Daily Archives: June 19, 2014

Markus Bockmuehl named Dean Ireland's Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture at Oxford

Markus Bockmuehl, BA British Columbia, MA Oxf, MCS MDiv Regent College, Canada, PhD Camb, Professor of Biblical and Early Christian Studies and Fellow and Tutor, Keble, has been appointed to the Dean Ireland’s Professorship of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture in the Faculty of Theology and Religion with effect from 1 October 2014.


You can see a picture there.

Posted in Theology

(USA Today) Analysis– Iraq’s Sunni insurgents listed their crimes in annual report

The militant group that exploded on to the scene in Iraq this year has been carefully cataloging its list of brutalities over recent years in an annual report published online, according to a think tank that has analyzed the latest publication.

The report from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ”” known as ISIL or ISIS ”” records in explicit detail the number of assassinations, suicide bombings, knifings and even “apostates run over,” according to the analysis by the Institute for the Study of War.

The report doesn’t trace violence only. It also tracks “apostates repented,” a reference to winning over fellow Sunnis in areas that the group has seized.

Read it all.

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

(The Tablet) After his visit to Rome, Archbishop Welby talks to Christopher Lamb-

…does this focus on joint action now take precedence over the two Churches seeking full, ecclesial unity by solving doctrinal disagreements?

“No,” the archbishop says when we meet at the “ceremoniale” in Rome’s Fiumicino airport, the executive lounge for visiting dignitaries, before he catches his plane back to London.

“I think we’re layering one thing on top of the other. There’s a very good theological foundation and there’s now joint action around what the Holy Father described as the three Ps: prayer, peace and poverty.”

He describes his meeting with the Pope, which included a 40-minute private discussion with just a translator present besides the two church leaders, as “a real engagement of love and not just a business connection”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Theology

(CC) Samuel Wells–The banality of clergy failure

There’s a good element to this. Part of the atonement is the discovery that in wounding and lacerating Christ’s body on the cross, we matter to God. If we matter negatively, by hurting and killing, then we can matter at least as positively by giving joy and delight. And just as the risen Christ still has the wounds of the tree, so the ascended Lord takes with him the joy we evoke in his heart. The pastor who says, with care, y’all matter to me is showing that we all matter to God.

Of course we’re not up to it. We forget her husband was going in for a scan and we should have inquired how it went. We neglect to ask her to read at the carol service. We get talking to someone else after the worship service, and she drifts away disconsolate to her car. But all these things are forgiven. And we know that they’re healthy ways of indicating she shouldn’t overinvest in us, because it’s not really about us, it’s about Christ and Christ’s body, the church. In fact, we shouldn’t be standing between her and God in the first place. God can look after that part without our unique contribution. The pastor’s job is not so much in front of the people as behind them, ushering them like sheep into a place where they may encounter God together. It’s not about being more interesting than God. Cyprian never said, “Outside the pastor there is no salvation.”

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

C of E urges parishes to renew efforts to tackle deprivation this Poverty Sunday

Statistics showing the number of adults with no qualifications, poverty among working age adults and child poverty can each be found for every parish, and as an average for each diocese.

The Bishop of Manchester, David Walker is calling for prayer and a pledge to act in support of the Poverty Sunday campaign being run by CUF.

Through a nationwide network of joint ventures with dioceses CUF is offering fresh ways of both supporting churches in their practical activity in local communities and providing them with the tools they need to speak up and speak out with real traction about what is happening locally.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Poverty, Religion & Culture

(TEC) Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music provides information on Indaba-style gathering

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SLCM) of The Episcopal Church recently held a two-and-a-half-day Indaba-style conversation on same-sex marriage June 3-5 at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kansas City, MO.

The conversation included leaders from across the Anglican Communion, ecumenical partners, and lay and clergy representatives from Episcopal dioceses where civil same-sex marriage is legal.

“The overwhelming feel of the entire gathering was one of openness, love, trust, and joy,” said Kathleen Moore, Diocese of Vermont. “Over the course of just three days, many participants who hailed from different states, countries, and denominations shared the profound closeness they now feel toward one another, and an intent to remain in touch.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(WSJ) Nigerians Despair as Search for Girls Stalls

When Rev. Enoch Mark heard American drones were flying into Nigeria to find his two kidnapped daughters””among the 223 schoolgirls held hostage by Boko Haram””he thought his prayers for a speedy rescue might be answered. Two months later, he has lost faith.

As U.S. officials stitch together preliminary intelligence gleaned from the skies, the insurgency on the ground is rapidly seizing territory and eliminating Christians and Muslims who oppose it.

On Sunday, Boko Haram burned down a village called Kwaraglum near Chibok, the town where girls were abducted from their boarding school in April, said a local vigilante stationed nearby. That same day, they also struck another nearby town, Ndagu, said Simon Jasini, whose older brother was among 10 people killed in the raid. The group is suspected of a bombing on Tuesday that killed 14 people watching the World Cup in the city of Damaturu, said a resident who accompanied state officials to the hospital.

Back in Chibok, Rev. Mark and what family he has left head up a mountain each night so they can sleep hidden behind rocks.

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, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Women

Church of Ireland must take long-term realistic approach to mission

The Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh Dr Richard Clarke says the Anglican Church must take a long-term approach to its mission in Ireland over the next twenty years which should be based on reality rather than wishful thinking.

The Primate made the comments as the results of a parish-based census, commissioned by the General Synod in 2012 and carried out last November, were released.

The survey shows that average attendance at worship on a ”˜usual’ Sunday was 58,000 people ”“ 15 per cent of those reporting as Church of Ireland in the 2011 national Censuses.

Read it all.

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

(ACNS) Egypt: One Muslim, One Anglican, One Goal – Peace

The former Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr Ali Gomaa, and the Anglican Bishop of Egypt, Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis, were invited to give the keynote addresses at the inauguration of the Studies of Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies Programme (SRP) at the Nanyang Technological University, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore from 5-11 June 2014. During their visit to Singapore, they shared their Egyptian experience in “working together as a way of promoting national unity in Egypt.”

The President of Singapore, Dr Tony Tan, received Dr Ali and Bishop Mouneer and was keen to hear about the situation in Egypt, especially as their visit coincided with the installation of the new President of Egypt, el-Sisi. He assured both of them that Singapore will stand with Egypt at this very important time. The Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, also received them and wrote in his Facebook page, “I could see that Sheikh Dr Ali Gomaa and Archbishop Dr Mouneer are good friends, working closely together to promote peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians there.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Coptic Church, Ecumenical Relations, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology, Violence

(London Times) Daniel Finkelstein–England’s chances of winning the World Cup down to 1.2%

The (England-Italy) outcome deserves to be regarded as a disappointment because there was a 50 per cent chance of victory. Italy had a 23
per cent chance, similar to the probability of Holland beating Spain. England’s good fortune was the unlikely result of Costa Rica beating Uruguay, an outcome that only had a 15 per cent chance.

Before the Italy game, England had a 77.7 per cent chance of proceeding. This has been cut almost in half, to 39.6 per cent. Much of this chance has leaked not to Uruguay (who are only on 25 per cent to go through) but to Costa Rica, who are 58.1 per cent likely.

This reduction has also taken England’s chances of winning the World Cup down to 1.2 per cent.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Brazil, England / UK, South America, Sports

(FT) John Gapper–Advertisers have lost the attention of a generation

In a generation, we have shifted from parents trying to stop teenagers slumping in front of the TV to young people losing all interest in the box. US teens are so occupied with social networks and mobile video that they watch only about 21 hours of broadcast TV a week.

The ad industry is suffering from attention deficit disorder ”“ the audience that once sat obediently in front of TV spots lovingly devised by its creatives is hard to pin down. Millennials are out there, on their phones and tablets, but they are as likely to be tweeting angrily about a brand as noticing its ads in the content stream.

“I am nervous about us all being out of a job a year from now if Reed Hastings [chief executive of Netflix] takes over the world,” Laura Desmond, chief executive of Starcom MediaVest, one of the largest advertising buying agencies, told a Cannes gathering. Netflix, the video streaming service, and cable TV network HBO rely on subscription fees alone and do not carry ads.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Science & Technology, Theology, Young Adults

(WSJ) U.S. Signals Iraq's Maliki Should Go

The Obama administration is signaling that it wants a new government in Iraq without Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, convinced the Shiite leader is unable to reconcile with the nation’s Sunni minority and stabilize a volatile political landscape.

The U.S. administration is indicating it wants Iraq’s political parties to form a new government without Mr. Maliki as he tries to assemble a ruling coalition following elections this past April, U.S. officials say.

Such a new government, U.S., officials say, would include the country’s Sunni and Kurdish communities and could help to stem Sunni support for the al Qaeda offshoot, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, that has seized control of Iraqi cities over the past two weeks. That, the officials argue, would help to unify the country and reverse its slide into sectarian division.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Middle East, Politics in General, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lord, who didst bid thy seraph purge the prophet’s lips with the fire from off thy altar, so that he might be free to preach thy Word unto the people: Give thy priests and people within the Catholic Church pure and wise hearts, that so they may desire to go whither thou dost send them, and do that which thou dost will, in the power of him through whom we can do all things, even thy blessed Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Wilfred B. Hornby

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman; and they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all men that were on the face of the earth. And suddenly the Lord said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.” And the three of them came out. And the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the door of the tent, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forward. And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in dark speech; and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”

And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and he departed; and when the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. And Aaron turned towards Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, do not punish us because we have done foolishly and have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother’s womb.” And Moses cried to the Lord, “Heal her, O God, I beseech thee.” But the Lord said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut up outside the camp seven days, and after that she may be brought in again.” So Miriam was shut up outside the camp seven days; and the people did not set out on the march till Miriam was brought in again. After that the people set out from Haze′roth, and encamped in the wilderness of Paran.

–Numbers 12:1-16

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(LA Times) Kenyan president blames 'local political networks' for deadly attacks

hen President Uhuru Kenyatta blamed “local political networks” on Tuesday for extremist attacks on several coastal villages, Kenyans were left wondering whom to believe: their president or the Somali terrorist group that claimed responsibility.

The Shabab, an Al Qaeda affiliate, claimed that it carried out the attacks, which killed dozens of people Sunday and Monday in Mpeketoni town and several villages near the tourist resort of Lamu.

The attacks ”” and the political response to them ”” threatened to deepen ethnic tension in a country still recovering from ethnic violence that followed the 2007 disputed election.

Read it all.

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

Mark Noll reviews Rupert Shortt and John Allen's new books on Violence against Christians

While neither author does in fact answer all of these [challenging] questions, both books should nonetheless be exceedingly helpful for raising the consciousness of even the most casual readers.

John Allen opens with a visit to the Me’eter military camp and prison in a desert region of Eritrea near the African coast of the Red Sea. He describes the deplorable living conditions for the 2,000-3,000 people who are interned in this camp because they belong to branches of Christianity that Eritrea’s single-party, hypernationalist rulers, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, consider subversive. Their lot consists of desert heat, frigid nights, bodies crammed into unventilated 40′ x 38′ metal shipping containers, mindless tasks like counting grains of sand, death from heatstroke and dehydration, sexual abuse, and brutal beatings.[1] And Allen wants to know “why the abuse at Me’eter doesn’t arouse the same horror and intense public fascination as the celebrated atrocities that unfolded at Abu Ghraib, for instance, or at Guantanamo Bay. Why hasn’t there been the same avalanche of investigations, media exposés, protest marches, pop culture references, and the other typical indices of scandal? Why isn’t the world abuzz with outrage over the grotesque violations of human rights at Me’eter?”

Rupert Shortt begins the world tour making up his book with a stop in Egypt and an interview with Dr. Ibrahim Habib, who now practices medicine in the British Midlands. Habib left Egypt after a gruesome incident in 1981 that took place in a Cairo suburb, al-Zawia al-Hamra. Local Muslims who wanted to build a mosque on land owned by Coptic Christians attacked violently with (according to Habib) “at least eighty people ”¦ killed in the violence, some people ”¦ burnt alive in their homes, and the police just looked on.” Shortt then documents how the influence of Salafist Wahhabi Islam, which arose after the formation in 1972 of Gama Islamiya, has become more intense over the years, often with fatal results.

Read it all from Books and Culture.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Globalization, Religion & Culture, Violence