Daily Archives: February 22, 2014

(ACNS) Anglican Church in Burundi provides aid to flood disaster victims

The Anglican Church in Burundi has joined the government and other aid agencies in the country in providing aid to victims of the flood disaster that hit the country’s capital Bujumbura about two weeks ago.

A member of the church’s communications team Nasasagare Guy, told ACNS in an interview today: “The church here is still dealing with emergency situation. We’re responding to the needs of the victims by providing food and clothing donated by Christians in our church.”

On the night of February 9, Bujumbura experienced what the locals felt were some of the “heaviest thunderstorms and rainfall in contemporary history.” Over 150 people were reported dead and hundreds were injured after the torrential rains washed whole hillsides away.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Burundi, Anglican Provinces, Burundi, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Pastoral Theology, Theology

(CTV) Stunning images of frozen Great Lakes captured from space

Some stunning images of the Great Lakes have been captured this winter, as large portions of the massive bodies of water frozen were almost completely froze over for the first time in two decades.

The intense cold snap that gripped much of central Canada and the United States throughout the winter brought thick and widespread ice to the Great Lakes region.

Read it all and look at all the images.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Photos/Photography, Science & Technology, Weather

PBS ' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–The Dalai Lama’s Secular Ethics

KATE OLSON, correspondent: Since its founding by the Methodist Church in 1836, Emory University has had a commitment to “educate the heart as well as the mind.” This is just what educational institutions need to be doing, echoes a visiting professor””His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA (speaking at podium): You made me an honorary professor of this university. But I always describe hopeless professor. Mainly I’m a very lazy person. I never do homework.

OLSON: But the Dalai Lama has a serious message: how to address the urgent problems in society and the moral crisis he says the world is facing.

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Pew Research maps Twitter conversations, finds 6 types

The researchers are quick to note that not everyone uses Twitter, only 14 percent of the US population, and not all who do use it to talk about politics, for example.
Still, looking at how conversations flow on social media can provide new insights into how people communicate in a way that was not possible until very recently.
“You could never do that in the old days when you were running around with a pen and clipboard,” said Marc A. Smith, one of the study’s authors and director of the Social Media Research Foundation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Media, Psychology, Sociology, Theology

([London] Times) The silent epidemic of anorexia hitting top girls’ schools

A silent epidemic of anorexia is sweeping through the country’s top independent schools, affecting thousands of teenage girls, experts say.

Girls from aspirational families are the “fastest-growing” group using mental health services as they struggle to cope with the pressure to achieve top grades, according to psychologists. Mental health charities say that many of the top private schools are in denial about the scale of the problem because they do not want to damage their brands.

“Being high-achieving, perfectionist and competitive are all traits that are celebrated in highly academic girls’ schools,” Susan Ringwood, of the eating disorder charity BEAT, said. “They are also among serious risk factors contributing to an eating disorder.”

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Hunger/Malnutrition, Psychology, Theology

(ABC Aus.) Tracey Rowland–What happened to Belgium? Lament for a Catholic nation

Last year, one of the worst songs in the entire Eurovision contest was the entry from Belgium. It was called “Love Kills.” The refrain of the song was:

Waiting for the bitter pill
Give me something I can feel
‘Cause love kills over and over
Love kills over and over

Whatever this means exactly, it’s a radical inversion of the normal juxtaposition of love with life and generativity. Other countries offered the usual assortment of Eurovision styles – some heavy metal, some punk, a few soft ballads – but the Belgian entry stood out as something very dark and creepy, a culture of death pop song.

Poor King Philippe is now in a position of having to decide what to do about the fact that his government has voted in favour of euthanasia for children. Many hope that he will follow the precedent of his saintly uncle, King Baudouin, who in 1990 abdicated for a day rather than have his name on pro-abortion legislation. At the time, King Baudouin rhetorically asked: Is it right that I am the only Belgian citizen to be forced to act against his conscience in such a crucial area? Is the freedom of conscience sacred for everyone except for the king?

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Belgium, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Europe, Health & Medicine, History, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Phil Ashey: Why Our Seminaries are Strategic

…when faced with the possibility of having to take Systematic Theology from a Professor who was a publicly vowed “adoptionist” (Jesus was simply a man adopted by God for a special purpose at Baptism), I elected to take a course from another liberal seminary in the city””but one where they actually took the whole text of classics by Luther, Calvin and others and opened them up for reasonable discussion and review. Again, I took the course, passed with flying colors, came back to my TEC seminary and took an exam to “opt out” of Systematic Theology””and passed with flying colors along with the comment from the professor “We do hope you come to value some of the things we consider important here at ___________ Seminary.”

Well, I didn’t. Thanks be to God.

I was fortunate that I knew Christ and the Bible long before I attended that seminary. So I was willing to pursue resources outside of my TEC seminary, to consult highly respected orthodox evangelical and Anglican scholars who held a different worldview than my professors, and to write papers and take exams that required twice the amount of work than I would otherwise have had to do to “go along and get along.”

But most of my classmates were not so inclined. Many of them are leaders in TEC today. I don’t believe that’s an accident. It is the result of being shaped in TEC seminaries by a worldview that is hostile to the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of all, and to the plenary inspiration and authority of the Bible. And it is a worldview, frankly, that is not open to alternative points of view. And as a result, the prophecy of Hosea 4:6 came true in TEC: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

Read it all

Posted in Theology

(NPR) Theologian George Weigel talks to NPR's Scott Simon about Pope Francis

Listen to it all (a little over 5 minutes and well worth the time).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Media, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

A Prayer for the Provisional Feast Day of Eric Liddell

God whose strength bears us up as on mighty wings: We rejoice in remembering thy athlete and missionary, Eric Liddell, to whom thou didst bestow courage and resolution in contest and in captivity; and we pray that we also may run with endurance the race that is set before us and persevere in patient witness, until we wear that crown of victory won for us by Jesus our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, Missions, Scotland, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to thee, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly thine, utterly dedicated unto thee; and then use us, we pray thee, as thou wilt, but always to thy glory and the welfare of thy people; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.

–1 John 3:16-18

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Nigeria Tribune) Boko Haram threatens IBB, Buhari, Shekarau, refineries

Indications that the fight against the dreaded Boko Haram is far from being won as the sect leader, Abubakar Shekau, yesterday in a new video threatened to kill more prominent Nigerians.

Shekau, whose acclaimed death is still being trailed by controversy, threatened to kill former Military Head of States, Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Muhammadu Buhari.

Other personalities on the list of Boko Haram are Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his Borno State counterpart, Kashim Shettima, a former governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and Alhaji Ado Bayero.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Terrorism, Violence

(CT) The Inconceivable Start of African-American Christianity

Peter Randolph, a slave in Prince George County, Virginia, until he was freed in 1847, described the secret prayer meetings he had attended as a slave. “Not being allowed to hold meetings on the plantation,” he wrote, “the slaves assemble in the swamp, out of reach of the patrols. They have an understanding among themselves as to the time and place. ”¦ This is often done by the first one arriving breaking boughs from the trees and bending them in the direction of the selected spot.

“After arriving and greeting one another, men and women sat in groups together. Then there was “preaching ”¦ by the brethren, then praying and singing all around until they generally feel quite happy….”

It is a remarkable event not merely because of the risks incurred (200 lashes of the whip often awaited those caught at such a meeting) but because of the hurdles overcome merely to arrive at this moment. For decades all manner of people and circumstances conspired against African Americans even hearing the gospel, let alone responding to it in freedom and joy.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology