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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The problem is not simply that the Report proposes that parish churches should be free to hold public services for the blessing of homosexual relationships, but the way it justifies this proposal. Against the principle of Anglican teaching, right up to and beyond the Lambeth Conference of 1998, it questions the possibility that the Church can speak confidently on the basis of biblical authority and sees its teaching as essentially provisional. So Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth conference, which affirmed that homosexual practice was ‘incompatible with Scripture’ and said it could ‘not advise the legitimisation or blessing of same sex relationships’, is undermined both in practice and in principle.
The proposal to allow public services for the blessing of same sex relationships is seen as a provisional measure and the Report recommends a two-year process of ‘facilitated conversation’ throughout the Church of England which is likened to the ‘Continuing Indaba’ project. This should be a warning to us because it highlights that the unspoken assumption of Anglican Indaba is that the voice of Scripture is not clear. This amounts to a rejection of the conviction expressed in the Thirty-nine Articles that the Bible as ‘God’s Word written’ is a clear and effective standard for faith and conduct.
As a matter of conscience, one member of the Working Group, the Rt Rev’d Keith Sinclair, Bishop of Birkenhead, was unable to sign the Report. He issued a dissenting statement which I strongly endorse as an alternative way forward which honours the authority of Scripture and expresses a deep pastoral concern for the transforming power of the gospel in a society which is moving into ever greater confusion about sexual morality and identity.
We should pray earnestly that the English House of Bishops steps back from endorsing this Report, but the developing situation in the Church of England, the historic Mother Church of the Communion, underlines the need for our Global Fellowship to build on the success of GAFCON 2013 and implement our commitments. As we noted in the Nairobi Communiqué, the GFCA is becoming an ‘ important and effective instrument of Communion during a period in which other instruments of Communion have failed both to uphold gospel priorities in the Church, and to heal the divisions among us.’
Read it all
- Places position of Archbishop of Canterbury and Church of England in Anglican Communion in doubt
- Assurances given by Arun Arora and William Fittall turn out to be dissembling, Peter Ould's report vindicated
Recommendation 16. We believe that there can be circumstances where a priest,
with the agreement of the relevant PCC, should be free to mark the
formation of a permanent same sex relationship in a public service
but should be under no obligation to do so. Some of us do not
believe that this can be extended to same sex marriage. (Paragraphs
120, 380–3) [Pilling Report Page 151]
Read it all and the 18 recommendations on pages 149 to 152
The Bishop of Birkenhead has issued a dissenting report at page 119 including:
after much prayer and soul searching, I have concluded I cannot sign.
They call to me. Personally. They appeal to me from my past. They make their persuasive case for why I need them so badly and how much they can do for me. They try to convince me that we can all get along here in one place together, that I can share space with both them and my Christian devotion at the same time, and that God will understand.
So my idols are much more personal than a piece of stone or a block of wood. Anything from my past or present that shapes my identity or fills my thoughts with something other than God, especially on a regular, ongoing, irresistible basis, is an idol. Idolatry does not count the cost of worshipping anything but God. And although few of us could ever imagine worshipping a picture of ourselves, the reality is--we are either worshipping God or some form of ourselves. When we are driven by physical and emotional appetites rather than being led by the Spirit of God, we are worshipping the idol of ourselves. Paul spoke as a prophet on fire to the Colossian Christians: "Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry" (Col. 3:5).
Read it all from Ed Stetzer.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Theology Anthropology Christology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
"One hundred and fifty-six people slept here last night," said Amy Zeigler, vice president for development at the Crisis Ministries shelter on Meeting Street. "And the reality is that 156 people will be sleeping here tonight...."
In terms of providing meals to the hungry in Charleston, access to healthy, nutritious and affordable food still remains a factor. And the Lowcountry Food Bank reported that difficulties in food delivery could arise even further as the climate of federal cutbacks continues to be fought in Washington.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP and formerly known as the federal food stamp program, is part of the philosophical battleground.
Read it all from the front page of the local paper.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Poverty Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Politics in General City Government * South Carolina * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
"He can't violate his conscience in order to collect a paycheck," she said. "If Jack can't make wedding cakes, he can't continue to support his family. And in order to make wedding cakes, Jack must violate his belief system. That is a reprehensible choice. It is antithetical to everything America stands for."
The Civil Rights Commission is expected to certify the judge's order next week. Phillips can appeal the judge's order, and Martin said they're considering their next steps.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Members of the Church of England (Anglicans) trace their Christian roots back to the early Church. The basis of the faith of the Church of England is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (the Bible) and the teachings of the early Church Fathers. The Church of England is part of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide family of churches with more than 70 million adherents in 38 Provinces spreading across 161 countries. Although these churches are autonomous, they are also uniquely unified through their history, their theology, their worship and their relationship to the ancient See of Canterbury, seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Church said the report was for discussion and was "not a new policy statement". The report did not propose offering "formal" ceremonies.
The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Muslim Council of Great Britain and the Network of Sikh Organisations have opposed plans to allow...[same-sex] marriage.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Including both wages and benefits, employers paid an hourly average of $31.16 to each worker in September, compared with $30.78 a year ago, according to a Labor Department report released Wednesday. Wages and salaries made up nearly 70% of total compensation.
The agency’s quarterly report measures the average costs of wages, salaries and benefits for employees in the nonfarm private sector and state and local government workers. It doesn’t include people who work for the federal government or are self-employed. Benefit costs include paid leave, such as vacation or personal time, and the legally required benefits of Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Personal Finance The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
A Bloomberg National Poll finds 78 percent of respondents say the political gridlock in Washington will hurt the nation’s economy in 2014.
Large majorities say they want the government to ensure the new health-care law functions well, that policy makers agree to revise the tax code, and that an accord is reached to provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Yet most doubt those things can be accomplished in the current political environment...
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Psychology * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Housing/Real Estate Market Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Personal Finance The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- Politics in General House of Representatives Office of the President President Barack Obama Senate * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Where-type questions — the kind that result in a little map popping up on the search-results page — account for some 20 percent of all Google queries done from the desktop. But ultimately more important by far is location-awareness, the sort of geographical information that our phones and other mobile devices already require in order to function. In the future, such location-awareness will be built into more than just phones. All of our stuff will know where it is — and that awareness will imbue the real world with some of the power of the virtual. Your house keys will tell you that they’re still on your desk at work. Your tools will remind you that they were lent to a friend. And your car will be able to drive itself on an errand to retrieve both your keys and your tools.
While no one can say exactly how we will get from the current moment to that Jetsonian future, one thing for sure can be said about location-awareness: maps are required. Tomorrow’s map, integrally connected to everything that moves (the keys, the tools, the car), will be so fundamental to their operation that the map will, in effect, be their operating system.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Globalization Law & Legal Issues Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Politics in General * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Watch it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch History Music Race/Race Relations * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa South Africa
1745 Dec 12, John Jay, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was born.What stood out to you--KSH?
1915 Dec 12, Frank Sinatra, actor and singer, was born in Hoboken New Jersey.
1964 Dec 12, Kenya formally became a republic.
“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death.’
And behind his self-effacing facade, he is a very canny operator. He makes masterly use of 21st century tools to perform his 1st century office. He is photographed washing the feet of female convicts, posing for selfies with young visitors to the Vatican, embracing a man with a deformed face. He is quoted saying of women who consider abortion because of poverty or rape, “Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?” Of gay people: “If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge.” To divorced and remarried Catholics who are, by rule, forbidden from taking Communion, he says that this crucial rite “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”
Through these conscious and skillful evocations of moments in the ministry of Jesus, as recounted in the Gospels, this new Pope may have found a way out of the 20th century culture wars, which have left the church moribund in much of Western Europe and on the defensive from Dublin to Los Angeles. But the paradox of the papacy is that each new man’s success is burdened by the astonishing successes of Popes past. The weight of history, of doctrines and dogmas woven intricately century by century, genius by genius, is both the source and the limitation of papal power. It radiates from every statue, crypt and hand-painted vellum text in Rome—and in churches, libraries, hospitals, universities and museums around the globe. A Pope sets his own course only if he can conform it to paths already chosen.
Read it all.
that the issue dominated the 1998 Conference because of the threatened actions of the North American churches;
that Resolution I.10 was approved by a vast majority of bishops and continues to be held as normative by virtually all the churches of the Global South;
that the primary ground of the resolution was fidelity to Scripture, and several additional resolutions affirmed this point;
that the North American churches followed through on their threat with the consecration of Gene Robinson despite repeated warnings from various Instruments; and the more "collegial" atmosphere at Lambeth 2008 was purchased at the expense of 280 bishops being absent from Lambeth 2008.
It is astonishing that the PR in fact lacks any reference to The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.
The Church of England's bishops may wish to consider these omissions of fact, and, by contrast, the recitation of the actual history of the failure of the Instruments of Communion to discipline the North American churches that repeatedly breached Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998) in the last 15 years - a recitation which can be found in the October 26 Nairobi Communique and in other communications from Global South Anglican leaders.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops Global South Churches & Primates Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Children Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
That was the message given in the University of South Carolina's annual economic outlook report, which was given Monday during the school's 33rd annual Economic Outlook Conference in Columbia.
usiness school economists Douglas Woodward and Joseph Von Nessen are predicting job growth - the single best economic indicator - to increase by 1.7 percent in the Palmetto State during 2014. The two made the prediction barring major changes in the U.S. Federal Reserve's massive economic stimulus program.
Read it all.
The first St George’s in the city was built in 1885 under the patronage of the Crown Princess of Germany, Victoria (eldest daughter of Queen Victoria) who was married to the future Kaiser Friedrich III. It was the only Anglican Church in Germany to remain open during World War I, as the Kaiser was the Church’s Patron. It was closed in the Second World War and hit by allied bombing 24 Nov 1943 and the remains were pulled down by the East Berlin authorities. After World War II, new St George's, a garrison Church, was built in the British sector. In 1994 the new St George’s became a civilian congregation of the Diocese.
Read it all and check out the pictures as well.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Europe Germany
Held explains, patiently and clearly. He places Heschel’s thought against the background of other Jewish texts and thinkers from Maimonides to the Kotzker Rebbe, but also explains him in relationship to the Christian thought of his time: Merton, Underhill, Barth, Brunner, and others. How does a Jewish thinker differ from his Christian contemporaries, with whom he was close? (Heschel delivered a eulogy at the funeral of his friend, the great Christian thinker Reinhold Niebuhr).
Held’s emphasis is not on Heschel’s life but on his thought. How does he use the idea of ‘hester panim,’ the concealment of God, to show God’s presence?
Read it all.
The meeting comes after the Most Rev Justin Welby said he understood why people felt above-inflation price rises were “inexplicable” and called on the companies to act with “generosity”.
Four of the Big Six supliers are believed to be sending their most senior UK executives, in contrast to a recent Commons select committee hearing where just one, E.On chief executive Tony Cocker, attended to face MPs.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Poverty Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Personal Finance Energy, Natural Resources * International News & Commentary England / UK
Bishop Peter says he is "delighted" at the prospect of becoming the 79th Bishop of Bath and Wells.
Before his ordination to the episcopate, Bishop Peter served two curacies before serving as a parish priest for 13 years in the Diocese of Portsmouth. Later he became Archdeacon of the Meon - a position he held for 11 years.
Read it all.
It follows questions raised over the relationship between Jersey and the Diocese of Winchester after a review of how an abuse complaint was handled.
Guernsey's Anglican Dean the Very Reverend Canon Paul Mellor, said it was not clear if any changes would be made.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Children Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The service, presided over by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, also brought together representatives from Hampton Hill Junior School and the school choir the mark the special occasion.
Read it all and enjoy the picture.
And the way we fight off these zombies is with better ideas — with good, solid theology that reflects the grace of God, the compassion of Jesus and life of the Spirit.
During our six-week series, we exhumed and battled all kinds of zombies. One Sunday morning, we focused on belief. As Christians, does it matter what we believe? Most would answer in the affirmative. But are there times in the church’s life when Christian faith has become only about believing certain things to be true? Absolutely. Many de-churched folks can trace their journeys out of their congregations to the day that they stopped believing all of the fantastical things they were being asked to believe.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Methodist * Theology Christology
Father Sherbourne is now a Catholic priest, incardinated in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a special Church jurisdiction established by Pope Benedict XVI for Anglicans entering full communion with the Catholic Church while maintaining distinctive elements of their theological, spiritual, and liturgical patrimony.
In preparation for his transition from Anglican to Catholic, Father Sherbourne underwent a two-year formation program approved by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy See, a process that included his ordination as a transitional Catholic deacon.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Children Marriage & Family Military / Armed Forces * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic
This was common practice in South Africa and in other parts of the continent, where a person could often be given an English name that foreigners would find easier to pronounce.
Rolihlahla is not a common name in South Africa.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch History * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa South Africa
Yet it's this kind of serious journalism that has earned Luo, 37, the George Polk Award for criminal justice reporting, the Livingston Award for Young Journalists while at the Associated Press, and a job at The New York Times, where he has worked since 2003. He has covered everything from the last two presidential campaigns to Hurricane Katrina to the war in Iraq. Most recently, Luo has zeroed in on the gun industry and the wide availability of firearms—earning him a Pulitzer Prize nomination and frequent spots on the paper's front page.
Luo became a Christian as an undergraduate at Harvard University, and today attends Redeemer Presbyterian with his wife and daughter. He recently spoke with Paul Glader, a journalism professor at The King's College and former staff writer at The Wall Street Journal, about his faith and his work.
Read it all.
--United Lutheran Church, U.S.A.
Over its meeting the House covered a wide range of business including discussion of women in the episcopate, the Pilling report, the approval of experimental liturgy for Baptism, changes to legislative approaches on Safeguarding and discussion of the Anglican-Methodist covenant.
Read it all.
The idea – which, like most “new” things, is actually extremely old – is to train would-be priests in theology while at the same time making them work in parish churches. The study is academically rigorous – Hebrew, Greek and all that – but always balanced by ministering to actual people. It is the godly version of learning clinical medicine scientifically while also treating patients.
It is also new in combining the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church of England with the evangelical Protestant wing. Two groups which had traditionally been at war had come to see that their differences were mostly trivial. They realised they were united in what they like to call “a generous orthodoxy”.
Read it all and their website is here
Officials of Northland, a Church Distributed, said they are still awaiting the police report on Isaac Hunter's death, but the church confirmed his death in a statement posted on the Northland website.
"By now you may have heard that Pastor Joel and Becky's son Isaac Hunter died today. All of us are grieving for the Hunter family, and we will deeply miss Isaac. Words cannot express the sorrow we're feeling," said the statement by Vernon Rainwater, a Northland pastor. "We love this family and are so grateful for the impact they have had on each of our lives. I have loved Isaac since he was a child, and I know this ... Isaac loved Jesus. And we are assured of his continuing relationship with Christ now in heaven."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Psychology Suicide Young Adults * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals
The deal did not include a key priority of House Democrats who wanted an extension of long-term benefits for the unemployed. But Democrats said they would continue to press Republicans on the issue in hopes of preventing more than 1 million people from losing their unemployment checks at the end of the month.
Read it all.
The Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and three other agencies formally adopted the proprietary trading ban. The rule has been contested by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and their industry allies for more than three years.
Wall Street’s lobbying efforts paid off in easing some provisions of the rule. Regulators granted a broader exemption for banks’ market-making desks, on the condition that traders aren’t paid in a way that rewards proprietary trading. The regulation also exempts some securities tied to foreign sovereign debt.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Credit Markets Currency Markets Stock Market The Banking System/Sector The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- Politics in General * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Prosecutors alleged that the priest, a former banker, was using the Institute for Religious Works – the formal name for the Vatican’s bank – to move money for businessmen based in the Naples region, widely regarded in Italy as a haven of organised crime. Worse still, Scarano (who, together with the other men, has denied any wrongdoing) had until only a month earlier been head of the accounting department at the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, the treasury of the Vatican.
The arrest, and the headlines that screamed across the Italian press, was the latest shock for the Holy See....
Read it all (if necessary, another link may be found there).
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Globalization Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary Europe Italy * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The excessive phenomena, which philosopher Jean-Luc Marion calls “over-saturated phenomena”, are those things which overflow our intuition, and in their overflowing, we encounter a distance that can’t be traversed. By their nature, these phenomena demand an experience, and thus demand an openness to them. Distance is an important part of this over-saturation because it protects the divine; in a way, it does the exact opposite of what most apologetics do. Rather than formulating systems to make sense of the divine, these phenomena present to us an experience of God, while all at once protecting divine mystery. So despite the intense excessiveness of the experience, it also creates an infinite gap, which allows us to succumb to the experience, rather than ascend a ladder and intellectually confine it....So does this mean that apologetics have no place in Christianity? Absolutely not....
Read it all.
John Sweeney: North Korea is the darkest place on earth, both literally and metaphorically. You can actually see how dark the country is from space. It’s almost as if it isn’t even there. It’s also the darkest place I’ve ever been to in terms of information. I used to be a war reporter. I went to Ceaușescu’s Romania, Saddam’s Iraq, Gadhafi’s Libya. I’ve been to about a dozen tyrannies. In Iraq and Libya, I’d meet people who would let you know their government is full of ####. That didn’t happen in North Korea. It feels like bad science fiction there. It’s like walking inside the “The Matrix.” It’s really weird and creepy. I wanted to shed some light on this dark state to show how North Korea is using nuclear blackmail against the West. Behind the mask of this, there is an immense human rights tragedy unfolding.
- See more at: http://brianpellot.religionnews.com/2013/12/10/bbcs-john-sweeney-north-koreas-zombie-gods/#sthash.Woi7GkV8.dpuf
Read it all.
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