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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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Delegates and visitors gathered under the brilliant Tampa sun for a noon rally against the privatization of prisons, led by the United Methodist Task Force on Immigration.
Participants in the April 28 rally sang “We Shall Overcome” while carrying signs saying, “Profit from Pain is Inhumane.”
The rally celebrated the establishment of a new investment screen adopted by the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits. That screen, adopted in January, forbids board investments in companies that derive more than 10 percent of their revenue from the operation of prison facilities.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Prison/Prison Ministry Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Stock Market * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Methodist * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Luhrmann did extensive fieldwork in Chicago and Northern California at Vineyard Christian Fellowship, a young “charismatic” denomination that offers a tame, middle-class version of Pentecostal practices that once scandalized most Christians. Members speak in tongues, pray for healing and seek “concrete experiences of God’s realness.” They want “the hot presence of the Holy Spirit to brush their cheeks and knock them sideways.” Some evangelicals frown on the Vineyard’s exuberance, but the denomination has gained outsize influence in evangelical culture, particularly by producing popular worship music. The Vineyard showcases, in amplified form, a style of prayer that has become widespread over the past four decades.
After more than four years of observing and interviewing Vineyard members, and participating in prayer groups, Bible study and weekly worship, Luhrmann arrived at a simple but arresting hypothesis: Evangelicals believe in an intimate God who talks to them personally because their churches coach them in a new theory of mind. In these communities, religious belief is “more like learning to do something than to think something. . . . People train the mind in such a way that they experience part of their mind as the presence of God.” Luhrmann is hardly the first to interpret religious feeling through the lens of psychology. This line of analysis goes back to William James and the German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, and today the scientific study of prayer is a growing field. Yet “When God Talks Back” is remarkable for combining creative psychological analysis with a commitment to understanding evangelicals not merely as a scholar’s specimens, but on their own terms. The result is the most insightful study of evangelical religion in many years.
Read it all.
Bilda's Friess Lake Pub is a hot spot on a Friday night, and the hot topic around the tables -- Cardinal Dolan's visit to nearby Holy Hill this weekend. "It seems to be, you look around here, there certainly is," said John Freese.
Craig Schmidt told TODAY'S TMJ4, "I'm not even Catholic, I'm a WELS Lutheran but Timothy Dolan rocks."
Dolan will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving inside the chapel Saturday. It's his first visit back to the area since becoming a Cardinal.
Read it all.
(Close readers of this blog may note that we featured the amazing resource of Michael Sandel's Harvard Course on Justice in September 2010--KSH).
Should people be paid for donating blood? In the United States, there is a mixed economy of free donation and the sale of blood through commercial blood banks. Predictably, most of the blood that is dealt with on a commercial basis comes from the very poor, including the homeless and the unemployed. The system entails a large-scale redistribution of blood from the poor to the rich.
This is only one of the examples cited by Michael Sandel, the political philosopher and former Reith Lecturer, in his survey of the rapidly growing commercialisation of social transactions, but it is symbolically a pretty powerful one. We hear of international markets in organs for transplant and are, on the whole, queasy about it; but here is a routine instance of life, quite literally, being transferred from the poor to the rich on a recognised legal basis. The force of Sandel’s book is in his insistence that we think hard about why exactly we might see this as wrong; we are urged to move beyond the “yuck factor” and to consider whether there is anything that is intrinsically not capable of being treated as a commodity, and if so why.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams * Culture-Watch History Philosophy Psychology Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists and Bishops Who Tweet has an implicit message that reminds me of the comment sometimes attributed to James Joyce — that the Catholic Church means “Here comes everybody.” Not just the Vatican, not just the bishops, not just the parish council, but everyone — for better and for worse.
And the blogosphere, increasingly, is everybody, too. Like nothing that I can think of in Church history, the blogosphere allows faithful Catholics to find each other for reciprocal inspiration, support, exchange and development of thought, sheer fellowship and for who knows what other purpose added in the last 24 hours.
As The Church and the New Media’s editor, Brandon Vogt, puts it, “a primary, defining characteristic of all new media is dialogue,” in sharp contract to the top-down format of print and film and, to a much lesser degree, radio.
Read it all.
The new storehouse, which opened in January, is the centerpiece of the LDS Church's intricate network for taking care of its members and lending a hand to others in times of natural disasters, putting scriptural encouragements into action in the aftermath of hardship, hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes across the nation and around the world.
"As I walk through, I [don't] think, 'What a beautiful building' but how the Lord must truly love the poor to provide this building to take care of their needs," [Richard] Humpherys said during a tour of the facility, built with members' donations.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Dieting/Food/Nutrition Poverty Religion & Culture * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc. * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Mormons
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday ordered the entire U.S. military to scour its training material to ensure it doesn’t contain anti-Islamic content, Danger Room has learned. The order came after the Pentagon suspended a course for senior officers that was found to contain derogatory material about Islam.
The extraordinary order by General Martin Dempsey, the highest-ranking military officer in the U.S. armed forces, was prompted by content in a course titled “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” that was presented as an elective at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia. The course instructed captains, commanders, lieutenant colonels and colonels from across all four armed services that “Islam had already declared war on the West,” said Lt. Gen. George Flynn, Dempsey’s deputy for training and education.
“It was inflammatory,” Flynn told Danger Room on Tuesday. “We said, ‘Wait a second, that’s really not what we’re talking about.’ That is not how we view this problem or the challenges we have in the world today.”
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In the past decade student debt has surged as tuition and enrollment climbed. At the same time, college graduates' earnings have declined. The average debt load of all new graduates rose 24%, adjusted for inflation, from 2000 through 2010, to $16,932, says the Progressive Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank in Washington. Over the same period, the average earnings of full-time workers ages 25 to 34 with no more than a bachelor's degree fell by 15% to $53,539.
Terri Reynolds-Rogers, a 57-year-old health-program manager from Palmer, Alaska, declared bankruptcy in 2007, but still has $152,000 in student debt. She said she dropped out of medical school in 1999 to care for her two children after her husband died of brain cancer.
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Because of the cultural whiplash I experienced in regularly attending two remarkably different family meals, I have always been fascinated by the range of conversations that pass for normal at other people’s homes at mealtime: what rituals and rules of discourse do parents invent, to what conventions do they default or aspire?....
Amy Chua, the Yale Law professor who wrote “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” the controversial chronicle of her own overambitious parenting technique, said her immigrant parents imparted to her a passion for academics — but not over dinner. “We did not say one word,” she recalled. Eating and television news dominated the meal.
In her own home, she said, she and her husband, the law professor Jed Rubenfeld, try to devote about half the meal to catching up on their children’s lives and the other half to “bringing up interesting cases with moral dilemmas.”
Read it all.
The economy lost steam in the first quarter, as onetime engines of growth sputtered and robust consumer spending was unable to propel the recovery on its own.
Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of all goods and services produced in the economy, grew at an annualized rate of 2.2% in the first quarter, down from 3% at the end of 2011, the Commerce Department said Friday. The deceleration reflected sharp cutbacks in government spending and weaker business investment and came despite an unusually warm winter, which many economists said likely provided a mild economic boost.
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Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Housing/Real Estate Market Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market The Banking System/Sector The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- The U.S. Government
Speaking at the opening of the first session of the ninth synod of the Diocese of Osun (Anglican Communion) at Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, Ada, [Governor Rauf] Aregbesola said the recent noise of purported plan to Islamise Osun was a ruse aimed at creating religious disharmony with a view to getting a state of emergency declared on the state.
The Governor said: “I believe so strongly that the Federal Government and security agencies deserve our prayers at this time. Instead of plotting mischief and fomenting trouble in a peaceful state like Osun here, they need to take a grasp of the depth of the security challenges facing the nation.
“Some evil people are bent on blowing the nation apart, and the security agencies seem to have no clue on how to tackle this menace.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Nigeria * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General Terrorism * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam Muslim-Christian relations
The Consecration of a new Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa within the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
In an amazing gathering that brought together bishops and archbishops from the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Coptic Catholic Church, and well as representatives of the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, government officials, Ambassadors, prominent writers, and politicians, the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa celebrated the consecration of The Rev. Dr. Grant LeMarquand as a new Area (Assistant) Bishop for the Horn of Africa.
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, together with The Rt. Rev. Michael Lewis (Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf), The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bill Musk (Area Bishop for North Africa), and The Rt. Rev. Ghais Abdel Malek (the retired Diocesan Bishop of Egypt) par-ticipated in the consecration of The Rev. Dr. Grant LeMarquand.
Many people sent greetings, including The Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Other representatives from around the Anglican Communion attended, including: Archbishop Robert Duncan of ACNA; Bishop Peter Tasker of Sydney; representatives of The Diocese of Singapore and The Diocese of South Carolina (our companion dioceses); The Diocese of Pittsburgh; The Diocese of Tennessee; The Diocese of Texas; the Honorary Chairman and Secretary of the Egypt Diocesan Association in the UK; Trinity School for Ministry in Am-bridge, Pennsylvania; The Church Missionary Society, UK; and The Church Missionary Society, Australia.
It was very meaningful to have this consecration on 25 April 2012, on the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, the Patron Saint of Egypt, in the presence of the Orthodox churches that were started in the first century by St. Mark. It was also the same day of the consecration of All Saints Cathedral at its present site in Zamalek, Cairo in 1988.
In his sermon, Bishop Mouneer said, “Grant, today you will walk in the steps of St. Frumentius, the first Bishop of Axum in Abyssinia, who was ordained by St. Athanasius, the Patriarch in Alex-andria, here in Egypt in the 4th Century. In this tradition, we are consecrating you an Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa.” He added that we “need to be ready to stand firm in the faith we once re-ceived from the saints.”
Bishop Mouneer reminded Grant that he “will go to harvest the fruit of the seeds that were sown by many great servants of the Lord, including Bishop Andrew Proud who proceeded you.”
He added that “the church in Africa needs to be grounded in the faith and grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ, so that she can replay the role she played in the first millennium in shap-ing the Christian mind. As you know, the church in Africa is growing numerically in an amazing way however, there is a great need for theological education and making true disciples.”
It is worth mentioning that since their establishment, both Episcopal Areas (North Africa and the Horn of Africa) within the Diocese of Egypt, are flourishing and growing. The installation of Bishop Grant LeMarquand will take place at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 27 October 2012, when the church celebrates the Feast of St. Frumentius.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Latest News Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East * International News & Commentary Africa * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
(This was sponsored by Guildford DEF[Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship] which is part of the Church of England Evangelical Council in England). You may listen to it all through the audio file which may be found over here (an MP3 file), or if easier here:
Herewith a flyer sent out as an invitation to this event:
The Guildford Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship invite you to an An evening with Bishop Mark Lawrence (TEC Bishop of South Carolina) and Bishop John Guernsey (ACNA Bishop of Mid-Atlantic) On 25th April 2012 at 8 pm At Holy Trinity Claygate, Church Road, Claygate, Surrey, KT10 0JPPlease note this is is a long evening of some 1 hour and 40 minutes. During the introduction the following people are mentioned--it is opened by Philip Plyming, vicar of Holy Trinity, Claygate, and then chairman, Stephen Hofmeyr, QC. There is then a message from Bishop Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford given by the Ven. Julian Henderson, Archdeacon of Dorking. Both Mark Lawrence (who goes first) and John Guernsey then give presentations of some twenty minutes which takes you to approximately one hour. After that there are questions from those present to the two bishops about the matters at hand. Archdeacon Julian Henderson then offers brief concluding remarks. Do take the time to listen to it all--KSH.
We are delighted that Bishop Mark Lawrence, the Episcopal Church Bishop for the Diocese of South Carolina, and Bishop John Guernsey, the Anglican Church in North America Bishop for the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, have agreed
• to bring us up to date with developments amongst Anglicans in North America;
• to tell us why some orthodox Anglicans have considered it appropriate to work within TEC whilst others have considered it appropriate to work within ACNA; and
• to explain to us how people within the two organisations who hold similar views are generally able to continue to support each other in spreading the Gospel.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts Global South Churches & Primates FCA Meeting in London April 2012 Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings Windsor Report / Process * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * South Carolina * Theology
O Heavenly Father and gracious God, I thank you for the gift of this new day, and acknowledge that you are the One who can do far more abundantly than all that I could ask or imagine. Grant that today I may so run with perseverance the race that is set before me, that the wind of the Holy Spirit may be at my back and your son Jesus Christ would be my forerunner, to lead me faithfully to be who you desire me to be and to do that which you are calling me to do. Amen.
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may praise thee and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever.
--Psalm 30:11-12 (KJV)
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