Sunday Worship on T19
Posted by The_Elves

ON SOON: Sunday Service live from St Helena's Beaufort, SC
Listen live here at 10:15 am Eastern time [3:15 pm London time]

+ We are Called to be Worshippers of God in Spirit+Truth - Dr Kendall Harmon (Psalm 148)
+ Choral Evensong from Birmingham Cathedral


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

October 23, 2016 at 6:32 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Chicago Cubs Win NLCS over the LA Dodgers and are going to the World Series!
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Your 2016 National League Champions. #FlyTheW

— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 23, 2016

Anthony Rizzo threw his glove, pumped his fist and leaped into the arms of Travis Wood.

Aroldis Chapman waved a "W" flag. David Ross cried. Cubs players formed a blue mound of joy on the pitcher's mound Saturday night at Wrigley Field after their 5-0 victory over the Dodgers clinched the National League pennant for the first time since 1945.

Next year really is here, North Siders. It's really gonna happen. The Cubs have won the pennant. Yes, the Cubs have won the pennant.

"Four more and we can really have a party," manager Joe Maddon said during the postgame ceremony.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistorySports* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

October 23, 2016 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Evangelicals write to CofE Bishops about their plans to depart from the faith
Posted by The_Elves

The Church of England is at a crossroads in her calling to bring hope and transformation to our nation. The presenting issue is that of human sexuality, in particular whether or not the Church is able to affirm sexual relationships beyond opposite sex marriage. But the tectonic issues beneath, and driving, this specific question include what it means to be faithful to our apostolic inheritance, the Church’s relationship with wider culture, and the nature of the biblical call to holiness in the 21st Century. …

We do not believe … that it is within our gift to consider human sexual relationships and what constitutes and enables our flourishing as sexual beings to be of ‘secondary importance’. What is at stake goes far beyond the immediate pastoral challenges of human bisexual and same-sex sexual behaviour: it is a choice between alternative and radically different visions of what it means to be human, to honour God in our bodies, and to order our lives in line with God’s holy will.

At this crucial juncture, as our bishops pray and discern together regarding how the Church of England should walk forward at this time, we urge them not to depart from the apostolic inheritance with which they have been entrusted. …”

Read it all on Psephiso or Gafcon UK

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

October 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Statement from the Global South Primates and GAFCON Primates Council Concerning Same-sex Unions
Posted by Kendall Harmon

6. We affirm that the clear teaching of Jesus, and the Bible as a whole, is that marriage is an estate for all people, not just for believers. It is a holy institution, created by God for a man and a woman to live in a covenantal relationship of exclusive and mutual love for each other until they are parted by death. God designed marriage for the well-being of society, for sexual intimacy between a husband and a wife, and for procreation and the nurturing of children (Genesis 2:18-25).
7. We contend that sexual intercourse between two persons of the same sex is contrary to God’s design, is offensive to him and reflects a disordering of God’s purposes for complementarity in sexual relations. Like all other morally wrong behaviour, same-sex unions alienate us from God and are liable to incur God’s judgment. We hold these convictions based on the clear teaching of Scripture. We hold them not in order to demean or victimise those who experience same-sex attractions, but in order to guard the sound doctrine of our faith, which also informs our pastoral approach for helping those who struggle with same-sex impulses, attractions and temptations.
8. In this respect, the Church cannot condone same-sex unions as a form of behaviour acceptable to God. To do so would be tampering with the foundation of our faith once for all laid down by the apostles and the prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2: 20-22; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11; Jude 3).
9. Any pastoral provision by a church for a same-sex couple (such as a liturgy or a service to bless their sexual union) that obviates the need for repentance and a commitment to pursue a change of conduct enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit, would contravene the orthodox and historic teaching of the Anglican Communion on marriage and sexuality.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastEgypt* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 8, 2016 at 4:09 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Communiqué from the 6th Global South Conference
Posted by Kendall Harmon

We affirm the biblical and historic faith that our Anglican forebears have faithfully handed down to us at great cost and which continues to shape our discipleship and mission:

a. We are part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We profess the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures – the canonical books of the Old and New Testament that contain all things necessary for salvation, and set forth in the catholic creeds, which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation.

b. The doctrine in our churches, as our Anglican forebears bequeathed to us, is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer 1662 and the Ordinal.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & Primates* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastEgypt* Theology

October 8, 2016 at 8:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Gafcon Chairman Nicholas Okoh’s September 2016 Letter
Posted by Kendall Harmon

As I write, GAFCON is about to launch a project which I believe will be very significant for the future of the Anglican Communion. Under the leadership of Director Dr Samson Mwaluda, the recently retired Bishop of Taita Taveta in Kenya, the GAFCON Bishops Training Institute begins its first conference in Nairobi on 29th September for some twenty recently consecrated bishops drawn from GAFCON affiliated provinces. We already have a waiting list for our next conference!

I thank God that we are taking this step because the potential of leadership, for good or for bad, is very great. We see this truth in the life of Jesus. Much of his earthly ministry was devoted to teaching and training disciples and his most severe warnings of future judgement were spoken to religious leaders who twisted the Scriptures and served their own interests.

Jesus himself is the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11) and he is our example, in contrast to the hired man who runs for safety when the wolf attacks (John 10:12). Jesus is also the chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4) to whom all those of us who are entrusted with the care of God’s people will have to give account, but as Anglicans who hold to the historic episcopate, we look especially to our bishops to set wholesome examples as shepherds and overseers of the flock of God.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & Primates

September 30, 2016 at 5:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Recent Key Entries 2016
Posted by The_Elves

+ Scottish Anglican Network statement on amendment of Scottish Episcopal Church’s marriage canon (June 12, 2016 at 3:58 pm)
+ Diocese of Akure, Nigeria dissociates from the Diocese of Liverpool over TEC SSB Bishop appointment (June 6, 2016 at 12:47 pm)
+ Archbishop Okoh’s GAFCON Chairman’s June 2016 Pastoral Letter to the Anglican faithful (June 4, 2016 at 8:00 am)

Primates Gathering 2016 / ACC-16 in Lusaka
Key Posts
+ GAFCON Primates Nairobi Communiqué 2016 (April 22, 2016 at 3:54 am)
+ What did the Lusaka ACC-16 Meeting Decide? Some views (April 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm)
+ ACC-16 Resolutions (April 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm)
+ Kenya 6: [Anglican Ink] Interview: Kenya’s archbishop responds to forgery reports (April 12, 2016 at 3:17 pm )
+ CofE Synod: David Porter Plans July Facilitated Conversations on Sexual Immorality (February 16, 2016 at 8:19 pm


Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)

February 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Christopher Howse on 1 word in the liturgy—the return of the dew that we hardly knew we’d lost
Posted by Kendall Harmon

One word has been reintroduced into one of the Eucharistic prayers in the Mass which had previously been omitted by the translators. I’m glad to see it.

When I say one word, I mean it was one word in the Latin original. In the so-called Second Eucharistic Prayer the word is rore, which is now translated as “like the dewfall”. I find it not only poetic but very expressive of the way that God seems to work.

This is the sentence where it occurs: “Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Read it all from the Telegraph.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, Worship* TheologySacramental TheologyBaptismEucharist

October 23, 2016 at 6:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Church of South India
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Grant, O Lord, that as thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ prayed for his enemies on the cross, so we may have grace to forgive those that wrongfully or scornfully use us; that we ourselves may be able to receive thy forgiveness; though the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

October 23, 2016 at 5:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

--Psalm 63:3-7

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 23, 2016 at 4:55 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Bill Murray acts as POTUS to talk about his beloved Cubs
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Filed under: * Culture-WatchSports* General InterestHumor / Trivia

October 22, 2016 at 4:56 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Chicago Tribune) For Cubs fans, the anticipation is brimming, the eagerness palpable
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Except for the understandable reluctance of White Sox fans to enjoy what's happening, the Cubs' success carries a universal appeal that connects people from all generations and walks of life, all of them united by a red "C" or a white "W" flag. They may have nothing more in common than an appreciation for Jake Arrieta's beard or an antipathy for the Cardinals, but that's enough for good conversation and a smile.

Everybody knows somebody who claims to be the best Cubs fan ever. Everybody knows of a parent or grandparent, aunt or uncle who seriously fears dying before their beloved Cubs win it all. Everybody talks about the Cubs validating President Theo Epstein's plan, but nobody can deny how this season also possibly can fulfill a purpose for many Cubs fans who have been waiting for this for so long, for too long. To some families, the Cubs always will be about more than baseball.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had said before Game 5 that the noticeable presence of Cubs fans at Chavez Ravine was good for the game. So would the Cubs finally winning a pennant and playing in a World Series, the type of thing that transcends sports.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistorySports* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

October 22, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(A Cranmer blog) Archbp Welby ponders problem of suffering: “I’m not a good enough theologian”
Posted by Kendall Harmon

“I don’t think there’s a good answer..”

He realises what he’s just said, and, respectful of God and Aquinas, hastily moves to qualify, mindful that his previous spontaneous musings have been broadcast around the world and unhelpfully interpreted by a largely unsympathetic media.

“ an intellectual sense..”


The media won’t do Thomistic philosophy.

“I don’t think there’s an answer which says, ‘That’s it.'”

That’s neat.

“I’m not a good enough theologian,” he justifies, before going on to expound the Book of Job...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* TheologyTheodicy

October 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Atlantic) A look at some of the Iranian refugees filling German church pews
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Throughout Germany, the pews of churches like theirs are filled increasingly by asylum-seekers. Though two umbrella church organizations told me that they couldn’t provide exact statistics or comment on the nationality of the asylum-seekers attending church, Christoph Heil, a spokesman for the Protestant Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia—which includes 1,300 parishes—confirmed the pattern. “Normally we don’t count the number of asylum-seekers who are baptized because we don’t differentiate between who is an asylum-seeker and who isn’t, but [asylum-seekers asking to be baptized] appears to be a new trend,” he said.

Muslim converts to Christianity that I spoke to in Germany cited the redemptive power of Jesus’s story, and disillusionment with Islam. It’s also worth noting the more earthly forces potentially at work: Germany does not grant refugee status to Iranians as easily as it does Syrians and Iraqis. Around 27,000 Iranians applied for asylum in the EU in 2015, with Germany hosting the overwhelming majority; according to Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, 60 percent of Iranian requests for asylum received positive answers that year. Iranians seeking refugee status must prove that if they are sent home, they stand the risk of being persecuted for their beliefs. In Iran, that often means Christian converts.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEuropeGermanyMiddle EastIran* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyChristology

October 22, 2016 at 1:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NYT Op-ed) Paul Volcker+ Peter Peterson—Ignoring the Debt Problem
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Yes, this country can handle the nearly $600 billion federal deficit estimated for 2016. But the deficit has grown sharply this year, and will keep the national debt at about 75 percent of the gross domestic product, a ratio not seen since 1950, after the budget ballooned during World War II.

Long-term, that continued growth, driven by our tax and spending policies, will create the most significant fiscal challenge facing our country. The widely respected Congressional Budget Office has estimated that by midcentury our debt will rise to 140 percent of G.D.P., far above that in any previous era, even in times of war.

Unfortunately, despite a brief discussion during the final presidential debate, neither candidate has put forward a convincing plan to restrain the growth of the national debt in the decades to come.

Read it all. For a very important background on this, please see this 2011 post and the comments thereon, in which Boston University's Laurence J. Kotlikoff makes clear that the true figure of our actual indebtedness is in excess of 200 Trillion dollars--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentBudgetMedicareSocial SecurityThe National DeficitPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 22, 2016 at 11:02 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Church Times) Safeguarding issue silences bells of York Minster
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A safeguarding issue was re­vealed on Monday to be at the centre of the row that blew up last week over bell-ringing in York Minster.

To furious protests by the na­­tion’s bell-ringers, the entire band of ringers at York Minster had been summarily sacked on Tuesday of last week, for reasons that at first were unclear.

At the time, the Dean, the Very Revd Vivienne Faull, and the Chap­ter alluded only to “health and safety”, and the need to bring the ringers under the control of the Chapter, in line with its other volunteer teams.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMusicReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

October 22, 2016 at 10:02 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Scotsman) Chaplain creates blessing for each hole at Royal Dornoch
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Golfers at one of the world’s most prestigious courses are being given spiritual advice by a Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen.

[The] Rev Susan Brown, who also wed Madonna and Guy Ritchie, has written thought provoking reflections for each of the 18 Championship Course holes at Royal Dornoch Golf Club in the Highlands to help inspire players and “exercise the body, mind and spirit”. The 57-year-old walked the course at different times of the day to capture the unique feel of the stunning landscape to create the so-called “Holy Round” as part of celebrations to mark 400 years of golf in the area.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSports* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterian

October 22, 2016 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from C H Spurgeon
Posted by Kendall Harmon

[O Heavenly Father] may every breath [this day] be for You; may every minute be spent for You. Help us to live while we live and while we are busy in the world as we must be, for we are called to it, may we sanctify the world for Your service. May we be lumps of salt in the midst of society. May our spirit and temper as well as our conversation be heavenly; may there be an influence about us that shall make the world the better before we leave it. Lord hear us in this thing [through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.]

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

October 22, 2016 at 7:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

--Psalm 30:11-12 (KJV)

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 22, 2016 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

The Bp of St Albans asks the Govt abt links between betting terminals and violent crime
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the Minister for his Answer. Gambling-related harm is not restricted to people with problem gambling—it affects family, it affects friends, it affects even people who work in gambling shops. I recently put in a freedom of information request to the Metropolitan Police which revealed that since 2010 there has been a 68% rise in violent crime associated with betting shops across the capital. In the light of that, will the Minister tell the House what assessment the Government have made of the link between this rapid rise in violent crime associated with betting shops and the increase in the number of fixed-odds betting terminals in those shops?

Lord Ashton of Hyde: Any rise in crime figures is of course concerning, and Ministers and the Gambling Commission will look at those figures closely. One of the three licensing objectives that all operators must comply with is to prevent gambling being a source of crime. On the right reverend Prelate’s specific question about the link between fixed-odds betting terminals and the rise in crime, I hesitate at the moment to draw a causal link between them in the absence of evidence on the specific means of betting. However, this is exactly the sort of evidence that should be provided to the forthcoming triennial review.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchGamblingLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 21, 2016 at 3:30 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Diocese of Down and Dromore in good heart for future ministry
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The bishop noted some of the changes in society, but more particularly, in ministry and leadership, which had occurred since his consecration in 1997.
He compared figures from 1997–2016 and encouraged Synod that the diocese was well positioned for the future with 300 people commissioned and licensed for the work of ministry on a diocesan level.
There continued to be opportunities for curates and a desire in the diocese to invest in fresh new ministries. This year the number of presbyters ordained was the second largest in 20 years and six individuals were likely to begin the Foundation year at CITI – three in their twenties, two in their thirties, and one in their forties.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

October 21, 2016 at 11:05 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CH) Pornography lessons? Not at my school, says Catholic headmaster
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The headmaster of Downside School has spoken out against suggestions that pornography should be taught in schools.

Following comments by the broadcaster and journalist Dame Jenni Murray, in which she said teenagers should watch pornography together and analyse it as though it was a Jane Austen novel, Dr James Whitehead said that promoting pornography goes against the ethos of gender equality.

During an appearance at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, Murray suggested schools “put boys and girls together in a class and you show them a pornographic film and you analyse it in exactly the same way as you teach them to read all the other cultures around them”.

But in a blogpost for the Independent Schools Council, Dr Whitehead said Jane Austen would be “appalled”.

Read it all.

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

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEntertainmentPornographyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

Comments are closed.
October 21, 2016 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Alan See—The 1980’s Are Calling, They Want Leadership Back
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A recent HBR article presented researched that suggests that many employees spend up to 80% of their time in meetings, on the phone and responding to emails. That doesn’t leave much time to get their individually assigned work done.

Let me be clear. I’m not bashing teamwork and collaboration. We all know that input and insight from several knowledgeable sources can add value to the organization. But are executives confusing the concept of collaboration with consensus? Or worse, perhaps they are using this popular management style as a way to hedge responsibility should something go wrong. As in, “Hey, it’s not my problem! We all signed-off thinking she would make a great hire.” Or, “Hey, it’s not my fault! Everyone agreed that the new product would sell like hotcakes!”

At the risk of being labeled a non-collaborator, I believe the pendulum needs to swing back to the middle.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 21, 2016 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CC) Hard to read but important-Why I didnt report when I was sexually assaulted
Posted by Kendall Harmon

I was at a professional meeting, having dinner at a convivial restaurant to honor a senior scholar. There was one man at the table I wanted to avoid. He had been backhandedly undermining my work for years. Using the buddy system, I asked a good friend to sit next to me. But when I came back from the restroom, everyone had shifted chairs, to facilitate more conversation. The only empty chair was next to this man.

I wish I had left the restaurant then. I should have risked the considerable awkwardness and come up with some excuse to leave. Instead I sat down, trying to appear composed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesMenPsychologySexualityViolenceWomen* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 21, 2016 at 6:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CSM) Stephen Hawking launches AI research center with opening speech
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking has repeatedly warned of the dangers posed by out-of-control artificial intelligence (AI). But on Wednesday, as the professor opened the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) at the University of Cambridge, he remarked on its potential to bring positive change – if developed correctly.

"Success in creating AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation. But it could also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks," Dr. Hawking said at the launch, according to a University of Cambridge press release.

Representing a collaboration between the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, and the University of California, Berkeley, the CFI will bring together a multidisciplinary team of researchers, as well as tech leaders and policy makers, to ensure that societies can "make the best of the opportunities of artificial intelligence," as its website states.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 21, 2016 at 6:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Church Times) Religious groups discuss practical ways to tackle extremism
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Religious groups attended a Foreign Office conference this week on preventing violent extremism: a phenomenon described as “the biggest challenge of our generation” by the Minister for Human Rights, Baroness Anelay.

“I have seen allegations that religion can cause violence,” she said on Tuesday. “I would say it is politicians that use religion as an excuse.” She spoke of a desire to use the “expertise and experience” of faith leaders to “find ways to work together to ensure that young people grow up tolerant of each other . . . and be in a strong position to resist the siren call of extremists, who have a very perverted view of what religion comprises”.

More than 50 speakers were scheduled to speak at the conference, to more than 170 participants. They were given the task, Baroness Anelay said, of producing “practical ideas” on how to tackle extremism. The event was “not intended to be something to reach out to people, but us to then go out and put our ideas into practice”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 21, 2016 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(WSJ) Tramadol is the opioid of the masses in poor countries, and it’s causing big problems
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Farmers in Northern Cameroon told the researchers that they take double or triple the safe dosage, and feed tramadol to cattle to help them pull plows through the scorching afternoon sun.

“I have to use it,” says Mamadou, a 35-year-old cotton-factory worker in Garoua. He pulled a red pill from his pocket and washed it down with warm pineapple soda. He started using tramadol five years ago, and says he now takes about 675 milligrams daily—more than double the recommended short-term dosage. “Everyone consumes it here,” he says. His mother, his brother, “even the old people.”

Fueled by cut-rate Indian exports and inaction by world narcotics regulators, tramadol dependency extends across Africa, the Middle East and into parts of Asia and Eastern Europe. Tramadol is abused in Guangzhou, Chinese researchers found. The Egyptian government is waging a crackdown within communities including Cairo’s cabdrivers. Saudi officials in May confiscated several thousand pills smuggled in a shipment of frozen meat—one of dozens of busts around the Persian Gulf. A documentary by Pittsburgh filmmakers last year showed tramadol abuse among street children in Ukraine.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionGlobalization* International News & CommentaryAfricaCameroon* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 21, 2016 at 5:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(MS News) Fulani gunmen Massacre over 40 Nigerian Christians
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed more than 40 Christians in an attack in this town in northern Nigeria on Saturday (Oct. 15) and left another eight dead in an assault three weeks earlier, area leaders said.
Besides the eight slain on Sept. 24-26 in Godogodo, a predominantly Christian community in Kaduna state, the Muslim Fulani herdsmen also wounded eight Christians by gunshot and machete cuts, the leaders said.
Godogodo residents said that the second massacre began at 5 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 15), barely two hours after Morning Star News left after investigating the September attack. The Rev. Thomas Akut of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Good News Church in Godogodo said the assailants burned houses and shot Christians dead in the attack over the weekend.

Read it all.

Filed under:

October 21, 2016 at 5:32 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the American Book of Common Prayer
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes, we beseech thee, to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works; that rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve thee with gladness; for the sake of him by whom all things were made, thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

October 21, 2016 at 5:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

--Psalm 31:15-16

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 21, 2016 at 5:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CT) Should Evangelical Intellectuals Despair ‘Books and Culture’s’ Demise?
Posted by Kendall Harmon

B&C co-chair Mark Noll helped start the publication in 1994, the same year his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind was released.

“I’m quite depressed about the state of the world as is reflected in its closing,” said Noll, a history professor at Notre Dame University, who believes the magazine thrived because of Wilson’s vision and expertise.

“John’s singular ability in an age of polemics and partisanship and gotcha-journalism was to emphasis the long-term, to be thoughtful rather than reactive, to try to bring insight rather than onslaught,” Noll said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingBooksEducationMediaReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* Theology

October 20, 2016 at 4:56 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CP) Drug death toll reaches new peak in British Columbia with 555 fatalities in nine months
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The number of illicit drug deaths in British Columbia surpassed last year’s death toll after just nine months.

The Ministry of Public Safety says in the first nine months of this year there were 555 deaths because of illicit drug overdoses, compared with 508 for all of 2015.

The ministry says fentanyl remains the major contributor to the high number of deaths and in more than 60 per cent of them, the drug was detected.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 20, 2016 at 4:18 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CEN) Clergy launch lawsuit against Archbishop of Uganda
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Eleven clergy of the Diocese of West Ankole have brought a lawsuit in the Kampala High Court against the Primate of the Church of Uganda.

They allege that the Most Rev Stanley Ntagali had violated church canons and slandered the leaders of the diocese when he appointed his own commission to select candidates to replace the Rt Rev Yona Katoneene.

The lawsuit alleges that when Archbishop Ntagali created an eight-member committee on 2 October 2015 to oversee the selection process, he usurped the authority of the local committee, violated canon law and slandered West Ankole was a “failed” diocese.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Uganda* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaUganda* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

October 20, 2016 at 3:15 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CT) How did a tiny campus church plant become the fastest-growing flock in Tallahassee?
Posted by Kendall Harmon

One of the axioms for preaching to and teaching college students seems to be a de-emphasis on some of the more difficult implications of the gospel, such as sexual ethics, etc. But you've not shied away from those. Why?

We want to answer questions people are actually asking. The whole world is talking about sexuality, gender, and other ethical issues, so why wouldn't the church? Much more importantly, the Scriptures are clear on God's design, and we want to be clear where God is clear. We recently concluded a sermon series on predestination and effectual calling, immediately followed by a series which covered gender, divorce, and homosexuality. During the two months we spent in those sermon series, we saw the church grow.

Conviction and clarity matter. It is an urban legend that to see a church grow in reaching young people means to accommodate the people in the seats, rather than challenge them to leave their church chairs after the service is over and live out a worldview that is based on their conviction concerning the Scriptures and the gospel.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* Theology

October 20, 2016 at 11:31 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Telegraph) Rowan Williams: celebrity culture as damaging to future generations as pollution
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Britain’s shallow, celebrity-obsessed culture could leave as toxic a legacy for future generations as the pollution of the planet, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams of Oystermouth has warned.
Today’s children are growing up in a culture with few if any real “heroes”, he said, while ideas of “nobility” and even “honour” are quietly disappearing.
The result could be as damaging to the nation’s “moral and imaginative ecology” as the destruction of the environment, he argued.
Britain is in danger of become a more “boring” and “mean-minded” place as a result, he added.

Read it all (another from the long line of should have already been posted material).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaMovies & TelevisionReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

October 20, 2016 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(AM) Andrew Symes responds to Anthony Archer on the C of E and Establishment
Posted by Kendall Harmon

But if there is a growing gap between the beliefs of the elites and the laws of the nation on one hand, and the Christian Church on the other, then the Bible and church history give clear guidance: the Church’s responsibility is to do precisely the opposite of what Mr Archer suggests, and stick to its principles courageously, compassionately and prophetically, as for example the Anglican Church did in South Africa, otherwise it becomes a puppet of the State and a religious cipher in society.

Mr Archer goes on to predict, with approval, that Parliament will in time act to “urge” the Church of England to change its official teaching and practice regarding sexual ethics and marriage. He may be right, and readers should not be surprised in the coming months to see influential leaders such as Mr Archer siding with Government and media to put pressure on the Church in this way.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchHistoryMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 20, 2016 at 7:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(CEN) Anthony Archer—Trials, tribulations and … Establishment for the C of E
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The questions to be posed are what a national Church should do when it is out of step with the law of the land and the people it serves, and whether this conundrum strikes at the root of Establishment. The fact is that the Canons of the Church of England define marriage, in accordance with the traditional understanding of Christ’s teaching and the doctrine of the Church, as being between a man and a woman, and would render it in conflict with statute law, but for the so-called quadruple lock.

Increasingly that teaching is being tested and challenged, both for reasons of moral logic and for reasons of different contextual interpretations of the relevant scriptures. Overall, the Church of England is being tested in relation to a doctrinal position that has as one of its consequences an apparently irreconcilable pastoral position.

The long and at times complicated relationship between Parliament and the Established Church of England is likely to be tested further in the months and years ahead. Commentators have noted the extraordinary lengths MPs and Peers went to in engaging with the debates on women priests and bishops and there is no reason to believe that there will not be a repeat of this over the question of same-sex marriage, in all its aspects. Traditionalists will resile at attempts by Parliament, which can be anticipated, to urge the General Synod to change its teaching, if only permissively, to allow clergy to bless same-sex marriages, to remove the restrictions on celibacy for clergy in same-sex relationships and, ultimately, to permit clergy to conduct same-sex marriages. There will be renewed claims of Erastianism. But the Church cannot have privileges associated with being the Established Church and not be aware of the potential for disestablishment over this issue, with all that that might imply for the mission and ministry of the Church of England.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

October 20, 2016 at 7:16 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Psephizo) Ian Paul—Can we use social media for evangelism?
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The church is struggling to adjust to its new environment in the technological advances of the twenty-first century—we are no longer even in a postmodern age but something indescribably beyond even that. Most consider us to be living, in the West, in post-Christendom. This does not mean we are secular in the UK necessarily; we are simply ‘haunted,’ as Rowan Williams memorably put it, by the memory of Christianity. Along with all other large institutions the church seems to be losing its hold and authority. Into this we can insert the charge to all Christians, and particularly to the ordained in the Church of England, to ‘proclaim the gospel afresh in each generation.’

I am what might be described as an ‘early adopter’; I embraced with enthusiasm social media in all its forms when it emerged in the middle of the last decade. I have also always had a passion for evangelism and for finding new ways to share the faith that I hold so dear. This study seeks to understand something of the world in which we now live, where connection to the internet is seen by some to be a human right, and where it is an integral part of a lot of people’s lives and how this connects to our calling as Christians to become involved in the missio Dei, the mission of God, in the world.

This is an important task. Because of the fast pace of change, we must be careful not to sleepwalk into a new paradigm without taking the time to reflect theologically.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

October 20, 2016 at 7:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Sweden opens its first cemetery free of religious symbols
Posted by Kendall Harmon

“People can decide for themselves what their graves should look like, but the cemetery will be free of all religious and nationalist symbols,” said Erdem.

He also stressed that the cemetery wasn't just for atheists. Believers too could apply to be buried there, as long as they were happy to keep the religious element of their identity out of sight.

Located close to the city’s Stora Tuna church, the cemetery remains empty for now, but several locals have expressed an interest.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEuropeSweden* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheismSecularism* Theology

October 20, 2016 at 6:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(NYT Magazine) Saul Austerlitz—How the Berenstain Bears Found Salvation
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mike Berenstain became a designer at Random House and then a children’s-book writer and illustrator for about 10 years before being called in by his overworked parents to help out with the family business in the mid-1980s. Stan died in 2005, and after that, Mike was left in charge of the writing; his mother continued to co-illustrate the stories along with Mike until she died in 2012. Mike took over as sole author and illustrator, and the books began to reflect more of his own personality, even as he served as the faithful executor of his parents’ vision. This led to a disconnect between his family’s stolid, universalist postwar morality and his own.

Stan Berenstain had been born to a secular Jewish family in West Philadelphia, and Jan Berenstain, née Grant, was Episcopalian by birth. Mike and his brother were not raised in any particular religious faith. “They taught me morals and traditions and ethics, but not a particular spiritual identity,” he says. Mike didn’t find religion until he enrolled his children at Quaker schools near his suburban Philadelphia home, which led him to the Presbyterian Church and a mature religious faith of his own.

In 2006, Mike Berenstain, with the agreement of his mother, approached HarperCollins with an idea for a new book series. They had noticed an unusual volume of letters and emails from devoted Christian readers, writing to share their appreciation for the timeless values of the Berenstain Bears books. A light went off: How about an entire series for religious readers?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksChildrenHistoryReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterianOther FaithsJudaism* Theology

October 20, 2016 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]