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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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First, ...[Ross Douthat] speaks of the "postmodern opportunity." The same relativism and rootlessness that has weakened the church is also proving exhausting rather than liberating to many in our society. Even in the academy, postmodern theory is now widely seen as being in eclipse, and there is no "next big thing" on the horizon. Douthat wonders about the possibility of a kind of revolution from above---that is, a revival of Christianity among cultural elites.
Second, he notes the opposite impulse at work, the "Benedict option"---a new monasticism that does not seek engagement with culture but rather the formation of counter-cultural communities that "stand apart . . . and inspire by example rather than by engagement." Douthat suggests that these first two measures should not be seen as completely opposed and, indeed, could benefit by being paired with one another, otherwise engaging the culture can become accommodation and being an example can become separatism and sectarianism....
It is worth noting that each of these [five] positive measures takes aim at one or two of the factors that have led to decline. The Benedict option seeks to break the hold of political polarization on the church. The postmodern opportunity aims to re-engage the cultural elites. The next Christendom has already strongly undermined the contention that Christianity merely reflects Western culture and imperialism. And if there is an "age of diminished expectations," it could erode both the materialism and even the sexual licentiousness (which always works best in the midst of material plenty) that have undermined faith.
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Egypt imposed an overnight curfew in Cairo's central Abbasiya district on Saturday after deadly clashes between protesters and security forces consumed the area the day before.
The curfew extends from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. (local), Nile TV reported, a state-owned Egyptian television network, citing Defense sources.
One person died and more than 300 were injured Friday when clashes broke out in Cairo as protests against the country's military government turned violent, state media reported.
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In the American mind, renting has long symbolized striving—striving, that is, well short of achieving. But as we climb our way out of the Great Recession, it seems something has changed. Americans are getting over the idea of owning the American dream; increasingly, they're OK with renting it. Homeownership is on the decline, and home rentership is on the rise. But the trend isn't limited to the housing market. Across the board—for goods ranging from cars to books to clothes—Americans are increasingly acclimating to the idea of giving up the stability of being an owner for the flexibility of being a renter. This may sound like a decline in living standards. But the new realities of our increasingly mobile economy make it more likely that this transition from an Ownership Society to what might be called a Rentership Society, far from being a drag, will unleash a wave of economic efficiency
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Globalization Marriage & Family Psychology * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Housing/Real Estate Market Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
This week, Anglican Church officials discussed combining some of the seven eastern dioceses, from Quebec to Newfoundland, in an effort to save on administrative costs.
The proposal includes the amalgamation of two dioceses in the Maritimes.
The discussion took place at a meeting of the seven eastern dioceses, the purpose of which is to give members the chance to prepare to debate issues at the upcoming Provincial Synod scheduled for September.
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Church elders announced Holder's arrest to the church's congregation by email in January, and said the arrest was related to his service as rector of Church of the Ascension in Atlantic City, where he served from March 2007 until June 2009.
Holder became associate rector at Christ Church in December 2009, according to the Christ Church website. As associate rector, he did pastoral care of the elderly and both fund-raising and spiritual development and evangelism.
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Watch both goals on video and note there is a good article about the goal in the first video there.
On May 3, 1817, he conducted the first...[Episcopal] service in Columbus at the Buckeye House hotel.
Four days later, he preached again at the High Street home of storekeeper Lincoln Goodale. “Some of those who came were merely curious. Others believed that God’s inerrant providence brought them to that spot. All listened with reverence as Chase intoned the service from the Book of Common Prayer and preached to them,” Lisa M. Klein wrote in her 2003 history of Trinity Episcopal Church, Be It Remembered.
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"We need to discover ways to engage in the outside community," Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said, in urging the 125 delegates attending the Province II Synod of the Episcopal Church to recognize that while many believe the church is an unchanging rock, it too slowly evolves.
"'We are beginning to discover a way forward into a new chapter in the church's history," Jefferts Schori said. "If we are going to save the life of the church, we are going to have to lose it."
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An Anglican lay preacher has been banned from the pulpit after encouraging parishioners to oppose against gay marriage – in line with official Church teaching.
Peter Gowlland, 78, was accused of sowing discord among worshippers at the liberal-leaning All Saints Church in Sanderstead, Surrey, by inviting them to sign a petition against the Government plans to introduce same-sex weddings.
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Update: An article from the Christian Institute on this is there.
From time eternal, men and women have been making babies, usually by choice, and usually in the old-fashioned way. But in recent years, making babies has become fraught with promises and possibilities never before imagined, whether the opportunity to conceive children later in life, identify genetic abnormalities in embryos, or hire surrogate mothers from halfway around the globe to carry an embryo to term. Ethical questions often get shoved to the side in the face of both rapid technological advancement and the emotions involved. Who wants to raise concerns about the production of millions of babies who bring great joy to millions of parents?
Thankfully, Ellen Painter Dollar has waded into the murky waters of reproductive technology in her new book No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Parenthood, and Faith in an Age of Advanced Reproduction (Westminster John Knox). Ellen begins with her own story as a woman with OI, osteogenesis imperfecta. She passed OI, a genetic disorder that causes frequent broken bones throughout childhood, to her first child, Leah, and wondered whether it was right for her to conceive other children who might inherit the same condition.
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...In Egypt, the situation is difficult but there is no persecution, we would say discrimination. And then we have the wartorn areas like Iraq and for over 60 years in Palestine. These two situations make it very difficult for Christians. In Palestine, the Christians have lost hope and they leave the country if they can. We find the same situation, more or less in Iraq. The Christians are migrating from their area to the north, the Kurdish north of Iraq.
Q: Let us leave the question of war to the side for a moment. How would we grade, if you will, when we are talking about discrimination and when it is an outright persecution?
Father [Samir Khalil] Samir: War is the worst situation and the discrimination in Egypt is the second level. For example, the whole day and during the whole year, you are bombarded with Islamic propaganda starting at five in the morning. They start their preaching using megaphones and this is five times a day...
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Middle East * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Coptic Church
Friday’s disappointing jobs report will...worsen Washington’s highly polarised politics. Already, initial reaction from there suggest that, rather than act as a catalyst to bring the political class together to address a persistent national problem, the numbers are fueling conflicting political narratives and greater polarisation – thereby reducing further the probability of any timely convergence towards the type of common analysis and common vision that are needed.
With virtually all government entities essentially paralysed by political gridlock, the Federal Reserve will soon confront yet another lose-lose policy dilemma. Does it renew its unconventional activism using inevitably blunt tools that involve a growing set of collateral damage and intended consequences; or does it stick to the sidelines and watch the economy weaken further in the summer?
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Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--
The nation’s employers are creating jobs at less than half the pace they were when this year began, according to a government report released Friday.
The addition of just 115,000 jobs in April was disappointing, but economists urged no panic just yet. Maybe the unusually warm winter had encouraged companies to do their spring hiring a little early, they offered in one of several theories. Maybe high gas prices, now falling, temporarily discouraged job growth. Better yet, maybe this latest report understates how many jobs were added, since the initial estimates for earlier months have been revised upward.
But no matter which hopeful explanation you choose, America’s 13.7 million jobless workers still look pretty discouraged.
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Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- Politics in General
Teach us, O Father, in whatsoever state we are, therewith to be content, that we may know both how to be abased and how to abound; that in prosperity we may bless thee who givest us richly all things to enjoy, and in adversity may not suffer our faith in thy love to fail; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you. "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
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