Daily Archives: August 14, 2010

Richard Hays–WWJD? Not burn the Quran

The apostle Paul, struggling against opponents of his gospel in the city of Corinth, insisted that “the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.” Rather than resorting to violence, he sought to “demolish arguments” and “captivate every thought” through open statement of the truth.

For him, to use coercive or deceptive means would be to succumb to the forces he was opposing. His message could be defended only by clear, peaceful proclamation of the word. As Angel Nuñez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference observed, “The greatest weapon a Christian has is godly love.”

Similarly, the Gospel of Luke tells a story about Jesus’ response to a Samaritan village that rejected him and his followers. His disciples James and John asked, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But Jesus rebuked them and said (according to some ancient manuscripts of Luke’s Gospel), “No, you don’t know what spirit you belong to” (Luke 9:51-56).

I fear that my Christian brothers and sisters in the Dove World Outreach Center, like James and John, do not know what spirit they belong to.

Read it all.

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

Detroit Goes From Gloom to Economic Bright Spot

“Fundamentally this thing has been reshaped, resized and rethought,” Mr. [Sergio] Marchionne [of Chrysler] said of Detroit. The biggest difference, he said, is that the Big Three have finally broken the habit of reflexively raising incentives to increase sales volumes.

“We’re not trying to kill each other for this month’s market share,” he said. “Those days are over. We’re not offering $7,000 checks to try to sell a car.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Science & Technology

Defying Others, Germany Finds Economic Success

Germany has sparred with its European partners over how to respond to the financial crisis, argued with the United States over the benefits of stimulus versus austerity, and defiantly pursued its own vision of how to keep its economy strong.

Statistics released Friday buttress Germany’s view that it had the formula right all along. The government on Friday announced quarter-on-quarter economic growth of 2.2 percent, Germany’s best performance since reunification 20 years ago ”” and equivalent to a nearly 9 percent annual rate if growth were that robust all year.

The strong growth figures will also bolster the conviction here that German workers and companies in recent years made the short-term sacrifices necessary for long-term success that Germany’s European partners did not. And it will reinforce the widespread conviction among policy makers that they handled the financial crisis and the painful recession that followed it far better than the United States, which, they never hesitate to remind, brought the world into this crisis.

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

Obama Says Mosque Upholds Principle of Equal Treatment

President Obama said on Saturday that in defending the right of Muslims to build a community center and mosque near Ground Zero he “was not commenting” on “the wisdom” of that particular project, but rather trying to uphold the broader principle that government should treat “everyone equal, regardless” of religion.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Other Faiths, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture

Michael Poon–Questions regarding John Rees’ clarifications of the new ACC Constitution

Communion infrastructures have arisen in haphazard ways since 1945. The new ACC Constitution, I fear, is another instance. The lack of in-depth consultation on the constitutional changes stands in sharp contrast with the thoroughgoing processes in the drafting and dissemination of the Anglican Communion Covenant.

The controversy on the new ACC Constitution may well derail the already difficult processes in the adoption of the Anglican Communion Covenant. Churches in the southern continents may well be tempted to look for more radical alternatives for a more permanent solution to recent Anglican disputes.

I ask for the following clarifications….

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Posted in Uncategorized

WSJ Weekend Interview–Google and the Search for the Future

Mr. Schmidt is familiar with the game””as chief technology officer of Sun Microsystems in the 1990s, he was a chief fomenter of the antitrust assault on Bill Gates & Co. Now that the tables are turned, he says, Google will persevere and prevail by doing what he says Microsoft failed to do””make sure its every move is “good for consumers” and “fair” to competitors.

Uh huh. Google takes a similarly generous view of its own motives on the politically vexed issue of privacy. Mr. Schmidt says regulation is unnecessary because Google faces such strong incentives to treat its users right, since they will walk away the minute Google does anything with their personal information they find “creepy….”

Mr. Schmidt is surely right…that the questions go far beyond Google. “I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time,” he says.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Science & Technology

Wayne Nicholson on Anne Rice–Finding God, and faith, can be complicated

I think (and this is my interpretation) Ms. Rice is expressing her exasperation over denominational practice that seeks to direct, rather than to lead. To control rather than encourage. “This is the way it has always been, this is the way it is, and this is the way you must be in the world.”

My take on matters of faith is that faith is a matter of prayerful discernment: Listening to the wisdom of others (including Jesus, the Buddha, and countless prophets and wise people who have come before us – and are among us now), taking time for silence (in which we can simply be with God), talking with others who are on a spiritual journey, and carefully, sometimes tentatively, coming to our own conclusions of the heart and mind.

One of my favorite expressions is OCICBW. Of Course I Could Be Wrong. And that’s the way my faith leads me. My faith is bedrocked upon the wisdom teachings of Jesus; my faith rests in the comfort of the Resurrection; my faith leads me to love God and to love humankind. But when it comes to specific doctrines, or specific teachings of the institutional church, I need to discern. I need to weigh tradition, Scripture, reason, and my own experience (and that of others) before expressing my thoughts. And even then: OCICBW.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

Pamela Dolan–Whoever sings prays twice”“some thoughts on music and prayer

Christian worship usually, but not always, includes an element of music. There are traditions within Christianity that are opposed to music in worship, but they are the exception. Musical styles in worship can range from Gregorian chant to Gospel. Generally speaking, Episcopalians are musical traditionalists, and like organ music and a big, robe-wearing choir. But that is changing in some places, and you will find Episcopal churches that feature more contemporary music of various kinds.

Whatever the style of music involved, church is one of the few places where grownups still get together and sing. I think it’s awfully good for us to let down our guard and let loose on a beloved hymn, not worrying about whether we’re “good” singers or not. Those who sing pray twice, as St. Augustine supposedly said…

Which brings me to the connection I wanted to make to prayer. I think praying is another thing that we do quite naturally when we’re young, but as we grow older we tend to become intimidated and inhibited about it, until we might let it drop out of their lives completely. I wonder if it’s not pretty common to put the same expectations on ourselves about singing and praying: if we’re not good at it, we should just leave it to the professionals. Which leads to a pretty impoverished sort of way to live, unfortunately.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer

Christ Church, Savannah, at center of lawsuit, controversy

There are technically two Christ Church congregations in Savannah. They have dueling Internet websites — and an ongoing legal contest.

The conservative members are meeting in the historic building — which is associated with figures from Georgia history including John Wesley, George Whitefield, Juliette Gordon Low and Johnny Mercer. The website of the other group states: ” Christ Church Episcopal is currently meeting at St. Michael and All Angels located on the corner of Washington and Waters Avenues in Savannah.”

The congregation dates to 1733, and the current meetinghouse — a majestic Greek temple — was built in 1840.

The group meeting there has asked the Georgia Supreme Court to review a recent ruling of the Court of Appeals upholding Judge Michael Karpf’s October 2009 decision that Christ Church holds its property in trust for the Diocese of Georgia and The Episcopal Church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Georgia

Episcopal bishop's ordination rescheduled; Alaska Roman Catholic parish 'unavailable'

The ordination of a new… [Episcopal] bishop in Alaska, originally scheduled to take place in a Catholic parish church, has been re-scheduled for a nearby Methodist church””apparently in response to protests from concerned Catholics.

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A brief message from the Episcopal diocese of Alaska may be found there.

Posted in Uncategorized

NPR–Unlimited Vacation Time Not A Dream For Some

Rosemary O’Neill’s employees weren’t sure whether to believe her when she announced a change in vacation policy early this year.

“When I said, ‘Unlimited paid leave, no strings attached,’ there was a moment of, ‘Are you punking us? Is this a joke?’ ” O’Neill says.

It was not a joke. O’Neill and her husband, Ted, own Social Strata, a small social media outfit in Seattle. Their business has joined a tiny but growing group: For the first time this year, 1 percent of U.S. businesses say they offer unlimited paid vacation.

For the O’Neills, the change started with an effort to help an employee in crisis. Their financial officer was struggling to care for a badly injured husband while also keeping up with her work. The O’Neills talked about letting her take off whatever time she needed. After all, she was a hard worker, and they trusted her. Then, they realized that was the case with all of their 10 employees.

“My husband said, ‘Well, why don’t we just do it for everybody!’ ”

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pastoral Theology, Theology

The English Football (Soccer) Season starts!

I watched Tottenham Hotspur play Manchester City to a 0-0 draw this morning–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

RNS: Embattled Episcopal Bishop Jefferts Schori Seeks Allies Overseas

In a recent webcast, [Presiding Bishop Katharine] Jefferts Schori was asked if she was trying to shore up support from other provinces before the meeting. “That was certainly not the intent,” she answered. “It may have been a byproduct.”

“We have partners all across the Anglican Communion,” Jefferts Schori continued. “These visits had been set up some time ago, well before the timing of the Standing Committee meeting was known, basically as a way of building relationships between our respective provinces.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Identity, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

California Anglican Bishop's assistant to take parish job

The Rev. Bill Gandenberger, assistant to Bishop John-David Schofield of the breakaway Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin, is leaving his post to become rector of Christ Church Vero Beach in Vero Beach, Fla.

Gandenberger’s final day in Fresno is Sunday.

He served as Schofield’s assistant for eight years, including in 2007 when Schofield led a secession movement out of the U.S. Episcopal Church over differences such as the ordination of a [non-celibate] gay bishop and the supreme authority of Scripture.

The breakaway diocese is now part of the Anglican Church in North America.

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

ACI–The ACC Articles of Association: Questions Remain

To summarize, Canon Rees’ remarks only underscore the extent to which proper debate on these pressing issues has never occurred. The final text was not seen even by the member churches until disclosed last month by the Registrar of Companies. The proposed Articles were never posted for public comment and debate at any point in the process. The effect of equalities legislation enacted in the last year was not considered at all. Technical matters related to charity law have dictated decisions about the structure and governing law of one of the Communion’s Instruments. The intended scope of the new Articles with respect to the other Instruments remains murky at best. And the relationship of the new Articles to the Anglican Covenant has been discussed by the ACC’s standing committee, but the results of that discussion have not been disclosed to the member churches that are considering adoption of the Covenant. We urge the Communion as a whole, but especially its constituent churches, to begin considering these important issues as a matter of priority. To have the structural coherence it needs the Communion requires a broader focus than the management of UK charitable assets.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council