Daily Archives: October 28, 2013

(RNS) Fifty years later, C.S. Lewis’ legacy shines in US, not his homeland

When he died on Nov. 22, 1963 hardly a soul blinked in Northern Ireland where he was born or in England where he spent most of his working life as one of the world’s greatest Christian apologists.

Clive Staples Lewis was a week short of 65 when he suffered a heart attack at his home in Oxford. The obituary writers barely noticed his demise, in part because he died on the same day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

British indifference to Lewis half a century ago will be examined at a one-day seminar at Wheaton College on Nov. 1, co-sponsored by the Marion E. Wade Center, the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals and Wheaton College’s Faith and Learning program.

Lewis may be the most popular Christian writer in history, with millions of copies of his books sold, the vast majority in the United States where his influence is far greater than in his native country.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Apologetics, Books, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Laity, Parish Ministry, Theology

Monday Food for Thought–Martin Luther on Christian Servanthood and Christian Freedom

A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to every one.

Martin Luther:”On Christian Freedom”(1520).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

(A.P.) Many insured in South Carolina must buy new health plan

Despite President Barack Obama’s promise that those who like their health plans will be able to keep it, residents across the country are being notified they must switch to a more comprehensive, and often more expensive, policy that complies with the federal law.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, State Government

Savitri Hensman's write up on Gafcon for Ekklesia

Read it all.

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

(Jeff Walton) Top 10 Things You May Not Have Expected About GAFCON

1. GAFCON isn’t about schism ”” or sexuality. Archbishop Jensen of Sydney immediately countered talk in the western press of Anglican schism by calling it “nonsense” and defining GAFCON as a movement to renew the Anglican Communion, not a new church. Similarly, press attention on homosexuality hasn’t been realized in the discussions at GAFCON. Instead of flashpoint issues, GAFCON has seen more attention give to bringing the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates, Kenya, Media, Religion & Culture, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Reuters Wrap up article on the Gafcon Conference

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

Philip Jenkins on the Vexing Topic of Blogging and Dealing with Comments and Commenters

…do you leave the comment in place and unanswered? Or what else can you do?

Put another way, what would you do if a commenter started claiming that Jews committed the ritual murder of children, or presented some of the classic hideous stereotypes of African-Americans? You certainly can’t argue against these despicable positions point by point. So do you just leave the comments out there?

My own position is that, at some point, some comments go beyond the realm of controversy and become outright hate speech. At that point, I will simply delete them, and mark the commenter so that s/he can no longer post on the site. Call it censorship if you wish.

When I have done this in past years, commenters have protested that my actions are “cowardly”: this from people who never give their real names in posts, and hide behind the mask of anonymity. No, I am not going to debate people who believe that the Jews caused 9/11, or that Muslims are a human sacrifice cult. Nor am I going to leave their nonsense in place on any website with which I am associated.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

(Local Paper) South Carolina spends plenty to educate doctors, but doesn’t have enough of them

Lyles estimates about 22,000 students graduate from medical school in the U.S. each year. He said there are 28,000 residency positions available, and the extra spots are filled by students who have attended international medical schools, many of them U.S. citizens returning home to practice.

But as the number of medical schools across the country increases and the number of medical students in each graduating class increases too, the number of students who are unmatched every year will continue to grow.

“The number of residency spots is absolutely not keeping pace,” said Dr. Chris Pelic, who counsels MUSC medical students during the interview process. “It’s setting it up for a very difficult situation.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Education, Health & Medicine, Rural/Town Life

(WSJ) Michael Phillips–Why U.S. Troops Want to Stay in Afghanistan

U.S. and Afghan politicians are in the middle of a heated debate over whether a small American and NATO force will remain in Afghanistan at the end of next year.

But what’s a political and strategic question at the negotiating table is an emotional question at bases around Afghanistan, where soldiers watch the discussions with one eye on their sacrifices over the past 12 years and the other on the American withdrawal from Vietnam four decades ago.

In short, they don’t want to go home without the win.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, History, Pakistan, Politics in General, Terrorism, The U.S. Government, Theology, War in Afghanistan

Kendall Harmon's Sermon in the parish series on the Church–We are His Hands and His Feet (John 13)

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Christology, Ecclesiology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NY Times Beliefs) A First-Person Defense of Writing in Jesus’ Voice

Since its 2004 release, Ms. [Sarah] Young’s “Jesus Calling,” a collection of 365 short daily “devotionals” interlaced with Bible passages, has sold nine million copies in 26 languages. In the first half of 2013, it outsold “Fifty Shades of Grey.” She has written two follow-up devotionals, as well as tie-in books for children and teenagers and a “Jesus Calling”-themed Bible.

Most impressive is that Ms. Young has become a lucrative brand while granting almost no interviews and making no author appearances. Hobbled by Lyme disease and other health problems, she mostly sticks close to home. There are almost no public photographs of her, and she will not talk by telephone….

