Daily Archives: March 8, 2014

Vince Vitale (Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics): God is not Dead

Is God dead? Not in academia. As someone who teaches philosophy at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, Vince Vitale is well placed to know what the top scholarship says about God. Vince shows how in the fields of philosophy and sociology, God is very much alive. If you think intellectual objections undermine belief in God, Vince suggests that you may be unaware of the arguments at the highest level.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Apologetics, Education, England / UK, Philosophy, Theology

San Diego Reader Interviews Father Lawrence Bausch

SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?

FB: The enormous shift in our culture away from religion as a part of everyday life. There is a sort of ”” I won’t say it’s a science ”” but a certain quasi-intellectual scientism that assumes anything to do with the spiritual realm or religion is inherently irrational and that what one does when one chooses to believe is to close one’s mind. But I am of the conviction ”” and one of our great witnesses, a woman named Flannery O’Connor, who was a fiction writer for the most part back in the ’50s and ’60s made it clear ”” that it’s the fullness of the Catholic faith that keeps the mind open to mystery. Anything else that limits our understanding to what we can see and measure through the tools we have, it is that kind of thing which narrows the mind because there is so much more going on than meets the eye.

SDR: Why Anglican?

FB: Being a Catholic represents and embodies continuity with the church from the very first centuries, and Anglicanism expressed its Catholicity by endorsing fundamentals about which everyone was expected to agree, but everything after that, we could disagree. They centered on the decisions of the church in the first millennium before the first split between East and West. So, what all Christians believed in the first millennium ”” that’s what I mean by Catholicism”¦. I don’t believe Catholicity is limited to Anglicanism by any means. It is certainly embedded in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches as well.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

(NYT) The Rise of the Teenage Technorati

Ryan Orbuch, 16 years old, rolled a suitcase to the front door of his family’s house in Boulder, Colo., on a Friday morning a year ago. He was headed for the bus stop, then the airport, then Texas.

“I’m going,” he told his mother. “You can’t stop me.”

Stacey Stern, his mother, wondered if he was right. “I briefly thought: Do I have him arrested at the gate?”

But the truth was, she felt conflicted. Should she stop her son from going on his first business trip?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Science & Technology, Teens / Youth

(Reuters) Singapore's megachurches move to export the propserity gospel

“God is here, God is here,” croons Singapore church official Sun Ho as she struts across a neon-lit stage and thousands of people in the congregation pump their hands and sing along.

Kong Hee, the church’s founding pastor and Sun Ho’s husband, then takes the stage. In keeping with the electrifying mood, he invites his followers to speak “in tongues” and a pulsing murmur echoes through the auditorium of 8,000 people.

During the service, ushers hand out envelopes for donations, which consume at least a tenth of the salaries of most church members, going to fund different ministries, mission trips and special events.

Welcome to one of Asia’s most profitable churches: Singapore’s City Harvest.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Singapore, Theology

In Martin Luther’s Church the Pastor Asks: Where Have All the Protestants Gone?

Pastor Johannes Block can consider himself Martin Luther’s successor. He’s the vicar of Stadtkirche St. Marien zu Wittenberg, Luther’s own church. The church is the St. Peter’s Basilica of Protestantism.

Here, Luther preached his incendiary sermons against Vatican corruption that led to the Reformation and the rise of the Protestant movement. It is where Protestant pastors were first ordained.

But on a typical Sunday, Block looks out over a mere 50 to 100 people in the pews: a tiny number in a city of 135,000, especially one whose official name is Lutherstadt (Luther City) Wittenberg. Indeed, nowhere in Germany is the share of Protestants lower than right here in Luther’s homeland.

Read it all from Newsweek.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Lutheran, Other Churches

(Lent and Beyond) Lent 2014 ”“ Handy Links and Resources

Lots of good stuff here–take a look.

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

(Anglican Journal) Thirteenth Bishop of Anglican B.C. diocese installed

Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, was filled to capacity on Sunday, March 2 as the Very Rev. Doctor Logan McMenamie was consecrated bishop in the church of God and installed as the 13th bishop of the diocese of British Columbia.

The Most Rev. John Privett, metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and the Yukon presided and was the chief consecrator.

The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, was the chief celebrant of the eucharist. The Most Rev. Caleb Lawrence, assistant bishop and diocesan administrator, and the newly consecrated bishop, the Rt. Rev. Logan McMenamie, assisted him.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

(RNS) TEC Bishop and parish offering ”˜Ashes to Go’ meet commuters in Washington, D.C.

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, and members of St. Paul’s Parish in Washington, D.C., imposed ashes on commuters and other passers-by on Ash Wednesday (March 5) near the Foggy Bottom Metro station in the nation’s capital. Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, the period of penance and fasting preceding Easter.

Enjoy all the photos.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lent, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops

A Prayer for the Provisional Feast Day of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy

Glorious God, we give thanks not merely for high and holy things, but for the common things of earth which thou hast created: Wake us to love and work, that Jesus, the Lord of life, may set our hearts ablaze and that we, like Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, may recognize thee in thy people and in thy creation, serving the holy and undivided Trinity; who livest and reignest throughout all ages of ages. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, our Judge and Saviour, set before us the vision of thy purity, and let us see our sins in the light of thy holiness. Pierce our self-contentment with the shafts of thy burning love, and let that love consume in us all that hinders us from perfect service of thy cause; for as thy holiness is our judgment, so are thy wounds our salvation.

–William Temple

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me; you were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.

–Philippians 4:10-13

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Bishop Mark Lawrence's Message Regarding Resolution R-3 for the Upcoming SC Convention

Please make sure to read the text of this resolution and the rationale which are linked in the bishop’s comments–KSH.

Today, March 7, 2014, Canon Jim Lewis emailed to all our diocesan clergy and the lay delegates to our upcoming March 14-15, 2014, Diocesan Convention a resolution that God-willing, and with the Convention’s consent, will come to the floor. This resolution, R-3: “Response to Offer of Provisional Primatial Oversight,” originated in the Anglican Communion Development Committee (ACD) but has also been supported by a majority of the clergy of the West Charleston deanery with whom I met at their recent clericus on Shrove Tuesday. The ACD Committee is an arm of Diocesan Council. It was established in 2009 in order to strategically establish mutually-enriching missional relationships with provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion. It has played a key role in pursuing our diocesan vision of “Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age.” As your bishop I fully support this resolution and for all of the reasons mentioned in the Rationale attached to it. But particularly for the reasons presented in the final rationale: “Most importantly, however, this resolution is the response to something others in the communion have created, and it provides a means for us to better make biblical Anglicans for a global age in this in between-time. We choose to see it as a providential provision which gives us further sacramental closeness with the global Anglican family which we so richly treasure.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Global South Churches & Primates

Canon Phil Ashey: Whatever happened to Biblical reconciliation in the Anglican Communion?

You and I both know the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Forgiveness is a unilateral act that we must repeat, according to Jesus, “seventy times seven,” precisely because we have been forgiven of our sins by God in Christ on the cross, and precisely because it is a hallmark of following Jesus. We forgive whether or not the person who has offended us recognizes their offense, or repents, or expresses any remorse at all. We forgive because Jesus first forgave us.

Reconciliation, unlike forgiveness, is neither a unilateral act nor a one way street. 2 Corinthians 5:18 reminds us that the primary and central context for biblical reconciliation is God’s reconciliation of himself to humankind through the death of Jesus Christ and his blood shed for our sins. From this, all people may be at peace with God through Jesus Christ. It is this reconciliation that the Christian primarily offers. Whatever other ministries of reconciliation we may have to offer are always shaped in every way by this God-initiated, Christ-effected process of reconciliation.
We do not have biblical reconciliation in the Anglican Communion today. From the See of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion Office we have “facilitated conversations.” We have “continuing Indaba.” We have peace-making- really peace-keeping if truth be told-with many crying “peace, peace” where there is no peace. But there is no repentance. Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998) continues to be violated in regards to the prohibition against the blessing of same-sex unions and the consecration of non-celibate homosexuals as bishops. As others have noted from the Pastoral Statement of the Bishops of the Church of England to The Pilling Report, pastoral blessings of same sex unions are now permitted in the mother church. We do not have accountability- welcomed or otherwise. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury admitted in his sermon in Nairobi on the eve of GAFCON 2013 that the Anglican Instruments of Unity have failed. The hurtful behavior not only continues but is accelerating.

We are far from any place of reconciliation within the Anglican Communion. For that we need genuine, Biblical reconciliation. To move from forgiveness to such reconciliation we need genuine repentance that “will not continue in the hurtful behavior or anything associated with it.” For as John Stott observed in Confess Your Sins, ”If we can restore to full and intimate fellowship with ourselves a sinning and unrepentant brother, we reveal not the depth of our love, but its shallowness, for we are doing what is not for his highest good. Forgiveness which by-passes the need for repentance issues not from love but from sentimentality.”

God save us from shallow and sentimental substitutes for genuine reconciliation, rooted in the Cross of Jesus Christ.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Inside the world of the new Bible coders–and how it will change the way you think about Scripture

Stephen Smith doesn’t look like a mad scientist, because he’s not one. Not really. He’s not even a code guy by training. But he has packed the room at BibleTech, an occasional gathering of coders, hackers, publishers, scholars, and Bible technology enthusiasts. And the standing-room-only crowd is starting to turn on him. No pitchforks and torches. But for once in this collegial, tight-knit retreat, you can feel the tension growing.

They’ve seen his experiments before. You might have, too. He’s the guy who wrote the code to quantify what folks on Twitter gave up for Lent and how the fasts change from year to year (forswearing swearing is up, dropping alcohol is down). He figured out what Bible verses went viral after Osama bin Laden was killed, or at any other time (chances are good that “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” and “For I know the plans I have for you” are doing really well right now), and the most popular saints and mountains in American church names. (Mt. Pisgah beats out Mt. Nebo. And Lutherans almost never call their church “First Lutheran”””though “First” is a fifth of Presbyterian churches.)

If someone releases a new API (code that lets applications interact with each other), or if Google unveils a new tool in beta, or if a new dataset is published online, it’s a fairly safe bet that Smith will try to connect it to the Bible. In 2012, Stanford University published a Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World. Smith used it to calculate the time and cost of each of Paul’s missionary journeys.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

([London] Times) Stop ritual slaughter of animals, says top vet

The religious slaughter of animals should be banned if Muslims and Jews refuse to adopt more humane methods of killing, the new leader of Britain’s vets has said.

John Blackwell, president-elect of the British Veterinary Association, said that the traditional practice of slitting animals’ throats and allowing them to bleed to death for halal and kosher meat caused unnecessary suffering.

He urged Jews and Muslims to allow poultry, sheep and cattle to be stunned unconscious before they are killed. If the two faiths refuse, Mr Blackwell wants ministers to consider following the example of Denmark by banning the slaughter of animals that are not stunned first.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Animals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology