Daily Archives: February 10, 2008

In manga Bible, the tough guy is Jesus

Ajinbayo Akinsiku wants the world to know Jesus Christ – just not the gentle, blue-eyed Christ of old Hollywood movies and many illustrated Bibles.

Akinsiku says his Son of God is “a samurai stranger who’s come to town, in silhouette,” here to shake things up in a new, much-abridged version of the Bible rooted in manga, the Japanese form of graphic novels.

“We present things in a very brazen way,” said Akinsiku, who hopes to become an Anglican priest and who is the author of “The Manga Bible: From Genesis to Revelation.” “Christ is a hard guy, seeking revolution and revolt, a tough guy.”

Publishers with an eye for evangelism and for markets have long profited by directing Bibles at niche markets: just-married couples, teenage boys, teenage girls, recovering addicts. Often the lure is cosmetic, like a jazzy new cover.

Sales of graphic novels, too, have grown by double digits in recent years. So it makes sense that a convergence is under way, as graphic novels take up stories from the Bible, often in startling ways. In the last year, several major religious and secular publishing houses have announced or released manga religious stories.

The medium shapes the message. Manga often focuses on action and epic. Much of the Bible, as a result, ends up on the cutting room floor, and what remains is darker.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Morning Worship in the Hinterlands

When I visit Dad I worship at Church of the Cross in Ticonderoga, New York. It snowed all night and is still snowing presently so the drive from Silver Bay to Ticonderoga was quite treacherous, even on the ploughed roads. There is maybe 1 to 1 /2 feet of snow on the ground; it is a beautiful winter wonderland. During worship the snow came off the roof and spilled onto the parish walkway so the rector, Marjorie Floor, announced that unless one wanted to go through a lot of snow to get to the parish hall the best means available was through the main worship area–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

Brits at Their Best: Anglican Church needs a refresher course in Christianity

Making things even worse by indicating they have no understanding of Christianity and its relationship to Britain’s common law, the Anglican Church stepped in to defend the Archbishop of Canterbury after he faced fresh criticism from MPs, Muslim leaders and rights activists over his comments that the adoption of parts of sharia law in Britain was “unavoidable”.

Dr Williams has “sought to carefully explore the limits of a unitary and secular legal system in the presence of an increasingly plural society”, said the Church in a memorandum to MPs.

Common law is indeed unitary, that is, it is one body of law for all, whether they are Christians, the adherents of another faith, or non-believers, but it is not a “secular” law. It was founded on Judaeo-Christian principles and created by Christians for practical and spiritual reasons.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Reaction in quotes: Sharia law row

There has been a mixed reaction to Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams’ comments about adopting Sharia law in Britain from politicians, spiritual and cultural figures in the United Kingdom.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Understanding the Gospel According to Huckabee

If you heard Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s victory speech on Super Tuesday, you may have noticed him speaking in what is almost a separate dialect. Some listeners have even asked us what he was talking about. So NPR headed off to the National Mall in search of people who understood Huckabee’s biblical allusions.

It proved almost as hard as getting a camel through the eye of a needle.

We started by recounting this story: In November, as Huckabee surged in the polls, a student at Liberty University asked him what was driving his startling success. Huckabee responded, “It’s the same power that helped a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of 5,000 people.”

We played the tape for Leitha Anthony, who was waiting to go into the Washington Monument. Did she know what he was talking about?

“That’s when Moses … had to feed all the people, the multitude of people that left Egypt,” Anthony hazarded. “That’s what it was?”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture, US Presidential Election 2008

Some Pittsburgh Episcopal lay leaders support break from church

Nearly 100 leading laity in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh have signed an open letter expressing their “strong support for the godly direction” of Bishop Robert W. Duncan Jr. in removing the diocese from the national church and realigning it with a more biblically conservative province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The letter, the idea of Edith M. Humphrey, a professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and Leslie Thyberg, chair of the diocese’s board of examining chaplains, was written in response to a separate letter last month by 12 conservative clergy who broke with the bishop in declaring their intention to remain in the Episcopal Church.

“We were just talking about the letter that the 12 clergy had written openly to the diocese and we were concerned that people might not understand the whole story,” said Dr. Humphrey, a member of the Church of the Ascension in Oakland.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Transcript reveals details of French trader's actions

A transcript of conversations between Jérôme Kerviel, the trader whom Société Générale says cost it nearly 5 billion euros ($7.2 billion), and a broker at one of the bank’s subsidiaries suggests that the second man had an intimate knowledge of Kerviel’s surreptitious trading and that Kerviel was well aware of the gravity of his actions.

The correspondence took place in instant messages sent on the Reuters system from October 2007 to January. The messages add to pressure on Société Générale to explain how Kerviel could have engaged in the furtive trades alone. They also show a side of Kerviel that was alternatively fearful and boastful.

The second man, Moussa Bakir, a 32-year-old broker at Newedge, Société Générale’s futures brokerage previously known as Fimat, was released after 48 hours of questioning by the French financial police.

Bakir faces further questioning in the case, French officials said on Saturday. Judges named Bakir as a person of interest to the investigation, a status between a formal suspect and an ordinary witness.

In excerpts of the exchange, first published on the Web site of the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur on Saturday and confirmed by a person with knowledge of the investigation, Kerviel and Bakir tried to calm each other and made jokes about going to prison.

Read it ll.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Europe, Stock Market

Court: Nebraska Electric Chair Not Legal

The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday that electrocution is cruel and unusual punishment, outlawing the electric chair in the only state that still used it as its sole means of execution.

In the landmark ruling, the court said the state Legislature may vote to have a death penalty, just not one that offends rights under the state constitution. The evidence shows that electrocution inflicts “intense pain and agonizing suffering,” it said.

“Condemned prisoners must not be tortured to death, regardless of their crimes,” Judge William Connolly wrote in the 6-1 opinion.

“Contrary to the State’s argument, there is abundant evidence that prisoners sometimes will retain enough brain functioning to consciously suffer the torture high voltage electric current inflicts on a human body,” Connolly wrote.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment

Irwin Stelzer–American voters must choose: more benefits or more defence

Healthcare remains another important point of difference. And here we have a three-way split. McCain would attempt to bring down costs and make insurance more affordable by stimulating competition and cracking down on the big pharmaceutical companies that he believes overcharge patients. Obama has some as-yet-unspecified plan to make insurance more accessible to those who want it. Clinton, clinging to the approach that proved politically disastrous when she headed her husband’s healthcare taskforce, would make insurance compulsory, even for young workers who neither need nor want it, and deduct the cost from their pay cheques if necessary.

Enough detail to make the broad point. This is one of the few elections that create for Americans what Ronald Reagan once called a time for choosing. In 1932 we elected Franklin Roosevelt and put paid to the notion that “that government is best which governs least”. In 1980 we elected Reagan, a Roosevelt-Democrat turned Republican, and put paid to the conservative war against Roosevelt’s New Deal.

This year we will have to choose between a man who is confident that America can ”“ indeed, must ”“ play a leading role in maintaining world order, even at the expense of domestic spending, and a man or woman who believes that America must concentrate its resources on the home front, while relying more on international institutions to keep the world’s democracies safe from its enemies. Little wonder that this American election has attracted so much attention in Britain and around the world. What happens in America won’t stay in America.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Foreign Relations, Iraq War, US Presidential Election 2008

A Posthumous Blogger

Watch it all from NBC.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

Christians Wrong About Heaven, Says Bishop

I’ve often heard people say, “I’m going to heaven soon, and I won’t need this stupid body there, thank goodness.’ That’s a very damaging distortion, all the more so for being unintentional.

TIME: How so? It seems like a typical sentiment.

[Bishop of Durham Tom] Wright: There are several important respects in which it’s unsupported by the New Testament. First, the timing. In the Bible we are told that you die, and enter an intermediate state. St. Paul is very clear that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead already, but that nobody else has yet. Secondly, our physical state. The New Testament says that when Christ does return, the dead will experience a whole new life: not just our soul, but our bodies. And finally, the location. At no point do the resurrection narratives in the four Gospels say, “Jesus has been raised, therefore we are all going to heaven.” It says that Christ is coming here, to join together the heavens and the Earth in an act of new creation.

TIME: Is there anything more in the Bible about the period between death and the resurrection of the dead?

Wright: We know that we will be with God and with Christ, resting and being refreshed. Paul writes that it will be conscious, but compared with being bodily alive, it will be like being asleep. The Wisdom of Solomon, a Jewish text from about the same time as Jesus, says “the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,” and that seems like a poetic way to put the Christian understanding, as well.

TIME: But it’s not where the real action is, so to speak?

Wright: No. Our culture is very interested in life after death, but the New Testament is much more interested in what I’ve called the life after life after death ”” in the ultimate resurrection into the new heavens and the new Earth.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Eschatology, Theology

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali: English Law and the Sharia

English law is rooted in the Judaeo-Christian tradition and, in particular, our notions of human freedoms derive from that tradition. In my view, it would be simply impossible to introduce a tradition, like Sharia, into this corpus without fundamentally affecting its integrity.

The Sharia is not a generalised collection of dispositions. It is articulated in highly concrete codes called fiqh. It would have to be one or the other, or all, of these which would have to be recognised. All of these schools would be in tension with the English legal tradition on questions like monogamy, provisions for divorce, the rights of women, custody of children, laws of inheritance and of evidence. This is not to mention the relation of freedom to belief and of expression to provisions for blasphemy and apostasy.

We should learn from the debate on this question which recently took place in Canada. Here it was mainly Muslim women’s group that succeeded in preventing the application of Islamic law in matrimonial matters. The importance of a single law for all was strongly re-affirmed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Islam, Other Faiths

From the Sunday Telegraph: Sharia law may result in 'legal apartheid'

Senior religious leaders attack multiculturalism and sharia law today, warning that they are “disastrous”, socially divisive and are destroying Britain’s culture and values.

Lord Carey and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor rebut the call of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, for Islamic law to be recognised in Britain.

Lord Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, said: “His acceptance of some Muslim laws within British law would be disastrous for the nation. He has overstated the case for accommodating Islamic legal codes.

“His conclusion that Britain will eventually have to concede some place in law for aspects of sharia is a view I cannot share.

“There can be no exceptions to the laws of our land which have been so painfully honed by the struggle for democracy and human rights.”

Read it all and follow all the links and read them also.

While I am going to post some stories on the Rowan Williams-Sharia Law flap, I am seeking to avoid letting it become the entire focus of the blog. A news search right now turns up over 1000 stories, for example, and a look at the givesover 3200 entires.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

AP: Obama Leads Clinton by Only 2 Delegates

Three days after the voting ended, the race for Democratic delegates in Super Tuesday’s contests was still too close to call. With nearly 1,600 delegates from Tuesday contests awarded, Sen. Barack Obama led by two delegates Friday night, with 91 delegates still to be awarded. Obama won 796 delegates in Tuesday’s contests, to 794 for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to an analysis of voting results by The Associated Press.
In the Republican contest, Sen. John McCain had a commanding lead in the race for delegates.

Nearly a third of the outstanding delegates are from Colorado, a state where Obama won the popular vote. California, a state that Clinton carried, had 20 Democratic delegates still to be awarded. Neither state expected to have complete results before next week.

Obama won the popular vote in 13 states Tuesday, while Clinton won in eight states and American Samoa.

In the overall race for the nomination, Clinton has 1,055 delegates, including separately chosen party and elected officials known as superdelegates. Obama has 998.

A total of 2,025 delegates are need to secure the Democratic nomination.

Read it all. I see on Intrade that Mr. Obama is at 59.2 and Mrs. Clinton is at 38.7.

Posted in Uncategorized

Pictures of our Youngest Child Competing on her Horse

Here is one picture as a sample.

If you wish to see more go to this website. Then click on 2008- February 2&3 USEA Horse Trial (top left). Look for Selimah Harmon’s name (alphabetical–right column). When you get to the set of pictures her pictures actually begin at about number 7.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Sports