Daily Archives: August 27, 2010

John Farrell (WSJ): Catholics and the Evolving Cosmos

Certainly Catholic theologians have not been shy about addressing the questions that evolution raises for doctrines like original sin and the immateriality of the soul. In the 1960s, Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner re-interpreted Genesis in light of evolution, arguing that the story of Adam and Eve needed to be read metaphorically.

John Haught at Georgetown writes that the new cosmology of the expanding universe and the evolution of life require a more dynamic sense of God’s role in a world that is still not complete, a work in progress. Father Denis Edwards at Flinders University in Australia treats the second person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, as a more active partner in the development of the evolving cosmos.

Whether the arguments of the theologians will move a future pope to broaden the Catholic Church’s acceptance of evolution remains to be seen. So far, Pope Benedict XVI has not shown the same interest in evolution as his predecessor.

But on this 60th anniversary of “Humani Generis”, Pius XII deserves credit for having the foresight to openly address the science when so many other denominations were either in deep denial or not interested in the challenge evolution poses for Christianity.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, History, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Science & Technology

Eric Felten (WSJ)–Morality Check: When Fad Science Is Bad Science

Harvard University announced last Friday that its Standing Committee on Professional Conduct had found Marc Hauser, one of the school’s most prominent scholars, guilty of multiple counts of “scientific misconduct.” The revelation came after a three-year inquiry into allegations that the professor had fudged data in his research on monkey cognition. Since the studies were funded, in part, by government grants, the university has sent the evidence to the Feds.

The professor has not admitted wrongdoing, but he did issue a statement apologizing for making “significant mistakes.” And beyond his own immediate career difficulties, Mr. Hauser’s difficulties spell trouble for one of the trendiest fields in academia””evolutionary psychology.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

CEN–New bishop raises questions about the ACNA’s commitment to Anglicanism

Charges the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) has abandoned the historic episcopate by receiving a bishop from the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches (CEEC) without re-consecrating him are unfounded, the traditionalist province-in-waiting tells The Church of England Newspaper.

On July 31, American church commentator Robin Jordan charged the ACNA with having abandoned the historic episcopate when its Provincial Council of Bishops voted on June 9 to receive the Rt. Rev. Derek Jones as a bishop in good standing. Formed in 1995, the CEEC is an American Protestant denomination that has found a niche blending charismatic worship with liturgies drawn from the Book of Common Prayer, and is not normally numbered among the Anglican breakaway churches in the United States.

However, a review of Bishop Jones’ episcopal antecedents by the CEN finds that while a number of his consecrating bishops would not be recognized by Anglicans, his descent from a Brazilian bishop whose episcopal orders were recognized by Pope John XXIII places him within the apostolic tradition.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Church History, Ecclesiology, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Archbishop Rowan Williams visits Mildmay Centre, Uganda

Dr Williams, who is in the country for the All Africa Bishops’ Conference, described his visit to the paediatric ward as “inspirational”.

But he was told that the unit, which has cared for thousands of the country’s sickest children over the years, faces imminent closure as Mildmay International, the British NGO that runs it, cannot afford to do so for much longer. The 33-bed specialist HIV paediatric unit – known as Elizabeth Ward – is expected to close down in just 37 days when the existing funds run out.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, Church of Uganda, Health & Medicine

CNN Belief blog–African bishops chide Anglican leader on homosexuality

Bishops from Singapore, Southeast Asia and Africa told Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in closed-door sessions Tuesday and Wednesday that there should be no more diplomacy on homosexuality, an issue that has split the Anglican communion.

Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, head of Uganda’s Anglican church and the host of the week-long All Africa Bishops Conference, said the Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured administering communion at the conference) faces a complicated task in trying to reunite the church.

“He (Williams) spoke what was on his mind and we also spoke. We impressed it on him that he had totally gone in a different direction and he has to sort it out,” Orombi told journalists after their closed-door meeting on Wednesday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Uganda, Ethics / Moral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

David Brooks on the Economy, Germany and the U.S.: The Parent Model

The crucial issue [on the economy] is getting the fundamentals right. The Germans are doing better because during the past decade, they took care of their fundamentals and the Americans didn’t.

The situation can be expressed this way: German policy makers inherited a certain consensus-based economic model. That model has advantages. It fosters gradual innovation (of the sort useful in metallurgy). It also has disadvantages. It sometimes leads to rigidity and high unemployment.

Over the past few years, the Germans have built on their advantages. They effectively support basic research and worker training. They have also taken brave measures to minimize their disadvantages. As an editorial from the superb online think tank e21 reminds us, the Germans have recently reduced labor market regulation, increased wage flexibility and taken strong measures to balance budgets.

In the U.S., policy makers inherited a different economic model, one that also has certain advantages. It fosters disruptive innovation (of the sort useful in Silicon Valley). It also has certain disadvantages ”” a penchant for over-consumption and short term thinking.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Europe, Germany, History, Psychology, The U.S. Government

AP: Snapshot of U.S. Economy about to get a lot bleaker

“The economy is going to limp along for the next few months,” said Gus Faucher, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. There’s even a one in three chance it could slip back into recession, he said.

Many temporary factors that boosted the economy earlier this year are fading. Companies built up their inventories after cutting them sharply in the recession to match slower sales. The increase provided a boost to manufacturers, but now many companies’ stockpiles are in line with sales and don’t need to grow as much. In addition, the impact of the government’s $862 billion fiscal stimulus program is lessening. That leaves the private sector to pick up the slack. But businesses are cutting back on their spending on machines, computers and software, according to a government report earlier this week. And the housing sector is slumping again after a popular home buyer’s tax credit expired in April.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, Federal Reserve, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The Fiscal Stimulus Package of 2009, The U.S. Government, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

DR Congo killings 'may be genocide' – UN draft report

A draft UN report says crimes by the Rwandan army and allied rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo could be classified as genocide.

The report, seen by the BBC, details the investigation into the conflict in DR Congo from 1993 to 2003.

It says tens of thousands of ethnic Hutus, including women, children and the elderly, were killed by the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan army.

Rwanda’s justice minister has dismissed the claims as “rubbish”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Theology, Violence

Looking at Islamic Center Debate, World Sees U.S.

Across the world, the bruising struggle over an Islamic center near ground zero has elicited some unexpected reactions.

For many in Europe, where much more bitter struggles have taken place over bans on facial veils in France and minarets in Switzerland, America’s fight over Park51 seems small fry, essentially a zoning spat in a culture war.

But others, especially in countries with nothing similar to the constitutional separation of church and state, find it puzzling that there is any controversy at all. In most Muslim nations, the state not only determines where mosques are built, but what the clerics inside can say.

The one constant expressed, regardless of geography, is that even though many in the United States have framed the future of the community center as a pivotal referendum on the core issues of religion, tolerance and free speech, those outside its borders see the debate as a confirmation of their pre-existing feelings about the country, whether good or bad.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, Globalization, Islam, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Church Times on the All Africa Bishops Meeting–Bishops seek African focus

Six years ago, all of Africa’s Anglican bishops met in Lagos, Nigeria, and complained that the Archbishop of Canterbury had not accepted their invitation. They are meeting in Uganda this week, with Dr Williams present, but ”” given the events of the intervening years ”” not all of them are happy that he is here.

Although every Anglican pro vince is represented, the majority of bishops here ”” as in Africa as a whole ”” are from Nigeria and Uganda, where there has been the most public dissocia tion from the Anglican Com munion, including the 2008 Lambeth Conference, and es pecially from the actions of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

Some Primates, including the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, are conspicuous by their absence. But seated very publicly among the Primates is the former Bishop of Pittsburgh (News, 26 Septem ber 2008), the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, the Most Revd Bob Duncan.

Read it all (there are two articles; this is the one at the bottom, but both should be perused–KSH).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Uganda

The Bishop search Process webpage in the Diocese of Alabama

Check it out, noting the diocesan profile and the survey.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Thomas Gallaudet and Henry Winter Syle

O loving God, who willest that everyone should come to thee and be saved: We bless thy Holy Name for thy servants Thomas Gallaudet and Henry Winter Syle, whose labors with and for those who are deaf we commemorate today; and we pray that thou wouldst continually move thy Church to respond in love to the needs of all people; through Jesus Christ, who opened the ears of the deaf, and who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

I thank you, my heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, your dear son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that you would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into your hands I commend myself, my body and soul and all things. Let they holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Bible Readings

I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure. For thou dost not give me up to Sheol, or let thy godly one see the Pit. Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Canadian police charge three in suspected terror plot

Three Canadians arrested in an alleged terrorist conspiracy had bomb parts and plans and posed a “real and serious threat”, Canadian police have said.

The trio, arrested this week, were charged with supporting terrorism.

Hiva Alizadeh and Misbahuddin Ahmed were jailed following a court appearance on Thursday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Defense, National Security, Military, Terrorism