Daily Archives: April 8, 2013

NZ Anglican Church leaders ruled in the wrong over payout using insurance money

Anglican leaders cannot spend insurance money from the Christ Church Cathedral on the new cardboard cathedral, a judge has confirmed.

In a judgment released yesterday, Justice Graham Panckhurst ruled that the use of $4 million of insurance money from the cathedral to fund the $5.3m transitional project near Latimer Square was a breach of the terms of the Cathedral Trust.

Church Property Trustees (CPT) asked the High Court for direction on whether the money could be used to fund the cardboard cathedral after it was called into question last year.

Read it all and the judgment is here [pdf]

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry

[AP] Death toll in Egypt’s Muslim-Christian clashes at Cairo cathedral rises to 2

The death toll in clashes between Muslims and Christians in Cairo has risen to two, health and security officials said Monday. Another 89 were injured in the clashes outside Cairo’s main Coptic cathedral, which brought Egypt’s growing religious tension to the seat of the church’s pope.

The clashes broke out following the funeral of four Christians killed in sectarian violence the day before…

Read it all and there is an eyewitness report in the Independent

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Egypt, Middle East

(WSJ) Workers Stuck in Disability Stunt Economic Recovery

The unexpectedly large number of American workers who piled into the Social Security Administration’s disability program during the recession and its aftermath threatens to cost the economy tens of billions a year in lost wages and diminished tax revenues.

Signs of the problem surfaced Friday, in a dismal jobs report that showed U.S. labor force participation rates falling last month to the lowest levels since 1979, the wrong direction for an economy that instead needs new legions of working men and women to drive growth and sustain a baby boomer generation headed to retirement.

Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist for J.P. Morgan, estimates that since the recession, the worker flight to the Social Security Disability Insurance program accounts for as much as a quarter of the puzzling drop in participation rates, a labor exodus with far-reaching economic consequences.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Medicare, Middle Age, Social Security, The U.S. Government, Theology

[Telegraph] Margaret Thatcher dies of stroke aged 87

Baroness Thatcher, Britain’s greatest post-war prime minister, has died at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke, her family has announced.

Read it all and there is coverage from Reuters and the BBC and a tribute from Cranmer

Posted in * International News & Commentary, England / UK

Jordan Monge–The Atheist's Dilemma

As I set off in 2008 to begin my freshman year studying government at Harvard (whose motto is Veritas, “Truth”), I could never have expected the change that awaited me.

It was a brisk November when I met John Joseph Porter. Our conversations initially revolved around conservative politics, but soon gravitated toward religion. He wrote an essay for the Ichthus, Harvard’s Christian journal, defending God’s existence. I critiqued it. On campus, we’d argue into the wee hours; when apart, we’d take our arguments to e-mail. Never before had I met a Christian who could respond to my most basic philosophical questions: How does one understand the Bible’s contradictions? Could an omnipotent God make a stone he could not lift? What about the Euthyphro dilemma: Is something good because God declared it so, or does God merely identify the good? To someone like me, with no Christian background, resorting to an answer like “It takes faith” could only be intellectual cowardice. Joseph didn’t do that.

And he did something else: He prodded me on how inconsistent I was as an atheist who nonetheless believed in right and wrong as objective, universal categories…

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Apologetics, Atheism, Other Faiths, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis: a new approach to communication

Almost a month on from the election of the first Latin American pontiff, the head of the Vatican’s Council for Social Communications says Pope Francis is pioneering new ways of sharing the faith with people in and outside the Christian Church.

Archbishop Claudio Celli travelled to Santiago del Chile at the weekend for a conference on the challenges and opportunities facing the Church in Latin America in our era of rapidly developing digital technologies. The conference, which opens on Monday at the Catholic University of Chile, brings together some 400 communications specialists from across the continent.

At the heart of the discussion, Archbishop Celli says, lies not just the question of how to use the new technologies, but rather of how to bring the Word of Christ to men and women living in an increasingly digitalized world. The new Pope, he says, is already showing us an innovative approach to communicating that Gospel message”¦

Read and listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Globalization, Media, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Science & Technology

The Local Paper profiles BoomTown, the second-fastest-growing private company in S. C. in 2012

To hear Grier Allen tell it, BoomTown’s first office in the old Faber House on East Bay Street had rats.

Now several years on, the CEO’s workspace has a cinder block and glass brick wall and was once the seafood section of the former Jaber’s Market on Rutledge Avenue.

Moving a little over a mile in seven years, from live rodents to fish souls, might not scream success.

But Allen likes where he and his real estate software firm are. That’s because BoomTown has been covering ground in other ways. You might even say business is booming.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Science & Technology

An Interview with Amy-Wallace Havens on her brother David Foster Wallace

Take the time to listen to it all (and note there is a live excerpt of the Kenyon Commencement address).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Marriage & Family, Mental Illness, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature, Psychology, Suicide, Theology

David Foster Wallace's Kenyon Commencement Speech in 2005

This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship.

Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship–be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles–is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Education, History, Philosophy, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

A Prayer for the Feast of the Annunciation

We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts; that we who have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought unto the glory of his resurrection; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who hast taken away the sin of the world, and art alive for evermore: Grant us the faith that doubts not thy word, and trusts where it cannot see; that taking hold upon thy promises, we may rest in thy love and rejoice in thy mercy, now and always.

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Bible Readings

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

–Psalm 1:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Greg Laurie writes about Praying for Rick and Kay Warren and Their Family

I too have had a son die, so I have a sense of the pain Rick and Kay are facing. But their circumstances are different and my heart goes out to them.
At times like these, there really are no words, but there is the Word.
There is no manual, but there is Emmanuel.
God is with us.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Christology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Suicide, Theology, Young Adults

Jeremy Lin Explains College, NBA 'Barriers' Caused by Asian 'Stereotype'

Lin, the first Chinese-American to be play in NBA, and NBA commissioner David Stern said that Lin’s failure to get a major college basketball scholarship or a roster spot through the NBA draft had to do with his Asian ethnicity.

CBS’s 60 Minutes will do a report on Lin’s story Sunday, April 7 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT, where the Houston Rocket’s point guard sits down and discusses his rags to riches story and his stellar performance that caused the “Linsanity” phenomenon, and the racial obstacles he’s had to overcome.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Asia, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Psychology, Sports, Theology, Young Adults

Ted Campbell–Consider the consequences of a United Methodist Church breakup

The possibility of dividing the United Methodist Church as a way out of persistent conflicts over homosexuality has been raised enough times in recent years to warrant serious reflection on what it would entail. The fact that Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Lutherans have all seen either formal divisions or significant withdrawals of congregations from their denominations over these issues does not bode well for the UMC.

But as tempting as the idea might be as a way out of our conflicts, we would have to think about realities like the following….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Methodist, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology, Theology: Scripture