Daily Archives: May 28, 2014

(Gallup) Chee Tung, Leong: Why Creating Organizational Change Is So Hard

So what can leaders do to improve their chances of successfully implementing organizational change? They should use an intentional, structured approach to determine where they are now, where they want to be in the future, and how they will bridge the gap.

–Assess the current state to understand where the organization is starting from as it begins the change process. What are the organization’s strengths? What are its barriers to change? Are employees ready and willing to embrace the change and adopt new behaviors?
–Paint a clear, compelling picture of the future state and explain why change is necessary. Employees are more motivated to change if leaders can give them hope and inspiration. Workers need to envision the change and understand how their efforts will contribute to achieving it.
–Create a plan of action to bridge the gap between the current and future state. This plan serves as a road map for the journey and identifies the specific steps required to achieve the desired change.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Psychology, Theology

Scot McKnight reviews Gary Black's new book on Dallas Willard

[Dallas] Willard’s most central idea, perhaps, is this: God’s existence and God’s nature are central to all being, to all creation. Everything derives from God, and everything is sustained by God””and that’s the only way any life exists. Jesus’ kingdom theology reveals this reality. Kingdom, then, is the possibility of spiritual relationship to God.

Less typically, Willard contends that each of us “is” a kingdom, and we choose which kingdom we will serve: God’s kingdom, where God rules, or our own kingdom, where we rule. That is, kingdom is about the range of a person’s will. Willard’s understanding of God’s plan (making us Christlike) governs his understanding of Christ: Jesus as Master, as Physicist (he has mastery over the physical world), as Moralist (he tells us how to live righteously), as Teacher, and as Guide.

The same understanding of God’s purpose in us governs Willard’s understanding of the church: We are being transformed into Christlikeness, and the church is the hospital for those who are on this transformative journey.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Christology, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

(Huff Po) Lisa Haisha–Is It Time To Change Our Views Of Adultery and Marriage?

In today’s society, marriage happens when two people (usually a man and a woman) fall in love and decide to spend the rest of their lives together in monogamy. But did you know that wasn’t always the case? In fact, the modern version of marriage emerged a mere couple of hundred years ago. In the past, marriage rarely involved love (most marriages were arranged based on income and social status), and the majority of societies allowed and expected plural marriages, with either multiple wives or multiple husbands.

Clearly the concept of marriage has changed greatly over the years. And with today’s rate of divorce between 40 and 50 percent, coupled with the prevalence of adultery in many marriages, perhaps it’s time for the concept of marriage to continue to evolve. According to Associated Press, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 41 percent of spouses admit to infidelity, either physical or emotional. This leads me to ask, “Are we really supposed to be with just one person our whole life? And if not, must we get re-married five times? Are there alternative ways to perceive and participate in a marriage that will guarantee its success?…”

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not condoning adultery as we know it, because I’m not strictly talking about sex. But because it is so taboo, when you consider the historical context of marriage, isn’t being shocked by adultery a bit of an overreaction?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CNS) Sudanese churches condemn death sentence for Christian woman

Churches in Sudan, including the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference, have condemned the death sentence handed to a Christian woman who refused to renounce her faith.

Meriam Ibrahim, whose father was Muslim but whose mother was an Orthodox Christian from Ethiopia, was convicted of apostasy by a court in Khartoum in mid-May for marrying a Christian.

In a joint statement, the Sudanese churches said the charges against Ibrahim are false. They appealed to the Sudanese government to free her from prison, according to the social communications department of AMECEA, the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Theology

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to visit Pope Francis in June on human trafficking initiative

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will meet Pope Francis in Rome next month.

The visit, from 14th to 16th June, will focus on the joint modern slavery and human trafficking initiative launched by Archbishop Justin and Pope Francis earlier this year.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

(Diocese of Portsmouth) Paul Ginever–The vicar who beat cancer three times

He’s grateful for the support of his family, friends and congregation. So it’s appropriate that his farewell service at St Mary’s on May 25 will involve him baptising his latest grandchild, Drew. And after a lifetime of serving God, Paul is grateful for the chance to make another contribution to society in retirement.

“It’s a cliché, but you do realise what matters in life ”“ not what you’ve got, but the people around you,” he said. “I’ve been prayed for around the world, by people of virtually every denomination. I wouldn’t be here without the combination of modern medicine, the love of God and the support of others.

“Each time I’ve had the treatment and recovered, I think I’ve become a different person. I’ll be continuing to explore my discipleship in retirement, and I hope I can be useful in this new era of my life.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

([London] Times) Archbishop Justin Welby’s support for Christians in Pakistan

The Archbishop will attend services with bishops from the eight dioceses of the 800,000-strong Church of Pakistan, which unites Anglicans, Methodists, Lutheran and Presbyterian churches. He will promise global support from the Anglican Communion in fighting discrimination and resisting persecution. At the same time he will try to promote reconciliation among Pakistan’s Anglicans, who is recent years have been riven by court cases over property and sales of church land.

In meetings later with the Governor of Punjab and Muslim leaders, he will raise his concerns about the abuse of the notoriously ill-defined blasphemy laws, introduced in the 1970s, and do more to halt violence against women and religious minorities.

But he will also tell Pakistan’s Muslim leaders that he is determined to improve relations between Christians and Muslims in Britain and the West, as well as in flash points such as Nigeria.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(C of E) Sir Hector Sants' speech at launch of Church Credit Union Network

It is a privilege to be able to speak to you today on such an important topic.

Financial distress is one of the principle causes of social detriment. Archbishop Justin has emphasised that helping alleviate financial distress should be central to the Church’s mission.

A few statistics to remind us why:

the debt of the average UK household, excluding mortgages, is now almost £13,000

7 million people are using high cost credit providers

1m payday loans are taken out each month

1.4 m people have no bank account

These statistics are in themselves justification for action, but for me, even more concerning is encountering the impact of financial distress at the personal level.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

(ABC Aus.) The Cross and the Kingdom: How God Became King

To be clear, I am not saying that any of these ideas are wrong, or inappropriate, or unhelpful. I am simply noting that these great statements of faith, which the church has treated as foundational for its life ever since, manage not to talk about what the gospels primarily talk about, and to talk about something else instead.

The problem, as I see it, is that a great gulf is opening up between the canon and the creeds. The canonical gospels give us a Jesus whose public career radically mattered as part of his overall accomplishment, which was to do with the kingdom of God. The creeds give us a Jesus whose miraculous birth, saving death and resurrection and ascension are all we need to know. We have thus assumed some kind of a creedal framework for the Christian faith, and the gospels don’t fit it. The gospels were all about God becoming king; but the creeds are focussed on Jesus being God. It would be truly remarkable if one great truth of early Christian faith and life were actually to displace another, to displace it indeed so thoroughly that people forgot it even existed. But that’s what I think has happened….

The point is that John, along with the other three gospels, urge us to see Jesus’s death as explicitly royal, explicitly messianic – in other words, explicitly to do with the coming of the “kingdom.” Jesus has, all along, been announcing that God’s kingdom was coming. His followers might well have expected that this announcement would lead to a march on Jerusalem, where Jesus would do whatever it took to complete what he had begun. And they were right – but not at all in the sense they expected or wanted. That is what the evangelists are saying through this particular moment in the story. This is how the kingdom is to come, the kingdom of God which Jesus has been announcing and, as Messiah, inaugurating.

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Posted in Christology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

John Calvin on John 15:1-8 for his Feast Day

There is scarcely any one who is ashamed to acknowledge that every thing good which he possesses comes from God; but, after making this acknowledgment, they imagine that universal grace has been given to them, as if it had been implanted in them by nature. But Christ dwells principally on this, that the vital sap ”” that is, all life and strength ”” proceeds from himself alone. Hence it follows, that the nature of man is unfruitful and destitute of everything good; because no man has the nature of a vine, till he be implanted in him. But this is given to the elect alone by special grace. So then, the Father is the first Author of all blessings, who plants us with his hand; but the commencement of life is in Christ, since we begin to take root in him. When he calls himself the true vine the meaning is, I am truly the vine, and therefore men toil to no purpose in seeking strength anywhere else, for from none will useful fruit proceed but from the branches which shall be produced by me.

–Commentary on John, Volume II

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Europe, Other Churches, Presbyterian, Switzerland, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Calvin

Sovereign and holy God, who didst bring John Calvin from a study of legal systems to understand the godliness of thy divine laws as revealed in Scripture: Fill us with a like zeal to teach and preach thy Word, that the whole world may come to know thy Son Jesus Christ, the true Word and Wisdom; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, ever one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Give unto us, O Lord our God, the spirit of courage. Let no shadow oppress our spirit, lest our gloom should darken the light by which others have to live. Remove from our inmost souls all fear and distrust, and fill us daily more completely with thy love and power; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us. For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

–Ephesians 1:1-10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Lambeth Palace PR) Archbishop visits Anglicans in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Asia, Bangladesh, Globalization, India, Pakistan, Religion & Culture

(Reuters) Boko Haram attack kills 31 Nigerian security personnel

Boko Haram gunmen attacked a Nigerian military base and adjacent police barracks in the northeastern town of Buni Yadi, killing 31 security personnel, security sources and witnesses said.

The attack late on Monday in Yobe state occurred not far from where the Islamist insurgents shot or burned to death 59 pupils at a boarding school in February.

The militants, whose violent struggle for an Islamic state in northern Nigeria has killed thousands and made them the biggest threat to security in Africa’s top oil-producing state, are still holding more than 200 girls kidnapped on April 14, an act which provoked international outrage.

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