Daily Archives: November 8, 2013

(WSJ) Kenneth L. Woodward: The Billy Graham Brand Rolls On

The last time I saw Billy Graham in person was in 2005, when he addressed a crowd of 60,000 at Flushing Meadows in Queens, N.Y. It would be, he declared, his final Crusade for Christ. Everyone who watched and heard him understood why. Billy approached the pulpit leaning on a walker and his voice as well as his body wavered as he spoke. He was 86 years old at the time and suffering from Parkinson’s disease, among other ailments.

And yet, for the past three weeks, the face of Dr. Graham, white-haired but ruddy with seeming good health, has gazed down from a billboard overlooking the glitter of New York’s Times Square. The billboard seems to say: “He’s back!”

As it turned out, the billboard was promoting “My Hope America with Billy Graham, ” an outreach video campaign produced by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). The half-hour program and three “bonus” videos feature segments of Billy preaching when he was still in vigorous and magnetic middle age, plus testimonies from others on how they found Jesus””presumably because of that preaching.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, America/U.S.A., Church History, Evangelicals, History, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

The Economist on a Troubling Michigan Case–How prosecutors seize the assets of the innocent

Terry Dehko and his daughter Sandy Thomas (pictured) run a grocery store in Fraser, Michigan. It sells everything from bread to hand-made sausages. Fairly often, someone takes cash from the till and puts it in the bank across the street. Deposits are nearly always less than $10,000, because the insurance covers the theft of cash only up to that sum.

In January, without warning, the government seized all the money in the shop account: more than $35,000. The charge was that the Dehkos had violated federal money-laundering rules, which forbid people to “structure” their bank deposits so as to avoid the $10,000 threshold that triggers banks to report a transaction to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Prosecutors offered no evidence that the Dehkos were laundering money or dodging tax. Indeed, the IRS gave their business a clean bill of health last year. But still, the Dehkos cannot get their cash back.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, The U.S. Government

Dr Stephen Noll Reflects on GAFCON II

From here thanks to Kevin Kallsen

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

(First Things On the Square)–Peter Leithart: The End of Protestantism

The Reformation isn’t over. But Protestantism is, or should be.

When I studied at Cambridge, I discovered that English Evangelicals define themselves over against the Church of England. Whatever the C of E is, they ain’t. What I’m calling “Protestantism” does the same with Roman Catholicism. Protestantism is a negative theology; a Protestant is a not-Catholic. Whatever Catholics say or do, the Protestant does and says as close to the opposite as he can.

Mainline churches are nearly bereft of “Protestants.” If you want to spot one these days, your best bet is to visit the local Baptist or Bible church, though you can find plenty of Protestants among conservative Presbyterians too.

Protestantism ought to give way to Reformational catholicism….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Ecclesiology, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(FT) Gillian Tett–Danger: US mortgage market whiplash risk

..before realtors get too confident about the future, it is worth looking at some sobering research from the International Monetary Fund, buried deep inside this autumn’s Global Financial Stability Report. This analysis, which looks at mortgage real estate investment trusts (M-Reits) ”“ which invest in packages of mortgage bonds ”“ did not make headlines when the IMF met last month, because M-Reits are a fairly specialist sector. That is a pity, given that the IMF says the rapidly expanding world of M-Reits has the potential to deliver nasty surprises if, or when, US interest rates rise.

Most notably, even a modest increase in rates could spark fire sales of mortgage-backed bonds, which would raise mortgage interest rates sharply for consumers. And that could not just hurt housing markets but produce knock-on waves of instability in other areas of finance.

“Rapid M-Reit deleveraging has important spillover implications,” the IMF report warns.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Federal Reserve, Globalization, History, Housing/Real Estate Market, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, Theology

(NBC Charlotte) Billy Graham marks his 95th birthday with a message of love

[Billy] Graham and his sermons can be found online in dozens of YouTube videos, but before there was YouTube, there was the boob tube and the Crusades.

Dr. Ann Blue Wills is a Davidson College professor and is co-editing a book on Billy Graham.

“These meetings were designed as a kind of civic event and the roots of them went way down, or way up or way over to all different aspects of life,” explained Wills of the Crusades.

According to Wills, the events pulled in all different kinds of people.

Read it all (and consider the video as well).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, America/U.S.A., Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

The Diocese of Ibadan bids farewell first female Head of Service in the old Oyo State and Nigeria

The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion Ibadan Diocese of the Anglican Cathedral of St James The Great, Oke-Bola, Ibadan, on Thursday, finally bade farewell to late Tejumade Durosomo Alakija in a commendation service held at the cathedral.

The commendation service was dominated by various hymns and special numbers. It began with the hallelujah hymn at the commencement of the service with other songs including; ”˜Who are these like stars appearing’, ”˜Forever with the Lord,’ before the recessional hymn – We speak of The Realms. In addition, there were special renditions from various societies which the deceased was either a member, patroness or had benefitted one way or the other from….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Death / Burial / Funerals, Nigeria, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

France's credit rating cut by S&P to AA

Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has cut France’s credit rating to AA from AA+.

The moves comes almost two years after the country lost its top-rated AAA status….

S&P said in its statement: “We believe the French government’s reforms to taxation, as well as to product, services and labour markets, will not substantially raise France’s medium-term growth prospects and that ongoing high unemployment is weakening support for further significant fiscal and structural policy measures.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, France, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

(Church Times) Syria: Islamists accused of massacre of Christians

Christians in Syria are accusing al-Qaeda-backed Islamists of having carryied out one of the worst atrocities of the war so far, and killed more than 40 members of the minority Christian community during their occupation of the town of Sadad, north of Damascus. The Syrian government announced last week that its forces had regained control of this strategic town.

In a report by the news service of the Pontifical Mission Societies, Agenzia Fides, the Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs and Hama, Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, said: “Forty-five innocent civilians were martyred for no reason.” It was, he said, the “biggest massacre of Christians in Syria in the past two-and-a-half years”.

The Archbishop said that he was shocked at the way in which the world was allowing the killing of Christians in Syria to continue. “Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers?”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Syria, Theology, Violence

(Telegraph) Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali fears sharia bonds pave way for more Islamic law

David Cameron’s plans to issue sharia-compliant bonds open the way to Islamic law being enforced at the heart of government, a senior clergyman has warned.

Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the former bishop of Rochester, said proposals to make Britain the first non-Muslim country to sell a bond that complies with sharia could trigger a series of “unforeseen consequences”.

He also voiced broader fears that Christianity was being increasingly excluded from the administration of law, after one of Britain’s most senior judges said members of the judiciary were “secular” figures serving a “multicultural community”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Blessed Spirit of God, come to us in all thy fullness and power, to enrich us in our poverty, to inflame us in our feebleness. Be closer to us than breathing, nearer than hands or feet. As the branches are in the vine, so may we abide in thee. Compass our minds with thy wisdom. Saturate our souls with thy righteousness. Fire our wills with thy might. Melt our hearts with thy love. Do everything at all times to make us wholly thine until thy wealth is ours and we are lost in thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–The Pastor’s Prayerbook

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

–Matthew 14:19-21

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(SMH) Six-tailed asteroid stuns scientists

A strange asteroid that appears to have multiple rotating tails has been spotted with NASA’s Hubble telescope between Mars and Jupiter, astronomers say.

Instead of appearing as a small point of light, like most asteroids, this one has half a dozen comet-like dust tails radiating out like spokes on a wheel, said the report in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

The Economist on the Vote in Washington State over Labelling Genetically Modified Foods

The campaign to stop compulsory labelling of genetically modified (GM) food in Washington broke state records for fund-raising. The campaign to force labelling must have come close to breaking state records for squandering poll leads. In September 66% of Washington’s voters said they intended to vote for Initiative 522, which would have placed a conspicuous label on most foods containing GM ingredients sold in retail outlets. Final results are not yet in (and the “yes” campaign has not conceded), but the measure appears to have lost by about ten percentage points.

Those who decry the influence of money in politics will find a lot to chew over here. Proponents of the measure could stake a reasonable claim to have run a grassroots campaign. They raised about $8.4m; this included large donations from such august bodies as Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps of California, but also 13,000 individual contributions (median contribution: $25). In outraising them by about three to one, meanwhile, their opponents relied heavily on contributions from food companies and biotech firms (and broke campaign-finance laws, according to the state’s attorney-general). They raised money from just four individuals. (All figures date from late October.)

All that money paid for a slick, well-run campaign and a lot of television ads, focused on the costs and inconsistencies of I-522….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Science & Technology, State Government, Theology

Maori Anglican Church asks What do they Want for the Future

he 2013 Runanganui of Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa began in Gisborne last evening ”“ with questions being raised about the fundamental structure of the body which is the Maori Anglican Church.

In his kauwhau, or charge to the runanganui, Archbishop Brown Turei, Te Pihopa o Aotearoa, made it clear that the stakes were high.

Much of the next three days, he said, will be devoted to discussing “future visions of our Amorangi and for Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa as a whole.”

“It is only natural,” he said, “that in this discussion there will be differing hopes, dreams and aspirations….”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces