Daily Archives: April 8, 2017

Catherine Fox–The Leaving of Liverpool

In some ways, I discovered that I fitted in from the start. While my sons were growing up I committed many maternal crimes, but chief among them were ‘talking to strangers in shops’ and ‘trying to be funny’. Liverpool was an emotional homecoming. Talking in shops is normal, and everyone’s a comedian.

Liverpool is also a wildly glamorous city. And here, again, (as someone who secretly thinks you can’t have too many feather boas) I felt instantly I was in the right place. In a humble way, of course. I have much to learn. Fortunately, there are always people on hand to offer style advice in Liverpool. Recently I ordered a pair of shoes online, and went to collect them from Liverpool One. I believe every single person in the store, staff and customers alike, told me they were fabulous and a bargain and I should definitely buy them. I sometimes wonder, though, if my fashion sense is now permanently skewed. I can get on a train in Liverpool Lime St feeling woefully underdressed, and arrive in London (where a black North Face anorak is a flashy statement) looking like I’ve tried too hard.

Liverpool’s friendliness is legendary, but the city also topped the Travelodge survey on random acts of kindness in the UK. Kindness. I prefer kindness to almost anything. Holding doors open, smiling at strangers, letting people go ahead in supermarket queues. These are all common practices round here. As a runner and a pedestrian, I’ve often noticed the kindness of drivers waving me across side roads, and anticipating my zebra crossing use. There is one quirk of Liverpool driving that sometimes catches non-locals out at traffic lights. It’s not quite as simple as blatantly driving through a red light, but there’s a consensus that if you actually see it turn red as you approach, it doesn’t count.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Church Times) Dean of Liverpool Pete Wilcox is named as the next Bishop of Sheffield

THE man who has the task of healing the wounds opened up in Sheffield by the Philip North row is to be the Dean of Liverpool, the Very Revd Dr Pete Wilcox.

Downing Street announced on Friday morning that Dr Wilcox has been nominated as the next Bishop of Sheffield, one month after the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North, withdrew his acceptance of the post after protests against his views on women’s ordination (News, 9 March).

At the time, it was reported that the Archbishop of York, who chaired the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) that selected Bishop North, would propose an alternative candidate. (For each diocesan appointment, the CNC sends two names to the Prime Minister for rubber stamping.) The speed of Friday’s announcement suggests that Dr Wilcox’s was the name beneath Bishop North’s. Having first nominated a Catholic traditionalist, the CNC has opted for an Evangelical.

Dr Wilcox said in a statement on Friday: “Although the journey has been unconventional, to say the least, I feel called by God to this role, and am therefore thrilled to be coming to the diocese of Sheffield.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(LICC) The Benefits of the Unseen

Bastiat’s ‘unseen’ identifies the valuable things that don’t happen at all because of an unwise policy – like the jobs that never get created because of a wasteful expenditure, or the things that never get made because the material resources are being consumed elsewhere, or the sale that never happens because of a regulation.

St. Paul had something to say about a Christian rendering of the ‘seen’ and ‘unseen’ too. He insists we don’t fix ourselves on the temporary ‘seen’ things, but instead fix ourselves on the ‘unseen’ things – promising us that the unseen destination is where we’ll enjoy eternal glory.

Perhaps the equivalent to Bastiat’s political observation is that when it comes to knowing Christ there is an awful lot going on in the ‘seen’ realm of the world that easily distracts us from the more valuable qualities of the ‘unseen’ realm.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Barna Group–An in Depth look at the “Spiritual but Not Religious”

“I’m spiritual but not religious.” You’ve heard it—maybe even said it—before. But what does it actually mean? Can you be one without the other? Once synonymous, “religious” and “spiritual” have now come to describe seemingly distinct (but sometimes overlapping) domains of human activity. The twin cultural trends of deinstitutionalization and individualism have, for many, moved spiritual practice away from the public rituals of institutional Christianity to the private experience of God within. In this conclusion of a two-part series on faith outside the church (read the first part, on those who “love Jesus but not the church”), Barna takes a close look at the segment of the American population who are “spiritual but not religious.” Who are they? What do they believe? How do they live out their spirituality daily?

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture, Sociology

Christian Education: An Address in 1831 by William Augustus Muhlenberg for his Feast Day

Whether a lesson be mastered in obedience to conscience, or from a dread of punishment, from filial affection, or determination to beat a rival, is a question of little moment, I grant, in reference to the stock of knowledge acquired, but of incalculable consequence when asked in reference to the bearing upon moral character. The zeal to make scholars, should, in the minds of Christians at least, be tempered by the knowledge that it may repress a zeal for better things. The head should not be furnished at the expense of the heart. Surely, at most, it is exchanging fine gold for silver, when the culture of gracious affections and holy principle is neglected for any attainments of intellect, however brilliant or varied. What Christian parent, would wish his son to be a linguist or a mathematician, of the richest acquirements or the deepest science, if he must become so by a process, in which the improvement of his religious capabilities would be surrendered, or his mind accustomed to motives not recognised in the pure and self-denying discipline of the Gospel. Not that such discipline is unfriendly to intellectual superiority; on the contrary, the incentives to attain it, will be enduring, and consequently efficient, in proportion to their purity. The highest allurements to the cultivation of our rational nature, are peculiar to Christianity. Hence, literature and science have won their highest honors in the productions of minds most deeply imbued with its spirit. The effect, however, of exclusively Christian discipline in a seminary of learning, when fairly stated, is not so much to produce one or two prodigies, as to increase the average quantum of industry; to raise the standard of proficiency among the many of moderate abilities, rather than to multiply the opportunities of distinction for the gifted few.

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Posted in Church History, Education

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Augustus Muhlenberg and Anne Ayers

God of justice and truth, let not thy Church close its eyes to the plight of the poor and neglected, the homeless and destitute, the old and the sick, the lonely and those who have none to care for them. Give us that vision and compassion with which thou didst so richly endow William Augustus Muhlenberg and Anne Ayers, that we may labor tirelessly to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from John R. W. Stott

O God, our heavenly Father, who so loved the world that thou didst give thine only Son to die upon the cross: Pour thy love into our hearts, we humbly beseech thee; that we loving thee above all things, may give up ourselves, our time, our money, our talents, to thy service; for the sake of him who loved us and gave himself for us, Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ”˜Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

–Jeremiah 31:27-34

Posted in Theology: Scripture