Daily Archives: October 4, 2012

(Anglican Ink) Land dispute may be behind Kenyan church bombing

Nairobi’s police commissioner Njoroge Ndirangu reported that an examination of the crime scene indicated a limpet mine or an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) containing nails, ball-bearings and other pieces of shrapnel was electronically detonated alongside the wall of the Christian education building of St Cyprian’s Anglican Church at approximately 10:30 local time. Shrapnel from the blast killed an eight year old boy and wounded several children attending a Bible study. Six children were taken in serious condition to the capital’s Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment.

Popular sentiment in Nairobi lays the blast on al Shabaab…the Somali terror group….

However, the use of an IED might have been a copycat attack designed to drive the church off its land….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Kenya, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Violence

Hats off to the Detroit Tiger's Miguel Cabrera, first winner of Baseball's Triple Crown in 45 Years

[Miguel] Cabrera produced the 17th Triple Crown in history, with the first in 1878. He joined Ty Cobb as the only Tigers to win it. Cobb won the Triple Crown in the Dead Ball Era in 1909 when he hit nine homers — all inside-the-park, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

Cabrera became virtually assured of the Triple Crown when Josh Hamilton, his closest pursuer in the home-run race, went homerless Wednesday afternoon in Texas’ meltdown loss to Oakland.

He won the RBI title with 139; Hamilton was second at 128.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Men, Sports

(Ed Stetzer) Pastors: Use Those Stats… but Use Them Correctly (w/ New Stats on, Well, Stats)

The reality is that pastors love stats– and, at LifeWay Research, we love pastors that love stats! We just want you to love them rightly. Here are a few interesting statistics from our research.

Read it all and check out all the charts.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Summerville, South Carolina, teenage girl wins prestigious National Award

Katie [Stagliano] said the most important things she learned at the CGI meeting were about other causes she did not know about and “how good we have it here in the U.S.”

To Katie, age is not something that should hinder youths from doing extraordinary things. “Follow your heart. If there are causes you believe in, you should work towards it no matter how old you are. You can make an impact,” she recommends to other youths interested in making a difference.

Katie’s mother agreed and said that parents cannot push their children to do these types of things ”” they should only provide support.

“I never would have imagined that this is where we’d be today. God led her down this path, and she has walked through with open arms,” Stagliano said. “Sometimes people underestimate the power of youth. When given the opportunity, they can do amazing things.”

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Children, Marriage & Family, Teens / Youth, Women

(Liverpool Daily) Alan Weston–Big Interview: Dr Pete Wilcox, the Dean of Liverpool

The cavernous space of the cathedral ”“ the largest in the UK ”“ was starting to return to its regular level of daily activity. Instead of the world’s media, there were hordes of foreign tourists pointing cameras and being led around in organised groups.

So does Dr Wilcox think he is prepared for the unique demands, pressures and high visibility of his new role after the comparatively relaxed surroundings of his previous appointment in the Staffordshire market town of Lichfield?

He said: “Although I’ve spent the past six years on the staff of Lichfield Cathedral, I’ve also been in the urban parishes of Gateshead, Walsall and Teesside. Liverpool is much more the kind of place I’ve been used to living in….

Read it all.

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

(Christianity Today) Q & A: Os Guinness on What Freedom in the Balance Looks Like

Many American Christians are ambivalent about their homeland. We are citizens of another kingdom, after all, so sometimes it’s hard to work up enthusiasm for this one. Besides, we’re told the church is called to take a prophetic stance against the culture, pointing out its immorality and injustice. We certainly don’t want to be caught celebrating America””we may be accused of mixing God and country.

Irishman Os Guinness suggests a fresh path to this conundrum in his A Free People’s Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future (IVP, August). Perhaps we can celebrate the American experiment and hold it accountable to its founding ideals in a way that doesn’t compromise our loyalty to the kingdom of God. CT senior managing editor Mark Galli sat down with Guinness in the Christianity Today offices to explore themes from his latest book.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Evangelicals, History, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Ahram Online) Said Shehata–The misery of Copts in Egypt

While it is not a new thing to suffer as a Copt, the raised expectations of better treatment after the revolution turned to be a big frustration. It is not simply about complaining; the goal of the article is to highlight the Copts’ plight and how to overcome those sufferings.

This article will highlight some recent incidents that support my argument of the Copts’ dilemma. It will also examine the weak reaction by the current regime, the lack of effort to seriously tackle those issues, and it will provide some suggestions for ways forward.

Bishoy Kameel, a Coptic teacher in Sohag, was sentenced to six years in prison for insulting Islam and defaming President Morsi on his Facebook page. This sentence was confirmed by an appeal court in Sohag, and the whole process happened in a matter of days.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Coptic Church, Egypt, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi on Freedom, Freedom of Religion, and Christian Freedom

Christian doctrine has always drawn a distinction between “free will” and “freedom”. The former is the faculty to make a choice. The latter is the concrete choice for good. In fact, whomsoever chooses evil is no longer free, even if his free will remains the same. It can be said that such a person becomes a slave to himself. The choice of good, that being the exercise of true freedom, can be made in the light of reason. Pertaining to Revelation is the idea that man has this faculty: in his rational conscience he finds the light of good and evil. This light, however, often wanes, and in the wake of the fall of our distant forefathers it falls into error and leaves the straight road. Without the Christian faith it is lost. In other words, reason on its own is not able to give man that freedom he has by virtue of his selfsame nature. Needed in order for this to take place are revelation and the faith.

As we see, it isn’t possible for religions to be equivalent in their ability to confirm and bolster true human freedom. Preserved in the choice of one religion over another is the exercise of free will, but not true freedom. This is because not all religions are equally true, and only one of them is “true”. And this alone truly permits man to be free. In fact, we are free only according to truth.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(New Women's Minister) Maria Miller: I would vote to lower abortion limit from 24 to 20 weeks

Maria Miller told the Telegraph it was “common sense” to lower the legal limit at which a pregnancy can be terminated in order to “reflect the way science has moved on”.

Thanks to advances in care for children born very prematurely, it is now possible for doctors in some cases to save the lives of babies born before 24 weeks.

The medical advance raises the moral dilemma of whether it is right to end pregnancies which could result in a healthy child, or to lower the window and rob some women of the right to make their own choice.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Politics in General, Theology, Women

(Reuters) The sticky situation of an elderly relative who insists on managing his money

The older Americans get, the more likely they are to suffer cognitive decline. Roughly 14 per cent of people over 71 have some level of dementia, according to the National Institutes of Health, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For those in their 90s, the rate rises to 37.4 per cent.

Many older folks have spent a lifetime managing their finances and take pride in it. They may hold onto their checkbooks and brokerage statements more tightly than they do their car keys.

Take the parents of John M. Smartt Jr., a Knoxville, Tennessee certified public accountant and investment adviser, who have been married for almost 70 years. Just last week they finally agreed to merge their separate checking accounts and allow Mr. Smartt to write checks for them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Children, Credit Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Personal Finance, Psychology, Stock Market, Theology

(CSM) College students massacred one-by-one in Nigeria

Unidentified gunmen massacred at least two dozen university students in northern Nigeria Monday night in the city of Mubi near the border with Cameroon. The attacks lasted more than an hour, with gunmen targeting specific students by name rather than indiscriminately firing.

Suspicion fell immediately on Boko Haram, a violent Islamist organization in northern Nigeria that has typically attacked Christian churches and security forces. Student leaders, meanwhile, suggested that the killings may have been tied to internal student political campaigns. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Aside from Boko Haram’s history of bloody attacks on civilians, the very name of the group ”“ which means “Western education is a sin” ”“ stokes suspicion of their involvement. But even if the group is found to be involved, the purpose of such an attack would not be part of some global jihad.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Education, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Terrorism, Violence, Young Adults

Drug Shows Promise in Treating Type of Muscular Dystrophy

An experimental drug appears to preserve and possibly even improve the ability of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy to walk, according to the results of a clinical trial announced on Wednesday, raising hopes that the first effective treatment for the disease may be on the horizon.

Boys with the disease who received the highest dose of the drug had a slightly improved ability to walk after 48 weeks of treatment, the drug’s developer, Sarepta Therapeutics, announced. By contrast, the boys who received a placebo suffered a sharp decline in how well they could walk.

The drug, called eteplirsen, also appeared to restore levels of the key protein that muscular dystrophy patients lack to about half of normal levels, Sarepta said.

Read it all. The blog has been following this story for a while now–keep your eye on it, it is a potnetially once in a lifetime event; KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Corporations/Corporate Life, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

First Presidential Debate(II)–The Latest Numbers from Intrade on the 2012 Presidential Election

Before the debate, Barack Obama to be re-elected President in the Fall of 2012–70.5, this morning it has moved to 66.5 at my last check.

Take a look at the one week chart and also a three day chart. First, go here. Then on the left hand tab (colored blue, at the top you will see “Show:”) and go down to where it says “time period,” and click on the arrow to the right of time period where you see the word “Lifeitme” and you will see two choices, “last month” and “custom.” Choose “custom” and then enter the time period you wish, in this case 7 days and then 3 days.

If interested, you may find a lot more here. We have been over this many times–there is no flawless indicator, but Intrade has one of the best; it is just a tool, use it as such.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Office of the President, Politics in General

First Presidential Debate(I)–Selected Headlines Compared

BBC–Romney ‘wins’ US election debate

FT–Romney dominates presidential debate

Washington Post–Rejuvenated Romney hammers Obama on his economic record

New York Times–Obama and Romney Tangle on Economy

[London] Times–Combative Romney wins first debate

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Media, Office of the President, Politics in General

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi

Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant unto thy people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of thee delight in thy whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, in whom we live and move and have our being, who hast made us for thyself, so that our hearts are restless till they rest in thee: Grant us purity of heart and strength of purpose, that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing thy will, no weakness from doing it; but that in thy light we may see light clearly, and in thy service find our perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Saint Augustine (354-430)

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Bible Readings

On a sabbath, while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath?” And Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?” And he said to them, “The Son of man is lord of the sabbath.” On another sabbath, when he entered the synagogue and taught, a man was there whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” And he rose and stood there. And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” And he looked around on them all, and said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

–Luke 6:1-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Returnees in South Sudan in need of our help to restart their lives

After decades of conflict and displacement, returnees from Sudan to South Sudan are facing huge difficulties to restart their lives. According to the United Nation Office for the Organisation of Humanitarian Affairs, around 123.000 people have returned this year (Humanitarian Bulletin 3 ”“ 9 September).

Despite the raising of hopes for going back home, the situation for people arriving is very complicated. The relief and development coordinator of the Diocese of Rejaf, Episcopal Church of Sudan, Mr Bullen Pitya, explains how returnees could not bring along their things, as they were flown from Sudan to Juba with minimum personal belongings.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Poverty, Sudan, Violence

Former Anglican minister becomes first Liverpool Catholic priest to be ordained with a wife+family

A former Anglican minister with a wife and young family is the first in Liverpool to be ordained a Catholic priest.

Father Jonathan Brown needed special permission – known as a “dispensation” – from Pope Benedict XVI to be exempted from the traditional vow of celibacy.

And there is nothing to stop him from having more children if he wishes. Only if Fr Jonathan outlives his wife will he have to follow the strict rule of celibacy to which all Catholic priests are bound.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Archbishop Rowan Williams hosts conference on Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

With participants from Church of England dioceses, pilgrimage tour operators and Christian organisations linked to the Holy Land, the conference aimed to share ideas, resources and connections to help deepen the pilgrimage experience. The day sought to foster pilgrimages that make connections, using the resources and landmarks of the past to engage with the present, and encountering the present to transform understanding of the Bible.

Read it all (and note the audio link).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Globalization, Israel, Middle East, Religion & Culture