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From the Morning Scripture Readings

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

–1 Corinthians 11:23-34

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(NYT) The End of a ‘Gilded Age’: China Is Bringing Business to Heel

Chinese tech companies are reeling from regulation. Nervous creditors are hoping for a bailout for China’s largest developer. Growing numbers of executives are going to jail. An entire industry is shutting down.

For China’s leader, Xi Jinping, it’s all part of the plan.

Under Mr. Xi, China is reshaping how business works and limiting executives’ power. Long in coming, but rapid in execution, the policies are driven by a desire for state control and self-reliance as well as concerns about debt, inequality and influence by foreign countries, including the United States.

Emboldened by swelling nationalism and his success with Covid-19, Mr. Xi is remaking China’s business world in his own image. Above all else, that means control. Where once executives had a green light to grow at any cost, officials now want to dictate which industries boom, which ones bust and how it happens. And the changes offer a glimpse of Mr. Xi’s vision for managing the economy, ahead of a political meeting expected to solidify his plans for an unprecedented third term in charge.

Read it all.

Posted in China, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General

From the Morning Scripture Readings

And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, take up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

–Matthew 9:1-8

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(The State) South Carolina living in two different worlds as normalcy and chaos try to co-exist during the COVID19 pandemic

There is an unsettling disconnect in the rhythms of South Carolina these days, when normalcy and crisis clash and co-reign.

More than a year and a half into the coronavirus pandemic that has killed some 12,000 South Carolinians — nearly 1,900 dead in the past month alone, as the fatality rate speeds up — early fall life looks much like it always has for many people who crowd into restaurants, sporting events, concerts and church services.

While tens of thousands gather in college football stadiums, hospitals strain under a worsening surge of COVID-19 patients. While one community mourns the deaths of two schoolchildren, among COVID’s youngest victims, passionate crowds fill school board and council chambers to protest mask mandates. While lines of cars wait for hours at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site in the state capital, half of the state’s eligible residents still wait or refuse to be vaccinated.

The discord is striking in that each of these moments coexist with the others — the mirth alongside the sorrow, the fear alongside the vitriol.

As the pandemic worsens, these clashing moments mingle across the Palmetto State.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Sports, State Government

(CLJ) Joshua Hren–The Uneven Race Between Work and Marriage

Although the unalloyed logo (a “childlike cartoon face of indeterminate ethnicity”) possesses a facial affect that almost forces the onlooker to smile with satisfaction, when Schmidt mingles it with his own face he sours. Wallace’s image does not sugar the icon’s awful truth. Men who yearn for marriage but are consumed by the competing demands of work are innately dissatisfied: cut off from the daily demands, the “domestic discipline,” the saving need to sacrifice for family, their identification with work becomes overwhelming. The atomized “self” is an extraordinarily powerful invention, and it frees us from inherited obligations and forms, institutions and norms. But there is always a catch. The self, if sometimes experienced as expansive and massive, is intrinsically small.

“What is love?” asks Nietzsche’s Last Man: “What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?’ thus asks the last man, and blinks. The earth has become small, and on it hops the last man, who makes everything small . . . One still loves one’s neighbor and rubs against him, for one needs warmth.” Notice the dynamic at play: the last man, who makes everything small, blinks at the biggest things, but his pusillanimous state does not leave him unsettled. Schmidt, on the contrary, recognizes and balks at his own smallness—he has eyes for the sacred and yearns to be transcended but does not know how; gazing at the distant dots of the cosmos and even using them as guides, he instantiates one of the riddling problems of our age: marriage remains a lodestar for many, but exemplary (if flawed) marriages—which mix sacramental mysteries with utter practicalities—are declining with terrible speed, a phenomenon exacerbated by an excessive identification of self and work.

David Foster Wallace’s story smokes our minds with the mushrooming loneliness of his atomic protagonist. Schmidt’s “self” has lost and has been remade in the image of his abstracted and sophistic workplace. Chesterton was fundamentally worried that capitalism’s logic would wear away at the deep roots of the family. In “Mister Squishy,” we watch not the atoms being smashed, but the progeny of this fission, circling his job in an earthbound orbit, unable to bond, bouncing off the walls of his condo. A conscientious employee, exemplary even. A smashed man, sickly squishy, hard to digest.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Praise the LORD! O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever! Who can utter the mighty doings of the LORD, or show forth all his praise? Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!

–Psalm 106:1-3

Posted in Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Scripture Readings

He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the wickedness of its inhabitants. He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; they sow fields, and plant vineyards, and get a fruitful yield. By his blessing they multiply greatly; and he does not let their cattle decrease. When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, trouble, and sorrow, he pours contempt upon princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; but he raises up the needy out of affliction, and makes their families like flocks. The upright see it and are glad; and all wickedness stops its mouth. Whoever is wise, let him give heed to these things; let men consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

–Psalm 107:33-43

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(CT) Eberhard Jüngel RIP, A Theologian Who Saw Trinity Revealed in the Cross

Later, when he and other post-war theologians debated whether theology should be political, Jüngel would come back to this experience.

“The political relevance of Christian faith consists, from beginning to end, in its ability and obligation to speak the truth,” he said. “The political activity required of the church aims, above all else, to assist the cause of truth.”

Jüngel studied theology in East Berlin, pursuing a doctorate. In 1957, he managed to leave for an illegal year abroad. He went to Switzerland to study with the theologian Karl Barth and made regular trips to Freiburg, where he studied with the philosopher Martin Heidegger.

He was deeply influenced by both men.

Read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezeki′ah saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennach′erib king of Assyria I have heard.

–2 Kings 19:20

Posted in Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Bible Readings

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.3This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? 5 Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same? For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more?

Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing this to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have any one deprive me of my ground for boasting.

–1 Corinthians 9:1-15

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(WSJ) Havana Syndrome Attacks Widen With CIA Officer’s Evacuation From Serbia

The incident in the Balkans, which hasn’t been previously reported, is the latest in what the officials describe as a steady expansion of attacks on American spies and diplomats posted overseas by unknown assailants using what government officials and scientists suspect is some sort of directed-energy source.

Still more suspected attacks have occurred overseas and in the U.S., the current and former officials said, along with recently reported ones in India and Vietnam.

“In the past 60 to 90 days, there have been a number of other reported cases” on U.S. soil and globally, said Dr. James Giordano, a Georgetown University professor of neurology who is advising the U.S. government on the issue. “They are seen as valid reports with verified health indicators.”

The continuing attacks, which may cause dizziness, memory loss and other health issues, have sparked frustration within the U.S. government and sapped morale at the State Department and Central Intelligence Agency, the current and former officials said. Some professional diplomats and spies have become reluctant to take overseas postings for themselves and their families, the officials said.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Cuba, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Health & Medicine, Military / Armed Forces, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Serbia, Theology

(NC Register) Celebrating the Archangels: 7 things to know and share

1) What is an archangel?

The word “archangel” (Greek, archangelos) means “high-ranking angel” the same way that “archbishop” means a high-ranking bishop.

Only St. Michael is described as an archangel in Scripture (Jude 9), but it is common to honor St.s Gabriel and Raphael as archangels also.

2) Why are they called “saints” if they’re angels rather than humans?

The word “saint” (Greek, hagios) means “holy one.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Theology

From the Morning Bible Readings

If any one imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if one loves God, one is known by him.

–1 Corinthians 8:2-3

Posted in Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Bible Readings

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.

–Psalm 97:1-6

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(NYT) Home Health Care–Long Hours, Low Pay, Loneliness and a Booming Industry

For 15 years, Yvette Dessin spent long work days with her elderly patients, accompanying them on walks, cooking them meals and bathing those who needed that most intimate kind of care. If a patient died, Ms. Dessin and her adult daughter attended the funeral services to pay their respects.

Ms. Dessin worked up to 60 hours a week as a home health aide, her daughter said, making minimum wage. She often worried about being able to pay the mortgage on her Queens home. She was one of roughly 2.4 million home care workers in the United States — most of them low-income women of color and many of them immigrants — who assist elderly or disabled patients in private residences or group homes.

The industry is in the midst of enormous growth. By 2030, 21 percent of the American population will be at the retirement age, up from 15 percent in 2014, and older adults have long been moving away from institutionalized care. In a 2018 AARP survey, 76 percent of those ages 50 and older said they preferred to remain in their current residence as they age. In 2019, national spending on home health care reached a high of $113.5 billion, a 40 percent increase from 2013, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The ranks of home care aides are expected to grow by more than those of any other job in the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s also among the lowest paying occupations on the list.

Read it all from the front page of the business section of yesterday’s NYT.

Posted in Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

Thomas Traherne for his Feast Day–‘The Cross is the abyss of Wonders’

The Cross is the abyss of wonders, the centre of desires, the school of virtues, the house of wisdom, the throne of love, the theatre of joys, and the place of sorrows; It is the root of happiness, and the gate of Heaven.

Of all the things in Heaven and Earth it is the most peculiar. It is the most exalted of all objects. It is an Ensign lifted up for all nations, to it shall the Gentiles seek, His rest shall be glorious: the dispersed of Judah shall be gathered together to it, from the four corners of the earth. If Love be the weight of the Soul, and its object the centre, all eyes and hearts may convert and turn unto this Object: cleave unto this centre, and by it enter into rest. There we might see all nations assembled with their eyes and hearts upon it. There we may see God’s goodness, wisdom and power: yea His mercy and anger displayed. There we may see man’s sin and infinite value. His hope and fear, his misery and happiness. There we might see the Rock of Ages, and the Joys of Heaven. There we may see a Man loving all the world, and a God dying for mankind. There we may see all types and ceremonies, figures and prophecies. And all kingdoms adoring a malefactor: An innocent malefactor, yet the greatest in the world. There we may see the most distant things in Eternity united: all mysteries at once couched together and explained. The only reason why this Glorious Object is so publicly admired by Churches and Kingdoms, and so little thought of by particular men, is because it is truly the most glorious: It is the Rock of Comforts and the Fountain of Joys. It is the only supreme and sovereign spectacle in all Worlds. It is a Well of Life beneath in which we may see the face of Heaven above: and the only mirror, wherein all things appear in their proper colours: that is, sprinkled in the blood of our Lord and Saviour.

The Cross of Christ is the Jacob’s ladder by which we ascend into the highest heavens. There we see joyful Patriarchs, expecting Saints, Prophets ministering Apostles publishing, and Doctors teaching, all Nations concentering, and Angels praising. That Cross is a tree set on fire with invisible flame, that Illuminateth all the world. The flame is Love: the Love in His bosom who died on it. In the light of which we see how to possess all the things in Heaven and Earth after His similitude. For He that suffered on it was the Son of God as you are: tho’ He seemed only a mortal man. He had acquaintance and relations as you have, but He was a lover of Men and Angels. Was he not the Son of God; and Heir of the whole world? To this poor, bleeding, naked Man did all the corn and wine, and oil, and gold and silver in the world minister in an invisible manner, even as He was exposed lying and dying upon the Cross.

Centuries of Meditations 1:58-60

Posted in Christology, Church History

From the Morning Scripture Readings

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.

–Matthew 6:25-34

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(WSJ) Virus Research Has Exploded Since Covid-19 Hit. Is It Safe?

Laboratories around the globe increasingly are experimenting with emerging viruses, sometimes giving them new capabilities, as they seek to identify dangerous ones and find ways to combat them.

While the goal is to protect health, some of the projects carry the chance of a misstep that could unleash an epidemic, some scientists say.

Experiments in the U.S. are reviewed in advance by researchers’ institutions or government funders, but risky projects can go forward without being subjected to the highest level of scrutiny, especially in some other countries.

Some scientists and officials in the Biden administration are pushing for more oversight, globally, of risky bioresearch. One focus is laboratory work that enhances a pathogen or endows it with new properties—sometimes called “gain-of-function” research—which is often done to assess its potential to infect humans.

The administration, looking for ways to better weigh the potential benefits of such research against the risks, is considering ideas that include forming a new entity to address global biosecurity.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

From the Morning Scripture Readings

While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

–Luke 5:1-11

Posted in Theology: Scripture

The Economist reviews Richard Power’s new Book ‘Bewilderment’

An ecological epic about deforestation, “The Overstory” brought Richard Powers a wider readership when it won a Pulitzer in 2019. His new novel, shortlisted for this year’s Booker prize, may make him even better known. It is a shorter, more intimate tale that still wrestles with the scientific themes that are his hallmark..

The story is set in Wisconsin and narrated by Theo, a widowed astrobiologist. He is struggling to bring up his son, Robin, whose diagnosis of autism he resists, and whom the novel follows from the age of eight to ten. Robin’s mother, Alyssa, recently died in a car crash; he is disruptive at school. Distressed about global warming and the ruin of the natural world, he is consoled by playing a game in which he and his father imagine life on other planets….

Read it all.

Posted in Books, Ecology, Eschatology, Military / Armed Forces

From the Morning Bible Readings

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

–Matthew 6:19-24

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Church Times) The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) is vital, multifaith environment declaration tells world leaders

Governments must take urgent action at the forthcoming COP26 climate summit “to avert the loss, damage, and forced migration threatened by climate change”, a new declaration signed by religious leaders in the UK says.

The Glasgow Multi-Faith Declaration for COP26, released on Monday, says: “We remind governments of their commitments made in Paris in 2015 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, and of Article 17 of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights to protect the environment, the biosphere and biodiversity. We call upon them to take the urgent action needed to avert the loss, damage, and forced migration threatened by climate change.

The declaration is signed by 52 faith leaders from Scotland and across the rest of the UK. Anglican signatories include the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Revd Mark Strange; the Bishop of Bangor and senior bishop in the Church in Wales, the Rt Revd Andy John; and the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, who is the C of E’s lead bishop on the environment.

The summit is due to take place in November in the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow. Some campaigners have called for it to be delayed until the spring of 2022 (News, 10 September).

Read it all.

Posted in Climate Change, Weather, Corporations/Corporate Life, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

South Carolina Supreme Court sets hearing date for TEC’s appeal from Judge Dickson’s interpretation of the 2017 Collective Opinions in Church Property Dispute

The Diocese disassociated from The Episcopal Church in the fall of 2012, along with 80% of its congregations and members. That action was taken in response to attempts by TEC to remove the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence as Diocesan Bishop. Litigation in this case began the following January. The Diocese and Parishes filed this action seeking a declaratory judgement to clarify the rights of the Diocese and its parishes. In February 2015, the Honorable Judge Diane Goodstein ruled that the Diocese and those parishes in union with it, “are the owners of their real personal and intellectual property and that [TEC and TECSC] have no legal, beneficial or equitable interest in the Diocese’s real, personal and intellectual property.” TEC and TECSC were permanently enjoined from using, assuming or adopting the marks of the Diocese.

Judge Goodstein’s ruling was appealed to the South Carolina Supreme Court, which ruled on August 2, 2017 in the form of five separate opinions. The lack of agreement among those five opinions required clarification. The Diocese and Parishes filed a Motion for Clarification on March 23, 2018.

In his ruling, Judge Dickson made several important conclusions of law. Chief among them was his ruling on the central issue of interpreting the Collective Opinions. As he noted in quoting former Chief Justice Toal, “The Court’s collective opinions in this matter give rise to great uncertainty, so that we have given little to no collective guidance in this case or in church property disputes like this going forward.” He concluded that, “This court must distill the five separate opinions, identify the court’s intent and produce a logical directive.”

With respect to parish property, the law of this case follows the precedent of All Saints Parish, Waccamaw (2009). In his deciding opinion, Chief Justice Beatty, “found that the Dennis Canon, standing alone, does not unequivocally convey an intention to transfer ownership of property to the national church…” In accordance with established South Carolina law, establishment of a trust interest must meet the standard of being “legally cognizable”. Judge Dickson concluded there is no evidence that any parish agreed to the Dennis Canon: “This court finds that no parish expressly acceded to the Dennis Canon” and “defendants failed to prove creation of a trust.” He further concluded, “TEC’s argument that their unilaterally drafted Dennis Canon created a trust under South Carolina law is rejected.”

Read it all and where necessary follow the links.

Posted in * South Carolina, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

(NYT front page) Boko Haram Wanes, and a Nigerian City Is Fearful

For over a decade, the extremist group Boko Haram has terrorized northeastern Nigeria — killing tens of thousands of people, kidnapping schoolgirls and sending suicide bombers into busy marketplaces.

Now, thousands of Boko Haram fighters have surrendered, along with their family members, and are being housed by the government in a compound in the city of Maiduguri, the group’s birthplace and its frequent target.

The compound is next to a middle-class housing development and a primary school, terrifying residents, teachers and parents.

“We are very afraid,” said Maimouna Mohammed, a teacher at the primary school, glancing at the camp’s wall 50 yards from her classroom. “We don’t know their minds.”

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Nigeria, Politics in General, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote. It is well for a man not to touch a woman. But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does. Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control. I say this by way of concession, not of command. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.

–1 Corinthians 7:1-9

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Churchman [1997]) Mark Thompson–Being Clearly and Positively Evangelical

I want to encourage us to be clearly evangelical and to be positively evangelical. I am convinced that the answer to the challenges to which I have alluded lies, not in pointing the
finger at the bad guys or even trying to identify them, but in speaking the truth clearly, simply, and without compromise, and exercising a bold confidence in the God who is sovereign in his
world….

May I suggest that if we are to be clear about the message we have to proclaim in the world there are at least five things we need to do…

1.1 Recommit ourselves to the careful study and preaching of the Bible as the Word of God

1.2 Aim at clarity and simplicity

1.3 Recognize the pressures that are on us to be unclear

1.4 Identify the points at which evangelical truth is under attack today

1.5 Shun the false antitheses others try to thrust upon us

This paper is essentially a plea to stay clear and stay positive. We do not have to jettison clarity for the sake of being positive, nor do we have to abandon all hope for the sake of clarity. Do not fall into the twin dangers which face us: the danger of fudging on what it actually means to be an Evangelical and the danger of falling into a pit of despair and negativity. God has spoken. He has not left us in the dark, nor has he revealed his mind in faltering, obscure tones. And God will triumph. His purposes will be fulfilled. The day is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

So let us be clear about the task that lies before us. Let us be clear about what we believe. Let us be clear about what we do not believe as well. And above all, let us renew our confidence inthe one who loves us and will one day return to take us home.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Church History, Evangelicals, Religion & Culture, Theology

From the Morning Bible Readings

O taste and see that the Lord is good!
Happy is the man who takes refuge in him!
O fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no want!

–Psalm 34:8-9

Posted in Theology: Scripture

C of E Bishops join calls for emergency G7 meeting to tackle vaccine ‘hoarding’

The Bishops of the Church of England are backing calls for the leaders of the world’s richest countries to halt the “hoarding” of COVID-19 vaccines while billions of people around the world have yet to be jabbed.

Members of the College of Bishops, which is meeting in Oxford, voted unanimously to endorse a statement by two Anglican Communion bodies which demands an emergency meeting of the G7 to commit to vaccine equity.

It warns that potentially millions of vaccines stockpiled by wealthy countries could go to waste after passing their effective “use by” date rather than be shared with those in urgent need.

Earlier this year G7 leaders meeting in Cornwall promised to donate more than one billion doses of vaccine but it is estimated that less than 15 per cent of these have so far materialised.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Stewardship

From the Morning Bible Readings

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food” –and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

–1 Corinthians 6:12-14

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Anglican Diocese of Fort Worth) State Supreme Court rejects TEC loyalists’ bid to keep property

Today the Supreme Court of Texas declined to overturn or delay the April 2021 order of the 141st District Court directing Episcopal Church parties to return property removed from churches they formerly occupied.

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Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth