Posted by The_Elves

February 26, 2017 at 4:33 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In a vote by houses, a motion to take note of the House of Bishops Report on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships failed in the House of Clergy.

Synod had been asked to 'take note' of 'Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations: a report from the House of Bishops' [GS 2055]

The results by house were:
House of Bishops: For 43; Against 1; Abstained Nil
House of Clergy: For 93; Against 100; Abstained 2
House of Laity: For 106; Against 83; Abstained 4

The main motion having failed, all the subsequent motions based upon a positive result therefore become redundant.

Update A report from the CofE Media Office with an official version of what happened may be read here

Official tweets @Synod here and general tweets @GenSyn here

There is a useful report from David Pocklington of the Law and Religion weblog here

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

February 15, 2017 at 2:15 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Willesden concluded by saying:

"We lack a consensus on what we mean by "good disagreement" - is it about process or is it about outcomes? I think that many who want change believe that it's possible, on the basis of good disagreement, to have pluriformity of practice in the Church. Others don't believe that it's possible to live in that way because of the canonical and legal constraints of uniformity that exist in our Church.

We will find this debate a continuing source of disagreement because we haven't coalesced around an end point. When we legislated for women to be bishops, even those opposed came to the view that the Church of England had to make it possible for women to be bishops in the Church of God according to our canons and formularies. In this debate, we haven't even begun to find a place where we can coalesce. The Bishops' Report acknowledges a place of starting. More conversation is needed. We don't yet know the next stage - nor yet when and whether we can bring any further report to Synod. Please make the fullest possible use of the groups and the debate to enable those deliberations."

Read it all and the presentations are below.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 15, 2017 at 6:50 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

February 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm - 6 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In general, how do you characterize the relationship between law enforcement and the public today?

First of all, it’s never been great. This is not new, the idea that people don’t like cops. We as a society have to ask, what’s the big picture here? But we haven’t gotten beyond individual incidents. Outrage can raise an issue, but it doesn’t by itself lead to effective reform. And there will always be pushback from law enforcement if people are outraged at legitimate use of force.

Across the country’s 17,000 police departments, there is no accepted definition for excessive use of force. How does that affect law enforcement?

Police have a working definition of use of force. And the differences between jurisdictions aren’t that great. But what worries police so much isn’t cops getting in trouble for doing their job wrong, it’s getting in trouble when they’re doing their job as trained. That’s what terrifies them. A lot of cops I’ve spoken to say they’re less likely to confront criminals because there’s a great risk to their career and family if they have to shoot someone. Police are avoiding situations that might lead to force.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 26, 2017 at 6:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Where would Manchester United be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic? It's a question that, when this season as a whole is considered, might be tough to answer. But on this occasion, they would be without the EFL Cup, won in a thrilling encounter against an excellent Southampton side at Wembley.

Ibrahimovic scored twice -- one a brilliant free kick, the other a header -- in United's 3-2 victory, a game in which their assorted defensive frailties were exposed but made moot by the big Swede. Jesse Lingard got United's other, while the unlucky Manolo Gabbiadini's brace for Southampton was ultimately for nothing.

Southampton had the ball in the net after 11 minutes, as Gabbiadini turned home a low cross from Cedric Soares on the edge of the six-yard box. The linesman's flag went up, but replays suggested the Italy international was level with the last man; Ryan Bertrand was in an offside position on the far side, but not interfering with play.

Read it all.

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February 26, 2017 at 5:24 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Smith, 34, is the vicar at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Washougal. The idea for the beet tattoo near her ankle came while she was weeding beets at a Catholic Worker community and still figuring out her religious path.

She had left the Episcopal faith she grew up in. At one point, she was part of the Pentecostal Church, then followed a guru for a while and lived in different farming communities and communes around the country until someone encouraged her to check out the Catholic Worker movement. It’s a movement that takes the gospel literally in that followers want to offer hospitality, work for peace in the world and stand up against injustice. She lived in a community in Eugene, Ore., for a while before it closed and she moved to Tacoma.

“That’s when I started discerning ministry and seeing the potential for all of the values I was trying to live out on communes,” she said. “The church actually holds the structure to support all of those values. … I went back to the Episcopal Church because it was in my blood — it was who I was. I was drawn back to the sacraments, the rhythms of the church.”

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

Comments are closed.
February 26, 2017 at 4:21 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

SOS: Our society has a taboo against cannibalism passed down from the time of the Greeks and Romans. But you found that consuming humans was more widespread than culture might have us believe.

BS: Yeah, when you think about human cannibalism the first thing that jumps to mind would be criminal cannibalism. Jeffrey Dahmer and all these other horror shows. Or the Donner Party. Strandings. The guys that got stuck in the Andes, the rugby team. Those are the things that immediately come to mind.

But what I found was that there’s ritual cannibalism all over the world. For example, funerary practices. There were many cultures that didn’t come under the influence of the ingrained Western taboo, that weren’t taught that cannibalism was the worst thing you could do to another person. And there you find these funerary practices where the dead are consumed, or you find instances where body parts are used medicinally. Or, sort of on the other side, there are instances where cannibalism is used to terrify your enemies.

But there’s more to cannibalism than just “we ran out of food” or “this is a crazy person,” and I tried to emphasize that.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksDieting/Food/NutritionHistoryLife EthicsScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

Comments are closed.
February 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

February 26, 2017 at 12:29 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Black parents across America have long instructed their children on navigating discrimination and avoiding its sometimes deadly consequences. But for black immigrant Muslims, this conversation takes on an entirely different dimension.

Growing up, Ahlaam Ibraahim, a Somali-American student at the University of Washington, felt the dual struggles of being a religious and ethnic minority. "As a black woman, I'm scared of the police because I see people that look like me killed simply for being black. As a Muslim woman, I'm scared of being attacked and killed," Ibraahim says. "Do they notice I'm a Muslim because of my hijab and my blackness because of my melanin?"

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesRace/Race RelationsReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 26, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Some 250 delegates have gathered in the Norwegian capital Oslo on Friday to draw attention to the world’s forgotten humanitarian crisis —that of northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, where Boko Haram once dominated and have left destruction in their wake.

The humanitarian crisis in northeast Nigeria is one of the most underreported disasters in the world—only recently have people turned their attentions to this beleaguered region. Over the last seven years, Boko Haram, one of the most brutal militant groups the world has ever seen, has caused untold loss of life and liberty across northeastern Nigeria and parts of Niger, Chad and Cameroon in and around the Lake Chad Region.

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, the epicenter of the insurgency, estimates that the destruction caused by Boko Haram in Borno alone amounts to about $6 billion. At the height of the insurgency, Boko Haram sowed its destruction across the entire[ty of] northern Nigeria, hitting targets as far away as the country’s capital Abuja, some 430 miles from Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryImmigrationPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 26, 2017 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, heavenly Father, whose every motion towards us springs from thine inexhaustible love: Enable us, we humbly beseech thee, cheerfully to sacrifice ourselves for the well-being of those with whom we have to do, and also to love them with the tender love which thou hast for the world; that so though now we see thee darkly through the veil of our blindness, we with them may presently see thee in the fullness of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

February 26, 2017 at 5:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

--Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 26, 2017 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Sunday Pope Francis is scheduled to visit All Saints Anglican Church, where he will answer questions from the congregation, bless a newly commissioned icon of Christ the Saviour and witness a twinning with Rome’s Catholic parish dedicated to All Saints.

The afternoon visit will take the form of a short Evensong service, presided over by the pope and by the bishop of the Anglican Diocese in Europe, Robert Innes. It’s the first time a pope has visited an Anglican church in Rome and it comes as part of All Saints’ 200th anniversary celebrations.

As chaplain of All Saints for the past 18 years, Father Jonathan Boardman will be welcoming the pope to the central Rome parish, which began with a group of English worshippers back in October 1816. He talked to Philippa Hitchen about the origins of the community and about the importance of this historic papal visit….

Read and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* International News & CommentaryEuropeItaly* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

February 25, 2017 at 5:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We are both reassured to know that there are already processes in place to continue a necessary conversation and pursue a deeper theological reflection on what it is to be fully human. The archbishops have spoken of the need to fashion a new, properly informed, and radical ‘Christian inclusion’ in the Church. We look forward to sharing in that debate.

We recognise that there is hurt and distress surrounding the disagreements we have had, and that the hurt and the distress is being felt most deeply by some who engaged in the shared conversations. We share that distress. We reaffirm our recognition that the gospel calls us to a common humanity in Christ and to the joyful celebration of good and flourishing relationships.

We are committed to truth, and to living in hope and love where there is disagreement.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 25, 2017 at 4:10 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The debate gave me the opportunity to speak to Synod and my speech is copied below. You will see that I commit myself to explore to the maximum the freedom under the Church’s current law and guidance to offer rich and meaningful ministry to LGBTI+ people (see footnote), as indeed I have tried to do since I came to Liverpool.

I have no doubt that our further steps and conversations nationally will include LGBTI+ Christians more fully than the recent report was able to do. In my speech I use the phrase "maximum freedom", which is a phrase much used in the report. Since the report did not command the confidence of the Synod I do not propose to use that phrase now. Instead I use the phrase at the head of this bulletin, a phrase used by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in their letter written after the debate: “we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 25, 2017 at 3:10 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Times of change are by their nature times of paradox. To be purposefully paradoxical is to recognise that whilst consistency may be a feature of the endpoints of a journey it is rarely present all along the way. What nineteenth century physics found to be true for the trajectories of photons passing through a pair of narrow slits, twenty-first century theology must allow to be the case for a church traversing through a time of challenge and change. Some aspects of change will get ahead of others. Some parts of the church may move faster, further, or at a different angle than their neighbours. Messy Church won’t just describe a brand of work with children. In many ways we will be more like the pluriform Church of the New Testament, marvelously malleable under the hand of the Holy Spirit.

Such an embracing of paradox with a purpose provides the context for an exploration of the Archbishop’s radical inclusion that is much, much more than the maximum freedom which one Synod member tellingly remarked may mean little beyond “the prisoner being allowed to walk around their entire cell”. It opens up the possibility of exploring our prayers, our discipline, our outreach, our ministry and our teaching, and doing so with the expectation that things are going to look significantly different afterwards. Moreover, radical inclusion requires that we should no longer be reflecting about sexuality issues without LGBT+ members being present, nor doing so in a context where they feel marginalised or unsafe. “Talking about us, without us” must never again be a charge that can justifiably be levelled against us.

We are, after Synod, very much at the beginning of a journey, but it is both a better journey than we might have expected and a journey with God. That is what matters the most.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Whatever moment this may be, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Statement calling for a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church” did not address any of the layers beneath the surface of the iceberg.

Another example of leaving the issues unaddressed, and/or misdiagnosed, was found in a speech during the General Synod. A Synod member used the story of Jacob wrestling an angel and demanding a blessing to represent the LGBT community in the Church. Dr. Ian Paul, a conservative in the Church of England, lamented the analogy noting that such misappropriation of a Biblical text to support something which the Bible nowhere blesses is nothing less than a pretext, that is, a text without a context. “And as this happens,” Paul observes, “God is silenced:”
“This process of atomisation, isolation and decontextualisation is writ large all over the argument for change in the Church’s teaching, and it is why the debate is about so much more than just sex and marriage. It is about whether we will allow God to speak to us by his Spirit through the pages of Scripture, and in so speaking will form us in the likeness of Christ.” (Emphasis Ashey's).
And so we have two Bishops of the Church of England now openly breaking ranks with fellow bishops, joining the crowd that repudiated the “take note” resolution, and taking up the Archbishop’s banner of “radical inclusion” (intended or not) to advocate for “much much more than the maximum freedom” bishops offered pastorally, and to go to places “in relation to law and guidance where we have not previously gone.” - including, presumably, not yet authorized prayers and blessings for same sex unions. This is how Biblical revisionists establish facts on the ground, as we called them in TEC, right up to and including the change in the doctrine of marriage through the authorization of same-sex marriage.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

February 25, 2017 at 1:15 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The BBC has appointed a second Muslim executive to be in charge of religious television programming after attracting criticism previously from those who thought the job should go to a Christian.

The corporation has appointed Fatima Salaria, a BBC editor who commissioned Muslims Like Us, a reality-style show, and a series of programmes about radicalisation.

She attracted criticism last year by giving Anthony Small, the convicted fraudster and former boxing champion a platform on Muslims Like Us. Small, now known as Abdul Haqq, was a member of the inner circle of Anjem Choudary, the hate preacher. He had previously expressed support for Islamic State but was cleared in 2015 of trying to join the jihadist group.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMovies & TelevisionReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith Relations* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The letter was signed by Vancouver Catholic Archbishop Michael Miller, Vancouver-area Anglican Bishop Melissa Skelton and Ken Shigematsu, pastor at Vancouver's Tenth Church, a popular megachurch for evangelicals. Shigematsu, who has cited Graham's uncle Leighton Ford as his mentor, was on Graham's festival committee before stepping down earlier this month.

"Franklin Graham's advocating a ban on Muslims entering the United States is at odds with our church's vision and ethos," he wrote to festival organizers.

He and other leaders urged the organizers to pick someone else to speak at the festival.

"The intent isn't so much is to denounce Franklin Graham as a person, but it is to present a gospel that is more explicitly inclusive," Shigematsu said in a phone call on Friday. "Christians shouldn't be known for what we're against but what we're for."

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Canada* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* Theology

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February 25, 2017 at 11:05 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

....around 2000, something shifted. In this century, per-capita growth has been less than 1 percent a year on average, and even since 2009 it’s been only 1.1 percent a year. If the U.S. had been able to maintain postwar 20th-century growth rates into this century, U.S. per-capita G.D.P. would be over 20 percent higher than it is today.

Slow growth strains everything else — meaning less opportunity, less optimism and more of the sort of zero-sum, grab-what-you-can thinking that Donald Trump specializes in. The slowdown has devastated American workers. Between 1985 and 2000, the total hours of paid work in America increased by 35 percent. Over the next 15 years, they increased by only 4 percent.

For every one American man aged 25 to 55 looking for work, there are three who have dropped out of the labor force. If Americans were working at the same rates they were when this century started, over 10 million more people would have jobs. As Eberstadt puts it, “The plain fact is that 21st-century America has witnessed a dreadful collapse of work.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistoryScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 25, 2017 at 9:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A rather less cheering picture, though, emerges if we look instead at real trends for the macro-economy. Here, performance since the start of the century might charitably be described as mediocre, and prospects today are no better than guarded.

The recovery from the crash of 2008—which unleashed the worst recession since the Great Depression—has been singularly slow and weak. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), it took nearly four years for America’s gross domestic product (GDP) to re-attain its late 2007 level. As of late 2016, total value added to the U.S. economy was just 12 percent higher than in 2007. (SEE FIGURE 2.) The situation is even more sobering if we consider per capita growth. It took America six and a half years—until mid-2014—to get back to its late 2007 per capita production levels. And in late 2016, per capita output was just 4 percent higher than in late 2007—nine years earlier. By this reckoning, the American economy looks to have suffered something close to a lost decade.

Read it all from Commentary (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistoryScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 25, 2017 at 9:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Packer himself later wrote of Owen’s work:

I owe more, I think, to John Owen than to any other theologian, ancient or modern, and I am sure I owe more to his little book on mortification than to anything else he wrote.

And it all started with the decision by a retired pastor, losing his eyesight, to donate his library to a ministry rather than selling them.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBooks* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* Theology

February 25, 2017 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Almighty and most merciful God, of thy bountiful goodness keep us, we beseech thee, from all things that may hurt us,: that we, being ready both in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things which thou wouldest have done, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Daily Prayer, ed. Eric Milner-White and G.W. Briggs (London: William Clowe and Sons, 1959 paperback Pelican Book ed. of the 1941 original), p.145

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

February 25, 2017 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

“Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

--Matthew 6:1-6

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 25, 2017 at 5:39 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

First, evangelicals have been involved with refugee resettlement for a long time and in a lot of churches. Many evangelical leaders have advocated for refugees, from all different faiths, for years. They know the program, and they know the refugees — and they know it’s safe and a good way to show the love of Christ.

Second, evangelical leaders, knowing the facts, are emboldened to speak when alternative facts may be holding sway elsewhere, particularly when those alternative facts are hurting the most vulnerable. In the Christian tradition, we call that speaking prophetically — like prophets in what Christians call the Old Testament, we have to sometimes speak to our own people and remind them of what is right.

Third, many evangelical leaders have had an uneasy connection with the Trump administration. Yes, they know that white evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for President Trump, and many strongly agree with Trump’s stated concerns about religious liberty, the Supreme Court, and more. But they want — and even need — room to disagree with a president who has said and done many things contrary to their beliefs. Speaking up for refugees is one of the areas where many believe they can.

Read it all from Vox.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsImmigrationPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

February 24, 2017 at 4:15 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Keeping Up With the Kattarshians is a cooperation project with The Icelandic Cat Protection Society and with full knowledge and approval of the Icelandic Food And Veterinary Authority, the Animal Welfare Officer and the Expert Veterinarian and Animal Welfare Officer.

Watch and enjoy.

Filed under: * General InterestAnimalsPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryEuropeIceland

February 24, 2017 at 3:29 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What might happen if devout and sensible people were given the freedom to determine how to embody in the church interior what they believe and celebrate? They would revive choir lofts, rather than throwing a karaoke machine up front. They would insist upon kneelers, because they would insist upon kneeling. There is nothing strange about building and beautifying a small chapel, or a room set apart for prayer or sacred reading.

I’m not sanguine about sacred painting and sculpture, because artists sufficiently competent are as rare now as people who can write poetry in meter. But if we cannot create the art right away, we can at least adopt what has already been done and what is easily available.

Today, the word of God is proclaimed in translations that have all the charm and wonder of a corporate memorandum. Must ordinary people be fed the drab and insipid? The politically correct—another thing thrust upon people by their ecclesiastical betters—is always ugly. Get rid of it, period, no excuses, no exceptions. What Christ hath spoken well, let man not paraphrase. Let grace in the word be one humble way in which we show our desire and our gratitude for the grace of God.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchArchitectureArtHistoryReligion & Culture* Theology

February 24, 2017 at 11:31 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While religious syncretism is a danger in every age, with the boom of the technological age, it’s becoming increasingly problematic in the urban context. As a pastor in an inner-city context, I regularly engage people with questions about Egyptian mysticism, Pan-Africanism, ecumenical councils, canonization, and the early history of Christianity.

Some of these brothers and sisters, who were once professing Christians, are now seeking to “find their truth” (a colloquial way of saying they are splicing various religious beliefs to contrive an individualist religion that suits their needs). They have developed their theology from videos on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and other social media platforms.

What becomes apparent after a few minutes of conversation is that there is not absoluteness to their faith because they reject fixed orthodoxy. Those who are influenced by syncretism, especially of the urban variety, believe in God when it suits them and follow the Scripture when it suits their agenda. The basic appeal to the exclusivity of Christ is abhorred in a culture that celebrates religious pluralism. Syncretism is dangerous because it hijacks Christianity, imports non-biblical notions, and distorts its message by doing away with the uncomfortable or unpopular parts. Syncretism robs Christianity of its truth and creates a user-friendly counterfeit that accommodates to our religious preferences but ultimately has no power and cannot save.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMulticulturalism, pluralismReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths* Theology

February 24, 2017 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rod [Dreher]’s forthcoming book, The Benedict Option, is beginning to attract some considerable press attention. The Wall Street Journal has recently featured the book as part of a profile of the Clear Creek Catholics in rural Oklahoma. (I visited them last summer to attend a conference they held and was quite impressed by their hospitality and the amount of work a relatively small group of people have managed to do in a fairly short time.) Then yesterday the excellent religion reporter Emma Green reviewed the book for The Atlantic.

I will be reviewing the book more extensively next month when it releases. For now, I wanted to make a few notes on how the book is being read and received by a larger audience as the ideas begin to find life outside the relatively small readership of trad Christian blogs.

Read more...

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicalsRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 24, 2017 at 7:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite being supplanted in many churches by the Book of Alternative Services, the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) remains the definitive prayer book for a great number of Canadian Anglicans.

Far from being a mere textual reference for prayer and liturgy, the BCP, according to Trinity College assistant divinity professor Dr. Jesse Billett, represents a “total system of Christian life”.

“If you treat it as a resource book for worship, you’ll find it very dissatisfying,” Billett said. “It requires you to go all-in.”

Read it all.

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

February 24, 2017 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Messy Churches continue to pop up all over the Diocese of London. Making use of a grant and resources paid for by Capital Vision, as well as ongoing support from me, having been seconded to the diocese from BRF, almost 20 new Messy Churches have started over these last three years.

Messy Church is a fresh expression of church for all ages, meeting at a time that suits the community and offering an accessible format of creativity and celebration around a Bible story with a meal together. It has proved to be a very successful style of church planting within a parish and there are now well over 3,000 across the UK with a growing number in other countries too.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyChildrenDieting/Food/NutritionMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture

February 24, 2017 at 6:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ii 1964, the Up television series be­­gan following the lives of 14 British children, updating viewers every seven years on their fortunes.

Last month, the Ministry Division began recruiting participants for its own longitudinal study. More than 1000 priests have been con­tacted, with a view to discovering “what enables ministers to flourish in ministry”.

Over the course of the next ten years, the Living Ministry study will look at the experiences of four co­­horts: people ordained deacon in 2006, 2011, or 2015, and those who started training in 2016. Across all four cohorts, up to about 1600 people are eligible; already hundreds have taken up the offer. Every two years, participants will be asked to complete an online survey, while qualitative research will include group discussions and interviews. The study will build on the learning from the Experiences of Ministry study, due to wind up this year.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

February 24, 2017 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Almighty God, who into the place of Judas didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias to be of the number of the Twelve: Grant that thy Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

February 24, 2017 at 5:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Blessed Saviour, who art full of mercy and compassion, and wilt not cast out any that come to thee: Help us, we beseech thee, who are grievously vexed with the burden of our sins; and so increase in us the power of thy Holy Spirit that we may prevail against the enemy of our souls; for thy name’s sake.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

February 24, 2017 at 5:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Surely the righteous shall give thanks to thy name; the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

--Psalm 140:13

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

February 24, 2017 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A coalition of institutional investors with $4trn under management, led by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, as trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF), and the Church Commissioners for England, have again asked ExxonMobil to disclose how it will ensure its business will remain resilient as global efforts to mitigate climate change proceed.

The CRF and the Church Commissioners filed a similar proposal for consideration at Exxon's 2016 annual meeting. Despite Exxon's unsuccessful attempt to exclude the proposal from a vote at the meeting, it received support from 38.2% of voting shareholders, a record for a climate change resolution at the company.

"As investors, we are concerned that, unlike many of its peers, Exxon has not taken the steps necessary to demonstrate its resilience in a lower carbon future," DiNapoli said. "We want to know what Exxon's strategy is for continued profitability as governments around the world live up to their commitment to the Paris Agreement 2 degree scenario."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeStock MarketEnergy, Natural Resources* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 23, 2017 at 4:41 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The community standards state: "Facebook removes hate speech, which includes content that directly attacks people based on their: race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases."

Johnston's post only cited Scripture and did not directly attack any person.

The Ohio mother contended that with the way the Facebook algorithm is set up is that all that is needed for her account to be frozen is for liberal trolls and LGBT activists to report her account.

Read it all from the Christian Post.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPsychologySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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February 23, 2017 at 3:20 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Among the many recoveries manifested in Silver’s subtle arguments, the very heart of her matter in this collection is an insistent recovery of common life. The speaker—ostensibly identified with the poet herself—admits to her own bodily sufferings, but a good many of these poems speak to and of the bodily sufferings of others. Employing classical and historical allusion as well as references to friends and family, Silver articulates in no uncertain terms an emphatic empathy that recovers for us what it means to be a person in the image of a triune God. Each of our lives partakes of every other.

I am reminded here of that very strange passage in Paul’s letter to the Colossians wherein the apostle claims to rejoice in his own sufferings, adding that he “fill[s] up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” (Col. 1:24). As I have observed elsewhere, instead of “what is lacking,” a more likely translation of isterimata might be “what is yet to be done.”

Silver grapples with an array of difficult human experiences to bring back into view the absolute interconnectivity of persons, and she presents the compelling proposition that what is yet to be done is our bravely accepting the cost of bearing one another’s afflictions, of becoming one. May it be blessed.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksPoetry & LiteratureReligion & Culture* Theology

February 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bavaria will ban the full-face veil in schools, universities, government workplaces and polling stations, the southern German state said on Tuesday.

The move comes seven months before a federal election where immigration will be a prominent issue and the Bavarian conservatives that govern the region, the sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's, are worried about losing votes to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD).

"Communication happens not only via language but also via looks, facial expressions and gestures," Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said after the regional government agreed a draft law to ban the full-face veil for civil servants and in public places where there are concerns for public safety.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEuropeGermany* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

February 23, 2017 at 11:31 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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