Daily Archives: August 20, 2012

(Detroit Free Press) Digital version of the Bible popping up in more pews, pulpits

Not too long ago, the sight of someone using an electronic device during a worship service might lead an observer to assume that person was not fully engaged. But not anymore. Reading the Bible used to mean reading a book, but increasingly, people are getting the Word on smartphones, iPads and other electronic devices.

So then, what will happen to the printed Bible? The last word has not been written on that, but experts speculate that its unchallenged reign is over.

“The Bible is sort of the flagship of the printed book culture,” said Timothy Beal, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Bible” (Mariner, 2011, $15.95). “The printed word is losing its place as the dominant medium for reading.”

Read it all.

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

This Week, one South Carolina Parish Begins a Classical Christian School

You can read an earlier article about the school here and you may find the school website there. The mission statement of the school reads this way:

The vision of Holy Trinity Classical Christian School is:
1. To equip our students to think critically, reason clearly, and communicate effectively the inerrant Word of God as it applies in all areas of life;
2. To place prayer and worship at the center of their lives as they develop a biblical worldview;
3. To master the tools of grammar, logic, and rhetoric in order to proclaim and defend the Gospel with clarity and commitment; and
4. To send them into the world, prepared to advance the Kingdom of God, viewing life through the lens of Christianity.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Children, Education, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(NPR) A New Study Reveals The Geography of Charitable Giving

Ever wonder how charitable the people are who live in your state or community? It turns out that lower-income people tend to donate a much bigger share of their discretionary incomes than wealthier people do. And rich people are more generous when they live among those who aren’t so rich.

That’s according to a new study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which breaks charitable giving down by ZIP code. It found that generosity varies greatly from one region of the country to another.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

Andrea Smith–Kids Want Technology, Not Clothing, for Back to School Shopping

Hey parents, here’s a tip. Don’t set off on the back to school shopping trip without first consulting your kids. Looks like your idea of what they want doesn’t quite jibe with what’s on their wish list. A survey conducted by online shopping site Ebates finds 43% of parents think kids want new clothing this time of year. You were headed out to buy clothing, right?

But the 1,100 kids ages 8 to 18 who answered the survey said their top priority was technology.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Education, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology

Father John Flynn writes on the new book “Growing Up Fast and Furious”

Violence, video games, and sex: what effect does it have on children and adolescents? The latest contribution to this debate comes in a book recently published in Australia….

John P. Murray, who has been researching children’s social development for almost 40 years in the United States in a number of academic position, looked into the matter of the effects of media violence.

Some decades ago studies clearly demonstrate that the viewing of violence and aggressive behaviour are clearly related, but they do not establish a cause and effect relationship.

More recent studies do, however, lead to the conclusion that viewing violence does affect the attitudes and behaviour of viewers, he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Books, Children, Movies & Television, Science & Technology, Teens / Youth, Violence

(NC Register) Maine Referendum Will Present Another Challenge to Marriage

This November, Maine voters will decide if the state should allow marriage licenses to be issued to same-sex couples. The measure marks the first time supporters of same-sex “marriage” have proposed the question of legalization on a state ballot.

The proposal goes before voters of the Pine Tree State three years after residents passed a “people’s veto,” effectively negating an effort by the Maine Legislature to legalize same-sex “marriage” earlier in 2009.

The campaigns both for and against the initiative play out in a national context this year…

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, State Government

(Living Church) One AMIA Parish’s Journey to PEAR

After spending the past nine months debating questions of affiliation, members of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, a congregation in the northern suburbs of Colorado Springs, affirmed the recommendations of its pastor and leadership team, voting 82-6 to end their affiliation with the Anglican Mission in the Americas and to become part of PEAR USA (the North American Missionary District of Province de L’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda).

The July 22 vote followed a lively, hour-long discussion involving dozens of parishioners. The discussion reflected the parishioners’ backgrounds in the Episcopal Church (about half), evangelical, and Protestant churches. One member supported his arguments with references to apostolic succession and the restoration of Charles I to the English throne, while another plainly said, “I didn’t grow up Episcopalian, or Anglican, so I don’t have a background in church hierarchy.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Adult Education, Anglican Provinces, Church of Rwanda, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Colorado, Theology

(Telegraph) Pakistan suspends phone networks to thwart attacks

The draconian security measure was imposed on Sunday at 8:00 pm, at a time when millions ordinarily telephone friends and relatives with greetings for Eid al-Fitr. Networks were working again on Monday mid-morning.
Karachi and Lahore, Pakistan’s two largest cities, and the troubled city of Quetta, in the insurgency-torn province of Baluchistan, were among the places where networks were suspended.
“We regret that it had to be suspended in some cities due to the risk of terrorist attacks,” Rehman Malik, the country’s interior minister, was quoted as saying by state TV.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Law & Legal Issues, Pakistan, Science & Technology, Terrorism

(LA Times) 'Top Gun' director Tony Scott jumps to his death from L.A. bridge

“Top Gun” director Tony Scott jumped to his death from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro on Sunday afternoon. He was 68.

His body was pulled out of the water by Los Angeles Port Police, who were the first on the scene.

Several witnesses told police they saw Scott get out of his Toyota Prius, which was parked on the bridge, about 12:30 p.m. Then he scaled an 8- to 10-foot fence and jumped off without any hesitation, law enforcement sources said.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Suicide

11 Year Old Pakistani Christian girl accused of Qur'an burning could face death penalty

An 11-year-old Christian Pakistani girl could face the death penalty under the country’s notorious blasphemy laws, after she was accused by her neighbours of deliberately burning sacred Islamic texts.

