Daily Archives: May 4, 2015
April 29, 2015
It has been a week since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. Today the churches in Nepal meet to worship but it will never be the same again. Many have lost their loved ones, friends, colleagues, classmates, and fellow acquaintances. Today also marks the last day of search-and-rescue efforts. All those still buried under rubble will be presumed dead.
Today is a very sad day for the Anglican Church in Nepal and for our Diocese as we mourn the death of 78 Anglican members in the district of Dhading (this number will rise, as many are still buried under rubble). The report we have just received also stated that in the fourteen villages of the Dhading district, thirteen Anglican church buildings have been destroyed, 30,000 villagers have been displaced, with more than 5,000 families affected. They are without shelter, food and aid. Many are having to brave the cold wet nights of the monsoon season. Some villagers have woken up to find their young children dead from exposure to the extreme cold.
The people in the mountains are cut off from aid and supplies due to severe damage to roads and mountain tracks. We thank God for brave souls like young Pastor Beg who, despite the dangers, have been trekking the mountains the last 4 days to check on the well-being of his Tamang people
it is clear that many Christians died in their churches.
“I am getting reports of entire Christian families being wiped out in Kathmandu and outside,” Simon Pandey, chairman of the National Christian Fellowship of Nepal, told CT in an interview from his concrete house in a Lalitpur suburb.
If the quake had occurred half an hour earlier, he noted, the casualties in churches would have been much higher. (Many Hindus died during worship services also.)
Of Nepal’s Christians””which comprise just over one percent of the country’s 30-million population””Protestants were disproportionately affected by the disaster, a Catholic leader told CT.
“Not enough conservatives; theology too liberal”, says lesbian participant in Shared Conversations
One of the initial reflections to come out of the first regional Shared Conversations is an excellent piece from the musician and blogger Rose Grigg
Rose appreciated the opportunity for people on opposites sides of the theological and ethical divides to really get to know each other and hear each other. However she has serious concerns about the process as well. Firstly, the Conversations appear light on theology:
“There wasn’t enough time to get into the nitty gritty of the Biblical texts, or to dig into the ”˜issues behind the issues’: our approaches to scripture, what is sin, what is truth, what is salvation.”
Secondly, there was an assumption that ”˜good disagreement’ was the right outcome: “We hadn’t answered the question of exactly what we were disagreeing on; or whether that disagreement was something we could live with, or something which was so definitive that a split had to happen.”
Thirdly, there was theological bias: “the process was geared towards those of a more liberal standpoint ”“ those who were more likely to agree that the church could coexist with different theologies.”
Lastly, “there weren’t enough conservatives”. Rose herself was assumed to be conservative as she identifies as evangelical. “It’s not his [the Bishop’s] fault I happen to be”¦a flag-waving, rainbow-wearing lesbian.”
Here is a report from someone who could embody more and more the future of the C of E as envisioned by its current leaders: young, talented and committed to Christ, but coming to radically different conclusions about Christ’s teachings and his demands in ways that align more with the grain of contemporary culture and one’s own self understanding and identity. If even she finds the process of the Shared Conversations too skewed away from a historic, conservative understanding of faith, this is yet more evidence of what Dr Martin Davie has called “a deeply flawed process supported by deeply flawed resources. They are in fact an object lesson of how a church should not go about handling a serious theological issue.”
In October this year (2014), I drove to Desaru on the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia for such a time. The haze over the western sector of Singapore and the second link was particularly bad. There was a dull grayness and fogginess that enveloped everything. But as I drove eastwards, the sky began to clear up and soon the sun came shining through in all its brightness. The experience was not without significance for me.
It seems to me that there is a growing fog over the moral landscape of the world. On the one hand, many nations (& the Church sadly following suit in some instances) are entertaining revisionist views on moral issues. On the other hand, another type of fogginess is caused by the thick cloud of dust and ashes as bombs and gunfire explode between warring groups in several parts of the world. Yet, God in His mercy will break through the present engulfing darkness. His shining brightness will usher in a panel of light where man is restored in his true humanness as he learns to love & fear the living God. How will the Lord’s brightness come shining upon the world’s moral & spiritual landscape? Primarily in and through His people (Mic 4:1-3; Is 60: 1-3).
Notwithstanding the present tide of dark, destructive and depressing forces, I believe we are headed towards the day of Christ’s unsurpassable brightness (Acts 26:13)…
O Lord, who through spiritual discipline didst strengthen thy servant Monnica to persevere in offering her love and prayers and tears for the conversion of her husband and of Augustine their son: Deepen our devotion, we beseech thee, and use us in accordance with thy will to bring others, even our own kindred, to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.
O Lord, who hast brought us through the darkness of night to the light of the morning, and who by thy Holy Spirit dost illumine the darkness of ignorance and sin: We beseech thee, of thy loving-kindness, to pour thy holy light into our souls; that we may ever be devoted to thee, by whose wisdom we were created, by whose mercy we were redeemed, and by whose providence we are governed; to the honour and glory of thy great name.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. What can flesh do to me?
wouldn’t have understood the full scope of what this young woman is saying in her essay without the interview, which is short. In the segment, Narin says that men and women in her generation don’t have actual romantic relationships anymore. It’s all casual, non-committal sex. “Nobody knows whether their own feelings are real,” she says.
Our generation doesn’t have relationships anymore. Nobody to call their own. Just casual. Nobody knows whether their own feelings are real.
She tells the interviewer that there’s lots of making out and sex, but nobody wants to be emotionally vulnerable to anybody else. The interviewer says that none of this is new, that men and women forever have had a hard time being emotionally confident as they’re trying to work their way through romance. Now, however, it’s possible to “live in your fear,” he says. What has changed?
“Technology,” she said. She explained that you can avoid direct, sustained talking to real people by using technology.
Small, winner of two national book awards for his recent novels, will discuss “East Meets West: What the Great World Religions Can Learn from Each Other.” He will attempt to weave the key themes of his suspense novels into a serious discussion of how interfaith dialogue can enlighten people’s lives.
In today’s world, Small explained, “when the headlines are too often about the animosity between the religions, I hope to help us build bridges across these conflicts.” He attempts to do this through talks, blog posts and his fiction writing, where he feels he can reach a different audience in a nonconventional way.
Specifically, the suspense/thriller author of “visionary fiction” will attempt to answer “Why do we have so many religions? What can we learn from this knowledge? Why do we need interfaith dialogue? What are the key teachings from Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism?”
The women said several were killed in the stoning, but they did not know how many.
The survivors said that when they were initially captured, the militants had killed men and older boys in front of their families before taking women and children into the forest.
Some were forced into marriage.
They said the Islamists never let them out of their sight – not even when they went to the toilet.
Until his recent conversion to Anglicanism, the broadcaster and author Michael Coren was one of Canada’s best known Catholics. He has a Catholic wife and four Catholic children and is the author of books that include “Why Catholics Are Right.” So when he was formally welcomed into an Anglican congregation in Toronto the other day, after worshipping with them privately for a year, the news caused a stir in the Catholic world. False rumours were circulated about his motives. Old scandals from a career in punditry were dredged up. The uproar cost him several speeches to conservative American Catholic groups, and his regular column in the Catholic Register was pulled. As he tells the National Post”˜s Joseph Brean, he was driven to Protestantism by a growing sense of hypocrisy….
Q: You say Anglicanism is similar to Catholicism, with many shared beliefs, but the split between the Vatican and the Church of England is longstanding, deep and wide. How did you come to cross it?
A: Yes, of course, otherwise, logically, why would I have bothered? ”¦ My father was Jewish, I was raised in a very secular home, sort of semi-culturally Jewish, but no religion. I became a Christian in 1984 and I’ve never wavered. I was received into the Catholic Church in 1985 when I was 26. I’d been interested in Christianity since I was a teenager, actually, and I think I just kept on crawling further and further. It was sort of two feet forward and one foot back the whole time. There was a certain inevitability about it. There was no bunker experience, there were no bullets flying over my head. I think I’d achieved quite a bit early. I’d always wanted to be in literary London, and have books published, and I had all that by about age 24. They were very bad books, but they were published. I was in literary London and there was a certain emptiness.
Read it all from the National Post.
That the Great Recession of 2007-09 made Americans have fewer kids is no surprise, but a new study shows how big the toll was.
Birth rates for U.S. women in their 20s dropped more than 15% between 2007 and 2012, just before and after the recession, the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan policy research group, said in a new analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention released Tuesday.
Among Hispanic 20-somethings, the birth rate dropped 26%. Non-Hispanic blacks? 14%. By contrast, non-Hispanic white 20-somethings saw an 11% decline.