Daily Archives: August 13, 2013

Did you Know Rick Warren recently Shut Down 179 Fake Facebook Pages?

High-profile pastors have long complained (along with other celebrities) of impersonators on social media. But Rick Warren recently revealed just how widespread the problem is.

Warren announced Tuesday that in the months since his son Matthew’s suicide, more than 200 fake Facebook pages have popped up, soliciting funds in Matthew’s memory. So far, he has succeeded in shutting down 179 of them, which he said were “making money on my son’s death.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Suicide, Theology

Mark Tooley on the new Dean of Washington Cathedral–the Very Hip Rev. Gary Hall

(Please note that the blog first covered this story in the post and comments you may find here).

“I describe myself as a non-theistic Christian,” Hall confided to Quinn, echoing infamous retired Episcopal John Shelby Spong, who once routinely regaled an approving Phil Donahue and other talk shows with his provocative disbelief of Christian orthodoxy. “Jesus doesn’t use the word God very much,” Hall insisted. “He talks about his Father.”

Hall asked: “Where I am now, how do I understand Jesus as a son of God that’s not magical? I’m trying to figure out Jesus as a son of God and a fully human being, if he has both fully human and a fully divine set of chromosomes.”¦ He’s not some kind of superman coming down. God is present in all human beings. Jesus was an extraordinary human being. Jesus didn’t try to convert. He just had people at his table.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

(CSM) The new age of algorithms: How it affects the way we live

The work of Richard Rothman, a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, is more fundamental: to save lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta predicts flu outbreaks, once it examines reports from hospitals. That takes weeks. In 2009, a study seemed to suggest researchers could predict outbreaks much faster by analyzing millions of Google searches.

Spikes in queries like “My kid is sick” signaled a flu outbreak before the CDC knew there would be one. That posed a new question for Dr. Rothman and his colleague Andrea Dugas:

Could Google help predict influenza outbreaks in time to allow hospitals like the one at Johns Hopkins to get ready?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology, Stock Market

Newcastle Synod considers new Anglican leader

Bishop Greg Thompson could return to the Hunter next year to become the new leader of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle.

The Newcastle Synod will consider the sole candidate for the Bishop of Newcastle when it meets on Saturday, September 14.

Bishop Thompson is the current Bishop of the Northern Territory and was raised at Muswellbrook.

Read it all.

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

Juliann Garey on why patients with a serious mental illness often recieve worse care than others

If you met me, you’d never know I was mentally ill. In fact, I’ve gone through most of my adult life without anyone ever knowing ”” except when I’ve had to reveal it to a doctor. And that revelation changes everything. It wipes clean the rest of my résumé, my education, my accomplishments, reduces me to a diagnosis.

I was surprised when, after one of these run-ins, my psychopharmacologist said this sort of behavior was all too common. At least 14 studies have shown that patients with a serious mental illness receive worse medical care than “normal” people. Last year the World Health Organization called the stigma and discrimination endured by people with mental health conditions “a hidden human rights emergency.”

I never knew it until I started poking around, but this particular kind of discriminatory doctoring has a name. It’s called “diagnostic overshadowing.”

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Mental Illness, Psychology, Theology

Food for Thought–Bishop Ed Little on Prayer

From here:

St. Paul tells us that when we pray, God does a miracle. He takes our inarticulate groans (even elegant words from the Shakespearean era are inarticulate in the face of Eternity) and, so to speak, “translates” them. Our poor human words become, in a way well beyond our grasp, part of the infrastructure by which God accomplishes his purposes. A recent book on prayer by Anne Lamott is entitled: Help, Thanks, Wow. Even that three-word summary of prayer’s essential concerns points at best to a hitting of the keys. Tap, tap, tap. We say the words (or, sometimes even better, simply sit in silence without words). That’s a good thing. We do our part. Then the Spirit does his.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

(C of E) Growing decade for cathedral congregations, Latest statistics Show

The number of worshippers at Church of England cathedrals increased in 2012, continuing the growing trend seen since the Millennium. Total weekly attendance at the 43* cathedrals grew to 35,800, according to Cathedral Statistics 2012, an increase of 35% since 2002.

Along with occasional and special services, the regular worshipping life of cathedrals has proved more popular than ever over the past decade with cathedrals pointing to stronger community links attracting more people….

Easter 2012 saw the highest attendance in the last decade, at 54,700. Attendance at midweek services has grown most, from 8,900 in 2002 to 16,800, while Sunday attendance has grown from 17,500 to 19,100.

Read it all.

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

(NPR) A Closer Look At Elon Musk's Much-Hyped Hyperloop

You can thank brainy billionaire Elon Musk’s for bringing electro-magnetic-powered transportation and the linear induction motor back into the public consciousness.

The Hyperloop is a system for really-really rapid transit. If built, Musk claims it can carry people about 800 miles per hour, which could get you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 30 minutes.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Science & Technology, Travel

(CNS) Francis Rocca–Pope Francis discovers charismatic movement a gift to the whole church

During World Youth Day celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, July 23-28, many worshippers in the crowds could be seen swaying from side to side, arms raised in the air, wearing rapt or joyous expressions on their faces.

Such scenes, along with on-stage appearances by celebrities such as Father Marcelo Rossi, a mega-church pastor whose records and movies regularly top the charts in his native Brazil, testified to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal’s strong influence on the church in Latin America today.

As the church continues to lose members in the region with the world’s largest Catholic population, the charismatic movement stands out as a source of hope, not only for fending off the formidable competition of Pentecostal Protestantism but for raising morale among the faithful as a whole.

Read it all.

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

Resources on Christian Marriage in the Presbyterian Church USA

A lot of material here for those interested–check it out.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Presbyterian, Theology

Angel Collie of Yale Div. School: rewriting exclusive theological narratives””globally and locally

This summer was no ‘vacation’ in the traditional sense as I worked to complete over 370 hours to fulfill the Summer Ministry Intensive but I loved every hour. Most of those hours were spent working with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI) community in Kampala, Uganda….

I felt bringing a pastoral care framework in an attempt to re-write exclusive theological narratives in Uganda would be effective because the country is overwhelmingly religious. In the most recent census, only 0.9% of as the population identified as non-religious while 82.6% identified as Christian. This “on the ground” reality of religiosity has been a breeding ground for Western Evangelical missionaries’ importation of homophobia and transphobia with few dissenting voices. As a Christian convicted in the belief that God loves and affirms the lives of queer and trans people, I felt called to bring that news here.

In Uganda it is commonly believed that homosexuality is a Western phenomenon, yet a brief history of the country makes it evident that homophobia, not homosexuality, is the Western import. For this reason, I believe the first step towards change is a new theology.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Seminary / Theological Education, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Uganda

Archbishop Justin Welby visits Anglicans in Barbados

During a trip which will also include visits to Guatemala and Mexico, he praised the Anglican church in the West Indies for its “imaginative” contributions to the “unity and well-being” of the Anglican Communion.

Archbishop Justin and his wife, Caroline, arrived yesterday in Bardados for a two-day visit at the invitation of the Most Revd Dr John Holder, Archbishop of the Church of the Province of the West Indies and Bishop of Barbados.

The trip is part of a series of visits to Anglican Primates which the Archbishop is making during his first eighteen months in post.

Read it all.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Jeremy Taylor

O God, whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be numbered: Make us, we beseech thee, like thy servant Jeremy Taylor, deeply sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of human life; and let thy Holy Spirit lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Thou who art the sun of righteousness, the eternal source of light and life: Shine upon us, we beseech thee, with the beams of thy mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad in thee all the days of our life; for the praise and glory of thy holy name.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.

–Psalm 97:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(First Things On the Square Blog) Timothy George–Is Jesus a Baptist?

Catholic theologians speak of a “hierarchy of truths,” a phrase found in Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis redintegratio, 11). This concept does not mean that some truths are truer than others, or that the Catholic faithful are free to pick and choose among the teachings of their church as they please. It means, rather, that in the economy of divine revelation, more theological weight, as it were, is given to those teachings that relate directly to the foundational truths of the Christian faith. This point is similar to the distinction Thomas Aquinas makes between some articles of faith which are as such secundum se and others in ordine ad alia (ST 2-2, q.1, a.6). (See the excellent study by the Capuchin scholar William Henn, “The Hierarchy of Truths Twenty Years Later,” Theological Studies 48, [1987].)

In this vein, I would like to propose a “hierarchy of ecclesial realities.” What do I mean by this? While I recognize myself as a Protestant, an Evangelical, and a Baptist, none of those labels defines my spiritual and ecclesial identity at the most basic level. Being an evangelical Protestant, a Baptist, indeed a Southern Baptist, are all important markers of my place within the community of faith, but there is a more primary confession I must make: I am a trinitarian Christian who by the grace of God belongs to the whole company of the redeemed through the ages, those who are “very members incorporate in the mystical body of Christ” (Book of Common Prayer).

Far from being a new construal, this way of putting things goes to the very heart of what it means to be a genuine Protestant, a true Evangelical, and an authentic Baptist.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Christology, Ecclesiology, Religion & Culture, Theology

John Dickson–How Reza Aslan's Jesus is giving history a bad name

The most disappointing thing about the fanfare accorded to a book like Zealot is not that it will undermine the Christian faith (it will not); even less that it poses a challenge to the consensus of working scholars (it certainly does not). It is that it chips away at the public’s confidence in history per se.

For a brief moment, Reza Aslan will be heralded as a breakthrough author. In a month or so, some other theory, equally unsubstantiated and certainly contradictory, will get the same kind of airtime. Such works are generally ignored by working scholars, who tend to be suspicious of anything that bypasses the peer review process.

The general public, however, over time experiences breakthrough fatigue – an increasing contempt coupled with a decreasing curiosity toward any new claim about the man from Nazareth. The net effect is a weary scepticism that we can know anything about the historical Jesus or about history at all.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Christology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Kendall Harmon's Sunday Sermon–Overcoming Fear with Faith (Hebrews 11:1-16)

Listen here if you wish.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings