Daily Archives: February 21, 2014

Julian Mann: On St John, Perfect Love and False Teachers

John is clear in his epistle that false teaching – teaching claiming to reflect the divine light but which is in reality contrary to the witness of Christ’s authentic Apostles – is anti-Christian. John describes the false teachers troubling the Christian communities he was writing to as ‘antichrists’:

Children (addressing true believers in the real apostolic Jesus Christ), it is the last hour (before the return of Christ and the day of judgment), and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us (churches in fellowship with Christ’s Apostles), but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us (1 John 2v18-19).

The antichrists within the visible church are recognisable by their departure from the Apostles’ teaching. They are ‘liars’ (1 John 2v22) who deny the apostolic truth of God’s Son who became truly incarnate in Jesus.

That is why false teachers who inveigle their way onto decision-making bodies in the visible church must be exposed and opposed. The perfect love that casts out fear demands it.

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Posted in Theology

(WSJ) John Garvey and Andrew Abela on a Gift to Catholic University of America in the news

We think the groups complaining about the Koch Foundation gift are suggesting a litmus test that neither we nor they would want to apply to other cases. We welcome constructive criticism, but we believe it would be a mistake to stifle debate by pretending that genuinely controversial positions are official church teaching.

We’re grateful for the $1 million, and we’re keeping it, because it would be an unhealthy precedent for a university to refuse support for valuable research because the money, somewhere back up the line, once belonged to a donor whose views on other subjects were unpopular within the academic community.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Stewardship, Theology, Young Adults

From the Do not Take Yourself too Seriously Department–Actual Headlines from Papers





Reader’s Digest, March 2014 edition, page 23

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Media

Today's Web Evangelism Bulletin

An interesting resource–check out the oodles of ideas and links.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Evangelism and Church Growth, Media, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Her.meneutics) Ashley Moore–Candace Cameron Bure: On Her Christian Faith and Her Own 'Full House'

So, you recently released your new book, Balancing It All. Why did you decide you wanted to write a book on balance?

I think it’s so relative to how we live life today. We’re all crazy-busy in this world of technology, and I think that each generation puts more and more on our plates. Whether you’re single or married, you have children or you don’t, no matter where you are in life, we all feel the pressure to do a lot and then try to figure out how to balance it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Movies & Television, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Women

In Central African Republic, Churches Are Refuge For Muslims Trapped By Violence

Churches in Central African Republic are caring for thousands of Muslims who have been trapped in a cycle of revenge attacks, perpetrated by a pro-Christian militia.

Since December, Anti-Balaka militias have been emptying Muslim quarters and avenging earlier attacks by the Seleka, an Islamist militia. The Seleka rampaged through the country in early 2013, terrorizing Christians and ransacking churches, hospitals and shops.

Now that the Muslim president Michel Djotodia has stepped down, Seleka is being forced to withdraw from its strongholds, as the center of power shifts, amid a mass exodus and displacement of Muslims.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Central African Republic, Ethics / Moral Theology, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

University Times interviews Anglican priest David Paterson who does not believe in God

The University Times is the student newspaper of Trinity College, Dublin–KSH.

Being an active member of the Sea of Faith network has not made [David] Paterson’s life any easier. He has come up against hostility within the Church of England: “Various bishops have tried to get me out at various stages. Well”¦ To be honest”¦ Two bishops. Once it was for appearing on the BBC programme The Heart of the Matter to discuss reading the resurrection stories as metaphor. The bishop sort of worked on me for a year to see if he could manage to get me out but he didn’t succeed.” As shocking as it was to hear that not believing in the existence of God is insufficient grounds to get a priest expelled from the Church of England, Paterson confirmed this: “Well, the Church of England is funny that way. It likes to think that it can tell people what they should believe. But as a matter of fact, the process of expelling someone is so complicated and so expensive that it is hardly ever used.” Despite this though, two Sea of Faith members who were clergymen have been successfully dismissed from their posts: Church of England priest Anthony Freeman and Andrew Furlong of the Church of Ireland.

Paterson claims that his unorthodox views do not cause problems with his parishioners: “I didn’t ever have much trouble with my congregation. But then even course I was not shoving it down their throats. I wasn’t trying to tell anyone else what to believe any more than I would want other people to tell me what to believe.” I asked him what he do if a member of his congregation came to him having doubts about the existence of God. I was under the impression that this would have been a tricky situation. Paterson is surprisingly laid back about it: “Well of course there is a surprisingly large number of people like that. This is why Sea of Faith was set up. There were loads and loads of people who were anxious because they thought that they were losing their faith. Some of them were ordained and some of them were not. What we wanted to do was reassure them that there weren’t losing their faith. They were actually finding a real faith which was not based on false premises.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Ireland, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

(Vatican Radio) Archbishop Welby welcomes members of Catholic ecumenical community

A prayer service took place on Thursday morning at London’s Lambeth Palace, the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to officially welcome four members of the Catholic ecumenical community Chemin Neuf.

An Anglican married couple, a Catholic sister and a Lutheran man training for ministry will form part of the resident Lambeth community to “share in the daily round of prayer” and to “further the ecumenical and international dimensions” of the Anglican leader’s ministry. The move was described by England’s Cardinal-elect Vincent Nichols as “a clear and bold sign of the importance of prayer in the search for visible Christian unity.”

To find out more Philippa Hitchen spoke first to Anglican Chemin Neuf member Alan Morley-Fletcher and then to the French founder of the community, Fr Laurent Fabre….

Read and listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

(Nature) Katherine Sharpe–ADHD Medication: is this a smart-pill oversell?

For most people with ADHD, these medications ”” typically formulations of methylphenidate or amphetamine ”” quickly calm them down and increase their ability to concentrate. Although these behavioural changes make the drugs useful, a growing body of evidence suggests that the benefits mainly stop there. Studies indicate that the improvements seen with medication do not translate into better academic achievement or even social adjustment in the long term: people who were medicated as children show no improvements in antisocial behaviour, substance abuse or arrest rates later in life, for example. And one recent study suggested that the medications could even harm some children1.

After decades of study, it has become clear that the drugs are not as transformative as their marketers would have parents believe. “I don’t know of any evidence that’s consistent that shows that there’s any long-term benefit of taking the medication,” says James Swanson, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine.

Now researchers are trying to understand why. The answer could lie in sub-optimal use of the drugs, or failure to address other factors that affect performance, such as learning disabilities. Or it could be that people place too much hope on a simple fix for a complex problem. “What we expect medication to do may be unrealistic,” says Lily Hechtman, a psychiatrist at McGill University in Montreal.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Media, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

David Briggs–What price a religious calling? Record seminary debt Raises Painful Questions

More than a quarter of students graduating in 2011 with a Master of Divinity degree had more than $40,000 in theological debt and 5 percent were more than $80,000 in the red, a new study found.

Many of these students discovered that not only they or their spouses had to moonlight to make ends meet, but some had to choose another job besides the ministry to pay the bills, according to the study by the Center for the Study of Theological Education at Auburn Theological Seminary.

Several seminaries already realize the days of balancing budgets by raising tuition may be coming to an end.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Seminary / Theological Education, Stewardship, Theology

(Church Times) Bishops’ same-sex-marriage statement provokes anger and defiance

On St Valentine’s Day last Friday, the Revd Andrew Cain got engaged to his partner, Stephen Foreshew.

The following day, he saw the House of Bishops statement (reproduced in full below), which repeated the ban on blessings in church for same-sex unions, and ruled out same-sex marriage for clergy or for anyone seeking to be ordained.

Mr Cain’s marriage plans remain unchanged, he said on Tuesday. “I have always believed in equal marriage; so it would seem very odd, as someone who supports it, not to take advantage of it.

“I am aware of clergy wanting to get married who now feel unable to do so, and have been very upset about that. They are saying ‘Why should I now stay in the Church?” And I am saying ‘You have to stay, and you have to get married, because it is our equal right to do so; and if we believe in it, then we should do it.'”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Apologetics, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

A Prayer for the (Provisional) Feast Day of John Henry Newman

God of all wisdom, we offer thanks for John Henry Newman, whose eloquence bore witness that thy Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, and who didst make of his own life a pilgrimage towards thy truth. Grant that, inspired by his words and example, we may ever follow thy kindly light till we rest in thy bosom, with your dear Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, where heart speaks to heart eternally; for thou livest and reignest, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O thou who sendest forth the light, createst the morning, and makest the sun to rise on the good and the evil: Enlighten the blindness of our minds with the knowledge of the truth; lift up the light of thy countenance upon us, that in thy light we may see light, and, at the last, in the light of grace the light of glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Lancelot Andrewes

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Of old thou didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They will perish, but thou dost endure; they will all wear out like a garment. Thou changest them like raiment, and they pass away; but thou art the same, and thy years have no end.

–Psalm 102:25-27

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(TECOPA) TEC House of Bishops Meeting upcoming

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Bishop Iker Resigns in Protest From Nashotah House Board

Seen here as well as provided via email through multiple sources:

“BISHOP IKER HAS RESIGNED AS A TRUSTEE on the Nashotah House Board, where he has served for the past 21 years. This action was taken in protest of the Dean’s invitation to the Presiding Bishop of TEC to be a guest preacher in the seminary’s chapel. Citing the lawsuits initiated by her against this Diocese, Bishop Iker notified the Board that he “could not be associated with an institution that honors her.” Similarly, Bishop Wantland has sent notification that he “will not take part in any functions at Nashotah” nor continue “to give financial support to the House as long as the present administration remains.” He is an honorary member of the Board (without vote) and a life member of the Alumni Association.”

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, Presiding Bishop, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Michael Hannon–The Idea of Sexual Orientation Inhibits Christian Witness and needs to Go

Alasdair MacIntyre once quipped that “facts, like telescopes and wigs for gentlemen, were a seventeenth-century invention.” Something similar can be said about sexual orientation: Heterosexuals, like typewriters and urinals (also, obviously, for gentlemen), were an invention of the 1860s. Contrary to our cultural preconceptions and the lies of what has come to be called “orientation essentialism,” “straight” and “gay” are not ageless absolutes. Sexual orientation is a conceptual scheme with a history, and a dark one at that. It is a history that began far more recently than most people know, and it is one that will likely end much sooner than most people think.

Over the course of several centuries, the West had progressively abandoned Christianity’s marital architecture for human sexuality. Then, about one hundred and fifty years ago, it began to replace that longstanding teleological tradition with a brand new creation: the absolutist but absurd taxonomy of sexual orientations. Heterosexuality was made to serve as this fanciful framework’s regulating ideal, preserving the social prohibitions against sodomy and other sexual debaucheries without requiring recourse to the procreative nature of human sexuality.

On this novel account, same-sex sex acts were wrong not because they spurn the rational-animal purpose of sex””namely the family””but rather because the desire for these actions allegedly arises from a distasteful psychological disorder. As queer theorist Hanne Blank recounts, “This new concept [of heterosexuality], gussied up in a mangled mix of impressive-sounding dead languages, gave old orthodoxies a new and vibrant lease on life by suggesting, in authoritative tones, that science had effectively pronounced them natural, inevitable, and innate.”

Sexual orientation has not provided the dependable underpinning for virtue that its inventors hoped it would, especially lately….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology