Daily Archives: June 10, 2012

Adelaide Archbishop accuses Commonwealth government over gambling

Anglican Archbishop Jeffrey Driver has accused the Commonwealth government of gambling with the future of young Australians as it considers changes to gambling regulations.

Proposed changes to online betting laws outlined in the government’s interim report on the Review of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 include the legalisation of new forms of online gambling that the Archbishop believes could create a new wave of problem gamblers.

“The proposed changes to online betting have the potential to open up more opportunities for Australians, especially young Australians, to gamble online,” Archbishop Driver said. “Young people are the most attuned to the digital revolution but also the most vulnerable to its disadvantages or dangers.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Religion & Culture, Theology

(CT) Thomas Bergler–When Are We Going to Grow Up? The Juvenilization of American Christianity

The house lights go down. Spinning, multicolored lights sweep the auditorium. A rock band launches into a rousing opening song. “Ignore everyone else, this time is just about you and Jesus,” proclaims the lead singer. The music changes to a slow dance tune, and the people sing about falling in love with Jesus. A guitarist sporting skinny jeans and a soul patch closes the worship set with a prayer, beginning, “Hey God ”¦” The spotlight then falls on the speaker, who tells entertaining stories, cracks a few jokes, and assures everyone that “God is not mad at you. He loves you unconditionally.”

After worship, some members of the church sign up for the next mission trip, while others decide to join a small group where they can receive support on their faith journey. If you ask the people here why they go to church or what they value about their faith, they’ll say something like, “Having faith helps me deal with my problems.”

Fifty or sixty years ago, these now-commonplace elements of American church life were regularly found in youth groups but rarely in worship services and adult activities. What happened? Beginning in the 1930s and ’40s, Christian teenagers and youth leaders staged a quiet revolution in American church life that led to what can properly be called the juvenilization of American Christianity. Juvenilization is the process by which the religious beliefs, practices, and developmental characteristics of adolescents become accepted as appropriate for adults. It began with the praiseworthy goal of adapting the faith to appeal to the young, which in fact revitalized American Christianity. But it has sometimes ended with both youth and adults embracing immature versions of the faith. In any case, white evangelicals led the way.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Adult Education, Evangelicals, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Youth Ministry

(BBC) Nigeria violence: Seven dead after Boko Haram attacks

Boko Haram militants have attacked two churches during Sunday services, triggering deadly reprisal attacks.

In the central city of Jos, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a church, wounding at least 50 people.

In a separate attack, gunmen opened fire during a service in Biu in northeastern Borno state, leaving at least one person dead.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Terrorism, Violence

(McClatchy) Florida couple has fostered 90 children

Lisa and Jorge Alvarez wanted a child. One child to diaper, feed, cuddle and watch grow. Over a dozen years, they’ve had 90.

The Southwest Miami-Dade, Fla., couple, who were unable to have their own children, have fostered that many kids since they decided to take in a baby boy in hopes of adopting him. Though that didn’t work out ”” the child was adopted by his aunt ”” they got lucky with their second placement, a cherubic-faced baby named Natasha whom they adopted soon after her second birthday. Today she’s almost 12.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family

One Story of the Power of Grace Lived

One day Thomas Jefferson and a group of other men were fording a swollen stream on horseback. A man on the bank of the river waited until several of the men crossed. Then he waved to Jefferson and asked to be taken across, and the President gladly obliged. When the wayfarer reached the other side, one of the men asked, “Tell me, why did you select the President to ask this favor of?” The man replied, “I didn’t know he was the President. All I know is that on some faces is written the answer ”˜No’ and on some the answer ”˜Yes.’ His face was one of the latter.

–Chuck Swindoll, The Grace Awakening (Dallas:Word Publishing, 1990), used by yours truly in this morning’s sermon

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Robert Frost on Home

“Home,” he mocked gently.

“Yes, what else but home?
It all depends on what you mean by home.
Of course he’s nothing to us, any more
Than was the hound that came a stranger to us
Out of the woods, worn out upon the trail.”

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.”

“I should have called it
Something you somehow haven’t to deserve.”

–The Death of the Hired Man

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Poetry & Literature

A Prayer to begin the Day

Good Jesu, fountain of love:
Fill me with thy love,
Absorb me into thy love,
Compass me with they love,
That I may see all things in the light of thy love,
Receive all things as tokens of thy love,
Speak of all things in words breathing of thy love,
Win through thy love others to thy love,
Be kindled day by day with a new glow of thy love,
Until I be fitted to enter into thine everlasting love,
To adore thy love and love to adore thee,
My God and my all. Even so, come Lord Jesu!

–Edward Bouverie Pusey ( 1800-1882)

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers. Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD, and vindication from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. [Selah] Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! [Selah]

–Psalm 24

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

([London] Times) Muslim extremists at top-security jail are spreading fear among inmates and staff

Muslim prisoners are bullying inmates to convert to Islam at a top-security jail, provoking fear of a campaign to radicalise prisoners.

Extremist Muslim inmates at Whitemoor prison use “runners” to attack or threaten other inmates while they keep their distance. Muslim prisoners are the most prominent group within the jail and the influence of some of the “big players” is spreading fear among other inmates and staff, according to a report commissioned by the Home Office…..

The number of Muslims within the 450-strong population of the jail in Cambridgeshire had led to efforts by other inmates to boost attendance at Catholic masses as a counterbalance to the influence of Islam.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Islam, Other Faiths, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture

(AP) Spain to accept Europe bailout offer of up to $125 billion to rescue ailing economy

Europe is to offer Spain a bailout package of up to €100 billion ($125 billion) to help rescue the country’s banks and keep the 17-country eurozone from breaking apart.

After months of fierce denials, Spain admitted it would tap the fund as it moved faster than expected to stem the economic crisis that has ravaged Europe for two years.

Spain becomes the fourth – and largest – European economy to ask for help and its admission of help comes after months of market concern about its ability to pay its way. In recent weeks investors have demanded higher and higher costs to lend to Spain, and it became clear it would be just too expensive for the country to borrow the money necessary for a bank rescue from the markets.

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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, Foreign Relations, Housing/Real Estate Market, Politics in General, Spain, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

David Brooks–The Debt Indulgence

Every generation has an incentive to borrow money from the future to spend on itself. But, until ours, no generation of Americans has done it to the same extent. Why?

A huge reason is that earlier generations were insecure. They lived without modern medicine, without modern technology and without modern welfare states. They lived one illness, one drought and one recession away from catastrophe. They developed a moral abhorrence about things like excessive debt, which would further magnify their vulnerability.

Recently, life has become better and more secure. But the aversion to debt has diminished amid the progress. Credit card companies seduced people into borrowing more. Politicians found that they could buy votes with borrowed money. People became more comfortable with red ink….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Psychology, State Government, Taxes, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology, Theology: Scripture