2015 at 9:34 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

True confession... this elf hasn't had time yet to listen to the full audio posted below. But Trevin Wax is usually very worth reading or listening to. The questions he raises in his blog post are excellent. With Kendall needing to cut back on blogging, it seemed this might be a good resource to post, and might stimulate a good discussion.

What disciplines will help us as Christians identify our cultural "blinders" and diligently assess and engage Biblically with our culture, and be faithful disciples in our times?

Please share any books or resources you've found helpful in "knowing and responding to the times."


We live in a society that has been formed, in some measure, by Christian ethics. Here, it’s easy for Christians to assent to Christian teaching and embrace certain practices common to Christianity, and yet still make decisions from a framework that is more influenced by a rival conception of time, because it remains hidden from view.

“Bible Believers” Living Out of Other Stories:
This is a source of continual frustration among pastors.

  • We get discouraged when many of the people in our congregations, people who are faithful in attending church and who claim to have personal times of Bible reading, seem to be okay with the fact that their kids aren’t as religiously oriented as they are, as if it’s expected for kids to drop out of church for awhile and hopefully come back (but at least they made a decision for Christ at camp one summer!).

  • We get discouraged when we see people put Bible verses on their Facebook page right next to a post about a television show they’re watching, a show drenched in the ethos of the Sexual Revolution and all the lies that come with it.

  • We mourn the loss of people who are as kind as can be to us while they’re walking out the door to visit another church that has better services and programs for their kids. We thought they were committed to our church, but they were really just committed to their preferences.

A Question for Our Generation
As cultural currents move faster and we see rapids and waterfalls ahead and wonder what the future holds, one of the questions we must ask is this:
What kind of discipleship is necessary to fortify the faith of believers so that we understand what time it is, we rightly interpret our cultural moment, and see through the false and damaging views of history and the future that are in our world?

That is the question I posed in my workshop at TGC this year: Discipleship in the Age of Richard Dawkins, Lady Gaga, and Grounding Believers in the Scriptural Storyline that Counters Rival Eschatologies. The audio from the talk is now available here.

What are the disciplines we need as we read our times? Oliver O’Donovan again:

To see the marks of our time as the products of our past; to notice the danger civilisation poses to itself, not only the danger of barbarian reaction; to attend especially not to those features which strike our contemporaries as controversial, but to those which would have astonished an onlooker from the past but which seem to us too obvious to question. There is another reason, strictly theological. To be alert to the signs of the times is a Gospel requirement, laid upon us as upon Jesus’ first hearers.

Read the blog entry here. You can listen to the audio here..

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryAdult Education* Culture-Watch* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* Resources & LinksResources: Audio-Visual* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

May 5, 2015 at 8:58 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Reform is delighted that their Chairman, Rev’d Preb Rod Thomas, has been appointed to the revived See of Maidstone. Rod has served as a senior officer of Reform for nearly two decades. In that time he has been unswerving in his commitment to the principles set out in the Reform Covenant. But for Rod’s passionate advocacy of conservative evangelical Anglicanism the Church of England would have been much impoverished.
Director of Reform, Susie Leafe said, “The members of Reform are all too aware that this is an immense undertaking and we will be in prayer for Rod as he seeks to establish the necessary working arrangements to allow conservative evangelicals to flourish throughout the country.”

Read it all and the official announcement is here and the blurb from the Church of England is here and Lambeth Palace here

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

May 5, 2015 at 6:53 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast gone to the Father to prepare a place for us: Grant us so to live in communion with thee here on earth, that hereafter we may enjoy the fullness of thy presence; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEasterSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

May 5, 2015 at 4:21 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to thee, when my heart is faint. Lead thou me to the rock that is higher than I; for thou art my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in thy tent for ever! Oh to be safe under the shelter of thy wings!

--Psalm 61:1-4

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

May 5, 2015 at 4:01 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

KOTTAYAM: The Bishop at CMS Anglican Church allegedly prevented the devotees from entering the church by locking the main entrance, following which a section of the faithful offered prayers on the sides of the MC Road.

The protesters had earlier submitted a memorandum against the Bishop Stephen J Vattappara who is also the vicar of the Anglican Church, alleged that the priest closed the doors of the church at around 9.30 in the morning when they came to offer prayers. They said the bishop had ousted some of the committee members who wanted the financial records of the church publicised last month. He then posted new committee members without conducting any election for the same, they alleged, adding that the priest was receiving funds even from foreign countries, but was not ready to show the accounts to the diocese. Instead, he was acting vengefully against those raising questions against him, they said.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Provinces

May 4, 2015 at 4:04 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

"The Diocese of South Carolina has been in the process for some time of discerning what its permanent affiliation should be among the Provinces of the Anglican Communion," the Rev. Jim Lewis, canon to the ordinary and an attendee of the meeting, told The Christian Post.

"We have reached a place where it seemed the next and most appropriate step was to meet with leaders of the ACNA to share our common interests and questions as this diocese continues the work of discernment."

Lewis also told CP that while no date has been set for a convention vote on affiliation, the diocese stands on good terms with ACNA and other conservative Anglican groups.

"Our mutual respect and appreciation for each other is considerable, with many in the room having relationships that go back for years," said Lewis.

"Our conversations were wide ranging and provided much needed clarity for all of us. Those are conversations that will certainly continue in the future."

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

May 4, 2015 at 3:50 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

given by John Yates II and John Yates III
Listen to it all and there are more talks from the Gospel Coalition Conference 2015 here

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship--Book of Common Prayer

May 4, 2015 at 11:32 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

April 29, 2015
It has been a week since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. Today the churches in Nepal meet to worship but it will never be the same again. Many have lost their loved ones, friends, colleagues, classmates, and fellow acquaintances. Today also marks the last day of search-and-rescue efforts. All those still buried under rubble will be presumed dead.

Today is a very sad day for the Anglican Church in Nepal and for our Diocese as we mourn the death of 78 Anglican members in the district of Dhading (this number will rise, as many are still buried under rubble). The report we have just received also stated that in the fourteen villages of the Dhading district, thirteen Anglican church buildings have been destroyed, 30,000 villagers have been displaced, with more than 5,000 families affected. They are without shelter, food and aid. Many are having to brave the cold wet nights of the monsoon season. Some villagers have woken up to find their young children dead from exposure to the extreme cold.

The people in the mountains are cut off from aid and supplies due to severe damage to roads and mountain tracks. We thank God for brave souls like young Pastor Beg who, despite the dangers, have been trekking the mountains the last 4 days to check on the well-being of his Tamang people

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Anglican Church in South East Asia

May 4, 2015 at 11:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

it is clear that many Christians died in their churches.

“I am getting reports of entire Christian families being wiped out in Kathmandu and outside,” Simon Pandey, chairman of the National Christian Fellowship of Nepal, told CT in an interview from his concrete house in a Lalitpur suburb.

If the quake had occurred half an hour earlier, he noted, the casualties in churches would have been much higher. (Many Hindus died during worship services also.)

Of Nepal’s Christians—which comprise just over one percent of the country’s 30-million population—Protestants were disproportionately affected by the disaster, a Catholic leader told CT.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Anglican Church in South East Asia

May 4, 2015 at 11:11 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

“Not enough conservatives; theology too liberal”, says lesbian participant in Shared Conversations
One of the initial reflections to come out of the first regional Shared Conversations is an excellent piece from the musician and blogger Rose Grigg
Rose appreciated the opportunity for people on opposites sides of the theological and ethical divides to really get to know each other and hear each other. However she has serious concerns about the process as well. Firstly, the Conversations appear light on theology:
“There wasn’t enough time to get into the nitty gritty of the Biblical texts, or to dig into the ‘issues behind the issues’: our approaches to scripture, what is sin, what is truth, what is salvation.”

Secondly, there was an assumption that ‘good disagreement’ was the right outcome: “We hadn’t answered the question of exactly what we were disagreeing on; or whether that disagreement was something we could live with, or something which was so definitive that a split had to happen.”

Thirdly, there was theological bias: “the process was geared towards those of a more liberal standpoint – those who were more likely to agree that the church could coexist with different theologies.”

Lastly, “there weren’t enough conservatives”. Rose herself was assumed to be conservative as she identifies as evangelical. “It’s not his [the Bishop’s] fault I happen to be…a flag-waving, rainbow-wearing lesbian.”

Here is a report from someone who could embody more and more the future of the C of E as envisioned by its current leaders: young, talented and committed to Christ, but coming to radically different conclusions about Christ’s teachings and his demands in ways that align more with the grain of contemporary culture and one’s own self understanding and identity. If even she finds the process of the Shared Conversations too skewed away from a historic, conservative understanding of faith, this is yet more evidence of what Dr Martin Davie has called “a deeply flawed process supported by deeply flawed resources. They are in fact an object lesson of how a church should not go about handling a serious theological issue.”

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby

May 4, 2015 at 10:36 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Filed under: * TheologyApologetics

May 4, 2015 at 10:29 am - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In October this year (2014), I drove to Desaru on the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia for such a time. The haze over the western sector of Singapore and the second link was particularly bad. There was a dull grayness and fogginess that enveloped everything. But as I drove eastwards, the sky began to clear up and soon the sun came shining through in all its brightness. The experience was not without significance for me.

It seems to me that there is a growing fog over the moral landscape of the world. On the one hand, many nations (& the Church sadly following suit in some instances) are entertaining revisionist views on moral issues. On the other hand, another type of fogginess is caused by the thick cloud of dust and ashes as bombs and gunfire explode between warring groups in several parts of the world. Yet, God in His mercy will break through the present engulfing darkness. His shining brightness will usher in a panel of light where man is restored in his true humanness as he learns to love & fear the living God. How will the Lord's brightness come shining upon the world's moral & spiritual landscape? Primarily in and through His people (Mic 4:1-3; Is 60: 1-3).

Notwithstanding the present tide of dark, destructive and depressing forces, I believe we are headed towards the day of Christ's unsurpassable brightness (Acts 26:13)...

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Anglican Church in South East Asia

May 4, 2015 at 10:14 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord, who through spiritual discipline didst strengthen thy servant Monnica to persevere in offering her love and prayers and tears for the conversion of her husband and of Augustine their son: Deepen our devotion, we beseech thee, and use us in accordance with thy will to bring others, even our own kindred, to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

May 4, 2015 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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