Open Thread: What has changed in the last decade?
Posted by The_Elves

Thanks to commenters David Keller and David Handy for suggesting this topic:
David Keller writes:

"I was looking for something in an office cabinet yesterday and found a picture of the Vestry of Christ Church Greenville, SC in 2002. Of the 14 vestry members, 4 are left at CC. Five are at St. Paul’s Anglican, my church, including the Junior Warden in that picture and the next Junior Warden. The Senior Warden is at a PCA Church, but his daughter is on the vestry at St. Paul’s and he visits St Paul’s regularly. Two are at “mega” (very orthodox) independent churches. One is now a Methodist. One is deceased"

What has happened for you and those you know in the last decade or so? What general lessons are there from this time, and how has God used it?

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life

August 31, 2015 at 12:48 pm - 6 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Open Thread: Is the day of the blog over?
Posted by The_Elves

Thanks to commenters Pageantmaster and profpk for this topic:
"With twitter, facebook and other social media providing instant albeit short interactions, are weblogs approaching their sell by date?"

"In response to Pageantmaster’s comment, yes I believe blogs are fading as a useful means of communication, even though I have been following TitusOneNine for years and have filched leads from it to post on my Facebook group, Anglican Evangelicals. No one reads my blog, An Anglican Witness, anymore, whereas we are approving new members of the Facebook group daily. I was very pleased when Kendall joined the group."

Is the day of the weblog over? Will it go the way of the VHS video recorder? Do weblogs still perform a useful function?

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social Networking

August 29, 2015 at 9:22 am - 16 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Open Thread: What resources may help renewal during spiritual slow downs?
Posted by The_Elves

With thanks to Underground Pewster for suggesting this topic
Losing your religion? What resources may help renewal during spiritual slow downs and do you have any experience of using them?

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life

August 28, 2015 at 9:04 am - 6 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Open Thread: What would you like to talk about?
Posted by The_Elves

It is late Summer, the living is easy, and the Elves are feeling lazy. Can you help them out with ideas for an open thread or post? Have you seen something you would like to draw others attention to?
Do you have any suggestions?

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet

August 26, 2015 at 4:36 pm - 9 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

***Reminder—For Yr awareness+Yr Prayers—-Dio. of South Carolina Supreme Court hearing is Sept. 23
Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina; The Trustees of The Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina, a South Carolina Corporate Body; All Saints Protestant Episcopal Church, Inc.; Christ St. Paul's Episcopal Church; Christ the King, Waccamaw; Church of The Cross, Inc. And Church of the Cross Declaration of Trust; Church of The Holy Comforter; Church of the Redeemer; Holy Trinity Episcopal Church; Saint Luke's Church, Hilton Head; St. Matthews Church; St. Andrews Church-Mt. Pleasant Land Trust; St. Bartholomews Episcopal Church; St. David's Church; St. James' Church, James Island, S.C.; St. John's Episcopal Church of Florence, S.C.; St. Matthias Episcopal Church, Inc.; St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Bennettsville, Inc.;


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC ParishesTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* South Carolina* Theology

August 12, 2015 at 6:12 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Porter: Shared Conversations will lead to CofE Synod Same Sex Legislation Change in February 2017
Posted by The_Elves

Rev. Colin Coward, director of Changing Attitude reports on his conversations with David Porter - from 'A Conversation with Colin Coward 18th April 2015' at St Brides, Liverpool
OK, so that’s what we are stuck with, the Shared Conversations. And I have been arguing amongst the LGBTI Anglican coalition, that we should not simply tolerate what we are being offered, which effectively is a two year delay.

I know from the conversations that we had with David Porter at Lambeth Palace that there is, for him at least, a clear intention that there will be a proper, motioned, discussion at General Synod in February 2017, with the intention of legislating for some kind of change in Church of England practice towards LGBTI people. But it’s going to be what they think they can get away with without upsetting the conservatives too much. So my guess is that it is going to be approval for the blessing of relationships in church, it certainly won’t be for recognising marriage. It certainly will not be for changing the quadruple lock and moving towards allowing equal marriages to take place in Church of England buildings.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

July 28, 2015 at 3:13 pm - 9 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Recent Key Entries
Posted by The_Elves

This post is 'STICKY' - new posts are below.

Please remember Bishop John Ellison in your prayers: [George Conger] Border-crossing charges filed against British Bishop

Here are the links to posts that have been recently featured at the top of the blog or on topical issues.

Top of the pile
+ GAFCON Chairman’s July - August Pastoral Letter (August 6, 2015)
+ CofE - Porter: Shared Conversations will lead to CofE Synod Same Sex Legislation Change in February 2017 (July 28, 2015)
+ TEC Same Sex Marriage Rites - [ACI] The New Episcopal Church: What Hath General Convention 2015 Wrought? (July 27, 2015)
+ TEC Conflicts - Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth: Judgment concludes trial-court phase (July 25, 2015)
+ TEC Conflicts - A S Haley: Final Judgment in Fort Worth Case (July 25, 2015)
+ Statement from the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans (July 17, 2015)
+ Talks from the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans - Fort Worth July 13th to 17th (July 14, 2015)
+ CofE General Synod 10th to 13th July 2015 Links (July 10, 2015)
+ Reform Statement on the Archbishop of York (July 9, 2015)
+ Reply Brief Filed by Diocese of South Carolina in SC Supreme Court (July 6, 2015)


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* AdminFeatured (Sticky)

April 28, 2015 at 7:35 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(ACNS) 2015 Anglican Standing Committee Bulletin - Day 1
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Idowu-Fearon attended the consecration of the first indigenous bishops in the Diocese of Peru in July, and noted the plans for the diocese of Peru to become its own province. He reported that the visit underlined the role of language in giving a sense of belonging to Communion and the continued need to explore ways of increasing the linguistic inclusiveness of the Communion.

Archbishop Idowu-Fearon attended the recent meeting of the provincial secretaries in Dublin. The gathering is an important opportunity to build relationships and hear about life and witness in the different contexts of the Communion.

The Secretary General also visited the Primate of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, the Most Revd Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis, to explore opportunities to meet with primates and bishops at the planned Global South conference in October.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal

September 3, 2015 at 4:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NBC) Why This Barber Is Giving Free Haircuts to Kids Who Read to Him
Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Courtney] Holmes tries to encourage the kids to do more than just read and sound out words —he wants them to understand and learn from the books.

"Their memory is being challenged," he said. At the end of each hair cut he asks, "What is this book about?"

"Trims 4 Tales" also sends each child home with a bag of books, encouraging them to keep reading until their next visit — which Holmes hopes will be very soon.

"The joy on their face — it makes me feel like a million bucks just to see that," he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksChildrenMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

ACC Standing Committee issues statement on Burundi
Posted by Kendall Harmon

We deplore the situation of insecurity that prevails in Burundi. We call on those in leadership to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable ahead of their own interests. We call on the UN, the African Union and the East African Community to renew all possible efforts to support peace.

We call on Christians of all denominations to pray fervently for Burundi, and we call on the leaders in Burundi earnestly to seek peace and pursue it and especially to call the various political leaders to resume immediately serious and inclusive dialogue.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchPoverty* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaBurundi* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

September 3, 2015 at 12:26 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(RNS) Pope Francis to city dwellers: ‘Come down from the towers’
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pope Francis on Wednesday (Sept. 2) told his followers to clamber down from their lofty skyscrapers, reclaim public spaces and rejoin communities.

Speaking at his weekly public audience at the Vatican, the pope said it was up to families to rejuvenate cities.

There may be a lot of ways to spend one’s free time in a city, but love is missing, Francis said.

“The smile of a family is capable of overcoming this desertification of our cities. And this is the victory of the love of a family,” he told followers in St. Peter’s Square.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

September 3, 2015 at 11:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(ABC Aus.) Stanley Hauerwas—The Humanity of God: Why Christianity Demands a Politics
Posted by Kendall Harmon

In his book Civil Religion: A Dialogue in the History of Political Philosophy, Ronald Beiner argues that in modernity the attempt to domesticate strong religious convictions in the interest of state control has assumed two primary and antithetical alternatives: civil religion or liberalism.

Civil religion is the attempt to empower religion, not for the good of religion, but for the creation of the citizen. Indeed, the very creation of "religion" as a concept more fundamental than a determinative tradition is a manifestation that, at least in Western societies, Christianity has become "civil." Rousseau, according to Beiner, is the decisive figure that gave expression to this transformation because Rousseau saw clearly that the modern state could not risk having a church capable of challenging its political authority. In the process, the political concepts used to legitimize the modern state, at least if Carl Schmitt is right, are secularized theological concepts.

In contrast to civil religion, the liberal alternative rejects all attempts to use religion to produce citizens in service to the state. Liberalism, in its many versions, according to Beiner, seeks to domesticate or neutralize the impact of religious commitment on political life. Liberalism may well result in the production of a banal and flattened account of human existence, but such a form of life seems necessary if we are to be at peace with one another. In other words, liberalism as a way of life depends on the creation of people who think there is nothing for which it worth dying. Such a way of life was exemplified by President Bush who suggested that the duty of Americans after 11 September 2001 was to go shopping.

I have earned the description of being a "fideistic, sectarian, tribalist" because of my attempt to imagine an ecclesial alternative capable of resisting the politics Beiner describes.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 3, 2015 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon—What Is a Christian perspective on sin and Freedom (Mark 7)?
Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

September 3, 2015 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Sky News) US Marks 70th Anniversary Of End Of WWII
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Veterans and US officials gathered in Pearl Harbor to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.

Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, addressed the hundreds gathered on the deck of the now decommissioned battleship USS Missouri.

Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and Army General Yoshijiro Umezu signed formal surrender documents on the same deck on 2 September, 1945.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

September 3, 2015 at 6:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Local Paper) Senator Tim Scott blasts transferring Gitmo terrorists to SC idea after touring brig
Posted by Kendall Harmon

After accompanying Pentagon officials on a tour Wednesday of the Navy brig near Charleston, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott said he remained opposed to plans to transfer terrorists now held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to a mainland U.S. prison.

“The only solution is enemy combatants must stay in Guantanamo Bay,” Scott, R-S.C., said during a news conference outside the main gate to the Navy base. “One thing that’s completely clear, without any question, there is no compelling reason to close down Gitmo.”

The Navy brig and the Army Detention Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., are among the sites being considered for holding terrorist detainees if President Barack Obama succeeds in shutting down the prison at Gitmo.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPrison/Prison Ministry* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenateTerrorism* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 3, 2015 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(The Press) Anglican Church announces new deal for Christ Church Cathedral
Posted by Kendall Harmon

An independent Government-appointed consultant will be brought in to negotiate plans for the earthquake-damaged Christ Church Cathedral after four years of deadlock.

Plans for the future of Christchurch's iconic cathedral stalled in 2011 after Anglican leaders came out in support of plans to partially demolish the building.

They had faced ongoing opposition from heritage campaigners, particularly the Great Christchurch Building Trust (GCBT), which wanted the old cathedral to be fully restored.

Bishop Victoria Matthews made the announcement to a full house at the Christ Church Transitional Cathedral on Hereford St on Thursday evening.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

September 3, 2015 at 5:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Reuters) Suspected Boko Haram gunmen on horseback kill at least 24 in northern Nigeria
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Suspected Boko Haram gunmen on horseback killed at least 24 people in two separate attacks on villages in northeast Nigeria, military and vigilante sources said on Wednesday.

The gunmen opened fire and threw explosive devices in Kolori and Ba'ana Imam, in Damboa Local Government, Borno state, in the attacks on Monday evening.

Although nobody has claimed responsibility and the militants are rarely on horseback, the attacks bore the hallmarks of the Islamist group, which has killed thousands in its six-year-old bid to set up a state adhering to sharia law in the northeast.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 3, 2015 at 5:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Economist Erasmus Blog) Varieties of atheism—Ways of getting along
Posted by Kendall Harmon

If the clash between theism and atheism were merely about metaphysical ideas, personal choices, or even quests made by consenting adults, then it should indeed be a negotiable difference in societies which allow for many other kinds of diversity. Thinkers like Mr Gray or even Bishop Jenkins may help us negotiate. But they do not entirely solve the problem. It is striking that the most intractable disputes between believers and non-believers concern the treatment of children: how and by whom they should be raised; what they should be taught about the origin of the world; whether, in the name of religious custom, their bodies should be mutilated; whether the education of boys and girls should be separate and in some way differentiated, as conservative Islam mandates; and at what point in their biological development one can speak of a life which cannot morally be terminated. With or without the guidance of brainy public intellectuals, these are hard arguments which lead to hard choices.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism

September 3, 2015 at 5:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

PBS’ Religion and Ethics Newsweekly—Environmental Justice in Mossville
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new chemical plant is being built in the small African-American town of Mossville in southwest Louisiana, raising significant concerns about health, safety, and environmental impact. The plant’s owner has offered to pay Mossville residents to move out of their homes and sell their churches. The company says it is being generous, but some longtime residents and religious leaders feel they are being forced out. “The church is the hub of the community, as far as relationships and as far as love and caring for one another,” says LaSalle Clarence Williams Sr., chairman of the deacon board at Mount Zion Baptist Church, Mossville’s oldest house of worship.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeEnergy, Natural ResourcesPolitics in GeneralCity Government* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 3, 2015 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(AP) Judge OKs gender surgery opposed by 48-year-old’s parents
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A judge on Wednesday cleared the way for a 48-year-old transgender woman to undergo gender-reassignment surgery, rejecting her parents' effort to have the operation blocked because they say she is mentally incompetent.

Christine Kitzler demonstrated clear understanding of the three-hour procedure and its risks, Judge C. Theodore Fritsch Jr. said, dismissing her parents' request that he appoint a legal guardian and subject her to an independent medical exam.

"I'm so happy," Kitzler whispered as the judge ruled.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychologySexuality* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

Comments are closed.
September 3, 2015 at 4:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Saint Alcuin
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Eternal Light, shine into our hearts;

Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil;

Eternal Power, be our support;

Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance;

Eternal Pity, have mercy upon us;

that with all our heart and mind and soul and strength we may seek thy face and be brought by thine infinite mercy to thy holy presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

September 3, 2015 at 4:19 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Bible Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

--Psalm 37:3-5

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 3, 2015 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NPR) Fasting To The Death: Is It A Religious Rite Or Suicide?
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A person who is very old or very ill decides to stop eating in order to die.

To members of the ancient and tiny faith of Jainism in India, that's a tradition called santhara or sallekhana (literally thinning out).

India's Supreme Court is considering whether to ban the practice as a form of suicide, which is punishable under law. The court is now reviewing the end-of-life ritual.

Some form of fasting is deeply rooted in many religions: Christians practice Lent. Muslims have Ramadan. The Jewish tradition is to fast on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The Hindu calendar is rich with days of forsaking food.

But right now the attention is on the custom of the Jains...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 2, 2015 at 4:18 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Church Times) A Profile Article on Christine Hardman, the C of E’s next woman bishop
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The next likely flashpoint for the Synod currently being elected will be over same-sex marriage and sexuality, once the shared conversations currently being rolled out throughout the dioceses are completed.

Bishop-designate Hardman said that she was hopeful that the Church would learn from the bruising debates over women bishops when it came to discuss sexuality. “I hope we will all reflect on that and take forward the positive things that have happened in understanding ways in which we are going to remain together as a Church, albeit with divergent views.”

She would not be drawn on her own views, saying only that on her first day in her new job she was focusing on “excitement for all that I hope for in this diocese”. Speaking from a C of E academy in Newcastle where the press conference which announced her as the next Bishop of Newcastle was held, she explained that among her priorities as bishop would be education.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

September 2, 2015 at 3:14 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Data reveals Charleston SC outpaces nation, Southeast peers in alcohol consumption
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Charleston has always been known as a drinking city, but newly available statistics show exactly how much alcohol is behind the reputation: Its consumption levels far exceed the national average, contributing to a situation that public health researchers describe as worrisome.

But the numbers that trouble researchers are also deeply reflective of Charleston’s history and culture, which is currently being promoted on an unprecedented global scale. To better understand the incipient clash between a centuries-long tradition of private drinking and rabid public interest in the city that spawned it, The Post and Courier is taking a two-part look at the state of local alcohol consumption, starting with this review of relevant data.

According to statistics compiled independently by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Education, Charleston’s alcohol consumption patterns are oddly upper Midwestern in nature. The city’s imbibing habits most closely mirror those of places such as Milwaukee, where nearly half of the population claims German ancestry and enough snow falls every year to bury an average fourth-grader.

Read it all from the local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingHistoryUrban/City Life and Issues* South Carolina

September 2, 2015 at 11:11 am - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(F Th) Surviving on satire of the terrible new sexual ethic—Reinhard Marx, Agony Uncle
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dear Muddled:

Don't be so hard on yourself. As the editors of the traditions gathered together under the name “Jeremiah” wrote: “The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it?” Pascal, though only a Frenchman, expressed a similar sentiment when he said, “The heart has its reasons that reason knows not.” What these authors, separated by centuries, agree upon is this: you cannot control whom you love.

The important thing is that we find a way for you to feel welcome in the Church in your clandestine extramarital relationship with Magdalena. Is it right to call a committed, though unorthodox, loving relationship adultery? I think not. So enjoy the blessings of love (and love!) and do not let small-hearted naysayers keep you from communion!

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMarriage & FamilyMenPsychologySexualityWomen* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

September 2, 2015 at 8:00 am - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

([London] Times) CIA drone programme targets key Isis figures
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A British jihadist who was a leading recruiter for Isis is believed to have been killed by a new clandestine drone programme designed to take out high-value targets in Syria.

Junaid Hussain, 21, from Birmingham, died when a drone hit the Isis-held city of Raqqa on Tuesday. He was third on an American list of Isis targets and is said to have played a key role as an instigator of lone-wolf attacks in Britain, Europe and the US.

He was jailed for six months in 2012 over a computer hack that gained access to Tony Blair’s address book.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureScience & TechnologyViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Middle EastSyria

September 2, 2015 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(BBC) New Ebola death confirmed in Sierra Leone
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A woman who recently died in northern Sierra Leone has tested positive for Ebola.

It comes as a setback to the country's effort to eradicate the deadly disease.

Sierra Leone was celebrating last week when it discharged its last known Ebola patient from hospital.

News of the new case means the country is no longer Ebola-free. High-risk contacts of the woman have been identified, isolated and will now be watched for symptoms.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryAfricaSierra Leone

September 2, 2015 at 6:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Christine Hardman to be Twelfth Bishop of Newcastle
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Venerable Christine Elizabeth Hardman, aged 64, holds a B.Sc (Econ) from the University of London and trained for ordination on the St Albans Ministerial Training Scheme. She later studied for a Master’s degree in Applied Theology from Westminster College, Oxford. She became a Deaconess in 1984 and was ordained Deacon in 1987, serving as Curate at St John the Baptist, Markyate Street in the Diocese of St Albans. She took up the role of Tutor and Course Director on the St Albans Ministerial Training Scheme from 1988-1996. During this period the Scheme merged with the Oxford Ministry Course and she became its Director of Mission Studies.

Christine was ordained Priest in 1994 and became Vicar of Holy Trinity and Christ the King, Stevenage in 1996 and also Rural Dean of Stevenage in 1999. She served as Archdeacon of Lewisham and Greenwich from 2001 to 2012.

In 2012 Christine became Assistant Priest at Southwark Cathedral and received the Bishop’s Permission to Officiate in the Diocese of St Albans where she has been acting Warden of Readers.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

September 2, 2015 at 6:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CC) David Wood—Scientists welcome: A challenge for congregations
Posted by Kendall Harmon

By and large mainline congregations have situated themselves outside the debates over religion and science, leaving it to the young earth creationists and the militant atheists to fight it out. Unfortunately, the rationale for disengagement from that shrill debate has resulted in a disengagement from science altogether. The congregations that claim they are at peace with science do little to articulate why or how that is possible. An alternative narrative to that of hostility between religion and science remains ambiguous and inarticulate within the church and in the public imagination.

While in England recently I had the opportunity to visit the site of the historic Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, founded in 1874. It was at this site that J. J. Thomson discovered the electron (1897), Ernest Rutherford split the atom (1932), and Francis Crick and James Watson identified the structure of DNA (1953). Twenty-nine researchers associated with the Caven­dish Laboratory have won Nobel prizes.

Our tour guide pointed out the words carved in Latin across the top of the great wooden doors: “Magna opera Domini esquisira in ornnes coluntares ejrts.” It was a quote from Psalm 111:2, “Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.” Our guide went on to note that when the lab was relocated in the 1970s to West Cambridge, the faculty insisted that the new doors be inscribed with the same words—in English.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSexuality* Theology

September 2, 2015 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(ABC Aus) Oliver O’Donovan: Moral Discernment in an Unintelligible Present
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The idea of history turns on the reconciliation of good and time: the progress of time does not reduce the goods of nature to meaninglessness and vanity, but allows of a succession with its own meaning, congruent to nature but not identical with it. It is possible to underestimate the theoretical demands of such a reconciliation, which is what a variety of historicisms - spinning the logic of history out of nature or thrusting a logic of history over the top of nature - have done. Every such purely historical meaning turns out to be unmeaningful. It cannot yield the "love of one's own" to which Grant gave such great weight.

But if a reconciliation cannot be accomplished by immanent dialectic or nihilist decree, it may be disclosed to us by God, as promise. The difference between "my people" and "other people" depends on a special and particular gift, a narrative identity, and a narrative identity is a temporal meaning that is only to be received as a gift, not discovered as a truth of nature or imposed as a fiat of will.

Read it all.

Filed under: * TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 2, 2015 at 5:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NRO) Wesley Smith responds to George Will’s Bad Arguments for Assisted Suicide
Posted by Kendall Harmon

...once society generally accepts the dark premise that killing is an acceptable way to end suffering–we haven’t yet–there is no way to effectively constrain euthanasia inflation.

This isn’t a “slippery slope” argument but determinable from facts on the ground. Thus, in addition to the physically ill and dying, doctors in Belgium and the Netherlands kill the mentally ill, the healthy elderly “tired of life,” and in Belgium, even engage in joint killings of married couples that fear widowhood and/or dependency.

Switzerland’s legal suicide clinics have facilitated the deaths of people who are not sick for existential reasons. Recently, an elderly Italian woman received assisted suicide because she was in despair over her loss of beauty. The first her family knew that she was dead was when the suicide clinic mailed the family her ashes.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 2, 2015 at 5:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(W Post Op-ed) George Will Argues for Assisted Suicide
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The American Medical Association remains opposed to physician assistance in dying; the California Medical Association has moved from opposition to neutrality. Litigation has been unsuccessful in seeking judicial affirmation of a right that California’s legislature should establish. Legislation to do this has been authored by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, chair of the Democratic caucus.

There are reasons for wariness. An illness’s six-month trajectory can be uncertain. A right to die can become a felt obligation, particularly among bewildered persons tangled in the toils of medical technologies, or persons with meager family resources. And as a reason for ending life, mental suffering itself calls into question the existence of the requisite decisional competence.

Today’s culture of casual death (see the Planned Parenthood videos) should deepen worries about a slippery slope from physician-assisted dying to a further diminution of life’s sanctity. Life, however, is inevitably lived on multiple slippery slopes: Taxation could become confiscation, police could become instruments of oppression, public education could become indoctrination, etc. Everywhere and always, civilization depends on the drawing of intelligent distinctions.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 2, 2015 at 5:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Telegraph) Should humans fear the rise of the machine?
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Within the space of a couple of decades, a robot may be writing this article. It will probably be delivering your post. And if it isn’t driving your car, you’ll need to get with the times.

In the last half a decade, artificial intelligence (AI) has moved from a pipedream, or the domain of science fiction, to a reality that is certain to have a profound impact on our lives.

Not only is AI certain to make millions of jobs that exist today obsolete, it will also force us to ask major questions, about privacy, laws and ethics.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 2, 2015 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer for the Feast Day of the Martyrs of New Guinea
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, we remember before thee this day the blessed martyrs of New Guinea, who, following the example of their Savior, laid down their lives for their friends; and we pray thee that we, who honor their memory, may imitate their loyalty and faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

September 2, 2015 at 4:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Saint Benedict
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive thee, diligence to seek thee, patience to wait for thee, eyes to behold thee, a heart to meditate upon thee, and a life to proclaim thee; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

September 2, 2015 at 4:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

--Psalm 38:21-22

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

September 2, 2015 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(MSF) Democratic Republic of Congo: Katanga Measles Epidemic Keeps Worsening
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A growing measles epidemic in the province of Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo, has sickened more than 20,000 people and killed 300 people this year, according to official figures, while resources to combat the outbreak are still lacking, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned today.

More than 20 of Katanga's 68 health districts are now affected—up from 10 districts in June—but the Congolese government has still not made an official declaration of the epidemic, which may have delayed a timely response.

"Every day we discover new deaths related to measles that have not been accounted for," said Augustin Ngoyi, MSF coordinator of the response. "In a village of 500 inhabitants two hours’ drive from Kabalo, more than 30 children under 5 years of age have died in the last two months. Their little graves are still visible in the cemetery. This represents one third of this age group in the community."

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryAfricaRepublic of Congo

September 1, 2015 at 4:45 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(FT) Martin Wolf—China risks an economic discontinuity
Posted by Kendall Harmon

There are at least three reasons why China’s growth might suffer a discontinuity: the current pattern is unsustainable; the debt overhang is large; and dealing with these challenges creates the risks of a sharp collapse in demand.

The most important fact about China’s current pattern of growth is its dependence on investment as a source of supply and demand (see charts). Since 2011 additional capital has been the sole source of extra output, with the contribution of growth of “total factor productivity” (measuring the change in output per unit of inputs) near zero. Moreover, the incremental capital output ratio, a measure of the contribution of investment to growth, has soared as returns on investment have tumbled.

The International Monetary Fund argues: “Without reforms, growth would gradually fall to around 5 per cent with steeply increasing debt.” But such a path would be unsustainable, not least because debts are already at such a high level. Thus “total social financing” — a broad credit measure — jumped from 120 per cent of GDP in 2008 to 193 per cent in 2014. The government can manage this overhang. But it must not let the build-up restart. The credit-dependent part of investment has to shrink.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

September 1, 2015 at 4:15 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(RNS) The Ashley Madison hack ensnares R C Sproul Jr and points him toward grace
Posted by Kendall Harmon

According a faculty biography, he’s the father of eight children, is rector of theology and chair of philosophy and theology at Reformation Bible College. He’s also a teaching fellow for Ligonier Ministries, an outreach ministry. It was founded by Robert Charles Sproul, his father, who is also chancellor of Reformation College. Sproul Jr.’s college biography also describes him as delighting in teaching “the fullness and the glory of the gospel truth that Jesus changes everything.”

Or rather, he was a professor. He was a fellow. He alerted both institutions and, in accordance with church discipline, is now suspended from both roles.

Unlike other Christians, who maintain all of us are born into sin, his sin — or rather prospective thought about maybe sinning — was outed. And yet, R.C. Sproul Jr., is still teaching a Christian lesson.

This is what he posted on his blog today. It’s titled, “Judgment and Grace.”

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMarriage & FamilyPsychologyScience & TechnologySexuality* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySeminary / Theological Education

September 1, 2015 at 3:28 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]