Daily Archives: November 5, 2012

Archbishop Rowan Williams' Final Presidential Address to the ACC

Admitting that the Instruments of Communion are ”˜less than they might be’ Archbishop Williams said examples of their desire to enable included such proactive projects as the Anglican Alliance, the Bible in the Life of the Church Project, Continuing Indaba, and promoting theological education. These were, he said, attempts by the Instruments to try and change a situation by being creative.

Archbishop Williams also suggested that younger Anglicans seemed more interested in one kind of authority over another.

“If you pick up and read the book by the young Anglican leaders who were present at the mission consultation in Edinburgh two years ago, you will see something of how a younger generation sees these questions,” he said. “I believe that for the authors of that book and those whom they represent, the vision of not only Anglican, but Christian structural fellowship has a great deal more to do with enabling authority than with absolute clarity about corrective authority.”

Read it all and please note the audio link to the full address at the bottom.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Consultative Council, Archbishop of Canterbury

Jonathan Last–The Rise of Childless Americans

The latest numbers suggest that an amazingly high percentage of women today””18.8 percent””complete their childbearing years having had no children. Another 18.5 percent of women finish having had only one child. Together, that’s nearly 40 percent of Americans who go their entire lives having either one child or no children at all.

And it’s a big change in behavior from the recent past. There have always been people who lived without having children””either by happenstance or by choice. But for all of American history, the numbers of this cohort were fairly small. In 1970, for instance, just about 8 percent of women completed their childbearing years with no children. (And only about 11 percent of women finished with only one child.) Over the next 40 years, those numbers rose almost without interruption. (The numbers ticked backward only once, in 2002.) This dramatic increase in childlessness””the number more than doubled””took place in just two generations and came at a time when medical advances were drastically improving the odds of infertile couples conceiving.

So what happened?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Secularism, Sexuality, Sociology, Theology

(NC Register) Marge Fenelon–Good vs. Evil: Spiritual Warfare

With the increasing occurrence of demonic possessions, there’s an increasing need for exorcists. Every bishop, by the nature of his office, is an exorcist. Some priests are delegated by their bishops to be exorcists, but many more are needed to engage rising spiritual combat. Currently, there are 195 dioceses in the United States, but only 51 exorcists. Those in need of an exorcist must petition their bishop via letter; the bishop then delegates an exorcist for the case.

Actual spiritual warfare is not to be taken lightly; it’s real, it’s dangerous, and it requires battle tactics laced with faith, hope and charity.

However, what most people refer to as spiritual warfare is the day-to-day opposition to our faith and ability to live good Christian lives.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(First Things On the Square Blog) William Doino Jr–Democracy and the Gospel of Christ

The United States has extra-protection from this because it’s not a pure or direct democracy, but a constitutional republic, based upon the rule of law. Yet the recent attack against religious liberty shows that America is not immune from the danger; and it isn’t the first time the nation has lost its footing. Writing about the 1830’s, historian John B. McMaster wrote:

The decade covered by the ”˜thirties’ is unique in our history. Fifty years of life at high pressure had brought the people to a state of excitement, of lawlessness, of mob-rule, such as had never before existed. Intolerance, turbulence, riot became the order of the day. Differences of opinion ceased to be respected. Appeals were made not to reason but to force; reforms, ideals, institutions that were not liked were attacked and put down by violence; and one of the least liked and first to be assaulted was the Church of Rome.

We recovered from that delirium, and””God willing””can recover from today’s serious troubles, too, whoever wins on Tuesday. But in order to do so, Christians need to be a leaven on America’s democratic enterprise, and not shrink from our role in the public square.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Other Churches, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Bishop Steven Croft of Sheffield–The Propositions from the (recent R.C.) Synod of Bishops

6. Apologetics (17, 18, 19, 20, 54, 55)
A major new initiative is called for here though its shape is less precise. Theologians, universities, new media experts, artists and scientists are all called to be involved. There have been similar calls recently within the Church of England for a major new initiative in apologetics and for more resources to be invested here.

7. Adult Catechesis (28, 29, 37, 38)
Amen to this sentence:
One cannot speak of the New Evangelization if the catechesis of adults is non-existent, fragmented, weak or neglected.
The Synod has rightly paid major attention to the development of catechesis, building on the publication of The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Attention is focussed here on the formation of catechists. Again there have been similar calls recently for a new focus on catechesis within the Church of England and for the development of new materials.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Apologetics, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, Evangelism and Church Growth, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic, Theology

Churches not necessarily for public good, says Britain's Charity Watchdog

The Church of England and other religious groups are not necessarily acting for the good of the public, Britain’s charity watchdog has ruled.

Its officials decided that religion is not always for “the public benefit” as it denied charitable status to the Plymouth Brethren, an exclusive Christian group, for one of its churches in Devon.

In a letter to the Plymouth Brethren, the watchdog set out its most recent decision that “there is no presumption that religion generally, or at any more specific level, is for the public benefit, even in the case of Christianity or the Church of England”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Movie Recommendation–Flight

Our son recommended it to us, and a friend from the Midwest said it was very well received in the Chicago area. I was glad I forced myself to read nothing about it, because it was not what I thought it would be. Definitely not suitable for certain viewers and rated as such, but a very good script and cast finely directed by Zemeckis–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

(Reuters) G20 Finance Chiefs Ring Alarm Bells Over US Fiscal Cliff

Finance chiefs of the world’s 20 leading economies are ringing alarm bells over the U.S. fiscal cliff and Europe’s debt woes at a meeting in Mexico this weekend as they look to push back deficit reduction targets to help boost growth.

Unless a fractious U.S. Congress can reach a deal, about $600 billion in government spending cuts and higher taxes are set to kick in on January 1, threatening to push the American economy back into recession and hit world growth.

“The Americans themselves acknowledge that this is a problem,” a G20 official said on condition of anonymity. “The U.S. administration says it doesn’t want to fall off the fiscal cliff, but right now it can’t tell us how exactly it will address it because that issue is on ice ahead of the election.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, G20, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Senate, Stock Market, Taxes, The Banking System/Sector, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, US Presidential Election 2012

(BBC) Copts face change with faith in new pope

A young boy was chosen, brought forward to the alter, then blindfolded. He then picked one of three pieces of paper from a jar. The paper was shown to the congregation. On it was the name of Bishop Tawadros, who will be the new Coptic pope. The congregation broke into spontaneous applause.

It might seem a strange way to choose a new leader for Egypt’s eight to ten million Coptic Christians – and many more worldwide.

Yet Copts believe this is the way the hand of God was revealed. That is the view of Youssef Sidhom, editor of the Coptic Watani newspaper:

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Church History, Coptic Church, Ecclesiology, Egypt, Middle East, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

Helen Alvare–The Enduring Institution: The Law of Marriage in the West

John Witte Jr.’s second edition of From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition is a critical resource for legal scholars, legislators, theologians and sociologists, living during a time when it could be said without exaggeration that every one of the previously accepted goods and goals of marriage has vociferously been called into question. Together, the current proponents of legalizing polygamy or same sex marriage, or deinstitutionalizing marriage, or institutionalizing cohabitation, are denying that states possess even a rational reason to ground marriage law upon the good of children and marital childrearing. Some among them even call into question the state’s interest in fostering enduring love, companionship and mutual service between couples ”“ whether of the same sex or opposite sexes. Rather, same-sex marriage advocates in particular frame marriage recognition as a means for the state to express its strong interests in and affirmation of the means of sexual expression as well as the partnership choices of individuals who are same-sex attracted.

In this environment, Professor Witte’s book might be said to be a significant contribution toward curing the unbearable lightness of marriage in public discourse today…

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General

Anglican Church in Nigeria Announces Upcoming Conference

Announcing the conference in Abuja on Wednesday, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most Rev Nicholas Okoh said the conference will draw participants from the UK, USA, Kenya, Uganda and West African states.

The primate explains: “One thing joins us together. That is biblical orthodoxy. This we mean people who uphold the teaching of the scripture and will want to promote it.

“It sounds strange that we will be talking about people who uphold the teaching of the scripture in church. The truth is that in some sections of the church, they’re riding rough on the message of the scripture. In fact, some are outright attacking and destroying it….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NPR) Nonvoters: The Other Abstinence Movement

To many Americans, the right to vote in a presidential election is a sacred and precious opportunity. To others, the right to not vote is just as meaningful. And they exercise it.

In just-released data, the Pew Research Center reports that about 43 percent of Americans of voting age in 2008 didn’t participate in the presidential election.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Politics in General

Europe’s separatists gaining ground, adding to continent's strains

As debt-burdened European governments struggle to overcome the disparities in their still-imperfect union, old demons of regional separatism have surged anew in recent months, raising another unwelcome challenge to the continent’s traditional nation-states.

Separatist movements have dramatically reinforced their positions here in Belgium’s prosperous Flanders region, where the independence-minded New Flemish Alliance captured Antwerp’s 16th-century City Hall on Oct. 14 and, under its populist leader Bart De Wever, is heading into national elections in 2014 with new wind in its sails.

“There is an outcry in Flanders for change,” declared Danny Pieters, vice president of the Belgian Senate and a senior Flemish alliance leader.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Politics in General

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant us, O Lord, not to mind earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to cleave to those that shall abide; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Leonine Sacramentary

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. What can flesh do to me?

–Psalm 56:3-4

Posted in Uncategorized

(New Zealand Herald) Archbishop of Canterbury stunned by Christchurch damage

Speaking after a bus tour of the city’s red zone, the Archbishop says it was important for him to see the remains of the Christ Church Cathedral.

“It’s different when you see a great building, historic building, very much loved, in ruins like that. You can read stuff on a page, you can even see pictures, (but) it does feel very different….”

“The only thing I’ve seen like this really is when I was in Beirut a few years ago. But somebody was saying to me just now, ‘there are no bomb craters, there’s no enemy. You can’t hate somebody out there, it’s just something that’s happened’. And in some ways that’s even harder to come to terms with I think.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Australia / NZ, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

Please Join Me, no matter what your Perspective or Party, in praying for the American Election

I found a prayer guide I liked and used it in the Prayers of the People this morning and got good feedback. Here is the section on praying for the voters:

The Voters

The Great American Experiment in representative government for more than 200 years has depended upon voter involvement. From the very beginning of our nation there has been debate on who should be allowed the privilege of casting a vote to select our governmental leaders. The weight of history has increasingly opened the ballot box to more and more individuals.

This requires an educated electorate who will examine the issues and the candidates and vote in a way that is best for the nation, not just their own well-being. Much prayer is needed for this critical process.

Pray today for voters in the United States, that:

Wisdom will be sought from God (James 1:5).
Self-interest will be laid aside for the common good.
Discernment between truth and falsehood will be clear.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Spirituality/Prayer, US Presidential Election 2012

(Guardian) Andrew Brown–Wanted: New Archbishop of Canterbury ”“ must have plans to fill the pews

If Christianity dies in England, it will die first in the countryside. This may seem paradoxical. When we think of English Christianity, we think of medieval churches standing at the heart of quiet villages. Surely the most traditional parts of the land would cling to traditional ways such as Christianity? But the traditions have largely died, and the churches with them.

This long, slow trend is what should really worry whoever takes over as Archbishop of Canterbury from Rowan Williams ”“ an announcement on which is imminent. To understand the problem, I went in search of the worst jobs in the Church of England….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Wash. Post Mag) Julia Duin-Home-schooling movement begins to outgrow its pioneer

The English professor, historian, author of 18 books and holder of a doctorate in American studies from the nearby College of William & Mary is one of the forces behind America’s burgeoning home-schooling movement, which is growing about 7 percent each year. The National Home Education Research Institute estimates that there were 2.04 million home-schooled children in the United States as of 2010, about 4 percent of the nation’s school-age population. That’s almost double the 1.2 million home-schooled children in 2000. A June article in U.S. News & World Report said that home-schooled children graduate from college at higher rates than their peers, earn higher GPAs and are better socialized than most high school students.

[Susan] Bauer is best known among home-schoolers for “The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home” ”” writtenwith her mother, Jessie Wise, a former teacher ”” which has sold more than half a million copies since its first publication in 1999. Classical education focuses on the great books of Western civilization, Latin, and lessons about morality and virtue, and is based on the medieval European curriculum that divided learning into the “trivium”: grammar, logic and rhetoric. The concept of fusing classical education into modern teaching was popularized by a 1947 essay by British author Dorothy Sayers called “The Lost Tools of Learning.” But it was Bauer and her mother who provided parents with a template.

Read it all.

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