Daily Archives: July 28, 2011

(RNS) Catholic Bishops Urge House Against Steep Budget Cuts

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops are urging the GOP-led House to reject a cuts-only approach to the budget as Washington tries to avert an unprecedented government default on its multi-trillion-dollar debts.

“A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons,” wrote Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, Calif., and Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., in a Tuesday (July 26) letter to House members.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Medicare, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Senate, Social Security, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)

Peter Coy–Why the debt crisis is worse than you think

That’s why the posturing about whether and how Congress should increase the debt ceiling by Aug. 2 has been a hollow exercise. Failure to increase the borrowing limit would harm American prestige and the global financial system. But that’s nothing compared with the real threats to the U.S.’s long-term economic health, which will begin to strike with full force toward the end of this decade: Sharply rising per-capita health-care spending, coupled with the graying of the populace; a generation of workers turning into an outsize generation of beneficiaries. Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Michael J. Boskin, who was President George H.W. Bush’s chief economic adviser, says: “The word ”˜unsustainable’ doesn’t convey the problem enough, in my opinion.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Medicare, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Social Security, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Local Paper Front Page–$1 million grant a lifeline for vets

George Krowska traveled to Myrtle Beach this spring after a relationship went sour.

He had been staying in a Colorado shelter for a couple of months, the first time in his life the 62-year-old Army veteran was homeless. But in Myrtle Beach, he was abandoned, he said.
Krowska has a heart blockage that qualifies him for disability benefits and requires a certain proximity to a VA hospital, so he hitchhiked to Charleston. At the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, he received treatment, learned about Crisis Ministries, the area’s homeless shelter and got a bus pass.

The former construction worker is living off of $923 a month, but cannot work because of his heart. More than two months into a maximum 90-day stay, he said he’s growing worried about where he’ll go next.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Military / Armed Forces, Poverty

What one Innovative North American Seminary is Teaching this Week

From here:

Owning Poverty: A Transformational Spiritual Journey
This course takes a Christian spiritual formation approach to the exploration of the crushing human poverty experienced in our world today. A theology of poverty requires a posture and epistemology of poverty of spirit. Until poverty is taken into ourselves, it is not a truth we can really know, although we might acknowledge it as an undisputed fact or recall statistics of injustice in our world. As poverty is allowed to engage us internally, our mode of engagement with the poor shifts from distant empircism and observation, to identification and incarnational compassion. As we engage hands, heads, and hearts in this course, our desire is that participants will come to better understand poverty (spiritual and physical poverty, their own poverty and others) and experience God’s heart and blessing for the poor. We want students to internalize biblical truths to facilitate Kingdom transformation in themselves and the world.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Canada, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Poverty, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(BBC) The Reverend John Stott dies aged 90

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

NY Times Obituary–The Rev. John Stott, Major Evangelical Figure, Dies at 90

Though less known in the United States and hardly a household name outside the evangelical sphere, Mr. Stott, an author, preacher and theologian, was often compared to the Rev. Billy Graham, his American contemporary.

But while Mr. Graham’s influence is rooted in a rousing preaching style and a personal magnetism that has filled stadiums, Mr. Stott’s relied on a proliferation of books ”” grounded in learning but accessible to all ”” and the evangelical organization he founded, Langham Partnership International, named after its cradle, All Souls Church at Langham Place in London’s West End.

“We must be global Christians,” he once wrote, “with a global mission, because our God is a global God.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(AP) Evangelical leader the Rev. John Stott dies at 90

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Bruce Flickinger–In memory of John Stott

[Yesterday]…in England, at 3:15 pm Greenwich Mean Time, John R. W. Stott died and went to be with the Lord.

John will be remembered as one of the greatest preachers and Bible teachers of the twentieth century, even TIME magazine named him as such at one time. He will also be remembered as one of the great evangelists of the same century and one of the greatest contributors to the building up of the Christian community of faith around the world, especially in Africa and Asia where he was instrumental in aiding in the development of young clergy.

John was a primary force behind the resurgence of Anglican evangelicalism in the Church of England and elsewhere around the world, including the United States and the Episcopal Church. In regard to the former he was a strong supporter of Inter Varsity (ICCU in England) and of evangelical theological colleges in Britain, especially his own alma mater Ridley College, Cambridge. (John was a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, having earned academic firsts prior to enrollment at Ridley for theological study.) And, John was the long-serving pastor/rector of All Soul’s Church in the west end of London. He was responsible for the founding of numerous fellowships in the Church of England which contributed to the growth and positive influence of Anglican evangelical clergy and laity across the nation.
In the United States he was supportive of and instrumental in the founding of the Evangelical Fellowship of the Anglican Communion ”“ USA, a branch of the international organization he had served to found in England. EFAC-USA brought together evangelical clergy and laity of the Episcopal Church for mutual support and witness and out of EFAC-USA American evangelical Episcopalians, with the support and help of John and other Anglican evangelical leaders such as Jim Packer, founded the Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, Ambridge, Pennsylvania, the authentic Anglican evangelical seminary in the American province.

In the United States John was a popular guest visitor at numerous evangelical and other institutions of learning including Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL, Wheaton College, Illinois, and Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. (I first heard John speak in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan when I was a senior in high school where he spoke to a large gathering of academics and collegians.)

John was a prolific and gifted writer as well as an oral communicator. His books have served to deepen the faith of people around the globe and contributed to the spiritual development of countless generations of college students. Scholarly substantive and grounded, his writings are at the same time easily accessible and clear. His best known book, Basic Christianity has been especially formative of bringing many thousands of people to Jesus and Christian faith and discipleship.

Alongside the writings of C. S. Lewis, N. T. “Tom” Wright, J. B. Phillips, and William Temple, John Stott and his lectures, sermons, and writings have had the greatest influence in my own spiritual and intellectual development as an evangelical Christian, scholar, philosopher, and theologian. I have been privileged to know John personally since I was a college student at Trinity College, Deerfield, IL (now Trinity International University) and attended his lectures at TEDS. From that time forward we have regularly communicated via mail and our friendship was sustained by personal meetings when I had opportunity to be present at various of John’s presentations in our country or by visits to All Souls Church, London while I was a student at Trinity College, Bristol, England (a Church of England Anglican evangelical theological college).

I was first introduced to John’s writings while in high school, introduced to them by the man singularly responsible in being used by the Holy Spirit to introduce me to Jesus Christ and Christian discipleship, David Knapp. David was the same person that took me to hear John at U of M where John was giving a series of talks on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Little did I think at that time I would become personally acquainted and encouraged by John over the years in my Christian life and later in my professional ministry as an Anglican/Episcopal presbyter.

While I was a student at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL (where I earned my Masters of Divinity degree), I was successful in convincing the Dean, O. C. Edwards to permit John coming to SWTS and preaching in chapel and engaging students in an open forum. After his visit to SWTS John would go on to make another of his numerous appearances at Wheaton College. I was responsible for picking John up at O’Hare airport in Chicago, taking him to SWTS and then delivering him latter to Wheaton.

As it happens, Chicago was hit with one of the worse snow storms that particular winter on the day John’s flight landed at O’Hare. Despite the building snow, my little green Chevrolet Chevette and I were able to make it to O’Hare on time and meet John at the gate. Driving from O’Hare to Evanston and SWTS the snow continued to accumulate, such that at one point the car got stuck in the snow. I learned then how ordinary and normal a person John was as well as a remarkably saintly Christian as John got out and alongside the fellow student accompanying pushed the car out of the deep snow drift. John took it all in stride. We arrived in time at SWTS and had a successful forum and chapel experience as students and faculty with John. Fortunately, the snowing subsided and by the time had come to deliver John to Wheaton the roads had begun to be plowed. At Wheaton we helped John check in and then we had a memorable time of prayer with John in his room before I and my two fellow colleagues headed back to Evanston.

Another significant moment spent with John was during a visit Joann my spouse and I made to the IVCF Urbana Missionary Conference at the University of Illinois in December 1976. After hearing John’s presentation to the conference, John met with Joann and I in his room at the Illini Union and we talked at length about the possibility of ordained ministry, academic teaching, and other aspects of the life of discipleship we were feeling called to pursue. Joann and I came away from that meeting with John encouraged in our sense of discipleship and vocation and, like later at Wheaton, spent a meaningful time in prayer with John in communication with the Lord Jesus.

Another contribution John made to Joann’s and my life was his role, alongside that of Jim Packer and John Rodgers and O. C. Edwards, to arrange for the opportunity to live a year in Bristol, England and for me to study at Trinity College. As a result I was privileged to study with Alec Motyer, Joyce Baldwin, Peter Williams, Garvis Angel, Michael Wilcocks, Colin Brown, Jim Packer, and Philip Budd. Joann was able to attend Alec’s lectures on the Old Testament and Colin’s lectures on philosophy. In addition to the academic opportunities Trinity afforded us, one of the lasting fruits and joys of our life was the long-standing friendship with David and Eluned Bourne who went on to serve as presbyter and spouse in the C of E. (Sadly, Eluned preceded John in being called to return to the Lord a couple of years ago. David has since remarried, and to a remarkable Christian woman, a widow herself of a C of E presbyter and continues in ordained ministry as Rector of a C of E parish.)

It is with a certain amount of sadness to learn of John’s death today. It is a sadness tempered by the Christian hope to go and be with Christ and of the future resurrection of the dead when God will complete his work of new creation and we are set free to enjoy and do remarkable things in the new heaven and earth (ref: the writings of Tom Wright). My life and that of Joann will always remained marked by the presence and positive influence of John on our lives and for that we are grateful to God.

May John rest in peace and his witness here will continue to have impact for years to come in many, many lives and a variety of ways.

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant John. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive John into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

– Book of Common Prayer, p. 465

Lord Jesus Christ, by your death you took away the sting of death; Grant to us your servants so to follow in faith where you have led the way, that we may at length fall asleep peacefully in you and wake up in your likeness; for your tender mercies’ sake. Amen.

– Book of Common Prayer, p. 504

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

John Stott is the 2nd most influential clergyman in the Church of England of the 20th century

According to whom? Glad you asked:

“With the exception of William Temple, John Stott is the most influential clergyman in the Church of England of the twentieth century”.

–David Edwards, Essentials

Posted in Uncategorized

Archbishop Peter Jensen–On John RW Stott 1921-2011

There were two features of…[his] preaching which I remember in particular. The first is to do with its simplicity. It was not that he strove for popularity and delivered trivia. On the contrary. It was the simplicity of the master craftsman, who could analyse the text of Scripture and by carefully tracing the development of its thought, help his hearers to be better readers. We could see what he could see, and we could be inspired to believe that we too could read the Bible for ourselves.

The second feature was the basis of the first ”“ he was a scholar. I don’t mean that he had a PhD or taught in a university. He was beyond such measures. I mean that he had mastered the arts needed for biblical exposition and he gave the time and energy to make sure of his results. You can only achieve true simplicity by working very hard. That is what he did. Our debt to him, under God, flows from his willingness to give time and energy and thought to the study of Scripture in the light of modern thought and modern needs and to pastor us through his preaching.

In this, as in much else besides, he was a Prince amongst God’s people.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Evangelicals, Other Churches

IVP–World-Renowned Evangelical Leader John Stott Dies

“We are deeply grateful for this long publishing partnership and friendship with one of the most influential and beloved evangelical leaders for the past half-century,” saidInterVarsity Press publisher Bob Fryling. “John Stott was not only revered; he was loved. He had a humble mind and a gracious spirit. He was a pastor-teacher whose books and preaching not only became the gold standard for expository teaching, but his Christian character was a model of truth and godliness. We will miss ”˜Uncle John’ but we celebrate his life and writings as an extraordinary testimony of one who was abundantly faithful to his Lord Jesus Christ.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(CT) John Stott–An architect of 20th-century evangelicalism shaped the faith of a generation

John Stott died …[yesterday] at 3:15 London time (about 9:15 a.m. CST), according to John Stott Ministries President Benjamin Homan. Homan said that Stott’s death came after complications related to old age and that he has been in discomfort for the last several weeks. Family and close friends gathered with Stott today as they listened to Handel’s Messiah. Homan said that John Stott Ministries has been preparing for his death for the past 15 years. “I think he set an impeccable example for leaders of ministries of handing things over to other leaders,” Homan said. “He imparted to many a love for the global church and imparted a passion for biblical fidelity and a love for the Savior.” Billy Graham’s spokesperson released the following statement from the evangelist: “The evangelical world has lost one of its greatest spokesmen, and I have lost one of my close personal friends and advisors. I look forward to seeing him again when I go to Heaven.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

One Diocese of South Carolina Parish Tackles the Book of Jonah This Week

Read it all and do pray for me I present tomorrow evening.

Update: I see the audio of the first presentation is up if you are interested.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Wilberforce

Just and eternal God, we offer thanks for the stalwart faith and persistence of thy servants William Wilberforce and Anthony Ashley-Cooper, who, undeterred by opposition and failure, held fast to a vision of justice in which no child of yours might suffer in enforced servitude and misery. Grant that we, drawn by that same Gospel vision, may persevere in serving the common good and caring for those who have been cast down, that they may be raised up through Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE)

A Prayer to Begin the Day

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.

–John R. W. Stott (1921-2011)

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