Daily Archives: July 29, 2016

(WSJ) David Studdart–The Strange Rites of the Ancient Olympics

Like doping scandals today, rigged outcomes and cheating, though not common, certainly did tarnish the ancient Games. Visit Olympia, and you can still see the bases of the “Zanes,” bronze statues of Zeus erected from fines imposed on cheating athletes, with inscriptions naming and shaming the culprits. But nothing diminished the allure of the Olympics. Only Christianity could overcome them. With the banning of pagan practices by the Roman Emperor Theodosius in A.D. 391, their days were numbered, and by 425 the Olympics were no more.

For well over a thousand years the Games survived seismic shifts in politics and society, not to mention long-raging wars. Their religious focus undoubtedly played a major part in their longevity. And they evolved, too, with new contests being introduced (those for heralds and trumpeters were perhaps the most bizarre) while others (such as the mule race) were phased out.

But it was more than all that, and here we arrive at the continuing appeal of the modern Games as well. The philosopher Epictetus put his finger on it. Even as he noted “the cacophony, the din, the jostling, the shoving [and] the crowding” of the ancient Games, he had to admit that “you are happy to put up with all this when you think of the splendor of the spectacles.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Greece, History, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Sports, Theology

Archbishop of Canterbury’s New Advisor for Reconciliation Announced

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has announced the appointment of Sarah Snyder as his new Advisor for Reconciliation.

She takes over from Canon David Porter who moved into his new role as Chief of Staff and Strategy to the Archbishop at the beginning of May.

Sarah will take up the role in September. She will be part of the senior team at Lambeth Palace while also being based at Coventry Cathedral, where Archbishop Justin’s Reconciliation Ministry has been established since its inception. Her role will have a particular emphasis on supporting the Church in contexts of violent conflict or post-conflict and helping the Church to be an agent of reconciliation and conflict-transformation.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

(Church Times) Goddard Inquiry begins to sift through Church’s evidence

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has begun a “rapid evidence assessment” as part of its investigation into the Anglican Churches in England and Wales, the Inquiry’s Counsel, Ben Emmerson QC, said this week.

Mr Emmerson made his com­ments on Wednesday at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, Lon­don, where Justice Lowell Goddard was holding a series of preliminary hearings into the Inquiry’s different strands.

He revealed that the Inquiry’s research team was sifting through information and evidence from 114 different sources. Among them was the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, which had sup­plied over 7000 items of evidence relating to the diocese of Chichester and the case of Bishop Peter Ball, which are being used as case studies by the Inquiry.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Mary and Martha [and Lazarus] of Bethany

Generous God, whose Son Jesus Christ enjoyed the friendship and hospitality of Mary, Martha and Lazarus of Bethany: Open our hearts to love thee, our ears to hear thee, and our hands to welcome and serve thee in others, through Jesus Christ our risen Lord; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Mozarabic Liturgy

Grant us, O Lord, to pass this day in gladness and peace, without stumbling and without stain; that reaching the eventide victorious over all temptation, we may praise thee, the eternal God, who art blessed, and dost govern all things, world without end.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Mag”²dalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

–Matthew 28:1-10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(GC) Jared Wilson–The Attractional Church’s Growing Irrelevance

From my vantage point in the evangelical landscape, I am incredibly optimistic about the future of the church. I know we have lots of cause for concern about “the culture,” and I know the church tasked with proclaiming the kingdom in it seems pretty shaky right now. But I when I take a sober look at the young Christians (the millennials!) training for gospel ministry and thinking hard about mission, I like where their head’s at. The rest of us, on the other hand . . .

I find it incredibly interesting, sort of amusing, and more than a bit sad that the attractional church””what we used to call the “seeker church”””hasn’t seemed to grow up at all. Yes, it’s grown big. But growing big and growing up aren’t the same thing. I was thinking about this recently after a few people posted a video of one of the landmark attractional churches featuring a ’90s boy band throwback segment in their worship service. I’m sure it was a lot of fun. I’m also sure it was especially fun for those whose heyday was the ’90s. It’s the same fun that was had by the worship team in my ’90s attractional youth group who were constantly reworking rock hits from the ’70s to make them more Jesusy (“Peaceful, Easy Feelin,” anybody? How about a little “Talkin’ about my Jesus””he’s some kind of wonderful”?).

And it occurs to me that, exceptions being granted, the attractional church is specifically designed for what was said to “work” 20 years ago….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Anglicans to build new centre in Spain for pilgrims on 'The Way' to Santiago de Compostela

A new $5 million Anglican Centre is to be built in Spain in Santiago de Compostela, the end of the world-famous Catholic pilgrimage route the Way of St James.

The Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain, which is part of the Anglican Community under the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is to begin fundraising with the help of Trinity Church, Wall Street in the United States.

The new Anglican centre in Spain will have instant and enormous appeal to Christians from through the Anglican Communion worldwide.

Read it all from Christian Today.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Spain

R Catholic priest named canon of Belfast Anglican cathedral in historic first

St Anne’s Cathedral has appointed a Roman Catholic priest as one of its canons for the first time.

Father Edward O’Donnell, parish priest of St Brigid’s in south Belfast, is now one of three “ecumenical canons” at the Church of Ireland cathedral.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Ecumenical Relations, England / UK, Ireland, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic