Daily Archives: January 20, 2013

PBS ' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Inauguration Look Ahead

REV. LUIS CORTES, Esperanza: We have a coalition of people of faith who are actually trying to get both the Republicans and the Democrats to have a conversation on immigration. The president did promise that he wanted to address it. We’re hoping that Congress can work together and this year we can come to an agreement on a more comprehensive immigration reform package.

ARCHBISHOP GEORGE CAREY, Former Archbishop of Canterbury: If we can solve the problem of Israel and make sure that Israel has a proper, proper nation with safe borders and so on and yet at the same time allow the Palestinians to have their own state. If we can solve that one, then many of the world’s problems in terms of interfaith dialogue will be resolved.

Sayyid Syeed, Islamic Society of North AmericaSAYYID SYEED, Islamic Society of North America: It’s very critical for America to have good reputation, to have good liaison, with the Muslim world.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Ethics / Moral Theology, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Theology

Martin Luther's Magnificent Sermon on the Gospel for Today, John 2:1-11

But see, how unkindly he turns away the humble request of his mother who addresses him with such great confidence. Now observe the nature of faith. What has it to rely on? Absolutely nothing, all is darkness. It feels its need and sees help nowhere; in addition, God turns against it like a stranger and does not recognize it, so that absolutely nothing is left. It is the same way with our conscience when we feel our sin and the lack of righteousness; or in the agony of death when we feel the lack of life; or in the dread of hell when eternal salvation seems to have left us. Then indeed there is humble longing and knocking, prayer and search, in order to be rid of sin, death and dread. And then he acts as if he had only begun to show us our sins, as if death were to continue, and hell never to cease. Just as he here treats his mother, by his refusal making the need greater and more distressing than it was before she came to him with her request; for now it seems everything is lost, since the one support on which she relied in her need is also gone.

This is where faith stands in the heat of battle. Now observe how his mother acts and here becomes our teacher. However harsh his words sound, however unkind he appears, she does not in her heart interpret this as anger, or as the opposite of kindness, but adheres firmly to the conviction that he is kind, refusing to give up this opinion because of the thrust she received, and unwilling to dishonor him in her heart by thinking him to be otherwise than kind and gracious–as they do who are without faith, who fall back at the first shock and think of God merely according to what they feel, like the horse and the mule, Ps 32, 9. For if Christ’s mother had allowed those harsh words to frighten her she would have gone away silently and displeased; but in ordering the servants to do what he might tell them she proves that she has overcome the rebuff and still expects of him nothing but kindness.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Christology, Church History, Europe, Germany, Lutheran, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

From the Do Not Take Yourself too Seriously Dept.–Jack Webb and Johnny Carson

Watch it all. Clean humor, oh so funny.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Movies & Television

Novak Djokovic Wins against Stanislas Wawrinka in the Fifth set

What a match in Australia. Novak Djokovic wins 12-10 in the fifth (on match point #3).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Men, Sports

A subject we would rather avoid–One woman’s bloody struggle with domestic violence

In their 10 years of marriage, there had been warning signs, but nothing to prepare her for this bloody struggle. The verbal abuse had finally led to their separation in December. Still, he had never hit her.

Not long after, though, things took a troubling, sinister turn when he told her something that made her afraid.

“He was going to kill himself and take somebody with him,” she said.

He said it looking straight at her. She feared she was the someone he meant.

(Please note: the full content here may not be suitable for all blog readers). Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Men, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology, Violence, Women

From rock star to devout Catholic teacher, Dan Lord learns joy

He also felt a nagging tug, a pull toward something larger than himself. It was a bit odd, all things considered.

Not that he had rejected his faith. He’d just let it fade away.

“I got caught up in the world, and the teachings of morality in the Catholic Church didn’t really harmonize with that,” he says.

Then he read a few words that St. Augustine wrote around the year 398: “Restless is our heart until it comes to rest in thee.”

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Music, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(CSM) The 20 most fascinating accidental inventions

Most inventors strive for weeks, months, or years to perfect their products. (Thomas Edison tried thousands of different light bulb filaments before arriving at the ideal mixture of tungsten.) But sometimes, brilliance strikes by accident. Here’s a salute to the scientists, chefs, and everyday folk who stumbled upon greatness ”“ and, more important, shared their mistakes with the world….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, History, Science & Technology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, who hast set in thy Church some with gifts to teach and help and administer, in diversity of operation but of the same Spirit: Grant to all such, we beseech thee, grace to wait on the ministry which they have received in the body of Christ with simplicity, diligence, and cheerfulness; that none may think of himself more highly than he ought to think, and none may seek another man’s calling, but rather to be found faithful in his own work; to the glory of thy name in Christ Jesus our Lord.

–H. J. Wotherspoon

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Just then his disciples came. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but none said, “What do you wish?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city, and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the city and were coming to him. Meanwhile the disciples besought him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has any one brought him food?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

–John 4:27-42

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Washington Post) Lisa Miller reviews Lawrence Wright's new book on Scientology

The many endnotes in Lawrence Wright’s book on the church, “Going Clear,” are the first clue that this author is not fooling around. Sixnotes explain facts on the introduction’s first page, and they multiply from there, 40 pages worth, wedged between the bibliography and the acknowledgments, not including the footnotes in the text itself, which signal “he said, she said”-type differences of opinion and feature boilerplate denials from lawyers and publicists. (One of my favorites reads, in part, “Cruise’s attorney says that no Scientology executives set him up with girlfriends, and that no female Scientologist that Cruise dated moved into his home.”)

Scientology has for almost all of its history been one of the most notoriously secretive and litigious religious organizations in the world, its leaders among the most paranoid and obfuscating. In this book, Wright, a staff writer at the New Yorker and winner of a 2007 Pulitzer Prize for “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11,” brings a clear-eyed, investigative fearlessness to Scientology ”” its history, its theology, its hierarchy ”” and the result is a rollicking, if deeply creepy, narrative ride, evidence that truth can be stranger even than science fiction.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(CEN) House of Laity Chair survives vote of no confidence

The House of Laity have confirmed confidence in their Chair, Dr Philip Giddings, during a controversial debate on the future of their leader.
The Chair will therefore stay in office, but said debates are needed about what the role of the Chair is.
The result was clear, with 80 members voting against the motion that called for a vote of no confidence in Dr Giddings.
Only 47 members voted for the motion, with 30 recorded abstentions.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

(Church Times) House of Laity bid to oust Philip Giddings fails

Responding to the debate, Dr Giddings said that he had “no choice” about when he spoke in the women-bishops debate. His words had not been intended to undermine or personally criticise Bishop Welby, but, in any case, he had offered “an apology for any offence my words may have caused him”.

Bishop Welby’s reply was quoted to the Synod, with permission: “It never crossed my mind that you were in the slightest being offensive, discourteous, impolite, [or disrespectful]. . . I did think you were wrong! You thought I was, but we really need to be able to disagree, as I am sure you do agree.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ministry of the Laity, Parish Ministry, Women

Australian Anglican Board of Mission welcomes ACC Changes to the 5 Marks of Mission

The change to the fourth Mark of Mission reflects the importance of God’s mission in peace, conflict transformation and reconciliation.

ABM has responded by revising its fourth Mark of Mission to “Challenge violence, injustice and oppression, and work for peace and reconciliation”. Previously the fourth mark has been to “Challenge injustice and oppression”.

Education Missioner for ABM, Brad Chapman, explained that the Five Marks of Mission are more than just words.

“The Marks of Mission emerge from the lived experience of God’s people throughout the Anglican Communion,” Mr Chapman said. “They reflect God’s active presence in the world today”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Provinces

Saturday Afternoon Music–Abide with Me by the Bowdoin College Chamber Choir in the School Chapel

Enjoy it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Music, Young Adults