Daily Archives: May 9, 2014

(WSJ) Amir Aczel–In the Beginning There Was an Atom

so the big-bang theory is verified not only by the Bicep evidence, but also from decades of data on the microwave background radiation in space (“embers of the big bang”) as well as high-energy particle collisions from the Large Hadron Collider (a tiny-scale simulation of the big bang). It also fundamentally does not conflict with scripture. So why do so many deny it?

The culprits might be “scientific atheists,” a small but vocal group of thinkers who employ science to claim that there is no God. Some argue that the universe came into existence all on its own. In particular, physicist Lawrence M. Krauss’s 2012 book “A Universe from Nothing” insists that the big bang occurred within a complete emptiness, and thus there is no need for a “God.” But the key assumption of Mr. Krauss’s conjecture is flawed and at odds with modern cosmology. The big bang did not occur in “nothing.” It had to be spawned in some kind of pre-existent medium, known by physicists as “quantum foam,” though we don’t know exactly what it is.

Despite the damage scientific atheists are doing to public opinion, the truth is that””at least with respect to big-bang cosmology””science and faith are not at odds. For it was the story in Genesis that inspired the big bang’s founder to discover how the universe came to be. And it was Genesis that provided the stimulus for the first mathematical calculations that led to the “primeval atom.” The 51% of Americans who deny the big bang””if they do so because they think the theory conflicts with faith””should come to trust our science.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Apologetics, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

#BringBackOurGirls Nigerian Ibrahim Musa Abdullah created the hashtag–Confusion now Cleared up

The “Bring Back Our Girls” hashtag””retweeted nearly two million times so far by Twitter users including the Vatican, the first lady and celebrities including singers Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown ””wasn’t created by Ms. Mosley but by Nigerian Ibrahim Musa Abdullahi, a 35-year-old attorney in the capital Abuja who adapted a chant he heard on television there. This week, Twitter users began calling attention to that fact in a storm of angry tweets to Ms. Mosley.

Ms. Mosley said in an interview on Thursday that she didn’t take credit for the hashtag: “The idea that people are so upset has been a complete shock.”¦I felt compelled to help spread the word.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Media, Nigeria, Teens / Youth, Violence, Women

(PR Facttank) 5 questions (and answers) about American Moms today

American mothers today look far different from mothers celebrated 100 years ago when President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a day of reverence for mothers. Here’s what we know about today’s American moms and how they’ve changed over time….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Children, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Sociology, Theology, Women

(Journey Toward Easter) David Bentley Hart: The Soulless Society

”˜Late modern society is principally concerned with purchasing things, in ever greater abundance and variety, and so has to strive to fabricate an ever greater number of desires to gratify, and to abolish as many limits and prohibitions upon desire as it can. Such a society is already implicitly atheist and so must slowly but relentlessly apply itself to the dissolution of transcendent values. It cannot allow ultimate goods to distract us from proximate goods. Our sacred writ is advertising, our piety is shopping, our highest devotion is private choice. God and the soul too often hinder the purely acquisitive longings upon which the market depends, and confront us with values that stand in stark rivalry to the only truly substantial value at the center of the social universe: the price tag.’

Read it all (Hat tip: AH).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

A Personal Touch for the Prayers of the People–from St. Jude's, Walterboro, S.C.

The parishioners of St. Jude’s, Walterboro, have added a personal touch to their parish’s Prayers of the People ”“ sending cards, signed by all of the parishioners, to those for whom prayers were offered. “We printed some simple cards that say ‘You’ve Been Prayed For By St. Jude’s Church, Walterboro, SC'” explains Rector, Bob Horowitz. “During the Sunday announcements I ask people to sign the cards on their way out. I ask them to imagine someone on our Sunday prayer list who may be battling cancer or who is a local police officer and then opens their mail during the week to find a card with the names of 20 of us who have been praying for them. This makes the Prayers of the People more meaningful since we don’t always know the people we are praying for and it lets the people on our prayer list know they have been prayed for. It’s a simple way of enhancing Sunday worship and connecting with people with the power and love of Christ.”

–From the Diocese of SC Enewsletter. (do you get it? Do you follow the blog links to it?)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Spirituality/Prayer

Canon David Eric Court to be the next Bishop of Grimsby

David (55) has been vicar of Cromer, Norfolk, for the past 11 years, is Rural Dean of Repps and is an honorary Canon of Norwich Cathedral.

Born in Norwich, he attended the local comprehensive school near his home on the Heartsease estate in the city. He studied electro-chemistry at the University of Southampton, conducting research into the structure and medicinal opportunities of sugar, achieving a PhD. While at university, he was introduced to the Church, and soon made a commitment to a life as a Christian. He became a chemistry and physics teacher at a rural comprehensive school in Oundle, Northamptonshire.

It was while teaching in Northamptonshire, and living in Peterborough, that he wascalled to the ministry though his parish church, and at the age of 29, began studying at Oak Hill Theological College in London.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Church Times) Dr Sentamu urged to make Living Wage compulsory

The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, is being urged by charities and trade unions to endorse the idea of making the Living Wage compulsory.

Dr Sentamu chairs the Living Wage Commission, which was established last year to examine the impact of the wage since it was introduced in 2001, and the future of the scheme.

In an open letter before the Commission’s final meeting last week, the charity War on Want and the general secretaries of nine trade unions asked Dr Sentamu to ensure that the Commission recommends that the Living Wage becomes mandatory. It is currently set at £7.65, or £8.80 for those living in London.Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Religion & Culture, Theology

An 8 yr old who saved his sister–community working to make sure that Marty Cobb is not forgotten

“Pound for pound, year for year, few greater heroes if any,” says a wooden sign surrounded by toys and flowers at a memorial outside Marty’s house. Bob Barnett, a Richmond retiree who never met the boy, spent most of Saturday carving it.

On the front are the words: “Martin, a real hero, lived, fought, and died here.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Violence

(Bloomberg) Nigerian President in Crisis as Rescue for Girls Awaited

“Barring a rescue of the abducted women, Jonathan’s standing will deteriorate,” Philippe de Pontet, Africa analyst at Eurasia Group, said in an e-mailed note yesterday. “The political implications are damaging for the Jonathan administration, which has been seen as ineffective in its response.”

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, which means “western education is a sin” in the Hausa language, has claimed responsibility for the April 14 abduction of 276 girls from their dormitories in Borno state in the northeast. He has threatened to sell the girls in “markets” and marry them off, helping galvanize a global campaign to free them joined by U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Teens / Youth, Theology, Violence, Women

From the Do not Take Yourself too Seriously Department–A Cat Struggles with a Slow Reader

Check it out (Hat tip:TF).

Posted in * General Interest, Animals, Humor / Trivia, Photos/Photography

Gregory of Nazianzus for his Feast Day–two contrary doctrines on the same subjct can't both be true

From here:

Now, if they who hold such views have authority to meet, your wisdom approved in Christ must see that, inasmuch as we do not approve their views, any permission of assembly granted to them is nothing less than a declaration that their view is thought more true than ours. For if they are permitted to teach their view as godly men, and with all confidence to preach their doctrine, it is manifest that the doctrine of the Church has been condemned, as though the truth were on their side. For nature does not admit of two contrary doctrines on the same subject being both true. How[,] then, could your noble and lofty mind submit to suspend your usual courage in regard to the correction of so great an evil? But even though there is no precedent for such a course, let your inimitable perfection in virtue stand up at a crisis like the present, and teach our most pious emperor that no gain will come from his zeal for the Church on other points if he allows such an evil to gain strength from freedom of speech for the subversion of sound faith.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Gregory of Nazianzus

Almighty God, who hast revealed to thy Church thine eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace that, like thy bishop Gregory of Nazianzus, we may continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of thee, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who livest and reignest for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God our Father, who hast taught us that our citizenship is in heaven, and hast called us to tread a pilgrim’s path here on earth: Guide us, we pray thee, on our journey through this world to the Celestial City; defend us from the perils that await us in the way; give us grace to endure faithfully to the end; and at the last bring us to thy eternal joy; through the mercy of thy Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

–Frank Colquhoun

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wonderful works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually!

–Psalm 105:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CT) Twitter's Social Innovator Claire Diaz-Ortiz: All In for God

…I hadn’t been ready…Until the summer I was 12. One night, after a miserable, strange day spent wandering the grounds, wondering what it would mean if no God existed at all, I made my decision. A simple solo prayer on the steps of my cabin sealed the deal. My counselor gave me her NIV Student Study Bible, her name scrawled in pink and dotted with hearts inside the front flap. I use it to this day.

For the next dozen years, my faith rose and fell. Some years I felt close and connected to God. Other years I went through the motions.

Leaving Berkeley to complete my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Stanford University (less than an hour away, in Palo Alto), I was amazed at how the atmosphere of faith could feel so different so close to home. I found more fellowship in my early 20s, both in and out of church, than I had in my teenage years. Over the next few years, I continued my Christian walk, going to church, attending a small group Bible study, and teaching Sunday school.

But I still wasn’t all in….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Christology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Missions, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Soteriology, Theology

(Fulcrum) Andrew Goddard–Same-sex marriage, clergy and the canons

If the analysis above is accepted then the situation seems to be as follows. Those clergy who marry someone of the same sex believe they should live in accordance with canon C26 and that they are doing so and that their problem is simply with canon B30. However, the general category of “according to the doctrine of Christ” in C26 has within the canons one very clear specification ”“ the definition of marriage in B30. This is the canon that, in a form of conscientious ecclesial disobedience, they are not only questioning and asking the church to reconsider but actively contradicting by their actions. I think this raises three key questions.

First, can the clergy concerned (and those supportive of them) recognise that given this situation they have a responsibility to seek an urgent change to canon B30?

A clergyperson’s decision to enter a same-sex marriage is, in effect, a demand that canon B30 be amended. The logic of their actions, whether consciously or not, is that they are attempting to bring about a change in that canon’s definition of marriage. At its weakest this would involve removing the claim of dominical authority for the definition of marriage (arguably allowing those who disregard it to put themselves on the same footing as those who disregard other canons). More likely it would entail a new definition or a removal of any definition of marriage.

What is interesting, and of concern, is that despite this being the logical implication of the actions there has, as far as I am aware, been no serious attempt to change the canon by due process and very little sustained theological critique or development of an alternative wording.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture