Daily Archives: October 25, 2013

(WSJ) Nicholas Hahn: Is Tax Policy really the Purview of Preachers?

The bishops might have been promoting a strictly Democratic line, but U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black was more ecumenical. Amid the shutdown, Rev. Black offered a daily prayer in the Senate chamber asking God to “save us from the madness. We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness, our selfishness, and our pride.” Later he condemned the “hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable.” His listeners in one party no doubt assumed he was talking about the other side.

It is one thing to spiritually shame politicians, as Rev. Black did. Trying to do their jobs is another. The bishops and other clergy in the Circle of Protection go well beyond their competencies when they make such policy prescriptions. Speaking about the moral issues of the day is certainly within their pastoral purview, but the bishops’ calls to raise revenues (aka taxes), for instance, or eliminate “unnecessary” military spending are not.

Bishops routinely assert their authority as “pastors and teachers,” as Bishops Blaire, Gomez and Pates did, but according to the tradition of their own church, they have no teaching authority when it comes to politics.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Medicaid, Medicare, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Senate, Social Security, Taxes, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology

David Ould–GAFCON Movement Bishops Vote to Expand – Across Boundaries

All the bishops attending the conference agreed without dissent to the following resolution:

To affirm and endorse the position of the Primates Council in providing oversight in cases where Provinces and Dioceses compromise biblical faith, including the affirmation of a duly discerned call to ministry. This may involve ordination and consecration if the situation requires.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

(ENS) ”˜One church in Europe’ Old Catholics, Episcopalians commit to deeper communion

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Theology

Mike Shedlock's experience on the Affordable Care Act's website

Results display 10 at a time. Most of the contacts require a phone call to schedule an appointment.

It seems you need a navigator to help you find a navigator. No problem.

Take the time to read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, The U.S. Government, Theology

"Yesterday Was a Lot of Testimony;" Women’s mini-conferences at Gafcon

Watch the whole Vimeo video (a little over 2 1/2 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates, Women

David Ould–GAFCON Day 4 – Global Anglicanism in its Natural State

The conference has spent the last 2 days concentrating on “mini conferences” looking at a diverse range of topics. I’ve spent time with others considering the work of the Spirit in the Church. Yesterday we considered the question of spiritual opposition, what it looks like and how Jesus by His Spirit is the stronger man (Luke 11:22) who defeats all demonic opposition. It was truly fascinating to hear from Ugandan Rev Dr Afred Olwa about spiritual warfare in rural Africa. We then broke into small groups and discussed what spiritual opposition GAFCON churches were facing and what might be done about it. What was striking was that although I was in a group dominated by Africans (as you would expect in a conference that accurately reflects the true makeup of the Communion) their concern was first and foremost for the Western churches. The responses of potential solutions was also encouraging. Much of it was grounded in what we might call “word ministry”. There was a deep desire to stand publicly with those who were facing opposition; not just to send bland greetings but genuinely stand in the fire with them (Justin Welby take note). There was also a heartfelt desire to share one with another in partnership in ministry. I’ve spent a lot of time introducing African bishops to the distance learning material from Sydney’s Moore Theological College which is already supporting many dioceses all over the world to train their clergy and laity. Perhaps in the future there’ll be an opportunity to renew those relationships as we extend that partnership.

More personally, I’m struck by the work yet to be done amongst some of us evangelicals in addressing the question of Spiritual warfare. Not one conservative I spoke to doubted in any way the genuine nature of the demonic encounters that Alfred and others were describing, but for many of us we have not yet fully clarified how they manifest themselves in our particular culture.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

Sam Allberry with a nice Picture of The British contingent at Gafcon

Check it out (you can click on it to make it larger).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

Jeff Walton–GAFCON Conferees Engage Challenge of Islam

Living alongside and evangelizing Muslim neighbors has been a recurring theme at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) meeting this week in Nairobi, Kenya. Relations between Anglican Christians and Muslims have been made more complicated in recent years with the rise of radical Islamists and key differences in how Christians and some Muslims understand moral codes and public law.

“Our arguments should have validity and strength in the pubic square, people should see it is focused on love, truth and graciousness,” declared Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali at a GAFCON mini-conference session on Islam held on Thursday. The former bishop of Rochester, England explained that Christians and Muslims have a different attitude about power.

“Islam believes you change the world by gaining power, Christians believe you change the world by a willingness to give up power,” Nazir-Ali assessed. Yet temptation to theocracy, he reported, is everywhere.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Theology

Chris Sugden at Gafcon–Facing an aggressive secular world and a more worldly established church

There is nothing in Anglicanism like GAFCON. The Lambeth Conferences have all the bishops and their wives; the Anglican Consultative Council has a few representatives from each province. The Third Divine Commonwealth Conference in Nigeria from November 18-22 with 5000 people is largely composed of members of the Church of Nigeria.

GAFCON2013 is made up of bishops, clergy and lay people drawn from 38 countries numbering over 1300 people.

The Archdeacon of Cardigan, the Venerable Will Strange, describes the worship, led by a choir and a drummer as fantastic. The morning bible expositions of the Book of Ephesians have been spectacular and models of their kind.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

Church Times Coverage on Gafcon as the Movement Looks to the Future

We believe the apostolic faith,” Dr [Peter] Jensen said in the opening session, “and we do not believe the faith of those who contradict the Bible, and who deny the uniqueness and supremacy of Christ.”

The first day of the conference was devoted to worship, and to a preparatory talk given by Dr Jensen. The second day alternated between worship and presentations by the Archbishop of Kenya, Dr Eliud Wabukala, who hosted the conference, and the Principal of Oak Hill Theological College, the Revd Dr Mike Ovey.

Shorter presentations were offered by the Vicar of St Mark’s, Battersea Rise, the Revd Paul Perkin; the Archbishop of Sudan, Dr Daniel Deng Bul; the Bishop of Jos, Nigeria, the Rt Revd Ben Kwashi; Andrea Minichiello Williams, of Christian Concern; the Bishop of Nelson, New Zealand, the Rt Revd Richard Ellena; and the vice-chancellor of Uganda Christian University, Canon John Senyonyi.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, who at the carpenter’s bench didst manifest the dignity of honest labour, and dost give to each of us our tasks to perform: Help us to do our daily work with readiness of mind and singleness of heart, not with eye-service as menpleasers, but as thy servants, labouring heartily as unto thee and not unto men, so that whatever we do, great or small, may be to the glory of thy holy name.

–John R. W. Stott (1921-2011)

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But I trust in thee, O LORD, I say, “Thou art my God.” My times are in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors! Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love!

–Psalm 31:15-16

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Some good articles & blog entries about Day 4 at GAFCON II

Today has been a S-L-O-W news day at GAFCON II. The plenary session time was short, followed by mini-conference sessions. Then in the afternoon the delegates took a trip to Nairobi National Park, and had dinner at a famous Nairobi restaurant. Hopefully the slightly slower pace will have given the attendees a bit of a mental break. (If you’ve ever attended a large, intense week-long conference, you know how welcome a respite can be mid-week!)

Even though it’s been a less notably newsworthy day, however, there are some excellent Day 4 roundups starting to appear on the blogs now. Here are links to four entries we elves really liked and recommend reading.

Summary GAFCON II Day 4 (Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream)
Nigel Fortescue: GAFCON Day 4
Rob Munro: GAFCON Day 4: Widening Horizons
Bishop Foley Beach: The Suffering Church

And for those of you who want to see the photos of gorgeous Kenyan wildlife and scenery… here you go:
Photos Day 4 (ACNA facebook page – mostly pictures from this afternoon’s trip to Nairobi National Park)

P.S. we forgot to mention: the preacher this morning for the Bible exposition of Ephesians 4 was John Yates III (the son of the Rector of The Falls Church) and who was just interviewed this week by Stand Firm blogger David Ould. [See Kendall’s post here]. By all accounts, John Yates III can preach as well as his dad!

Update: David Ould’s latest blog entry about Day 4 at GAFCON wasn’t yet available when we first posted this entry, but it certainly is worth reading as well, and thankfully Kendall posted it as a stand alone article, above.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

(RNS) Hollywood looks to the Bible for screenplay potential

tudios and filmmakers are rediscovering a classic text as source material for upcoming mainstream films: the Bible.

Nearly 10 years after the blockbuster success of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” which earned $611.9 million worldwide, studios are looking to the Good Book for good material….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture

(ACI) Ephraim Radner–After Quincy: Rethinking The Purpose Of Our Common Life

This brings me to the… more profound… reason for my support of Judge Ortbal’s reasoning: at the root of TEC’s fracture lies our General Convention’s failure to engage our church’s own identity, an identity rooted in the deeper character of unitive mission that ought to inform our life. In brief, the Church’s unity is given in her “apostolicity”, her apostolic mission. When the latter is subverted, unity disintegrates, and this is what we have seen happen in TEC. The result is not a “good” ”“ I continue to believe that the disassociation of dioceses like Quincy, Fort Worth, South Carolina, and San Joaquin constitutes a failure of the Christian life. But the reversion to diocesan “independence” represents the almost natural reassertion of the will to apostolicity that one would expect in a situation of profound ecclesial dysfunction. And that reversion has something to teach us.

The polity question has to do with General Convention in this case. Dioceses, at least in theory, joined the Convention because such joining represented the furtherance of the apostolic ministry of the Church. They have disassociated themselves when that ministry was being impeded by General Convention. Part of the demanded reconsideration of our common life has to do with figuring out why this has been the case, and on what basis.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

(AM) Vinay Samuel–Reflections on the future of orthodoxy in the Anglican Communion

It appears that the default position of the communion in the past decade was to assert that what we hold in common is an adequate basis for unity in the communion. What we hold in common tended to get reduced to our “historic bonds of affection”. Everything else was contested.

Such an attitude to unity ignored the centrality of the identity discussion of the communion. When it did deal with the identity issue it drove a wedge between the local and universal and between diversity and unity. It privileged the local and diversity over the universal and unity.

A global/universal communion of churches has two key features: identity and unity. Identity is integrally connected to unity. It is the undermining of the integrity of the identity of the Anglican Communion that produced fragmentation and brokenness we see today in the Communion. The four instruments of unity that were expected to deal with the breakdown of unity in the communion, have failed in the opinion of both Anglican leaders and commentators.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Identity, Ecclesiology, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Theology, Theology: Scripture