Daily Archives: October 25, 2014

The ANiC statement on the terrorist attack in Ottawa this week

[This week]…Canadians are grieving the deaths of two members of the Canadian Armed Forces at the hands of terrorists this week.

Our military has a proud history; hundreds of thousands have given their lives in the defence of freedom ”“ not only for our freedom, but for the freedom of people in distant nations. They serve valiantly to maintain our security. This week they were attacked on home soil.

Please join me in praying for everyone in our armed forces and specifically for the families and friends of the fallen men ”“ Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.

The attack yesterday on our Parliament was an attack on every Canadian, because it was an attack on our democracy, our values and our way of life. Although it was intended to instill fear, I pray God will cause us ”“ and our leaders ”“ to turn instead to Him.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Police/Fire, Terrorism, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Rowan Williams on Stephen Sykes RIP–Demanding and Endearing

The death of Stephen Sykes at the end of September ”” after many years of debilitating illness borne with great courage ”” has deprived the Anglican family of an unusually resourceful and penetrating theologian, who had a massive influence on a generation of younger theologians learning their trade in the 1960s and ’70s. When I went to Stephen for supervision in my student days, I found a teacher of exceptional commitment and integrity ”” and a very demanding one, who would relentlessly question clichés, inspirational vagueness, and attempts to be too clever. At a time when British theology departments were rather dominated by a combination of sceptical biblical scholarship and extremely cautious philosophy of religion, it was bracing and encouraging to find someone who believed so strongly in the actual study of doctrine as a serious intellectual exercise. The volume of essays on Christology (Christ, Faith and History) that Stephen edited with John Clayton in 1972 was and remains a significant moment in the revival of British systematic theology.

Part of the impetus for this came from Stephen’s unusual level of acquaintance with continental European theology, and he played a unique role in opening up conversations between continent (especially Germany) and island in areas other than New Testament scholarship. As so often, he saw his role as that of a bridge-builder and catalyst: much of his most important early work was in getting groups of theologians together to collaborate in fresh areas. I had the privilege of working with him and others on a book about Karl Barth in the late ’70s, when Barth was still shamefully little studied in the U.K. But he also produced significant work under his own name alone: a lucid little book on Schleiermacher, studies on atonement and ecclesiology, and of course some really groundbreaking work on Anglican identity. He was never happy with the rather lazy idea that there was no real theological distinctiveness about being Anglican ”” though he was also very suspicious of what he considered the Anglo-Catholic kidnapping of Anglican identity by means of an unhistorically narrow theology of the episcopate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

The Gafcon Chairman’s October Pastoral letter for 2014

To the Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friends from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council

24th October 2014

”˜The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.’ Psalm 147:2,3

My dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the precious name of our Risen Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

It is my great joy to be writing to you twelve months after GAFCON 2 here in Nairobi! Please join with me in giving thanks to God for the great blessing of that wonderful time of fellowship, teaching and renewal. Despite many challenges, we brought together 1358 delegates, including 331 bishops, from 39 countries ”“ and we paid all the bills! We eagerly look forward to GAFCON 3, but in the meantime there is much work for us to do.

The recent news that Lambeth 2018 has been postponed, perhaps indefinitely, is the latest sign that the old institutions of the Communion no longer command confidence. We must remember that the fundamental reason for this is doctrinal. We are divided because the Faith is threatened by unbiblical teaching.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Global South Churches & Primates, Theology

Professor Emeritus of Anglican Studies at Yale Divinity School Rowan Greer RIP

The Reverend Rowan A. Greer ended his earthly existence on March 17, 2014, leaving behind a long trail of friends and memories. He taught for many years at Yale Divinity School and will continue to live in the minds of the students he encountered. He was a scholar of Early Church History and Early Christian Leaders, a life-long student of classic languages and literature, and an author of many books and articles in his field. He was a craftsman of well-wrought and stimulating sermons and a patient and inspirational professor. After his graduation from Yale College and from General Seminary he started his career in parish work in an Episcopal Church in Fairfield, CT, followed by several years of teaching in Edinburgh, Scotland, and his long sojourn at Yale Divinity School. Following his retirement he did parish work at the downtown Episcopal Church in Charlotte, NC before returning to New Haven in 1999, where he continued to write and remain involved in parish work.

Read it all from the New Haven Register.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

The Final agenda for the Church of England General Synod is published

Following the legislative business, there will be a Take Note debate on the Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy. This is a draft document prepared by the Convocations of York and Canterbury which updates the existing Guidelines dating from 2003 to take account of new developments in secular and Church legislation and pastoral practice, as well as liturgical developments. Following comment by General Synod, the draft Guidelines will return to the Convocations for further consideration. After a short period of worship, the day will conclude with Synod Questions.

Tuesday 18th November will start with Holy Communion which will lead into a presentation by a panel of speakers moderated by the Bishop of Coventry on Violence against Religious Minorities in Iraq and Syria. The panel will include the Rt. Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, His Grace Bishop Angaelos, the General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Great Britain, who is one of our regular Ecumenical representatives on Synod and who is in close touch with churches in Iraq and Syria, Dr.Fuad Nahdi Executive Director of the Radical Middle Way and Founding Editor of the pioneering Q-News and the Revd Dr Rachel Carnegie, the Co-Director of the Anglican Alliance. There will be opportunities for Synod members to pose questions to the panel.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

(NYT Op-Ed columnist) Ross Douthat on the next 50-100 yrs–Settling in to a Decadent Decline

“The purpose of the lectures is to encourage persons recognized for scholarship, wisdom, and creativity to undertake serious thought and original writing on an issue of significance for the Christian church and to promote the sharing of such thoughts through a series of public lectures.”

Is this what you would choose if you had to pick a topic? Read here for more information.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Media, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(CSM) War on Ebola can be won ”¦ with a big effort, says World Bank chief

With Ebola rising as a concern for Americans due to a case of the disease in New York City, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said Friday that the challenge posed by the virus can be met through vigorous effort.

President Kim, himself a medical doctor, called the response by New York officials “impressive” and praised the Ebola patient there as a physician who was willing to go to West Africa to help others with the disease.

“Dr. [Craig] Spencer is a hero,” Kim told reporters at a breakfast for reporters sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor. Far from putting America at risk, “he is doing exactly what’s needed” to protect Americans and others worldwide.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology

(WSJ) David Skeel–A New Kinder, Gentler Atheism

In his new book “Waking Up,” neuroscientist and popular atheist Sam Harris recounts that “a feeling of peace came over me” as he followed in Jesus’ footsteps on a hill by the Sea of Galilee, and it “soon grew to a blissful stillness that silenced my thoughts. In an instant, the sense of being a separate self””an ”˜I’ or a ”˜me’””vanished.”

Mr. Harris doesn’t use religious terms, but his musings about meditating on a mountaintop have left some fans wondering what happened to the pugilistic author of “The End of Faith” and “Letter to a Christian Nation,” which declared that “faith is nothing more than the license religious people give to one another to keep believing when reasons fail.”

Mr. Harris isn’t the only one who has changed his tone. The atheist Richard Dawkins recently devoted an entire book, “The Magic of Reality,” to showing how scientific inquiry has made sense of the seemingly miraculous””from rainbows to the origins of the universe. The discoveries of science, Mr. Dawkins writes, offer as much wonder and life satisfaction as religious belief. The evolutionary biologist and atheist Olivia Judson calls “the knowledge that we evolved a source of solace and hope.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(Xn Today) Ruth Gledhill on the Yougov survey–One in 50 Anglican clergy do not believe in God

One in 50 Anglican clergy in the UK believes God is merely a human construct, according to a new survey today.

Just eight in ten believe there is a personal God and a further three in 100 believe there is some spirit or life force.

And in spite of two millennia of Church doctrine based on determining the mind of God through the Scriptures, nearly one in ten believes: “No-one can know what God is like.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(RNS) Secularism grows as more U.S. Christians turn ”˜churchless’

If you’re dismayed that one in five Americans (20 percent) are “nones” ”” people who claim no particular religious identity ”” brace yourself.

How does 38 percent sound?

That’s what religion researcher David Kinnaman calculates when he adds “the unchurched, the never-churched and the skeptics” to the nones.

He calls his new category “churchless,” the same title Kinnaman has given his new book. By his count, roughly four in 10 people living in the continental United States are actually “post-Christian” and “essentially secular in belief and practice.”

If asked, the “churchless” would likely check the “Christian” box on a survey, even though they may not have darkened the door of a church in years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Sociology, Theology

On the week of the 70th anniversary of his conversion–J. I. Packer on The Anglican Heritage

Enjoy watching and listening to it all–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Samuel Johnson

Almighty God, the giver of all good things, without whose help all labour is ineffectual, and without whose grace all wisdom is folly: Grant, we beseech thee, that in our undertakings thy Holy Spirit may not be withheld from us, but that we may promote thy glory, and the coming of thy kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation.”

And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ”˜Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ”˜Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

–Luke 11:1-13

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Touchstone) Robert Hart: on Spiritual Evolution & the Myth of Equal Rights

I did not know the man I was drinking tea with in the parish hall below my office. He had introduced himself as a retired Episcopal priest a few days before, when he’d called for this appointment. He told me then that he was offering something called “coaching,” and was asking for referrals from local clergy. At the time of the call I had thought he was running some sort of sports team, but now, over tea, he was telling me what he meant by the word “coaching.”

“We ask five power questions to help people change their lives,” he told me (I cannot remember even one of those power questions). “This helps individuals grow and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and recognize his working in their lives.”

“So far so good,” I thought to myself. “At least up until now he has said things I cannot fault.” Still, something felt wrong. And then he told me what coaching had done for him.

“It helped me evolve,” he said with a wide smile. Since he appeared to be an average homo sapiens, I awaited an explanation. “Why, just last week I drove up to Maryland and did my first ever same-sex wedding.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture