Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High; and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High; and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
Beginning in the 1940s, Isaac Asimov created with his Foundation series an enduring classic of science fiction. He depicted the development of inconceivably vast galactic empires, guided by the predictive powers of a complex social and behavioral science known as Psychohistory. For millennia, the universe unfolds as it should. Then, overnight, all these plans are utterly confounded by the rise of a messianic prophet called the Mule, a mutant who brings all lesser mortals under his sway, and who conquers all rival empires. Instantly, all psychohistorical bets are off.
In this instance, as in so much else, Asimov took the Mule from the pages of Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, and specifically the account of the Prophet Muhammad (570-632). And although Asimov was explicitly writing fantastic fiction, his account often echoes older historical writing on the rise of Islam. We read of the great Roman and Persian empires that dominated much of the known world, until very suddenly, a charismatic leader who believes he is instructed by God gathers faithful followers around himself. Ultimately, these supremely motivated legions pour out of Arabia into the civilized world, conquering most of it within a century or so. In this prophet-centered version, Muhammad is quite as radical a newcomer to the known universe as is the Mule, and his career is equally at right angles to conventional historical reality. He comes from nowhere, and the incredible rapidity of the rise of Islam seems near-miraculous.
Fortunately, the rise of Islamic empires can be explained without invoking either supernatural powers or genetic mutation, and Robert Hoyland’s In God’s Path offers a very convincing attempt. Hoyland’s subtitle deserves careful reflection, with the distinction he draws between Arab and Islamic forces.
After a devastating earthquake rocked the island nation of Haiti in January 2010, unsolicited checks immediately poured into Brother’s Brother Foundation ”” a North Side nonprofit that collects and ships medical supplies to hospitals and clinics worldwide and focuses on places in need of emergency aid.
But in the months since the Ebola virus crisis has dominated news reports, Brothers’ Brother has received, on average, one $25 check per day for Ebola relief efforts.
“It’s just not [generating] the same volume compared to other international disasters,” said Karen Dempsey, vice president of development and administration for the nonprofit, which last week loaded a 40-foot container headed to Sierra Leone in West Africa with face masks, protective gowns, gloves and medical supplies donated by hospitals.
While the earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Sandy, the Indian Ocean tsunami and other tragedies raised millions of dollars for victims within days after they occurred and inspired celebrities to organize benefit concerts broadcast during prime time, nonprofits that provide assistance for the Ebola outbreak relief say the public has been slow to step up and donate.
Most American evangelicals hold views condemned as heretical by some of the most important councils of the early church.
A survey released today by LifeWay Research for Ligonier Ministries “reveals a significant level of theological confusion,” said Stephen Nichols, Ligonier’s chief academic officer. Many evangelicals do not have orthodox views about either God or humans, especially on questions of salvation and the Holy Spirit, he said.
Evangelicals did score high on several points. Nearly all believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead (96%), and that salvation is found through Jesus alone (92%). Strong majorities said that God is sovereign over all people (89%) and that the Bible is the Word of God (88%).
While no one would argue that the United States has more bombs, bullets and boots, the question is, “Why does the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continue to gain territory and to recruit young people to their cause from the western world?”
The Jihadists see themselves in a struggle against evil and we are the face of their evil. We are attempting to win on the battlefield but we are losing the battle for hearts and minds.
Former Senator Birch Bayh referred to the Jihadist ideology as “empty” on Fox New Sunday (October 26th) If only. If only he was correct. We may kill their soldiers but their ideology, while evil, is robust, certain and virulent. The western world in general and the U.S. lack the courage of their convictions because they lack convictions. We have no vision and are lacking in moral authority. Do we honestly think that we could reinstate the draft to compel young men once again to fight this war?
3. Technology Enables Discipleship
Our church has an app where people can actually access the sermon outline, and people use their phones or iPads to follow along and take notes. Technology enables members and attendees to enhance their discipleship experience at church.
During certain series, we have encouraged our people to tweet questions in the middle of services, and we try to answer them.
All of these are tools to enhance discipleship. Technology, though, is not the goal. The goal is to enable the church’s mission to make disciples of all people groups.
In its report to Synod on divorce, the bishops noted the issue was controversial and that the church was not of one mind. “The Church of England’s teaching is that it can be said of two living people that they were married and are no longer married. The Church of England recognises the sincerely held convictions of those who do not believe this because, on theological grounds, they hold that marriage is indissoluble. It also respects the convictions of those who, while not holding an indissolubilist view, believe that further marriage after divorce is not an option for those in ordained ministry.”
The national secretary of Forward in Faith at that time, the Rev. Geoffrey Kirk said its members believed that Scripture was clear in stating that divorce and remarriage were not permissible for Christians. He told the Sunday Telegraph: “The doctrine of matrimony is closely associated with ecclesiology and so it would seem utterly unacceptable that divorce and remarriage be part of the regimen of those who are called to represent and effect the unity of the Church.”
“Promoting divorced bishops is a far more serious matter than homosexual bishops because it is undermining one of the fundamental teachings of scripture.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury has told how he broke down in tears at learning of the horror of child abuse within the Church of England.
The Most Rev Justin Welby said the details of sexual abuse dating back decades are “beyond description ”“ terrible” and that he had been profoundly moved by the “shredding effect” of survivors’ experiences.
He also said the full scale of the abuse has not been revealed and that the failure of the Church was greater than other institutions such as children’s homes and the media because it purports to hold itself to a “far, far higher standard”.
Many of the people who read this article will do so because Greg Marra, 26, a Facebook engineer, calculated that it was the kind of thing they might enjoy.
Mr. Marra’s team designs the code that drives Facebook’s News Feed ”” the stream of updates, photographs, videos and stories that users see. He is also fast becoming one of the most influential people in the news business.
Facebook now has a fifth of the world ”” about 1.3 billion people ”” logging on at least monthly. It drives up to 20 percent of traffic to news sites, according to figures from the analytics company SimpleReach. On mobile devices, the fastest-growing source of readers, the percentage is even higher, SimpleReach says, and continues to increase.
[Here are]…Pham’s own words ”” the next two paragraphs of the story:
“I would first and foremost like to thank God, my family, and friends. Throughout this ordeal, I have put my trust in God and my medical team,” she said. “I am on my way back to recovery, even as I reflect on how many others have not been so fortunate.”
Pham, 26, said she felt “fortunate and blessed to be standing here today,” praised the care she received in Dallas and Maryland, asked for her privacy and said all she really wants to do is come home and be reunited with her 1-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel.
Nigeria says it is still holding talks with Boko Haram, two weeks after the government said it had agreed a truce with the Islamist militant group.
A presidential spokesman said he was optimistic that something “concrete and positive” would come out of the talks.
There has been no comment from Boko Haram, and violence in northern Nigeria has continued.
More than 200 schoolgirls are still being held by the group, which has been fighting an insurgency since 2009.
On 24 October 2014, all of us here in Egypt were shocked to hear the news of another terrorist attack in the North of Sinai.
The terrorists fired on a military border check point, killing 26 military officers and soldiers and injuring a further 25. This was a very serious incident and an attack on the forces of law and order, yet it was largely ignored by the international media.
Egyptians were angered and saddened by the attack and the government responded by tightening security measures, especially at the border with Gaza from where the terrorists possibly had crossed into Sinai, or from where they had received support. The government also declared a State of Emergency in the region.
Precious in thy sight, O Lord, is the death of thy saints, whose faithful witness, by thy providence, hath its great reward: We give thee thanks for thy martyrs James Hannington and his companions, who purchased with their blood a road unto Uganda for the proclamation of the Gospel; and we pray that with them we also may obtain the crown of righteousness which is laid up for all who love the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Eternal God, whose majesty is revealed in mercy: Grant that as we draw near to thee thy truth may set us free from the bondage of our own thoughts and desires, and that as we abide in thee our prayers may be an instrument of thy righteous will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
Awaiting outcome of litigation”“
Psalm 97:11 (ESV)
Light is sown for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
May it be so in the Diocese of South Carolina, dear Lord. Amen.
Senior theologians in Anglican Communion and Oriental Orthodox Churches recently made history by signing an agreement on their mutual understanding of Christ’s incarnation.
This was not just a minor point of theology, rather it was a subject that divided the Church following the Council of Chalcedon* in 451 AD, leaving the Oriental Orthodox Churches separated from the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Church of Rome.
The work to reconcile these branches of the Christian family on the question of how the two natures, human and divine, were united in one human being: Jesus Christ began in earnest in the 1990s.
As he donned the distinctive red and white Glengarry hat worn by members of his father’s regiment, 5-year-old Marcus Cirillo walked slowly behind his the flag-draped casket alongside the family, friends and colleagues of fallen soldier Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.
Thousands of mourners lined Hamilton’s streets to say goodbye at the regimental funeral held for Cirillo on Tuesday, watching scores of military personnel slowly march alongside the reservist’s casket in a procession to Christ’s Church Cathedral.
In an emotional service inside a church filled with family, fellow soldiers and dignitaries, Prime Minister Stephen Harper paid tribute to the 24-year-old member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, killed while standing guard at the National War Memorial last Wednesday.
Harper called Cirillo’s death at the memorial ”” intended to be a national place of solemn remembrance ”” a “bitter and truly heart-wrenching irony.”
Hanging on by a wing and a prayer, the Lords Spiritual fight for their survival, writes David Maddox
For constitutional geeks the years 1871 and 1920 bear a special significance in terms of reform of that much debated body the House of Lords. The first date was the removal of the Irish Episcopalian bishops from the Upper Chamber, when it was finally accepted that Roman Catholicism and Presbyterian Protestantism were the churches of its peoples. The second was the removal of Welsh bishops, making the Lords Spiritual ”“ as they are collectively known ”“ an English-only body.
It is worth noting that there were never any Scottish bishops given seats in the House of Lords, because of the success of Scotland’s politicians in keeping the Church separate in their negotiations for the 1707 Act of Union.
So with this in mind, Archbishop Justin Welby’s appearance at the Press Gallery lunch yesterday was poignant at a time when political reform, devolution and English votes for English laws are so high on the agenda.
“The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.”
–just quoted by Bishop Ken Clarke at the South Carolina Clergy Conference
At the turn of the 20th century in rural South Carolina, a domineering father, still bitter over the loss of the Civil War, drives his son to uphold the family name by relentless personal achievement. The farm boy complies by setting unequaled athletic and academic standards at the state college and by winning a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. He seeks a life of his own, forming unacceptable friendships with a brilliant Negro farm hand and a politically progressive girl friend. When a shocking accident fragments the young man’s world, the patient friendship of a country pastor and the bold witness of Christian athletes challenge his priorities. The human hunger for accomplishment and the universal longing for grace collide in a midnight raid and high-stakes court battle.
ChurchCare, the buildings division of the Church of England, welcomed the announcement today by Culture Secretary Sajid Javid of Â£8.3 million in grants for 31 English cathedrals. The money has come from a government-sponsored fund set up to support vital repairs to some of England’s most important historic buildings.
Mr Javid announced that the grants will provide 25 Church of England and six Catholic cathedrals with grants worth between Â£15k and Â£600k for repairs ranging from roofs, stonework and structural work through to detailed work on intricate stained glass windows.
The successful applicants will receive Â£8.3 million of money made available as part of the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund. This is the second round of grants from the Â£20 million Fund, which was announced in the Chancellor’s March budget. The third round with Â£7 million to award will close on 21 January 2015 and all projects awarded money will be complete by March 2016.
Whilst recognizing the well-established place of the ministry of absolution in the life of the CofE, the Council also acknowledged the responsibility of the Church to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm, and the force of the argument that the legal framework of the Church should be such as to enable those who present a risk to children and vulnerable adults to be identified.
The Council therefore decided to commission further theological and legal work to enable it to review, in consultation with the House of Bishops, the purpose and effect of the un-repealed proviso to the Canon of 1603, with a view to enabling the Synod to decide whether it wished to legislate to amend it. At its November meeting, the Council will consider the terms of that review and who should conduct it, with a view to putting their proposals in those respects to the House of Bishops when it meets in December.
On the afternoon of 17 November, General Synod is to debate a motion to take note of the draft Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy, (GS 1970). Responsibility for approving any final version will rest with the Convocations following the ”˜take note’ Synod debate.
These debt statistics come from Debt.org:
“More than 160 million Americans have credit cards.””The average credit card holder has at least three cards.””On average, each household with a credit card carries more than $15,000 in credit card debt.”
Not only do we have large amounts of credit card debt, we also have student loans, mortgages, cars, and medical debts. Our debt is growing faster than our income, and many middle class workers have trouble staying afloat. Money-Zine evaluated debt growth and income growth over the past few decades and found that “back in 1980, the consumer credit per person was $1,540, which was 7.3% of the average household income of $21,100. In 2013, consumer debt was $9,800 per person, which was 13.4% of the average household income of $72,600. This means debt increased 70% faster than income from 1980 through 2013.”
The UK should not view immigration as a “deep menace”, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.
Part of the country’s “strength and brilliance” lay in its long tradition of welcoming foreigners, the Most Reverend Justin Welby said.
But the process of immigration must be managed “prudently” to avoid “over-burdening our communities”, he added.
He also said clergy had noticed a rise in “minor-racist, anti-foreigner, anti-Semitic, anti-Islamic” sentiment.
Basima al-Safar retouches a picture of Jesus on an easel outside her house overlooking the flat Nineveh plains, 30 miles north of Mosul.
The murals she paints tell the story of her people, Christians in Iraq. But with Islamic State militants nearby, she is worried that life in Alqosh and towns like it could soon come to an end.
The Assyrian Christian town of around 6,000 people sits on a hill below the seventh-century Rabban Hormizd Monastery, temporarily closed because of the security situation. Residents of Alqosh fled this summer ahead of Islamic State militants. Around 70 percent of the town’s residents have since returned. Still, a sense of unease hangs in the air.
“Bankruptcy? Repossession? Charge-offs? Buy the car YOU deserve,” says the banner at the top of the Washington Auto Credit website. A stock photo of a woman with a beaming smile is overlaid with the promise of “100% guaranteed credit approval”.
On Wall Street they are smiling too, salivating over the prospect of borrowers taking Washington Auto Credit up on its enticing offer of auto financing. Every car loan advanced to a high-risk, subprime borrower can be bundled into bonds that are then sold on to yield-hungry investors.
This week I’ve been enjoying the warm and friendly hospitality of THE Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s the biggest seminary in the world ever, with thousands of students. And it’s well known that some of my best friends in the interdenominational Calvinist cohort are baptists.
The reason I’ve been in the USA for the first time (having previously only crossed the Atlantic to visit Texas) was the conference organised by the inimitable Michael Haykin to celebrate George Whitefield’s 300th birthday.
O God, we thank thee for the glorious company of the apostles, and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and we pray thee that, as they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so we may with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.