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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 other was the Californian, a small steamer that had stopped about ten miles from the Titanic—unlike the doomed ship, it had heeded the ice warnings—and sat there all through that terrible night, disregarding the Titanic’s frantic signalling, by wireless, Morse lamp, and, finally, rockets. Not all of this was as inexplicable as it seems: the Californian didn’t have a nighttime wireless operator. (All passenger ships were subsequently required by law to have round-the-clock wireless.) But no one has ever sufficiently explained why the Californian’s captain, officers, and crew failed to respond to what seemed like obvious signs of distress. The second officer merely thought it strange that a ship would be firing rockets at night. If Lord had been given to large interpretations, he might have seen in the one ship a symbol of the urgent force of human striving and, in the other, the immovable resistance of sheer stupidity.Read it all (especially if you missed it last time).
Take a careful look.
The full text of the front page top left article may be read there.
For the preachers of 1912, Titanic was the ultimate symbol — not of the past, but of modernity and the dawn of a century in which ambitious tycoons and scientists would solve most, if not all, of humanity's thorniest problems.
The liner was, in other words, a triumph of Darwinian logic and the march of progress. Its sinking was a dream-shattering tragedy of biblical proportions.
The events of April 14-15, 1912, are the "closest thing that we have to a modern-day Bible story," according to Douglas Phillips of TitanicSociety.com, in an essay saluting those who went down with the ship. "Everything about Titanic was larger-than-life: her conception, her launch, her sins, her heroes and her judgment. ...
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch History Media Religion & Culture * Theology Anthropology Eschatology
At 11:40pm on Saturday night, the exact time the Titanic struck the iceberg that led to its sinking less than three hours later, Rev Chris [Bennett] will lead a vigil that will feature a virtual choir, a reading of Titanic’s SOS messages and a reading aloud of the names of those who were lost.
“Lips may wobble,” he admitted.
“This city will truly, properly pay a profound and heartfelt tribute to that tragic moment which shook so many lives, echoed around the world and [which] still resounds down through the decades.”
Read it all.
Oxford University’s Bodleian Library is working with the Vatican’s library to open up their treasures to millions of readers across the world.
It will see two of the world’s oldest libraries putting their repositories of ancient texts on line.
The Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, in the headquarters of the Catholic Church, is one of the few libraries in the world with historical collections to rival those held by the Bodleian.
Read it all and you may also find a piece of interest here on Vatican Radio.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet Books Education History Science & Technology * International News & Commentary England / UK * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic
Lord Carey argues that in “case after case” British courts have failed to protect Christian values. He urges European judges to correct the balance.
The hearing, due to start in Strasbourg on Sept 4, will deal with the case of two workers forced out of their jobs over the wearing of crosses as a visible manifestation of their faith. It will also take in the cases of Gary McFarlane, a counsellor sacked for saying that he may not be comfortable in giving sex therapy to homosexual couples, and a Christian registrar, who wishes not to conduct civil partnership ceremonies.
Lord Carey, who was archbishop from 1991 to 2002, warns of a “drive to remove Judaeo-Christian values from the public square”. Courts in Britain have “consistently applied equality law to discriminate against Christians”.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK Europe
Take this two minute quiz: Did you know….
• That the Book of Common Prayer had been translated into 200 languages, including Mohawk, as far back as the 17th and 18th centuries?
• That there was a campaign to get a bishop for the Church of England in America as early as 1704?
• That in the month of October, 1831, this country saw one of the greatest revivals of religion it had ever envisioned – and it started in Beaufort, SC?
Read it all (page 15).
It used to be that once a book was printed, the text would remain unchanged for extended periods. Not so any more. Authors can update their works and almost instantaneously create a new version. Electronic books are far less bound by time and space.
Print books rely on written words and pictures. Electronic books can expand to include music and other sounds, animation, and movies. The possible outcome is less traditional reading....
With so many new kinds of reading sites such as blogs and wikis, demand for traditional length books may decline. On the other hand, the convenience of electronic readers may encourage people to read more.
Read it all.
On just about any Sunday, as many as 10,000 people may fill the pews of The Potter's House, Bishop T.D. Jakes' Dallas-area megachurch. Believers say he has an uncanny way of connecting with his audience anyway.
"It doesn't matter about the size," says Faith Johnson, a 13-year member. "It's almost like nobody else is in that church, but me."
It takes some help for leaders of the largest megachurches and national ministries to make believers reject the idea that a smaller church is more intimate and personable. A big staff of associate pastors and elders is indispensable.
Read it all.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood sent tens of thousands of members pouring into Tahrir Square...[recently] in an Islamist show of force as the country turns toward a presidential election scheduled for May 23.
Smaller Islamist groups joined the Brothers on Tahrir, all venting their anger at the felool, or remnants of former President Hosni Mubarak's regime, who many say are a threat to Egypt's revolution. The Brotherhood had kept its supporters off the streets since winning parliamentary elections at the end of last year. But the entrance of Omar Suleiman, a long-time confidant and spy-chief of the deposed Mubarak, into the race and legal maneuvers to have some of the Islamists' own candidates disqualified brought them out...[this week].
Read it all.
In 2004 a man serving on our vestry decided to leave his wife after only two years of marriage. There was no adultery, no abandonment, nothing. He’d just grown tired of her and wanted to find someone new. He and I were close. I trusted him. He’d been instrumental in saving my job. When liberal members of Good Shepherd, upset over the stance I had taken with regard to Gene Robinson, called a parish meeting at another local Episcopal Church trying to gather support to have me ousted, this man rallied my supporters and showed up at the meeting with the majority of the congregation behind him.
So when he came seeking my blessing for his divorce he may have expected me, for the sake of our friendship and his past loyalty, to give it. Instead I told him that he needed to step off of the vestry. I told him that in order to remain a member in good standing he’d need to halt his divorce proceedings, go to a Christian marriage counselor, and commit to reconciliation.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Congo/Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo Church of Rwanda * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Anglican Continuum * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Dear Dr. Moore,
My wife and I are at an impasse. There’s been no abandonment, no sexual immorality, and no abuse. We just don’t get along. We shouldn’t have married. We should have known we are incompatible. I know God hates divorce but I don’t have any other option. My pastor and some Christian counselors have told me that while God hates divorce, this is the lesser of two evils because God doesn’t want me to be miserable. What do you think?
Married but Miserable....
Read it all.
On the decline of institutional Christianity
"Institutional religion in the United States — institutional Christianity in particular — is much, much weaker today than it was 40 years ago. But religion itself is as strong as ever. ... But the eclipse of institutional faith, and the eclipse of what I would say was a kind of a Christian center that the country used to have, has created a landscape where religion divides us much more than it used to."
"The heresies that I write about are what flourish in the vacuum that's left by institutional Christianity's decline. So if the country remains religious, but the institutional churches are weaker than they used to be, what steps into the breach?"
Read or listen to it all.
Somalia's Islamist terror group al Shabab wants to rid the Muslim country of all Christians and is specifically targeting Christian converts from Islam.
Al Shabab recently joined with al Qaeda and wants Sharia law implemented in the country.
An al Shabab video that swept the Internet in September 2008 shows the brutal beheading of 25-year-old aid worker Mansour Mohammed. His crime? Mohammed converted to Christianity in 2005.
Read it all.
A Special Message from the Chairman, Chuck Murphy:
At the close of this year's Winter Conference, we issued a Communiqué expressing the mind of the gathering. One of the key components and goals of that Communiqué, as well as subsequent communications from our Council of Bishops, was to "diligently seek appropriate jurisdictional connections" with an authentic and orthodox Anglican Communion province. As we continue to celebrate our Lord's Resurrection during this Easter season, it is a particular joy to report the good news that our goal has now been realized. This week, I received an official letter from Archbishop Henri Isingoma of the Anglican Church of the Congo, receiving me as a Bishop of the House of Bishops in his Province and offering us a new canonical residence. In response to a recent letter from Archbishop Rwaje asking our bishops to translate to another Anglican jurisdiction by the end of this month, I had earlier requested that he send my letters dimissory to the Province of the Congo.
This transfer follows a process of relational reconciliation with Rwanda facilitated by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala. These conversations culminated in our meeting in Johannesburg and the Communiqué in which Archbishop Rwaje agreed to release theAM to develop other jurisdictional relationships. Under our accord with the Province of the Congo, we are now secure and validly attached to the global Anglican Communion. Rooted in the East African Revival, the Province of the Congo [formerly Zaire] was originally joined together as one larger province, which also included Rwanda and Burundi. In 1992, all three were subsequently established as separate provinces. The Anglican Mission's connection with the Congo began at Winter Conference 2012 when Bishop William Bahemuka Mugenyi generously made provision for scheduled ordinations to go forward.
We are very grateful to Archbishop Henri for his warm welcome to the Province. As we continue to transition toward a Mission Society with oversight provided by a College of Consultors, we remain committed to the multi-jurisdictional model that launched the Anglican Mission in Singapore (the Provinces of Southeast Asia and Rwanda). Toward that end, conversations with other jurisdictions including the Anglican Church in North America will continue.
Now that a new canonical residence provides for our bishops and clergy to transfer from Rwanda to the Congo, I have been asked to facilitate the transition and therefore, requests for transfers should be sent to the Mission Center.
We look forward with great anticipation to the multi-layered process of developing a Mission Society designed to encase our values and facilitate our desire to be a mission, nothing more and nothing less. While we continue our consistent focus on planting churches in North America, our process will include careful consideration of our present structures including the roles of bishops, the Mission Center and its staff, and our Networks as we prepare to develop the constitution and statutes that will ultimately order our common life. We are scheduling several meetings in which we will discuss and seek input from clergy and leaders throughout the Mission to assist us in designing and vetting the shape and specific details of our proposed Mission Society. We expect to complete these conversations by mid-October.
The Council of Bishops and our leadership team are united in a vision to further develop and carry forth an Apostolic/missionary (sodality) call to reach those outside the faith in effective, creative and entrepreneurial ways. This journey is well underway, and we invite and encourage you to celebrate and press on with us.
--(The Rt. Rev.) Charles Murphy is Chairman, AMIA
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Congo/Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo Church of Rwanda The Anglican Church in South East Asia Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Departing Parishes * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Anglican Continuum * Theology Ecclesiology
Almighty God, whose blessed Son did as on this day rise again for us, victorious over sin and the grave: Grant that we, being risen with him, may set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth; that when he who is our life shall appear, we may also appear with him in glory; through the same our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling-- if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord-- for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.
--2 Corinthians 5:1-10
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