Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Communion is our spiritual home and the GAFCON Primates traveled to England in the hope that godly faith and order could be restored through renewed obedience to the Bible.

We are pleased that Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America has played a full part in the Canterbury meeting of Primates and that sanctions have been applied to the Episcopal Church of the United States, (TEC) recognising the need for mutual accountability on matters of doctrine within the family of the Communion.

However, this action must not be seen as an end, but as a beginning. There is much that causes us concern, especially the failure to recognise the fact that the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) has also rejected the collegial mind of the Communion by unilaterally permitting the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of those in active homosexual relationships. We fear that other provinces will do the same.

Since the beginning of the crisis in the Communion brought about by the actions of both TEC and the ACoC, the Anglican instruments of unity have been unable to guard biblical truth and restore godly order. There must therefore be doubt about the effectiveness of the sanctions that have been agreed.

In particular, it must be recognised that the continuing brokenness of the Communion is not the result simply of failed relationships, but is caused by the persistent rejection of biblical and apostolic faith as set out in Lambeth Resolution 1.10. We are therefore disappointed that the Primates’ statement makes no reference to the need for repentance.

The need for the GAFCON movement is being recognised by an ever increasing number of people and we are encouraged in our conviction that God has called us to work for an Anglican Communion which is a truly global family of Churches. We long to see a united, confident and courageous witness to God who by the death and resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ has given us an unshakeable hope and assures us of his unfailing love.

-- Released by GAFCON chairman The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala and the GAFCON General Secretary, The Most Rev. Dr. Peter Jensen

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Global South Churches & PrimatesGAFCON II 2013GAFCON I 2008* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

--Luke 18:9-14

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 10, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

--Philippians 3:7-11

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 9, 2016 at 4:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 8, 2016 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

To thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in thee I trust,
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Yea, let none that wait for thee be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know thy ways, O Lord;
teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me,
for thou art the God of my salvation;
for thee I wait all the day long.

--Psalm 25:1-4

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 8, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Transfiguration of Jesus has to be a moment of revelation that extends and exists beyond the mountaintop experience. Otherwise, it will only justify glory, power, and privilege. And so, our call to preach this Sunday has to be grounded in the ways in which God grounds God’s very self in transfiguration. God has chosen to reveal God’s self in ways that are breathtaking, miraculous, wondrous. Why? Because we have a tendency to tame God, to think that God will adjust to our many needs, to think that God will conform to our ideals.

When the Transfiguration becomes a sort of embarrassment for the church, an example of the ways in which the church hopes for glory, an argument for Jesus’ divine identity, a chance to wax nostalgic about mountaintop experiences, well then, it will cease to matter. Make it matter by preaching what it is -- no ordinary mountaintop experience.

Read it all; quoted by yours truly in the early morning sermon (my emphasis)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 7, 2016 at 11:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at Moses’ face because of its brightness, fading as this was, will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor? For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the dispensation of righteousness must far exceed it in splendor. Indeed, in this case, what once had splendor has come to have no splendor at all, because of the splendor that surpasses it. For if what faded away came with splendor, what is permanent must have much more splendor.

Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not see the end of the fading splendor. But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds; but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

--2 Corinthians 3:7-18

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 7, 2016 at 4:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At the set time which I appoint I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars....

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.

--Psalm 75: 2-3; 6-7

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 6, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...what I want you to notice is that when Paul tells the Colossians in verse 24 that ‘my suffering is for you’, he does not use the same word. He does not use the word eis. Because suffering is not directed towards anything. It has no constructive purpose. It has no positive teleology. It has no direct place in the economy and providence of God. Left to its own devices, suffering does nothing but inhibit, destroy, disintegrate and embitter – that is its only natural teleology.

We know that because, when Jesus comes across suffering, He does not urge people to accept it as God’s will for them. He does not refuse to heal them on the grounds that God is behind their suffering. He does not refuse to work healing miracles on the grounds that their suffering is doing them good. He assaults their suffering. He declares war on human suffering. He heals their illnesses. His compassion drives Him to undo whatever is holding them back from being the whole, healthy and thriving people He made them to be. (He’s at it again in the story of the ten lepers in Luke 17, which we had as our gospel reading this evening). And Jesus is our window on the person and purpose and providence of God. So we have no mandate to say that God approves what Jesus attacks. Jesus attacks suffering in His ministry, sin on the cross, and death in His resurrection – and God is against all three.

And yet. And yet, somehow, despite that, (v. 24) Paul rejoices in his suffering. Paul rejoices in the inhibiting, destructive, disintegrative and embittering suffering that happens to him in his own flesh. Paul rejoices in that which God hates. We need to feel the dissonance of that. We need to hear it grating. We need to be shocked into the acknowledgement that something unnatural, or, rather, supernatural is going on here. What we have here is the miracle of fruitful suffering.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* TheologySeminary / Theological EducationTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 5, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Same-sex marriage in churches, and full access to all three Holy Orders for those in such marriages, are among the goals of a new mission calling for “the full acceptance and affirmation of LGBTI people” in the Church of England.

The LGBTI Mission, launched on Thursday, has put together a programme of goals that it would like to achieve “over the next five years and beyond”. It includes demands for action from the hierarchy, alongside plans to press ahead independently, including the publication of liturgy to celebrate same-sex marriage.

A booklet outlining the programme, published yesterday, lists examples of “discrimination” and “injustice” faced by LGBTI people, and warns of a culture of “collusion and silence” in the Church. Some young LGBTI people do not feel “safe and welcomed”, it says.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 5, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor lose courage when you are punished by him.
For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

--Hebrews 12:3-11

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 5, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It has been the collective resolution of the GAFCON Group for several years that we shall not participate in any gathering in the Anglican Communion to which TEC and The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) were invited, until they repented of their erroneous doctrinal and theological postures and practices. However, following the almost unanimous resolution of the GAFCON and the Global South Groups, we decided the invitation.

Attached is the statement of the meeting regarding TEC.

The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) was not focused on because it claimed that it has not altered its Marriage Canon. However, we know that the Anglican Church of Canada, Scotland, Wales, Brazil and New Zealand are on the way to toeing the footsteps of TEC. We are yet to be convinced that the restrictions imposed on TEC will be implemented. The bottom line, therefore, is that nothing has changed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of NigeriaSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In thee, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame! In thy righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline thy ear to me, and save me! Be thou to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for thou art my rock and my fortress.

--Psalm 71:1-3

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 4, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I could quite imagine two adjacent dioceses within the Church of England permitting or prohibiting divorce, and recognizing or not recognizing the leadership of women. It wouldn't be comfortable, but it would be possible. It is simply impossible, however, to imagine one diocese celebrating same-sex sexual unions as equivalent to other-sex marriage, and a neighbouring one holding that this is outside of Christian moral teaching, and therefore (among its clergy) a cause of discipline. These two different views are simply incompatible; two such dioceses could not co-exist in the same Church.

That is why the question for the Church is not about polity alone, but about the Church's doctrine of marriage, and within that, its understanding of human sexuality. There is no middle ground to stand on.

Ritchie appears to share the view of Jayne Ozanne (former Director of Accepting Evangelicals, whom he cites) that change in the Church is "inevitable." To that end, Ozanne cites survey evidence showing that popular opinion is changing, and changing fast. That is one way for the Church to decide its doctrine - on the basis of popular opinion.

Historically, though, the Church of England has pursued a patient engagement with Scripture in order to shape its theology....

Read it all from ABC australia.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Commentary- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 3, 2016 at 12:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth! Amen and Amen!

--Psalm 72: 18,19

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 3, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of IrelandEpiscopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 2, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to thee, when my heart is faint. Lead thou me to the rock that is higher than I; for thou art my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in thy tent for ever! Oh to be safe under the shelter of thy wings!

--Psalm 61:1-4

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 2, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I write this article after having completed the first week of the Institute. If possible, it has already exceeded my expectations. Several things have especially stood out to me this first week.

First, the Beauty of Christ’s Global Body. Upon meeting my fellow participants the first day, I was surprised to discover that we had many mutual friends from places like India, South Sudan, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, etc. This was especially surprising in light of the fact that as a young priest I haven’t lived very long, haven’t traveled very far, and haven’t had a whole lot of life experience. In short, this instant connectedness was not about me but was simply a beautiful testament to how Christ’s body has grown—from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth—and to how the spiritual unity we have in Christ is being made visible by advances in modern technology.
Stemming from this unity, the fellowship has been both rich and challenging. With regards to the richness, one cannot hear eyewitness stories of martyrdom and persecution without being touched in the deep places of one’s soul and inspired to follow Christ more faithfully in one’s own walk (Heb. 11). Many of the participants have tread the path of persecution, and as a Westerner, their stories put my own ministry challenges in healthy and humbling perspective.

On the other hand, the diversity of the fellowship has challenged us to wrestle honestly with the unique cultural lenses we bring to ministry. Whether we’re asking questions after a lecture, breaking down a passage of scripture in a small-group preaching exercise, or analyzing a case study from mission field, it has been eye-opening to see just how pervasively our cultures influence our perspectives. Fortunately, as we wrestle honestly with these issues, our blinders begin to fall away, and we are able to more clearly see the pure and undiluted Gospel, in all of its glory.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyChristologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 1, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. What can flesh do to me?

--Psalm 56:3-4

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 1, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The earth is the LORD's and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.

--Psalm 24:1

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 31, 2016 at 4:56 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But I call upon God; and the LORD will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice. He will deliver my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.

--Psalm 55:16-18

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 30, 2016 at 5:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

--Hebrews 10:19-25

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 29, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High; and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

--Psalm 50:14-15

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 28, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Hence even the first covenant was not ratified without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.” And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the Holy Place yearly with blood not his own; for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

--Hebrews 9:15-28

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 27, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Happy Consecration Anniversary to you, Bishop Lawrence! January 26, 2008 was a great festival celebration as you became our 14th Bishop of South Carolina--Glory To God!

Posted by Diocese of South Carolina on Tuesday, January 26, 2016




Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistoryReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 26, 2016 at 5:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Same-sex marriage could be a reality within the Anglican Church of Canada by 2019, despite a recent vote by Anglican archbishops to suspend the church’s US branch for consecrating gay weddings.

Anglican priests in Canada took a significant step towards marrying same-sex couples in 2013, when the church’s highest governing body here (the triennial synod) voted to change canon law to allow for gay marriage.

The resolution still needs approval from two more synods in 2016 and 2019 before it can come into effect.

It also includes an opt-out clause for clergy members, bishops, congregations and dioceses opposed to blessing gay marriage.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 26, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

--Hebrews 9:11-14

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 26, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite the increasing tension, Bishop Lee is optimistic about the future of the Anglican Communion. "I think the current controversies might well prove to become a breakthrough moment in global understanding and regard for one another," he says.

Lee cites reports from primates who attended the Jan. 11-15 meeting, including a Facebook post from Archbishop Welby which emphasized unity during the tense discussions.

"Despite those differences," Lee says, "two bishops were regarding each other and realizing they were both followers of Jesus Christ. Above and beyond all the disagreements, each trying to work out the implications of their faith in their own context. I think that's extraordinary."

Bishop Lee says the main barrier to resolving this dispute -- and future disputes -- is the human habit of categorizing people according to gender, sexual orientation, race, etc. "As long as those things remain abstractions, it's very easy to speak about who may or may not be in this place or that place," he says. "When they become living realities, when those labels are transformed into living persons standing in front of me, and with whom I have a relationship, that's very, very different."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 25, 2016 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon


You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyChristologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted January 25, 2016 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Blessed is he who considers the poor!
The Lord delivers him in the day of trouble;
the Lord protects him and keeps him alive;
he is called blessed in the land;
thou dost not give him up to the will of his enemies.
The Lord sustains him on his sickbed;
in his illness thou healest all his infirmities.

--Psalm 41:1-3

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 25, 2016 at 4:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee. So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name. My soul is feasted as with marrow and fat, and my mouth praises thee with joyful lips, when I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night; for thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy.

--Psalm 63:3-7

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 24, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, Clifton Daniel, echoed this sentiment, suggesting that perhaps it was the role of the Episcopal Church to forge ahead of its more conservative global relations: “Sometimes in family life, members grow and mature at difference paces. I believe this moment in our life is one such instance.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted January 23, 2016 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You have turned my wailing into dancing; *
you have put off my sack-cloth and clothed me with joy.

Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing; *
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks for ever.

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 23, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The challenge facing the task group, the body — not yet appointed — whose job it will be to mend the Anglican Communion after last week’s gathering of Primates, was manifest this week as people reacted to the final communiqué from Canterbury.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 22, 2016 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But I trust in thee, O LORD, I say, "Thou art my God." My times are in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors! Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love!

--Psalm 31:15-16

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 22, 2016 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is surprising, then, that the whimper [from the 2016 Primates Gathering] has occasioned such a hue and cry. On Thursday the Labour shadow cabinet minister and former Anglican priest, Chris Bryant, declared he had left the Church of England for good. The Church’s decision will one day ‘seem [as] wrong as supporting slavery’ he tweeted. On Saturday the Times published a full-blown invective. The Church has no right, the editorial claimed, to maintain its traditional doctrine of marriage.

The outcry is indicative of a profound shift. Institutions founded on certain precepts to which its members are expected to subscribe shouldn’t be allowed to act on them if those precepts don’t square with a prevailing agenda. Back in 2013 advocates for same-sex marriage argued that the church’s beliefs about sexuality shouldn’t be imposed on the rest of society. That makes sense. But now the church is being told it shouldn’t hold those beliefs at all.

It is easy to overlook how ominous this shift really is. The conviction that organisations and communities cannot determine their own distinct ethos, their own rules for membership and their own criteria for leadership imperils the very survival of a pluralistic society. What is the point of institutions if they don’t have the freedom to organise themselves in the way they see fit?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 21, 2016 at 3:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord," reads Psalm 37:23. On the margin of his Bible at this verse George Mueller had a notation, "And the stops..."

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 21, 2016 at 4:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.

--Psalm 37:3-5

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 21, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week in Canterbury, though many people were amazed that there were finally some consequences for the Episcopal Church, others were disappointed that the consequences were not more stringent. Certainly, after all the years of flouting Scripture, there is ample reason to be disgusted. Certainly, as more than a dozen Provinces recognized, there was ample reason to eject TEC from the Communion. Unable to win the day on the resolution for ejection, they moved to other expressions of discipline, focusing narrowly on last summer’s TEC General Convention decision to change the marriage canon and prayer book to embrace same-sex marriage. The focus turned to what was essentially described as a failure to consult and a decision to move outside institutional norms. There should not be, however, concern about institutional norms and practice. The greatest offense is that the Episcopal Church is engaging in activities that lead people away from Christ eternally. In other words, the Episcopal Church, rather than being the Ark of Salvation, is the instrument bringing spiritual destruction to people it is literally leading away from Christ and into Hell. Although they are more strident than some other Provinces, there are others doing the same thing. Soon, the focus of discipline needs to be on them as well. Canada is a great place to start the next round!

This Primates’ “Gathering” in Canterbury was the first one to gather a majority of the Primates in years. The reason is that since the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007, a deadline was put to the Episcopal Church to return to Anglican faith and practice or “walk apart.” Sadly, following the meeting, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, unilaterally decided to overturn the hard-fought decision of the meeting and let the Episcopal Church completely off the hook. There is no way to describe gracefully what ABp Williams did. He simply unilaterally decided to declare that the deadline for conforming that had been given to TEC was “not a deadline.” Even worse, he invited errant TEC bishops to the 2008 Lambeth Bishops’ Conference, completely taking the teeth out of what the Primates had decided. From that point, it has not been possible to gather the majority of Primates because the Dar es Salaam decision had not been honored. Many Primates said that they would not attend until the Dar es Salaam decisions were implemented.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was able to get Primates to come by insuring them that they would have control of the agenda. That is an assurance that several of the Primates I spoke with believe was honored at this gathering. The Archbishops wanted to discuss TEC, and they got to. Sadly, the resolution to completely eject TEC from the Anglican Communion failed, but almost half the Provinces were willing to give them the boot. Though the ejection resolution failed to pass, it was obvious though that the vast majority of Provinces wanted to see TEC disciplined. After lively discussions, the sanctions that were put in place were overwhelmingly approved. I understand that the numbers were 27 voting for sanctions, 3 against, and 6 abstaining. ABp Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America refused a ballot on the TEC vote, saying that although he had been completely included in the meeting and all the other votes that took place while he was present, he did not think it was appropriate to vote on TEC, because the ACNA’s status has not yet been formalized.

Now the question is: Were the sanctions enough? The answer is another question: Enough for what? From a spiritual standpoint, both the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church (as well as several others) having pursued unbiblical activity without repentance deserve to be ejected from the Communion—at least until they repent and demonstrate suitable fruits of repentance. Is it enough that they have been denied voice and vote in some areas? I believe that it is extremely significant and sets the stage for more to happen with TEC and other Provinces.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 4:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The pain is palpable at St. Mary's Episcopal Church. The Rev. Ted Berktold doesn't need a tearful 75-year-old woman in his cluttered, book-filled office to tell him that. "This is not personal," she says, "but the Episcopal Church is no longer my church."

"My church is leaving me," another elderly congregant tells someone on the staff....

Other challenges will come first: The Anglican Communion's October 2004 Windsor Report calls on the Episcopal Church USA to halt the blessing of same-sex unions, block the potential consecration of openly gay clergy and express its regret for the pain caused by the Robinson consecration. The report is fueling rumors of an official split between the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church USA.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

--Psalm 38:21-22

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An overwhelming majority of the Primates present voted that TEC should be excluded from all meetings which represent the Anglican Communion and that it should be suspended from internal decision-making bodies, initially for three years.

The GAFCON Primates, of whom I am chairman, worked hard with other orthodox Primates to achieve this result despite predictions by many that the meeting would be carefully managed to prevent any firm conclusions emerging.

TEC is not the only province to reject the bible’s teaching and there is still much work to do to heal the wounds that compromise and false teaching have inflicted upon the Anglican Communion, but a start has been made.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of KenyaGlobal South Churches & Primates* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 19, 2016 at 4:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Bishop Michael Curry]...rebutted charges the Episcopal Church had been captured by secular culture. “Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all.”

Archbishop Beach told CEN the dispute was a salvation issue. “Millions of souls were affected by false teaching.”

Archbishop Welby asked Archbishop Beach what it would take to reconcile the ACNA and the Episcopal Church. Archbishop Beach said the ACNA asked the Episcopal Church to repent of its ungodly innovations, to end all litigation immediately, to give restitution for the millions of dollars in property and assets taken from departing congregations, to “restore to us our pension” and “rescind” the depositions of the over 700 clergy kicked out of the Episcopal Church.

A resolution was brought forward on Wednesday asking the Episcopal Church to voluntarily withdraw from the instruments of communion as it revisits the issue of same-sex marriage — akin to the earlier motion brought by Archbishop Ntagali. Bishop Curry told the meeting the Episcopal Church would not comply with such a request.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 19, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The fraction found in both the Rite I and Rite II services in our 1979 Book of Common Prayer happens immediately following the Lord’s Prayer and before the invitation to and distribution of Communion. The Celebrant breaks the consecrated bread and then says, “[Alleluia.] Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” The congregation then replies, “Therefore let us keep the feast. [Alleluia.]” Now, this statement comes from Scripture, specifically 1 Corinthians 5:7. Well, actually it is a mistranslation of what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:7, which is found only in the King James Version. The specific word that is mistranslated is the Greek word etuthe, which means a sacrifice that was completed in the past. Therefore, in most English translations, 1 Corinthians 5:7 is translated, “Christ, our Passover has been or was sacrificed.”

Now, why would this mistranslation make its way into the 1979 Book of Common Prayer when this form and placement of the fraction was never in any Anglican Prayer Book prior?

Read it all (if you need to know more about Peet Dickson see there).


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* South Carolina* TheologySacramental TheologyEucharistTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 19, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O LORD, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.

--Psalm 26:8

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 19, 2016 at 5:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

To thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in thee I trust,
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Yea, let none that wait for thee be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know thy ways, O Lord;
teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me,
for thou art the God of my salvation;
for thee I wait all the day long.

--Psalm 25:1-4

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 18, 2016 at 4:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.

--Ephesians 4:1-16

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 17, 2016 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The old saw about the Communion used to go something like this: "The Africans pray, the Americans pay, and the British make the rules." It now appears that the British alone no longer make the rules, and that the Americans are already not paying as much as they did before. (The Africans, it may safely be said, have never stopped praying.) The latest statement from the Anglican Communion Office shows (see the last page of the link) that ECUSA has paid through 2014 less than half of what was requested (£204,772 of £538,280). Thus the withdrawal of all funds by ECUSA may turn out not to be the decisive step that many Episcopalians conceive it to be.

What is certain is that in three years, the Anglican Communion will not be what it is now, nor anything like what it was in 2003: the Episcopal Church (USA) has already seen to that. If the recent sanctions provoke ECUSA to amend the Preamble to its Constitution, and to cease proclaiming itself as "a constituent member of the Anglican Communion", both the Communion and ECUSA would be the better for it.

ECUSA as a former Anglican province has long since decided to walk apart from its fellow Anglican provinces, in its single-minded elevation of human justice over God's justice as expressed in unequivocal Holy Scriptures. It is time to stop the pretense that it remains willing to be "in communion" with the See of Canterbury -- at least, so long as Canterbury remains faithful to Lambeth 1.10, and especially if ECUSA withdraws its financial support (as, in all honesty, it should once it withdraws its membership). Let it find its new communion partners among those who likewise think the Holy Spirit is doing a "new thing" among them, and let the test of Gamaliel (Acts 5:34-39) decide who, ultimately, is in the right.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Analysis- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 16, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

So then, there remains a sabbath rest for the people of God; for whoever enters God's rest also ceases from his labors as God did from his.

--Hebrews 4:10-11

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 16, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When you look at the current events in the context of an accurate timeline, it's clear that (a) the Episcopal Church has merely been placed in "time out," (b) that the global primates really do think this dispute is about the Bible and marriage, (c) that the state of sacramental Communion among Anglican leaders remains as broken as ever and (d) that all Canterbury has really achieved, with this meeting, is send the contest into extra innings (or perhaps "stoppage time" is a better term among global Anglicans)....the Church of England plays a crucial role, to say the least, in the affairs of the Anglican Communion and there will be tremendous political pressure brought on English church leaders to modernize their doctrines on marriage. Check out the first wave of incoming fire, in this news report at The Guardian.

So journalists: Eyes left. That is where the action will be in the next three years, while the Episcopal Church is in "time out." The conservatives didn't really win. They won on the marriage statement, but not on the ultimate issue of broken Communion.

Does anyone expect the Episcopal Church to compromise and move back to orthodoxy on marriage, after formally changing marriage rites?

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyEcclesiologySacramental TheologyEucharistTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 10:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 6:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved....Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore

Psalm 16: 7-8;11

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 4:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We are so grateful for the godly leadership and clear vision of the GAFCon and Global South Primates and for their partnership with us in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Together, we are seeking to spread the Light of the Gospel in a dark and dying world.
We particularly thank God for Archbishop Foley Beach and his humble, prayerful and courageous leadership of our Province, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
Our Primate, Archbishop Beach, fully participated in the Primates’ gathering at Canterbury until today, when he, along with several other GAFCon Primates, left. Along with the GAFCon Primates, Archbishop Foley laboured very hard and patiently, refusing to be deflected. Two things came to a head today - the issues of discipline and an opportunity to speak about ACNA.

Archbishop Beach concluded his time at the meeting with a brief testimony to what the Lord has done and is doing in the ACNA and then provided a gift of our ACNA’s Catechism to every Primate.
The witness to the broader Communion was very significant. I believe some Provinces are being drawn into GAFCon as a result of the witness of GAFCon and Global South Primates at this gathering.
A small but significant step was taken toward restoring Biblical and godly order in the Communion. Although, in the end, only the US Episcopal Church (TEC) was named in the very moderate disciplinary action agreed to by the Primates, the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) and its actions were referred to frequently in the course of the Primates’ discussions.
Archbishop Beach told media here, “The sanctions placed on the Episcopal Church are strong, but they are not strong enough, and to my deep disappointment they didn’t include the Anglican Church of Canada as they should. It took many steps for the Anglican Communion to come to this current crisis. This is a good step back in the right direction, but it will take many more if the Communion is to be restored.”
Once Primates had finally addressed the issue of discipline, it was time for Archbishop Beach to quietly step away from the remainder of the meeting as ACNA had committed itself to only continue at the meeting if TEC and the ACoC had stepped away and until repentance and godly order were restored. The ACoC remained and, although mild sanctions were applied to TEC, its Primate also remained in the meeting.
I, and all of us here in Canterbury, are so aware of the incredible blanket of prayer that has enveloped this meeting. I truly believe God has answered, although perhaps not as we anticipated. The GAFCon movement has been strengthened and broadened and its wholesome impact on the Communion increased. Thank you for praying! Please continue.
For ANiC, we will continue to press on in fervent prayer and with intensified focus on building “biblically faithful, gospel sharing, Anglican churches”. To that end, let us pray that the five ministry priorities we are seeking to apply may become a transformational reality in every congregation of ANiC.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 14, 2016 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The debate represents a larger global tension between Christians largely in places like the U.S. and Europe and Christians in places like Africa.

The active membership of the U.S. Canadian and British Anglican churches combined is less than the numbers the Nigerian church has added in the last 15 years, about 20 million members, according to Philip Jenkins, historian at Baylor University.

“Most Christian denominations have the bulk of their members in the Global South, so they will be looking at this very carefully,” Jenkins said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 14, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We unanimously agreed that these changes “represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage,” and we wrestled with what the consequences should be.

The GAFCON and Global South Primates were tremendous in their leadership in the meeting, and made a strong impact in the final decision. I confess that I have mixed feelings about the sanctions.

The sanctions are strong, but they are not strong enough, and to my deep disappointment, they didn’t include the Anglican Church of Canada as they should.

With that said, it took many steps for the Anglican Communion to come to this current crisis. This is a good step back in the right direction, but it will take many more if the Communion is to be restored.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Anglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 14, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“This is not how Anglicans should behave,” said Christina Rees, a member of the General Synod, the governing body of the Church of England. “It’s awful. It’s a terrible outcome to the meeting of the primates in Canterbury. What action will now be taken against all those churches in the Anglican Communion who treat gay men and women as criminals? Will they be suspended for three years, too?”

Jim Naughton, former canon for the Archdiocese of Washington and now a communications consultant specializing in the Episcopal Church, called the sanctions a “weird” attempt by the primates to take power away from elected bodies and claim it for themselves.

But Naughton expects no impact in the life of the Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 14, 2016 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

JUSTIN WELBY: It is a sense of, hang on; you are telling us whom and what we should be. A senior figure in one country said to me a few years ago - he said, I didn't go through the colonial period and get rid of you people in order for you to come back in a different form and do the same to me as you were doing before.

[NPR'S TOM] GJELTEN: One more consideration - Christians in the global South often compete with Muslims. Philip Jenkins, a religion historian at Baylor University, says their resistance to same-sex marriage must be seen in that context.

PHILIP JENKINS: If they were ever to waiver on these gay issues, they think that would just hand a massive propaganda victory to Muslims. Christians in those countries would be seen as just toeing the Western line, giving way to Western immorality.

Read or listen to it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Global South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 14, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I love thee, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me,
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me,
the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire.
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare,
at thy rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

He reached from on high, he took me,
he drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
They came upon me in the day of my calamity;
but the Lord was my stay.
He brought me forth into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.

--Psalm 18:1-20

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 14, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength; you shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me this day away from the ground; and from thy face I shall be hidden; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will slay me.” Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If any one slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who came upon him should kill him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Genesis 4:8-16

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 13, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEpiphanyParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 12, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."

--Genesis 3:6-10

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 12, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The opening business session of the meeting of primates of the Anglican Communion is scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm, local time, sources tell Anglican Ink. Some primates drawn from each of the competing factions attended public worship of Morning Prayer in Canterbury Cathedral on the morning of 11 January 2016, and the day’s events will be concluded with Evening Prayer in the Cathedral. Attendance at these services is a matter of private conscience, AI has learned, and is not part of the meeting's program. A Eucharist service will be offered as well, but it also is not part of the formal agenda as the primates as a corporate body have been unable to celebrate communion together since their 1993 meeting at Lambeth Palace.

The first item on the agenda is the creation of the agenda.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 11, 2016 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A split in the Anglican Church over the issue of homosexuality "would not be a disaster, but it would be a failure", the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.
Speaking ahead of a meeting of Church leaders, Justin Welby said he wanted "reconciliation", but that would mean "finding ways to disagree well".
Views range from liberals in the US - who accept openly gay clergy - to conservatives in Africa, who do not.
There are fears of a permanent schism in the 80m-strong Communion.

Read it all from the BBC.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 11, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The conundrum could be filled out along the following lines:

Failed response: The Communion has not found a way – other than repetition of requests – to implement its response.
Leading to same patterns of behaviour continuing:
Despite finally agreeing a text, the covenant has at best stalled, perhaps sunk.
Although interventions have ceased that is because of the creation of a new province and it is clear that some provinces will again intervene elsewhere if they think necessary.
Rites to bless same-sex unions are authorised and provinces are now taking the much more theologically significant step of canonical and liturgical acceptance of same-sex marriage.
Undermining the goal:
The long-standing declarations of impaired and broken communion between individual provinces remain
This gathering of Primates will be the first since 2009 to convene practically all Primates
It appears this meeting has only happened because of the invitation to ACNA’s Archbishop.
Despite much wonderful work inter-provincially, many provinces are barely remaining together in the Instruments, it looks like some do not wish to remain together, and the Communion as a whole is clearly not living out its commitments as a Communion.
Consequences: Four Options

Faced with this conundrum there is a need to consider its consequences.

Read it all from Fulcrum.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 11, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

--Psalm 1:1-3

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 11, 2016 at 4:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us. For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

--Ephesians 1:3-10

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 10, 2016 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We expressed our deep gratitude to and profound affection for the clergy and laity of La Province de l’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda, and most particularly to the Archbishop and Bishops of the Province, for their trust, generosity, and partnership in commending the bishops, clergy, and congregations of PEARUSA to be fully incorporated in the Anglican Church in North America. They were among our rescuers in an hour of great need. Now, at another critical moment, they bless us toward ecclesial maturity in Christ.

In our times of prayer and intercession, we have been mindful and keenly aware of the upcoming gathering of Primates in Canterbury next week. While we are grateful that our Primate, Archbishop Foley Beach, has been invited to attend, we recognize the magnitude of the challenge to restore Biblical faith and order to the Communion.

In light of the depth of the divisions in the Anglican Communion, we are deeply thankful for the partnership and solidarity we share with both our GAFCON partner Provinces and the Provinces of the Global South. Whatever the results of the meeting in Canterbury, we remain committed to sharing the transforming love of Jesus Christ in North America and beyond. It is our fervent hope that the defiant Provinces of the Communion will return to the historic faith, order, and practice.

We will continue to pray for the upcoming meeting, but, regardless of the outcome, we take joy in the knowledge of the future we share with those who remain committed to historic, Biblical, faith.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury — the figurehead of 85 million-member communion of churches with roots in the Church of England and its blend of Protestant theology and Catholic liturgical traditions — called the meeting and made a major concession to the so-called Global South primates.

Not only did he invite Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, he also invited Archbishop Foley Beach, head of the Anglican Church in North America, whose break with the Episcopal Church was especially significant in the Pittsburgh area. Normally a meeting of primates would only include the top official in each of the communion’s 38 national churches.

In the confusingly overlapping names involved, the Anglican Communion recognizes the Episcopal Church as its U.S. church, rather than the Anglican Church in North America. But the latter has received recognition from Global South Anglicans, made up of primarily non-Western nations.

The primates can’t tell a national church such as the Episcopal Church what to do. But the meeting could see the communion split or redefined as a looser federation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 9, 2016 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved, he who keeps you will not slumber.

--Psalm 121:1-3

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 9, 2016 at 6:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When he was an undergraduate at Cambridge, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was cox of a Trinity College rowing eight. Perhaps coincidentally, rowing metaphors flowed in September when he announced that he had invited all 37 global Anglican primates to Canterbury for a conference starting on January 11th, in what some see as a last-ditch attempt to save the Anglican Communion. One aide suggested that bishops should not spend so much time “trying to placate people and keep them in the boat, without ever getting the oars out and starting to row”. Frustrated that bickering is keeping Anglicans from their primary mission, the archbishop will need all his powers as a cox to head off a collision, or even the sinking of the global Anglican boat.

The problem is a row between liberals, mainly North American, who want the church to allow same-sex marriage, and conservatives, who think it must not. Some leaders from each side are not on speaking terms. Archbishop Welby is said to want a looser affiliation, so that both groups can keep relations with Canterbury and continue to call themselves Anglican but not have to deal with each other. He has no “papal” powers to kick out any provinces; previous attempts to discipline those who defy traditional Anglican teaching have been stopped from below. The archbishop is “not so much trying to get closer unity”, says one informed cleric; “he is trying to prevent greater disunity.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchGlobalization* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 8, 2016 at 6:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

since same-sex ‘marriages’ became legal in Great Britain in 2014 a number of Church of England laity and clergy have entered into them. In addition the majority report of the House of Bishops Working Group on Human Sexuality (the ‘Pilling’ report) recommended in 2013 that priests should ‘be free to mark the formation of a permanent same sex relationship in a public service’ and if this recommendation eventually becomes Church of England policy the pressure to move from this half way house to the solemnization of same-sex ‘marriages’ will become acute.

What all this means is that although the debate about the blessing of same-sex relationships and the ordination and consecration of those in such relationships have not gone away the new storm centre in the Anglican Communion is going to be same-sex ‘marriage.’

In this paper I provide an introduction to this debate by setting out and assessing the arguments for same-sex ‘marriage’ put forward in reports from the Scottish Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. At the end of the paper I will give an overview of what I think we have learned about the key issues in the debate and the challenges facing the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.

Read it all and yes I mean the pdf of the full report.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 8, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Primates Meeting in 2007 in Dar es Salaam laid out a plan to bring discipline and restore order, and was unanimously supported by all 38 Primates of the Anglican Communion. Sadly, the Archbishop of Canterbury later unilaterally overruled it and did not implement it. This further breach of trust deepened the tear in the fabric of the Anglican Communion.

As GAFCON Primates, we have since met with the current Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, and explained our position – we are not in communion with the Episcopal Church USA or the Anglican Church of Canada (for similar reasons). We, therefore, cannot participate in meetings to which they are invited because that would mean there were no problems in the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion has, in fact, experienced a serious rupture and the wound is still deep.

Godly order has not yet been restored in the Anglican Communion and, therefore, as Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, I am constrained by the resolutions of our Provincial Assembly to not participate in a Primates Meeting.

At the same time, the Archbishop of Canterbury contacted me personally, along with every Primate of the Anglican Communion, and invited us to come together for a “gathering” to consider if there was a way forward for the Anglican Communion.

Together with the other GAFCON Primates, we have agreed to be part of a “gathering” of Primates in Canterbury to discuss the future of the Anglican Communion, keeping in mind Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 4:3, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

As GAFCON, we have a clear vision of the future of global Anglicanism and have been moving forward with that vision since Jerusalem in 2008. The Archbishop of Canterbury understands that the first topic of conversation in the “gathering” of Primates is the restoration of godly order in the Anglican Communion. This is the unfinished business from the non-implemented, but unanimously agreed, Communique from the 2007 Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaChurch of UgandaEpiscopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 8, 2016 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Praise the Lord, all you nations;
laud him, all you peoples.

For his loving-kindness toward us is great, *
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever.
Hallelujah!

--Psalm 117

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 8, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colos′sae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love which you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing—so among yourselves, from the day you heard and understood the grace of God in truth, as you learned it from Ep′aphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

--Colossians 1:1-14

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 7, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Let us now return to the exposition of the Gospel, where we previously left it. The astronomers went into the place where the child was staying, and found him with his mother. Then with prostrate bodies they worshipped Christ, and opened their coffers, and offered to him threefold gifts, gold, and incense, and myrrh. Gold is fitting for a king; incense belongs to God's service; with myrrh the bodies of the dead are prepared that they may not soon rot. These three astronomers worshipped Christ, and offered to him symbolic gifts. The gold betokened that he is true King; the incense that he is true God; the myrrh that he was then mortal, though now he continues immortal in eternity...

My brothers, let us offer to our Lord gold, for we confess that he is true King, and rules everywhere. Let us offer to him incense, for we believe that he was always God, who at that time appeared as a man. Let us bring him myrrh, for we believe that he was mortal in our flesh, who is incapable of suffering in his divine nature. He was mortal in human nature before his Passion, but he is henceforth immortal, as we all shall be after the universal resurrection.

We have spoken of these threefold gifts, how they apply to Christ. We also wish to say how they apply to us in a figurative sense. Truly gold betokens wisdom; as Solomon said, "A goldhoard much to be desired lies in the mouth of a wise man." Incense represents holy prayer, of which the psalmist sang, "Lord, let my prayer be sent forth like burning incense in thy sight." By myrrh is shown the mortality of our flesh, of which Holy Church says, "My hands dropped myrrh." To the born King we bring gold, if we are shining in his sight with the brightness of heavenly wisdom. Incense we bring him, if we set fire to our thoughts on the altar of our heart with the eagerness of holy prayers, so that through heavenly desire we may give forth something of a sweet smell. Myrrh we offer him if we quell the lusts of the flesh by self-restraint.

Read it all (and note the link to the full sermon text).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEpiphanyParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 6, 2016 at 7:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...that this star was not of the common sort, or rather not a star at all, as it seems at least to me, but some invisible power transformed into this appearance, is in the first place evident from its very course. For there is not, there is not any star that moves by this way, but whether it be the sun you mention, or the moon, or all the other stars, we see them going from east to west; but this was wafted from north to south; for so is Palestine situated with respect to Persia.

In the second place, one may see this from the time also. For it appears not in the night, but in mid-day, while the sun is shining; and this is not within the power of a star, nay not of the moon; for the moon that so much surpasses all, when the beams of the sun appear, straightway hides herself, and vanishes away. But this by the excess of its own splendor overcame even the beams of the sun, appearing brighter than they, and in so much light shining out more illustriously.

...[Later in the narrative] it did not, remaining on high, point out the place; it not being possible for them so to ascertain it, but it came down and performed this office. For ye know that a spot of so small dimensions, being only as much as a shed would occupy, or rather as much as the body of a little infant would take up, could not possibly be marked out by a star. For by reason of its immense height, it could not sufficiently distinguish so confined a spot, and discover it to them that were desiring to see it. And this any one may see by the moon, which being so far superior to the stars, seems to all that dwell in the world, and are scattered over so great an extent of earth,—seems, I say, near to them every one. How then, tell me, did the star point out a spot so confined, just the space of a manger and shed, unless it left that height and came down, and stood over the very head of the young child? And at this the evangelist was hinting when he said, “Lo, the star went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.”

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEpiphany* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 6, 2016 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Listen to and ponder it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEpiphany* Culture-WatchHistoryPoetry & Literature* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 6, 2016 at 5:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

--Psalm 46:1-3

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 6, 2016 at 4:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Since God was in the business of re-starting creation in the sending of his Son, might we not expect him to create “out of nothing” the second time, just as he did the first? Karl Barth, the greatest theologian of the 20th Century, thought so. Just as the Spirit brooded over creation the first time, so again in the birth of Jesus the Spirit “brooded” over the virgin Mary. Also, just as creation was totally initiated by God the first time, so creation (the second time, in Jesus) gets to be totally initiated by God. The Virgin Birth tells us that Jesus was not born “of the will of man”, but wholly of the Father’s initiative. God chose to by-pass the normal male role in the work of redemption, in part, so the logic goes, to signal his own headship. “Man as a creating, controlling, self-assertive, self-glorifying being was set aside in favor of a woman who listened, received, and served.” (From, A Step Further, by the author)

We honor the Virgin Birth, of course, because Scripture teaches it. But we can also see the logic behind it. God’s sovereign action is a challenge to the human psychological need to contribute to our own salvation, to be co-creators with God. Mary is a witness against the drive, push, and self-assertion that men especially (though not exclusively) associate with a healthy self-image and by which men often mask their own impotence.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 5, 2016 at 2:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Carl F. H. Henry, the dean of evangelical theologians, argues that the Virgin Birth is the “essential, historical indication of the Incarnation, bearing not only an analogy to the divine and human natures of the Incarnate, but also bringing out the nature, purpose, and bearing of this work of God to salvation.” Well said, and well believed.

Nicholas Kristof and his secularist friends may find belief in the Virgin Birth to be evidence of intellectual backwardness among American Christians. But this is the faith of the Church, established in God’s perfect Word, and cherished by the true Church throughout the ages. Kristof’s grandfather, we are told, believed that the Virgin Birth is a “pious legend.” The fact that he could hold such beliefs and serve as an elder in his church is evidence of that church’s doctrinal and spiritual laxity — or worse. Those who deny the Virgin Birth affirm other doctrines only by force of whim, for they have already surrendered the authority of Scripture. They have undermined Christ’s nature and nullified the incarnation.

This much we know: All those who find salvation will be saved by the atoning work of Jesus the Christ — the virgin-born Savior. Anything less than this is just not Christianity, whatever it may call itself. A true Christian will not deny the Virgin Birth.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 5, 2016 at 1:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A recently retired theologian in Van­couver, British Columbia, tells a story about a conversation he once had while getting his hair cut. The stylist asked what he did, and he replied, “I teach theology.”

“Really? You believe in God?”

“I do. And the strangest thing I believe about God is that he became flesh in Jesus of Nazareth.”

“Who’s that?”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryCanada* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsSecularism* TheologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 5, 2016 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

--Ephesians 6:10-12

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 5, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
Whatever the coming of the kingdom means, it cannot mean that the healing, reconciling, non-combative Christ we know was an imposter, just biding his time until he could beat down his enemies under his feet. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence. If we seek the kingdom by violence, then the violent will bear it away.

I don’t know why we would be disappointed to discover that Christ comes again as he came the first time—working through small things, not big things, among little people, not powerful people, with local effect, not cosmic effect—except that we find great armies on thundering horses a more adequate display of power. I don’t know why we would be disappointed to discover that the kingdom of heaven operates under the sign of the cross just as the Coming One did, except that we have always been disappointed by God’s reluctance to give us the kind of world, the kind of life, the kind of savior we want.

“And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me,” he said, knowing better than anyone the disappointing, redemptive ways in which God works--sending a human child into the world instead of a mighty king, sending servants instead of troops--sending people like you and me instead of real disciples to do the work of the Coming One until he comes, for in just this way the kingdom of heaven draws very, very near.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 4, 2016 at 4:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Large claims have been made for a small baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger: according to Saint John he is the “Word of God made flesh”, who “dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten [Son] of the Father, full of grace and truth”. The Jews were familiar with ‘the Word of God’ - the Word that was spoken in the beginning, by which the world was made; the Word spoken to the fathers by the prophets, and the Word that was written in the Scriptures. But when John says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”, he is not only saying that Jesus spoke the Word of God, like any prophet, but that he himself was the Word of God. Anyone can bring a message: but to be the message? That’s harder!

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 4, 2016 at 12:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Will you not give us life again, that your people may rejoice in you?

--Psalm 85:6

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 4, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.

--Psalm 66: 8-9

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 3, 2016 at 5:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

--Psalm 34:1

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 2, 2016 at 6:49 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Go through, go through the gates,
prepare the way for the people;
build up, build up the highway,
clear it of stones,
lift up an ensign over the peoples.
Behold, the LORD has proclaimed
to the end of the earth:
Say to the daughter of Zion,
"Behold, your salvation comes;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him."
And they shall be called The holy people,
The redeemed of the LORD;
and you shall be called Sought out,
a city not forsaken.

--Isaiah 62:10-12

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 1, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

--Psalm 103:1-5

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 1, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

And even because this day He took not the angels' nature upon Him, but took our nature in "the seed of Abraham," therefore hold we this day as a high feast; therefore meet we thus every year in a holy assembly, upon us a dignity which upon the angels He bestowed not. That He, as in the chapter before the Apostle setteth Him forth, That is, "the brightness of His Father's glory, the very character of His substance, the Heir of all things, by Whom He made the world;" He, when both needed it His taking upon Him their nature and both stood before Him, men and Angels, "the Angels He took not," but men "He took;" was made Man, was not made an Angel; that is, did more for them than He did for the Angels of Heaven.

Elsewhere the Apostle doth deliver this very point positively, and that, not without some vehemency; "Without all question great is the mystery of godliness: God is manifested in the flesh." Which is in effect the same that is here said, but that here it is delivered by way of comparison; for this speech is evidently a comparison. If he had thus set it down, "Our nature He took," that had been positive; but setting it down thus, "Ours He took, the Angels He took not," it is certainly comparative.

...Now the masters of speech tell us that there is power in the positive if it be given forth with an earnest asseveration, but nothing to that that is in the comparative. It is nothing so full to say, "I will never forget you," as thus to say it; "Can a mother forget the child of her own womb? Well, if she can, yet will not I forget you." Nothing so forcible to say thus, "I will hold my word with you," as thus, "Heaven and earth shall pass, but My word shall not pass." The comparative expressing is without all question more significant; and this here is such. Theirs, the Angels, nusquam, "at no hand He took, but ours He did.

--From a Christmas sermon in 1605.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted December 31, 2015 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Those do not commonly know themselves best who think best of themselves, who have the highest opinion of themselves”
--Matthew Henry (from his Bible commentary on 1 Cor. 4:8)

Filed under: * TheologyAnthropologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted December 31, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

--Psalm 46:1-3; somehow oh-so-appropriate as the year draws to a close--KSH

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted December 31, 2015 at 4:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I vividly recall two conversations with pastors shortly after I surrendered to pastoral ministry in the late-1990s. The conversations were pivotal because in them I was exposed to two divergent approaches to ministry, and the Lord used them to convince me that I must saturate my mind with Scripture.

In one conversation I asked a longtime pastor how many times he’d read the Bible in its entirety from Genesis to Revelation. “Never, but I hope to someday,” he replied. I was stunned. I thought, “Then how do you know what you believe?”

Soon after I encountered another longtime shepherd of God’s sheep, a man who retired a few years ago as pastor of my home church in Georgia. I posed the same question, but got a very different answer: “I try to read through the Bible every year. After all, I’ve given my life to teaching and preaching God’s Word, so I had better know it to the highest degree a man can know it.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life* Culture-WatchBooks* TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted December 30, 2015 at 6:27 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I John, your brother, who share with you in Jesus the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Per′gamum and to Thyati′ra and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to La-odice′a.”

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast; his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters; in his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth issued a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Now write what you see, what is and what is to take place hereafter. As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

--Revelation 1:9-20

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted December 30, 2015 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Too often we read Scripture expecting nice, neat packages. I suspect this is why some Christians struggle with the Old Testament, where it’s harder to grasp the “whys” behind the tough stories. But Scripture mirrors the complexity of the human situation it is meant to address. And Scripture often whispers, even when we would prefer that it shout.

This Advent and Christmas, I am challenging myself to pay attention to the silences of Scripture—the places where Scripture invites us to ask questions, to wrestle with the text, to wrestle with God, as Jacob did. In the shades of gray, I can listen for the Spirit to whisper in the details I might otherwise overlook.

John Calvin spoke of Scripture as “spectacles” that teach us to see God and the world rightly. As we allow Scripture to shape our vision, we may find that we no longer need the easy answers, the clichéd responses, the knee-jerk reactions. We may find ourselves able to sit and be silent.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted December 29, 2015 at 6:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of old.
Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.

Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth;
before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside him, like a master workman;
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always....

--Proverbs 8:22-30

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted December 29, 2015 at 4:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. "Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

--Matthew 18:1-9

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted December 28, 2015 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Preachers at Christmas often, and rightly, emphasize the lowliness of the Christ Child’s birth and its first annunciation to a gaggle of herders not highly esteemed by their countrymen. What St. Paul reminds us, in First Corinthians, is that this pattern of inversion – turning everything upside-down – continues throughout the public ministry of the Lord Jesus and reaches its dramatic climax in his death and resurrection.

Jesus doesn’t evangelize the principalities and powers (although they, too, are welcome to listen and learn): he goes to the outcasts, including lepers and prostitutes, to announce and embody a Kingdom in which Israel’s God is king, not just of the people of Israel, but of the whole world. The child “wrapped…in swaddling clothes and laid….in a manger” (Luke 2.7) will not establish God’s rule and kingdom by political cunning, or by a display of worldly wisdom, or by knocking emperors and procurators off their thrones or judgment-seats: he will reign from a different throne, an instrument of torture – the Cross. He will not be celebrated, like victorious Roman generals, with a “triumph,” a vast spectacle conducted in the capital of world empire: the signs of his “triumph” will be an empty tomb; the pierced hands and feet of a transfigured, glorified body that defies time and space; burning memories of a walk to Emmaus; a breakfast of grilled fish on the lakeshore; a commission to go and convert the world, issued to a group of nobodies.

It’s all inversion – all upside-down – all the way.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted December 27, 2015 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying,
“I will proclaim thy name to my brethren,
in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee.”

And again,

“I will put my trust in him.”

And again,

“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.

--Hebrews 2:10-18

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted December 27, 2015 at 4:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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