Posted by Kendall Harmon

Leaders from the Diocese of South Carolina and the Anglican Church in North America, led by Bishop Mark Lawrence and Archbishop Foley Beach, came together at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center, South Carolina on April 28-29, 2015 for prayer, fellowship, and conversation.

We had frank exchanges that examined the possible compatibility of the ecclesiologies of the Anglican Church in North America and the Diocese of South Carolina.

There is a wide spectrum of polities in the provinces of the Anglican Communion and these differences affect the ways in which dioceses relate to their respective provinces. Provinces such as Nigeria are more hierarchical, while provinces such as South America are more conciliar. Our conversations began exploring the practical dimensions of how a diocese and province relate in the structure of the Anglican Church in North America.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Anglican Identity* South Carolina* TheologyEcclesiology

April 30, 2015 at 2:32 pm - 4 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 - 4 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 - 23 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] 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

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksHistoryReligion & Culture* TheologyTheology: Scripture

May 2, 2015 at 4:30 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have introduced their daughter to the world, as they left hospital to take her home to Kensington Palace.

The princess, whose name has yet to be announced, slept in her mother's arms during her first public appearance outside St Mary's Hospital, in London.

The princess - who is fourth in line to the throne - was delivered at 08:34 BST on Saturday after a short labour.

Read it all and enjoy the pictures.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

May 2, 2015 at 4:10 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Our progressive sensibilities have not, alas, resulted in a genuinely compassionate culture. We no longer have the kind cruel civic Christianity that The Scarlet Letter depicted, yet we still have the shaming scaffolds (they’re called social media now) and we still have ineffable moral codes that must not be trespassed. These codes may not be Levitical but they are indeed legalistic: laws about privilege, sexual autonomy, “trigger warnings,” and much, much more. Violation of these laws can and do result not only in public shame but legal prosecution.

It surely must befuddle those on the inside track of our transforming culture—just as we seem to be learning what true progress is, we rebuild the shaming scaffolds of our Puritan forefathers. Can we not have a culture that embraces the moral equivalence of all forms of sexual expression, the existential (read: non-transcendent) nature of love, and the casting off of ancient beliefs about God and the universe, while simultaneously widening the margins of civic life to include all kinds of beliefs, even those that discomfort us? Cannot we live out the promises of the Sexual Revolution while saving a place in our midst for those who opt out?

No, we cannot. The reason is simple: A broken American conscience cannot be trusted. Compassion is a class that secularism doesn’t offer. Exchanging the Puritanism of Arthur Dimmesdale for the Puritanism of Alfred Kinsey is not progress. Cultural elites may say we are becoming a better people because we break with human history on the meaning of marriage or the dignity of human life, but a glance outside suggests otherwise.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingHistoryMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

May 2, 2015 at 3:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Such a pattern of religious Dualism did not last into modern times, but it used to be very commonplace to find some such dichotomy. Allegedly, Judaism was the faith of the wrathful, legalistic God of the Old Testament; Christians followed Jesus, and his words of love and mercy. Only a hundred years ago, the great Bible scholar Adolf von Harnack wanted to eject the Old Testament from the Christian Bible, an act he saw as the logical conclusion of the Reformation. Von Harnack himself was not anti-Semitic, although plenty of his sympathizers in such matters were. But the stereotypical dismissal of the Old Testament is certainly anti-Judaic, in the sense of stigmatizing the Hebrew Bible that is the foundation of Jewish faith and identity.

It is hard to know what is most incorrect about this cliché of “the wrathful, Old Testament Jehovah,” or most offensive. A century of Bible scholarship has made it absolutely clear that virtually everything Jesus preached can be found in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, including many sayings and pronouncements that seem most radical and innovative. Any attempt to separate Jesus from his Jewish roots – or the New Testament from the Old – is utterly misguided, and doomed to fail. The whole vision of God as loving and forgiving derives from the Old Testament, as is clear to anyone who has ever opened its pages. If you think of the Old Testament God as merely “wrathful,” your knowledge of the text is very slight.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths* TheologyTheology: Scripture

May 2, 2015 at 2:29 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Religion has been waning in influence for several centuries, especially in Europe and North America. There have been a few brief and local revivals, but in recent years the pace of decline has accelerated.

