Posted by Kendall Harmon

RNS: Fair enough. Then how does your view of scripture inform the sexuality debates today? Would your approach to the Bible allow, for example, the blessing of monogamous, lifelong same-sex relationships?

NTW: Monogamous, lifelong same-sex relationships were known in the ancient world as well as in the modern—there is plenty of evidence, despite what people sometimes say. When Jesus reaffirms the traditional Jewish standards of sexual behavior (he was talking in a Jews-only context where people would know what his shorthand sayings meant), and when Paul, speaking in a largely Gentile context, spells out a bit more clearly what is and what isn’t part of the new-creation lifestyle for those “in Christ,” this way of life was always counter-intuitive in that world, as it is again today.

But it’s important that we do not reduce the Bible to a collection of true doctrines and right ethics. There are plenty of true doctrines and right ethics there, of course, but they come within the larger thing, which is the story of how the Creator is rescuing and restoring the whole creation, with his rescue and restoration of humans at the heart of it. In other words, it isn’t about “do we allow this or that?” To ask the question that way is already to admit defeat, to think in terms of behavior as a set of quasi-arbitrary, and hence negotiable, rules.

We must ask, with Paul, “This new creation God has launched in Jesus—what does it look like, and how can we live well as genuine humans, as both a sign and a means of that renewal?” We need to remind ourselves that the entire biblical sexual ethic is deeply counter-intuitive. All human beings some of the time, and some human beings most of the time, have deep heartfelt longings for kinds of sexual intimacy or gratification (multiple partners, pornography, whatever) which do not reflect the creator’s best intentions for his human creatures, intentions through which new wisdom and flourishing will come to birth. Sexual restraint is mandatory for all, difficult for most, extremely challenging for some. God is gracious and merciful but this never means “so his creational standards don’t really matter after all.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchBooksReligion & CultureScience & TechnologySexuality* TheologyAnthropologyApologeticsChristologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted June 4, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As I recall—my memory is anything but faultless, but I'm relatively confident about this—the primary conclusion that I drew from this statement was that, as a member of the Church of England, Lewis was neither Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, nor Anglican. Which even now seems to me a reasonable conclusion, given the information I had and did not have at the time. How was I to know that "Anglican" was somehow related to "Church of England"? And if you had told me that Episcopalians—of whose existence I believe I had some nebulous awareness—were also Anglicans, I would have had no idea what that could possibly mean.

In any case, as a new inquirer into Christianity, I thought that the book seemed worth reading, and bought it, along with another one chosen with even less knowledge: a paperback commentary on Paul's letter to the Romans by one F. F. Bruce. And on the choice of those two books hangs quite a tale, as far as the course of my own life is concerned.

I do not want to be careless in generalizing from my own experience in gauging Lewis's religious position, but if, as I suspect, it is indeed relatively common, I want to suggest that one significant reason for Lewis's widespread positive reception in the U.S. involves simple ignorance on the part of American audiences of what it means to be a layman of the Church of England. That is, Lewis did not fit into the known landscape of American religious life: the ordinary American Christian had to evaluate his work on the basis of what information was available—primarily that he was a scholar at a prestigious university and a bestselling author—and on the ideas themselves. And it may be that such readers were better positioned to hear what Lewis had to say than people, like Hugh Trevor-Roper and the readers of Sheed & Ward advertising and J. R. R. Tolkien, who for very different reasons believed that they had knowledge external to the writings that helped them to place and fix Lewis in a field of possibilities already known to them. This is what I mean by my title: "the uses of ignorance."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicalsRoman Catholic* TheologyApologetics

5 Comments
Posted May 21, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A certain group of Catholic readers—let’s call them “Chesterton’s warrior children”—cannot imagine someone like Lewis writing the things he did and not converting to Catholicism at some point. And since they cannot grant the possibility that one can write like Lewis and be Protestant, they are forced to conjure up fanciful theories to explain Lewis’s Protestantism. The best example of this is the “Ulsterior motive” theory, which claims that Lewis never got over the deep-seated anti-Catholic sentiments of his youth. (These critics conveniently fail to note that his family never seemed to possess any strong anti-Catholic sentiments to begin with, given that their servants were Catholic and Lewis’s parents were not terribly committed to the more radical brands of Irish protestantism.) The warrior children manage to say this with a straight face, which is somewhat remarkable given that many of Lewis’s closest friends were, of course, Catholic.

Meanwhile, American evangelical readers tend to see Lewis as a proto-evangelical, a man utterly committed to classic creedal orthodoxy and utterly uninterested in delving any deeper than that. He is the mere Christian par excellance in their minds and represents a tacit endorsement of the evangelical tendency to avoid the thornier theological questions that usually prompt one to seek out a confessional identity of some sort.

Both readings, of course, miss the most basic fact of all about Lewis the Christian: CS Lewis was a conservative Anglican churchman. It’s perhaps fitting that amongst all the tributes, it the was the Anglican Alan Jacobs who made this point about Lewis’s identity while also drawing attention to its neglect amongst many of his readers.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBooks* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyApologetics

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Posted May 21, 2014 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

To sum up: There is more to religion than accepting as literally true doctrines that are literally false. Humanists think the important achievements of religions at their best — fostering community, articulating and supporting values — should be preserved in fashioning a fully secular world. That secular world ought to emerge from a dialogue between humanism and refined religion, one in which religion isn’t thrown on the rubbish heap but quietly metamorphoses into something else.

I’m a humanist first and an atheist second. Because I’m more sympathetic to religion than the prominent new atheists, I label my position “soft atheism.” But perhaps I’m a more insidious foe than Dennett and Dawkins. For instead of ignoring important species of religion, I want to prepare the way for their gradual disappearance.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPhilosophyReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheismSecularism* TheologyApologetics

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Posted May 20, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Work is a good in itself – and not simply (though importantly) a means of making money to support a family. St. John Paul II wrote in 1981: “Man was called to work even before original sin. Man is the image of God partly through the mandate received by the Creator to subdue. To dominate the earth. . .in other words man’s work is in some way a part in God’s creative power!”

We then are co-creators. This is both a privilege and a serious duty. The pope also discusses human work as a way of growing in holiness that prepares us for eternal happiness. After all, Our Lord constantly refers to workers in his preaching, and his greatest apostle was Paul, a tentmaker. You can be sure that St. Paul united his work with prayer so that it would not only contribute to earthly progress, but also extend the Kingdom of God.

This brings us to the second part of God’s plan for work that was highlighted by St. John Paul II in his encyclical on work, Laborem Exercens: that work becomes a place and means of sharing one’s faith not only by example, but also by words based on developing friendship in the context of the workplace.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyApologeticsSoteriology

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Posted May 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

so the big-bang theory is verified not only by the Bicep evidence, but also from decades of data on the microwave background radiation in space ("embers of the big bang") as well as high-energy particle collisions from the Large Hadron Collider (a tiny-scale simulation of the big bang). It also fundamentally does not conflict with scripture. So why do so many deny it?

The culprits might be "scientific atheists," a small but vocal group of thinkers who employ science to claim that there is no God. Some argue that the universe came into existence all on its own. In particular, physicist Lawrence M. Krauss's 2012 book "A Universe from Nothing" insists that the big bang occurred within a complete emptiness, and thus there is no need for a "God." But the key assumption of Mr. Krauss's conjecture is flawed and at odds with modern cosmology. The big bang did not occur in "nothing." It had to be spawned in some kind of pre-existent medium, known by physicists as "quantum foam," though we don't know exactly what it is.

Despite the damage scientific atheists are doing to public opinion, the truth is that—at least with respect to big-bang cosmology—science and faith are not at odds. For it was the story in Genesis that inspired the big bang's founder to discover how the universe came to be. And it was Genesis that provided the stimulus for the first mathematical calculations that led to the "primeval atom." The 51% of Americans who deny the big bang—if they do so because they think the theory conflicts with faith—should come to trust our science.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths* TheologyApologetics

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Posted May 9, 2014 at 11:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week I sat down with Alister McGrath in Oxford to discuss his new book, If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis.

Listen to it all (about 38 minutes, an MP3).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBooks* TheologyApologetics

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Posted May 8, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After traveling 250,000 miles through Dar al-Islam ("House of Islam") as Muslims call their world, career missiologist David Garrison came to a startling conclusion:

Muslim background believers are leading Muslims to Christ in staggering numbers, but not in the West. They are doing this primarily in Muslim-majority nations almost completely under the radar—of everyone. In the new book, A Wind in the House of Islam: How God is Drawing Muslims Around the World to Faith in Jesus Christ, Garrison takes the reader on his journey through what he describes as the nine rooms in the Muslim-majority world: Indo-Malaysia, East Africa, North Africa, Eastern South Asia, Western South Asia, Persia, Turkestan, West Africa, and the Arab world. Muslims in each of those regions have created indigenous, voluntary movements to Christ.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyApologetics

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Posted April 27, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



The text for the sermon is "He has risen! He is not here" (Mark 16:6). The sermon begins with an introduction of Rico Tice by Richard Meryon at about 50:50 of the video, after which Rico Tice prays and the sermon proper begins at about 53:00--KSH.

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

1 Comments
Posted April 24, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...particularly when we look at the disciples, the watered-down resurrection doesn’t seem credible at all. Remember that the Gospel of John (whose author had little to gain by making the disciples, future leaders of the early church, look bad) notes that the disciples were so frightened that they barricaded themselves behind locked doors after Jesus’s death. They had good reason to be. “If the authorities dealt that way with Jesus, who had so many people supporting him,” they must have thought, “what will they do to us?” Even before the crucifixion Peter shrank in fear from being identified as a follower of Jesus. Imagine how their fear would have intensified after witnessing the Romans’ brutal execution of their master.

With one exception, all of Jesus’s male followers were so terrified that they shrank from standing at the foot of the cross, unable to accompany Jesus during his final hours. Their reluctance may have stemmed from an inability to watch the agonizing death of their friend, but much was out of fear of being identified as a follower of an enemy of Rome. (The women, showed no such fear, though the situation may have posed less danger for them.)

The disciples were terrified. So does it seem credible that something as simple as sitting around and remembering Jesus would snap them out of their abject fear? Not to me. Something incontrovertible, something undeniable, something visible, something tangible, was necessary to transform them from fearful to fearless.

This is one of the most compelling “proofs” of the Resurrection.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* TheologyApologeticsChristologyEschatology

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Posted April 21, 2014 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As Easter approaches, many Christians struggle with how to understand the Resurrection. How literally must one take the Gospel story of Jesus’ triumph to be called a Christian? Can one understand the Resurrection as a metaphor — perhaps not even believe it happened at all — and still claim to be a follower of Christ?

The struggle keeps some Christians from fully embracing the holiday. A 2010 Barna poll showed that only 42 percent of Americans said the meaning of Easter was Jesus’ resurrection; just 2 percent identified it as the most important holiday of their faith.

“More people have problems with Easter because it requires believing that Jesus rose from the dead,” said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of the new book, “Jesus: A Pilgrimage.”

“But believing in the Resurrection is essential. It shows that nothing is impossible with God. In fact, Easter without the Resurrection is utterly meaningless. And the Christian faith without Easter is no faith at all.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* TheologyApologeticsChristologyEschatology

5 Comments
Posted April 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all (page 8).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMovies & TelevisionReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyApologeticsChristology

1 Comments
Posted April 21, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Atheists should drop their easily dismissed scientific, philosophical or historical arguments against Christianity, and instead quiz believers about Old Testament violence and hell, writes John Dickson.

As an intellectual movement, Christianity has a head start on atheism. So it's only natural that believers would find some of the current arguments against God less than satisfying.

In the interests of a more robust debate this Easter, I want to offer my tips for atheists wanting to make a dent in the Faith. I've got some advice on arguments that should be dropped and some admissions about where Christians are vulnerable.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted April 20, 2014 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“The compelling evidence for me is the unanimous testimony of all the apostles and even a former persecutor like St. Paul,” said Brant Pitre, assistant professor of theology at Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans. “There was no debate in the first century over whether Jesus was resurrected or not.”

Scholars say that the witnesses to Christ’s resurrection are compelling for a variety of reasons.

“People will seldom die even for what they know to be true. Twelve men don’t give up their lives for a lie,” said Ray, who recently returned from France, where he was filming his “Footprints of God” series at the amphitheater in Lyon, the site of a persecution in A.D. 177. “The martyrs of Lyon underwent two days of torture and all they would say is, ‘I am a Christian.’ They knew the resurrection was true and didn’t question it.”

Barber also highlighted the diversity of sources and how they include different details as well as passages that do not paint the disciples in the best light.

“In the Road to Emmaus story, they write that they didn’t recognize him,” said Barber. “Our Biblical accounts are our best evidence.”

Several of the scholars pointed to 1 Corinthians, where Paul states that Christ appeared to 500 people.

“Some want to shy away from the Gospels because they say they were written later,” explained Barber. “If you want to believe that they were written later, then why wouldn’t the Gospels have made use of this piece of evidence from 1 Corinthians?” asked Barber.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* TheologyApologeticsTheology: Scripture

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Posted April 20, 2014 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The resurrection was as inconceivable for the first disciples, as impossible for them to believe, as it is for many of us today. Granted, their reasons would have been different from ours. The Greeks did not believe in resurrection; in the Greek worldview, the afterlife was liberation of the soul from the body. For them, resurrection would never be part of life after death. As for the Jews, some of them believed in a future general resurrection when the entire world would be renewed, but they had no concept of an individual rising from the dead. The people of Jesus’ day were not predisposed to believe in resurrection any more than we are.

Celsus, a Greek philosopher who lived in the second century A.D., was highly antagonistic to Christianity and wrote a number of works listing arguments against it. One of the arguments he believed most telling went like this: Christianity can’t be true, because the written accounts of the resurrection are based on the testimony of women—and we all know women are hysterical. And many of Celsus’ readers agreed: For them, that was a major problem. In ancient societies, as you know, women were marginalized, and the testimony of women was never given much credence.

Do you see what that means? If Mark and the Christians were making up these stories to get their movement off the ground, they would never have written women into the story as the first eyewitnesses to Jesus’ empty tomb. The only possible reason for the presence of women in these accounts is that they really were present and reported what they saw. The stone has been rolled away, the tomb is empty and an angel declares that Jesus is risen.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyApologeticsChristologyEschatology

0 Comments
Posted April 20, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mahatma Gandhi was once asked what was the greatest obstacle to the extension of Christianity. He answered: "Christianity."

Christianity faces the prospect of its own death through the death of its inadequately conceived Easter God. Christianity, as practised in New Zealand, is not credible and is dying.

If Christianity faces up to this full reality, it will survive to be a useful religious community. If it fails to shoulder the full weight of its own cross, it will not discover whether its Christian faith is really true.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* TheologyApologeticsEschatology

2 Comments
Posted April 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This coming Aug. 3 will mark the golden anniversary of Flannery O’Connor’s “Passover,” to adopt the biblical image John Paul II used to describe the Christian journey through death to eternal life. In the 50 years since lupus erythematosus claimed her at age 39, O’Connor’s literary genius has been widely celebrated. Then, with the 1979 publication of The Habit of Being, her collected letters, another facet of Miss O’Connor’s genius came into focus: Mary Flannery O’Connor was an exceptionally gifted apologist, an explicator of Catholic faith who combined remarkable insight into the mysteries of the Creed with deep and unsentimental piety, unblinking realism about the Church in its human aspect, puckish humor—and a mordant appreciation of the soul-withering acids of modern secularism.

Miss O’Connor’s sense that ours is an age of nihilism—an age suffering from by a crabbed sourness about the mystery of being itself—makes her an especially apt apologist for today...

[She believed the world's]...darkness is rendered darker still by late modernity’s refusal to recognize its own deepest need. For as Miss O’Connor put it in a 1957 lecture, “Redemption is meaningless unless there is cause for it in the actual life we live, and for the last few centuries there has been operating in our culture the secular belief that there is no such cause.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly Week* Culture-WatchPoetry & LiteratureReligion & CultureWomen* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsSecularism* TheologyApologetics

1 Comments
Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Understanding the Christian faith in the light of current scientific theories is a vital topic for anyone seeking to commend Christ today. The highly-publicized recent debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye “the Science Guy” is a case in point, as is the choice to focus on this topic for the recent Mere Anglicanism conference.

With my background in physics, it is a subject that has long interested me. In engaging these conversations, it is important to remember that scientists study a disordered world. It has fallen into sin, death, and destruction, which we know from Scripture are not part of God’s long-term plans for His creation. But this fall is something that probably cannot be detected scientifically. Scientists can only study what they “see” and then draw inferences from that. They observe, for instance, that entropy (disorder) always increases in natural events, but cannot know scientifically that this must be a temporary crisis that will be resolved in the new heavens and new earth that will last forever.

Read it all (page 3).

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyApologeticsEthics / Moral TheologySeminary / Theological Education

1 Comments
Posted April 15, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[My friend] Joseph also pushed me on the origins of the universe. I had always believed in the Big Bang. But I was blissfully unaware that the man who first proposed it, Georges Lemaître, was a Catholic priest. And I'd happily ignored the rabbit trail of a problem of what caused the Big Bang, and what caused that cause, and so on.

By Valentine's Day, I began to believe in God. There was no intellectual shame in being a deist, after all, as I joined the respectable ranks of Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers.

I wouldn't stay a deist for long. A Catholic friend gave me J. Budziszewski's book Ask Me Anything, which included the Christian teaching that "love is a commitment of the will to the true good of the other person." This theme—of love as sacrifice for true good—struck me. The Cross no longer seemed a grotesque symbol of divine sadism, but a remarkable act of love. And Christianity began to look less strangely mythical and more cosmically beautiful.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism* TheologyApologetics

1 Comments
Posted March 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Is God dead? Not in academia. As someone who teaches philosophy at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, Vince Vitale is well placed to know what the top scholarship says about God. Vince shows how in the fields of philosophy and sociology, God is very much alive. If you think intellectual objections undermine belief in God, Vince suggests that you may be unaware of the arguments at the highest level.



Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationPhilosophy* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted March 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On St Valentine's Day last Friday, the Revd Andrew Cain got engaged to his partner, Stephen Foreshew.

The following day, he saw the House of Bishops statement (reproduced in full below), which repeated the ban on blessings in church for same-sex unions, and ruled out same-sex marriage for clergy or for anyone seeking to be ordained.

Mr Cain's marriage plans remain unchanged, he said on Tuesday. "I have always believed in equal marriage; so it would seem very odd, as someone who supports it, not to take advantage of it.

"I am aware of clergy wanting to get married who now feel unable to do so, and have been very upset about that. They are saying 'Why should I now stay in the Church?" And I am saying 'You have to stay, and you have to get married, because it is our equal right to do so; and if we believe in it, then we should do it.'"

Read it all.

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

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Posted February 21, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"There's hardly a more pressing issue at the dawn of the 21st century than science and faith," the Rev. Jeff Miller, chairman of Mere Anglicanism, said in a statement.

About 650 people attended the three-day event that this year explored "the evidences of God's handiwork in the cosmos," said the Rev. Dr. Peter Moore, associate rector at St. Michael's in Charleston.

Oxford University mathematician John Lennox, who has debated prominent atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, opened the conference tackling naturalism and "scientific fundamentalism."

Science, he argued, needs God to account for the origins of things.

"Science may explain the how, but it cannot explain the why," Lennox said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchScience & Technology* South Carolina* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted February 2, 2014 at 6:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Conference reached “sold out” capacity weeks before it began — even though it had moved to a larger venue this year in order to accommodate a crowd of up to 650 in the two-story high Charleston Music Hall. The organizers attribute the dramatic increase to the timeliness and topicality of this year’s theme: “Science, Faith and Apologetics: an Answer for the Hope That Is Within Us.” In my humble opinion, however, the draw of the event was equally due to the stellar lineup of speakers.

Oxford University Professor of Mathematics John Lennox both led off and summed up the Conference. He began Thursday evening’s session with a bravura survey of all that is faulty with the arguments and logic of the so-called “New Atheists”, that is to say, Steven Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens (now deceased), Sam Harris and the like. Essentially they want to exclude religion from the public and academic sphere, and replace it with methodological naturalism — which they call “science”, but which as they spell it out is really just a religion in its own right: it excludes all discussion or concepts of the supernatural on grounds which are just as dogmatic and doctrinal as is their straw-man chimera of religion based on faith. Quoting passages from his recent book, Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists Are Missing the Target, Dr. Lennox had the audience laughing over the self-induced isolationism of the intellectual atheists.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology* South Carolina* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted February 1, 2014 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), who lectured in English literature at Oxford for most of his life, was a prolific writer in many areas and a man who powerfully and eloquently defended Christianity. Half a century after his death many of his books remain bestsellers: one, Mere Christianity, sells a quarter of a million copies a year.

Why have Lewis's books endured? There are several reasons. For a start, he was a brilliant writer who used English to maximum effect. He was also an enormously intelligent and creative man capable of analysing problems from different angles, courageous enough to tackle difficult topics (for example, two of his books are called Miracles and The Problem of Pain) and creative enough to branch out into children's fantasy (the Narnia Chronicles). Yet although these are all important in explaining the lasting popularity of C. S. Lewis, I think there are other factors and they are all to do with how he saw the world.

First, Lewis was always intensely aware of the past. There is a tendency in our culture to dismiss dead authors as 'irrelevant'. Such views were alien to Lewis, a remarkably well-read man, even by the standards of his contemporaries at Oxford and Cambridge.

Read it all (I see it is also in this week's Church of England Newspaper on page 7).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Laity* Culture-WatchBooksChildren* TheologyApologetics

1 Comments
Posted January 30, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can find the link to listen to it all here; note you can listen by clicking the link or download by clicking the blue "download" word underneath the black line. Our thanks to Saint Helena's, Beaufort, S.C., for making this available.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryAdult Education* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureScience & Technology* South Carolina* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted January 29, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all should you wish to and also note that there is an option to download it there.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureScience & Technology* South Carolina* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted January 27, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchPhilosophyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* South Carolina* TheologyApologeticsSeminary / Theological Education

0 Comments
Posted January 26, 2014 at 5:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check them out there. Note also that a slideshow option is available by clicking there.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureScience & Technology* General InterestPhotos/Photography* South Carolina* TheologyApologetics

1 Comments
Posted January 26, 2014 at 5:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check them out.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureScience & Technology* General InterestPhotos/Photography* South Carolina* TheologyApologetics

2 Comments
Posted January 25, 2014 at 11:51 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

These Mere Anglicanism 2014 speakers have agreed to speak or preach at the following churches on Sunday:

Dr. Denis Alexander
Christ St. Paul’s/Yonges Island

Professor Peter John Kreeft
St. John’s Parish/Johns Island

Professor John C. Lennox
Parish Church of St. Helena/Beaufort

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali
St. Michael’s Church/Charleston

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchScience & Technology* TheologyApologeticsSeminary / Theological Education

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Posted January 25, 2014 at 9:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

@KendallHarmon6 is tweeting
@drewcollins is also doing so
@GoebelGreg is present as well
#MereAnglicanism is the hashtag

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingScience & Technology* TheologyApologeticsTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2014 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the not-so distant past, institutions were trusted and valued as important parts of a functioning society—from government, corporations and schools to marriage and even organized religion. Yet trust in institutions is quickly giving way to a nation of cynics. New Barna research reports that Americans are ranking their confidence in institutions at abysmal levels. And this institutional skepticism comprises a significant backdrop for the major faith and culture trends of 2014.

This cultural attitude of institutional distrust has not arisen out of nowhere, of course. Public mistrust—generated by a spectrum of events from Watergate to the financial crisis—has been mounting for decades. During 2013 alone, citizens lamented the failure of their leaders and institutions. From the government shutdown to Pope Francis' public callout of the Vatican bank to the whistleblowing of the NSA to the problematic rollout of Obamacare, Americans were reminded again and again that institutions apparently have a habit of breaking promises. The Associated Press even went so far as to call 2013 "The Year of Dysfunction, Discord and Distrust."

Still, while tens of millions of adults are questioning the value of institutions, there is also a growing countertrend revealed in new Barna data: increasing resolve among many Americans to advocate for these institutions. This erosion of public trust—as well as the countertrend of supporters of those institutions—underscores three of the major trends that Barna Group has included in the newly released Barna FRAMES project.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyApologetics

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Posted January 22, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can find the speakers brief bios here and the conference schedule there and there. You all know enough about a conference like this to know that there is much more to it than simply the presentations. Please pray for the speakers travel and ministry here (a number are serving in Sunday worship after the conference locally), the time to develop new friendships and renew old ones, for the Bishop and his wife Allison in their hosting capacity, and especially for the the Rev. Jeffrey Miller of Beaufort and his assisting staff, who has the huge responsibility of coordinating it all--KSH.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureScience & Technology* South Carolina* TheologyApologetics

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Posted January 21, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

James Houston knew C.S. Lewis well during their time at Oxford, and here he comments on the great impact of Lewis on Christian spiritual formation.

Listen to it all, conducted by Bruce Hindmarsh.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* TheologyApologetics

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Posted January 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Wow.

This is what you call a good problem to have.

You may read about the conference there.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchPhilosophyScience & Technology* South Carolina* TheologyApologeticsSeminary / Theological Education

4 Comments
Posted January 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The topic is Science, Faith and Apologetics: An Answer for the Hope That Is Within Us. Please check out all the information here and there.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureScience & Technology* South Carolina* TheologyApologetics

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Posted January 4, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One is very often asked at present whether we could not have a Christianity stripped, or, as people who asked it say, 'freed' from its miraculous elements, a Christianity with the miraculous elements suppressed. Now, it seems to me that precisely the one religion in the world, or, at least the only one I know, with which you could not do that is Christianity. In a religion like Buddhism, if you took away the miracles attributed to Gautama Buddha in some very late sources, there would be no loss; in fact, the religion would get on very much better without them because in that case the miracles largely contradict the teaching. Or even in the case of a religion like Mohammedanism, nothing essential would be altered if you took away the miracles. You could have a great prophet preaching his dogmas without bringing in any miracles; they are only in the nature of a digression, or illuminated capitals. But you cannot possibly do that with Christianity, because the Christian story is precisely the story of one grand miracle, the Christian assertion being that what is beyond all space and time, what is uncreated, eternal, came into nature, into human nature, descended into His own universe, and rose again, bringing nature up with Him. It is precisely one great miracle. If you take that away there nothing specifically Christian left. There may be many admirable human things which Christianity shares with all other systems in the world, but there would be nothing specifically Christian. Conversely, once you have accepted that, then you will see that all other well-established Christian miracles--because, of course, there are ill-established Christian miracles; there are Christian legends just as much as there are heathen legends, or modern journalistic legends--you will see that all the well-established Christian miracles are part of it, that they all either prepare for, or exhibit, or result from the Incarnation. Just as every natural event exhibits the total character of the natural universe at a particular point and space of time; so every miracle exhibits the character of the Incarnation. Now, if one asks whether that central grand miracle in Christianity is itself probable or improbable, of course, quite clearly you cannot be applying Hume's kind of probability. You cannot mean a probability based on statistics according to which the more often a thing has happened, the more likely it is to happen again (the more often you get indigestion from eating a certain food, the more probable it is, if you eat it again, that you again have indigestion). Certainly the Incarnation cannot be probable in that sense. It is of its very nature to have happened only once. But then it is of the very nature of the history of this world to have happened only once; and if the Incarnation happened at all, it is the central chapter of that history. It is improbable in the same way in which the whole of nature is improbable, because it is only there once, and will happen only once.

----C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* TheologyAnthropologyApologeticsChristology

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Posted December 31, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When rightly understood, the imaginatively compelling story of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth was about God entering the world, in order to redeem it.

Lewis explored this theme in a remarkable sermon that he preached in a London church during the Second World War. He had learnt how to dive in 1930. Although he initially saw this simply as an enjoyable, exhilarating experience, Lewis began to realise its potential as an analogy for what he was coming to see as a core theme of the Christian faith — the incarnation.

Lewis invited his audience to imagine a diver plunging into the water to retrieve a precious object. As he goes deeper, the water changes from “warm and sunlit” to “pitch black” and “freezing”. Then, his “lungs almost bursting”, he goes down into the “mud and slime”, before finally heading back up to the surface, triumphantly bearing the lost object. God “descended into his own universe, and rose again, bringing human nature up with him”.

Read it all (subscription required) [this is quoted in the sermon in the previous post].

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* TheologyApologeticsChristology

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Posted December 30, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last month marked the 50th anniversary of a bizarre day in history. Three men of significant importance each died on November 22, 1963: President John F. Kennedy, author Aldous Huxley, and author and scholar C.S. Lewis.

On that day, the developed world (appropriately) halted at the news of the assassination of the United States’ 35th president. The front page of The New York Times on Saturday morning, the day after the tragic shooting, read, “Kennedy Is Killed by Sniper as he Rides in Car in Dallas; Johnson Sworn in on Plane,” and virtually every other news service around the world ran similar coverage and developed these stories for days and weeks following.

Huxley’s death, meanwhile, made the front page of The New York Times the day after Kennedy’s coverage began. The English-born writer spent his final hours in Los Angeles, high on LSD. His wife, Laura, administered the psychedelic drug during the writer's final day battling cancer, honoring his wishes to prepare for death like the characters in his novels Eyeless in Gaza and Island. Huxley’s Brave New World depicts a haunting futuristic world where a sovereign, global government harvests its tightly controlled social order in glass jars; the Times obituary writer declared that Huxley’s well-known book “set a model for writers of his generation.”

The news of Lewis’s death, though, didn't appear in print until Nov. 25, and it appeared in the normal obituary section of The New York Times weekday paper.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBooksHistoryReligion & Culture* TheologyApologetics

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Posted December 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I know, you forgot. But you need to come.

Why?

The Topic--Science, Faith and Apologetics: An Answer for the Hope That Is Within Us.

The Speakers--John Lennox, Alvin Plantinga, and Peter Kreeft to name just three.

The Location--Charleston is just fantastic, especially at this time of the year.

You can find the full schedule here and the speakers bios there.



Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchPhilosophyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* South Carolina* TheologyApologetics

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Posted December 13, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The interplay between the experience of excessive phenomena and the power of distance is important. We naturally elevate presencing over distance—it’s better to know something, to gaze upon it and see it for what it is, than to be struck by the infinite distance that exists between us and particular phenomena. Western culture’s suspicion of universal claims of logic and reason has all at once created a concern for a subjective experience. We want something that strikes us personally, and I think Christianity affirms this in many ways.


The excessive phenomena, which philosopher Jean-Luc Marion calls “over-saturated phenomena”, are those things which overflow our intuition, and in their overflowing, we encounter a distance that can’t be traversed. By their nature, these phenomena demand an experience, and thus demand an openness to them. Distance is an important part of this over-saturation because it protects the divine; in a way, it does the exact opposite of what most apologetics do. Rather than formulating systems to make sense of the divine, these phenomena present to us an experience of God, while all at once protecting divine mystery. So despite the intense excessiveness of the experience, it also creates an infinite gap, which allows us to succumb to the experience, rather than ascend a ladder and intellectually confine it....So does this mean that apologetics have no place in Christianity? Absolutely not....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* TheologyApologetics

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Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

British novelist and essayist Francis Spufford’s spirited defense of the Christian religion is in some ways like eavesdropping on a missionary conversation with the pagans of antiquity.

“Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense” — is the latest attempt at an ancient literary form, the Christian apology, and it makes its appearance in the United States more than a year after it was published in England.

Spufford’s defense of Christianity is aimed primarily at what he calls “godless Europeans,” the post-Enlightenment elites who tend to regard religion with bemusement as a silly fairy tale, if not with open hostility as a dangerous superstition.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEurope* TheologyApologetics

1 Comments
Posted December 2, 2013 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

And here is where Lewis had a breakthrough. He understood that the story recounted in the Gospels—rather than the outworking of that story in the Epistles—was the essence of Christianity. Christianity was a "true myth" (myth here meaning a story about ultimate things, not a falsehood), whereas pagan myths were "men's myths." In paganism, God expressed himself in a general way through the images that humans created in order to make sense of the world. But the story of Christ is "God's myth." God's myth is the story of God revealing himself through a real, historical life of a particular man, in a particular time, in a particular place—Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, crucified under Pontius Pilate outside Jerusalem, circa A.D. 33.

Pagan stories were meaningful but not true. The Christ story is both meaningful and true. Christianity is the true myth, the "myth become fact," as Lewis would come to call it.

A couple of weeks after his conversation with Tolkien and Dyson, Lewis became certain that Christianity was true. But it's important to note: Before he could accept the truth of Christianity, he had to clear an imaginative hurdle. His "organ of meaning" had to be satisfied. Rational assent to Christianity cannot occur unless there is meaningful content to which the higher faculty of reason may assent. Reason can't operatewithout imagination.

And in this, Lewis, who called himself a "dinosaur" in his inaugural lecture at Cambridge, is in many ways closer to our postmodern contemporaries than he was to his own.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted December 2, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
“The great appeal that Lewis has today is that he has an extraordinary range of a diversity of genre in communicating truth,” said James Houston, one of the founders of the respected Christian institution Regent College in Vancouver, who ran in Lewis’ circles while they were both at Oxford.

“He used fairy tales, mythology, poetry, science fiction, children’s stories, scholarly essays. He used the whole gamut to communicate the depths of truth.”


Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksEducationHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted November 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God of searing truth and surpassing beauty, we give thee thanks for Clive Staples Lewis whose sanctified imagination lighteth fires of faith in young and old alike; Surprise us also with thy joy and draw us into that new and abundant life which is ours in Christ Jesus, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaitySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchPoetry & Literature* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted November 22, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 2007, members of Evangel Ministries in northwest Detroit went out into the surrounding neighborhoods to share the gospel in a summer-long program called Dare to Share. They came back with reports of new connections and conversions—and new questions. Many of their neighbors had voiced powerful objections to the faith.

Senior pastor Christopher Brooks realized that the apologetics he had studied at Biola University, and later at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, needed to be placed in a new context. "We realized that we needed to respond to not just the historic topics of theology and philosophy, but also to the pressing, present question: 'Does the Lord see what's happening in the hood?'"

Brooks's forthcoming book, Urban Apologetics (Kregel Publications), tells the story of how Evangel enthusiastically embraced that challenge. The newly appointed campus dean of Moody Theological Seminary–Michigan recently spoke with CT executive editor Andy Crouch.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted November 17, 2013 at 6:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If Dowd was only in Charleston to support evolution, then many of us could agree with Sgt. Joe Friday’s inimitable words in Dragnet: “Just the facts, ma’am.”

Dowd clearly wanted to take us beyond the facts.

He paraded before us a great number of scientific and religious figures who supposedly support his thesis that traditional religious concepts, especially those describing God, are part of “private revelation” and therefore not based on hard evidence. In their place, he says that there is such a thing as “public revelation.”

Read it all from the faith and values section of the local paper.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureScience & Technology* South Carolina* TheologyApologetics

3 Comments
Posted November 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Like lots of college students, Lauren has a smartphone loaded with some of the most popular apps around — Facebook, Twitter and eBay. And like a lot of unbelievers, she asked to not use her full name because her family doesn’t know about her closet atheism.

One of the apps she uses most regularly is YouVersion, a free Bible app that puts a library’s worth of translations — more than 700 — in the palm of her hand. Close to 115 million people have downloaded YouVersion, making it among the most popular apps of all time.

But Lauren, a 22-year-old chemistry major from Colorado, is not interested in the app’s mission to deepen faith and biblical literacy. A newly minted atheist, she uses her YouVersion Bible app to try to persuade people away from the Christianity she grew up in.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsAtheism* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted November 6, 2013 at 11:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Did you grow up reading C.S. Lewis?

I've had a fascination with Lewis since my teens, (but) I didn't grow up reading Narnia. I came rather late to Narnia, but I read quite a bit of Lewis as a teenager—Mere Christianity and The Great Divorce and some of the other books. As a schoolboy in the final year of high school, I read his book on Paradise Lost, which was very important for my English studies.

What was your introduction to the world of Narnia? What captivated you about it?

I suppose I read the Narnia books mostly as a student, and I enjoyed the wit of the books. Humor is very visible in them. I enjoyed the energy of the characterization.

And I just found myself very, very deeply moved by some passages, and I identify a lot with those moments of encounter—where you discover the truth about yourself in the face of God. Those are some of the most moving passages, because Lewis is particularly good at giving you a sense of joy in the presence of God.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchBooksChildrenPoetry & Literature* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted November 2, 2013 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When he died on Nov. 22, 1963 hardly a soul blinked in Northern Ireland where he was born or in England where he spent most of his working life as one of the world’s greatest Christian apologists.

Clive Staples Lewis was a week short of 65 when he suffered a heart attack at his home in Oxford. The obituary writers barely noticed his demise, in part because he died on the same day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

British indifference to Lewis half a century ago will be examined at a one-day seminar at Wheaton College on Nov. 1, co-sponsored by the Marion E. Wade Center, the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals and Wheaton College’s Faith and Learning program.

Lewis may be the most popular Christian writer in history, with millions of copies of his books sold, the vast majority in the United States where his influence is far greater than in his native country.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Laity* Culture-WatchBooks* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted October 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Sometimes faith is used as an alternative to reason, a way to designate (and sometimes denigrate) beliefs that are aren't based on arguments or evidence, or that aren't assessed critically. On this view, science and faith almost certainly conflict; science is all about arguments, evidence and critical assessment.

At the other extreme, faith can simply mean something like a guiding assumption or presupposition, and on this view, science does require faith. Science as an enterprise is based on the premise that we can generalize from our experience, or as "The Mathematician" put it, that induction works.

Somewhere in between these extremes are the more interesting possibilities. In , I discussed one proposal for how to think about faith, an idea from philosopher Lara Buchak: that faith involves committing to act as if some claim is true without first requiring the examination of further evidence that could bear on the claim....

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryPhilosophyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* TheologyApologetics

2 Comments
Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Lewis' "Mere Christianity," published in 1952, explained what he felt was the core of his faith. At the time, critics on the left thought it superstitious and simplistic, while evangelicals were upset at the lack of fire and brimstone.

The book's popularity with the public, however, has endured, and the popular monthly magazine Christianity Today ranked it the best book of the 20th century.

All the while, Lewis was at odds with his colleagues. Many resented his promotion of religion, looked down on his popular fiction, were jealous of his large classes and thought literature courses should focus on more modern books. So in 1955 he bolted, accepting a professorship of medieval and Renaissance literature at Oxford's great rival, the University of Cambridge.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBooksEducationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted September 18, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“What a great clergy day,” said the Very Rev. David Thurlow, Rector of St. Matthias in Summerton, SC at the end of the gathering of clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina on September 12, 2013. Over 85 clergy of the Diocese gathered at St. Paul’s in Summerville for the once-yearly event.

“The legal update was clear and understandable,” said Thurlow, “the questions asked and answered were insightful and helpful. Alan Runyan’s personal testimony and witness to God's work was incredible and powerful. Bishop Lawrence did great in setting before us an updated picture of where we are and giving us vision, hope and encouragement as we journey on together. All in all the day could not have been better!”

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted September 13, 2013 at 3:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Today is Labor Day, an occasion often marked by beach trips and barbecues. While that’s all well and good, we here at Wonkblog would be remiss if we let the long weekend go by without a few good charts that show what it means to be a worker in America today and how that has changed over the years.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyApologeticsEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 2, 2013 at 10:49 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

He married Frances Blogg is 1901 and they had an intensely happy, though childless, life together. She was a steadying influence on his notorious untidiness and lack of organization. "Am at Market Harborough”, he once wrote to her. “Where ought I to be?” Her reply was, "Home.” At a time when H.G. Wells was celebrating infidelity and George Bernard Shaw deconstructing marriage, Chesterton insisted that family was at the epicenter of any civilized society.

In 1922 he finally became Catholic. “The fight for the family and the free citizen and everything decent must now be waged by the one fighting form of Christianity”, he wrote. And, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted August 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Think of what five you would pick and then read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* TheologyApologetics

10 Comments
Posted August 1, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all. I have issue with one of them but it is a good list against which to think--KSH.


Filed under: * TheologyApologeticsTheology: Scripture

10 Comments
Posted July 30, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While listening to a fiery preacher of the gospel I observed three young men in their thirties just to my right giggling at and mocking the preacher’s insistence that Jesus was who he claimed to be. Here was my opportunity.

They were Muslims, and soon we were talking about how Jesus could be both the Son of God and at the same time one with the Father. I asked them if they had read the Injeel, the Arabic word for the Gospels, since Mohammed said that Jesus was a prophet and that God had given us the Gospels. “Ah, but the Injeel has been corrupted,” they said. “But why if God is all powerful would he have allowed his word to be corrupted?” I asked them. No answer.

Our conversation ranged on a wide variety of subjects including Jihad (they insisted that those who interpreted Jidad violently were not “real” Muslims), suicide bombers (again they were not real Muslims), and whether those who followed Jesus caused wars or believed in turning the other cheek. When I turned my cheek and asked one of them to hit me, they all smiled (as did I), but they knew I meant it.
- See more at: http://www.stmichaelschurch.net/my-muslim-encounter-in-london/#sthash.EQYEeald.dpuf

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyApologeticsChristology

1 Comments
Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We wanted to know the costs of all this buying and lusting for more, so we flew to Boston to talk with Harvard professor Michael Sandel. He wrote "What Money Can’t Buy, The Moral Limits of Markets." It tells the story of how we’ve gone from having a market economy, to being a market society where everything is for sale.

Sandel points out all sorts of ways money has changed the game [of baseball]. One of them, the way corporate sponsorship has worked its way into the very language of the game.

"The insurance company New York Life," he says, "has a deal with several teams that requires announcers to say the following line whenever there’s a close call at the plate: 'Safe at home. Safe and secure, New York Life.'”

Read or listen to it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePersonal Finance* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyApologeticsEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Hello Dr. Craig,

I would first like to acknowledge your intellectual and humble manner in defending Christianity. I am Muslim though and I have a few questions for you about Islam that you might answer. I would tremendously appreciate it if you could answer back, I am on the brink of considering Christianity but I want answers:

1) is it true Mohammed took the Gospel of Jesus from the Bible and twisted/perverted it for his own benefits?

2) does Islam have an experiential reality (like modern day miracles, visions from Muhammad) if so what is the best explanation for that?

3) if I became a Christian and asked God sincerely to reveal Jesus to me in a supernatural form, will it happen?

Read it all and see what you make of his answers.

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyApologetics

1 Comments
Posted June 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all (mp3 file).

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchGlobalizationMulticulturalism, pluralismReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsSecularism* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted June 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Here, I want to explore Lewis's distinctive understanding of the rationality of faith, which emphasises the reasonableness of Christianity without imprisoning it within an impersonal and austere rationalism.

I came to appreciate this distinctive approach when researching my recent biography of Lewis. For reasons I do not understand, the importance of Lewis's extensive use of visual images as metaphors of truth has been largely overlooked. For Lewis, truth is about seeing things rightly, grasping their deep interconnection. Truth is something that we see, rather something that we express primarily in logical or conceptual terms.

The basic idea is found in Dante's Paradiso (XXIII, 55-6), where the great Florentine poet and theologian expresses the idea that Christianity provides a vision of things - something wonderful that can be seen, yet proves resistant to verbal expression

Read it all.

Filed under: * TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted May 16, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all (just over 1 minute long). Short, provocative and helpful I thought--KSH.

Filed under: * TheologyApologeticsChristologyEschatologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted May 8, 2013 at 4:57 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was left to Cambridge to right the [Oxford] injustice, and in the early Fifties to bestow a newly created chair. In the meantime, Lewis, like his colleague Tolkien, had created a series of imaginative stories. The Chronicles of Narnia were works of keen imagination, appealing alike to many children and perceptive adults. They echoed the incarnation of Christ, his death and resurrection, and have enjoyed a mass-revival in the United States in recent years, where they have been responsible for creating a new kind of Christianity: what might be called educated evangelicalism. This is a remarkable and valuable phenomenon, and gives Lewis a high rank among writers on religion, alongside Wesley and Newman.

He deserves his lasting appeal, and for three reasons. First he was immensely well- read, delving into every corner of English literature with intelligence and sympathy, and squeezing from it moral qualities which had been hitherto unsuspected in many works. Second, he had an enviable clarity, so that his meaning, even when making rarefied distinctions, always leaps from the page. Thirdly, he had excellent judgment in both literature and theology, and combined them both in fascinating books which never condescend and are always a pleasure to read. Alister McGrath gives us much food for thought in this dutiful, sound and worthy book.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Laity* Culture-WatchBooksHistoryPoetry & Literature* TheologyApologetics

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Posted May 1, 2013 at 11:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Like some of his previous books it is set around a dialogue between two characters. This time both characters are fully fictional and set in the year 1977. Libby Rawls is a young women that is a nominal Christian and a skeptic. The other is “Mother” an older mixed-race women who is willing to lead Libby along these steps of a Jacob’s Ladder. Each day they discuss a subject where the subjects build on each other leading to further truth. These two characters are also involved in his novel “An Ocean Full of Angels.”

This book takes a building block approach to understanding the faith and starts at what might seem to be an odd first step of “passion.” While common philosophical ideas are discussed it is also not standard apologetic fare and mostly deals with natural theology. The conversational dialogue mostly adds to the book and the back and forth between the two women helps to illustrate points. Some of the use of coincidences in the book are a bit heavy-handed at times. Also evident is Kreeft’s playful humor which was used at times and contributed to the banter between the two women.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksPhilosophyReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyApologetics

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Posted April 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is more reasonable to me, as it is to any atheist, to believe in things that are in accord with what we know are natural laws, than to believe in things that contradict them....[but] unless you’re raised atheist, people become atheists just as I did, by thinking about the same things Augustine thought about. Certainly one of the first things I thought about as a maturing child was “Why is there polio? Why are there diseases?” If there is a good God why are there these things? The answer of the religious person is “God has a plan we don’t understand.” That wasn’t enough for me. There are people who don’t know anything about science. One of the reasons I recommend Richard Dawkins’s book, The God Delusion, is that basically he explains the relationship between science and atheism. But I don’t think people are really persuaded into atheism by books or by debates or anything like that. I think people become atheists because they think about the world around them. They start to search out books because they ask questions. In general, people don’t become atheists at a late age, in their 50s. All of the atheists I know became atheists fairly early on. They became atheists in their adolescence or in their 20s because these are the ages at which you’re maturing, your brain is maturing, and you’re beginning to ask questions. If religion doesn’t do it for you, if, in fact, religion, as it does for me, contradicts any rational idea of how to live, then you become an atheist, or whatever you want to call it – an agnostic, a freethinker.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksPhilosophyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheismSecularism* TheologyApologetics

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Posted April 16, 2013 at 5:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Schaeffer’s view of the Christian life was comprehensive, and this was an inspiration to so many of us. But this approach isn’t simple to summarize, for Schaeffer resisted formulas and mechanistic approaches to ministry. Schaeffer often spoke of the lordship of Christ over all of life (as in the beginning of Art and the Bible) and how the Christian system or worldview uniquely makes sense of the cosmos, history, culture, and humanity. Another point of my autobiography (if I may) makes this point. As a young Christian in 1976, I happened upon The God Who Is There in the University of Oregon bookstore. I devoured it, though I didn’t understand all of it. Nevertheless, that small book, given its breadth and depth of theology, apologetics, cultural analysis, and sense of ministry, summoned me to a courageous and intellectually active Christian life. As a believer, I need not fear the wide world of culture and ideas.

As I later read the entire Schaeffer corpus, his overall vision became part of my Christian life, however poorly practiced. Schaeffer integrated his thinking; one couldn’t separate, for example, True Spirituality from Escape from Reason. It was of a whole. Edgar has now done the church a marvelous service by summarizing Schaeffer’s thought under the category of “the Christian life.” This is exactly the right rubric.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyApologetics

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Posted April 15, 2013 at 3:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Christians live in the tension of confidently proclaiming the Bible’s teaching while respectfully and lovingly pursuing relationships with those who identify as gay for the Glory of God.

I wholeheartedly affirm the third position on the gay marriage question and I commend it to Christians everywhere. I think it is the way forward, because it has historically been the way that Christians have approached these emerging issues. The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4:15, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.”

When it comes to the gay marriage question, I think Christians would be wise to follow Paul’s advice:

Make growing in the satisfying relationship with Christ your daily goal.
Know truth and boldly speak truth.
Make “lovingness” your method and the manner in which you do all things.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyApologeticsEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 10, 2013 at 11:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As I set off in 2008 to begin my freshman year studying government at Harvard (whose motto is Veritas, "Truth"), I could never have expected the change that awaited me.

It was a brisk November when I met John Joseph Porter. Our conversations initially revolved around conservative politics, but soon gravitated toward religion. He wrote an essay for the Ichthus, Harvard's Christian journal, defending God's existence. I critiqued it. On campus, we'd argue into the wee hours; when apart, we'd take our arguments to e-mail. Never before had I met a Christian who could respond to my most basic philosophical questions: How does one understand the Bible's contradictions? Could an omnipotent God make a stone he could not lift? What about the Euthyphro dilemma: Is something good because God declared it so, or does God merely identify the good? To someone like me, with no Christian background, resorting to an answer like "It takes faith" could only be intellectual cowardice. Joseph didn't do that.

And he did something else: He prodded me on how inconsistent I was as an atheist who nonetheless believed in right and wrong as objective, universal categories...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPhilosophyReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism* TheologyApologetics

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Posted April 8, 2013 at 7:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“The compelling evidence for me is the unanimous testimony of all the apostles and even a former persecutor like St. Paul,” said Brant Pitre, assistant professor of theology at Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans. “There was no debate in the first century over whether Jesus was resurrected or not.”

Scholars say that the witnesses to Christ’s resurrection are compelling for a variety of reasons.

“People will seldom die even for what they know to be true. Twelve men don’t give up their lives for a lie,” said Ray, who recently returned from France, where he was filming his “Footprints of God” series at the amphitheater in Lyon, the site of a persecution in A.D. 177. “The martyrs of Lyon underwent two days of torture and all they would say is, ‘I am a Christian.’ They knew the resurrection was true and didn’t question it.”

Barber also highlighted the diversity of sources and how they include different details as well as passages that do not paint the disciples in the best light.

“In the Road to Emmaus story, they write that they didn’t recognize him,” said Barber. “Our Biblical accounts are our best evidence.”

Several of the scholars pointed to 1 Corinthians, where Paul states that Christ appeared to 500 people.

“Some want to shy away from the Gospels because they say they were written later,” explained Barber. “If you want to believe that they were written later, then why wouldn’t the Gospels have made use of this piece of evidence from 1 Corinthians?” asked Barber.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* TheologyApologetics

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Posted April 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Nearly 400 people attended the 222nd Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina at the Francis Marion Performing Arts Center in Florence, South Carolina, March 8-9, 2013.

"Wasn't the worship incredible last night?" said Patricia Smith, remarking on the Convention's Friday evening service of Holy Eucharist. Smith is a member of St. Paul's, Summerville, and attended with her husband who is a delegate. "I felt like I was coming in to the gates of heaven. It had that triumphant sound. I guess, now that we've made a stand there was a unity, a lack of confusion. We were uniting in worship. It felt like God's favor was there."

For the second time the Convention voted unanimously to remove all references to The Episcopal Church from the Diocese's constitution--the final step in severing their ties to the denomination they helped to found in 1789, five years after the South Carolina Convention first met in 1785.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryAdult EducationEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedYouth MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* South Carolina* TheologyApologetics

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Posted March 13, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than 350 people are expected to attend the 222nd Annual Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina at the Francis Marion Performing Arts Center in Florence, March 8-9. The last time the Convention was held in Florence was 1976.

This year the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of South Carolina, is focusing on the future. “We cannot afford to focus on the backward glance,” said Lawrence “Christ calls us to look forward and carry out the Great Commission to make disciples and to proclaim the Gospel to a hurting world.”

This year’s convention workshops are designed to equip the Diocese’s lay members and clergy for the work of ministry. Bishop Lawrence promised that such workshops would be key parts of future annual Diocesan Conventions....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the OrdainedYouth Ministry* South Carolina* TheologyApologetics

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Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:44 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was billed as the moral equivalent of an Ali v Foreman title fight. The world’s best known atheist arguing with the man who until a few weeks ago was the Archbishop of Canterbury. Last night, Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, took on Rowan Williams, the new master of Magdalene College, in a debate on religion at the Cambridge Union. And Williams emerged triumphant.

The motion for debate was big enough to attract the very best speakers to the Cambridge Union: Religion has no place in the 21st century.

But the key factor in persuading Professor Richard Dawkins to agree to take part in last night’s setpiece was something else – an admiration for his principal opponent.

“I normally turn down formal debates,” he said. “But the charming Rowan Williams was too good to miss.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchEducationPhilosophyReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism* TheologyApologetics

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Posted February 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As [Arif] Ahmed recited figures on Anglicanism’s decline Rowan Williams grew restless, causing Ahmed to ask the master of Magdalene pointedly: “Do you want a point of information?” The room broke out in laughter as Williams responded by motioning for Ahmed to ‘bring it on’.

The Spectator columnist Douglas Murray, arguing for the relevance of religion in the 21st century despite the “awkward position” of being an atheist, finished the debate by declaring that “no rational person could agree with this motion". Religion, alongside humanism and secularism, has “a contribution to make”, Murray argued, telling students that without religion you may end up “with something like a perpetual version of The Only Way is Essex”.

Priyanka Kulkarni, Pembroke first year, said: “Tonight's debate was highly anticipated, the queue spanning for what seemed to be miles was an indicator that this was going to be a highlight of the union this term.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism* TheologyApologetics

1 Comments
Posted February 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Many theologians and some scientists are now ready to proclaim that the nineteenth century "conflict between science and religion" is over and done with. But even if this is true, it is a truth known only to real theologians and real scientists-that is, to a few highly educated men. To the man in the street the conflict is still perfectly real, and in his mind it takes a form which the learned hardly dream of.

The ordinary man is not thinking of particular dogmas and particular scientific discoveries. What troubles him is an all-pervading difference of atmosphere between what he believes Christianity to be and that general picture of the universe which he has picked up from living in a scientific age. He gathers from the Creed that God has a "Son" (just as if God were a god, like Odin or Jupiter): that this Son "came down" (like a parachutist) from "Heaven," first to earth and later to some land of the dead situated beneath the earth's surface: that, still later, He ascended into the sky and took His seat in a decorated chair placed a little to the right of His Father's throne. The whole thing seems to imply a local and material heaven-a palace in the stratosphere-a flat earth and all the rest of those archaic misconceptions.

The ordinary man is well aware that we should deny all the beliefs he attributes to us and interpret our creed in a different sense. But this by no means satisfies him. "No doubt," he thinks, "once those articles of belief are there, they can be allegorized or spiritualized away to any extent you please. But is it not plain that they would never have been there at all if the first generation of Christians had had any notion of what the real universe is like? A historian who has based his work on the misreading of a document may afterwards (when his mistake has been exposed) exercise great ingenuity in showing that his account of a certain battle can still be reconciled with what the document records. But the point is that none of these ingenious explanations would ever have come into existence if he had read his documents correctly at the outset. They are therefore really a waste of labor; it would be manlier of him to admit his mistake and begin all over again."

I think there are two things that Christians must do if they wish to convince this "ordinary" modern man. In the first place, they must make it quite clear that what will remain of the Creed after all their explanations and reinterpretations will still be something quite unambiguously supernatural, miraculous, and shocking. We may not believe in a flat earth and a sky palace. But we must insist from the beginning that we believe, as firmly as any savage or theosophist, in a spirit world which can, and does, invade the natural or phenomenal universe. For the plain man suspects that when we start explaining, we are going to explain away: that we have mythology for our ignorant hearers and are ready, when cornered by educated hearers, to reduce it to innocuous moral platitudes which no one ever dreamed of denying. And there are theologians who justify this suspicion. From them we must part company absolutely. If nothing remains except what could be equally well stated without Christian formulae, then the honest thing is to admit that Christianity is untrue and to begin over again without it.

--‘Horrid Red Things’ in God in the Dock (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), pp. 68-69 (originally from the Church of England Newspaper, October 6, 1944, pp.1-2) [emphasis mine]



Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryPhilosophyPsychologyScience & Technology* TheologyApologeticsTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rowan Williams and Richard Dawkins are to go head to head again in debate. Last year the two debated religion and science in Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre, now they are to debate the place of reli- gion in the modern world at the Cambridge Union.

About 1,000 students are expect- ed to attend a debate in which Tariq Ramadan, Andrew Copson of the British Humanist Association, and Douglas Murray, founder of the Centre for Social Cohesion, will also take part.

The debate will be filmed and be available on the Union website soon after it has taken place.

Read it all (may require subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyApologetics

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Posted January 31, 2013 at 6:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Greek philosopher Socrates famously said that "the unexamined life is not worth living." Taking this as a starting point, Eric Metaxas thought it would be valuable to create a forum that might encourage busy and successful professionals in thinking about the bigger questions in life. Thus Socrates In The City: Conversations on the Examined Life was born.

Every month or so Socrates In The City sponsors an event in which people can begin a dialogue on "Life, God, and other small topics" by hearing a notable thinker and writer such as Dr. Francis Collins, Sir John Polkinghorne, Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, N.T. Wright, Os Guinness, Peter Kreeft, or George Weigel. Topics have included "Making Sense Out of Suffering," "The Concept of Evil after 9-11," and "Can a Scientist Pray?" No question is too big—in fact, the bigger the better. These events are meant to be both thought-provoking and entertaining, because nowhere is it written that finding answers to life's biggest questions shouldn't be exciting and even, perhaps, fun.

Check it out.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPhilosophyReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* TheologyApologetics

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Posted January 27, 2013 at 5:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Here is one:

25. He wrote to Kathy Keller. Kathy Keller is Tim Keller’s wife. She wrote to Lewis when she was 12. There are four letters from him to her in Letters To Children and volume three of Letters of C.S. Lewis.

Read them all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* TheologyApologetics

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Posted January 23, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As a Christian and career scientist, I see the episode as an opportunity for both Republicans and evangelicals to establish a more coherent policy on evolution, creation and science, for two reasons.

First, the age of the Earth and the rejection of evolution aren't core Christian beliefs. Neither appears in the Nicene or Apostle's Creed. Nor did Jesus teach them. Historical Christianity has not focused on how God created the universe, but on how God saves humanity through Jesus' death and resurrection.

Currently, a debate is unfolding in theological seminaries and conferences about the correct interpretation of the Bible's Genesis account of creation. Echoing thinkers like St. Augustine, C.S. Lewis, Mark Noll and Pope John Paul II, many of the conservative theologians in the debate believe that a serious reading of Genesis can be compatible with the scientific account of our origins.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMediaPhilosophyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* TheologyApologeticsTheology: Scripture

5 Comments
Posted November 30, 2012 at 11:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What will be the role of the United States on the global stage in 2062?
India and China will be thriving super nations and leading the world in arts and sciences. People in the United States are already being operated on by Chinese and Indian surgeons. Another nation that is emerging as a surprising international power is Canada. That nation is now exploring its vast natural resources in the north and is in the midst of a renaissance. Some of the best novelists, musicians, poets, artists, now live in Canada. It already has been awarded “best cheese in the world” (“Cinderella cheese”) and the number one place to do business. The role and place of the United States is uncertain. Our future in 2062 may be similar to the position of France and England in 2012 if we continue on the present trajectory.....

Daniel Pink has observed that the well curve has replaced the bell curve....The middle class is declining and the United Methodist Church is a church of the middle. All middles are in trouble. The challenge for the church is to tribalize (particularize) in order to globalize (universalize). We need to “make my parish my world” before we can follow John Wesley in saying, “The world is my parish.” We need churches to love their zip codes and their heritage—I don’t mean love their bishop and polity. I mean churches must know and love people in their community and their “campfire” heritage.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesMethodist* TheologyAnthropologyApologeticsEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted November 14, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

6. Apologetics (17, 18, 19, 20, 54, 55)
A major new initiative is called for here though its shape is less precise. Theologians, universities, new media experts, artists and scientists are all called to be involved. There have been similar calls recently within the Church of England for a major new initiative in apologetics and for more resources to be invested here.

7. Adult Catechesis (28, 29, 37, 38)
Amen to this sentence:
One cannot speak of the New Evangelization if the catechesis of adults is non-existent, fragmented, weak or neglected.
The Synod has rightly paid major attention to the development of catechesis, building on the publication of The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Attention is focussed here on the formation of catechists. Again there have been similar calls recently for a new focus on catechesis within the Church of England and for the development of new materials.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyApologetics

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Posted November 5, 2012 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(LCMS News) On the 495th anniversary of the Reformation, Dr. Alister McGrath, professor at King’s College, London, called on confessional Lutherans around the world to continue to “unpack, interpret and translate” the words of Dr. Martin Luther in the contemporary culture.

Speaking on the topic of Witness (martyia) to Lutheran church leaders—who collectively represent more than 20 million Lutherans—from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Australia and North America, McGrath urged all Lutherans to “go back to this resource [Luther] to enrich the present-day mission.”

McGrath, a leading critic of the New Atheism and an advocate of the importance of theology in apologetics, mission, evangelism, spirituality and social engagement, is also a former atheist whose interest and eventual conversion to Christianity was due in part to his reading of Luther.

Serving as keynote speaker to the International Conference on Confessional Leadership, sponsored by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, McGrath set the stage for a series of follow-up responses from pastors from Taiwan, Nigeria, Brazil and England regarding the relevance and importance of Luther and the Lutheran church in the 21st century.

A failure to share Luther’s insights and the enduring confessional Lutheran perspective with the 21st century, noted McGrath, will result in a “treasure chest” of doctrine that will “remain unopened because the language isn’t understood.”

“It’s much easier to withdraw and not engage with anyone else,” McGrath admitted, “but Luther is a witness to the more uncomfortable truth that we need to be there at the intersection of Christ and culture, bearing witness to the Gospel.”

Tomorrow (Nov. 1, All Saints’ Day), the conference will focus on the theme of Mercy (Diakonia).

Daily news briefs and updates from the conference are available at the Witness, Mercy, Life Together blog, LCMS Twitter, LCMS Facebook and KFUO Radio. The conference is made possible by a grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheran* TheologyApologetics

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Posted November 1, 2012 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...religiously speaking, there are only three possible responses: you can continue to believe in a God who knows in advance the number of our days; you can sharply limit your conception of God’s power, by positing a deity who does not know in advance what we will do, or who cannot control what we will do; or you can scrap the whole idea of divinity. The problem with the first position is that most believers, as Richard Mourdock did not do, run away from the dread implications of their own beliefs; and the problem with the second position is that it is not clear why such a limited deity would be worth worshipping. So cut Richard Mourdock some slack. He’s more honest than most of his evangelical peers; and his naïve honesty at least helpfully illuminates a horrid abyss.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLife EthicsPhilosophyReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyApologeticsTheodicy

5 Comments
Posted October 28, 2012 at 5:58 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On one side, then, we have Lewis as conflicted evangelical bully. On the other, there is the figure that the Episcopal Church in the United States celebrates as "holy C.S. Lewis" (with a feast day on 22 November). In the concomitant hagiography, his connection with Mrs Moore and his odd late marriage (famously sentimentalised in the 1993 film Shadowlands) are either silently elided or eirenically glossed; beer and tobacco fade into mere period colour.

Unsurprisingly, the man himself was more complex than either approach fully allows. Lewis was a supremely bookish man, but also a loud man, and like many loud men annoyed as many as he entertained; that aside, there were formidable, and almost wholly anonymous, practical charities (he gave away most of his income); unquantifiably great personal influence (without Lewis, Tolkien's imaginative writing would probably have remained unpublished); and a dogged effort to live a Christian life. One non-believing acquaintance described him, after his death, as "a very good man, to whom goodness did not come easily...."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBooksEducationPhilosophyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyApologetics

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Posted October 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This one-man show by David Payne gives a good feel for C.S. Lewis as a man and as a thinker.

The setting is 1963 (the last year of Lewis’s life), with Lewis addressing in his home a group of writers from America. It’s an hour and a half in length:

Watch it all and check out the other links as well.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyApologetics

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Posted October 15, 2012 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On these grounds and others like them one is driven to think that whatever else may be true, the popular scientific cosmology at any rate is certainly not. I left that ship not at the call of poetry but because I thought it could not keep afloat. Something like philosophical idealism or Theism must, at the very worst, be less untrue than that. And idealism turned out, when you took it seriously, to be disguised Theism. And once you accepted Theism, you could not ignore the claims of Christ. And when you examined them it appeared to me that you could adopt no middle position. Either He was a lunatic, or God. And He was not a lunatic.

I was taught at school, when I had done a sum, to “prove my answer.” The proof or verification of my Christian answer to the cosmic sum is this. When I accept Theology I may find difficulties, at this point or that, in harmonising it with some particular truths which are imbedded in the mythical cosmology derived from science. But I can get in, or allow for, science as a whole. Granted that Reason is prior to matter and that the light of the primal Reason illuminates finite minds, I can understand how men should come, by observation and inference, to know a lot about the universe they live in. If, on the other hand, I swallow the scientific cosmology as a whole, then not only can I not fit in Christianity, but I cannot even fit in science. If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees. And this is to me the final test. This is how I distinguish dreaming and waking. When I am awake I can, in some degree, account for and study my dream. The dragon that pursued me last night can be fitted into my waking world. I know that there are such things as dreams; I know that I had eaten an indigestible dinner; I know that a man of my reading might be expected to dream of dragons. But while in the nightmare I could not have fitted in my waking experience. The waking world is judged more real because it can thus contain the dreaming world; the dreaming world is judged less real because it cannot contain the waking one. For the same reason I am certain that in passing from the scientific points of view to the theological, I have passed from dream to waking. Christian theology can fit in science, art, morality, and the sub-Christian religions. The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
--C.S.Lewis, The Weight of Glory: "Is Theology Poetry?" (Harper Collins 2001 edition) pages 139-140, emphasis mine

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooks* TheologyApologetics

1 Comments
Posted September 2, 2012 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Higgs boson has been dubbed the “god particle” much to the dismay of many physicists, including Peter Higgs and Lawrence Krauss. Yet the latter, perhaps unintentionally, gives a new twist to the “god particle” epithet in his Newsweek article: “Humans, with their remarkable tools and their remarkable brains, may have just taken a giant step towards replacing metaphysical speculation with empirically verifiable knowledge. The Higgs particle is now arguably more relevant than God.” Krauss has not taken that giant step himself, since his statement, far from being a statement of science, is another metaphysical speculation — a mixture of hubris and an inadequate concept of God.

What does Krauss mean by “more relevant than God?” Relevant to what? Clearly the Higgs particle is more relevant than God to the question of how the universe works. But not to the question why there is a universe in which particle physics can be done. The internal combustion engine is arguably more relevant than Henry Ford to the question of how a car works, but not for why it exists in the first place. Confusing mechanism and/or law on the one hand and agency on the other, as Krauss does here, is a category mistake easily made by ignoring metaphysics.

Krauss does not seem to realise that his concept of God is one that no intelligent monotheist would accept. His “God” is the soft-target “God of the gaps” of the “I can’t understand it, therefore God did it” variety. As a result, Krauss, like Dawkins and Hawking, regards God as an explanation in competition with scientific explanation. That is as wrong-headed as thinking that an explanation of a Ford car in terms of Henry Ford as inventor and designer competes with an explanation in terms of mechanism and law. God is not a “God of the gaps”, he is God of the whole show.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheismSecularism* TheologyApologetics

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Posted August 21, 2012 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Turning to the internet my search finds nothing about why God creates. The hits always connect to us. Google the question and the suggested links invariably return “Why did God create us?” I don’t care about us. I’m trying to wiggle myself inside God’s mind and Google isn’t helping. Admittedly, Google is hardly an authoritative source for answers to impossible questions, but the scant returns suggest my question is the sort of question nobody much bothers with. Hmm, if Google can’t answer in the first fifty hits, does the question even exist?

Read it all.

Filed under: * TheologyApologeticsTheology: Scripture

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Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

McGrath's strong emphasis is on sensitive, artful, and personalized discourse, built on careful listening for the deeper layers of concern in the hearts of those whose spirits are grieved by the brokenness of humanity. It's a strategy we might describe as "pastoral apologetics."

This is fine so far as it goes, but what about settings that preclude the pastoral approach? After all, many contemporary apologetic encounters take place within radio call-in shows and university debates, where the interlocutor may be a confident attacker rather than a wounded soul, and the time for spiritual probing is quite limited.

Fortunately, McGrath provides the reader with some handy, off-the-rack rejoinders. To the claim, for instance, that "we can't be sure about anything," one might reply: "Are you sure about that?" Still, he wants to equip readers for something beyond clashes of logic. His ambition is to communicate not only the truth, but also the "attractiveness and joy of the Christian gospel to our culture." We should be like prisms breaking up the light of the gospel into the colors of the rainbow.

Arguably, the most common theme in the entire book is his construal of apologetics as "removing [or overcoming] barriers [or obstacles] to faith...."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooks* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyApologetics

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Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the middle of ongoing cultural convulsions over the definition of marriage, I have found one question increasingly on the minds of many people: "Didn't God in the Old Testament allow for polygamy? If that is true, then how can you say that marriage is defined as being only between one man and one woman?"

The truth is that the story of polygamy in the Old Testament is, well, a problem. Although monogamy was clearly God's intent from the beginning, the picture blurs pretty quickly after Adam and Eve's first sin and expulsion from the Garden. By Genesis 4, you have Cain's son Lamech taking two wives. The patriarchs Abraham and Jacob themselves had multiple wives and concubines. Technically, the practice was polygyny. In other words, men could have more than one wife, but not the other way around (polyandry)....

How does one respond to this situation? The answer begins by seeing that God always points His creation back to the primacy and perfection of the original design. Next, you have to read every book to the end -- especially if it is the biblical context.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & Family* TheologyApologeticsEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted August 1, 2012 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I am to talk about apologetics. Apologetics means of course defense. The first question is --What do you propose to defend? Christianity, of course: and Christianity as understood by the church in Wales. And here at the outset I must deal with an unpleasant business. It seems to the layman that in the Church of England we often hear from our priests doctrine which is not Anglican Christianity. It may depart from Anglican Christianity in either of two ways: (1) It may be so “broad” or “liberal” or “modern” that it in fact excludes any real supernaturalism and thus ceases to be Christian at all. (2) It may, on the other hand, be Roman. It is not, of course, for me to define to you what Anglican Christianity is--I am your pupil, not your teacher. But I insist that wherever you draw the lines, bounding lines must exist, beyond which your doctrine will cease to be Anglican or to be Christian: and I suggest also that the lines come a great deal sooner than many modern priest think. I think it is your duty to fix the lines clearly in your own minds: and if you wish to go beyond them you must change your profession.

This is your duty not specifically as Christians or as priests but as honest men. There is a danger here of the clergy developing a special professional conscience which obscures the very plain moral issue. Men who have passed beyond these boundary lines in either direction are apt to protest that they have come by their unorthodox opinions honestly. In defense of these opinions they are prepared to suffer obloquy and to forfeit professional advancement. They thus come to feel like martyrs. But this simply misses the point which so gravely scandalizes the layman. We never doubted that the unorthodox opinions were honestly held: what we complain of is your continuing you ministry after you have come to hold them. We always knew that a man who makes his living as a paid agent of the Conservative party may honestly change his views and honestly become a Communist. What we deny is that he can honestly continue to be a Conservative agent and to receive money from one party while he supports the policy of another.

Even when we have thus ruled out teaching which is in direct contradiction to our profession, we must define our task still further. We are to defend Christianity itself--the faith preached by the Apostles, attested by the Martyrs, embodied in the Creeds, expounded by the Fathers.
--C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), pp.89-90 (emphasis mine)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyApologetics

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Posted June 21, 2012 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Christianity is the main, central, most common, and most thoroughly and purposefully marginalized, obscured and publicly and privately misrepresented belief system in the final decades of the 20th century and the opening years of the 21st.”

These words come from the introduction to UK-born, and now Canadian resident Michael Coren’s new book “Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity,” (Signal).

The book covers topics ranging from the historical foundations of Christianity, to slavery, science and Hitler....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* TheologyApologetics

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Posted June 19, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the ‘wisdom’ of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique: and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious.
--C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (New York: Macmillan, 1955 paperback ed. of the 1947 original), pp. 87-88, emphasis mine

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchPhilosophy* TheologyAnthropologyApologetics

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Posted May 23, 2012 at 6:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One must keep on pointing out that Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.

--C.S Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (Walter Hooper, ed., Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 1994 reprint), p.101

Filed under: * TheologyApologetics

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Posted April 26, 2012 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar was instrumental in helping Ilyas Khan, a British philanthropist and former Muslim, to become Catholic. But so too were many other distinctly Catholic influences, all amounting to a “pull” towards the faith rather than a “push” away from Islam.

Khan, a merchant banker by training and the owner of the Accrington Stanley soccer team, is also chairman of the prominent British charity Leonard Cheshire Disability — the largest organization in the world helping people with disabilities. In a revealing interview with Register Rome correspondent Edward Pentin, Khan explains in more detail what drew him to the Catholic Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicOther FaithsIslam* TheologyApologetics

3 Comments
Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If our hope is for salvation in.. [the] sense [of being safe from final annihilation when we die and will be happy eternally in our life after death]— and for many that is the main point of religion—then this hope depends on certain religious beliefs’ being true. In particular, for the main theistic religions, it depends on there being a God who is good enough to desire our salvation and powerful enough to achieve it.

But here we come to a point that is generally overlooked in debates about theism, which center on whether there is reason to believe in God, understood as all-good and all-powerful. Suppose that the existence of such a God could be decisively established. Suppose, for example, we were to be entirely convinced that a version of the ontological argument, which claims to show that the very idea of an all-perfect being requires that such a being exist, is sound. We would then be entirely certain that there is a being of supreme power and goodness. But what would this imply about our chances for eternal salvation?

On reflection, very little. Granted, we would know that our salvation was possible: an all-powerful being could bring it about. But would we have any reason to think that God would in fact do this? Well, how could an all-good being not desire our salvation? The problem is that an all-good being needs to take account of the entire universe, not just us.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchPhilosophyReligion & Culture* TheologyApologeticsTheodicy

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Posted March 26, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Amidst the debris of postmodernism (a movement that has basically run its course) stands a great ambivalence about the nature of truth. The great intellectual transformation of recent decades produced a generation that is not hostile to all claims of truth, but is highly selective about what kinds of truth it is willing to receive.

The current intellectual climate accepts truth as being true in some objective sense only when dealing with claims of truth that come from disciplines like math or science. They accept objective truth when it comes to gravity or physiology, but not when it comes to morality or meaning.

One result of this is that we can often be heard as meaning less than we intend. When we present the gospel, it can easily be heard as a matter of our own personal reality that is, in the end, free from any claim upon others....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchHistoryPhilosophyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyApologeticsEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySeminary / Theological EducationTheology: Scripture

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Posted March 21, 2012 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationPhilosophyYoung Adults* TheologyApologetics

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Posted March 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Illuminating God’s message of grace in popular culture, including in television shows like “Downton Abbey” and others like “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood,” is the cornerstone of Mockingbird, which strives to connect Christianity with everyday life.

Through mbird.com, contributors, including Zahl, analyze film, music, television, literature, social science and humor, dissecting the contents through a Christian understanding.

“We are not trying to cover popular culture,” said Zahl. “But we are trying to reach people through both conscious and unconscious parallels in good art.”

Read it all and do go check out the website.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchArtBlogging & the InternetBooksMovies & TelevisionMusicTheatre/Drama/Plays* TheologyApologeticsPastoral Theology

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Posted March 14, 2012 at 6:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

During the debate, it seemed that at the heart of Dawkins' difficulty with faith is his impoverished view of God and is failure to grasp more than the most simplistic understanding.

Towards the end he asked the archbishop: "Why don't you see the extraordinary beauty of the idea that we can explain the world, life, how it started, from nothing? ... Why clutter it up with something so messy as a god?"

Dr Williams replied that he doesn't see clutter: "I'm not thinking of God as being shoehorned in."

Dawkins then said: "That is exactly how I see God."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * Culture-WatchEducationPhilosophyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism* TheologyApologetics

10 Comments
Posted February 28, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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