Daily Archives: August 30, 2012

New Book Coming from the Episcopal Bishop of Texas

Read it all there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Books, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

(Globe and Mail) Gary Mason–The next frontier against drunk driving

In… [British Columbia], if you blow .08 or beyond, you can avoid the justice system ”“ and a criminal record ”“ if you fit certain criteria. Conditions include not having killed or injured anyone or caused property damage as a result of your actions. If you qualify, you can opt for administrative sanctions over the courts.

If you choose this path, you have to go through a rehabilitation program, which could lead to treatment for alcohol abuse. When the person is given the right to drive again, it can only be in a car outfitted with an ignition interlock system, for a minimum of one year. The device prevents the car from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol level is above a certain limit.

“The focus is very much on rehabilitating the driver and not simply punishing him,” says Mr. Murie. “I don’t think just punishing drivers works.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Canada, Law & Legal Issues, Teens / Youth, Travel, Young Adults

Notable and Quotable

Peter Berger once commented that if India is the most religious country in the world, and Sweden the least religious, then America is a nation of Indians ruled by Swedes.

–From Phillip Johnson, which I quoted in adult Sunday school last week which brought it to mind this morning

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

U.S. Firms Move Abroad to Cut Taxes

More big U.S. companies are reincorporating abroad despite a 2004 federal law that sought to curb the practice. One big reason: Taxes.

Companies cite various reasons for moving, including expanding their operations and their geographic reach. But tax bills remain a primary concern. A few cite worries that U.S. taxes will rise in the future, especially if Washington revamps the tax code next year to shrink the federal budget deficit.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Taxes, The U.S. Government, Theology

Human Rights Activist Says Pakistani Blasphemy Case Is Concocted

A leading Catholic human rights activist in Pakistan is calling for charges to be dropped in the case of a young, special needs girl accused of blasphemy.
Peter Jacob, executive secretary of the National Commission for Justice and Peace for the Church in Pakistan, told Aid to the Church in Need that he strongly doubts the allegations leveled against Rimsha Masih.
She is accused of burning 10 pages of the Noorani Qaida, an Islamic booklet used to learn basic Arabic and the Koran.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Books, Children, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Pakistan, Religion & Culture

David Bentley Hart–Through a Gloss, Darkly

What even a translator of genius can never give us, however, is the original author’s true likeness. Even the best translation is a darkened mirror, in which one glimpses only a partial figure moving among shadows. At times the mirror becomes very obscure indeed, at others delightfully bright; but at no time can any translator permit us to meet the artist face to face.

The problems of translation have been in my thoughts a great deal lately, for a variety of reasons. The most trivial of these is that I have been dipping into foreign versions of some of my own books, as well as I can, and sighing at the frequent accidental deformations of meaning. It is not that I feel myself greatly aggrieved by the mistakes I find; the texts in question are not exactly deathless masterpieces to be dithered over reverentially by their poor translators. I have, however, begun to wonder whether such distortions of meaning are not inevitable.

If nothing else, seeing what has become of my own words at the other end of the linguistic alembic has begun to make me doubt the profit in the whole enterprise of translation, even as I grant the necessity of that enterprise.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Books, Philosophy, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture, Theology

(BP) In Vermont Homeless Christians give $69.40 to missions

A $69.40 offering by a group of homeless Christians in Vermont reminds a local Baptist leader of the widow’s two mites that Jesus commended in the Gospels.

Terry Dorsett, director of the Green Mountain Baptist Association, has a new perception of the homeless because of the gift to the association’s mission offering for starting new churches and meeting church financial emergencies. Dorsett has asked the financially able among the association’s 35 churches to match the donation.

“I think we tend to think of homeless people just as being a bunch of addicts and people with problems,” Dorsett said. “And then while that does describe many homeless people, there’s a whole subculture of homeless Christians who obviously don’t have those problems and they’re just trying to live for the Lord in a different lifestyle setting than most of us might choose.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Baptists, Missions, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology

(RNS) Survey: Economy continues negative effect on churches

The economy continues to weigh on pastors, with a new survey showing that nearly two-thirds say it has affected their churches negatively.

LifeWay Research asked 1,000 pastors about the economy’s effect on their churches and found that 56 percent described it somewhat negatively and 8 percent very negatively. Nine percent reported a positive effect on their churches and one-quarter said the economy was having “no impact on my church.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(NY Times Op-Ed) Thomas Friedman–Mohamed Morsi’s Wrong Turn

I find it very disturbing that one of the first trips by Egypt’s newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, will be to attend the Nonaligned Movement’s summit meeting in Tehran this week. Excuse me, President Morsi, but there is only one reason the Iranian regime wants to hold the meeting in Tehran and have heads of state like you attend, and that is to signal to Iran’s people that the world approves of their country’s clerical leadership and therefore they should never, ever, ever again think about launching a democracy movement ”” the exact same kind of democracy movement that brought you, Mr. Morsi, to power in Egypt.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Egypt, Foreign Relations, Iran, Middle East, Politics in General

Bishop [Tom] Frame Argues Anglicans need new approach to fast-changing diaconate

The role of deacons in Australia has had a seismic shift in the past 20 years and the Church needs to review, clarify and educate Anglican leaders and members about this distinctive ministry, starting with a revision of the Ordinal, Bishop Tom Frame said in Melbourne recently.

Dr Frame, the Director of St Mark’s National Theological Centre in Canberra, said he was increasingly of the view that the distinctiveness of the diaconate would be protected and preserved by a change in the Church’s approach to ordination. There was no Biblical warrant or scriptural injunction for the custom that candidates destined for priesthood be ordained deacons first.

He told the annual gathering of Melbourne deacons at Christ Church South Yarra on 7 August that a critical difference between priestly and diaconal ministries seemed to be evolving, with the former’s emphasis being on the gathered community (ministry) and the latter being most active with those not active in the Church (mission).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Koala surprises canoeists by hitching ride in Australia

I really enjoyed this–watch it all.

Posted in * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Animals, Australia / NZ

Armchair discovery a ”˜godsend’ for struggling British Columbia Anglican church

They’d been there, in a quiet spot along the back wall of Victoria’s St. Matthias Anglican Church, for decades ”” possibly since the parish opened the doors of its new home in the B.C. capital nearly 50 years ago.

But two elegantly designed wooden armchairs, their origin unknown to clergy or even the eldest members of the congregation, may prove to be the salvation of the financially-challenged church ”” nothing less than a “godsend,” according to St. Matthias’s rector, Rev. Robert Arril.

An antique-furniture buff’s fortuitous visit to the church two years ago for a Bible study session has led to the identification of the chairs as rare and valuable Qing dynasty treasures, expertly crafted in 17th-century China before making their way somehow ”” thanks to a long-forgotten donor evidently unaware of their significance ”” to the Vancouver Island parish.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, History, Parish Ministry, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Stewardship

Indonesian Security Forces turn to Islamic Clerics to uproot terrorism

Every few months, the head of counterterrorism in the world’s most populous Muslim nation pays a visit to a Koranic academy south of the capital to address an assembly of clerics. His message, he says, is blunt: Stopping would-be bombers “is your job, not mine.”

Ansyaad Mbai’s plea for help is also surprising, given the string of successes against Islamist militants that Indonesian security services have notched in recent years. After a blaze of attacks inspired in part by al-Qaeda’s Sept. 11, 2001, strikes in the United States, the militants in Indonesia are now a battered and diminished force. In just over two years, 33 terrorism suspects have been killed, mostly in shootouts with police, and nearly 200 have been arrested.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Indonesia, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Violence

A Prayer for the (Provisional) Feast Day of Charles Grafton

Loving God, who didst call Charles Chapman Grafton to be a bishop in thy Church, endowing him with a burning zeal for souls: Grant that, following his example, we may ever live for the extension of thy kingdom, that thy glory may be the chief end of our lives, thy will the law of our conduct, thy love the motive of our actions, and Christ’s life the model and mold of our own; through the same Jesus Christ, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, throughout all ages. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Spirituality/Prayer, TEC Bishops

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 Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

–Martin Luther (1483–1546)

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