Daily Archives: June 18, 2014

Kenneth Berding–The Crisis of Biblical Illiteracy

Stacey Irvine ate almost nothing but chicken nuggets for 15 years. She never tasted fruits or vegetables. She occasionally supplemented her diet with French fries. One day her tongue started to swell and she couldn’t catch her breath. She was rushed to the hospital, her airway was forced open, and they stuck an IV in her arm to start pumping in the nutrients she needed. After saving her life, the medical staff sent her home, but not before they warned her that she needed to change her diet or prepare herself for an early death.

I’ve heard people call it a famine. A famine of knowing the Bible. During a famine people waste away for lack of sustenance. Some people die. Those who remain need nourishment; they need to be revived. And if they have any hope of remaining alive over time, their life situation has to change in conspicuous ways.

During normal famines people don’t have access to the food they need. But Stacey Irvine could have eaten anything she wanted. She had resources, opportunity and presumably all the encouragement she needed to eat well. Can you imagine what would happen if all of us decided to follow her example and discontinued eating all but non-nutritious foodstuff? If we happened to beat the odds and live, we undoubtedly would suffer in the long run from nutrition-related chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.

Like Stacey Irvine, we’re killing ourselves. It’s surely not for lack of resources; nevertheless, we are in fact starving ourselves to death.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Adult Education, Books, Education, History, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Economist) An up-to-date interactive guide of every goal ever scored in the World Cup, by minute

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Brazil, Globalization, South America, Sports

Anglican Church of North America will pick successor to founding archbishop

There won’t be any white smoke coming out of the chimney, but they’re calling it a conclave, similar to a papal election.

Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America – a breakaway denomination formed by conservatives dismayed by liberal trends in the Episcopal Church and its Canadian counterpart – will gather at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe beginning Thursday to elect a successor to Archbishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, whose five-year tenure as its founding archbishop is concluding.

That vote is to be followed next week by policy deliberations and a wider denominational assembly with worship, speaking and other events. The organization will mark some strides from its ad hoc origins in the heat of conflict toward greater stability – the publications of a new catechism and prayer liturgies and the launching of several new congregations.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

Church of Eng. welcomes report on underachievement in white working class children

Speaking after the release of the report, the Church of England’s Chief Education Officer, Revd Jan Ainsworth said…””We are particularly pleased that the committee has highlighted the complexity of issues associated with White Working Class underperformance. Excellent schools can clearly make the world of difference to disadvantaged young people, but the committee also recognises that we need a greater understanding of associated social factors….”

Read it all.

Update: For more on the report itself please see the Yorkshire Post article there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), Economy, Education, England / UK, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

(FT) Archbishop of Canterbury warns banks are still ”˜too big to fail’

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that the impetus for reforming the banking system is fading, even though taxpayers risk having to bail out the biggest banks ”“ six years after the financial crisis.

“The elephant in the room is that banks are still too big to fail,” Justin Welby said in a speech to the New City Agenda group at the House of Lords on Tuesday. “It is going to take some time to fix this and I hope it will stay front and centre of people’s minds.”

Mr Welby, who was an outspoken member of the parliamentary commission on banking standards, was asked by a JPMorgan Chase banker in the audience if the wave of banking regulation since the crisis had removed the risk of a taxpayer bailout.

The archbishop resisted this idea. “If JPMorgan had to go into insolvency, are we seriously saying it would not cause a systemic crisis? Do we really think the US government would say: ”˜No, we are not going to put a penny into this’?”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

(Telegraph) A list of the 30 best movies on Netflix

I thought this was fun to look through–see what you make of it.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, History, Movies & Television

(Ang Journal) Anglican Fellowship of Prayer Canada names a new director

Archdeacon Paul Feheley has been named the new national director of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer Canada (AFP-C).

Feheley, who is just finishing his term as interim editor of the Anglican Journal, will continue his work as the principal secretary to Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and priest-in-charge at St. Chad’s Anglican Church, Toronto.

“I am deeply honoured and humbled to be asked to take on such an important and significant ministry and to work with the executive and diocesan and parish representatives across the country,” Feheley commented in an AFP-C announcement of his appointment.

The Rev. Valerie Kenyon, chair of AFP-C’s executive, told the Journal that Feheley’s acceptance of the position was “received with deep gratitude and enthusiasm”¦Archdeacon Feheley brings with him both a breadth of experience and a profound commitment to prayer and to the basic mission of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer to promote the practice of Christian prayer by all and to encourage and enable the ministry of prayer in Canada.” She added that AFP-C’s ministry is “inclusive of all forms of expressions of Christian church life, seeking also to be a teaching resource to assist both individuals and congregations to grow in the life of prayer.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Spirituality/Prayer

(Orlando Sentinel) Worshippers with disabilities search for acceptance

Lindsay Graham grew up in the same church attended by her parents and grandparents, and she expected the same would be true for her children. That changed when her son, J.D., was diagnosed with autism at age 2.

There were outbursts and tantrums, calls in the middle of the church service from the Sunday school teacher that J.D. was being disruptive. There were disapproving looks from other members of the congregation. Even if they didn’t say it, Graham knew what they were thinking: Can’t you keep your child under control?

“I felt very ostracized because he was always misbehaving. We just didn’t fit that perfect family mold,” said Graham, 33.

It was time to find another church, one equipped to handle children with disabilities. They ended up at First Baptist Orlando, which has a special needs ministry for children.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

(NYT) President Obama Is Said to Consider Selective Airstrikes on Sunni Militants

President Obama is considering a targeted, highly selective campaign of airstrikes against Sunni militants in Iraq similar to counterterrorism operations in Yemen, rather than the widespread bombardment of an air war, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.

Such a campaign, most likely using drones, could last for a prolonged period, the official said. But it is not likely to begin for days or longer, and would hinge on the United States’ gathering adequate intelligence about the location of the militants, who are intermingled with the civilian population in Mosul, Tikrit and other cities north of Baghdad.

Even if the president were to order strikes, they would be far more limited in scope than the air campaign conducted during the Iraq war, this official said, because of the relatively small number of militants involved, the degree to which they are dispersed throughout militant-controlled parts of Iraq and fears that using bigger bombs would kill Sunni civilians.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Office of the President, Other Faiths, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(WSJ) Federal Reserve Interest Rate Decision will Focus on Joblessness

Four years ago, 6.8 million Americans were out of work for six months or longer. Half as many are now. That might sound like good news, but it isn’t.

Nearly four-fifths of those who became long-term unemployed during the worst period of the downturn have since migrated to the fringes of the job market, a recent study shows, rarely seeking work, taking part-time posts or bouncing between unsteady jobs. Only one in five, according to the study, has returned to lasting full-time work since 2008.

The plight of these millions is now at the center of a contentious debate among top U.S. officials over how to spur jobs without stirring inflation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Federal Reserve, Globalization, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, Theology

(CC) Benjamin Dueholm–Why I kiss my stole

As I vested for worship on a recent Sunday, a parishioner noticed me kissing my stole before I put it on. “I like that you do that,” she said, to my brief and unexpected embarrassment. I’ve made this small gesture every time I’ve vested since my ordination, but no one had ever prompted me to reflect on it before.

Augustine says that habit unresisted becomes compulsion. This maxim rings true with my experience of bad habits, but I’d never thought of it in terms of pious ones. My parishioner’s comment made me realize that kissing my stole has long since sunk from a distinct act into a habit””and may now be a compulsion.

“I guess it reminds me,” I told her…..

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(DC) Nobody is ”˜born that way,’ Some historians You may not expect say

Are gays indeed born that way? The question has immense political, social, and cultural repercussions. For example, some of the debate over applying the Constitution’s equal protection clause to gays and lesbians focuses on whether gayness is an inborn characteristic. And the major argument gays and lesbians have made for religious affirmation has been, “God made me this way.”

Thus, if it’s proven sexual orientations are not innate, much of the scaffolding upon which today’s LGBT movement has been built would begin to crumble. Given the stakes, most gays and lesbians are dismissive or hostile toward anyone who doesn’t think being gay is an essential, natural characteristic of some members of the human race.

But a surprising group of people doesn’t think that ”“ namely, scholars of gay history and anthropology. They’re almost all LGBT themselves, and they have decisively shown that gayness is a product of Western society originating about 150 years ago.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Bernard Mizeki

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the heart of thy holy martyr Bernard Mizeki: Grant to us, thy humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who hast made thyself known to us as Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity, in order that we may be informed of thy love and thy majesty: Mercifully grant that we may not be terrified by what thou hast revealed of thy majesty, nor tempted to trespass upon thy mercy by what we know of thy love for us; but that by the power of thy Spirit we may be forever drawn to thee in true adoration and worship; who livest and reignest, one God, world without end.

–Euchologium Anglicanum

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

“Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

–Matthew 18:1-9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

([London] Times) Isis Jihadists create app to flood Twitter with tide of hatred

Isis is using a sophisticated strategy to spread its bloodcurdling message on social media sites.

Belying its ideology and rejection of Western values, the group has embraced modern technology and built its own computer app, which has been available since April.

The Dawn of Glad Tidings app is designed to circumvent spam filters on Twitter and stagger the release of identical tweets and hashtags through the accounts of those who have downloaded it.

The resulting “Tweetskrieg” has ensured that in recent days, Isis tweets have reached an unusually wide audience ”” a strategy echoing those used by marketing companies to build a “buzz” around a product.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

(Time) More Millennial Mothers Are Single Than Married

Despite the anxiety society still feels about single mothers, most American women aged 26 to 31 who have children are not married. And the number of these millennial single mothers is increasing. In fact, in a study just released by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, only about a third of all mothers in their late twenties were married.

The less education the young women have the higher the probability that they became a mom before they got married. Conversely, the married moms of that generation probably have a college degree. “It is now unusual for non-college graduates who have children in their teens and 20s to have all of them within marriage,” says Andrew Cherlin, one of the authors of the study “Changing Fertility Regimes and the Transition to Adulthood: Evidence from a Recent Cohort.”

Sociologists such as Cherlin have been tracking the decline of marriage as one of the milestones or goals of an individual’s life””the whole “first comes love, the comes marriage, then comes the baby with the baby carriage” paradigm. And it’s clear that an increasing number of young people are just not putting a ring on it. “The lofty place that marriage once held among the markers of adulthood is in serious question,” says Cherlin.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Women, Young Adults

A European court ruling on Religion in Spain–Which freedom comes first?

The European Court of Human Rights has just handed down a verdict (PDF) which some people have hailed as a victory for “religious freedom”. Actually it would be more accurate to describe the decision as a victory for the freedom of religious organisations””as opposed to that of individuals making religious or ethical choices. And the outcome will be disturbing to many people, even including some who broadly agree that religions should be able to determine their own doctrines, rules and even disciplinary procedures without interference from the state.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Education, Europe, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Spain