Daily Archives: January 18, 2013

Stephen Prothero: The Message of Obama's Inaugural Bibles

Lincoln and King were in my view products of Puritanism more than evangelicalism. For each, God was a mystery. But this mysterious God had entered into a covenant with us, so it was up to us to uphold our end of the bargain. In so doing, our goal was never to make heaven on earth but to strive toward a less imperfect union and a more beloved community.

In his essay on “Civil Religion in America,” sociologist Robert Bellah argues that “civil religion is not the worship of the American nation but an understanding of the American experience in the light of ultimate and universal reality.” It does not assert that God is on our side. Instead it prays that we might act in such a way that we might be worthy of his approval. In their most famous speeches, Lincoln and King labored toward just that sort of understanding. May it be so for President Obama as well.

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Posted in Uncategorized

From the Do Not Take Yourself too Seriously Department–Autocorrect Can be Dangerous

Sender 1: 🙂 . What are your plans for today then?x
Sender 2:Nothing beyond seeing you dead xx
Sender 2:DEAR!!!

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Science & Technology

Notable and Quotable (II)

Successful churches are not those that put church growth first; they are those whose priority is preaching the good news of Jesus. Surely ”˜Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’ (Matthew 6:33) applies to denominations as well as people.

–J. John in a piece in the January 20, 2013 Church of England Newspaper (CEN), p.11

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Parish Ministry, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Notable and Quotable (I)

A political class that botched the fiscal cliff so badly are not going to be capable of a gigantic deal on complex issues. It’s like going into a day care center and asking a bunch of infants to perform “Swan Lake.”

–David Brooks in a piece on today’s NY Times Op-ed page entitled “The Next Four Years”

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Medicare, Office of the President, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Social Security, Taxes, The U.S. Government, Theology

Saint Paul's, Summerville, S.C., joins suit against Episcopal Church

In October, after more than two centuries as a founding member of the national Episcopal Church, the Diocese of South Carolina disaffiliated itself from the national church after the national church charged Bishop Mark Lawrence with abandonment.
St. Paul’s decided to remain with the Diocese of South Carolina.
“We have been anticipating the possibility of this for at least the past year and a half,” [Mike] Lumpkin said.
He said there were full congregational meetings in December 2011 and then in the spring of 2012 to keep parishioners apprised as the drama ramped up.
“We are less and less comfortable with what the Episcopal Church holds up as authoritative,” he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

Anglican Worship now offered On Sundays At Svábhegy In Budapest

Saint Margaret’s Anglican Episcopal Church, Budapest, has begun offering Anglican worship in English at Svábhegy in the beautiful Buda Hills on the first Sunday of each month….

Read it all and enjoy the picture.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Europe, Hungary, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

A WSJ article on one of the Latest Trends–Two Weddings, One Happy Couple

While planning her dream wedding, Celeste Aslanyants fell in love with a picturesque manor that serves as a popular ceremony and reception site in Texas. But she soon learned the spot wouldn’t work for her fiancé’s Armenian family, who had made requests she wanted to honor. They hoped a priest would officiate, and that could only happen in a church. They wanted Armenian food and drink, but there were catering restrictions. And the guest list had quickly exceeded the location’s capacity.

The solution? Have two weddings. Ms. Aslanyants and her husband, Arsen, got married at a traditional Armenian ceremony and reception in September 2011 and then, two weeks later, they had an American wedding at the manor.

“I didn’t have to please everyone at once,” says Ms. Aslanyants, 28, who lives with her husband north of Dallas….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance

(Church Times) Justin Welby to be "Enthroned," first, as editor at Northern Echo

Before being enthroned in Canterbury Cathedral in two months’ time, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Justin Welby, has agreed to occupy another chair: that of the editor of The Northern Echo.

Bishop Welby was invited to guest-edit the newspaper last Friday, to mark the first anniversary of the Darlington Foundation for Jobs, a joint initiative to tackle youth unemployment, led by The Northern Echo and Darlington Borough Council. He is patron of the scheme.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Image Becomes a Puzzle as Theories on Notre Dame Footballer Mante Te’o Swirl

On Dec. 6, Notre Dame officials said, Manti Te’o received an alarming phone call: his dead girlfriend, whose loss had inspired him during what had become a triumphant year for the Fighting Irish, might still be alive. Either that or Te’o, a gifted linebacker with a reputation for trusting others, had been the victim of a hoax, and the woman he thought he had come to know online and through long, emotional phone calls had never really existed….

[The] sequence of events in December was one of many being pored over Thursday ”” by journalists and bloggers, students at Notre Dame and an American public trying to figure out the truth at the heart of one of the most bizarre of sports stories.

Was Te’o a sympathetic victim of a cruel fraud, or a calculating participant in a phony story that had been milked to aid his bid for the Heisman Trophy?

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Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer on the Feast Day for the Confession of St. Peter

Almighty Father, who didst inspire Simon Peter, first among the apostles, to confess Jesus as Messiah and Son of the Living God: Keep thy Church steadfast upon the rock of this faith, that in unity and peace we may proclaim the one truth and follow the one Lord, our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, whose blessed Son took upon him our manhood and increased in wisdom and stature: Grant that all Christian children may learn that fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom, and as they grow in stature may also grow in love to thee; through the same Christ our Lord.

–Harold Riley

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure. For thou dost not give me up to Sheol, or let thy godly one see the Pit. Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.

–Psalm 16:8-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Peter Saunders–Department of Health is under-reporting the number of Downs Syndrom abortions

The Abortion Statistics for England and Wales in 2010 were published in May 2011…tell us (Table 9) that in 2010 there were only 482 abortions for Down’s syndrome, 164 for Edwards syndrome and 51 for Patau’s syndrome. Together these made up 30% of the 2,290 abortions carried out for congenital abnormalities (ground E) in that year. But the total with one of these three conditions is only 697.

The disparities are astounding. 740 babies aborted with one of the three trisomy conditions, or 51.5% of the NDSCR’s total of 1,437, were apparently not reported by the Department of Health. For Down’s syndrome 460 out of 942, or 49%, were not reported.

If the NDSCR statistics are accurate, and there is no reason to doubt them, then this means that the Department of Health is being notified about less than half of the abortions carried out for trisomy 13, 18 or 21.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology, Wales

Diogenes Allen RIP

Dr. Diogenes Allen, a distinguished scholar in the field of the philosophy of religion, and the Stuart Professor of Philosophy emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary, died on January 13, 2013, at the age of 80 in hospice care at Chandler Hall, Newtown, Pennsylvania. He joined the Seminary faculty in 1967 as associate professor of philosophy, and became a full professor in 1974. He was named the Stuart Professor in 1981. He retired and was named Stuart Professor Emeritus in 2002.

Allen was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on October 17, 1932. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kentucky in 1954, and went on to study at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He earned a B.A. (1957) and later an M.A. (1961) from Oxford. He earned the B.D. (1959), the M.A. (1962) and the Ph.D. (1965) from Yale University. His thesis for his Ph.D. was titled “Faith as a Ground for Religious Beliefs.”

Before joining the Princeton Seminary faculty, he taught at York University in Ontario, Canada, from 1964 to 1967. He also was a visiting professor at Drew University and at the University of Notre Dame during his career….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Fighting Back as Mexican Churches Are Looted

Three men, field laborers by day, huddle on a bench as night descends, a mess of empty bottles of hard liquor strewn nearby. Another man gets a refresher on how to ring the bell in case of emergency. One listens attentively to orders from their leader.

It is time to guard the churches of Cholula.

A small, picturesque city 80 miles southeast of Mexico City, Cholula is said to have a church for every day of the year. There are, in reality, about 80 in all, many dating to the 17th century and filled with paintings and sculptures from that time. It is enough to draw hordes of worshipers ”” and thieves.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Mexico, Parish Ministry, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Theology