Daily Archives: October 8, 2011

Faith at the Center of the Circus of Sports

The interplay of sports and Christianity in modern society took the form of the “muscular Christianity” movement in Victorian England. The creed, drawing from verses in Paul’s letters, taught that physical competition offers a way of using God’s gifts and spreading God’s word. Such theology also challenged the stereotype that Christian faith was meek, almost feminine ”” which is also why muscular Christianity has provoked criticism throughout its history.

In America, the movement led to the creation of the Y.M.C.A. and sports evangelism groups like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Athletes in Action. In his midcentury revivals, the Rev. Billy Graham gave prominence to Christian athletes like Bill Glass, an All-Pro player in the National Football League.

While growing up in Gainesville, Nathan Whitaker, now 42, was influenced by one of Mr. Glass’s books, “Expect to Win.” He went on to play varsity baseball, wearing a small pin of a cross on his cap, and to gain a comfort level among African-Americans by attending a largely black high school and sometimes worshiping in a black church. All those traits would inform his bond with Mr. Dungy, who was the first black coach to win a Super Bowl.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Sports

Telegraph Leader–An entire system of global trade is at risk

If it has been obvious for some time that we are caught up in an extreme financial crisis, the extent of its severity has acquired greater clarity in being described by the Governor of the Bank of England. Never before has the global financial system been so interlinked and integrated, which means that problems in one part of the world are capable of causing severe stress almost everywhere else. We once more face a perfect storm of cascading default, contracting credit and collapsing economic activity.

Yet, despite the parallels, the current situation need not end in the same catastrophe of economic, political and social meltdown as occurred in the 1930s. For most advanced economies, these outcomes are still avoidable. But escaping them is going to require leadership, nerve and collective resolve ”“ things that have so far been in short supply.

The problem is not in Britain ”“ which, despite the appalling legacy of debt left by the last government, is doing most of the right things ”“ but in mainland Europe, where lack of foresight, unwillingness to act, confusion of counsel and lack of clear thinking are indeed everywhere to behold.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, England / UK, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, G20, Globalization, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(McClatchy) WikiLeaks shakes security of Iraq's tiny Jewish community

An Anglican priest here says he’s working with the U.S. Embassy to persuade the handful of Jews who still live in Baghdad to leave because their names have appeared in cables published last month by WikiLeaks.

The Rev. Canon Andrew White said he first approached members of the Jewish community about what he felt was the danger they faced after a news story was published last month that made reference to the cables.

“The U.S. Embassy is desperately trying to get them out,” White said. So far, however, only one, a regular confidante of the U.S. Embassy, according to the cables, had expressed interest in emigrating to the United States.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Judaism, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

(ACNS) Rowan Williams, Malawi president discuss church agriculture projects

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on 7 October discussed the Anglican church’s involvement in economic and agriculture projects with Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika.

“I talked about how sustainable agriculture methods should be developed and I am glad our church is involved in this,” said Williams, who is visiting Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia from 5-13 October.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Central Africa, Malawi, Religion & Culture

Central Africa Reasserts its Position on Marriage

“It is reaffirmed that the CPCA position regarding homosexuality is crystal clear. In terms of Canon 22, marriage is between one man and one woman and in consequence, homosexuality is not acceptable in the CPCA which comprises Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe,” Reverend Clifford Dzavo, the secretary for the diocese of Harare said in a statement.

“We therefore reiterate that the CPCA does not condone homosexuality. Whatever happens in other Provinces worldwide does not affect us as we do not necessarily share the same views with them.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Central Africa, Zimbabwe

Anglican leader praises missionaries for ending slavery

Anglican Church head Rowan Williams on Saturday praised pioneer missionaries to Malawi for ending the slave trade, at a service to mark their arrival in the country 150 years ago.

“The missionaries devoted their lives to liberation and challenged the evil of slavery,” Williams said at Magomero, northeast of Blantyre, at a colourful ceremony attended by President Bingu wa Mutharika and hundreds of worshippers.

The slave trade “degraded everyone and everything it touched,” the Archbishop of Canterbury said, adding, “The Church has done a great job in Africa.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Central Africa, History, Malawi, Race/Race Relations

(Belfast Telegraph) Alf McCreary–Inside the Church of Ireland House of the Bishops

No one is revealing the details of a discussion held within the framework of collegiality, but it is likely that two different views emerged both quickly and sharply on the first day.

Bishop Harold Miller, an articulate northern bishop from the Down and Dromore diocese, would have been the most credible spokesman for the conservative, evangelical view that homosexuality is contrary to scripture and that the Church of Ireland should not appoint to senior office a man who is in a civil partnership. On the other hand, Bishop Michael Burrows, from the southern diocese of Cashel, would have had some explaining to do about his decision to appoint Tom Gordon as Dean of Leighlin, while being aware of his same-sex relationship.

Would Bishop Burrows have outlined why he had no problem with such an appointment? What would have been the contributions of other, younger bishops, like the Right Reverend Trevor Williams of Limerick, with his experience of working with Corrymeela and BBC Radio Ulster, or the new Bishop of Tuam, the Right Reverend Patrick Rooke, a native of Dublin, but with a distinguished ministry in Northern Ireland?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of Ireland, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(The State) Relic Room opens exhibit on faith in the Civil War

Throughout the nation’s history, American soldiers have fought for God and country. During the Civil War, the bonds of country were blurred, but faith in God remained strong on both sides, blue and gray….

…[Yesterday], the S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum debuts a new exhibit ”” “Through Fiery Trials: Religion in the Civil War” ”” taking a look at that faith. It is the second in a series of special exhibits commemorating the war’s 150th anniversary.

While the stars of the exhibit are Bibles belonging to Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, on loan from Virginia museums, one of the most moving items is local: The bullet-pierced Bible of Sgt. Walter Henry Counts of Lexington.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, History, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Sat. Morning Mental Health Break–Dog Learns a New Trick–Riding a Motorcycle with his Owner

Watch it all and do not miss the comments about dogs vis a vis girlfriends(!).

Posted in * General Interest, Animals

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Make us tender and compassionate towards those who are an overtaken by temptation, considering ourselves, how we have fallen in times past and may fall yet again. Make us watchful and sober-minded, looking ever unto thee for grace to stand upright, and to persevere unto the end; through thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

–C.J. Vaughan

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction and listen to my words? says the LORD. The command which Jon’adab the son of Rechab gave to his sons, to drink no wine, has been kept; and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their father’s command. I have spoken to you persistently, but you have not listened to me. I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying, ‘Turn now every one of you from his evil way, and amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land which I gave to you and your fathers.’ But you did not incline your ear or listen to me. The sons of Jon’adab the son of Rechab have kept the command which their father gave them, but this people has not obeyed me. Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing on Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them and they have not listened, I have called to them and they have not answered.” But to the house of the Re’chabites Jeremiah said, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the command of Jon’adab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Jon’adab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me.”

–Jeremiah 35:12-19

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Notable and Quotable

I had been ordained for a month and was meeting with two people appointed to evaluate my fitness for ministry….The question that I’ve never forgotten was, “Do you preach for a decision?”

The question has haunted me. We preachers proclaim good news and speak about all the amazing ways that good news penetrates, comforts, challenges and transforms lives. But my questioner had a point: proclaiming good news ought to in some way lead to a response, a decision of some kind. Otherwise proclaiming the good news of unconditional divine love can be an exercise in what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace.” Preaching ought to lead to people caring more, giving more and living more. It is the assurance of God’s presence, to be sure, and it is testimony to God’s healing love. But it is also an invitation to do something.

–John M. Buchanan, Christian Century, October 4, 2011, issue, page 3

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(Economist) A person already? Mississippi prepares to decide when personhood begins

One evening in late September John Perkins, a veteran of the civil-rights movement, attended a rally at a Baptist church in Jackson in support of what he called “a total justice issue”. But this aspect of justice had nothing to do with any of the issues ordinarily associated with the civil-rights movement. It was concerned with Amendment 26, a measure on Mississippi’s ballot this November that defines a person as being “every human being from the moment of fertilisation, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof”.

The reason for the measure is straightforward; its consequences less so. The Supreme Court, in its landmark Roe v Wade ruling in 1973, held that the right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy in the first trimester was guaranteed by her constitutional right to privacy. But Harry Blackmun, the liberal justice who wrote the court’s majority opinion, noted that Henry Wade, the defendant, and others “argue that the fetus is a ”˜person’ within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment”¦If this suggestion of personhood is established, [Jane Roe’s] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’s right to life would be guaranteed specifically by the amendment.” In Blackmun’s view the constitution and judicial precedent failed to establish that personhood applied to the unborn. Mississippi is trying to fix that.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Science & Technology, State Government

(Reuters) Biggest identity theft bust of its type in U.S. history

Police said on Friday they eavesdropped on thieves speaking Russian, Mandarin and Arabic to make the biggest identity theft bust of its kind in U.S. history against a $13 million crime ring specializing mainly in selling Apple electronics overseas.

Authorities said “Operation Swiper” indicted 111 people from five criminal enterprises in Queens, New York, the nation’s most ethnically diverse county, where 138 languages are spoken and more than half the population is foreign born.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Science & Technology, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues