Daily Archives: April 27, 2015

Moody Bible Institute debate on collective sin strikes a nerve as Xn colleges wrestle w diversity

Moody Bible Institute professor has called on the school to abandon the term white privilege in discussions about diversity, calling it “inflammatory,” “repugnant,” and “unworthy of Christian discourse.”

“I suggest we should rip the term ”˜white privilege’ out of our discourse at Moody,” wrote theology professor Bryan Litfin in a letter to the editor published April 15 in the student newspaper. “The underlying issues that need to be addressed should be described with more wholesome, less divisive terminology.”

Litfin proposes five reasons why he believes the term is “intended to address an important topic” yet isn’t biblical enough to be effective because it is “taken straight from a radical and divisive secular agenda.” “The problem is, the term itself is inflammatory, so the real topic goes unheard because of the offense,” he wrote, concluding, “Why employ terms that divide the body of Christ? As students of God’s Word, let us draw our terminology from the Bible, not the wisdom of man.”

The letter follows an apology he made in March for comments he had made on social media about a campus diversity event.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology, Young Adults

GoFundMe Shuts Down Campaign for Christian Bakers Asked to Pay $135,000 Fine

Fundraising site GoFundMe has closed the account that was set up to raise money for Aaron and Melissa Klein, Christians and former owners of a bakery in Gresham, Oregon, who were ordered by a judge Friday to pay a fine of $135,000 for declining to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian marriage ceremony.

“After careful review by our team, we have found the ‘Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa’ campaign to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions,” Oregon Live quoted the site as saying in a statement.

“The money raised thus far will still be made available for withdrawal. While a different campaign was recently permitted for a pizzeria in Indiana, no laws were violated and the campaign remained live. However, the subjects of the ‘Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa’ campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled,” it added.

The account had received $109,000 when the site blocked it.

Read it all from the Christian Post.

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

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

[George Conger] Border-crossing charges filed against British Bishop

See also Bishop John Ellison Interviewed in 2009 and 2010
The Bishop of Salisbury has initiated a complaint under the Clergy Discipline Measure against the Hon. Assistant Bishop of Winchester, the Rt. Rev. John Ellison, for violating ecclesiastical law.

Bishop Ellison, the former Bishop of Paraguay, is alleged to have exercised episcopal jurisdiction over a church within the geographic boundaries of the Diocese of Salisbury without the permission of the Rt. Rev. Nicholas Holtam when he participated in a service of Thanksgiving last year at Christ Church Salisbury — a congregation of the Anglican Mission in England.

In an interview broadcast last week with Anglican TV, the former Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Peter Jensen confirmed “the Bishop of Salisbury has delivered a disciplinary note to Bishop John Ellison” and charged him with violating the ecclesiastical boundaries of his diocese.

In their communique released at the close of their London meeting on 18 April 2015 the GAFCON primates gave Bishop Ellison their full backing, denouncing the “unjust and uncharitable charges brought against him by the Bishop of Salisbury.”

Read it all. For more background about the controversial Bishop of Salisbury and the way the CofE House of Bishops changed the rules on divorce to enable him to be appointed see:
Sunday Telegraph: Divorced bishops to be permitted for first time by Church of England, June 6, 2010
Pageantmaster””Comments on the Southwark Bishop Candidates, July 6, 2010
”˜Rising star’ made Bishop of Salisbury, April 12, 2011
John Richardson””Bishops married to divorcees ”˜pose serious challenge to traditionalist Anglicans,’ April 13, 2011
([London] Times) Bishop of Salisbury Openly Supports Same Sex Marriage, February 3, 2012
The Bishop of Salisbury””Marriage and same-sex relationships, February 24, 2012
Peter Ould responds to the Bishop of Salisbury””Nick Holtam’s Case for Polygamy, May 30, 2013
Bishop Holtam of Salisbury Congratulates and Prays for Same-Sex Couples Getting Married, March 29, 2014

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

(NYT) Families Steel Themselves for Trial of Aurora Theater Killer in Colorado

“Our former life is now in our rearview mirror,” Sandy Phillips wrote on Facebook as she and her husband, Lonnie, locked the door of their San Antonio home and steered their new camper north, toward Colorado and the trial of the man who killed their daughter, Jessica Ghawi, and 11 other people inside an Aurora movie theater.

In the years since that July 2012 mass shooting, as the criminal case has inched forward, the Phillipses have traveled the country, arguing for gun control and background checks, unsuccessfully trying to sue ammunition manufacturers, and telling stories about Ms. Ghawi, a 24-year-old budding sports reporter.

Now, the trial of the gunman, James E. Holmes, is scheduled to start on Monday after multiple delays. The loose-knit community of hundreds of survivors, witnesses and relatives of the 12 people killed and 70 wounded were steeling themselves for what is expected to be one of the longest and most emotionally wrenching criminal trials in a state touched by mass shootings.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Theology, Violence

(NBC) Anonymous Donor Pays Oso Mudslide Victim's Mortgage

An anonymous donor is paying off the $360,000 mortgage for a man who lost his wife and house in a deadly mudslide.

Homeowner Tim Ward received the unexpected news last week.

“There are still good Samaritans out there,” Ward told NBC News. “This is life-changing.”

The massive mudslide destroyed Ward’s farmhouse near Oso, Washington, where he and his wife, Brandy, raised turkeys and chickens. They were both home on March 22, 2014, when the wall of earth and debris came cascading down the hill.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Christology, Eschatology, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, Theology

(Observer) Bp David Walker–I want leaders who look on migrants with compassion

Twenty-first-century Britain still aspires to be an international player. We may no longer be kingmaker across large swaths of the globe, but we like to see our influence, and our military assets, being used to destabilise and engineer the removal of some of the more unpleasant dictators who strut the world stage.

To go on doing this, in the belief that next time round what will ensue will be a peaceful, human-rights observing, multi-party democracy is getting us close to the classic definition of madness.

The moral cost of our continual overseas interventions has to include accepting a fair share of the victims of the wars to which we have contributed as legitimate refugees in our own land.

Ironically, all the evidence is that families who come and make their homes in Britain, as asylum seekers and through the free movement of European citizens, add to our wealth, increase job opportunities for all and are not a net drain on housing, healthcare or other public resources. The positive case for a steady level of inward migration into the UK is economic as well as moral.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Archbp Okoh Warns–"Don't give defecting politicians positions in your government"

Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of Anglican Church of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh, yesterday, called on President- elect, Muhammadu Buhari not to give any politician who has defected from any party to join the All Progressives Congress (APC), a position in his government.

Most Revd Okoh described the defecting politicians as lacking in credibility.

He said, ,“If I were the President-elect, I will not give them anything because they are not people to be trusted. They lack credibility, they are people who are destroying the country, and they did not work for the party so why are they joining the party now.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

The world's oldest newlyweds prove you're never too old to fall in love

A British couple with a combined aged of 194 will be getting married in the summer – making them the oldest newlyweds in the world.

George Kirby, who will be 103 when they tie the knot in June, and his bride-to-be Doreen Luckie, 91, got engaged on Valentine’s Day this year after being together for 27 years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Men, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology, Women

Michael Bird has some interesting comments on TEC in a response to Rachel Held Evans

The Episcopal Church (TEC) is a complex and diverse denomination. Only last January I had the pleasure of worshipping at two Episcopal churches in Houston, which was a great experience with some wonderful people. In a broad church like TEC there are people to the theological left and right and everything in between. However, TEC as a whole is typified by a radical liberalism and an authoritative leadership that punishes dissent and persecutes conservative believers (I can provide evidence if you wish!). Bishops in TEC have denied every line in the Apostles’ Creed and there is a flagrant rejoicing in apostasy. I have to tell you that the vast majority of world-wide Anglicans look on TEC with a mixture of confusion and disgust and have broken fellowship with TEC. It is because of TEC that the next Lambeth conference has been indefinitely postponed. The African and Global South Anglican bishops have responded with no shortage of rage and rancor at TEC’s actions and attitudes towards Scripture. Now if the TEC presiding bishop asked you, as something of a celebrity recruit to TEC, to go to Africa and get the African bishops to chillax and to receive TEC back into the Anglican fold, what would you say to them? In other words, should the global south Anglican bishops be in fellowship with TEC?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, --Aggressive Title IV Action Against Multiple Bishops on Eve of Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelicals, Global South Churches & Primates, Other Churches, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Helena Bonham Carter reads Christina Rossetti's Song poem for the poet's Feast Day

When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

Christina Rossetti (1830–1894)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Poetry & Literature, Women

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Christina Rossetti

O God, whom heaven cannot hold, who didst inspire Christina Rossetti to express the mystery of the Incarnation through her poems: Help us to follow her example in giving our hearts to Christ, who is love; and who is alive and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Frank Colquhoun

O Heavenly Father, by whose gracious will we have been born again by the Word of truth: Make us ever swift to hear that Word and responsive to its saving message, that henceforth we may live as those who are partakers of thy new creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colos”²sae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love which you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing””so among yourselves, from the day you heard and understood the grace of God in truth, as you learned it from Ep”²aphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

–Colossians 1:1-14

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Liberland: Man sets up his own libertarian nation, 160,000 register to become citizens

Czech man Vit Jedlicka has claimed a 7km2 stretch of land on the west bank of the Danube river as the Free Republic of Liberland, after disputes between Serbia and Croatia rendered it technically no man’s land.

It’s no half-assed attempted at nation formation either ”“ Liberland already has a constitution, flag, coat of arms, official website, Facebook page and a motto: “To live and let live”.

Read it all from the Independent.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, History, Law & Legal Issues, Philosophy, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology

(Crux) Science fiction, outer space, and the question of God in "Interstellar" and "Gravity"

Both parents address words to their absent children which they hope, but cannot know, will reach them. Coop records video messages which he transmits back to Earth, though they will take years to arrive. Stone, meanwhile, speaks to the character who seemed to appear to her as Catholics pray to saints, asking that a message be passed on to her departed daughter.

While neither film’s protagonist is religious, “Gravity” is interested in religion in a way that “Interstellar” isn’t. Convinced that she is doomed to die in space, Stone laments that not only will no one on Earth pray for her soul, she was never even taught to pray and doesn’t know how to pray for her own soul.

Improbably traveling to two different space stations, Stone encounters a Russian Orthodox icon of Saint Christopher carrying the child Jesus in a Russian spacecraft and a smiling Buddha statue in a Chinese spacecraft. (Strikingly, the only analogous object on the American space shuttle is a statue of Marvin the Martian ”” an ironic comment, perhaps, on religiously deracinated Western secularism?)

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(WSJ) Is the World Awash in too Much of Everything?

The global economy is awash as never before in commodities like oil, cotton and iron ore, but also with capital and labor””a glut that presents several challenges as policy makers struggle to stoke demand.

“What we’re looking at is a low-growth, low-inflation, low-rate environment,” said Megan Greene, chief economist of John Hancock Asset Management, who added that the global economy could spend the next decade “working this off.”

The current state of plenty is confounding on many fronts. The surfeit of commodities depresses prices and stokes concerns of deflation. Global wealth””estimated by Credit Suisse at around $263 trillion, more than double the $117 trillion in 2000””represents a vast supply of savings and capital, helping to hold down interest rates, undermining the power of monetary policy. And the surplus of workers depresses wages.

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, Globalization, Politics in General, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology