Daily Archives: April 24, 2012

Gordon Smith–The New Conversion: Why We 'Become Christians' Differently Today

It is not be an overstatement to say that evangelicals are experiencing a “sea change”””a paradigm shift””in their understanding of conversion and redemption, a shift that includes the way in which they think about the salvation of God, the nature and mission of the church, and the character of religious experience. Although there is no one word to capture where evangelicals are going in this regard, there is a word that captures what they are leaving behind: revivalism.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Soteriology, Theology

UK Christians harnessing Facebook to share faith

Christians in the UK are turning increasingly to social media sites like Facebook to share their faith, new research has found.

In a survey on attitudes to online mission by Christian Vision and Premier Christian Media, 64% said they were using social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to share their faith in an intentional way.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Watching Every Click You Make

When you write a post on Facebook about your sudden craving for blue cheese, an advertisement for gout prevention might suddenly pop up on your page. Post the phrase “bacon tidbits,” and you might get an ad for a book called “Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse.”

The robots are watching us. They’re announcing to the world that we just looked at Eames chairs on Pinterest and that we’ve listened to Taylor Swift and Conway Twitty on Spotify. They’re sending us ads labeled “Being Conservative in South Carolina” simply because we checked our e-mail in Charleston. They’re broadcasting the fact that we just read an article called “How to Satisfy Your Partner in Bed.” They’re trumpeting ”” with an undue amount of enthusiasm ”” that we just scored 6 points on Words With Friends for making the word “cat.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Science & Technology

FCA London Meeting–First Media Conference Audio

“Archbishops Wabukala, Okoh and Jensen speak about the media release at the opening of the FCA Leaders meeting and about the position of chairman at Anglican Primates meetings.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, FCA Meeting in London April 2012, Global South Churches & Primates

Andrew Brown on the John Sentamu for Canterbury story

None the less, when clergy who have worked with him criticise him for “African” style, they are making a point which is not racist. The slow schism in the Anglican communion has exposed many people to a style of church leadership which they find repugnant.

The style that people object to is autocratic, and prelatical. The idea that God blesses success, and that might therefore shows forth righteousness, is embedded in a lot of African religious culture. Sentamu’s younger brother, for example, is a hugely successful “Prosperity gospel” preacher in Kampala, with a mansion, a Mercedes, and a church where journalists are searched on entry. Authority, in such a church, is fawned on sooner than questioned.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE)

George Pitcher on the John Sentamu for Canterbury story

If anything, the situation has been rather the reverse. My impression is that those who have had criticisms or reservations of Dr Sentamu’s candidacy have largely kept them to themselves over the past couple of years, precisely because they fear that they may have been accused of racism if they expressed them. Political correctness has served Dr Sentamu well.

Lately, it’s true that some of his critics have concluded that their views are as valid and innocent as if he were a white man. And so I’ve heard these words: Capricious, impulsive, vain with the media and quick to temper (as well, I might add, as words such as prophetic, inspirational, generous and kind). None of these words has anything to do with Dr Sentamu’s ethnicity.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE)

(Telegraph) Archbishop of Canterbury to lose worldwide Anglican role under traditionalist plans

A coalition of bishops and leaders from Africa, the Americas and Australasia said it was time for a “radical shift” in how the church is structured away from models of the “British Empire”.

They criticised what they called “revisionist attempts” to abandon basic doctrines on issues such as homosexuality and “turn Christianity merely into a movement for social betterment” during Dr Williams’s tenure.

And they said it was now clear that the leadership in England had failed to hold the 77 million-strong worldwide Anglican Communion together, leaving it in “crisis”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, FCA Meeting in London April 2012, Global South Churches & Primates

Anglican Communion Institute–Friend of Court Brief Filed in Fort Worth Lawsuit

In their brief, the bishops and ACI argue that the summary judgment ruling by the trial court in the Fort Worth litigation violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution because it immersed the court in an impermissible “searching” and “extensive inquiry into religious polity.” Under the Supreme Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence, courts may constitutionally defer to a church authority rather than apply neutral principles of law only if they can identify the appropriate ecclesiastical authority without conducting such an extensive inquiry into church governance. In the case of The Episcopal Church, its governing constitution specifies that the diocesan bishop is “the Ecclesiastical Authority” in the diocese. Acceptance of TEC’s claim that there are other bodies or offices with hierarchical supremacy over the diocesan bishop would require the Court to become embroiled in a searching historical analysis of difficult questions of church polity without any explicit language in the church’s governing instrument on which to base its conclusion. The First Amendment does not permit such a result.

First, look at the summary introduction and then take the time to read the whole argument (36 page pdf).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Polity & Canons

(WSJ) Report Says Social Security Will Exhaust Reserves Three Years Earlier Than Expected

Social Security, which pays retirement and disability benefits to 56 million Americans, will exhaust its reserves by 2033, three years sooner than previously estimated, a new government report said Monday.

The forecast raises pressure on the White House and Congress to tackle the entitlement program, which many politicians fear changing because of potential voter backlash.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Largest Presbyterian Church in Colorado Votes to Leave PCUSA over New Sexual Morality

The largest Colorado congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted to leave the denomination over theological differences.

First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs voted Sunday morning to leave the Pueblo Presbytery of PC(USA) in large part due to the denomination’s decision in 2010 to allow the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Presbyterian, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

(NY Times On Religion) Baseball Has Its Worshipers, and at N.Y.U., You Get Credit

As the president of N.Y.U., Dr. Sexton could certainly teach any course he wanted. And as the former dean of its law school and clerk to a chief justice of the United States, he might have been expected to hold forth on jurisprudence. However, as a child of Brooklyn, as a scholar whose academic robe bears the number 42 in homage to Jackie Robinson, and as a practicing Catholic with a doctoral degree in religion, Dr. Sexton has for more than a dozen years chosen baseball and God as his professorial focus.

“The real idea of the course,” he put it in an interview, “is to develop heightened sensitivity and a noticing capacity. So baseball’s not ”˜the’ road to God. For most of us, it isn’t ”˜a’ road to God. But it’s a way to notice, to cause us to live more slowly and to watch more keenly and thereby to discover the specialness of our life and our being, and, for some of us, something more than our being.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Religion & Culture, Sports

London Bookmakers' Odds on the Next Archbishop of Canterbury

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Help us to trust thee, O Lord Christ, when we see thee not, and our way is shadowed by sorrow or doubt; and in thy great goodness reveal thyself to us again, that our hearts may rejoice, and we may walk henceforth in the light of thy presence; for the glory of thy holy name.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

O LORD, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.

–Psalm 26:8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala Chairman’s keynote address–A Global communion for the 21st century

In the space of a week we, though from many and varied cultural contexts, were able to agree and receive with great joy and celebration a clear statement of Anglican Identity in the form of the Jerusalem Declaration. We rejoiced that through the Holy Spirit the Lord had given us such unity in the truth and we knew that God was setting us free or a clear and confident witness to Jesus Christ in a way that was simply not imaginable through the traditional channels.

At Lambeth Conference, which many felt unable in conscience to attend, it was a different story. Much talking and conversation, but no shared mind and no attempt to resolve the substance of the fundamental doctrinal and ethical differences which have been so destructive to our unity. At Lambeth there was a loss of nerve and nothing more than conversation, at Jerusalem we boldly reaffirmed our confidence in the faith we confess. There we recovered our genuinely Anglican identity and in the Jerusalem Declaration set out a coherent framework for global witness in the twenty-first century. The Jerusalem Statement, the preamble to the Declaration, clearly sets out Anglican identity.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Global South Churches & Primates