Daily Archives: May 25, 2012

Egypt Election: Persecution Against Christians May Worsen, Says Watchdog

Whether or not Christians will have a voice in the political landscape of Egypt is at stake during the presidential election taking place in the country Wednesday and Thursday. In addition, persecution against Christians may worsen depending on the outcome, said Open Doors USA president Carl Moeller.

“It’s very important that given the precarious place the Christian community has in Egyptian society and the variety of political movements that are anti-Christian in that country, that the Christians could potentially be a key and pivotal minor component in sheer numbers, but a very critical component in the political dynamics,” Moeller told The Christian Post on Monday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Egypt, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Stephen Prothero: Memorial Day and the American Bible

Americans …share…a collection of core texts that “we the people” regard as authoritative and a long-standing tradition of debating what these texts have to tell us about the meaning of “America.” To be an American is to debate whether the business of America really is business. It is to ask about budget deficits or public Christmas displays, “What would Jefferson do?” Whereas Catholics come together to participate in the Mass, Americans come together to argue about the speeches, songs and sayings that compose the “American Bible.”

This unofficial canon includes founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as well as songs such as “God Bless America” and speeches by Washington, Lincoln, FDR and Reagan. It also includes novels from “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” to “Atlas Shrugged.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, History, Religion & Culture

(Reuters) Church of England nears vote on women bishops

The Church of England paved the way on Thursday for a final vote on women bishops to go ahead in July, but supporters angry at last-minute concessions to traditionalists who favour an all-male clergy immediately threatened to scupper it.

After more than a decade of bitter wrangling, traditionalists and liberals appeared no closer to finding a workable blueprint this week with the opposing sides predicting future chaos or departures from the Anglican mother church.

Read it all and there are a lot of other stories there as well.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

A Statement from the Leadership [Council] of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford

From here:

Staff and students at Wycliffe were told last week that Principal Richard Turnbull is to take a leave of absence from the Hall. The Council wishes to make it clear that the Principal has not been dismissed. The Council and Richard are now in ongoing discussions over his future role at Wycliffe, with Vice-Principal Simon Vibert assuming the position of Acting Principal. We have every confidence in Simon, and in the rest of the staff, to ensure continuity and the efficient functioning of the Hall during this time.

The outcome of the discussions with Richard will be communicated to staff and students in due course. However, our overriding priority is to ensure Wycliffe remains unequivocally committed to equipping men and women as leaders, preachers, church planters and evangelists in the mission of proclaiming and living the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, with a deeply biblical understanding of the nature of the Kingdom of God.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

The Eurozone Crisis in a Single Picture, a Venn Diagram

Check it out via the Telegraph via a Twitter post by @Pawelmorski. Heh.

Update: Here is another image on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek

Posted in Uncategorized

Get Religion on the New York Times Report on Alleged Roman Catholic Same Sex Union Blessings

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that homosexual behavior is a sin, but there are Catholic priests who secretly bless gay unions.

Check out the posts here and also there.

The City Gates has more thoughts to offer in this post as well.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

(Telegraph) Osama bin Laden doctor to appeal treason sentence

Pakistani lawyers will appeal the conviction for treason handed to Shakeel Afridi, the surgeon recruited by US intelligence to help find Osama bin Laden.

The archaic form of justice that governs Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt on Wednesday jailed Afridi for 33 years for agreeing to try and collect DNA for US intelligence in their bid to locate bin Laden.

Afridi ran a fake vaccination programme designed to collect bin Laden family DNA from the compound in the town of Abbottabad, where the al-Qaeda leader was shot dead in a US raid in May 2011.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Pakistan, Politics in General, Terrorism

(NY Times) In Spain, Bank Transfers Reflect Broader Fears

Ángel de la Peña, a Spanish government worker, is seriously considering the once unthinkable: converting some of his savings from euros to British pounds.

Alvaro Saavedra Lopez, a senior executive for I.B.M. in Spain, says many of his corporate counterparts across the country are similarly looking for safer havens by transferring their spare cash to stronger euro zone countries like Germany “on a daily basis.”

It is only a trickle so far, and not nearly enough to constitute a classic bank run. But these growing transfers of deposits out of troubled Spanish banks reflect a broader fear that the country’s problems could make it hard for Spaniards to get to their money if banks fail and cannot be supported by the government. In a worst case, some even worry their money will be worth substantially less if Spain is forced to leave the euro currency zone and re-adopt its old currency, the peseta.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Spain, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Church Times) House of Bishops amends women bishops Measure

The Bishops’ amendment asserts that the diocesan bishop will retain full authority over all parishes, even when he or she has delegated cer­tain functions to an alternate bishop. At the same time, it makes clear that this alternate bishop functions in his own right, and not merely with delegated powers.

The Bishops’ second amendment concerns the Code of Con­duct, which bishops will need to abide by when drawing up a scheme for any parish that makes a formal request for alternate pro­vision in their diocese. The wording of the code cannot be finalised until after the draft Measure be­comes law; but the amendment requires the code to ensure that “the exercise of ministry by those bishops and priests will be con­sistent with the theological con­vic-tions as to the consecration or ordination of women which prompted the issuing of the Letter of Request”….

A statement issued after the House of Bishops’ deliberations was unusual in making clear what they didn’t do as much as what they did. “The House rejected more far- reaching amendments that would have changed the legal basis on which bishops would exercise auth­ority when ministering to parishes unable to receive the ministry of female bishops.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Robert Hendrickson responds to the Diocese of Eastern Oregon report on Communing the UnBaptized

The challenge is not that we have a ministry of the baptized and Communion as our central act of worship ”“ the challenge is that we have clergy ill-trained in Sacramental theology administering them. We have laity that we have failed to form in Sacramental living. We now have a wide body of our priests that do not believe anything much actually happens in the Sacraments.

Do you believe the Holy Spirit descends upon a person and transforms their very being in Baptism so that they are united with Christ? Do you believe that Christ is truly present in the Body and Blood we receive at the Altar? Are the Sacraments God’s action or ours? I have heard far too many talking of Baptism as an entry rite rather than as transformation just as I have heard too many speak of Communion as a “meal” alone rather than the very Presence of Christ among us.

If you have a clergy addicted to modernism and reformation charged with carrying out the catholic Sacramental life of the Church then you will, indeed, have tension. But the tension should not between upending the Sacraments or administering them faithfully as they have been across the centuries. The tension should be between doing or not doing them. You can choose other ways of ministry that do not involve undoing the historic Sacraments of the Church if you are not comfortable with the faith and order we have been welcomed into as both baptized and ordained leaders.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Analysis, Anthropology, Baptism, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Soteriology, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Bede the Venerable

Heavenly Father, who didst call thy servant Bede, while still a child, to devote his life to thy service in the disciplines of religion and scholarship: Grant that as he labored in the Spirit to bring the riches of thy truth to his generation, so we, in our various vocations, may strive to make thee known in all the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty Father, in whom is no darkness at all: Shine upon our path, we pray thee, that we may walk in thy light. Lift from our hearts all anxiety and fear, and teach us to trust thee both for that which we see and for that which is hidden from us. So evermore lead us in thy way and keep us in thy peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

For the LORD will build up Zion, he will appear in his glory; he will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their supplication.

–Psalm 102:16-17

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(AP) Senate committee cuts Pakistan aid over Doctor's Conviction

A Senate panel expressed its outrage Thursday over Pakistan’s conviction of a doctor who helped the United States track down Osama bin Laden, voting to cut aid to Islamabad by $33 million ”” $1 million for every year of the physician’s 33-year sentence for high treason.

The punitive move came on top of deep reductions the Appropriations Committee already had made to President Barack Obama’s budget request for Pakistan, a reflection of the growing congressional anger over its cooperation in combatting terrorism. The overall foreign aid budget for next year had slashed more than half of the proposed assistance and threatened further reductions if Islamabad failed to open overland supply routes to U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Budget, Economy, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Pakistan, Politics in General, Senate, Terrorism, The U.S. Government

(WSJ) Signals Point to Economic Slowdown Around Globe

New signs of a global slowdown are darkening the economic outlook.

On Thursday, measures of business sentiment in Europe slipped and reports from purchasing managers at manufacturers around the world turned down. Among them, China, the world’s second-largest economy, registered its seventh-straight drop in an important index of manufacturing activity. The U.S. reported that businesses were slowing their orders of computers, aircraft, fabricated metals and other durable goods.

With the latest reports, a new worry is emerging among economists and policy makers: that economic activity is slowing in sync around the globe and not just in a few markets with their own isolated problems. Europe””struggling with the risk of a Greek pullout from the euro area and broader fiscal problems””is the epicenter of global economic concerns right now. But reports of economic trouble are turning up in India, South Africa, Brazil and elsewhere.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Globalization