Posted by Kendall Harmon

David Hogg is the senior pastor of Christ Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC. Prior to that, he was the Academic Dean at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, AL. David earned his PhD from the University of St. Andrews and his M.Div. from Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia. He was born and raised in Toronto, ON. His wife is from Birmingham, UK and they have three boys. He has published on theological topics with Oxford University Press, IVP and NYU Press among others.

You can find more there.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedSpirituality/Prayer* South Carolina* Theology

October 24, 2016 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Church of England is at a crossroads in her calling to bring hope and transformation to our nation. The presenting issue is that of human sexuality, in particular whether or not the Church is able to affirm sexual relationships beyond opposite sex marriage. But the tectonic issues beneath, and driving, this specific question include what it means to be faithful to our apostolic inheritance, the Church’s relationship with wider culture, and the nature of the biblical call to holiness in the 21st Century. …

We do not believe … that it is within our gift to consider human sexual relationships and what constitutes and enables our flourishing as sexual beings to be of ‘secondary importance’. What is at stake goes far beyond the immediate pastoral challenges of human bisexual and same-sex sexual behaviour: it is a choice between alternative and radically different visions of what it means to be human, to honour God in our bodies, and to order our lives in line with God’s holy will.

At this crucial juncture, as our bishops pray and discern together regarding how the Church of England should walk forward at this time, we urge them not to depart from the apostolic inheritance with which they have been entrusted. …”

Read it all on Psephiso or Gafcon UK

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

October 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

6. We affirm that the clear teaching of Jesus, and the Bible as a whole, is that marriage is an estate for all people, not just for believers. It is a holy institution, created by God for a man and a woman to live in a covenantal relationship of exclusive and mutual love for each other until they are parted by death. God designed marriage for the well-being of society, for sexual intimacy between a husband and a wife, and for procreation and the nurturing of children (Genesis 2:18-25).
7. We contend that sexual intercourse between two persons of the same sex is contrary to God’s design, is offensive to him and reflects a disordering of God’s purposes for complementarity in sexual relations. Like all other morally wrong behaviour, same-sex unions alienate us from God and are liable to incur God’s judgment. We hold these convictions based on the clear teaching of Scripture. We hold them not in order to demean or victimise those who experience same-sex attractions, but in order to guard the sound doctrine of our faith, which also informs our pastoral approach for helping those who struggle with same-sex impulses, attractions and temptations.
8. In this respect, the Church cannot condone same-sex unions as a form of behaviour acceptable to God. To do so would be tampering with the foundation of our faith once for all laid down by the apostles and the prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2: 20-22; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11; Jude 3).
9. Any pastoral provision by a church for a same-sex couple (such as a liturgy or a service to bless their sexual union) that obviates the need for repentance and a commitment to pursue a change of conduct enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit, would contravene the orthodox and historic teaching of the Anglican Communion on marriage and sexuality.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastEgypt* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 8, 2016 at 4:09 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We affirm the biblical and historic faith that our Anglican forebears have faithfully handed down to us at great cost and which continues to shape our discipleship and mission:

a. We are part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We profess the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures – the canonical books of the Old and New Testament that contain all things necessary for salvation, and set forth in the catholic creeds, which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation.

b. The doctrine in our churches, as our Anglican forebears bequeathed to us, is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer 1662 and the Ordinal.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & Primates* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastEgypt* Theology

October 8, 2016 at 8:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

February 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

It’s unlikely, but far from impossible
The idea that an independent candidate could swoop in to win has been largely dismissed, on the grounds that any conservative-leaning third-party candidate would be more likely to hurt Trump than Clinton, thus making a Clinton victory more likely. But McMullin may have one advantage that other second-tier candidates do not: Utah.

His path to the presidency basically looks like this:

1.Win Utah
2.Deadlock the Electoral College
3.Win in the House

Read it all [h/t AS Haley]

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the President

October 24, 2016 at 7:13 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Russia and the West have entered a new Cold War that could lead to growing confrontations across the globe, as Vladimir Putin challenges American international hegemony.

That is the consensus among military and foreign policy experts in Moscow, who have warned that Russia and the West are headed for a standoff as dangerous as the Cuban missile crisis.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.EuropeRussia

October 24, 2016 at 6:32 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Grant, we beseech thee, O God, that after the example of thy servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, thy Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

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

October 24, 2016 at 5:39 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord, who hast taught us that we can only be forgiven, as we ourselves forgive: Help us ever to bear in mind our continued shortcomings, our manifold transgressions; that as we remember the injuries which we have suffered and never merited, we may also remember the kindnesses which we have received and never earned, the punishments which we have deserved and never suffered; and therewith may render thanks to thee for thine unfailing mercies, and the mercies of our fellowmen; for thy name’s sake.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

October 24, 2016 at 5:18 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Blessed is he who considers the poor!
The Lord delivers him in the day of trouble;
the Lord protects him and keeps him alive;
he is called blessed in the land;
thou dost not give him up to the will of his enemies.
The Lord sustains him on his sickbed;
in his illness thou healest all his infirmities.

--Psalm 41:1-3

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 24, 2016 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

I serve in a church (The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia) where our Prayer Book is a decade younger than that 1979 book. We are also significantly smaller than The Episcopal Church. And we are a church that has, step by step, abandoned common prayer. Our church is held together by the smallness of our size – and when I say “held together”, it is doing so currently only by the skin of its teeth with a last-ditch attempt by many to stress a list of doctrines to hold to, often drawn from the very common prayer that has been abandoned, and particularly discarded by those who now want to mine it for the list of doctrines that they want everyone to tick every box of.

If TEC wants to see the results of abandoning common prayer, let them send some people over to see the Anglican Church of Or.

My intention is to have other posts following this one that will pick up the dialogue happening around the value or not of common prayer. As just one consequence – how much reflection has been done around the loss of time, money, and energy to create unrelenting novelty in community after community where congregations are, numerically, not much different to an average school class size? Have we become a shrinking club of novelty-idolising Baby Boomers living off our inherited funds and properties as we entertain ourselves into historical oblivion?

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

October 23, 2016 at 6:35 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Lord Jesus, think on me
And purge away my sin;
From earth-born passions set me free
And make me pure within.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

October 23, 2016 at 5:35 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

And then I shared it with the man the government sent to kill me.
One evening a client came in to discuss some paperwork related to a property settlement. We had been meeting for months now, and frankly, I was exhausted. But this particular client never seemed to get discouraged. He always smiled, and he had a sense of contentment unlike anything I had ever seen. It was as though he were somehow oblivious to all of the misery that surrounded him. He radiated joy and peace, and for some reason, it troubled me.

Without thinking, I confessed, “I wish I had what you have in your life. I wish I had your sense of peace and happiness.”

“Do you go to church?” he asked.

“Yes,” I replied. “On Christmas and Easter. Why?”

“Would you like to come with me to my church this Sunday?”

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth

October 23, 2016 at 5:13 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

..The church must speak with wisdom and expertise, and not be put off by the neo-atheists or anyone else; the media must recognise that this is part of the church’s vocation and task, and must find ways of working creatively so that the proper vocations of all may be properly exercised. And if possible the church itself should seek out and celebrate its own poets, philosophers and dramatists who, like St Paul in his famous Christ-poem in Philippians 2, are able in sharp and memorable phrases to declare under Caesar’s nose that Jesus is Lord and Caesar isn’t. This is part of the task of early Christian ‘apocalyptic’: to create a glorious, poetically imagined world in which people are able to glimpse what it might mean to say that on the cross Jesus defeated all the powers of the world, and then to live from within that newly imagined world. And if the church’s artists, musicians and poets are to do this for tomorrow’s world they will need to know how to use the media itself wisely and well.

I am calling, therefore, for a fresh appraisal of the vocations of church and media alike, rooted in a larger biblical theology of the God of Israel, made known in Jesus and the Spirit, and able to address the multiple confusions and sorrows of today’s dangerous world. The vocations themselves are dangerous, there’s no question about that. We will get them wrong and need further internal and external critique and correction. But that is no excuse for not making a fresh start.

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life

October 23, 2016 at 4:52 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

DDoS attacks are nothing new. But [Bruce] Schneier has pointed out that they could soon become increasingly problematic. “Recently, some of the major companies that provide the basic infrastructure that makes the Internet work have seen an increase in DDoS attacks against them,” he explained in a blog post. “These attacks are significantly larger than the ones they're used to seeing. They last longer. They're more sophisticated.”

In fact, Schneier pointed out last month that a new wave of attacks also seems to be more investigative than previous DDoS assaults. Many of the attacks appear to be testing servers rather than taking them offline, by gradually increasing barrages of requests at one part of the server to see what it can withstand, then moving on to another, and another. Schneier warned that “someone is learning how to take down the Internet.”

The Dyn attack was clearly more than a test, and its severity certainly fits with Schneier’s hypothesis that someone, somewhere is trying to learn how to cause widespread disruption.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetGlobalizationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 23, 2016 at 2:01 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
[Will] Willimon once preached about an encounter he had with the father of a graduating student. The father called his office and exploded over the phone. “I hold you personally responsible for this,” he yelled at Willimon. The father was angry because his graduate-school-bound daughter had decided (in the father’s words) “to throw it all away and go and do mission work in Haiti with the Presbyterian church.” The father screamed, “Isn’t that absurd! She has a bachelor of science degree from Duke University, and she is going to dig ditches in Haiti! I hold you responsible for this!”

Willimon, not easily intimidated, asked him, “Why me?” The father replied, “You ingratiated yourself and filled her with all this religion stuff.” Dr. Willimon was quick to reply, “Sir, weren’t you the one who had her baptized?” “Well, well, well, yes,” the father stumbled. “And didn’t you take her to Sunday school when she was a little girl?” “Well, well, yes.” “And didn’t you allow your daughter to go on those youth group ski trips to Colorado when she was in high school?” “Yes, but what does that have to do with anything?” replied the father, becoming more and more aggravated. “Sir,” Willimon concluded, “you are the reason she is throwing it all away. You introduced her to Jesus. Not me!” “But,” said the father, “all we wanted was a Presbyterian.” Willimon replied, “Well, sorry sir, you messed up. You’ve gone and made a disciple.”
--shared by my coworker Craige Borrett in the morning sermon and one of my favorite Willimon stories

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissionsParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryCaribbeanHaiti* TheologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Religious leaders are joining a pilgrimage to rural South Carolina to mark the centennial of the lynching of a successful black farmer, hoping to draw attention to the history of killings of African-Americans and begin healing of racial divisions.

Black faith leaders and social justice advocates are commemorating the lynching of Anthony Crawford, a man who owned 427 acres in Abbeville, S.C., when he was killed on Oct. 21, 1916.

He had been jailed after a dispute with a white store owner over the price of cottonseed. He was released but was abducted by a large mob of white men and lynched, his body riddled with bullets.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 23, 2016 at 12:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One word has been reintroduced into one of the Eucharistic prayers in the Mass which had previously been omitted by the translators. I’m glad to see it.

When I say one word, I mean it was one word in the Latin original. In the so-called Second Eucharistic Prayer the word is rore, which is now translated as “like the dewfall”. I find it not only poetic but very expressive of the way that God seems to work.

This is the sentence where it occurs: “Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Read it all from the Telegraph.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, Worship* TheologySacramental TheologyBaptismEucharist

October 23, 2016 at 6:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anthony Rizzo threw his glove, pumped his fist and leaped into the arms of Travis Wood.

Aroldis Chapman waved a "W" flag. David Ross cried. Cubs players formed a blue mound of joy on the pitcher's mound Saturday night at Wrigley Field after their 5-0 victory over the Dodgers clinched the National League pennant for the first time since 1945.

Next year really is here, North Siders. It's really gonna happen. The Cubs have won the pennant. Yes, the Cubs have won the pennant.

"Four more and we can really have a party," manager Joe Maddon said during the postgame ceremony.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistorySports* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

October 23, 2016 at 6:00 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Grant, O Lord, that as thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ prayed for his enemies on the cross, so we may have grace to forgive those that wrongfully or scornfully use us; that we ourselves may be able to receive thy forgiveness; though the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

October 23, 2016 at 5:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee. So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name. My soul is feasted as with marrow and fat, and my mouth praises thee with joyful lips, when I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night; for thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy.

--Psalm 63:3-7

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 23, 2016 at 4:55 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

October 23, 2016 at 4:32 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

October 22, 2016 at 4:56 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Except for the understandable reluctance of White Sox fans to enjoy what's happening, the Cubs' success carries a universal appeal that connects people from all generations and walks of life, all of them united by a red "C" or a white "W" flag. They may have nothing more in common than an appreciation for Jake Arrieta's beard or an antipathy for the Cardinals, but that's enough for good conversation and a smile.

Everybody knows somebody who claims to be the best Cubs fan ever. Everybody knows of a parent or grandparent, aunt or uncle who seriously fears dying before their beloved Cubs win it all. Everybody talks about the Cubs validating President Theo Epstein's plan, but nobody can deny how this season also possibly can fulfill a purpose for many Cubs fans who have been waiting for this for so long, for too long. To some families, the Cubs always will be about more than baseball.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had said before Game 5 that the noticeable presence of Cubs fans at Chavez Ravine was good for the game. So would the Cubs finally winning a pennant and playing in a World Series, the type of thing that transcends sports.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistorySports* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

October 22, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“I don’t think there’s a good answer..”

He realises what he’s just said, and, respectful of God and Aquinas, hastily moves to qualify, mindful that his previous spontaneous musings have been broadcast around the world and unhelpfully interpreted by a largely unsympathetic media.

“ an intellectual sense..”


The media won’t do Thomistic philosophy.

“I don’t think there’s an answer which says, ‘That’s it.'”

That’s neat.

“I’m not a good enough theologian,” he justifies, before going on to expound the Book of Job...

Read it all.

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

October 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Throughout Germany, the pews of churches like theirs are filled increasingly by asylum-seekers. Though two umbrella church organizations told me that they couldn’t provide exact statistics or comment on the nationality of the asylum-seekers attending church, Christoph Heil, a spokesman for the Protestant Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia—which includes 1,300 parishes—confirmed the pattern. “Normally we don’t count the number of asylum-seekers who are baptized because we don’t differentiate between who is an asylum-seeker and who isn’t, but [asylum-seekers asking to be baptized] appears to be a new trend,” he said.

Muslim converts to Christianity that I spoke to in Germany cited the redemptive power of Jesus’s story, and disillusionment with Islam. It’s also worth noting the more earthly forces potentially at work: Germany does not grant refugee status to Iranians as easily as it does Syrians and Iraqis. Around 27,000 Iranians applied for asylum in the EU in 2015, with Germany hosting the overwhelming majority; according to Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, 60 percent of Iranian requests for asylum received positive answers that year. Iranians seeking refugee status must prove that if they are sent home, they stand the risk of being persecuted for their beliefs. In Iran, that often means Christian converts.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEuropeGermanyMiddle EastIran* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyChristology

October 22, 2016 at 1:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Yes, this country can handle the nearly $600 billion federal deficit estimated for 2016. But the deficit has grown sharply this year, and will keep the national debt at about 75 percent of the gross domestic product, a ratio not seen since 1950, after the budget ballooned during World War II.

Long-term, that continued growth, driven by our tax and spending policies, will create the most significant fiscal challenge facing our country. The widely respected Congressional Budget Office has estimated that by midcentury our debt will rise to 140 percent of G.D.P., far above that in any previous era, even in times of war.

Unfortunately, despite a brief discussion during the final presidential debate, neither candidate has put forward a convincing plan to restrain the growth of the national debt in the decades to come.

Read it all. For a very important background on this, please see this 2011 post and the comments thereon, in which Boston University's Laurence J. Kotlikoff makes clear that the true figure of our actual indebtedness is in excess of 200 Trillion dollars--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentBudgetMedicareSocial SecurityThe National DeficitPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 22, 2016 at 11:02 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A safeguarding issue was re­vealed on Monday to be at the centre of the row that blew up last week over bell-ringing in York Minster.

To furious protests by the na­­tion’s bell-ringers, the entire band of ringers at York Minster had been summarily sacked on Tuesday of last week, for reasons that at first were unclear.

At the time, the Dean, the Very Revd Vivienne Faull, and the Chap­ter alluded only to “health and safety”, and the need to bring the ringers under the control of the Chapter, in line with its other volunteer teams.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMusicReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

October 22, 2016 at 10:02 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Golfers at one of the world’s most prestigious courses are being given spiritual advice by a Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen.

[The] Rev Susan Brown, who also wed Madonna and Guy Ritchie, has written thought provoking reflections for each of the 18 Championship Course holes at Royal Dornoch Golf Club in the Highlands to help inspire players and “exercise the body, mind and spirit”. The 57-year-old walked the course at different times of the day to capture the unique feel of the stunning landscape to create the so-called “Holy Round” as part of celebrations to mark 400 years of golf in the area.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSports* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterian

October 22, 2016 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[O Heavenly Father] may every breath [this day] be for You; may every minute be spent for You. Help us to live while we live and while we are busy in the world as we must be, for we are called to it, may we sanctify the world for Your service. May we be lumps of salt in the midst of society. May our spirit and temper as well as our conversation be heavenly; may there be an influence about us that shall make the world the better before we leave it. Lord hear us in this thing [through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.]

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

October 22, 2016 at 7:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

--Psalm 30:11-12 (KJV)

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 22, 2016 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the Minister for his Answer. Gambling-related harm is not restricted to people with problem gambling—it affects family, it affects friends, it affects even people who work in gambling shops. I recently put in a freedom of information request to the Metropolitan Police which revealed that since 2010 there has been a 68% rise in violent crime associated with betting shops across the capital. In the light of that, will the Minister tell the House what assessment the Government have made of the link between this rapid rise in violent crime associated with betting shops and the increase in the number of fixed-odds betting terminals in those shops?

Lord Ashton of Hyde: Any rise in crime figures is of course concerning, and Ministers and the Gambling Commission will look at those figures closely. One of the three licensing objectives that all operators must comply with is to prevent gambling being a source of crime. On the right reverend Prelate’s specific question about the link between fixed-odds betting terminals and the rise in crime, I hesitate at the moment to draw a causal link between them in the absence of evidence on the specific means of betting. However, this is exactly the sort of evidence that should be provided to the forthcoming triennial review.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchGamblingLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 21, 2016 at 3:30 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The bishop noted some of the changes in society, but more particularly, in ministry and leadership, which had occurred since his consecration in 1997.
He compared figures from 1997–2016 and encouraged Synod that the diocese was well positioned for the future with 300 people commissioned and licensed for the work of ministry on a diocesan level.
There continued to be opportunities for curates and a desire in the diocese to invest in fresh new ministries. This year the number of presbyters ordained was the second largest in 20 years and six individuals were likely to begin the Foundation year at CITI – three in their twenties, two in their thirties, and one in their forties.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

October 21, 2016 at 11:05 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The headmaster of Downside School has spoken out against suggestions that pornography should be taught in schools.

Following comments by the broadcaster and journalist Dame Jenni Murray, in which she said teenagers should watch pornography together and analyse it as though it was a Jane Austen novel, Dr James Whitehead said that promoting pornography goes against the ethos of gender equality.

During an appearance at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, Murray suggested schools “put boys and girls together in a class and you show them a pornographic film and you analyse it in exactly the same way as you teach them to read all the other cultures around them”.

But in a blogpost for the Independent Schools Council, Dr Whitehead said Jane Austen would be “appalled”.

Read it all.

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

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEntertainmentPornographyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

Comments are closed.
October 21, 2016 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A recent HBR article presented researched that suggests that many employees spend up to 80% of their time in meetings, on the phone and responding to emails. That doesn’t leave much time to get their individually assigned work done.

Let me be clear. I’m not bashing teamwork and collaboration. We all know that input and insight from several knowledgeable sources can add value to the organization. But are executives confusing the concept of collaboration with consensus? Or worse, perhaps they are using this popular management style as a way to hedge responsibility should something go wrong. As in, “Hey, it’s not my problem! We all signed-off thinking she would make a great hire.” Or, “Hey, it’s not my fault! Everyone agreed that the new product would sell like hotcakes!”

At the risk of being labeled a non-collaborator, I believe the pendulum needs to swing back to the middle.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 21, 2016 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I was at a professional meeting, having dinner at a convivial restaurant to honor a senior scholar. There was one man at the table I wanted to avoid. He had been backhandedly undermining my work for years. Using the buddy system, I asked a good friend to sit next to me. But when I came back from the restroom, everyone had shifted chairs, to facilitate more conversation. The only empty chair was next to this man.

I wish I had left the restaurant then. I should have risked the considerable awkwardness and come up with some excuse to leave. Instead I sat down, trying to appear composed.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesMenPsychologySexualityViolenceWomen* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 21, 2016 at 6:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking has repeatedly warned of the dangers posed by out-of-control artificial intelligence (AI). But on Wednesday, as the professor opened the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) at the University of Cambridge, he remarked on its potential to bring positive change – if developed correctly.

"Success in creating AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation. But it could also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks," Dr. Hawking said at the launch, according to a University of Cambridge press release.

Representing a collaboration between the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, and the University of California, Berkeley, the CFI will bring together a multidisciplinary team of researchers, as well as tech leaders and policy makers, to ensure that societies can "make the best of the opportunities of artificial intelligence," as its website states.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 21, 2016 at 6:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Religious groups attended a Foreign Office conference this week on preventing violent extremism: a phenomenon described as “the biggest challenge of our generation” by the Minister for Human Rights, Baroness Anelay.

“I have seen allegations that religion can cause violence,” she said on Tuesday. “I would say it is politicians that use religion as an excuse.” She spoke of a desire to use the “expertise and experience” of faith leaders to “find ways to work together to ensure that young people grow up tolerant of each other . . . and be in a strong position to resist the siren call of extremists, who have a very perverted view of what religion comprises”.

More than 50 speakers were scheduled to speak at the conference, to more than 170 participants. They were given the task, Baroness Anelay said, of producing “practical ideas” on how to tackle extremism. The event was “not intended to be something to reach out to people, but us to then go out and put our ideas into practice”.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 21, 2016 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Farmers in Northern Cameroon told the researchers that they take double or triple the safe dosage, and feed tramadol to cattle to help them pull plows through the scorching afternoon sun.

“I have to use it,” says Mamadou, a 35-year-old cotton-factory worker in Garoua. He pulled a red pill from his pocket and washed it down with warm pineapple soda. He started using tramadol five years ago, and says he now takes about 675 milligrams daily—more than double the recommended short-term dosage. “Everyone consumes it here,” he says. His mother, his brother, “even the old people.”

Fueled by cut-rate Indian exports and inaction by world narcotics regulators, tramadol dependency extends across Africa, the Middle East and into parts of Asia and Eastern Europe. Tramadol is abused in Guangzhou, Chinese researchers found. The Egyptian government is waging a crackdown within communities including Cairo’s cabdrivers. Saudi officials in May confiscated several thousand pills smuggled in a shipment of frozen meat—one of dozens of busts around the Persian Gulf. A documentary by Pittsburgh filmmakers last year showed tramadol abuse among street children in Ukraine.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionGlobalization* International News & CommentaryAfricaCameroon* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 21, 2016 at 5:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed more than 40 Christians in an attack in this town in northern Nigeria on Saturday (Oct. 15) and left another eight dead in an assault three weeks earlier, area leaders said.
Besides the eight slain on Sept. 24-26 in Godogodo, a predominantly Christian community in Kaduna state, the Muslim Fulani herdsmen also wounded eight Christians by gunshot and machete cuts, the leaders said.
Godogodo residents said that the second massacre began at 5 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 15), barely two hours after Morning Star News left after investigating the September attack. The Rev. Thomas Akut of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Good News Church in Godogodo said the assailants burned houses and shot Christians dead in the attack over the weekend.

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October 21, 2016 at 5:32 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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