Today one of the largest categories of religious affiliation in the world—with more than a billion people—is no religion at all, the “Nones.” One out of six Americans is already a None; by 2050, the figure will be one out of four, according to a new Pew Research Center study. Churches are being closed by the hundreds, deconsecrated and rehabilitated as housing, offices, restaurants and the like, or just abandoned.

If this trend continues, religion largely will evaporate, at least in the West. Pockets of intense religious activity may continue, made up of people who will be more sharply differentiated from most of society in attitudes and customs, a likely source of growing tension and conflict.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureScience & TechnologySociology

May 2, 2015 at 2:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

She wrote more than 60 novels in a career spanning 50 years, her best-known creation being Inspector Wexford, which was turned into a highly successful TV series.

Rendell, one of Britain's best-selling contemporary authors, also wrote under the pen-name Barbara Vine.

Born in Essex, she is credited with bringing a social and psychological dimension to crime fiction.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchBooksWomen* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropology

May 2, 2015 at 2:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

West Bromwich Albion dealt Manchester United's hopes of automatic Champions League qualification a serious blow with a smash-and-grab 1-0 victory at Old Trafford on Saturday.

West Brom took a 64th-minute lead when Chris Brunt's free-kick cannoned into the net off team-mate Jonas Olsson and goalkeeper Boaz Myhill preserved their advantage by saving a Robin van Persie penalty.

It meant that United fell to a third consecutive Premier League defeat for the first time since December 2001, following previous losses at Chelsea and Everton.

Read it all.

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May 2, 2015 at 1:47 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Investment in women’s services could double or even triple, but Australia would still require a major attitude shift in order to stem the increasing rate of domestic violence, say anti-domestic violence advocates.

Speaking at a forum hosted by Archbishop Philip Freier on 22 April, Paul Linossier, CEO of Our Watch, formerly the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children, said the community needed to tackle the two key drivers of domestic violence, gender inequality and cultural circumstances, for any lasting gains to be made.

“In a sense we’re all perpetrators because we’re transmitting from one generation to another this continuing position of inequality between men and women. We do that through a million interactions every day.”

He said even after his decades in the sector he has been guilty of it, recently realising that he had referred to fixing his fence and setting a new path down as “a blokey weekend”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Culture-WatchMenPsychologyReligion & CultureSexualityViolenceWomen* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

May 2, 2015 at 12:12 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Dioceses Commission has given its approval to revive the See* of Islington paving the way for a new bishop to lead on church planting within the Diocese of London.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has written to the Commission expressing his strong support for the new See. The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, formally submitted a proposal to the Commission laying out the support of both the Diocesan Synod and the Bishop's Council.

Most bishops exercise their ministry within a defined geographical area. The proposal to revive the See of Islington is innovative as the bishop would hold a particular brief for church-planting initiatives primarily in the Diocese of London but to provide advice for other dioceses across England as invited to do so by the local bishop.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

May 2, 2015 at 11:49 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last August, I filed a complaint in Santa Monica, Calif., using pseudonyms, to protect two frozen embryos I created with my former fiancée. I wanted to keep this private, but recently the story broke to the world. It has gotten attention not only because of the people involved — my ex is Sofía Vergara, who stars in the ABC series “Modern Family” — but also because embryonic custody disputes raise important questions about life, religion and parenthood.

When we create embryos for the purpose of life, should we not define them as life, rather than as property? Does one person’s desire to avoid biological parenthood (free of any legal obligations) outweigh another’s religious beliefs in the sanctity of life and desire to be a parent? A woman is entitled to bring a pregnancy to term even if the man objects. Shouldn’t a man who is willing to take on all parental responsibilities be similarly entitled to bring his embryos to term even if the woman objects? These are issues that, unlike abortion, have nothing to do with the rights over one’s own body, and everything to do with a parent’s right to protect the life of his or her unborn child.

In 2013, Sofía and I agreed to try to use in vitro fertilization and a surrogate to have children. We signed a form stating that any embryos created through the process could be brought to term only with both parties’ consent. The form did not specify — as California law requires — what would happen if we separated. I am asking to have it voided.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyMenScience & TechnologyWomen* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

May 2, 2015 at 11:05 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Arguments over same-sex marriage played out in the U.S. Supreme Courton Tuesday, but many religious groups opposed to gay marriage aren’t waiting for a ruling.

A court ruling expected two months from now could sanction same-sex marriage nationwide. In anticipation, some congregations and religious advocacy groups are re-emphasizing their teachings on marriage, fine-tuning their approach to gays and lesbians and bracing for legal battles and public criticism.

“The outcome of this decision will shape the landscape of the church’s ministry in the U.S. for generations to come,” wrote Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. In an interview, he added, “If we have a redefinition of marriage across the board by judicial decree then the church will have a responsibility more than ever to articulate what marriage is in the first place.”

The Southern Baptist Convention, the U.S.’s largest Protestant denomination, is preparing a video series and booklets on marriage and how to address homosexuality, Mr. Moore said. The church is hosting symposiums for pastors on “teaching the biblical witness to marriage” while also “equipping them to minister to gay and lesbian people who don’t agree with us,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

May 2, 2015 at 9:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

May 2, 2015 at 9:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For this purpose, then, the incorporeal and incorruptible and immaterial Word of God comes to our realm, howbeit he was not far from us Acts 17:27 before. For no part of Creation is left void of Him: He has filled all things everywhere, remaining present with His own Father. But He comes in condescension to show loving-kindness upon us, and to visit us. And seeing the race of rational creatures in the way to perish, and death reigning over them by corruption; seeing, too, that the threat against transgression gave a firm hold to the corruption which was upon us, and that it was monstrous that before the law was fulfilled it should fall through: seeing, once more, the unseemliness of what was come to pass: that the things whereof He Himself was Artificer were passing away: seeing, further, the exceeding wickedness of men, and how by little and little they had increased it to an intolerable pitch against themselves: and seeing, lastly, how all men were under penalty of death: He took pity on our race, and had mercy on our infirmity, and condescended to our corruption, and, unable to bear that death should have the mastery—lest the creature should perish, and His Father's handiwork in men be spent for nought—He takes unto Himself a body, and that of no different sort from ours. For He did not simply will to become embodied, or will merely to appear. For if He willed merely to appear, He was able to effect His divine appearance by some other and higher means as well. But He takes a body of our kind, and not merely so, but from a spotless and stainless virgin, knowing not a man, a body clean and in very truth pure from intercourse of men. For being Himself mighty, and Artificer of everything, He prepares the body in the Virgin as a temple unto Himself, and makes it His very own as an instrument, in it manifested, and in it dwelling. And thus taking from our bodies one of like nature, because all were under penalty of the corruption of death He gave it over to death in the stead of all, and offered it to the Father—doing this, moreover, of His loving-kindness, to the end that, firstly, all being held to have died in Him, the law involving the ruin of men might be undone (inasmuch as its power was fully spent in the Lord's body, and had no longer holding-ground against men, his peers), and that, secondly, whereas men had turned toward corruption, He might turn them again toward incorruption, and quicken them from death by the appropriation of His body and by the grace of the Resurrection, banishing death from them like straw from the fire.
--Athanasius, On the Incarnation of the Word

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* TheologyChristology

May 2, 2015 at 7:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Uphold thy Church, O God of truth, as thou didst uphold thy servant Athanasius, to maintain and proclaim boldly the catholic faith against all opposition, trusting solely in the grace of thine eternal Word, who took upon himself our humanity that we might share his divinity; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

May 2, 2015 at 7:12 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord God, who never failest both to hear and to answer the prayer that is sincere: Let not our hearts be upon the world when our hands are lifted up to pray, nor our prayers end upon our lips, but go forth with power to work thy will in the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

May 2, 2015 at 6:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

--Colossians 3:12-17

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

May 2, 2015 at 6:14 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

May 1, 2015 at 8:42 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

With thanks to Kevin Kallsen and Allan Haley at Anglican TV

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Commentary

May 1, 2015 at 8:22 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Irish people resent being bullied by either Church or State. Yet, ordinary citizens are being intimidated into voting “Yes”. For over a year, the campaign waged by the Government urged on by the media has been relentless. In the final weeks, reason may triumph over emotion. As they prepare to vote, people will ask, reasonably: what are we being asked to change? The simple answer is: human nature.

This referendum touches the very source of our humanity. Human rights are at the heart of the Constitution. Article 41 recognises the family, based on marriage, as the fundamental unit group in Society. As such it has rights which are intrinsic to it, which the State is obliged to recognise and protect. In other words, the family, which existed before either Church or State existed, not only has a real autonomy within society: it is the ultimate source of society. Past and future converge in the family. Through marriage, future generations come into being. A nation’s culture is passed on primarily through the family. Since the dawn of time, the union of man and woman was simply assumed to be the origin of the family. This is what we are being asked to change.

This is not only Church teaching. It is in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, art. 16.3: “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” That Declaration was drawn up against the background of two totalitarian regimes: Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union. In the Soviet Union in particular, Marxist socialism tried to eliminate the family. This trend in Marxism — condemned by Pope Leo XIII in 1891 — was radicalised in Communist China in their “one family, one child” policy. The family has to be destroyed in order to exercise complete control over the people. The autonomy of the family is one of the bulwarks against every State’s innate tendency to become totalitarian, our own State included.

Read it all from the Irish Times..

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

May 1, 2015 at 4:26 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Natalie Bennett has said her party is “open to consultation” on the possibility of legalising polygamy and civil partnerships involving three or more people.

The Green Party leader was responding to a question from a man living with his two boyfriends in a polyamorous relationship in London on Friday.

Dr Redfern Jon Barrett, taking part in an event organised by Pink News, said people like himself in three-way relationships faced a “considerable amount of legal discrimination”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPsychologySexuality* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

May 1, 2015 at 4:02 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Judge Fabricius, quoted in local media, said the ruling applied only to Mr Stransham-Ford and that future cases would be debated on their merits.

"It is not correct to say from now on it will be a free-for-all," he is quoted as saying.

The justice and health ministers, as well as the Health Professions Council of South Africa, have opposed the legal case.

Dignity SA said it would welcome an appeal as a chance to test the right to die against the constitution, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife Ethics* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General

May 1, 2015 at 3:15 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton and the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland today announced the acceptance of the resignation of Heather E. Cook as bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. This means that Cook is no longer employed by the diocese. The acceptance of Cook’s resignation is independent of any Title IV disciplinary action taken by the Episcopal Church.

Read it all and there is more there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC Polity & Canons* Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingAlcoholismLaw & Legal IssuesTravel* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

May 1, 2015 at 2:05 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

A Review by Martin Davie. [from here]

An Executive Summary of a paper commissioned by Church of England Evangelical Council.

[from the conclusion]

How evangelicals should respond.

Firstly…Evangelicals need to say loudly and clearly that, for the reasons explained above, the shared conversations are 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.

Secondly, Evangelicals need to be aware that the shared conversations are only the ‘warm up act.’ It will be in the General Synod, probably in the session in February 2017, that a substantive debate will take place that could change the Church of England’s theology and practice. Such a debate would be proceeded by discussions in the College and House of Bishops so Evangelicals need to be ready for the lead in to the debate to begin as soon as the shared conversations have finished in the summer of 2016.

Thirdly, since it is clear that, whatever criticisms are offered, the shared conversations process is going to take place Evangelicals need to ready to keep on making the following key points during the process:

1. The position of the Church of England has not changed…The burden of proof is on those who want to change the Church’s position.

2. In considering its teaching and practice in relation to human sexuality the Church of England has to base its approach on the teaching of the theological authorities specified in Canons A5 and C15, namely the Bible, the teaching of the orthodox Fathers and Councils and the Historic Formularies of the Church of England (the Thirty Nine Articles, the Book of Common Prayer and the 1662 Ordinal)…


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

May 1, 2015 at 1:19 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The nominees are:

■The Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, 64, Diocese of Southern Ohio
■The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, 62, Diocese of North Carolina
■The Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas, 56, Diocese of Connecticut
■The Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith, 61, Diocese of Southwest Florida

Read it all and there is more here.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

May 1, 2015 at 12:06 pm - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Self-esteem, the kind that comes from finding the sweet spot between a healthy fondness for yourself and healthy self-skepticism, tends to get harder to come by the older we get. For a kid, self-esteem can be as close at hand as a sports victory or a sense of belonging in a peer group. It's a much more complicated and elusive proposition for adults, subject to the responsibilities and vicissitudes of grown-up life.

For college students, caught in that muddy crossing between childhood and independence, going through a phase in which they can't tell the difference between caring for themselves and declaring their own importance at every turn may actually be something of a rite of passage, albeit one as ridiculous as returning from a semester abroad with a foreign accent.

But if, in fact, this confusion is more than just a phase, if what we're dealing with is a generation — and, increasingly, an entire culture — for whom self-righteousness and self-esteem are essentially interchangeable, we're in trouble. Because self-righteousness, when you think about it, is a contra-indicator of self-esteem. It's what sets in when genuine righteousness eludes us. And if we spend our lives inside safe spaces writing love letters to ourselves, just about everything else will elude us too.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychologyYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

May 1, 2015 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The bronze plaques on Main Street silently tell the toll of the two world wars on this small county: 197 men, listed by name but uncategorized by rank or age or branch of service.

Nonetheless, each is identified as “white” or “colored,” lingering evidence of Greenwood County’s segregated past that Greenwood city officials and leaders of the local American Legion post now want to banish from the city’s memorial to the war dead.

But they cannot, at least for now, without defying the South Carolina Legislature and a law born of a compromise so uneasy that even 15 years after it was reached, people fear that any changes to Greenwood’s tribute would spawn another tortured clash about how this state marks its racial history.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed ForcesRace/Race Relations* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* South Carolina

May 1, 2015 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In an unremarkable corner of Westminster Abbey is a wooden door marked "Private". Behind it are 78 wooden steps spiralling upwards in a narrow staircase. And at the top of those is one of the Abbey's hidden treasures: what John Betjeman once called "the greatest view in Europe".

More than 20 metres above the floor of the Abbey, and largely invisible to the tourists taking pictures below, is a vaulted gallery that runs the entire length of the building. This is the Abbey's eastern triforium, a centuries-old secret expanse that is to be opened to visitors for the first time as part of a gallery and exhibition space.

The Dean, Dr John Hall, invited us, a group of reporters, to join him in a final tour around the triforium before building work begins in earnest to transform the dusty space into the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries

Read it all and make sure not to miss the slideshow.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchArchitecture

May 1, 2015 at 5:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Robert George]...was responding to two tendencies, I think: 1) that of some conservatives to retreat into analysis, and particularly historical genealogy, when faced with a cultural and political challenge; and 2) that of some of them to find the problem in a force that can’t be resisted, like the Enlightenment roots of the American founding, which justifies disengagement from a battle we can’t win. He calls this defeatism.

I’m not so hopeful as Robby. He has greater faith than I do in the American people and the force of public reason.

He may, for example, think the natural law arguments for marriage as it has been understood to be more publically compelling than I do. We have an instinctive sense of the natural law, as St. Paul noted, but our recognition of what is natural can be neutralized. You may see that men and women are made for union with each other, but if you understand marriage as primarily an affective relation, as most Americans do, you’ll have no strong reason to oppose same-sex marriage. If your society has for decades separated sexual intimacy from the creation of children, you’ll find it easier to accept intrinsically sterile marriages, especially as children can be provided in other ways.

I hope Robby’s right about the possibilities for success, though I don’t think he is. I still agree with him that we must stand up and bear witness.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMarriage & FamilyPhilosophyReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

May 1, 2015 at 5:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It's been revealed hundreds of Christians died or were injured as the Nepal earthquake hit their churches, including an Anglican minister and 17 of his parishioners.

In Nepal, Sunday is a work day so Christians normally attend church on their day off, which is Saturday. So many were in church when the quake hit on 25th of April.

Rev Lewis Lew, the Dean of Nepal which is under the oversight of the Diocese of Singapore, has issued a confirmation of a tragic scene in the village of Choke.

The village was recently visited by a mission team from Singapore.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAsiaNepal

May 1, 2015 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

May 1, 2015 at 4:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

KHAPs are informal local councils in north-western India. They meet to lay down the law on questions of marriage and caste, and are among India’s most unflinchingly conservative institutions. They have banned marriage between people of different castes, restricted it between people from the same village and stand accused of ordering honour killings to enforce their rulings, which have no legal force. India’s Supreme Court once called for khaps to be “ruthlessly stamped out”. In April 2014, however, the Satrol khap, the largest in Haryana, one of India’s richest states, relaxed its ban on inter-caste marriage and made it easier for villagers to marry among their neighbours. “This will bring revolutionary change to Haryana,” said Inder Singh, president of the khap.

The cause of the decision, he admitted, was “the declining male-female sex ratio in the state”. After years of sex-selective abortions in favour of boys, Haryana has India’s most distorted sex ratio: 114 males of all ages for every 100 females. In their search for brides, young men are increasingly looking out of caste, out of district and out of state. “This is the only way out to keep our old traditions alive,” said Mr Singh. “Instead of getting a bride from outside the state who takes time to adjust, we preferred to prune the jurisdiction of prohibited areas.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & Family* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaIndia* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

May 1, 2015 at 4:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes, we beseech thee, to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works; that rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve thee with gladness; for the sake of him by whom all things were made, thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

May 1, 2015 at 4:21 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:1-4

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

May 1, 2015 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

My father-in-law died last night, he was 96. When I think of him I think of someone who is the kind of person who held this country together: loyal husband, father, grandfather, Goodyear industrial tire employee, Hibernian society member, and mostly importantly member of his local Roman Catholic Church. He not only attended Bible study and worship regularly, he even (still) participated in spiritual retreats in recent years.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals

May 1, 2015 at 3:48 am - 4 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In “The Consuming Vision,” an essay about novelist Henry James, of all things, Jean-Christophe Agnew argues that the consumerist culture emerging in James’s time was a “world constructed by and for a consuming vision,” an “imagined world … in which imagination itself strives to gild, glaze, and ultimately commodify its objects.” This consuming vision becomes hegemonic in a world that comes to be seen as made entirely of commodities. “What modern consumer culture produces,” Agnew argues, “is not so much a way of being as a way of seeing — a way best characterized as visually acquisitive. In short, modern consumer culture holds up the cognitive appetite as the model and engine of its reproductive process.”

Agnew points out that the churn of markets assures that these sorts of characteristics are never stable in any given commodity or experience. Consumerism posits such meanings as free-floating, redeployable, highly contingent and not intrinsic to a good’s use value. (Soap might make me objectively clean, but will it make me feel clean, which is ultimately more important?)

Thus those meanings are always socially determined to a degree, and always require further labor to affix them to goods. Advertising has traditionally served the purpose of attaching the affective associations with products; social media now enlists the members of one’s social networks to assist in this process. We aid in the building of such ad hoc associations between feelings and goods (we are “prosuming,” making our consumption productive of symbolic meaning by broadcasting it), but this serves also to reinforce that the overall sense that the meanings are applied and withdrawn at social whim.

Pinterest is geared toward stimulating this acquisitive appetite for images without sating it.

Read it all (Hat tip: The Browser).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingHistoryPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* General InterestPhotos/Photography

April 30, 2015 at 6:01 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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