Daily Archives: December 8, 2013

(Forbes) Richard Green–Less Marriage Means Less Home Ownership

The Atlantic has a story out about how the aging of the baby boom will lead to a housing crash. I am skeptical, because research I am doing with Hyojung Lee suggests that old people do not move out of their homes very much, and so as boomers age, they will not be glutting the market with their houses.

But there is another reason to think that the homeownership rate could fall: people are getting married at a decreasingly low rate. Susan Brown at Bowling Green has a study that shows that the marriage rate has dropped by 60 percent since 1970; right now slightly less than half of American households are married couple households. As recently as 1960, 3/4 of American households were married couple households.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, History, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family

(CT) Dale Pyne says when we put pastors on a pedestal, they’re more likely to topple

Aside from a pastor’s personal weaknesses, what cultural forces make it harder for pastors to stay true in their calls?

We have a cultural tendency to elevate leaders. Maybe it’s because they have an extraordinary education or a title or a position. Maybe it is because they have had a great deal of success in the growth of their church, or as an author or speaker. Whatever the reason, we’re creating minigods in our minds and hearts. That creates expectations in leaders, and expectations are the foundations for disappointment.
What does that look like in a local church?

Maybe the pastor receives disproportionately large gifts compared to what’s given to associates or other staff. Or the senior pastor is seen as the person that we all go to. It’s people saying, “The pastor sat at my table,” or, “The pastor was over at my house.” As if the pastor is a movie star or sports figure.

I don’t know how many times in Peacemakers’ work, after coming in to help a church, I’ve heard elders say, “I wanted to say something, but I thought, Who am I?” We elevate pastors to a place where we feel they know so much more than we do, so we don’t hold them accountable to some fundamental issues.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Christology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Soteriology, Theology

Anglican Communion leaders pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba wrote a prayer:

“Go forth, revolutionary and loving soul, on your journey out of this world, in the name of God, who created you, suffered with you and liberated you. Go home Madiba, you have selflessly done all that is good, noble and honourable for God’s people.

“We will continue where you have left off, the Lord being our helper. We now turn to you, Lord, in this hour of darkness, sadness, pain and death, in tears and mourning. We wail, yet we believe that you will console us, that you will give us the strength to hold in our hearts and minds, and the courage to enact in our lives, the values Madiba fought and stood for….

Read it all.

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

Why do doctors choose a $2,000 drug over a $50 one?

Doctors choose the more expensive drug more than half a million times every year, a choice that costs the Medicare program, the largest single customer, an extra $1 billion or more annually.

Spending that much may make little sense for a country burdened by ever-rising health bills, but as is often the case in American health care, there is a certain economic logic: Doctors and drugmakers profit when more-costly treatments are adopted.

Genentech, a division of the Roche Group, makes both products but reaps far more profit when it sells the more expensive drug. Although Lucentis is about 40 times as expensive as Avastin to buy, the cost of producing the two drugs is similar, according to scientists familiar with the drugs and the industry.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Personal Finance, Theology

Father John Harwicke–Patrimonial Papacy

I for one applauded the move of John Paul II to explain that Episcopal Conferences, unlike the Universal Roman Primacy and unlike the Local Primacy of the Bishop in his own Church, do not have any existence by divine right. And I very much doubt if the papal title ‘Patriarch of the West’ is any older than the Byzantinising of Pope Gregory I. And so when Benedict XVI, as one of his first moves, divested himself in the Annuario Pontificio of the title ‘Patriarch of the West’, “Goodie”, I cried, “at last we have pope who knows what he isn’t”.

We Anglican Catholics know what Intermediate Primacies can lead to if left without a check or a balance. They can lead to the mess that the Anglican Communion finds itself in. They lead to the concept of the Infallible Local Synod whose heretical decisions are irreformable.

They can lead to self-righteous schism.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

(Out of Ur) Craig Detweiler–What Amazon Is Priming Us For

Leaders: what kind of culture are you fostering in your ministry? In a world ever more primed for speed and convenience, should the church lean into the trend or cling to more grounded values? Engage this piece from Craig Detweiler, and respond in the comments.


Jeff Bezos is a brilliant man and a remarkable marketer. He realizes that in the wake of Steve Jobs’ death, the role of technologist-in-chief is up for grabs. And while Google is offering us Glass and Facebook and Twitter are aggregating our friends and followers, Amazon is appealing to a different felt need””for speed. By turning 60 Minutes into a platform to announce “drone delivery,” Bezos shifted the news cycle towards Amazon on the same day that Christians have traditionally initiated Advent. While people of faith were shifting into a season of waiting and anticipation, Amazon offered the promise of “Prime Air” that could go above and beyond UPS or Federal Express to deliver our choices in an even faster, more convenient manner””via octocopters.

It doesn’t really matter when this innovation will arrive. By getting us talking and thinking about the virtues of Amazon’s delivery methods, Bezos enjoyed a miraculous public relations coup.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology, Theology

Liuan Huska–Let Advent Break Your Heart

Maybe it’s the waning light and earlier evenings as we head into winter. Or the book I just read on the effects of environmental toxins on fetal development and breast milk quality. Or the upcoming anniversary of the Newtown shootings. Whatever the reasons, as we enter Advent, I am increasingly aware of the darkness of this world into which I am bringing my child, due any day now.

It’s a deeply disturbing realization. Welcome, little one, to a place where kids are shot in schools and on street corners, wars rage, and corporate interests often trump the common good. The things I see and hear about every day rattle my heart with worry.

Growing up with an overprotective mother, I told myself would never be that fearful and worried about my own children. Now, I realize it is only natural….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Anthropology, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Soteriology, Theology

The IEEE Computer Society’s Top 10 Tech Trends for 2014

1. Emergence of the Mobile Cloud

Mobile distributed computing paradigm will lead to explosion of new services.

Mobile and cloud computing are converging to create a new platform””one that has the potential to provide unlimited computing resources. Mobile devices are constrained by their memory, processing power, and battery life. But combined with cloud computing, data processing and storage can happen outside of mobile devices. What IDC calls the “Third Platform” will allow for better synchronization of data, improved reliability and scalability, increased ease of integration, anytime-anywhere access to business applications and collaborative services, rich user experiences, and an explosion of new services.

IEEE Computer Society resources: Rock Stars of Mobile Cloud, scheduled for 6 May in Boston, will cover insights into this emerging paradigm shift from leaders in the field.

2. From Internet of Things to Web of Things

Need connectivity, internetworking to link physical and digital.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Science & Technology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, who hast revealed thyself to us in Jesus Christ thy Son, and given thy Word and Spirit to testify of him: We bless thee for the men of faith whom thou didst inspire to write the holy Scriptures; for the labours of all who have preserved, copied, and translated them; for the wisdom given to those who have interpreted them; and for that measure of light and understanding thou hast granted unto us; and we pray that, learning what is thy will, we may ever obey thee and live to thy glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–James Todd

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion,
and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samar′ia,
the notable men of the first of the nations,
to whom the house of Israel come!
Pass over to Calneh, and see;
and thence go to Hamath the great;
then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are they better than these kingdoms?
Or is their territory greater than your territory,
O you who put far away the evil day,
and bring near the seat of violence?

“Woe to those who lie upon beds of ivory,
and stretch themselves upon their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock,
and calves from the midst of the stall;
who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp,
and like David invent for themselves instruments of music;
who drink wine in bowls,
and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
Therefore they shall now be the first of those to go into exile,
and the revelry of those who stretch themselves shall pass away.”

The Lord God has sworn by himself (says the Lord, the God of hosts):

“I abhor the pride of Jacob,
and hate his strongholds;
and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.”

–Amos 6:1-8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Unforgettable Photos From The Pearl Harbor Attack, 72 Years Ago Today

It is worth the time to look at them all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, History

(Reuters) Pearl Harbor Survivor pilot Henry Heim recounts the 'Day of Infamy'

World War II pilot Henry Heim, now 92, says he can still hear the sounds of the attack on Pearl Harbor vividly.

Looking back on the fateful morning of December 7, 1941, when Japanese bombers pounded the U.S. Pacific fleet, Americans like Heim are marking the anniversary on Saturday with solemn public ceremonies and private moments of reflection.

The surprise Japanese air and naval assault on the Hawaiian island of Oahu claimed 2,390 American lives and drew the United States into World War II.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, History

A Video for Pearl Harbor Day–Eternal Peace: Burial Aboard the USS Arizona

Watch it all (Hat tip: RH).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Parish Ministry

Charleston Animal Society program attracts national attention, give students hands-on experiences

The demonstration necropsy at the Charleston Animal Society was one element of a comprehensive program that is attracting attention nationally. The society’s education team developed the Veterinary Science Initiative, which is offered throughout Lowcountry classrooms in an effort to expose students to veterinary science and the shelter’s work.

“There aren’t a lot of resources in shelters, so if you’re going to invest time and money, you better make sure it’s effective and it hits multiple goals,” Tisa said. “The primary focus is getting kids interested in science.”

Read it all from the front page of yesterday’s local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Animals, Education, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology, Teens / Youth