Daily Archives: September 16, 2016

South Carolina Clergy Meet to Continue ACNA Affiliation Discernment

“Where can we by the power of God make a difference for emerging Anglicanism?” asked Bishop Mark Lawrence, in a day-long gathering of clergy from the Diocese of South Carolina at Saint James, James Island, September 14. “There’s some gravity to our decision. We need to think forward, evangelically, missionally in a way that will make a difference if someone looks back 50 years from now.”

Over 100 clergy were present for the meeting, which focused primarily on discernment issues surrounding the Diocese’s process towards affiliation with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Theology

Our World in Data Comparison on Income Growth around the Globe 1980-2010

(Hat Tip: @MaxCRoser+ourworldindata.com)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Theology

(New Statesman) Tom Holland: Why I was wrong about Christianity

The longer I spent immersed in the study of classical antiquity, the more alien and unsettling I came to find it. The values of Leonidas, whose people had practised a peculiarly murderous form of eugenics, and trained their young to kill uppity Untermenschen by night, were nothing that I recognised as my own; nor were those of Caesar, who was reported to have killed a million Gauls and enslaved a million more. It was not just the extremes of callousness that I came to find shocking, but the lack of a sense that the poor or the weak might have any intrinsic value. As such, the founding conviction of the Enlightenment ”“ that it owed nothing to the faith into which most of its greatest figures had been born ”“ increasingly came to seem to me unsustainable.

“Every sensible man,” Voltaire wrote, “every honourable man, must hold the Christian sect in horror.” Rather than acknowledge that his ethical principles might owe anything to Christianity, he preferred to derive them from a range of other sources ”“ not just classical literature, but Chinese philosophy and his own powers of reason. Yet Voltaire, in his concern for the weak and ­oppressed, was marked more enduringly by the stamp of biblical ethics than he cared to admit. His defiance of the Christian God, in a paradox that was certainly not unique to him, drew on motivations that were, in part at least, recognisably Christian.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Christology, Church History, England / UK, History, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Stratechery) Facebook Versus the Media

I’ll be honest, this made me mad. Hansen oh-so-blithely presumes that he, simply by virtue of his job title, is entitled to special privileges on Facebook. But why, precisely, should that be the case? The entire premise of Facebook, indeed, the underpinning of the company’s success, is that it is a platform that can be used by every single person on earth. There are no gatekeepers, and certainly no outside editors. Demanding special treatment from Facebook because one controls a printing press is not only nonsensical it is downright antithetical to not just the premise of Facebook but the radical liberty afforded by the Internet. Hansen can write his open letter on aftenposten.no and I can say he’s being ridiculous on stratechery.com and there is not a damn thing anyone, including Mark Zuckerberg, can do about it.

Make no mistake, I recognize the threats Facebook poses to discourse and politics; I’ve written about them explicitly. There are very real concerns that people are not being exposed to news that makes them uncomfortable, and Hansen is right that the photo in question is an example of exactly why making people feel uncomfortable is so important.

But it should also not be forgotten that the prison of engagement-driving news that people are locking themselves in is one of their own making: no one is forced to rely on Facebook for news, just as Aftenposten isn’t required to post its news on Facebook. And on the flipside, the freedom and reach afforded by the Internet remain so significant that the editor-in-chief of a newspaper I had never previously read can force the CEO of one of the most valuable companies in the world to accede to his demands by rousing worldwide outrage.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Science & Technology, Theology

The burkini bans have exposed historic tensions that are dividing Muslims+threatening French unity

In the summer of 1905, the Catholic cassock, and whether to ban wearing it in the streets, sparked a passionate debate in France . For Charles Chabert, a leftwing MP, the black ankle-length soutane was not just an affront to modernity but a reminder of the threat the monarchist Catholic Church posed to the secular republic that he, and his colleagues, sought to consolidate with a bill enforcing a strict separation of state and religion.

Some priests would find it hard to part with the garment, he conceded, but others, “the most clever, the most educated”, would welcome the ban as liberation. Conjuring up an imaginary cleric, shy and buttoned up, Chabert added: “Look at him. The garb makes him a prisoner of his own ignorance”‰.”‰.”‰.”‰Of this slave, let’s make a man.”

Aristide Briand, author of the separation bill, disagreed. By policing garments, the state would be perceived as “intolerant”, and, even worse, the subject of “ridicule”, he quipped.
Fast forward 111 years, France is again debating religious garb ”” this time, the burkini.

Read it all from the FT (if necessary another link is there).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, France, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Theology

(Telegraph) Jesus, the divine inspiration for the fashion world

Admittedly, his face has adorned more religious imagery than any other in history.

But now Jesus is being put forward as an icon of an entirely different sort ”“ in the world of fashion.

The Church of England has given its blessing to London Fashion Week with an official video making the Biblical case for the clothing industry.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Church Times) Religious leaders plead for ”˜humane’ policy for refugees

Pretending that the refugee crisis is going to disappear is “futile, foolish”, and turning vulnerable people away from the UK “simply shifts the burden to those less able to bear it”, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams has warned.

He was speaking at a multifaith gathering at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London, on Monday, to mark the release of an open letter to the Prime Minister, signed by more than 200 religious leaders, some of whom were also in attendance (above). It calls on the Government to accommodate more refugees in the UK more quickly, and, in particular, to reunite families that have been separated by conflict.

“The pace in responding to the refugee crisis seems very slow,” Lord Williams said. “We have had months of discussion on the subject of reuniting children with parents, and as yet have remarkably little to show for it.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Rowan Williams, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Immigration, Inter-Faith Relations, Middle East, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ninian of Galloway

O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant and bishop Ninian didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in the land of Britain: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, Scotland, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Bishop M.A.P. Wood

Lord Jesus, my Saviour, let me now come to thee:

My heart is cold; O Lord, warm it with thy selfless love.
My heart is sinful; cleanse it by thy precious blood.
My heart is weak; strengthen it by thy joyous Spirit.
My heart is empty; fill it with thy divine presence
Lord Jesus, my heart is thine; possess it always and only for thyself. Amen.

–The Rt. Rev. Maurice Arthur Ponsonby Wood (1916-2007)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehu”²man, Biztha, Harbo”²na, Bigtha and Abag”²tha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served King Ahasu-e”²rus as chamberlains, to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty; for she was fair to behold. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command conveyed by the eunuchs. At this the king was enraged, and his anger burned within him.

Then the king said to the wise men who knew the times””for this was the king’s procedure toward all who were versed in law and judgment, the men next to him being Carshe”²na, Shethar, Adma”²tha, Tarshish, Meres, Marse”²na, and Memu”²can, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king’s face, and sat first in the kingdom””: “According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti, because she has not performed the command of King Ahasu-e”²rus conveyed by the eunuchs?” Then Memu”²can said in presence of the king and the princes, “Not only to the king has Queen Vashti done wrong, but also to all the princes and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasu-e”²rus. For this deed of the queen will be made known to all women, causing them to look with contempt upon their husbands, since they will say, ”˜King Ahasu-e”²rus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.’ This very day the ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s behavior will be telling it to all the king’s princes, and there will be contempt and wrath in plenty. If it please the king, let a royal order go forth from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be altered, that Vashti is to come no more before King Ahasu-e”²rus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.

–Esther 1:10-19

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Anglican Bp of Ballarat Garry Weatherill declares support for same-sex marriage, opposes plebiscite

Ballarat’s Anglican Bishop Garry Weatherill has declared his support for same-sex marriage and said he opposed the Federal Government’s proposed plebiscite on the issue.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday introduced legislation into the Lower House for a plebiscite on same-sex marriage to be held on February 11.

At this stage, Labor is expected to block the passage of the bill.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(C of E) Statement from the College of Bishops

The College of Bishops of the Church of England met in Oxford from 12-15 September 2016.

As is the usual pattern of meetings of the College every third year the College of Bishops are joined for part of their meeting by bishops from the Scottish Episcopal Church, Church of Ireland and Church in Wales. Representatives from each of the sister churches made presentations to the college and engaged fully in discussions during the first days of the meeting.

A wide ranging agenda included presentations and discussions on Safeguarding, the Renewal and Reform programme, the post-Brexit political landscape, clergywomen in leadership, clergy wellbeing and issues of sexuality.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecclesiology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture