Daily Archives: December 10, 2011

Evangelicals and Religious Liberty

When Rob Schwarzwalder, senior vice president at the Family Research Council, criticized evangelical groups for ignoring threats to religious freedom, he got some pushback.

“[T]o say that these organizations have not spoken out is not true,” concluded one article in the Christian Post, though it also acknowledged that Schwarzwalder might be looking for a “more robust and vocal outcry” than the organizations had provided.

The dispute was aired in online posts on the website of First Things, the journal that offers ecumenical and interreligious commentary on the role of religion in the public square. It signaled that some leading evangelicals have begun to reassess their response to a developing political issue.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(WSJ Europe) Europe's Leaders Agree to Repair Flaws in Currency, but Bold Strokes Missing

The positive reactions appeared to be driven by relief that leaders had reached an agreement at all, rather than enthusiasm for the deal itself. If recent history is any guide, the glow could fade fast as investors focus on the details, or on a continued lack of clarity over what role the European Central Bank will play.

“The summit was the first step toward fiscal integration, which is a problem we need to solve, but it will be a long, drawn-out process,” said Mohit Kumar, head of European rates strategy at Deutsche Bank in London….

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

Rio Grande Episcopal diocese plans $1.5M renovation for retreat center

A $1.5 million renovation of a retreat center launches Dec. 16 on Albuquerque’s Westside.

The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande purchased the Conference and Spiritual Life Center at 6400 Coors NW in January for $1.7 million and is investing $1.5 million to expand and upgrade it. It will have state-of-the-art conference capabilities, a 45-room retreat house and will house the offices of the diocese.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

(NC Register) Anglicanism and the New Translation

[Yesterday]… on Register Radio, in response to a listener’s questions, we had long-time National Catholic Register columnist Father Dwight Longenecker on. He recounted his journey from evangelical Christianity to becoming an Anglican minister, and eventually his conversion to the Catholic Church and ordination as a Catholic priest. Father Longenecker provided some insight into the structure of the ordinariate, which is allowing Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. He also shared with listeners what was the tipping point for him in considering Catholicism.

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

The Generous Marriage

While sexual intimacy, commitment and communication are important, the focus on generosity adds a new dimension to our understanding of marital success. Though this conclusion may seem fairly self-evident, it’s not always easy to be generous to a romantic partner. The noted marriage researcher John Gottman has found that successful couples say or do at least five positive things for each negative interaction with their partner ”” not an easy feat.

“In marriage we are expected to do our fair share when it comes to housework, child care and being faithful, but generosity is going above and beyond the ordinary expectations with small acts of service and making an extra effort to be affectionate,” explains the University of Virginia’s W. Bradford Wilcox, who led the research. “Living that spirit of generosity in a marriage does foster a virtuous cycle that leads to both spouses on average being happier in the marriage.”

Social scientists are now wondering if this virtuous cycle extends to children too.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family

Notable and Quotable

“Businesses, are, in reality, quasi-religious sects. When you go to work in one, you embrace A New Faith. And if they are really big businesses, you progress from faith to a kind of mystique. Belief in the product, preaching the product, in the end the product becomes the focus of a transcendental experience. Through ‘the product’ one communes with the vast forces of life, nature, and history that are expressed in business.”

–Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (New York, Doubleday, 1965), p. 232

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the (Provisional) Feast Day of Thomas Merton

Gracious God, who didst call thy monk Thomas Merton to proclaim thy justice out of silence, and moved him in his contemplative writings to perceive and value Christ at work in the faiths of others: Keep us, like him, steadfast in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer for the (Provisional) Feast Day of Karl Barth

Almighty God, source of justice beyond human knowledge: We offer thanks that thou didst inspire Karl Barth to resist tyranny and exalt thy saving grace, without which we cannot apprehend thy will. Teach us, like him, to live by faith, and even in chaotic and perilous times to perceive the light of thy eternal glory, Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, throughout all ages. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Europe, Spirituality/Prayer, Switzerland, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Keep us, O Lord, while we tarry on this earth, in a serious seeking after thee, and in an affectionate walking with thee, every day of our lives; that when thou comest, we may be found not hiding our talent, nor serving the flesh, nor yet asleep with our lamp unfurnished, but waiting and longing for our Lord, our glorious God for ever and ever.

–Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Scripture Readings

And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works; you have the name of being alive, and you are dead. Awake, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. Remember then what you received and heard; keep that, and repent. If you will not awake, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy. He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life; I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

–Revelation 3:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) UK alone as EU agrees fiscal deal

European leaders say 26 out of 27 EU member states have backed a tax and budget pact to tackle the eurozone debt crisis.

Only the UK has said it will not join. Prime Minister David Cameron said he had to protect key British interests, including its financial markets.

The 17 countries that use the euro have all agreed to the deal.

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Posted in * 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, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(WSJ Houses of Worship) Sarah Pulliam Bailey: When the Zoning Board Closes Your Church

What counts as a church? Chuck and Stephanie Fromm recently found out.

After hosting several periodic Bible studies for up to 50 people in their home in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., the Fromms were fined $300 for violating a city ordinance that prohibits groups of three or more people from gathering without a permit. The couple appealed and city officials agreed last month to reimburse them and re-examine the ordinance, but the case created a stir in religious circles.

“It struck a deep nerve. Bible studies in people’s homes have been a long part of American culture and heritage,” says Brad Dacus of the Pacific Research Institute, which took on the Fromms’ case. “We’re concerned that other cities will try to get away with the same thing.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Dean of the Chapel at Duke Takes a new Position as Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, announced on Thursday 8 December 2011 that the Reverend Canon Dr Samuel Wells has been appointed as the next Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Sam, who will take up the post in the summer of 2012, is currently Dean of the Chapel and a Research Professor of Christian Ethics at Duke University in North Carolina, USA, where he leads a staff of 25 in upholding the Chapel’s reputation for preaching, music and liturgy, oversees the 35 campus ministers and is the regular preacher at the year-round Sunday services, which regularly attract a congregation of around 900….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Education, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Young Adults