Daily Archives: November 30, 2015

Matthew Parris–The horrible events seem to have prompted Archbp Justin Welby to question his faith

…the Archbishop struggles. Why? I can only conclude that (as he has sometimes hinted) his belief in the very existence of a deity can falter. After all, if one starts from an absolute faith that there is a benevolent God, one must simply find ways to explain or discount apparently awkward evidence ”” of which the problem of pain is an obvious example. If, on the other hand, one is unsure about the existence of God, one does not seek to discount troubling evidence against the theory, but approaches it with an open mind.

I suspect that describes Archbishop Welby. If so, we should not reproach him for responding to an act of great wickedness as he did ”” though we might enquire whether it was really a good idea to be Archbishop of Canterbury. But what I must reproach him for is this: Paris is now, close to home, and once Welby’s own home, but why should that make the atrocity any more philosophically troubling than a Lisbon earthquake centuries ago? I feel a righteous anger against people who renounce their faith because their aunt died of cancer. Other people’s aunts die of cancer all the time. ”˜Why us? Why me? Why now?’ should carry no more force than ”˜Why others? Why then?’

The Archbishop’s response was doubtless human, but theologically shallow. Jesus, in His agony (”˜My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?) doubted Himself, not God. Straining his ears on last Saturday’s walk, the Archbishop might have heard a rumble from the sky: ”˜My Canterbury, my Canterbury, why has thou forsaken me?

Read it all from the Spectator.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Europe, France, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theodicy, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Alister McGrath–Let us think through the relationship between Science and Religion more carefully

There is little point in extending this analysis. We need instead to construct a better model of understanding of science and religion. Both continue to be significant presences in American culture. The Balkanisation of American culture may well be served by a studied refusal to allow two of its major elements to engage in any meaningful dialogue. Yet there are possibilities of dialogue and mutual enrichment for those willing to take risks, and allowing science and religion have a meaningful conversation.

That’s the approach I adopt in my new book The Big Question: Why we can’t stop talking about Science, Faith and God. It’s a narrative of my own journey over a period of 40 years to find ways of bringing together science and faith in a way that enriches and informs both. As a younger man, beginning my scientific studies at Oxford University, I took the view that religion was uninformed nonsense, which would soon be put out of business by scientific advance. The book tells of my gradual disenchantment with this approach, as I came to see its intellectual implausibility, and realized that human beings need more than just a description of the world if they are to leave meaningful and informed lives.

It was not until later that I read the great Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955), who managed to put his finger on the point at issue far better than I could. Scientists are human beings. If we, as human beings, are to lead fulfilled lives, we need more than the partial account of reality that science offers. We need a “big picture”, an “integral idea of the universe”. Ortega put it like this. Any philosophy of life, any way of thinking about the questions that really matter, will end up going beyond science — not because there is anything wrong with science, but precisely because its substantial intellectual virtues are won at a price. Science works so well because it is so focused and specific in its methods.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Apologetics, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Andrew

Almighty God, who didst give such grace to thine apostle Andrew that he readily obeyed the call of thy Son Jesus Christ, and brought his brother with him: Give unto us, who are called by thy Word, grace to follow him without delay, and to bring those near to us into his gracious presence; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Gelasian Sacramentary

Make us, we beseech thee, O Lord our God, watchful and heedful in awaiting the coming of thy Son Christ our Lord; that when he shall come and knock, he shall find us not sleeping in sin, but awake and rejoicing in his praises; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

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

(Law and Religion UK) Frank Cranmer–The end of banns in England?

The Revd Stephen Trott has tabled a Private Member’s Motion at General Synod, as follows:


The Revd Stephen Trott (Peterborough) to move:

“That this Synod, noting the Registration of Marriages Regulations 2015 and the growing burden and complexity of the legal requirements imposed on members of the clergy who conduct weddings in the Church of England, invite the Archbishops’ Council to bring forward draft legislation to replace ecclesiastical preliminaries to marriage by universal civil preliminaries, such as those which have been in operation in Scotland ”¦ when banns were replaced by a Marriage Schedule issued by the civil registrar.”

He has raised the issue before. I

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Church of Wales, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Wales

Engaging the Advent Conspiracy for 2015–Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More and Love All

The Christmas story is a story of love, hope, redemption and relationship.

So, what happened? How did it turn into stuff, stress and debt?

Somehow, we’ve traded the best story in the world for the story of what’s on sale.

Enter Advent Conspiracy!

In 2006, several pastors got together to make Christmas a revolutionary event by encouraging their faith communities to Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More and Love All. This year, Christ-St. Paul’s joins forces with many churches who are doing just that: Engaging in authentic worship and giving.

Read it all and follow the links.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Parish Ministry, Theology