Rifta Masih was arrested on Thursday, after complaints against her prompted angry demonstrations. Asif Ali Zardari, the president, has ordered the interior ministry to investigate the case.

As communal tensions continued to rise, about 900 Christians living on the outskirts of Islamabad have been ordered to leave a neighbourhood where they have lived for almost two decades.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Children, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Pakistan, Politics in General

Thoughts from Bernard of Clairvaux on his Feast Day

We read in the gospel that when the Lord was teaching his disciples and urged them to share in his passion by the mystery of eating his body, some said: This is a hard saying, and from that time they no longer followed him. When he asked the disciples whether they also wished to go away, they replied: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

I assure you, my brothers, that even to this day it is clear to some that the words which Jesus speaks are spirit and life, and for this reason they follow him. To others these words seem hard, and so they look elsewhere for some pathetic consolation. Yet wisdom cries out in the streets, in the broad and spacious way that leads to death, to call back those who take this path.

–Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Christology, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Bernard of Clairvaux

O God, by whose grace thy servant Bernard of Clairvaux, enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Be thou unto us at this time, O Lord, a tower of strength, a place of refuge, and a defence in our day of trouble. Keep us calm and brave, because our trust is in thee. Let thy comfort support us, thy mercy pardon us, and thy wisdom guide us; and give us, if it please thee, deliverance from all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep

–Acts 7:59-60

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Episcopal Diocese of Lexington elects new bishop

The Episcopal Diocese of Lexington on Saturday elected a Georgia native as its seventh bishop.

The Very Rev. Douglas Hahn, 60, received the majority of votes from clergy and lay delegates after two rounds of balloting at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Lexington. Hahn was selected from a field of six candidates chosen from among more than 30 applicants. One candidate withdrew before the tallying of the first round of votes.

As bishop, Hahn will oversee the diocese’s 35 congregations in Central and Eastern Kentucky.

Read it all.

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

Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Florida Decalogue Display

An appeals court ruled in favor of a Florida county courthouse’s Ten Commandments display, sending the case back down to a lower court that had ruled against the display last year.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the suit by the American Civil Liberties Union against Dixie County over its five-foot tall Decalogue display lacked legal standing.

The ACLU had sued on behalf of an individual named in court documents as “John Doe,” who lived in North Carolina and had claimed that the presence of the Ten Commandments had inhibited him from purchasing land in Dixie County.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government

(SMH) Emma Young–Time to put a lid on the constant refrain of putting a ring on it

In a more rational light, [Jennifer] Aniston’s marriage news is great news for her. If she’s happy, and presumably she is, that’s wonderful. But the reaction to this news, and her life before it, is bad news for us as a group.

What the treatment of the film star reveals is our determination to stick to old-school ideas about sex and gender. The worth of a woman has long been judged by her ability to keep a man. Aniston was supposedly diminished by her failure to keep Pitt and further damaged by her inability to replace him with a shiny new man.

Because she’s female, the idea that she might be content being single, dating and living on her own wasn’t taken seriously.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Secularism, Theology, Women

(RNS) Muslim immigrants at home key to U.S. image abroad

After four years of living in the U.S., Mohamed Jedeh is anxious to return to his native Libya.

It irks him that his local mosque in Union City, N.J., won’t broadcast the Muslim call to prayer for fear of angering neighbors, yet nobody complains about the noise from a local bar. Back home, there are no scantily clad women walking across his sight line, and fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is easier because almost everyone is doing it.

Jedeh would probably be home by now if he hadn’t been asked by a mosque in Boston to help with special nightly Ramadan prayers. After graduating in May with a master’s degree in clinical research from the New York University College of Dentistry, he’s ready to get back to the small city of Zintan in northwest Libya, where he plans to teach dentistry and work at a local clinic.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Wil Gafney's Sermon for Today–Restoring Bathsheba

The violence in this text and much of the bible is symptomatic of the barbarity of the times. God met folk where they were and they were in the Iron Age. Three thousand years later we haven’t learned that power to hurt and kill is not strength; it does not last and does not bring happiness. In this city plagued with murderous violence and sexual assault God is still trying to show the Davids of the world that they cannot do whatever they want just because they have power. There is seemingly no end to those who use their power against others. I wonder how many Nathans there are, willing to stand up and say that what you have done is wrong; you can’t do whatever you want to people.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Violence

Good Eats and Evangelism: A Whole-Gospel Restaurant Serving Pittsburgh's Soul

On any given day between 11am and 7pm, locals can watch Nikki Heckmann ply her craft at Bistro To Go, the eclectic café the chef launched in 2007 in the North Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Just peer over the glass cases into the open kitchen, and you’ll find her stirring her famous tomato basil soup or coaching a young employee on how to make salmon croquettes. Both scenes would reflect Heckmann’s motivation behind opening the café in 2007: her heart for sharing the gospel with those outside the church, and her desire to bring revitalization to a community she has come to call home. And simply, she says, “I love to cook.”

Chef Nikki was loved into the faith by an urban congregation, Allegheny Center Alliance Church (ACAC), which welcomed her probing questions and didn’t turn her away for running a bar and living with her boyfriend. Five years at ACAC, including volunteering with the youth group, finally brought the message of Jesus home to her. Having received mercy, Heckmann now has a heart for seekers. At Bistro””which one Pittsburgh food critic described as furnished “by the International House of Whimsy”””Heckmann says she’s creating “a missional lab” outside the church walls where everyone from the homeless guy to the downtown businessman can connect. To entice folks in, she deliberately offers pan-global cuisine.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues