Daily Archives: June 11, 2015

Robin Jordan–A Proposal for the Restructuring of the Anglican Church in North America

Episcopal Church expansion in the region occurred in three phases””in the nineteenth century, in the 1950s, and in 1980. No new Episcopal churches have been planted in the region since 1980. One of the churches, which was planted in the 1950s, closed in 2005. There is only one self-supporting parish in the Jackson Purchase; the other churches are subsidized missions, except for the oldest Episcopal church in the region. It is a preaching station.

The last Episcopal church planted in the Jackson Purchase, the one planted in 1980, experienced a church split following the election and consecration of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire. The group of conservative Episcopalians that broke away from the congregation affiliated with one of the Continuing Anglican jurisdictions. This group has experienced a number of splits of its own since that time and has been affiliated with three different Continuing Anglican jurisdictions. The Jackson Purchase’s two Continuing Anglican churches trace their origins to this group.

If any conclusion can be drawn from the experience of these two Continuing Anglican churches, it is that traditionalist High Church Anglo-Catholic congregations do not fare well in the region. Among the factors that may have contributed to their negligible growth is that the communities in which they are located are not diverse enough for them to find a niche for themselves in their respective communities. The two churches also have no connection with the communities in which they are located. While the Episcopal churches in the region are not exactly flourishing, they are, with the exception of the preaching station, doing better than the two Continuing Anglican churches.

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

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Identity, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Theology

Ephraim Radner 'What God has Joined Together': Recovering Christian Identity After the Reformation

So where does that leave us? Separated churches in themselves create a mindset, a separative one at its root, but in fact a similar one all across the board. And that is perhaps the thing we must confront. The question today is no longer, “What is a Christian?” This was the old question of the Reformation and its aftermath, and it focused precisely on doctrinal questions. Is a Christian one who believes this or that? Is a Christian one who follows this or that practice? Is a Christian one who is bound to this or that order or authority?

“What is a Christian?” was the old question. And it has left us with the shrivelled and unappealing answer: “A Christian is someone who separates from other Christians.” But the new question, the question of today, is not, “What is a Christian?” but, “Who is a Christian?” This question must be answered in a new way, and with new tools theologically. It is a single question that, if answered rightly, offers a single counter-charge to the separative mindset that we all still share.

The question, “Who is a Christian?” emerges from a range of factors. Let me note two. First, there is the obvious point that, as people have shed their doctrinal clothing, in the course of the various developments I have already noted, one is left with, as it were, a “naked” religious figure – the one we call “Christian.” But what is this naked Christian? “I am not really a Catholic or a Baptist or Lutheran or an Anglican or Presbyterian,” someone might tell the Pew Forum survey. “So, what are you?” one might ask in response. Are you a Christian? What in the world is that?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Europe, History, Religion & Culture, Theology

Australian Anglican Future Conference Videos are now available

Please go and check them all out there. David Ould gives a particular plug for the Ashley Null presentations, as does yours truly.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Book of Common Prayer, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Christology, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Pastoral Theology, Soteriology, Theology

(B+C) Wes Jackaki on the New Brian Wilson Movie–Love & Mercy

The film’s title alludes to the opening track of Wilson’s 1988 debut solo album. The film delivers both in spades. Mercy is certainly shown to Wilson in the film, which skips the darkest period of his life, a fifteen-year-stretch between 1968 and the transformation that came after Melinda Ledbetter (his wife-to-be) met him. During those lost years, he was in and out of psychiatric hospitals, battling auditory hallucinations, spending much of his time in bed, using drugs, and grossly overeating (his weight soared to more than 300 pounds).

Melinda (played by Elizabeth Banks) is really the central character in the ’80s narrative, and her perseverance and genuine concern for Brian’s well-being ultimately get him out of his abusive relationship with Dr. Landy. Love & Mercy celebrates the gift of Wilson’s music by focusing on his most fertile creative period and the light shining through after almost two decades of darkness. What makes the Wilson story so wonderful is its genuinely redemptive arc. With Melinda he has enjoyed a newfound stability (they’ve been happily married for 20 years) and a return to the music spotlight with 2004’s Grammy-winning Brian Wilson Presents Smile and later with the long-awaited release of the masters for Smile in 2011.

While love and mercy may have both landed in the title, justice is also central to the film. In the scene that generates the largest applause, Dr. [Eugene] Landy is served papers for the lawsuit that ultimately cost him his license to practice psychiatry. That may suggest why Love & Mercy is so compelling. It avoids the formulaic quality of so many recent biopics, but it’s not ashamed to tug at our heartstrings. And above all, it captures the joy of creation.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Movies & Television, Music, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

(Albert Mohler) Which Way, Evangelicals? There is Nowhere to Hide

But then, in a very curious paragraph, [Mark] Galli stated:

“We’ll be sad, but we won’t panic or despair. Neither will we feel compelled to condemn the converts and distance ourselves from them. But, to be sure, they will be enlisting in a cause that we believe is ultimately destructive to society, to the church, and to relations between men and women.”

I have to admit that I do not understand how those two sentences can be combined. If the view of the “converts” to same-sex marriage and the acceptance of homosexual partnerships is “ultimately destructive to society, to the church, and to relations between men and women,” how can that distance be avoided?

The reality is that it cannot. This is a moment of decision, and every evangelical believer, congregation, denomination, and institution will have to answer. There will be no place to hide. The forces driving this revolution in morality will not allow evasion or equivocation. Every pastor, every church, and every Christian organization will soon be forced to declare an allegiance to the Scriptures and to the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexual morality, or to affirm loyalty to the sexual revolution. That revolution did not start with same-sex marriage, and it will not end there. But marriage is the most urgent issue of the day, and the moment of decision has arrived.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, History, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Dale Matson–Right Thinking And The The Spirit Of The Age

There are other elements to the spirit of the ages, not just disobedience. The spirit of the ages is not spiritual but materialistic. That is why Nicodemus was confused when Jesus said that he must be born again. Nicodemus stated, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” No Nicodemus, being born again is a spiritual birth not a physical birth. People confuse the kingdom of this world for the Kingdom of God. There is a bumper sticker that reminds me of this. “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Really, I believe that he who dies with the most toys is the biggest loser. He is the one who can’t pass through the eye of a needle.

Another element in the spirit of the ages is individualism. There are positive aspects to individualism like someone who does not conform to the pressures of society like Rosa Parks. She refused to go to the back of the bus just because she was black. Individualism in its worst form however is narcissism. Narcissists are people that believe the rest of the world is there to make them happy and to adore them. I think we have helped this along with the self-esteem school program called “I am special”. As Christians we are individuals but members of the body of Christ, the church. We all have spiritual gifts unique to each of us intended for service to other members of the body. Individualism may be one of the most dangerous elements in the spirit of the ages because folks believe that being an individual means they have a right to do whatever they please. Once again, the church is pointed at as discriminating and bigoted because we don’t condone behaviors legally engaged in by consenting adults. For example, just because Marijuana is legal does not mean that it is not harmful. As the electronic highway signs state, “Buzzed driving is drunk driving.”

Another element in the spirit of the ages is the loss of Truth….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Presiding Bishop, Theology

Former Baltimore Area Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook's Trial Postponed Until September

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, Theology

Newest Boeing Dreamliner ahead of schedule, production in S. Carolina could start early

Engineering and design work on Boeing’s 787-10 ”” the longest member of the Dreamliner fleet ”” is months ahead of schedule, and the company’s North Charleston campus could start work on that line’s first jet as early as next year.

The accelerated schedule is due to the high percentage of common parts that will be shared by the 787-10 and its predecessor, the 787-9, said Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina.

he North Charleston site will be the sole production facility for the 787-10.

“As a straightforward stretch of the 787-9, which entered service in 2014, we are leveraging the advanced design and disciplined development system of the 787-9 to create the 787-10 with high commonality and unprecedented efficiency,” Wyse told The Post and Courier on Tuesday.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Science & Technology

(WSJ) U.S. to Add Forces in Iraq, but Move Doesn’t Quell Critics

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) said he remained “deeply concerned” that the additional forces weren’t close enough to the front lines and couldn’t serve as spotters to strengthen the airstrike mission. “That is the kind of assistance the Iraqis need, but the president has refused to provide,” Mr. McCain said.

Members of Mr. Obama’s party were also unsettled. Rep. Adam Schiff, (D., Calif.) said that while he supports Mr. Obama’s move, he wasn’t hopeful about the political changes the Iraqis must make themselves in a country starkly divided along sectarian lines.

“In the absence of these reforms, there is little that we can do to convince Sunnis to cast out ISIL,” Mr. Schiff said, using an alternate term for Islamic State. Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.), agreed, saying the U.S. can’t go it alone. “America possesses the greatest fighting force the world has ever known, but we can’t put the Middle East back together by ourselves.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, House of Representatives, Iraq, Middle East, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Barnabas

Grant, O God, that we may follow the example of thy faithful servant Barnabas, who, seeking not his own renown but the well-being of thy Church, gave generously of his life and substance for the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel; through 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

An Invocation to the Holy Trinity to Begin the Day

Bless us, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with the vision of thy glory; that we may know thee as the Father who created us, rejoice in thee as the Son who redeemed us, and be strong in thee, the Holy Spirit who dost sanctify us; keep us steadfast in this faith, and bring us at the last into thine eternal kingdom, where thou art ever worshipped and glorified, one God, world without end.

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For thou, O Lord, art my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Upon thee I have leaned from my birth; thou art he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of thee.

–Psalm 71:5-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Huff Po) Service Dog Jumps In Front Of Bus To Protect Blind Owner

A service dog is recovering from a leg injury after leaping in front of a school minibus to protect his blind owner.

Audrey Stone, 62, and her golden retriever named Figo were crossing a road in Brewster, New York, on Monday morning when the bus carrying kindergarteners struck them. Paul Schwartz, who manages a gas station located at the intersection where the collision happened, said the dog’s leg was cut down to the bone.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Animals, Health & Medicine, Travel

Anglican Unscripted 184: Presiding Bishop makes new Ugandan martyrs

With thanks to Kevin Kallsen and George Conger at Anglican TV

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary

(CT Editorial) 2 Billion Christians Believe in Traditional Marriage–And so do we.

…we were surprised when former CT editor David Neff on Facebook praised Campolo’s move. As he put it in an email to me clarifying his comment, “I think the ethically responsible thing for gay and lesbian Christians to do is to form lasting, covenanted partnerships. I also believe that the church should help them in those partnerships in the same way the church should fortify traditional marriages.”

At CT, we’re saddened that David has come to this conclusion. Saddened because we firmly believe that the Bible teaches that God intends the most intimate of covenant relationships to be enjoyed exclusively by a man and a woman. We’ve stated this view explicitly in many editorials, and it is implicit but clear in many of our feature stories.

Still, many of our readers become alarmed when a prominent evangelical leader says otherwise. Add the changes of mind to the legal juggernaut sweeping through the land to legitimize gay marriage, and the orthodox can become demoralized. They fear that history will sweep all of us into this view eventually.

But it’s not at all certain that the rapid cultural shift in America on gay marriage will be mirrored in the Christian church. North American and European Christians who believe in gay marriage are a small minority in these regions, and churches that ascribe to a more liberal sexual ethic continue to wither.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

(Get Religion) Sarah Pulliam Bailey nails breaking news on evangelicals and same-sex marriage

Bailey’s story nailed that other development, too, that caused waves on social media:

After Campolo’s announcement, David Neff, retired editor in chief of Christianity Today who still writes a column for the magazine, indicated his similar support on his private Facebook account, drawing notice from some observers…..

Neff confirmed his support for same-sex marriage in a statement. Neff says that he still holds a high view of biblical authority, but that he has learned to read the relevant biblical passages in a different way than he used to.

“I think the ethically responsible thing for gay and lesbian Christians to do is to form lasting, covenanted partnerships,” Neff said in a statement to CT. “I also believe that the church should help them in those partnerships in the same way the church should fortify traditional marriages.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Media, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Sexuality