Daily Archives: April 6, 2014

(CT) An Interview with Dr. Philip Jenkins–What does the future of the global church look like?

Ed: Some are estimating that in the next couple of decades, they’ll be more evangelicals in Brazil than in the United States. It’s already the second largest mission-sending country in the world by some measurements. Honduras may be as much as half evangelical Christians now. With all these shifts of numbers of believers, what will that do in terms of global leadership? We’ve already seen the Anglican Global South assert its authority as the majority. How will this shift play out in the coming years?

Dr. Jenkins: So much of this change has happened very recently ”“ within 30, 40, 50 years, which in the span of Christian history is not great. It’s hardly surprising that some institutions have not adapted fully to take account of that. Other churches, however, recognize it. On a typical Sunday, there are more Assemblies of God worshippers in the greater San Paulo, Brazil area than in the United States. It’s a radical change.

Let me suggest to you that in 30 years, there will be two sorts of church in the world. There’ll be the ones that are multi-ethnic, transnational, and multi-continental. They are constantly battling over issues of culture, lifestyle, worship, and constantly in conflict, debate and controversy. And those are the good ones. The other churches will have decided to let all these trends pass them by. They’ll live just like they’ve always done with an average age in their congregations of 80. Personally, I’d much rather be in one of the ones that is recognizing, taking account of the expansion with all the debates and controversies.

Read it all (and please note this is part three of a series and the links for the first two parts are provided in the top section introducing this interview).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Brazil, Evangelism and Church Growth, Global South Churches & Primates, Globalization, History, Parish Ministry, South America, Theology

(NPR) Bringing Death To The Shopping Mall: Selling Caskets At The Kiosk

The American Funeral Industry is changing. In recent years, stores like Costco have begun selling caskets, jewelry made from cremation remains, even burials at sea. And now in Southern California, one of the biggest names in the funeral business, Forest Lawn Cemetery, is trying to reach people in a place where they live and breathe – the shopping mall. More from Gloria Hillard.

GLORIA HILLARD, BYLINE: Navigating the kiosk at the Glendale Galleria, shoppers are offered everything from beauty tips to hot neck wraps to vapor cigarettes before arriving at a more tranquil place located between LensCrafters and Footlocker, Forest Lawn….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

Marijuana in the US (II)–David Frum in Commentary–Don't go to Pot

It’s said that nobody ever died from a marijuana overdose. Nobody ever died from a tobacco overdose either, but that doesn’t prove tobacco safe. Of all the dangers connected to marijuana, the most lethal is the risk of automobile accident. Marijuana-related fatal car crashes have nearly tripled across the United States in the past decade.Marijuana legalizers may counter: Can’t we just extend laws against drunk driving to stoned driving?

Unfortunately, it’s not so easy. What exactly defines marijuana impairment remains fiercely contested by an increasingly assertive marijuana industry. It took Colorado four tries to enact a legal definition of marijuana impairment: five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. Yet even once enacted, the standard remains very difficult to enforce. Alcohol impairment can be detected with a Breathalyzer. Marijuana impairment is revealed only by a blood test, and long-established law requires police to obtain a search warrant before a blood test is administered.

More important than catching impaired drivers after the fact is deterring them before they get behind the wheel. In the absence of a blood-testing kit, marijuana users themselves will find it difficult to know how much is too much.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., City Government, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, State Government, Theology

Marijuana in the US (I)–Andrew Sullivan in today's Sunday [London] Times

(For those interested in these sorts of things, the newspaper headline is “Puff by puff, a puritan land is learning not all drugs are evil”–KSH.

I got a text the other day from a close friend. He was excited. “I just bought legal weed in Colorado! A small step for me but a giant leap for mankind. They had a huge line. All dudes. Busy all day every day, the women behind the counter said.”

And here’s the thing. My friend is not a slacker. He’s a father of two, a hugely successful media entrepreneur with a constant stream of ideas, arguments and facts. He’s hard to keep up with on most days we spend together, and he’s a near fanatic on the need to legalise cannabis across the US.

He represents in one small way a seismic social shift in America on the status and use of some recreational drugs. To give you a simple example, the Pew Research Centre just released an extensive study of attitudes toward drugs and found the following statistic: 67% of Americans favour treatment rather than prison for users of hard drugs. In 2001, the country was evenly divided, 47% versus 45%, on the question of harsh minimum sentences for drug offenders. Today, we’re in a different universe.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., City Government, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, History, Politics in General, State Government, Theology

A Church Times Art. on Archbp Welby's Comments on Same-Sex Marriage and African Killings

Christians are being killed in Africa as a consequence of liberal attitudes towards homosexuality in the United States and Britain, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested on Friday.

Speaking on LBC radio about his opposition to same-sex marriage, he said: “I’ve stood by gravesides in Africa of a group of Christians who had been attacked because of something that had happened far, far away in America.”

This is the first time that Archbishop Welby has publicly voiced his fears for Christians overseas as a key factor in the Bishops’ opposition to same-sex marriage and the blessing of gay couples in church. “The problem we face is that everything we say here goes round the world, for reasons of history and media and all that. And so we don’t make policy on the hoof,” he said on Friday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Justin Welby, Africa, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Sunday Morning Music–The Vienna boys choir sings Mozart's Ave verum corpus

Enjoy it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Austria, Children, Europe, History, Music

(Vancouver Sun) Atheist alcoholics seek to be well without “God”

“We came to accept and to understand that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.”

Six men who admit they are “powerless over alcohol” recited these words from Step 2 of a Canadian-created, secular Twelve Step program at the beginning of a recent meeting in West Vancouver.

Alcohol has devastated their lives; the impact extending to their partners and children. Yet over many years these men of various ages have got back on their feet ”” with the help of fellow members of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Not, they believe, with the help of God.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Alcoholism, Atheism, Canada, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who by the example of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ hast taught us the greatness of true humility, and dost call us to watch with him in his passion: Give us grace to serve one another in all lowliness, and to enter into the fellowship of his sufferings; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

–W. E. Orchard

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

From the Morning Scripture 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

Sat. Afternoon Food for Thought–The Love of learning is the guide to life

The Love of learning is the guide to life, Φιλοσοφία Βίου Κυβερνήτης, is the motto of Phi Beta Kappa and a part of history too often forgotten. It makes me think immediately of The Love of Learning and the Desire for God by Jean Leclercq, O.S.B., a wonderful book about the Cistercians. It also brings to mind the whole book of Proverbs–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Education, Philosophy, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

NZ Anglican synod to debate Blessing Same-Sex Relationships

The Anglican Church in New Zealand could be split up over a debate on whether to bless same sex relationships and allow the ordination of gay priests at its General Synod next month.

A commission, chaired by former Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand, has come up with ten possible options, including a total ban, universal acceptance, or even splitting the church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Venerable St. Paul's Anglican Church in Calgary getting new steeple

The Lord works in mysterious ways ”” but clearly, steeple builders are known to make some confounding decisions themselves.

It was just after the Second World War when the Town of Midnapore lost its most prominent symbol of heavenly devotion, the majestically tall steeple atop St. Paul’s Anglican Church.

Already 60 years old then, the little church beside Macleod Tr. had fallen victim to one of God’s creatures, great in number, and small enough to be a nuisance….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

PBS ' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Biblical Epics

With several Bible-based films to be released this year, 2014 is being called Hollywood’s year of biblical epics. Some filmmakers are already reaping box office rewards, but what are the potential pitfalls of making these movies? RandE talks with Noah director Darren Aronofsky, Son of God producer Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, actors, and scholars about the challenges of adapting sacred stories to the big screen. Says San Diego State University history professor Edward Blum: “The biblical literalist wants, ”˜Oh, hey, does this match up with Genesis? Does this match up with Exodus?’ while the more liberal modernist may want the more artistic spirit of the story. But you also have another group. You have those who vigorously dislike the Bible stories, and so how do you get those three groups to like the same thing?”

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture