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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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In a largely claustrophobic game at the Allianz Arena, Bayern Munich dramatically defeated Real Madrid 2-1 thanks to an 89th-minute strike by Mario Gomez, giving Jose Mourinho endless cause for concern heading into the second leg at the Bernabeu on April 25.
Many wondered how Real Madrid would handle its first truly top-class opponent in the Champions League knockout stages -- having sparred with CSKA Moscow and cruised past plucky APOEL in the round of 16 and quarterfinals -- and I suppose this dispiriting defeat gives us plenty of indication....
Read it all.
Truro Anglican Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia announced today a settlement that concludes five years of litigation that arose after Truro Anglican and other parishes left the Episcopal Church in 2006 to become part of what is now the Anglican Church in North America.
The settlement follows a January ruling in which the Circuit Court of Fairfax County held that all real and personal property held by the parishes at the time they left the denomination belongs to the Diocese.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Virginia TEC Departing Parishes * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Housing/Real Estate Market
As you may know, the Church of England has voted not to adopt the Anglican Covenant that has been sent to all the Member Churches of the Communion for consideration. This does not mean that the Covenant lapses. Nor does not mean an end to the fundamental underlying questions which the Covenant is intended to address. We still need to ask ourselves: who do we believe ourselves called to be by God, and what does it mean to speak of an Anglican ‘Communion’ – rather than, say, a ‘Federation’ or other form of association. A ‘Communion’ is so much more – a true family of churches, within the body of Christ, as so many of us have experienced, for example, through exchanges with link Dioceses. We feel a closeness through recognising our ‘family resemblance’, even when we are from very different parts of the world, and the frequently used language of ‘bonds of affection’ resonates clearly.
But how can we order our international institutional life, and the relationships between Provinces, in ways that reflect this experience, and our theological understanding of the unity with diversity that is found in belonging together as members of the body of Christ, as Scripture describes? Provinces have always been legally independent (reflecting their separate Constitutions and Canons); while the ‘Instruments of Communion’ have only been advisory, rightly respecting Provinces’ status under canon law. But such legal independence can allow, and even promote comfortableness with, a separateness that has not always been sufficiently balanced by more organic and spiritual interrelationships. We have wrestled over decades with how to get this balance right, for example, in commitments to ‘Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence in the Body of Christ’ made at the 1963 Toronto Congress. The Communion said then ‘our unity in Christ, expressed in our full communion, is the most profound bond among us, in all our political and racial and cultural diversity’, and therefore ‘our need is … to understand how God has led us, through the sometimes painful history of our time, to see the gifts of freedom and communion in their great terms, and to live up to them.’ The Congress warned ‘if we are not responsible stewards of what Christ has given us, we will lose even what we have.’
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Covenant Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Anglican Church of Southern Africa * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Easter
I will admit that the HHS contraception rule does ask these Catholic clerics to sacrifice something. But what is this sacrifice? Simply to allow the women who work for their organizations to be offered contraceptive coverage by their insurers. To refuse this sacrifice is not to uphold civil society. It is to refuse to participate in it.
Toward the end of their statement, the 15 bishops who signed this statement called on every U.S. Catholic to join in a “great national campaign” on behalf of religious liberty. More specifically, they called for a “Fortnight for Freedom” concluding with the Fourth of July when U.S. dioceses can celebrate both religious liberty and martyrs who have died for the Catholic cause.
As Independence Day approaches, I have a prediction. I predict that rank-and-file American Catholics will ignore this call.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General House of Representatives Office of the President Senate * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic
Andrew Bowen sat yoga-style in his armchair, absent-mindedly fingering a set of Muslim prayer beads in his left hand as he talked about 2011 -- his year of conversion.
But he's not Muslim. In fact, the 29-year-old Lumberton resident doesn't call himself by any of the 12 faiths he practiced for a month at a time last year.
Not Hindu (January). Not Baha'i (February). Not Zoroastrian (March). Not Jewish (April). Not Buddhist (May). Not agnostic (June). Not Mormon (July). Not Muslim (August). Not Sikh (September). Not Wiccan (October). Not Jain (November). And not Catholic (December)....
Read it all.
The current economic recovery is more of an uphill slog than any other since World War II for a simple reason: lots more debt.
Record-high debt levels are giving this recovery no chance to exhale. As soon as the economy climbs one hill, another ascent begins.
Combined U.S. household debt and government debt added up to more than $30 trillion, or 200% of GDP, at the end of 2011.
That's $155,000 per working-age (18-64) adult. By that measure, debt was 50% higher in real terms at the start of this recovery than in 2001. Compared to the 1991 and 1982 recoveries, debt was, respectively, 88% and 230% higher.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life The Banking System/Sector The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- The U.S. Government Budget The National Deficit
Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith has hovered over his 20-year political career like a thick layer of incense at Easter Mass. Negative perceptions of the religion so worried his 2008 presidential team that the dilemma had its own acronym in campaign power point presentations: TMT (That Mormon Thing).
Worries persisted this year as skeptical evangelical Christians flocked to other candidates—any other candidate it seemed — causing Romney to avoid all things Mormon in public....
Read it all. Also, Jacques Berlinerblau has further thoughts on this in "How Romney should talk about religion".
Take a very careful look--Wow.
Sadakat Kadri is an English barrister, a Muslim by birth and a historian. His first book, The Trial, was an extensive survey of the Western criminal judicial system, detailing more than 4,000 years of courtroom antics.
In his new book, Heaven on Earth, Kadri turns his sights east, to centuries of Shariah law. The first parts of his book describe how early Islamic scholars codified — and then modified — the code that would govern how people lead their daily lives. Kadri then turns to the modern day, reflecting on the lawmakers who are trying to prohibit Shariah law in a dozen states, as well as his encounters with scholars and imams in India, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Turkey and Iran — the very people who strictly interpret the religious and moral code of Islam today. And some of those modern interpretations, he says, are much more rigid — and much more draconian — than the code set forth during the early years of Islamic law.
Read or listen to it all.
We ought to leave “happiness” to novelists and philosophers — and rescue it from the economists and psychologists who think it can be distilled into a “science” and translated into pro-happiness policies. Fat chance. Government can often mitigate sources of unhappiness (starvation, unemployment, disease), but happiness is more than the absence of misery. If we could manufacture happiness, we could repeal the “human condition.”
Somehow this has escaped the social scientists who want to make happiness the goal of government. They argue that economic output (gross domestic product) doesn’t measure everything that’s important in life — family, friends or religion, for example. True, but it doesn’t follow that “happiness” can be targeted as an alternative. No matter....
Read it all.
For many years now, we've heard sombre warnings that the white countries' easy dominance of the world would be eclipsed by the developing nations.
One day, we were told, the fast-growing economies of the poor countries would be bigger than those of the more sclerotic rich countries.
The Australian Treasury has now calculated this is no longer a looming prospect but that, on a key measure, it has already happened. The Treasury estimates the developing countries' collective gross domestic product overtook that of the rich world last month.
Read it all.
Anglican SA boss and former premier Lynn Arnold has resigned from his post to become an Anglican minister.
The former South Australian Labor leader will announce his resignation as chief executive officer today to undertake full-time theological study.
"My great Uncle Dave, as we called him, became something of a role model ... he changed his career to become a (Presbyterian) minister," Dr Arnold said yesterday.
Read it all.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the leader of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion, recently announced that he would step down by year’s end. A few days later, the Church of England rejected a Williams-backed unity plan for global Anglicanism, a church fractured by issues of gender and sexual identity. The timing of the resignation and the defeat are probably not coincidental. These events signal Anglicans’ institutional failure.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Archbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture
When researchers ask cohabitors...questions, partners often have different, unspoken — even unconscious — agendas. Women are more likely to view cohabitation as a step toward marriage, while men are more likely to see it as a way to test a relationship or postpone commitment, and this gender asymmetry is associated with negative interactions and lower levels of commitment even after the relationship progresses to marriage. One thing men and women do agree on, however, is that their standards for a live-in partner are lower than they are for a spouse.
Sliding into cohabitation wouldn’t be a problem if sliding out were as easy. But it isn’t. Too often, young adults enter into what they imagine will be low-cost, low-risk living situations only to find themselves unable to get out months, even years, later. It’s like signing up for a credit card with 0 percent interest. At the end of 12 months when the interest goes up to 23 percent you feel stuck because your balance is too high to pay off. In fact, cohabitation can be exactly like that. In behavioral economics, it’s called consumer lock-in.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Men Psychology Women Young Adults * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Around 40 people gathered at the cleared demolition site on the fringe of the city's red zone cordon to hear the official announcement of the city's $5 million temporary cardboard cathedral.
The Anglican Church today revealed plans for the "transitional" cathedral designed by a top Japanese "paper architect".
While debate rages over the decision by the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch to demolish the crippled city centre landmark, work will start on the temporary A-frame building in nearby Latimer Square next week.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc. * International News & Commentary Australia / NZ
Listen to it all; it is based on 1 John 1 the opening few verses.
Filed under: * By Kendall Sermons & Teachings * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Easter Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * South Carolina * Theology Theology: Scripture
The biggest threat facing America is not a faltering economy or a spate of books by famed atheists. Rather, the country meets new challenges due to the decline of traditional Christianity, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat suggests in Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (Free Press). Douthat has taken his own personal tour of American Christianity: he was baptized Episcopalian, attended evangelical and Pentecostal churches as a child, and converted to Catholicism at age 17. He argues that prosperity preachers, self-esteem gurus, and politics operating as religion contribute to the contemporary decline of America. CT spoke with Douthat about America's decline from a vigorous faith, modern heretics, and why we need a revival of traditional Christianity.
I try to use an ecumenical definition, starting with what I see as the theological common ground shared by my own Catholic Church and many Protestant denominations. Then I look at forms of American religion that are influenced by Christianity, but depart in some significant way from this consensus. It's a C. S. Lewisian, Mere Christianity definition of orthodoxy or heresy. I'm trying to look at the ways the American religion today departs from theological and moral premises that traditional Protestants and Catholics have in common.Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch Books History Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals Roman Catholic
O Lord God of our fathers, who didst of old deliver thy people from the prison-house of Egypt through the paschal sacrifice: Mercifully grant that we thy new Israel, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, may be set free from the bondage of evil and serve thee henceforth in the joy and power of the resurrection; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ, who ever liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.
--Frank Colquhoun (1909-1997)
You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
--1 Peter 1:18-19
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