Daily Archives: October 13, 2015

Food for Thought from Os Guinness

We are all apologists now, and we stand at the dawn of the grand age of human apologetics, or so some are saying because our wired world and our global era are a time when expressing, presenting, sharing, defending and selling ourselves have become a staple of everyday life for countless millions of people around the world, both Christians and others. The age of the Internet, it is said, is the age of the self and the selfie. The world is full of people full of themselves. In such an age, “I post, therefore I am.” To put the point more plainly, human interconnectedness in the global era has been raised to a truly global level, with unprecedented speed and on an unprecedented scale. Everyone is now everywhere, and everyone can communicate with everyone else from anywhere and at any time, instantly and cheaply. Communication through the social media in the age of email, text messages, cell phones, tweets and Skype is no longer from “the few to the many,” as in the age of the book, the newspaper and television, but from “the many to the many” and all the time.

One of the effects of this level of globalization is plain. Active and interactive communication is the order of the day. From the shortest texts and tweets to the humblest website, to the angriest blog, to the most visited social networks, the daily communications of the wired world attest that everyone is now in the business of relentless self-promotion””presenting themselves, explaining themselves, defending themselves, selling themselves or sharing their inner thoughts and emotions as never before in human history. That is why it can be said that we are in the grand secular age of apologetics. The whole world has taken up apologetics without ever using or knowing the idea as Christians understand it. We are all apologists now, if only on behalf of “the Daily Me” or “the Tweeted Update” that we post for our virtual friends and our cyber community. The great goals of life, we are told, are to gain the widest possible public attention and to reach as many people in the world with our products””and always, our leading product is Us.

We who are followers of Jesus stand as witnesses to the truth and meaning of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus as a central matter of our calling. We are spokespersons for our Lord, and advocacy is in our genes. Ours is the apologetic faith par excellence.

Regardless of the new media, many of us have yet to rise to the challenge of a way of apologetics that is as profound as the good news we announce, as deep as the human heart, as subtle as the human mind, as powerful and flexible as the range of people and issues that we meet every day in our extraordinary world in which ”˜everyone is now everywhere’.”

Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion (Downer’s Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2015), pp. 15-16

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Apologetics, Blogging & the Internet, Books, Evangelicals, Globalization, Other Churches, Theology

(Anglican Ink) Cairo meeting of archbishops to begin on Wednesday

The Global South and Gafcon primates are scheduled to meet in Cairo on 13 Oct 2015 in Cairo, the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East tells Anglican Ink. Writing in response to a story released on 12 Oct 2015 that stated the primates had begun their meeting at All Saints Cathedral on 11 Oct 2015, Archbishop Mouneer Anis stated this was not the case, as not all of the invited leaders of the conservative and center-right coalitions were present and they had not yet begun their formal deliberations. The gathering of primates is expected to discuss the invitation extended by Archbishop Justin Welby for a primates gathering in January in Canterbury. Dr. Annis stated he had written to some of those scheduled to attend warning of the pressures they would face from partisans representing the various factions within the Communion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Egypt, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East, Theology

Midday mental Health Break–Awesome footage of Vermont Fall Foliage

This is Vermont Foliage // DJI Inspire 1 Dronie from Matt Benedetto on Vimeo.

Posted in * General Interest, Photos/Photography

Church of England Commissioners sign PRI Montreal Pledge

The Church Commissioners for England has announced that it has signed the PRI Montreal Pledge, an initiative that commits signatories to measuring and publicly disclosing the carbon footprint of their equity portfolio each year.

The Pledge was launched last year in Montreal during the annual conference of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which the Commissioners signed up to in 2010, and is also supported by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). It aims to attract commitment from portfolios totalling US$3 trillion in time for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in December 2015. At present, nearly 100 organisations representing over US$8 trillion have signed the pledge.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Stock Market, Theology

(The Hill) Russian-made missile downed jet over Ukraine, according to MH17 report

The Malaysian passenger plane that went down over eastern Ukraine last year was downed by a Russian-developed Buk missile, the Dutch Safety Board says in a long-awaited report.

The surface-to-air missile detonated outside the front, left part of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 cockpit and caused other parts of the Boeing 777 to break off, according to the report released Tuesday.

The report does not say who fired the missile that brought down the plane, but suggests it should not have been flying in the area due to the risk from armed conflict there.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Malaysia, Politics in General, Russia, Theology, Travel, Ukraine

Archbishop Longley rejects synod proposal on Communion for Anglican spouses

A synod proposal to allow Anglican spouses of Catholics to receive Holy Communion has been rejected by the Archbishop of Birmingham.

The proposal, contained in the working document is due to be discussed at the synod next week.

If approved it would mean Anglicans being allowed to present themselves at Communion during Mass if they were married to a Catholic but unable to attend a service in their own denomination.

Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, co-chairman of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (Arcic), set up to further unity, has criticised the move, however, saying it did not meet the demands of either the Code of Canon Law or the Ecumenical Directory.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, England / UK, Eucharist, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

New Zealand Anglicans and Methodists eye closer ties

The Anglican and Methodist churches are in talks which could bring them closer than ever.

The two were working on equal recognition of each other’s ordained clergy and a hui, held in Auckland in September, had kicked off the latest round of discussions which could see them more united in the future.

Of all the Christian denominations, the Anglican Church of Aotearoa and the Methodist Church of New Zealand had the most similarities.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Ecumenical Relations, Methodist, Other Churches

(1st Things) A look back to 1995–Vaclav Havel: Forgetting We Are Not God

In other words, if democracy is to spread successfully throughout the world and if civic coexistence and peace are to spread with it, then this must happen as part of an endeavor to find a new and genuinely universal articulation of that global human experience which even we, Western intellectuals, are once more beginning to recollect, one that connects us with the mythologies and religions of all cultures and opens for us a way to understand their values. It must expand simply as an environment in which we may all engage in a common quest for the general good.

That of course presupposes that first, our own democracies will once more become places for quest and creation, for creative dialogue, for realizing the common will, and for responsibility, and that they will cease to be mere battlegrounds of particular interests. Planetary democracy does not yet exist, but our global civilization is already preparing a place for it: It is the very Earth we inhabit, linked with Heaven above us. Only in this setting can the mutuality and the commonality of the human race be newly created, with reverence and gratitude for that which transcends each of us singly and all of us together. The authority of a world democratic order simply cannot be built on anything other than the revitalized authority of the universe.

The effective expansion of democracy therefore presupposes a critical self-examination, a process that will lead to its internalization.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Philosophy, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(ACNS) Anglicans encouraged to drop filioque from Nicene Creed

Last week’s meeting of the Anglican Oriental Orthodox International Commission in Hawarden, Wales, and the agreement on dropping the filioque clause of the Nicene Creed has moved the two families of churches “one step closer to as close as we can be”, a leading Orthodox bishop has said.

“For us, we saw [the filioque clause] as an addition to the Creed,” Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, said. “One of the founders of our Church, Saint Athanasius, was instrumental in formulating it. As a church that has been persecuted for most of its existence, our faith and faith issues are exceptionally important.

“The relevance [of the agreement] is that we are one step closer to as close as we can be. There are things that we are not going to be able to agree on but that should not stop us resolving things that we can agree on.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

Canadian drug firm moving to greater Charleston SC, to SC's first gigabit community in Summerville

In the spring, Aeterna Zentaris announced the transfer of its library of 100,000 drug compounds to the Medical University of South Carolina in a collaborative venture it hopes will lead to new treatments.

MUSC can make that available to researchers within the University of South Carolina system. It also will own any therapeutic compounds it discovers outside of the company’s areas of interest.

Under the agreement, MUSC will try to provide Aeterna Zentaris with at least 10 development candidates over 10 years starting in 2018. The company also will get the rights to license any of those ideas.

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Canada, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Science & Technology

(NBC Chicago) Cubs Could Make History With Tuesday Win Over Cardinals

(In case any readers were unaware or forgot, your blog host is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan–KSH).

The Chicago Cubs have proven that they are willing and able to make history, but If they beat the Cardinals on Tuesday at Wrigley Field, they’ll accomplish something even more impressive than winning a playoff series over their hated rivals.

They’ll also clinch a playoff series on their home field for the first time in at least 112 years.

Granted, the Cubs have only won three postseason series (excluding the NL Wild Card Game vs. the Pirates last week) since the World Series was first contested in 1903, but it’s still shocking to realize that the team has never clinched a series on their home field.

Read it all.

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

Walking with Indigenous peoples: Making reconciliation an election issue in Canada

Reconciliation has been on the hearts and in the minds of our church for decades. In 2015, the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report, the #22Days project, and eighth national Anglican Indigenous Sacred Circle among others further highlighted the issue of reconciliation with Indigenous people, putting it front and centre for and within the Anglican Church of Canada.

Reflecting on survivor testimony and an examination of the Indian residential school system in policy and practice, the TRC was able to determine that history to be nothing short of cultural genocide. The TRC brought to light the traumatic effect of the schools on generations of survivors and their families, as well as the negative social repercussions in Indigenous communities.

“For those who have ears to hear, a conscience to stir, and a heart to move, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has humbled this nation to confess its sin, and to pray for guidance in walking in a new and different way with the First Peoples of this land,” Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said in his opening sermon at this year’s Sacred Circle.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

(Boston Globe) Can we please stop pretending marijuana is harmless?

underscoring the incredible momentum to legalize marijuana is the misconception that the drug can’t hurt anybody. It can, especially young people.

The myth that marijuana is not habit-forming is constantly challenged by physicians. “There’s no question at all that marijuana is addictive,” Dr. Sharon Levy tells me. She is the director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, one of a few programs designed to preemptively identify substance use problems in teens. At least 1 in 11 young adults who begin smoking will develop an addiction to marijuana, even more among those who use the more potent products that are entering the market.

Levy speaks of an 18-year-old patient who had started smoking marijuana several times a day in 10th grade, dropped out of high school, and been stealing money from her parents. “She and her family were at their wits’ end trying to find appropriate treatment in a health care system that doesn’t consider addiction to marijuana a serious problem,” Levy says. “We are simply not prepared for the fallout of marijuana legalization.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from E.B. Pusey

Lift up our souls, O Lord, to the pure, serene light of thy presence; that there we may breathe freely, there repose in thy love, there may be at rest from ourselves, and from thence return, arrayed in thy peace, to do and bear what shall please thee; for thy holy name’s sake.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Make love your aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, he who prophesies speaks to men for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than he who speaks in tongues, unless some one interprets, so that the church may be edified.

Now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how shall I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will any one know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? So with yourselves; if you in a tongue utter speech that is not intelligible, how will any one know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning; but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves; since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

–1 Corinthians 14:1-12

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture