Daily Archives: October 30, 2015

(WSJ) Joseph Loconte–When Luther Shook Up Christianity

When an obscure German monk hammered his indictments to the door of All Saints’ Church at Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517, he did not intend to impugn the authority of the Catholic Church, or malign its leaders, or rupture the spiritual unity of medieval Europe. Martin Luther wanted reform, not a Reformation.

But that’s what he got. On Reformation Sunday, nearly 500 years after Luther published his 95 Theses, Protestants will celebrate his revolution to recapture the meaning of the gospel and the authority of the Bible against that of popes or princes. As Luther told his accusers at the 1521 council known as the Diet of Worms: “Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason””I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other””my conscience is captive to the Word of God.”

Luther is either credited or blamed for shattering Catholic hegemony and plunging Europe into religious wars. But the Reformation is more complex than that, and speaks to today’s religious violence and political instability.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, History, Lutheran, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

U of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill abruptly retires, citing struggles with epilepsy

Choking back tears, Kill, 54, announced Wednesday morning that he was retiring immediately, shocking fans across the state as he explained that he could no longer coach the way he wants because of his health issues.

With his wife, Rebecca, tearfully watching near the side of a university stage, Kill told a stunned audience that his seizures had returned, he hadn’t slept more than three hours a night in weeks, he had quit taking some of his medication and that he doesn’t “have any more energy.”

“This is not the way I wanted to go out,” Kill said. “But you all know about the struggles, and I did my best to change. But some of those struggles have returned, and I don’t want to cheat the game.”

Read it all from the Star-Tribune.

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

(Church Times) Payment and apology follow abuse complaint against Bishop Bell

Allegations of sexual abuse by a former Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Revd George Bell, have resulted in compensation and a formal apology from the current Bishop, Dr Martin Warner, 20 years after the complaint was first made.

A statement issued by Church House, Westminster, on Thursday of last week confirmed “a legal civil claim regarding sexual abuse against the Right Reverend George Bell”. The complaint concerns the abuse of a young child in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Tracey Emmott, the solicitor for the survivor, said that her client remained “bitter” that the original complaint, made in 1995, was “not properly listened to or dealt with until my client made contact with Archbishop Justin Welby’s office in 2013”. This failure had been “very damaging, and combined with the abuse that was suffered has had a profound effect on my client’s life”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Stewardship, Theology, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Wyclif

O God, whose justice continually challenges thy Church to live according to its calling: Grant us who now remember the work of John Wyclif contrition for the wounds which our sins inflict on thy Church, and such love for Christ that we may seek to heal the divisions which afflict his Body; through the same Jesus Christ, who livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

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 Bible Readings

In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Ar-ta-xerx”²es, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing else but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “Let the king live for ever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” Then the king said to me, “For what do you make request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may rebuild it.” And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah; and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house which I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.

–Nehemiah 2:1-8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

An RNS article on TEC Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry’s vision

Q: What do you see as your primary tasks ahead?

A: I think first to inspire and encourage the church and all of us as part of the church to embrace our vocation as part of the Jesus movement in the world. If 2 million Episcopalians are going out and functioning in this world as people who are actually following the teachings of Jesus and living in his spirit, in his way, they’re going to change some things.

Our General Convention when it gathered this summer really did lift up two critical priorities. One was for us as the Episcopal Church to really embrace evangelism and the sharing of the good news of God’s incredible, reconciling love that we know in Jesus, and that’s a positive evangelism, that’s a gracious evangelism, that’s a generous evangelism, that’s evangelism with a smiling face that’s a real smile.

Q: What was the second priority at the General Convention?

A: The second was to embrace serious work of racial reconciliation, which is the beginning of the work of reconciliation between human beings across all the divides.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, Theology