Daily Archives: November 2, 2013

(CWR Blog) Thomas Doran–Lessons from an 18th-century Anglican Whig

Challenging the culture takes an emotional and psychological toll. One man who was immersed ”“ rather, who immersed himself ”“ in his own cultural cauldron lived in 18th century England. He was Irish by birth, a man of ideas and letters, and a Whig Member of Parliament, also serving briefly in two Whig governments.

Edmund Burke is difficult to categorize using modern nomenclature. Burke advocated “liberal” policies in relation to American rights. He advocated increased freedom for the American colonies, arguing that the economic advantages associated with the colonies remaining within the British Empire outweighed the revenue that could be obtained-at the expense of loyalty-by taxing the colonies. He tried to keep Britain’s American colonies within the Empire, even after hostilities commenced.

Though he was a faithful member of the Church of England, Burke favored the repeal of oppressive Irish Catholic proscriptions, again arguing that the empire was stronger with a loyal Ireland than with the constant threat of insurrection. Burke would have admitted Irish Catholics to a share in the constitution, allowing them to vote on the same terms as those enjoyed by Protestants, and giving them genuine Parliamentary representation.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(The Hill) D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down mandate for birth control in ObamaCare

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ”” the second most influential bench in the land behind the Supreme Court ”” ruled 2-1 in favor of business owners who are fighting the requirement that they provide their employees with health insurance that covers birth control.

Requiring companies to cover their employees’ contraception, the court ruled, is unduly burdensome for business owners who oppose birth control on religious grounds, even if they are not purchasing the contraception directly.

“The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote on behalf of the court.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Theology

(Washington Post) Supreme Court to hear new case on religion in public life

The chairman of the local Baha’i congregation concluded his prayer with “Allah-u-Abha,” which loosely translates to “God the All-Glorious.” A Jew offered a prayer speaking of “the songs of David, your servant.” And a Wiccan priestess, mindful of her venue in the town of Greece, N.Y., thought that Athena and Apollo were apt deities to call upon.

But they were the exceptions. Almost every other “chaplain of the month” during a decade of town board meetings in this Rochester suburb was a Christian, and more often than not called on Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit to guide the council’s deliberations.

A federal appeals court said last year that such a “steady drumbeat” of Christian invocations violates the Constitution’s prohibition against government endorsement of religion.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

(CT) Q+A: Why Rowan Williams Loves C.S. Lewis

Did you grow up reading C.S. Lewis?

I’ve had a fascination with Lewis since my teens, (but) I didn’t grow up reading Narnia. I came rather late to Narnia, but I read quite a bit of Lewis as a teenager””Mere Christianity and The Great Divorce and some of the other books. As a schoolboy in the final year of high school, I read his book on Paradise Lost, which was very important for my English studies.

What was your introduction to the world of Narnia? What captivated you about it?

I suppose I read the Narnia books mostly as a student, and I enjoyed the wit of the books. Humor is very visible in them. I enjoyed the energy of the characterization.

And I just found myself very, very deeply moved by some passages, and I identify a lot with those moments of encounter””where you discover the truth about yourself in the face of God. Those are some of the most moving passages, because Lewis is particularly good at giving you a sense of joy in the presence of God.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Rowan Williams, Apologetics, Archbishop of Canterbury, Books, Children, Poetry & Literature, Theology

(Telegraph) Christopher Howse–Where William Blake was wed

When William Blake married his dear wife Catherine in 1782 at St Mary’s, Battersea, it was brand new, finished five years earlier, its 130ft copper spire painted a “warm stone colour”.

This steeple, on a bend of the river, is the most striking of the parish churches along the banks of the Thames in London. A friend of mine used to live in a houseboat moored by the church, once set in a metropolitan parish of 2,164 acres, later broken up into 17 smaller ones.

St Mary’s rightly figures on the cover of a marvellous new book. Or rather, two books, for these are volumes 49 and 50 of the monumental Survey of London, which began 113 years ago with the parish of Bromley by Bow. To have reached Volume 50 (Yale, £135 for the two volumes) is astonishing. The editors, Andrew Saint and Colin Thom, should be made dukes, at the least.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry

A Prayer for the Feast Day of All Souls

O God, the Maker and Redeemer of all believers: Grant to the faithful departed the unsearchable benefits of the passion of thy Son; that on the day of his appearing they may be manifested as thy children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, the Lord and leader of the hosts of the blessed: Instruct us in the spiritual warfare; arm us against all foes visible and invisible; subdue unto us our own rebellious affections; and give us daily victory in the following of him who vanquished sin and death, and now goeth forth with us conquering and to conquer, even thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.

–George Wither

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel, twelve thousand sealed out of the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand of the tribe of Reuben, twelve thousand of the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand of the tribe of Asher, twelve thousand of the tribe of Naph’tali, twelve thousand of the tribe of Manas’seh, twelve thousand of the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand of the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand of the tribe of Is’sachar, twelve thousand of the tribe of Zeb’ulun, twelve thousand of the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand sealed out of the tribe of Benjamin. After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.” Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night within his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

–Revelation 7:4-17

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(America) Kevin Clarke–Can This City Be Saved? Reconstructing Detroit after bankruptcy

Anne Stoehr, a one-time resident of Detroit who now lives in nearby Grosse Pointe Woods, is tired of the doom and gloom she keeps reading about Detroit. “Keep telling people that it’s hopeless, they’re going to believe it,” she says. “It’s not true; not if we just pull together.”

Indeed, not all the news from Detroit is bleak. Local corporations have joined in an $8 million campaign to provide 23 new emergency medical service vehicles and up to 100 new police cars to replace the city’s aging and poorly maintained municipal fleet. Quicken Loans brought its headquarters and 7,000 jobs to downtown Detroit in 2010, inspiring a rush of tech start-ups to join in. Cafes and restaurants are opening. New jobs are being created by entrepreneurs attracted to the city by its low overhead.

Mrs. Stoehr is volunteering along with some friends on a Tuesday morning at On the Rise, a bakery sponsored by the Capuchins. The business provides its east side community with wholesome fare that would otherwise be completely lacking and offers its employees, one-time inmates of Michigan’s jails and prisons, steady work and new, marketable skills.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(ACNS) The Archbishop of Canterbury addresses the WCC General Assembly

This is my first Assembly. I am enjoying sense of wonder at my smallness, my tiny place among God’s great Church, which draws together women and men, young and not so young, lay and ordained, from different continents and cultures and different ecclesial traditions. Being here together a fresh vision of that to which we are called. It is an opportunity for genuine encounter, an opportunity to learn about one another and to learn from one another. We must learn to hear Christ through one another. We renew our commitment to the ecumenical journey and the ecumenical task. We need one another.

We have travelled to this place praying ”“”˜God of Life: Lead us to justice and peace.’ Peace and justice begin with us and God. When we are not at peace with God through Jesus Christ we cannot be peacemakers in the world. God calls us to be reconciled reconcilers, reconciled ourselves to God and to each other. Peace and justice become in us a cause for which any sacrifice is worthwhile when they are given birth in each of us and in the church by the Holy Spirit. For that reason we need to be seen again to be a people of prayer; faced with the God of peace and justice our hunger for unity grows, we are able to forgive and love one another with the love that God puts in our lives.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Globalization, Religion & Culture

(Pew Research) Michael Lipka–18% of Americans say they’ve seen a ghost

On Thursday evening, many American children will encounter costumed ghosts as they roam the streets in search of candy and other treats on Halloween. Before bedtime, to avoid nightmares, some parents may try to reassure their kids that ghosts are not real.

But not all of those parents may buy their own reassurances: Nearly one-in-five U.S. adults (18%) say they’ve seen or been in the presence of a ghost, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center survey. An even greater share ”“ 29% ”“ say they have felt in touch with someone who has already died.

Claude Fischer, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, explored Americans’ persisting beliefs in some supernatural phenomena in a recent blog post….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture

(First Things On the Square) Richard Mouw–Halloween and the Power of Evil

The powers of evil work in very personal ways. Among their subtle seductive strategies are the ones that lure us into a fascination with skulls, curses, mysterious personages, and magical sights and sounds in the night. Which is why I should perhaps get over deciding about Halloween on the basis of pleasant memories of past Octobers. At least I should act on the obligation to encourage a more assertive teaching ministry about these matters.

Not too far from the “Spooktacular” banners in the local shopping district there is also a sign in front of a church announcing some classes in parenting. I have a good idea of what goes on in those classes: insights drawn from “family systems” theory and child/adolescent research. Very worthwhile. But maybe it is time to have some theologians teach classes for parents as well. The local businesses have been marketing Halloween for at least a month now. It would be a good thing if the churches would beat them to it next year, with some solid catechesis, focusing on the practical realities of evil in our daily lives.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theodicy, Theology