The October issue of Christianity Today, which is like the People magazine for evangelical Christians, contains a long article that seems to float the possibility that Ms. Young’s writings are heretical, and quotes several theologians who have concerns.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Simon and Saint Jude

O God, we thank thee for the glorious company of the apostles, and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and we pray thee that, as they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so we may with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord, who hast taught us that we can only be forgiven, as we ourselves forgive: Help us ever to bear in mind our continued shortcomings, our manifold transgressions; that as we remember the injuries which we have suffered and never merited, we may also remember the kindnesses which we have received and never earned, the punishments which we have deserved and never suffered; and therewith may render thanks to thee for thine unfailing mercies, and the mercies of our fellowmen; for thy name’s sake.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, every one who pierced him; and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

–Revelation 1:5b-8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Christopher Howse visits a convent in Kent 1,300 years old, consecrated by an Asian archbishop

The village sign at Minster in Thanet, Kent, says “AD 670”. But the settlement is far older, for Roman bricks are built into the tower of St Mary’s Church….

Autumn suits Minster. Seagulls sat on the steep-pitched roof the church and pigeons cooed round its tower last week as the leaves began to fall ”“ though not those of the mature olive trees near the churchyard, which clement winters have allowed to flourish. Even so, the blazing log fire at the Bell public house was welcome once sunset approached.
Minster once stood on the shore of the Isle of Thanet when it was a true island separated from Kent by the sea. That was a source of prosperity from trade, but also a fatal weakness, for the Vikings repeatedly plundered and destroyed Minster.

The name is from the Latin for monastery (as in “Westminster”), and the year 670 was when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Theodore of Tarsus, consecrated the monastery of nuns here.

St Mary’s is a fine, large church, with a stone-vaulted chancel. “The beauties of the east end are fully revealed inside,” says Pevsner’s Buildings of England volume. But it was locked when I arrived, so I crossed Church Street and looked at an even more intriguing old building ”“ Minster Abbey.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

Local Paper Mental Health Series–A man finds path from mental illness and poverty to independence

A stable home might be the single most critical piece of the mental illness recovery puzzle ”” and often the hardest to come by, especially the affordable kind.

Yet [David] Rosier is one of a growing number of chronically homeless disabled residents finding help through a program called Lease on Life. It was created in 2008 by Family Services Inc., a North-Charleston-based nonprofit that operates several programs to help disabled people become self-sufficient.

The program helps find permanent housing for the chronically homeless who have disabilities such as mental illness or substance abuse ”” or both, as often is the case.

Today, the program is at capacity assisting 46 households. Since its birth, Lease on Life has served 117 people, Executive Director David Geer said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Mental Illness, Poverty, Psychology

(NY Times Op-Ed) Tim Kreider–Slaves of the Internet, Unite!

Not long ago, I received, in a single week, three (3) invitations to write an original piece for publication or give a prepared speech in exchange for no ($0.00) money. As with stinkbugs, it’s not any one instance of this request but their sheer number and relentlessness that make them so tiresome. It also makes composing a polite response a heroic exercise in restraint.

People who would consider it a bizarre breach of conduct to expect anyone to give them a haircut or a can of soda at no cost will ask you, with a straight face and a clear conscience, whether you wouldn’t be willing to write an essay or draw an illustration for them for nothing. They often start by telling you how much they admire your work, although not enough, evidently, to pay one cent for it. “Unfortunately we don’t have the budget to offer compensation to our contributors…” is how the pertinent line usually starts. But just as often, they simply omit any mention of payment….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Theology

(First Things) David Bentley Hart–Dante Decluttered: A review of The Divine Comedy

Clive James’ new translation of the Comedy is an attempt to reverse the effect of the now standard critical editions. James has returned to the older model of English translations and has produced not another text consisting largely in Talmudic layerings and annotations, but a poem in English written upon the pattern of the original, meant to be taken in as a single continuous experience of an unfolding narrative: no halts, shifts in modality, or epicyclic reversions; no dizzying descents into the Dis of the critical apparatus or rapturous ascents to the unadulterated vision of the pure Italian text. It is a noble aspiration, if nothing else; and in many places it is a success.

No one familiar with James’s writings over the years can really doubt that he is an immensely talented, witty, intellectually voracious, readable, and (for the most part) judicious critic. He is also a novelist of some skill, and his memoirs (at least the first volume thereof) are splendid. And he is a genuinely accomplished poet.

He has also, unfortunately, been guilty of a great deal of dreadful dabbling in popular culture, and his career as a television “personality” in Britain has involved him in numerous projects over which posterity, if it has so much as a shred of mercy, will draw the thickest veils of oblivion; his 1993 series Fame in the Twentieth Century was often so molar-grindingly fatuous that to call it froth would be vastly to exaggerate its substantiality.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Poetry & Literature

(RNS) Report: Church giving reaches Depression-era record lows

Collection plates are growing even lighter as Protestant church member giving reached new lows in 2011, and tithing probably will not recover from the recession, according to a new report by Empty Tomb, a Christian research group.

“Is the issue that the church is not providing an authentic alternative to the consumer mindset?” said Sylvia Ronsvalle, executive vice president of Empty Tomb. “Over a period of time, if the church isn’t providing more of an authentic alternative, the church will lose.”

The percentage of a church member’s income given to the church dropped to 2.3 percent in 2011 (the latest year for which numbers are available), down from 2.4 percent in 2010, according to the Empty Tomb study.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology