Daily Archives: May 9, 2013

(WSJ) Islamists Rely on TV Sheiks to Woo the Masses in Egypt

…many viewers of TV preachers are women. In the most conservative Egyptian households, women rarely leave their homes and account for nearly two-thirds of television viewers, according to Ipsos, a Paris-based global polling group. During the runoff of presidential elections last June, 76% of women voted for the Brotherhood’s Mr. Morsi, propelling him to a win, according to telephone exit polls by Baseera, a private Egyptian polling firm. Overall, Mr. Morsi received 51.7% of the vote.

“The advantage of the channels is that they reach those groups that the mosque will never reach,” said Aatif Abdel Rashid, one of the founders of Al Nas who is now a presenter on Al Hafez, another Salafi satellite station.

Al Nas was started by Saudi investors who owned a media group called Al Baraheen in 2006 as a “cultural” station that featured tame music videos, dance routines and religious dream interpretations””a variety show with an mildly Islamic slant.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Islam, Movies & Television, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(CC Blog) Edward Blum–Followers, friends and faith in the digital age

The digital age is changing not only the words we use but also their meanings. Have you noticed, for instance, that “Christ follower” is replacing “born again” and “evangelical”? Take a moment to peruse the list of who Rick Warren follows on Twitter:

A handful of individuals describe themselves as “born again.”
A couple dozen use “evangelical.”
Almost 800 use some form of “Christ follower” or “Jesus follower.”

It is not just “follower” that is on the rise. Thanks to Facebook, “friend” is, too. Subtly yet profoundly, these concepts are being transformed in ways that alter how Christianity is understood and lived.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

(CSM) 'Provoking peace' in Indonesia, a story about Christians and Muslims in Ambon, Indonesia

The war in Ambon and the wider Maluku islands started for a variety of reasons. But it quickly boiled down to a question of identity, of Christians versus Muslims, as more than 5,000 people were killed and 500,000 were displaced from their homes between 1999 and 2002.

The religious passions and communal hatred stirred up in the war put a question mark over Indonesia’s moves to build a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship. Could Indonesia’s Muslim majority coexist with Christians and other religious minorities without an authoritarian hand on the tiller?

Sitting in Ambon’s Joas Coffee House 13 years after the fighting ended, the answer is clear: Yes. And sitting across from me is Jacky Manuputty, one member of a brave group of local community leaders, Muslim and Christian alike, who have helped heal the wounds of war and today act as the first responders of harmony when the fragile peace looks threatened.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Indonesia, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Violence

Jeff Dunn has collected some Dallas Willard Quotes

Here is one:

The test of character posed by the gentleness of God’s approach to us is especially dangerous for those formed by the ideas that dominate our modern world. We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. The fashion of the age has identified mental sharpness with a pose, not with genuine intellectual method and character. Only a very hardy individualist or social rebel ”” or one desperate for another life ”” therefore stands any chance of discovering the substantiality of the spiritual life today. Today it is the skeptics who are the social conformists, though because of powerful intellectual propaganda they continue to enjoy thinking of themselves as wildly individualistic and unbearably bright.”

Read them all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Theology

(CT) John Ortberg on Dallas Williard RIP–a Man from Another 'Time Zone'

Because Dallas wrote on spiritual formation and taught philosophy at the University of Southern California, one might think he came from a background associated with richness of education and culture and resources. In fact, he grew up in very poor circumstances in rural Missouri. His mother died when he was two; her last words to her husband were: “Keep eternity before the children.”

Because of impoverished conditions, Dallas grew up in a circle of different families; electricity did not come until he was mostly grown up.

He read a book by Jack London once that contained a passage describing the world from an atheistic point of view. Dallas said that he’d never known books could contain such thoughts and ideas, and his mind was never quite the same after that awakening. He was nine years old at the time.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

Diocese of Lincoln Official alleged to have lied to secure top diocese post

A former top level church boss has appeared in court charged with lying about his degree to win his £45,000 a year job.

Maximilian Manin, 54, was the most senior official in the Lincoln Diocese, which is responsible for all Church of England parishes in the county.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Theology

Pope Francis' Homily from this past Sunday–Evangelical spirit, ecclesial spirit, missionary spirit.

In the Gospel we heard a passage from the farewell discourses of Jesus, as related by the evangelist John in the context of the Last Supper. Jesus entrusts his last thoughts, as a spiritual testament, to the apostles before he leaves them. Today’s text makes it clear that Christian faith is completely centred on the relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Whoever loves the Lord Jesus welcomes him and his Father interiorly, and thanks to the Holy Spirit receives the Gospel in his or her heart and life. Here we are shown the centre from which everything must go forth and to which everything must lead: loving God and being Christ’s disciples by living the Gospel.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Francis, Preaching / Homiletics, Roman Catholic, Theology, Theology: Scripture

New federal report shows Lowcountry S.C. hospitals bill very different prices for same services

Hospitals around the Lowcountry are billing Medicare at vastly different prices for the exact same procedures, according to data published Wednesday by the federal government.

For example, in 2011, Trident Medical Center billed Medicare an average $98,352 to insert a permanent pacemaker, while the Medical University of South Carolina billed $38,902 for the same surgery.

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, Medicare, The U.S. Government

Communiqué from the meeting of ARCIC III in Rio de Janeiro 2013

A wide range of papers was prepared for the meeting and discussed, taking the Commission further towards its goal of producing an agreed statement. The mandate for this third phase of ARCIC is to explore: the Church as Communion, local and universal, and how in communion the local and universal Church come to discern right ethical teaching. In exploring this mandate, the members of the Commission engaged in theological analysis and shared reflection on the nature of the Church and those structures which contribute to discernment and decision-making. Time was spent considering some case studies of ethical issues which members had prepared, and analysing the ways in which the two Communions have come to their present teaching on these matters.

Over the forty years of its work, ARCIC has produced a number of Agreed Statements. The work of ARCIC I received official responses from the two Communions. The Commission continued its task of preparing the documents of ARCIC II for presentation to the respective Communions to assist with their reception. Members reviewed responses already given to each of the five Agreed Statements and will prepare introductions for them that place each of these documents within the current ecumenical situation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

On a Personal Note–Quite a Next Few Weeks for the Harmons

We now approach quite a challenging period for the family–two graduations and one knee replacement surgery for yours truly over the next few weeks. We head this afternoon to Vanderbilt for Nathaniel’s graduation, then Elizabeth graduates from MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina, a doctorate in the nursing practice [ie D.N.P.]) next week, and then (ugh!) I have surgery on Tuesday the 21st. We would be grateful for your understanding and prayers especially in this time, thanks–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Harmon Family, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Spirituality/Prayer

Fantastic***How a Dog that Barely Survived Befriended a Boy with Autism and both were Transformed

Watch it all. It will brighten your day.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Animals, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology

(Sunday Telegraph) Katharine Welby speaks for the first time about her battle with depression

When the news broke that her father was about to be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, Katharine Welby found herself in floods of tears.

“I ended up crying and crying,” she says, but not because she didn’t want her dad to get the job….

Her weeping was caused by depression. The illness is “a constant struggle” in her life and creates moments of crisis in which she wants to “run away and hide in a hole”. In the past, it has brought her to the brink of suicide.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Children, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Stress, Suicide, Young Adults

Douglas Farrow on the Meaning of the Ascension for Ascension Day

Ascension theology turns at this point to the Eucharist, for in celebrating the eucharist the church professes to know how the divine presents itself in our time, and how the question of faithfulness is posed. Eucharistically, the church acknowledges that Jesus has heard and has answered the upward call; that, like Moses, he has ascended into that impenetrable cloud overhanging the mountain. Down below, rumours of glory emanate from the elders, but the master himself is nowhere to be seen. He is no longer with his people in the same way he used to be. Yet he is with them, in the Spirit.

–Douglas Farrow, Ascension Theology (New York: T and T Clark, 2011), p. 64

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Pentecost, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast of the Ascension (II)

O Lord Jesus Christ, who after thy resurrection didst manifestly appear to thine apostles, and in their sight didst ascend into heaven to prepare a place for us: Grant that, being risen with thee, we may lift up our hearts continually to seek thee where thou art, and never cease to serve thee faithfully here on earth; until at last, when thou comest again, thou shalt receive us unto thyself; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

–Frederick B. Macnutt

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

A Prayer for the Feast of the Ascension (I)

O Thou merciful and loving High Priest, who hast passed within the veil and art in the presence of the Father: Help us with thy mighty intercession, that, our unworthiness being clothed upon with thy perfect righteousness, we may stand accepted in the day of thy coming; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

–Henry Alford

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is thy name in all the earth!

Thou whose glory above the heavens is chanted
by the mouth of babes and infants,
thou hast founded a bulwark because of thy foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars which thou hast established;
what is man that thou art mindful of him,
and the son of man that thou dost care for him?

–Psalm 8:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(RNS) Geoffrey MacDonald–Where are the Christians on burying Tsarnaev?

Cemeteries and even some mosques have refused to take his body. His city, Cambridge, has urged family members to bury him elsewhere. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez and local talk radio host Dan Rae want him dumped in the ocean, like Osama bin Laden. Clergy have largely kept mum.

“The only signs of people who are showing some sort of moral conscience are those few who stand with a card near the funeral home saying (burial) is a corporal work of mercy,” said James Keenan, a moral theologian at Boston College. “To say, ”˜we won’t bury him’ makes us barbaric. It takes away mercy, the trademark of Christians. ”¦ I’m talking about this because somebody should.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Terrorism, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NC Register) Protestant South Becoming a New Roman Catholic Stronghold

New data shows that some of the fastest growing dioceses in the country are deep in the U.S. South.

The third fastest developing diocese is Atlanta, which saw the number of registered parishioners explode from nearly 322,000 in 2002 to one million in 2012 ”” an increase of more than twofold, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. Atlanta also has the largest Eucharistic Congress in the country, with an annual attendance of about 30,000, according to an archdiocesan official.

Atlanta is not alone. Charleston has seen a 50% increase in parishioners over the last decade. Charlotte grew by a third, as did Little Rock. The Diocese of Knoxville, established just 25 years ago, is now the 25th fastest growing in the nation ”” and would rank near the top if those official figures counted as many as 60,000 unregistered Hispanic congregants, according to a diocesan official.

Read it all.

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