Daily Archives: July 23, 2013

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina

(BBC) Nine killed in Cairo clashes

Nine people have died in Cairo in overnight clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, officials say.

Most of the victims were killed at a sit-in held by pro-Morsi demonstrators near Cairo University.

Mr Morsi’s family earlier accused the military of abducting him.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Egypt, Middle East, Violence

(NPR) Brazil's Evangelicals A Growing Force In Prayer, Politics

Christianity in Brazil is big business ”” not only are major superstar pastors represented at the convention, but businesses like Sony Music have booths as well.

Brothers Lucas and Renault Lourenço have been singing together since they were in their teens, and together they are the Brazilian evangelical version of the boy band. Now in their early 20s ”” sporting matching faux hawks and wearing jeans ”” they came to reach out to their established fans and sell records to new ones.

“This fair attracts many people, even people who are not evangelicals, which is essential because that way people will know the gospel and so every day there will be even more of us evangelicals,” Renault says.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Brazil, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, South America

(Breakpoint) Eric Metaxas–Read a Good Book and Read It Well

…reading a good book won’t make you a more moral person, but it will help you understand others better. Got it. But what else does reading great literature do? My friend Karen Swallow Prior””who is a professor of English at Liberty University””gave an intriguing answer recently in The Atlantic Monthly. Reading a good book and reading it well makes us more human.

Prior says that “What good literature can do and does do””far greater than any importation of morality””is to touch the human soul. “Reading,” she continues, “is one of the few distinctively human activities that set us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom.” Reading does not come naturally to us, like language does. We must be taught how to read. And, she says, there’s something decidedly spiritual about considering a bunch of words and symbols, understanding them, analyzing them, interpreting them, and especially finding meaning in them.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Books, Poetry & Literature

(CT) Christopher Wright–Learning to Love Leviticus

…Paul went further. To those who imagine that “living biblically” means keeping all the rules you can possibly find in the Bible, I think he would say, “You haven’t understood the first thing about the gospel. The Good News is not, ‘Here are the rules, see how many of them you can keep.’ ” Instead, I believe he would say, “Here is Jesus. See what God has done for you through him.”

The good news is that the God who created the world has kept his promise to save the world. He has done it through the death and resurrection of Jesus. And we can be part of the story that ends in a new creation, with Christ reigning as king. The good news also is that once we have entered that story by repentance and faith, God gives us his Spirit, precisely so that “the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4).

There is plenty that we can learn from Old Testament laws that can still usefully guide our ethical and missional thinking and action. The Torah was always intended to do just that. But the heartbeat of Christian life and freedom is not keeping all the rules. Instead, it is living as people whose whole life and character are shaped by God’s Word in all its Christ-centered fullness, becoming more like the Christ we trust and follow, and bearing the fruit of God’s Spirit. That’s living biblically.

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Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Podcast Recommendation–(NPR's) This American Life on Harper High School

“We spent five months at Harper High School in Chicago, where last year alone 29 current and recent students were shot. 29. We went to get a sense of what it means to live in the midst of all this gun violence, how teens and adults navigate a world of funerals and Homecoming dances. We found so many incredible and surprising stories, this show is a two-parter….”

You can find the link to part one here and part two is there. I finally got to this during some recent driving–very hard to listen to, very important to try to ponder–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Education, Teens / Youth, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(IBD) Brain Initiative Goal: Cures For Alzheimer's, More

Are cures within reach for brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, schizophrenia, autism and post-traumatic stress? President Obama and three key government organizations say yes.

The president has launched an initiative that aims to help doctors better understand how the brain works, and use that knowledge to treat these disorders. The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (Brain) Initiative will focus on finding technologies to show how individual cells and neural circuits interact.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology, The U.S. Government

(WSJ) Housing Recovery Increasingly Prices Out First-Time Buyers

First-time home buyers, long a key underpinning of the housing market, are increasingly getting left behind in the real-estate recovery.

Such buyers, typically couples in their late 20s or early 30s, have accounted for about 30% of home sales over the past year. They represented 40% of sales, on average, over the past 30 years, and accounted for more than 50% in 2009, when recession-era tax credits fueled the first-time market, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

Read it all (an additional link if necessary is there).

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Come, Lord, and reign over us this day as our rightful King. Rule in our hearts and fill them with thy love; rule in our minds and bring every thought into captivity to thyself; rule in our lives and make them holy like thine own; for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever and ever.

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Bible Readings

Then Ab’igail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two skins of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched grain, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses. And she said to her young men, “Go on before me; behold, I come after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. And as she rode on the ass, and came down under cover of the mountain, behold, David and his men came down toward her; and she met them. Now David had said, “Surely in vain have I guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him; and he has returned me evil for good. God do so to David and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.”

–1 Samuel 25:18-22

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(WSJ Streaming Coverage) Pope Francis in Brazil

Check it out.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic

(ABC Aus.) John Millbank–Child poverty and the Christian vision of society

How does this affect our understanding of poverty? There is one group of Christians who tend to think of Christianity as an exclusively spiritual matter, where we are all equal spiritually and the church community is secondary and not the primary social focus. That can sometimes translate into an individualist approach to social policy.

On the other hand, there has been another tendency since the nineteenth century to hand over the incarnational mission of the church to the state – in other words, to see the state as the more complete realisation of the church’s social mission than the church itself. It is sometimes said that we can’t stop at charity, and that all Christian reformers have wanted to go onto law. One can see the serious point of this and in certain respects such an advance is crucial, and yet there is a profound question mark over that whole tradition which William Temple exemplified. It is a rather Hegelian one that tends ultimately to surrender things to the state, as if the political lay beyond the social. Modern Anglican social thought has always been divided between that approach and one (associated with J.N. Figgis and Vigo Demant) which less stresses state intervention, but much more interpersonal action and people taking the initiative to do things for themselves.
The temptation to advocate legislation often means losing focus on interpersonal relationships, and losing focus on the notion that you treat recipients of charity as human beings. It is because the Christian vision keeps people’s humanity central that we accord them the dignity of demanding something from them. The problem with the dominant alternatives to this vision is that they are devoid of this social concern and therefore deeply impersonal. We either get the pure market theorists who think welfare will trickle down in a perfect economy and it will all sort itself out, or else you get a left-wing version of the same impersonality where you want to redress the balance so that everyone can act equally in the same depersonalised market – an approach with dire consequences for the inevitable “losers” in such a agonistic game.

If the church is confused about its response to poverty, then more specific confusion exists over how to approach the issue of child poverty in particular.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Poverty, Theology

(RNS) Humanists want a military chaplain to call their own

If Jason Heap has his way, he’ll trade his Oxford tweeds for the crisp whites of a newly minted U.S. Navy chaplain.

This is my chance to give back to my country,” said Heap, 38. “I want to use my skills on behalf of our people in the service. Hopefully, the Navy will see where I can be useful.”

But Heap’s goal is not assured. He fits the requirements”” with master’s degrees from both Brite Divinity School and Oxford University. His paperwork is complete. He passed the physical tests and has been interviewed by a Navy chaplain. The only thing he does not have is an endorsement from a religious organization approved by the Navy.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Military / Armed Forces, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism

Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, have a Baby Boy

He weighed 8lb and 6oz, and was born at 4.24pm local time.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Children, England / UK, History, Marriage & Family, Politics in General