Daily Archives: July 18, 2007

Other Atonement Debate Links

Lent & Easter may be over, but some of the controversy stirred up by some prominent CoE leader’s remarks on the Atonement back in April continues:

Jeffrey John’s Lent Talk


Giles Fraser’s Guardian article Cross Purposes (April 2007)


Related Google Search http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=turns+Christianity+into+cosmic+child+abuse&btnG=Google+Search
Turns up responses from

Albert Mohler:

This Crosswalk article

apparently this debate has spilled over into the Emerging Church movement…


Adrian Warnock’s blog (UK Evangelical)
Atonement category: http://adrianwarnock.com/labels/Atonement.htm


Christianity Today: Cross Purposes

Cross Purposes
Biggest Christian conference splits amid growing atonement debate.

Three of Great Britain’s most prominent Christian groups have ended their 14-year conference partnership, scuttling the annual Word Alive youth event. At issue was disagreement over a speaker, the Rev. Steve Chalke.
Related articles and links

But below the surface simmers a theological controversy that threatens to split the country’s evangelicals.


From Old T19:

Tom Wright: The Cross and the Caricatures (April 2007)

Helping Patients Face Death, She Fought to Live

Related link: How Jesus bore our sins on the cross (also Tom Wright)

Anne Atkins: A God who Takes Evil and Injustice Seriously (April 2007)

NPR–Apple's iPad: The End Of The Internet As We Know It?

Coming Liturgical Revision at All Saints Pasadena? (May 2007)

SMH–What lies beneath – a question of ethics

A Movement from Above to Below (April 2007)

Detroit Free Press–Churches get creative to add men

Albert Mohler: Two Strands of Faith? No, Two Different Religions (Feb 2007)

Fleming Rutledge: The Haitian calamity


A USA Today Article on the Episcopal Church and the New Presiding Bishop

Washington Post: Obama's State of the Union address takes a harder tone

Rob Eaton Recalls a Resolution at the General Convention of 2006

Anglican Journal: Fewer staff at Anglican Church of Canada national office forecast


Leander Harding: Finding the True Church?

CNS: Households face budget crunch in an attempt to put food on the table

Row over ”˜wrath’ at Chelmsford Clergy Synod

BBC: Israel PM 'may back two states'

Nothing But the Blood (Mark Dever in CT)

Bob Libby: Lift High the Cross”¦the movie

Pope Benedict XVI's Urbi et Orbi message easter 2009

TESM: The Biblical Doctrine of the Atonement
Rodney Whitacre

Ed Bacon Preaches at CDSP’s Graduation

AFP: Anglicans await key ruling on women bishops

Dana Wilson: “What Does It Mean To Be a Christian?”

Church of England accused of censoring debate on Islam

Michael Ingham’s Easter Sermon ???

Saved by Salsa Dancing


Newest issue of Southern Baptist Journal of Theology


JI Packer: Penal Substitution revisited


John Piper: Why Christ Died

Clinton, Obama, Edwards to Debate Faith and Poverty

Hanna Rosin reviews Mark Regnerus' Forbidden Fruit: Sex+Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers

Bill Mehr Chimes in

New Hampshire law makes same-sex civil unions legal

Amy Johnson Frykholm: Formerly gay?

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Resources & Links, Atonement, Resources: blogs / websites, Theology

Charities fight the tide of do-gooder fatigue

From the Christian Science Monitor:

More than a quarter of Americans spent some of their time lending a helping hand last year.

That good news kept the rate of nationwide volunteering at historically high levels: Some 61.2 million people dedicated 8.1 billion hours of service to schools; hospitals; and religious, political, and youth groups in 2006, according to the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS).

The bad news is that the number of volunteers recently dipped significantly ”“ by one third ”“ from 2005.

A key reason: Nonprofits and other groups that rely on volunteers are having trouble retaining them.

“The demographics are such that we are poised to make this 30-year high get even better because the baby-boom generation is passing the traditional age of retirement,” says David Eisner, CEO of CNCS. The group aims to raise the number of adult volunteers to 75 million by 2010.

“At the same time,” he says, “our work is cut out for us because, nationally, the volunteer bucket is a bit leaky. We get a lot each year, but we lose a lot each year. We have to figure out how to plug those holes.” Commuting time, education, and home ownership all play roles in determining how much time people are likely to spend helping organizations that need support, according to the CNCS’s national study of America’s top 50 cities based on census data between 2004 and 2006

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture

The August/September Issue of the South Carolina Diocesan Newspaper

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC)

Religious Leaders Call for Just Farm Bill

A Baptist leader said Tuesday that the United States’ farm policy is unfair to African-American farmers and disadvantaged farmers in Africa, the Caribbean and the developing world.

Earl Trent, executive director of missions for the Progressive National Baptist Convention, joined other religious leaders on Capitol Hill hours before the House Agriculture Committee was set to begin debating the 2007 Farm Bill to call for reform that reflects American values of fairness and equal opportunity.

In prepared remarks, Trent said the Progressive National Baptist Convention, founded in 1961, the convention of Martin Luther King, has in its “organizational DNA” a central concern for “the least, the lost and the left out of our society.”

Current farm policies, Trent said, are inequitable. Commodity subsidies to black farmers are “abysmally low,” he said. Out of every $100,000 given for subsidies, black farmers receive three dollars.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Religion & Culture

The Bishop of Los Angeles writes the New York Times

I would like to clear some factual errors in the article by reporter Sharon Waxman, “Man of the Flesh to Man of the Cloth,” (Sunday July 15, Fashion and Style).

Mr. Ronald Boyer is not in any process for ordination in The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Los Angeles. He has expressed an interest in ordained ministry, as do dozens of people every year. But the path to ordination is a long, careful, deliberate process, beginning with a discernment committee in the applicant’s own congregation, which over a period of time arrives at a prayerful recommendation as to whether or not to support the person’s application.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Payout Is Bittersweet for Victims of Abuse

As abuse victims sobbed in the courtroom, a judge approved a $660 million settlement yesterday between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and 508 people who had filed suit over sexual abuse by clergy members.

“Settling the cases was the right thing to do,” said Judge Haley J. Fromholz of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The settlement in the nation’s largest Roman Catholic diocese is considered a landmark because the legal battle endured for more than four years, and because the sum is more than six times larger than any previous deal struck by a diocese.

At a news conference outside the courthouse yesterday, sexual abuse victims stepped to the microphone one by one, many carrying photographs of themselves as children, and shared their feelings of betrayal by the church and in particular, the archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, a fixture in Los Angeles since 1985.

“I don’t want Mahony going around saying everything is all right, because it’s not,” said Rita Milla, 45, a medical assistant who lives in Carson. “My church acted like it didn’t know what was happening.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

As Muslim Group Goes on Trial, Other Charities Watch Warily

The strained argument between the United States government and nonprofit groups over how to deal with charities suspected of supporting terrorism is expected to play out in federal court here with the trial of the largest Muslim charity in this country, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.

[Jury selection in the trial began on Monday, and was expected to take most of the week.]

The government, in the lengthy indictment and other court documents, accuses the foundation of being an integral part of Hamas, which much of the West condemns as a terrorist organization. The prosecution maintains that the main officers of the Holy Land foundation started the organization to generate charitable donations from the United States that ultimately helped Hamas thrive.

The defense argues that the government, lacking proof, has simply conjured up a vast conspiracy by claiming that the foundation channeled money through public charity committees in the occupied territories that it knew Hamas controlled. The federal government, the defense says, has never designated these committees as terrorist organizations.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Anglican-Methodist Covenant faces challenges

British Methodists say the Anglican-Methodist Covenant is facing challenges that some here might call a “bumpy patch.”

Signed in 2003, the covenant agreement sets out plans for greater cooperation between the two traditions. Commenting on a report about its implementation during the 2007 annual conference, British Methodist officials say the process has yielded “some encouragements and some disappointments.”
The role of women in church leadership and the role of bishops themselves are among issues that still have no formal agreement between Anglicans and Methodists. The British Methodist Church has no bishops.

United Methodist Bishop William Oden, ecumenical officer for the denomination’s Council of Bishops and a representative to the British Methodist Conference, expressed concern about the covenant’s progress.

“It seems (the covenant) is stalled at the moment when U.S. United Methodist and Episcopal relations are going forward,” Oden told United Methodist News Service, referring to progress in dialogue between those denominations. “The Church of England is busy with other issues, and British Methodists seem to have backed off.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Methodist, Other Churches

Benjamin B. Twinamaani: Preparing for Lambeth 2008

So far, invitations to the Lambeth Conference of 2008 have been sent out, but withheld from some bishops (Gene Robinson of New Hampshire because of his same-gender relationship on one hand, and on the other, Martyn Minns of CANA and Charles Murphy and his colleagues of the AMiA for the crossing of TEC provincial/diocesan boundaries by their sponsoring archbishops of Nigeria and Rwanda respectively. Also not invited for other unrelated reasons are Robinson Cavalcanti from South America and Nolbert Kunonga from Zimbabwe). That is how central the archbishop of Canterbury, one of our “Instruments of Communion”, has become to Anglican identity in our current crisis. Of particular interest and significance, the bishops of the AMiA and CANA claim they are already in direct communion with the archbishop of Canterbury through their sponsoring provinces of Rwanda and Nigeria respectively, and an invitation to the Lambeth conference would cement their legitimacy as bishops in America, directly in communion with Canterbury, instead of their current “backdoor” link through their sponsors (hence some refer to these bishops as “bishops irregular” as opposed to bishops suffragan or assistant or missionary, on account of their “backdoor” election and consecration). The legitimacy so eagerly sought is deemed to be so crucial to these bishops’ mission goals that if they are not invited to Lambeth 2008, there seems to be a determined willingness from their quarters to compel the bishops of their sponsoring provinces to boycott the Lambeth conference altogether, yet organize another conference of these same boycotting bishops somewhere else around the same time, in hope that next year’s Lambeth conference might become/appear irrelevant to Anglican identity and mission, or might even be postponed altogether, thereby indirectly embarrassing (punishing?) the archbishop of Canterbury for not “officially” recognizing (legitimizing) their mission in Anglican America (a kind of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face). Yes, Lambeth 2008 has become that important a deadline for the Anglican family in America.

The implications for historic Anglican Order resulting from any such legitimation are just too staggering for some of us to sponsor or support at this time, for in their zeal to restore their vision of what Anglican Faith should be, these dear brothers and sisters are ready to break down Anglican Order. Instead, one would rather fully join the other reformed church traditions like the Baptists that hold to Anglican Faith but not to Anglican Order. One cannot have one and not the other and still be legitimately Anglican. It is true that Anglican Faith is broken in TEC (and really only in the North Atlantic Provinces), but that does not justify TEC breaking up Anglican Order and for the rest of the Anglican Communion to pay the price. In my opinion, this vision (saving TEC from herself and for herself) is not worth the price asked for (taking down the entire Anglican family). The juice would not be worth the squeeze.

Unfortunately for the Global South, it is the dioceses and churches in the Global South that critically need to be present at the Lambeth conference, as for some of them, this is the only time and opportunity that their leaders get just that once every ten years to inform the world of what is really happening in their ministries, especially where persecution and oppression exists in their home countries! Many a Global South political dictator is afraid of the bishops from his country attending the Lambeth conference, for they get to tell on an international stage the real stories of their experience of oppression and hardships under the home regime, and possibly gather sufficient international support that usually makes the difference between life and death for their Christians or programs back home (a good example is how Uganda’s Idi Amin directly sponsored some cleric into his secret police so he could attend Lambeth ”˜78, just to spy on Ugandan bishops following the martyrdom of Uganda archbishop Janani Luwum the previous year!). In short, Anglican Faith is comparable to a train, while Anglican Order is comparable to the rail(s) the train runs on. It is not wise to have the best train, even a bullet train (restored Anglican Faith within the American Anglican family) with a disjointed rail system to run it on (broken Anglican Order worldwide).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Identity, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth 2008

The Boston Globe: For Episcopal Church, fissure deepens

In a dramatic illustration of the unhappiness among conservative Episcopalians in the United States, an Episcopal priest from the North Shore has decided to become a bishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya.

The Rev. William L. Murdoch, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in West Newbury, will fly to Nairobi next month for his consecration as a Kenyan bishop, then return to Massachusetts to minister to other disaffected conservatives who are leaving the Episcopal Church over its 2003 decision to ordain an openly gay priest as the bishop of New Hampshire.

Murdoch’s congregation, which averages about 300 worshipers each Sunday, will have to turn over its three buildings and a $1 million endowment to the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. The congregation is planning to buy a closed Catholic church in Amesbury and start over as All Saints Anglican, a local parish of the Kenyan church.

The extraordinary act is part of a new national movement, in which a handful of Episcopal parishes and priests are leaving the 2-million-member Episcopal Church USA and affiliating with the more conservative Anglican churches, called provinces, of Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda.

To the dismay of the Episcopal Church, the African provinces are now developing church organizations in the United States to reach out to those looking for an alternative.

The Episcopal Church is at odds with much of the rest of the Anglican Communion over its support of gay rights and is facing possible sanctions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

David Bryant: Reflecting on the Thought of Jean Paul Sartre

One can see… [Sartre’s] point. At times life does seem uncompromisingly bleak. Terrorism, starvation, war, disease, climate change and the ticking nuclear clock threaten humanity on the global front. Broken relationships, street violence, drug abuse, alcoholism, sexual crime and depression lurk demonically on the domestic horizon. Even the religious dimension is bedevilled by fanaticism, intolerance, infighting and bigotry.
So is that it? Is life a nihilistic endurance test, a tortured journey through a cosmic desolation? If so, we might as well jump off the nearest cliff.

There is an exit strategy from the mire. It springs from a realisation that the future is always pregnant with unformulated possibilities and hope, and that an unrelieved pessimism for what lies ahead might prove unfounded.

At its most fundamental level this implies that life forges ahead inexorably with a kind of Hegelian dialectic. The cosmic wheel of fortune throws up a grim actuality such as terminal illness or a bereavement. Our gut response is one of despair or even rage. But as time passes events slowly meld themselves into a synthesis, a compromise with the stark hand of fate, or maybe God.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Philosophy

Father John Flynn: Families Under Pressure

Marriage and family life continue to suffer the inroads of contemporary society. From England came the recent news that the number of women giving birth outside of marriage rose by 22% in the last 5 years.

According to a June 29 report published by the Daily Mail newspaper, in 2006 a total of 327,000 children were born out of wedlock, 59,000 more than in 2001. In terms of a proportion of overall births, in 2006 no less than 43.7% of babies had unmarried mothers.

The Daily Mail quoted Patricia Morgan, author of a number of studies on the family, who accused the British tax system favoring single parenthood. “Two out of three of the babies outside marriage will have been born to couples with one eye on the benefit authorities,” she told the newspaper.

Her remarks were confirmed by a former Labour Party minister for welfare reform, Frank Field. He argued that the tax and benefits system “brutally discriminate,” against two-parent families, reported the Times newspaper, June 14.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Tim Nunez: We can’t honor our baptismal vows while asserting a partial truth about Christ

The truth we have is admittedly partial, but it is sufficient to proclaim him as Lord and Savior, the Son of God, the Messiah. That is the Christian witness. We may wrestle with it. We may ponder and wonder at it. But for the Church or its leaders to discard it would make us something other than Christian. We may be nice, helpful, neighborly citizens, but something other than Christian.

I did not bring all this up to point out the speck in Ms. Redding’s eye, although I am distressed and saddened by her actions. The risk in addressing this matter is that it invites you to join (or criticize) my distress and sadness. The log in my own eye is how far I fall short of proclaiming our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and in sharing his healing love. I encourage you and Ms. Redding to join me in not settling for partial truth.

The claim of our Episcopal Church, to which I have dedicated my life as I knelt before her, my bishop, and God, and through which I swore to serve God, is that Jesus is Lord. He is the only Son of God, and it is only through his sacrifice that our sin might be overcome. In him is life, true life. This is what we believe and proclaim together. Yet we do so with all humility, as St. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (NRSV)

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Christology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Theology

Twins let their hands do the talking as Christian mimes

Many young people rank listening to a sermon right up there with a trip to the dentist’s office or taking a pop quiz.

But what if that sermon included miming, inspiring music and dramatic dance moves?”Some people go to sleep listening to preachers,” said Mason Porter, a Dallas mime who uses his talent for the dramatic to encourage people to embrace the Christian faith. “We’re outta the box.”

Mason and his twin brother, Jason, are founders of the Wandering Mimes Ministry, a 17-member group of Christian mimes and dancers with the motto, “We are just showing the world what they refuse to hear.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Theatre/Drama/Plays