Daily Archives: May 12, 2013

Faith McDonnell–Sympathy for the Devil: Equivocation on Boko Haram

Responding to Carson’s testimony at a House Subcommittee on Africa hearing in July 2012, Subcommittee Chairman, U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), remonstrated that poverty alone does not drive people to violence. And in any case, Boko Haram is well funded by outside Islamists. “Heavy machine guns” and “buses and pickup trucks mounted with machine guns” are just the latest examples to show that Boko Haram is not just a motley crew of impoverished, marginalized local Muslims. In February 2013 it was revealed that hundreds of Boko Haram members had trained for months in terrorist camps in northern Mali with the local “Ansar Dine” al Qaeda of Mali. Their former chef, explained that he cooked for over 200 Nigerians who had “arrived in Timbuktu in April 2012 in about 300 cars, after al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) swept into the city.”

In its 2013 Nigeria briefing, human rights group Justice for Jos +, a project of Jubilee Campaign USA, remarked, “Ironically, in northern Nigeria, it is Christians who are totally disenfranchised politically, economically, and socially in their own states and by their own ethnic groups due to their religious identity.” This is worse than just “political marginalization,” Mr. Carson! Justice for Jos + continues, “Christians are regarded as inferior to Muslims and suffer ongoing, systematic and comprehensive discrimination even by local and (Sharia) state governments.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Economy, Foreign Relations, Nigeria, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, The U.S. Government, Violence

(Living Church) Jesse Zink reviews Andrew Goddard's new book on Rowan Wiiliams

Goddard had fewer than four months to research and write the book and acknowledges that his conclusions and judgments are “initial [and] tentative” (p. 8). Each chapter provides a summary of Williams’s speeches, interviews, and sermons relevant to the topic at hand, along with commentary from Goddard and a handful of other individuals whom he interviewed. At times, the chapters feel like little more than lengthy quotations from Williams’s own writing. This is no bad thing, however. To read Williams’s original words in the context in which they were first delivered is refreshing. In any event, their complexity and depth defy easy summation. (At least two other books on Williams, Rupert Shortt’s Rowan’s Rule and Mike Higton’s Difficult Gospel, similarly rely on lengthy quotations.)

Goddard’s tight writing schedule presents other problems, as it causes him occasionally to pass over significant moments too briefly. For instance, he mentions Williams’s “historic meeting with [Zimbabwean President Robert] Mugabe” (p. 144) but provides no additional information on what made it historic or why it was significant to Williams’s ministry. These are judgments that a tight publishing deadline likely cannot accommodate.

A larger disappointment is that the people Goddard interviewed to inform his judgments seem a limited lot. They are overwhelmingly male and from the Euro-Atlantic world.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Commentary, --Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Books

A Place to Look into–The God Complex Radio Site

“It has been said that preachers should preach with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. However, Carol Howard Merritt and Derrick Weston are more likely to read the Bible on their iPhones with Google News open in a computer browser window. As young pastors in a historic mainline Christian denomination, the partners of God Complex Radio are determined to lead Christianity into the 21st century and translate the values of the Christian faith to the next generation.

Through the production of a podcast and the development of media, join Carol and Derrick as they welcome writers, speakers, thinkers, musicians, and poets who are (and are destined to become) the voices of the next generation of the faith.”

Check it out.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Media, Religion & Culture

(NC Register) Russell Shaw–”˜Americanism’: Phantom Heresy or Fact?

On Jan. 22, 1899, Pope Leo XIII sent Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore, leader of the American hierarchy, a document in the form of a letter whose opening words in Latin were Testem Benevolentiae (In Witness to Good Will). “It is clear, our beloved son,” Pope Leo wrote, “that those opinions that, taken as a whole, some designate as ”˜Americanism’ cannot have our approval.”

Appalled, Cardinal Gibbons held up the document’s release in the United States for a week, until the publication of excerpts originating overseas forced his hand and moved him to give it to The Baltimore Sun. In a letter to a friend, the cardinal called it “very discouraging ”¦ that the American Church is not understood abroad.”

But the bishops of the Milwaukee province, a center of German-American Catholicism, said the errors condemned by Pope Leo were real.

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

(CT) Cornelius Plantinga on Dallas Willard

Dallas Willard writes to say there’s something missing in the…picture [too many have of the Christian life]. Extending a line of thought that runs through such Christian writers as Teresa of Avila, William Law, Jonathan Edwards, C. S. Lewis, and Richard Foster, Willard calls us to want and to plan for something much more ambitious, namely “thoroughgoing inner transformation through Christ” to “clean the inside of the cup.” To rejoice in our forgiveness, teach right doctrine, and yearn for heaven are wonderful things. But, as Willard testifies in his classics The Divine Conspiracy and The Spirit of the Disciplines, and most recently in The Great Omission (HarperSanFrancisco, 2006), God has much bigger things in mind for us.

He wants us to join his mighty project. That’s a main reason we need thoroughgoing transformation. He wants people like us to become fit enough to follow Jesus inside “the infinite rule of God,” becoming searchers for his kingdom, agents within it, witnesses to it, and models of it. We now have little kingdoms of our own, just as God intended. Depending on our age and level of responsibility, we have a small realm “where our choice determines what happens.” God wants us “to mesh our kingdoms with the kingdoms of others,” all inside his master kingdom, “which pervades and governs the whole of the physical universe.”

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Theology

(Miami Herald) Southern Baptists' name change seeks to shed historical baggage

After 87 years, the University Baptist Church of Coral Gables, Fla., recently shed its name for something it felt was more forward looking – Christ Journey.

It was following the lede of First Baptist Church of Perrine, Fla., which dropped the name it had held for 89 years in favor of Christ Fellowship.

Coral Baptist Church of Coral Springs, Fla., relaunched itself in 2006 as Church By the Glades.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Baptists, History, Media, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Evolving markets: Charleston, South Carolina has a surge of digital media business

They come in all shapes and sizes, claiming a dizzying variety of capabilities. They date back decades, or just a year or two. And when you think there couldn’t possibly be much more than 50 marketing agencies in this relatively small town, another one seems to pop up.

Public relations, advertising, web marketing, however you want to “brand” it, digital media is a growth industry in 2013 Charleston.

While not entirely new, the prevalence of do-it-all media shops is becoming hard to miss. What’s behind the message machine?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Media, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Almighty God, eternal, righteous, and merciful, give us poor sinners to do for thy sake all that we know of thy will, and to will always what pleases thee; so that inwardly purified, enlightened, and kindled by the fire of thy Holy Spirit, we may follow in the steps of thy well-beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

–Francis of Assisi

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…

–Ephesians 2:4-5ab

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Pope Francis–True Prayer takes us out of ourselves

True prayer brings us out of ourselves: it opens us to the Father and to the neediest of our brothers and sisters. This was a central part of Pope Francis’ message to the faithful gathered for Mass on Saturday morning in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence at the Vatican, with agents of the Vatican Gendarmerie and a group of Argentine journalists with their families in attendance.

The Pope’s homily focused on the day’s Gospel reading, in which Jesus says, “[I]f you ask the Father any thing in my name, he will give it you.” Discussing Jesus’ words, Pope Francis said, “There’s something new here, something that changes: it is a novelty in prayer. The Father will give us everything, but always in the name of Jesus.” The Lord ascends to the Father, enters “the heavenly Sanctuary,” opens doors and leaves them open because “He Himself is the door,” and “intercedes for us,” as priest, even, “until the end of the world….”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Spirituality/Prayer

Congratulation to Clark Lowenfield, Ordained as Bishop of the Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Wow! Wigan win the FA Cup final

I love the picture here.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Sports