Daily Archives: February 23, 2014

Hollywood gets religion: Christian audiences happy to see 2014 become year of the faith-based movie

…perhaps Hollywood leaders have realized how many regular Joes and Janes out there are searching for life’s meaning – and will buy a movie ticket or two along their quest to find it.

They will be joined by masses of already devoted Christians willing to part with $10 to see Noah, for instance, save humanity on the big screen, said Thomas Keating, associate theater professor at Charleston Southern University.

“Hollywood realizes that there is a market for these Christian films where they might have been reluctant in the past,” Keating said. “Now they are willing to make an investment.”

Local Christians said they don’t care as much about why Hollywood is producing these movies as whether they will share their faith through top-notch productions.

Read it all from the Faith and Values section of the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Yorkshire Post) Resistance is futile – how the world became dependent on popping pills

It changed medicine forever. But less than 90 years on is the golden age of antibiotics about to come to a spectacular end? Sarah Freeman reports.

Antibiotics revolutionised global medicine. Since Alexander Fleming made his almost accidental discovery of penicillin in a small London laboratory back in 1928, they’ve saved millions of lives, prevented countless infections turning fatal and seen off a thousand diseases. Yet they’re also in danger of being too successful for their own good.

Suffering a bout of flu? We demand our GP writes a prescription for a course of antibiotics we probably won’t see through to the end. As the unused tablets sit in bathroom cabinets, the bacteria it was designed to kill grows just that little bit stronger. It’s not just humans who have become reliant on them. With disease spreading rapidly through intensively farmed pigs, sheep and chickens, antibiotics have been used to keep the wheels of British factory farming turning for years.

And that’s not all. We pump antibiotics into everything from toothpaste to washing up liquid…

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, History, Psychology, Theology

Gillian Scott–Unpacking the C of E’s latest statement on same-sex marriage

Of course the C of E finds itself in a tricky position where it is being forced to run to keep up with secular law and given its historic stance on homosexuality counterbalanced against an explicit call to accept those in same-sex relationships as far as possible within that framework, there is some tightrope walking going on to find the via media middle ground. Such an approach easily leads to misinterpretation, claims of contradiction and denouncements from those on the ends of the spectrum of views.

The statement has been described as a dog’s breakfast and a master class in doublespeak, but reading it carefully ”“ unless I am missing something obvious ”“ it does appear to be coherent within the parameters of C of E law. Some of the interpretations in the media have been less than helpful implying that the statement is saying that private blessings (effectively informal endorsements) in the form of ”˜special’ prayers should be made available following civil partnerships and same-sex weddings, yet the actual wording makes it clear that clergy are not told to offer formal private blessings although some undoubtedly will.

Read it all.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O thou in whom we live and move and have our being, awaken us to thy presence that we may walk in thy world as thy children. Grant us reverence for all thy creation, that we may treat our fellow men with courtesy, and all living things with gentleness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever!

–Psalm 118:1

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

How do you spell relief? Power finally back for all South Carolina electric customers

The power is finally back on for everyone in South Carolina after the ice storm 10 days ago.

The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina said Saturday morning that their members had finished all their repairs on the grid, getting electricity to the final 200 customers that had been without power since the winter storm on Feb. 12 and 13.

Officials say there still may be scattered outages from the storm with people who will have to repair the wiring going into their own homes.

Read it all.

Posted in * General Interest, * South Carolina, Weather

(NYT) A Picture of Detroit Ruin, Street by Forlorn Street

A midnight blue Chevy rolls slowly down a snow-covered street, an emergency strobe light on its roof and a sign on its side that promises this is “official business.” At each house, business, even vacant lot, workers in the car pause to decide whether someone lives there and what shape the place is in before snapping a photo and beaming it to “mission control” miles away.

All over Detroit, scores of these workers ”” on some days as many as 75 three-person teams ”” have been wending their way through the streets since December, cataloging on computer tablets one of this bankrupt city’s most devastating ailments: its tens of thousands of abandoned and dilapidated buildings.

Everyone here has long known that Detroit is plagued by emptying neighborhoods, but this expedited, top-to-bottom analysis of all 380,217 parcels of land in the city, which is to be finished in a matter of weeks, will quantify the state of blight here with a level of detail rare for an American city.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Urban/City Life and Issues

[Baroness] Sayeeda Warsi: Violent sectarianism is not inevitable, as history shows

…I have always been taught that faith is at its strongest when people find their own way to the Almighty. And as Oman’s Religious Tolerance website so wisely states: “Everyone must answer for himself before God.”

But there’s a deeply disturbing political element to sectarianism when negative political forces exploit these differences. And this approach takes on an even more sinister tone when sect is equated with nationality or loyalty to a particular country ”“ where Shia Muslims in Sunni majority countries are seen as loyal to another country, and vice versa.

We need to point to history to show violent sectarianism is not inevitable. We must look to times when different sects within Islam worked together and worshipped together. All of us, believers and leaders alike, must reclaim the true meaning of Islam, and focus on the things that unite us, rather than those that divide us. And in reclaiming the true meaning of Islam we must also reclaim the language of Islam, much of which has been distorted and usurped for political ends.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Religion & Culture, Theology

Winter Olympics 2014: Bobsled champion Steven Holcomb battles depression, sees a better life ahead

Steven Holcomb said he was almost blind, and that’s obviously very bad for a bobsled driver.

Worse, as it turned out, was that some of those around him were blind to what really was wrong with the American Olympic champion. He was suffering from depression while driving his team to heights U.S. bobsledders had not seen in decades.

Holcomb said competing among world-class athletes is not a good setting for picking up on a condition he shares with more than three percent of Americans, according to various studies.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Sports, Theology, Young Adults

(BBC) An all-night youth event on Friday at Blackburn Anglican Cathedral

The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Julian Henderson, said the event was a different way of engaging young people.

Read and watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Youth Ministry

Dwight Longnecker–Tony Palmer ”“ the New Face of Anglicanism?

The most remarkable thing about the Pope’s message to American Pentecostal leaders was not the cordial, open-armed welcome from the Holy Father to a group of separated brethren”“in their own way all the popes in the last fifty years have done the same. Okay”“the informal use of a cell phone video was pretty amazing, but the real news story in all of this is not so much the moving welcome from the Holy Father, but the appearance of Bishop Tony Palmer on the world stage as an “Anglican bishop”.

This has been missed by every other commentator because I think they are unaware of the huge shifts within the world of Anglicanism. To understand this one has to first understand historic Anglicanism. We all know it was started by King Henry VIII because he wanted a divorce and Pope Clement wouldn’t give him one. Well, it was more complicated than that, but the fact is, this crisis precipitated the foundation of the Anglican Church. In the centuries to follow wherever the English went they took their church with them. Thus we find the Anglican Communion all over the world in what were English colonies.

Read it all.

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