Daily Archives: June 7, 2010

David Cameron Warns Britons of ”˜Decades’ of Austerity

Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday that Britain’s financial situation was “even worse than we thought” and that the country would have to make savage spending cuts to bring its swelling deficit under control.

Stern and grim-faced in a speech in Milton Keynes, just north of London, Mr. Cameron said, “How we deal with these things will affect our economy, our society ”” indeed our whole way of life.”

“The decisions we make will affect every single person in our country,” he said. “And the effects of those decisions will stay with us for years, perhaps decades, to come.”

Mr. Cameron said that at more than 11 percent, Britain’s budget deficit was the largest ever faced by the country in peacetime. But he warned that the structural deficit was more worrisome. Britain currently owes a total of more than $1.12 trillion , he said, and in five years will owe nearly double that if nothing is done now.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, England / UK, Politics in General

Hooked on Gadgets, Paying a Price

When one of the most important e-mail messages of his life landed in his in-box a few years ago, Kord Campbell overlooked it.

Not just for a day or two, but 12 days. He finally saw it while sifting through old messages: a big company wanted to buy his Internet start-up.

“I stood up from my desk and said, ”˜Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God,’ ” Mr. Campbell said. “It’s kind of hard to miss an e-mail like that, but I did.”

The message had slipped by him amid an electronic flood: two computer screens alive with e-mail, instant messages, online chats, a Web browser and the computer code he was writing.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

Bishop David Anderson confirms 14 at All Saints Anglican in Georgia

Fourteen members of All Saints Anglican Church were confirmed recently during a Sunday service at the church in Peachtree City.

The Right Reverend David Anderson of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America conducted the confirmation rite with Michael Fry, rector at All Saints, assisting.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Parish Ministry

Christianity Today: Resignation of prominent scholar Bruce Waltke underscores tension over evolution

Bruce Waltke built a national reputation teaching the Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) for more than 20 years. But in March, when he seemed to challenge evangelicals in a video interview to consider the possibility of evolution or risk being seen as a “cult,” Waltke’s scholarly life exploded.

Seminary administrators asked Waltke to have the video removed from the website of BioLogos, a nonprofit promoting the integration of Christianity and science. Waltke promptly did so, but the video already had kicked up controversy. In early April, the renowned scholar resigned from RTS’s Orlando campus.

Waltke’s video addressed the barriers evangelicals face in considering the possibility of evolution, a process he believes is guided and sustained by God. Waltke said that “if the data is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution, to deny that reality will make us a cult ”¦ some odd group that is not really interacting with the world.”

My Old Testament Professor for two years when I began graduate school in a land far away a long time ago, and one of God’s great saints. Read it all–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Caroline Baum: Debt Rising far bayond an easy Fix

(Please note the headline above is the one given to this piece today in the local paper in the op-ed section–KSH).

“The United States faces a fundamental disconnect between the services that people expect the government to provide, particularly in the form of benefits for older Americans, and the tax revenues that people are willing to send to the government to finance those services,” Douglas Elmendorf, director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, writes in a May 17 blog post.

Addressing the current tax and spending gap to make fiscal policy sustainable is “an urgent task for policy makers,” Elmendorf says.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Credit Markets, Economy, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Anglican Communion delegates believe Edinburgh 2010 will “carry the worldwide church to a new leve

(ACNS) Three new videos from the Edinburgh 2010 world missionary conference are available here.

Anglicans attending the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh say it is set to be a crucial moment for global Christianity.

The Rt Revd Mark McDonald, Canada’s first National Indigenous Bishop, said the conference was giving people a real sense of the trajectory of God’s future for the church. “I expect a Christian identity to emerge out of this conference that will transcend what we’ve been before. This is really about building the relationships that will carry the worldwide church to a new level.”

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Missions, Scottish Episcopal Church

Professor Christopher Seitz: God the Holy Spirit and “being led into all truth”

We are grateful that the Presiding Bishop has sought to ground her appeal to diversity and new truth in a public message available for the Church’s evaluation and testing. It explains what kind of vision for the Episcopal Church she is seeking to defend. On the one hand, she believes the Holy Spirit has spoken in truthful and special (timely) ways to those who share this view in TEC. On the other hand, she believes diversity on this matter is equally a gifting warranted by the pentecostal event, explaining why the majority of the Anglican Communion and the vast preponderance of Christians worldwide (including the saints numbered on another shore) attended and attend to different Holy Spirit guidance and a different confession of God the Holy Spirit, “who spake by the prophets”¦who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified.” Her remarks help frame the matter in clear ways, which we can only pray is itself a gift of God the Holy Spirit, whose vocation is to glorify Christ and convict the world in respect of him. St Paul reveals that appeals to the Spirit and the Spirit’s manifestation required testing in the earliest Christian Churches, especially those with large gentile numbers. Discerning the work and person of God the Holy Spirit was necessary and was an evangelical challenge.

John and Acts provide the record given to the church so that the Holy Spirit’s work might be recognised, adjudicated, and confessed. The Holy Spirit’s deliverances are those of the Risen and Ascended Christ, in agreement with the providential will of the Father as expressed in the Law and the Prophets, whose subject matter is Christ, latent and now patent (St Augustine). The Presiding Bishop’s account of the Spirit as bringing a truth without prior testimony or dominical warrant, which at the same time gives rise to diversity as a pentecostal gift, diverges in extreme ways from the Gospel of John and the Acts of the Apostles. It is a teaching lacking continuity and agreement with the witness of Christians in our present day, in the worldwide body, and because without biblical warrant, it is also nowhere attested in the history of the church’s teaching.

We conclude this teaching comes from a conviction already held, independently of what is customarily sought in respect of a warrant of God the Holy Spirit (see the Catechism of the BCP), because of cultural assumptions about the intentions of sexual activity in our age and because TEC has already acted on these.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

Notable and Quotable

The alternative theory is that the Anglican Communion is already entirely and irrevocably broken. The ’deep tearing’ of the ’fabric of communion’ which was warned about by the Primates in 2003 has taken placed unnoticed by an easily distracted media. Traditionalist Anglicans might have expected action to be taken in the wake of the Windsor Report and the call for a withdrawal of the American and Canadian Church’s from the counsels of the Communion. In contrast, their place at the table has been cemented. The Episcopal Church has two members on the newly styled Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion, all of its bishops bar one were invited to the Lambeth Conference. While it is true that an Anglican Covenant (if it is ever adopted by a majority of Provinces) might resolve future problems, it has no chance of resolving this one.

One-third of Anglican bishops refused the Archbishop’s invitation to attend the 2008 Lambeth Conference, it can no longer be pretended that there is a common Anglican ministry interchangeable throughout the world, and two Global South Primates have themselves stepped down from the Anglican Standing Committee. The only action which appears to have been taken in response to the consecration of Gene Robinson is the deliberate downgrading of the Primates’ Meeting to a committee which now meets irregularly and is ignored by its convenor.

While it is true that the demise of the Anglican Communion has been attended by no burial rites, or funeral orations, but make no mistake it is dead. Of course, there are still relationships throughout the world between Anglican Provinces, but the Anglican Communion as it was before the momentous events of 2003, is simply ”˜no more’. To echo the surrealist words of Monty Python, “It is a dead parrot.”

–Andrew Carey, Church of England Newspaper, May 20, 2010

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Theology

The Full Text of the new Vatican Document Pleading on behalf of Middle Eastern Christians

Take a careful look (a 51 page pdf) (please note that I highly recommend you begin by perusing the table of contents found on pages 50-51 of the download [and listed on the pages as pages 45 and 46]–KSH).

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Middle East, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Pope Benedict XVI's Presentation of the Mideast Synod Document

The Middle East has a special place in the hearts of all Christians, since it was there that God first made himself known to our fathers in faith. From the time when Abraham set out from Ur of the Chaldeans in obedience to the Lord’s call, right up until the death and resurrection of Jesus, God’s saving work was accomplished through particular individuals and peoples in your homelands. Since then, the message of the Gospel has spread all over the world, but Christians everywhere continue to look to the Middle East with special reverence, on account of the prophets and patriarchs, apostles and martyrs to whom we owe so much, the men and women who heard God’s word, bore witness to it, and handed it on to us who belong to the great family of the Church.

The Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, convened at your request, will attempt to deepen the bonds of communion between the members of your local Churches, and the communion of these churches with each other and with the universal Church. The Assembly also aims to encourage you in the witness of your faith in Christ in those countries where the faith was born and from where it spread. It is also known that some of you have endured great hardships due to the current situation in the region. The Special Assembly is an opportunity for Christians from the rest of the world to offer spiritual support and solidarity to their brothers and sisters in the Middle East. This is an opportunity to highlight the significant value of the Christian presence and witness in countries of the Bible, not only for the Christian community worldwide, but also for your neighbours and fellow citizens. You are help the common good in countless ways, for example through education, health care and social assistance, and you work to build society. You want to live in peace and harmony with your Jew and Muslim neighbours. Often, you act as peacemakers in the difficult process of reconciliation. You deserve recognition for the invaluable role you fill. This is my serious hope that your rights are increasingly respected, including the right to freedom of worship and religious freedom, and that you will never again suffer discrimination of any kind.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Middle East, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Debtors’ Prism: Who Has Europe’s Loans?

IT’S a $2.6 trillion mystery.

That’s the amount that foreign banks and other financial companies have lent to public and private institutions in Greece, Spain and Portugal, three countries so mired in economic troubles that analysts and investors assume that a significant portion of that mountain of debt may never be repaid.

The problem is, alas, that no one ”” not investors, not regulators, not even bankers themselves ”” knows exactly which banks are sitting on the biggest stockpiles of rotting loans within that pile. And doubt, as it always does during economic crises, has made Europe’s already vulnerable financial system occasionally appear to seize up. Early last month, in an indication of just how dangerous the situation had become, European banks ”” which appear to hold more than half of that $2.6 trillion in debt ”” nearly stopped lending money to one another.

Now, with government resources strained and confidence in European economies eroding, some analysts say the Continent’s banks have to come clean with a transparent and rigorous accounting of their woes. Until then, they say, nobody will be able to wrestle effectively with Europe’s mounting problems.

“The marketplace knows very little about where the real risks are parked,” says Nicolas Véron, an economist at Bruegel, a research organization in Brussels. “That is exactly the problem. As long as there is no semblance of clarity, trust will not return to the banking system.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Globalization, The Banking System/Sector

Imagining Life Without Oil, and Being Ready

As oil continued to pour into the Gulf of Mexico on a recent Saturday, Jennifer Wilkerson spent three hours on the phone talking about life after petroleum.

For Mrs. Wilkerson, 33, a moderate Democrat from Oakton, Va., who designs computer interfaces, the spill reinforced what she had been obsessing over for more than a year ”” that oil use was outstripping the world’s supply. She worried about what would come after: maybe food shortages, a collapse of the economy, a breakdown of civil order. Her call was part of a telephone course about how to live through it all.

In bleak times, there is a boom in doom.

Americans have long been fascinated by disaster scenarios, from the population explosion to the cold war to global warming. These days the doomers, as Mrs. Wilkerson jokingly calls herself and likeminded others, have a new focus: peak oil. They argue that oil supplies peaked as early as 2008 and will decline rapidly, taking the economy with them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources, Eschatology, Theology

From the Morning Scripture Readings

My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you!

–Galatians 4:19

Posted in Uncategorized

Another Trinity Season Prayer

O God, we have known and believed the love that thou hast for us. May we, by dwelling in love, dwell in thee, and thou in us. Teach us, O heavenly Father, the love wherewith thou hast loved us; fashion us, O blessed Lord, after thine own example of love; shed abroad, O thou Holy Spirit of love, the love of God and man in our hearts. For thy name’s sake.

–Henry Alford

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

CEN: AMiA pulls back from joining third province movement in North America

The Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) has pulled back from full membership in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and has asked to be affiliated with the breakaway province in formation as an ACNA “Ministry Partner.” The announcement weakens the third province movement in the United States and Canada, but will not likely prove to be fatal its supporters say.

On May 18 Archbishop Robert Duncan of the ACNA and Bishop Chuck Murphy of the AMiA, also known as the Anglican Mission, released separate statements saying the downgrading of the AMiA’s relationship with the ACNA would take affect following the group’s June bishops meeting.

Bishop Don Harvey of the Anglican Network in Canada, a diocese of the ACNA, stated that he did “not see this as good news, in fact it is a sad development in many ways.”

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Church of Rwanda, Ecclesiology, Theology