Daily Archives: April 20, 2011

(Reuters) France's Sarkozy vows to intensify Libya strikes

French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised Libyan rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil Wednesday that France would intensify air strikes on Muammar Gaddafi’s army, the president’s office said in a statement.

It gave no detail on how the strikes would be ramped up.

“We are indeed going to intensify the attacks and respond to this request from the national transition council,” the Elysee Palace said in a statement after Sarkozy met Abdel Jalil in Paris, their first face-to-face meeting.

“The President said ‘We will help you,'” the Elysee said.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Europe, Foreign Relations, France, Libya

The Brave Lass–Spiritual Trouble at Denver Seminary

Read it all and follow the links.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(USA Today) College hopefuls look for greener pastures

The nation’s college-bound students are increasingly looking for green ”” and no, that doesn’t mean just money.

Green means eco-friendly, and 69% of college applicants this year say having information about a college’s commitment to environmental issues would contribute to their decision to apply to or attend the school, according to a survey of 8,200 students by The Princeton Review. That’s up from 64% in 2008.

Academic reputation and financial aid still matter most, but “the environmental factor (is) definitely one of the things that makes a difference,” says Tucker Johnson, 19, of Harrison, Maine, who was offered admission to nine schools and must commit to one by May 1. Like other students nationwide, he is visiting campuses this month with a checklist of criteria. Among them: a sincere commitment to sustainability.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Education, Energy, Natural Resources, Young Adults

Give royal daughters equal rights to throne, says the Archbishop of Wales

Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan has given his support to a growing move to give royal daughters equal rights to succeed to the throne as their brothers.

Dr Morgan is the latest senior UK figure to call for the rule, which stops the eldest daughter of a monarch from inheriting the British throne if she has a younger brother, to be scrapped.

The Anglican leader considers it absurd the present Queen would never have been crowned if she had a brother.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Wales

Despite turmoil, Episcopal Presiding Bishop believes Anglican Communion is stronger than ever

She does have two principles that she would like to see followed.

“Our task is to see that the value of those gifts [to the Episcopal Church] not be inappropriately disposed of. We have to recover some approximation of fair market value for properties,” she said.

The second principle “is that we shouldn’t be in the business of setting up competing ecclesiastical interests with Episcopal Church resources.”

She can’t simply give the property to the people who want to leave the Episcopal Church, because that would violate her responsibility to guard the inheritance of the denomination that she leads, she said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

(CEN) American decadence a sign of the end times, Nigerian Archbishop warns

The creeping acceptance of homosexual conduct as a moral good may be a sign that the end times are near, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria has warned.

In an interview published by the Church of Nigeria News, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh said the cultural hostility towards Christian morality in the West and the celebration of lust as godliness was a sign that “we are getting deeper and deeper into the age that was spoken of by Timothy when people will love themselves more than God, when the pleasure and comfort will determine many things.”

“We are in the end time and in this end time there are boundless opportunities of evil,” the archbishop said on April 7 drawing upon 2 Tim. 3:2, but added “but the joy of it all is that evil will not win in the end.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Eschatology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Cardinal Donald Wuerl says Bishops Are Leading a Generation With Little Formation

In response to criticism of the USCCB statement, Cardinal Wuerl’s 13-page resource highlights the complementary role that should be played between bishops and theologians.

“It is the privilege of theologians to delve more profoundly and systematically into the meaning of the faith, according to the ancient adage, ‘fides quaerens intellectum’ (faith seeking understanding),” the cardinal wrote. “Since this faith is handed on by the Church through the ministry of the magisterium, the bishop and the theologian have a special relationship that can and should be reciprocally enriching.”

“Bishops benefit from the work of theologians,” he continued, “while theologians gain a deeper understanding of revelation under the guidance of the magisterium. The ministry of bishops and the service rendered by theologians entail a mutual respect and support.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Adult Education, America/U.S.A., Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

(RNS) Douglas Kmiec’s Gospel Falls Flat in Foggy Bottom

The State Department has a “rigidly narrow” view of diplomacy that neglects religion’s role in foreign affairs, a prominent Catholic ambassador charged on Sunday (April 17) as he announced his resignation.

Other foreign policy experts have another name for it: Religion Avoidance Syndrome.

And the departure of Douglas Kmiec as ambassador to Malta, they say, is symptomatic of a longstanding God gap in American foreign policy.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Foreign Relations, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, The U.S. Government

(Reuters) Libya oil stuck in legal limbo as U.N. panel shunned

Western powers eager to help Libyan rebels sell oil from territories they control are ignoring the U.N. Security Council’s sanctions committee, leaving Libyan crude in legal limbo, envoys and analysts say.

Without definitive guidance on the legal status of Libyan oil from the politically divided U.N. sanctions committee, U.N. diplomats and traders say the oil could remain virtually untouchable as major trading players take care to avoid running afoul of the U.N. sanctions.

U.N. diplomats told Reuters that Security Council members eager to escalate the pressure on Gaddafi’s government — above all France and Britain — rushed through the two packages of sanctions and may not have foreseen how difficult the U.N. measures would make it to aid the rebels.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Energy, Natural Resources, Foreign Relations, Libya

Audio of Bishop Mark Lawrence's Sermon at the (recently held) Renewal of Ordination Vows Service

Listen to it all (mp3).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lent, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, TEC Bishops

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord, who didst spend this day in quiet retreat at Bethany, in preparation for thy coming passion: Help us ever to live mindful of our end; that when thou shalt call us to pass through the valley of the shadow of death, we may fear no evil, for thou art with us, who didst die that we might live with thee for ever.

–A. McCheane

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Holy Week, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? “I the LORD search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”

–Jeremiah 17:5-10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Virginia Anglican Church settles Lawsuit with Episcopal Diocese of Virginia

Church of the Word (COTW), one of a handful of Northern Virginia churches embroiled in a four-year long lawsuit with The Episcopal Church (TEC), will retain its church property after an out-of-court settlement signed Monday, April 18, released it from the pending litigation.

The leadership of COTW, which is a multiracial congregation made up of predominantly young families, is relieved to have achieved their major goals of separating from TEC, retaining their property, and preserving their tradition of worship and ministry.

Church of the Word is one of a number of formerly Episcopal congregations that had severed ties with the denomination over matters of doctrinal drift and novel pastoral practices. Upon breaking away from the denomination in December 2006, TEC filed a lawsuit against eleven Northern Virginia churches in an attempt to keep them from retaining their property. Currently, the next phase of this litigation will continue for the remaining seven churches with the commencement of a late-April 2011 trial in the Fairfax County, Virginia, Circuit Court.

COTW’s settlement allows it to keep its property, and now free of litigation, may concentrate on its vision, which is to ”˜Encounter and Share Jesus Christ’. It does, however, require that COTW sever its affiliation with the newly established Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), and the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) for a period of five years.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes

(Press Association) British Army experts to mentor Libya rebels

British Army officers are being sent to Libya to advise rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

The UK group will be deployed to the opposition stronghold of Benghazi, Libya’s second city, in a mentoring role to help leaders co-ordinating attacks on the dictator’s army.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Foreign Relations, Libya

Kevin Durant Circus under the Basket shot in NBA Playoffs Game one

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

(Globe and Mail) Fears of uprisings prompt China’s Easter crackdown

The days leading up to Easter are always a sombre time for Christians. But this year in Beijing, many believers have the added concern of not knowing if or where they’ll be allowed to celebrate the holiest day of the year on the Christian calendar.

Nearly 50 members of one of Beijing’s largest Protestant house churches, including its two pastors, were detained and hundreds of police were deployed in a commercial district in the northwest of the city in order to prevent the congregation from holding an outdoor Palm Sunday service. The leaders of the Shouwang church said they would nonetheless try again next week ”“ Easter Sunday ”“ unless they are given permission to celebrate the mass indoors at their usual premises.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, China, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

(Bloomberg) Americans Shun Cheapest Homes in 40 Years as Owning Loses Appeal

Victoria Pauli signed a one-year lease last week to stay in her rental home in Fair Oaks, California. She had considered buying in the area, where property prices have slumped 57 percent since a 2005 peak.

In the end, she decided it wasn’t worth it.

“I know people who have watched their home values get cut in half, and I know people who are losing their homes,” said Pauli, 31, who works as a property manager for a real estate company. “It’s part of the American dream to want to own your own home, and I used to feel that way, but now I tell myself: Be careful what you wish for.”

The most affordable real estate in a generation is failing to lure buyers as Americans like Pauli sour on the idea of home ownership….

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market