Daily Archives: January 24, 2017

Ed Stetzer–Facts Are Our Friends: Why Sharing Fake News Makes Us Look Stupid and Harms Our Witness

Christians seem attracted to an alternative set of facts, but we don’t need them.
Even if the truth doesn’t seem favorable to us, we don’t have to go looking for an opposing story. We have a hope in something greater. We believe that Truth is personified in a Person””Jesus. When we dishonor the truth, we dishonor Jesus.
In 2012, I wrote, “I’m saddened that many Christians are being included in the groups that create their own facts.” Unfortunately, more and more people are noticing this to be the case.
Gullible or conspiracy-spreading Christians simply do not help these perceptions. Instead, they feed the impression that Evangelicals are simply unwilling to face truth.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Media, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Theology

(NPR) Medical Debt Is Top Reason Consumers Hear From Collection Agencies

A recently released report says medical debt is the No. 1 reason consumers reported being contacted by a collection agency. If efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act result in more people losing their coverage, those numbers could rise.

The study by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that 59 percent of people who reported they had been contacted by a debt collector said it was for medical services. Telecommunications bills were the second most common type of overdue bill for which debt collectors pursued payment, at 37 percent, and utilities were third, reported by 28 percent.

Unlike other types of debt, people with medical debt were prevalent across a range of income levels, credit scores and ages. A poll conducted in 2015 by NPR, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that many people with health insurance still struggle to pay medical bills. Some 26 percent said health care expenses have taken a serious toll on family finances.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Stewardship, Theology

Wycliffe Hall's response to an erroneous article in this past weekend's Sunday Times

From here:

An article in ‘The Sunday Times’ (22 January 2017) has been brought to our attention, which suggests that Wycliffe Hall’s “inclusive language policy” recommends that staff and students no longer refer to God as “He”, but as “the one who”. It does no such thing. Yes, inclusive language is encouraged at Wycliffe Hall in our preaching and our writing when describing people ”“ not ”˜man’, ”˜mankind’, ”˜every man’, but ”˜human’, ”˜humanity’, ”˜everyone’. Therefore careful thought is required when using older liturgy, hymnody, or Bible translations, in order to include the whole people of God. This is common sense and is common practice throughout the churches. But there is no suggestion that the traditional gender pronouns concerning God should be altered in any way. Indeed the Hall’s policy reaffirms that we should continue to speak of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as Christians have always done


Posted in * Culture-Watch, Language, Seminary / Theological Education, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

Churches Urged To Adopt Refugee Family As Home Office Struggles To Meet 20,000 Target

“Go and do something” was the Salvation Army founder’s motto and is the message to UK churches over support for refugees fleeing persecution in the Middle East.

Parishes across Britain are being urged to adopt a Syrian refugee family under the government’s community sponsorship scheme after it emerged just two families had been welcomed under the programme.

Read it all from Christian Today.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Immigration, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Tel) Imogen Rohrs: Why sex+relationships education needs to become compulsory in all schools

The Government’s most recent guidelines on SRE were released nearly two decades ago, in 2000. This was long before iPhones, WhatsApp, the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, all which make communication quick and easy, but not necessarily painless, for teenagers today, as the recent news about Alistair Wilson and his ”˜sexting’ blackmail tactics clearly demonstrate. A case like this, involving several humiliated parties and violated privacy, could potentially have been prevented if the people implicated had been more fully educated as to the risks involved in their behaviour, on both sides.

In an era where young people can access anything and everything at the click of a mouse or casual scroll of a smartphone, the people in positions of power have a duty. Not to control or limit young people or to promote their ignorance of mature topics, as nowadays they will inevitably come into contact with explicit material, peer pressure and sexually orientated media influence, but to educate them. However many locks and child-protecting passwords you set up, young people will still eventually be exposed to sexual imagery, that they can’t ”˜unsee’, or even understand.

Lessons on the consequences of sexual pressure and of the exchange of explicit photos, to name just a couple, would be hugely beneficial to the next generation of millennials.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, England / UK, Entertainment, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

We Finally Started The Crown on Netflix–WOW

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, History, Movies & Television, Politics in General

(Bloomberg) UK Supreme Court Rules Brexit Trigger Needs Parliamentary Vote

The highest U.K. court ruled Prime Minister Theresa May must seek an act of Parliament to trigger the two-year countdown to Brexit, handing lawmakers a chance to soften the government’s plan.

The court ruled against the government by an 8-3 vote, Judge David Neuberger said Tuesday. The judges ruled unanimously, however, that legislatures in Scotland and Northern Ireland don’t get to vote on the Article 50 process that starts to wrest the U.K. from the European Union after 44 years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, History, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Frank Colquhoun

Lord Jesus, who in thy tender love didst stretch forth thy hand and touch the leper who came to thee for cleansing: Grant us a like compassion for all who claim our help, and a willingness to identify ourselves with them in their need; for thy sake who wast made sin for us, and who art our righteousness and our salvation, now and for ever.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cili”²cia. And I was still not known by sight to the churches of Christ in Judea; they only heard it said, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.
Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up by revelation; and I laid before them (but privately before those who were of repute) the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, lest somehow I should be running or had run in vain. But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. But because of false brethren secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage”” to them we did not yield submission even for a moment, that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who were reputed to be something (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)””those, I say, who were of repute added nothing to me; but on the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for the mission to the circumcised worked through me also for the Gentiles), and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised; only they would have us remember the poor, which very thing I was eager to do.

–Galatians 1:18-2:10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Veteran celebrates 95th birthday aboard USS Yorktown where he was stationed in WW2

It’s not often that Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum gets to celebrate the birthday of a pilot who actually served aboard the aircraft carrier, but today, they did just that.

Former Air Force pilot and stalwart current volunteer Bill Watkinson turned 95 on the very ship that he called home during World War II.

Watkinson, a part-time resident of Mount Pleasant, is originally from New Jersey, but he’s been a volunteer tour guide aboard the Yorktown at Patriots Point for as long as spokesman Chris Hauff can recall. “He loves the Yorktown,” Hauff said.

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Aging / the Elderly, Health & Medicine, History, Military / Armed Forces

This week's BBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme

The Church of England’s Bishop with responsibility for homelessness James Langstaff explains why some Christian organisations believe that the Government and local authorities need to do more to implement a comprehensive, long-term national strategy to end homelessness in England.

She was one of the last debutantes destined to live a life of luxury, but then she had a calling from God. Sister Agatha tells Rosie Dawson about her extraordinary life.

A reading from the Qur’an at St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow has not only embroiled the Cathedral in controversy but sparked a wider debate on whether or not Christian buildings should host inter-faith worship at all. Bob Walker reports.

Read it all and listen to the parts you want (the Glasgow Cathedral segment starts about 17 minutes in).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Scottish Episcopal Church, Theology

Why Our Body Destroys Itself: The science and spirituality behind the latest Nobel Prize in medicine

The process of autophagy (literally “self-eating”) is so vital to our survival that it was the focus of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine announced in October. Winner Yoshinori Ohsumi described the discovery of this complex process as a surprise. He watched as cells wrapped entire proteins and organelles in a protective membrane””and then shredded them to pieces with enzymes. It was the equivalent of watching a wrecking ball take down a skyscraper, reducing a majestic work of architecture into a pile of bricks.

The destruction seemed counterintuitive, even dangerous. The mantra of cellular biology up to that point had been that building proteins””not destroying them””was the key to health and survival. The controlled but nonetheless devastating demolition of these structures into which so much energy and resources had been poured was perplexing. Wouldn’t this starving cell prefer to have all of its organelles””just as a body would prefer to have all of its organs? Why, in the face of adversity, would a cell demolish something it had worked very hard to build?

As Ohsumi’s team investigated further, the metaphor used for three decades changed: Autophagy isn’t cellular self-cannibalism so much as it is cellular pruning. “Organisms never waste precious resources without good reason,” Ohsumi said, “and degradation is a process essential for the creation of new life.” At its core this process was one of destruction, but it was not reckless. A cell that was indiscriminately destroying pieces of itself was not going to last long, but one that could select old, broken, misshapen, or malignant proteins and recycle them into something new would flourish.

Read it all from CT.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology, Theology