Daily Archives: June 1, 2015

[BBC] God is neither 'she' nor 'he' say Anglican priests

God is neither “she” nor “he” says Watch, a group which represents women in the church.

The organisation has been accused of trying to “rewrite” Christian doctrine by encouraging people to use the female pronoun when talking about God.

Rev Jody Stowell, vicar at St Michael & All Angels Church in Harrow, says she was “dismayed” by recent reports.

“This is not about making God a woman. This is about creating those proper, Biblical images of God,” she explains.

The ideas surrounding which pronouns to use when talking about God were discussed at a committee meeting in Lambeth Palace, according to Hilary Cotton, chair of Watch.

The former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, who left the Anglican Church following the decision to ordain women priests, said a plan to use female pronouns was “plain silly” and “the work of lunatics”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

[Premier Christianity] The letter of RT Kendall to the UK Church

I am always amazed and reassured that Jesus never apologised for the God of the Old Testament ”“ his father! This includes being unashamed of the Genesis account of creation, especially: ”˜So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them’ [Genesis 1:27, NIV 1984, italics mine]. The modern redefinition of marriage reflects a disdain for God’s plan in making us male and female. I thank God for those who have resisted this trend, and hold to a biblical definition of traditional marriage.

References to the inspiration of scripture in the New Testament include the 39 books of the Old Testament. If we affirm the New Testament it means we affirm the Old Testament too. I accept there are things in the Old Testament that are hard to swallow. Yes. But this is true with the New Testament too. Part of bearing the stigma for Christ is the willingness to look like fools in the eyes the world.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

[Guelph Mercury] Protesters seek meeting with Anglican bishop over sale of Guelph property

Passionate but peaceful protesters gathered outside St. George’s Anglican Church in downtown Guelph on Sunday morning to send a message to the church’s bishop.

As parishioners filed into the Woolwich Street church, roughly 25 members of two south end community groups handed out literature and marched on the sidewalk with signs critical of Bishop Michael Bird of the Anglican Diocese of Niagara.

While the protesters made it clear they have no issue with St. George’s Church itself, they felt it was another way to try to pressure Bishop Bird to meet with them and discuss the sale of property on Kortright Road that is the home of the former St. Matthias Anglican Church.

“I think the bishop should meet with the people. Jesus met with everybody, sinners and non-sinners, so why would the bishop not meet with the people,” said Bruce Taylor of Citizens for Community.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

(AAC) Phil Ashey–The Case of St. James Church, The Facts Speak for Themselves

Update: Video added June 1

Over the years, the Diocese of Los Angeles moved in a more liberal, revisionist direction but some parishes, including St. James, remained faithful. After my father retired in 1985, the vestry of St. James called a young priest from South Dakota to be their new Rector. The Rev. David Anderson and his lovely wife and children came to sunny California from a much different place. However they brought with them the same faith my father and the people of St. James held. Under Father David’s leadership, St. James grew and became an even more vibrant place of ministry and gospel witness. Healing ministries continued to flourish. New ministries were birthed””“Discovery (a kind of in house “Cursillo”) to introduce new members at St. James to discipleship in Christ, outreach to local rescue missions and jails, and a focus on evangelism through pre-marital and baptismal preparation. Many members of St. James were encouraged to participate in the life of the Diocese, to engage different points of view, and to share their Biblical faith in Christ with both truth and grace. As the congregation expanded, so did the building and facilities. Even after Father Anderson retired from St. James in 2004 to lead the American Anglican Council, St. James remained a place of faithful gospel witness in one of the most affluent areas of the country.

It’s with these memories in mind that I was saddened when I heard what The Episcopal Church was planning on doing with St. James. Like hundreds of other parishes, St. James voted to leave The Episcopal Church in the early 2000’s and was subsequently mired in a protracted lawsuit with The Diocese of Los Angeles. After years of fighting in court, the Diocese won the property. At the time, Bishop Jon Bruno said St. James was for those faithful Episcopalians in the Newport Beach area. So it was surprising when I read this Monday that Bishop Bruno and the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles had agreed to sell St. James to a real estate developer. It will be bulldozed to the ground to make room for retail boutiques and condominiums, in keeping with the redevelopment of downtown Newport Beach. No provisions have been made for any sacred space for people of faith to replace this sacred space in the heart of the city.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, - Anglican: Commentary, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby preaches in China

On Trinity Sunday we are drawn into the presence of God by the Spirit through Jesus, sent by love of the Father. We are drawn inward in order to be sent out to give and bless and be the presence of Jesus. Trinity is community, perfect in love and acceptance and giving out, going out. We are to be like that in the church.

All true, but full of issues about how. How? Peter was writing to churches in what is now Turkey. He writes all about how to live a complicated life with households, with worries and pressures, and how to be the community that God wants us to be, because that community is mainly the means through which He loves us.

So today’s sermon is about community in the light of Trinity. That community of the church is above all called to witness and worship. We witness every day by what kind of people we are individually and as a community.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Asia, China

(W Post) Robert Samuelson–The tentative US economy

The U.S. economy continues to stumble. It’s creating jobs at a goodly clip, but other aspects of growth are less impressive. Business investment has been lackluster. The housing recovery is improving but remains short of where many economists thought it would be. Consumer spending, representing slightly more than two-thirds of total spending, has been soft. The economy has a tentative quality that repeatedly disappoints forecasts of stronger growth.

My main explanation for this ”” as I’ve argued before ”” is the hangover from the 2008-2009 financial crisis and the Great Recession. These events changed economic psychology, precisely because they were unanticipated and horrific. They transcended the experience of most Americans (that is, anyone who hadn’t lived through the Great Depression). Corporate executives and consumers alike became more defensive; they saved and hoarded a bit more. If a novel calamity struck once, it could strike again. They’d better prepare.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

Archbishop Charles Chaput's March address to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary: Of Human Dignity

We too easily forget that every good service the government provides comes with a growth in its regulatory power. And that power can be used in ways nobody imagined in the past.

We also forget Tocqueville’s warning that democracy can become tyrannical precisely because it’s so sensitive to public opinion. If anyone needs proof, consider what a phrase like “marriage equality” has done to our public discourse in less than a decade. It’s dishonest. But it works.

That leads to the key point I want to make here. The biggest problem we face as a culture isn’t gay marriage or global warming. It’s not abortion funding or the federal debt. These are vital issues, clearly. But the deeper problem, the one that’s crippling us, is that we use words like justice, rights, freedom and dignity without any commonly shared meaning to their content.

We speak the same language, but the words don’t mean the same thing. Our public discourse never gets down to what’s true and what isn’t, because it can’t. Our most important debates boil out to who can deploy the best words in the best way to get power. Words like “justice” have emotional throw-weight, so people use them as weapons. And it can’tbe otherwise, becausethe religious vision and convictions that once animated American life are no longer welcome at the table. After all, what can “human rights” mean if science sees nothing transcendent in the human species? Or if science imagines a trans-humanist future? Or if science doubts that a uniquely human “nature” even exists? If there’s no inherent human nature, there can be no inherent natural rights””and then the grounding of our whole political system is a group of empty syllables.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Philosophy, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Father in heaven, by whose grace the virgin mother of thine incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed in keeping thy word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to thy will; through the same 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 Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Wilfred Hornby

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.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Blessed is he who considers the poor!
The Lord delivers him in the day of trouble;
the Lord protects him and keeps him alive;
he is called blessed in the land;
thou dost not give him up to the will of his enemies.
The Lord sustains him on his sickbed;
in his illness thou healest all his infirmities.

–Psalm 41:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Concessionist Gives Advice to a High School graduating+wanting to major in Journalism

Entry level jobs in sales, business, real estate and even some levels of finance have little barrier to entry, it turns out, even though this is where the 1% hide all their children. The fields are only packed with muttonheads and pearl-clutchers from Trinity-Pawling and Loomis Chaffee because they are told how to get there. The rest of us just need to be informed. The point being, you can take a thousand paths to performing journalism, and being literate in the ways of the world is actually a much better path than being literate in journalism. Journalism is easy to learn. The world is much harder.

For instance, have you ever read journalists writing about the media business itself? For the most part, they have literally no idea what they’re talking about. They don’t know how marketing or circulation or advertising sales work; they aren’t familiar with the technology of their own publications; they certainly don’t understand the financing and ownership of their own publications. When their publications or publications they admire fold or are sold or are “sold,” they tend to print the story they are told rather than the story that is obviously true. This happens even at the highest levels; you can see media reporters at the New York Times relaying concepts or ideas or narratives that they don’t actually understand or possibly, if they took a breath, even believe.

Should this happen to you? Say no! And start now! Major in art. Major in finance. Major in chemistry! Major in engineering science! Major in accounting! Major in Russian! Major in statistics! Major in African-American studies! Literally any of those will serve you better in the world””and in journalism””than the undergraduate study of journalism.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Education, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Teens / Youth, Young Adults

Matthew Franck–Tales of 2 Social Scientists: One of these cases is not like the other

First tale: A tenured sociologist at a prominent research university, with a couple of books under his belt on related subjects, publishes the first-ever research, using a nationally representative sample, on the young-adult outcomes for kids raised by people who have same-sex romantic relationships. The results show that these young adults have more difficult life experiences across a host of variables involving their employment, education, dependence on public assistance, mental health, relationship success and sexuality, trouble with the law, and experience of abuse.

The study, which confirms that the “gold standard” for the rearing of children is the intact biological family, of married mom and dad staying together faithfully and raising their own offspring, naturally causes a furor. The peer-reviewed social science journal that published the study, along with commentary alongside it, commissions a member of its own editorial board (who has an openly hostile view of the study) to “audit” the peer-review process. He concludes that, as much as he dislikes the article, the journal did everything by the book in publishing it. The journal’s editor, who is likewise friendly to the cause of same-sex marriage, stands by its publication, and in a subsequent issue publishes a follow-up article by its author, who cogently defends and restates his findings.

Meanwhile, at the sociologist’s home institution, a “scientific misconduct” inquiry prompted by a hostile non-scholarly ideologue is undertaken, and the sociologist is cleared completely after a thorough review of his methods and even his correspondence. His double vindication, however””by the journal that published his work and the university where he works””makes little headway against the howling media denunciation of his “debunked” research. (This is a world where “we hate your results” means the same thing as “they’re invalid.”)

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Children, Marriage & Family, Media, Politics in General, Sexuality, Sociology

(CT) Peter Leithart–How to Glimpse the Trinity

Sound and music are perhaps the clearest illustration of the pattern I’m describing. Sounds exist quite literally within other sounds. A single note on the piano is “indwelt” by its overtones, and at the same time sounds through those overtones. Each tone of a chord provides a setting for every other, and in a melody line each note, like a word of a poem, falls silent to make room for the next””but that falling-silent lingers in the memory and air. When we sing, we form a community of sound, each voice singing the same song, soprano setting the context for bass even as bass frames soprano. When we sing, each singer sings through others, literally vibrating the flesh of her nearest neighbors. Music is perhaps our most elaborate, and most lovely, clue to the nature of the universe and the hopes of human society.

The classic doctrine of the Trinity illumines the world we live in, helping us to discover clues to the Trinitarian life within creation. Not only that, a perichoretic imagination of the world and human existence works itself out in truly Christian ethics. Others indwell our lives; therefore we ought to open our lives hospitably to them. We indwell the lives of others; therefore, we ought to see others not as obstacles to our plots and projects but as potential homes in which we can dwell together. A world of mutual interpenetration implies an ethic of hospitality, welcome, invitation, companionship, centered on a common table. The world created by our Triune God is a world organized by and for love.

And when we get to that point, Jesus’ prayer comes back into focus: Jesus calls us to be one even as the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father, to live as humans in a way that displays the very life of God.

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Posted in The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology