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Eugene Peterson RIP

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Seminary / Theological Education

(David Ould) More Same-Sex Blessings fail to pass in Australian Anglican Synods

This past weekend saw synods in the metropolitan dioceses of Melbourne and Adelaide here in Australia. We’ve previously reported on the proposed motions there (Melbourne, Adelaide) to provide for blessings of same-sex marriages contracted by civil celebrants. As is becoming clear, these motions are part of a coordinated campaign across the whole country.

In both Melbourne and Adelaide those motions failed to pass. In Adelaide the motion fell to a “not put” motion (i.e. the synod agreed by a vote that the motion “not be put”) after lengthy debate. This is an effective way of shelving the motion without a definitive vote against. It’s a political move to avoid some loss of face all around or when the synod decides that the topic is too contentious to come to a clear decision upon. In Melbourne the motion was withdrawn by its proposer, Archdeacon Craig D’Alton.

What this now means is that across the country, except for one diocese (Wangaratta) there has been a failure in the campaign to get a positive vote for same-sex blessings.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Australia, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

New Bishop of Ramsbury Announced

The next Bishop of Ramsbury has been announced as The Reverend Dr Andrew Paul Rumsey by Downing Street this morning.

Author of the highly acclaimed ‘Parish – An Anglican theology of place’, he is currently serving as Team Rector of St Mary, Oxted in Surrey.

The Bishop of Ramsbury is an ancient title first used in 909 AD with responsibility mainly for the Wiltshire parishes in the Diocese of Salisbury. The new Bishop will also chair the Diocese’s Mission and Ministry Council.

He is married to Rebecca, who works as an executive coach, and was born in Marlborough where the new Bishop and his family will be living. They have three children, Grace (16), Jonah (14) and Talitha (Tali for short,12).

Dr Rumsey is 50 and comes from a long line of parish clergy. He was educated first at the University of Reading and then at Kings College, London. He trained for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

A Prayer to Begin the day from E. M. Goulburn

O Blessed Jesus, who hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, and hast consecrated us in baptism to be temples of the Holy Ghost: Make us, we beseech thee, both in body and soul, meet for thy dwelling place; that our hearts may be houses of prayer and praise, of pure desires and holy thoughts of thee, whose we are and whom we serve, and to whom be glory, now and for evermore.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.

–Psalm 25:14

Posted in Theology: Scripture

John Stott on the Wrath of God

So what is…[God’s] wrath…? It is God’s personal, righteous, constant hostility to evil, his settled refusal to compromise with it, and his resolve instead to condemn it.

–John Stott, The Message of Ephesians (Bible Speaks Today) [Downer’s Grove, Ill. IVP Academic, 1984), p.45, quoted in this morning’s adult ed class by yours truly

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NPR) The Viral Obituary Of An Opioid Addict: ‘She’s Just One Face’ Of The Epidemic

[Kate] O’Neill thinks the pervasiveness of opioid addiction explains why her sister’s obit moved so many people. “It’s their story, or the story of their neighbor, or the story of their daughter, or the story of their coworker’s daughter,” she tells NPR’s Scott Simon.

Tragically, O’Neill says, the stigma of addiction all too often sets significant barriers to saving lives, even though nearly a third of Americans know someone who is or has been addicted to opioids, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

O’Neill felt she couldn’t pay tribute to her sister without highlighting the realities of an addiction that began at age 16 when Linsenmeir first tried the prescription painkiller OxyContin at a high school party.

“That part of her life, it was so central to who she was as an adult,” she says. “Her addiction didn’t define her, but it did define the way she lived. To not include that would not have been an accurate honoring of who she was.”

“I want people to know that Maddie is one face of that,” she says. “So many people with addiction don’t resemble the photo [of Maddie],” she says. “Maddie didn’t resemble that photo when she was in the throes of her use.”

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Posted in Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Marriage & Family

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Christina Rossetti

O Lord God of time and eternity, who makest us creatures of time that, when time is over, we may attain thy blessed eternity: With time, thy gift, give us also wisdom to redeem the time, lest our day of grace be lost; for our Lord Jesus’ sake.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens,
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his host!

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
And he established them for ever and ever;
he fixed their bounds which cannot be passed.

–Psalm 148:1-3

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Food for Thought from Reinhold Neibuhr

If psychological and social scientists overestimate the possibilities of improving social relations by the development of intelligence, that may be regarded as an understandable naivete of rationalists, who naturally incline to attribute too much power to reason and to recognise its limits too grudgingly. Men will not cease to be dishonest, merely because they have discovered their own deceptions. Whenever men hold unequal power in society, they will strive to maintain it. They will use whatever means are most convenient to that end and will seek to justify them by the most plausible arguments they are able to devise.

–Reinhold Neibuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics (1932)

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History

(Churchman) Philip Edgcumbe Hughes–The Reformers’ View of the Inspiration of Holy Scripture

The Church of England has created its own identity crises by progressively distancing itself from its Reformation roots. A state of flux has become the norm doctrinally, liturgically, and morally. It is therefore opportune to reconsider the Reformers’ convictions about inspiration of Scripture, instead of allowing the Reformation to be viewed as an unfortunate historical parenthesis.

Dr Hughes presented this article as a paper to the 1960 Conference of Evangelical Churchmen.It is reproduced by permission….

Holy Scripture belongs integrally to God’s purposes of redemption for fallen man, and its primary object is to lead us to Christ. Its function is within the sphere of special grace. The blessings of the Reformation resulted from the return to the Bible as the Word of God in humble and grateful obedience to the Good News it announces. This is still today the road to blessing and renewal.

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Posted in Church History, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day from E B Pusey

O Lord Jesus Christ, who when on earth wast ever about thy Father’s business: Grant that we may not grow weary in well-doing. Give us grace to do all in thy name. Be thou the beginning and the end of all: the pattern whom we follow, the redeemer in whom we trust, the master whom we serve, the friend to whom we look for sympathy. May we never shrink from our duty from any fear of man. Make us faithful unto death; and bring us at last into thy eternal presence, where with the Father and the Holy Ghost thou livest and reignest for ever.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. And behold, a man from the crowd cried, “Teacher, I beg you to look upon my son, for he is my only child; and behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him till he foams, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Jesus answered, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” While he was coming, the demon tore him and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God.

But while they were all marveling at everything he did, he said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But when Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts, he took a child and put him by his side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

John answered, “Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you.”

–Luke 9:37-50

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(WSJ) Bernard-Henri Lévy–ISIS Overlooks a Synagogue in Mosul

In short, a few hours of lively conversation on social media generated at least one area of agreement: ISIS, in its abysmal stupidity, had not understood that in its midst, converted into a cache for rockets and ammunition, stood a synagogue on par with those found in Kurdish Iraq. The discovery is a reminder of Mosul’s once thousands-strong Jewish community, which was evacuated in the early 1950s.

It also shows that what goes for hearts also goes for places: To survive, they sometimes have to borrow an identity, to pretend. It may well be, in other words, that cities, like Spanish Jews, can be Marranos, living undercover. This marranism is so powerful that when the jihadists took control of the region—and methodically destroyed churches, Yazidi temples and the ancient al-Nuri mosque—they managed to miss a holy place where the eternal continued to be praised, though in secret.

It raises a question: Is the world serious about saving what still can be saved of one of its oldest cities? Does Unesco mean what it says when it baptizes its program of urban and political reconstruction “the spirit of Mosul”? Will Americans and Europeans have what it takes to remake this disfigured city into what it was for centuries—a crossroads of peoples, religions and civilizations—and what its immortal soul aspires to become once again?

If so, we must heed the erudite Muslim of Mosul Eye. Watching and writing from his hometown, from the quiet heart of what was the epicenter of world jihadism, he called on us to rebuild the last synagogue still standing in the city of the prophet Jonah.

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Posted in Afghanistan, Judaism, Terrorism

Reform of the Gender Recognition Act-Government Consultation: A Response from the Church of England

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Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)