Daily Archives: July 25, 2015

(Vox) Edward Schlosser–I'm a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me

I wrote about this fear on my blog, and while the response was mostly positive, some liberals called me paranoid, or expressed doubt about why any teacher would nix the particular texts I listed. I guarantee you that these people do not work in higher education, or if they do they are at least two decades removed from the job search. The academic job market is brutal. Teachers who are not tenured or tenure-track faculty members have no right to due process before being dismissed, and there’s a mile-long line of applicants eager to take their place. And as writer and academic Freddie DeBoer writes, they don’t even have to be formally fired ”” they can just not get rehired. In this type of environment, boat-rocking isn’t just dangerous, it’s suicidal, and so teachers limit their lessons to things they know won’t upset anybody.

This shift in student-teacher dynamic placed many of the traditional goals of higher education ”” such as having students challenge their beliefs ”” off limits. While I used to pride myself on getting students to question themselves and engage with difficult concepts and texts, I now hesitate. What if this hurts my evaluations and I don’t get tenure? How many complaints will it take before chairs and administrators begin to worry that I’m not giving our customers ”” er, students, pardon me ”” the positive experience they’re paying for? Ten? Half a dozen? Two or three?

This phenomenon has been widely discussed as of late, mostly as a means of deriding political, economic, or cultural forces writers don’t much care for. Commentators on the left and right have recently criticized the sensitivity and paranoia of today’s college students. They worry about the stifling of free speech, the implementation of unenforceable conduct codes, and a general hostility against opinions and viewpoints that could cause students so much as a hint of discomfort.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology, Young Adults

An interview with the first homegrown leader of the Central Gulf Coast Episcopal diocese

The Rev. J. Russell Kendrick strides through the construction area at Trinity Episcopal Church in Mobile, where only a few months ago, clergy and laity delegates from across the Central Gulf Coast elected him bishop. An architect before he answered God’s call, Kendrick is dressed in a black clergy shirt, a priest’s collar — and blue jeans.

“I’ll be the first homegrown bishop,” says the Fort Walton Beach native who will be ordained and consecrated Saturday, July 25. “I think that’s significant.”

Kendrick, 54, has his own term for the solemn ceremony in which other bishops lay hands on him and current Bishop Philip Duncan gives him the crozier, a staff that signals the transition of office. “I’m … saying I’m going to be ‘bishopized,'” Kendrick says.

Years ago, Kendrick was working as an architect in the family business and volunteering with youth at his hometown parish, Saint Simons By-The-Sea, when he answered God’s call to become a priest. Having earned a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in business from Auburn University, he added a Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1996. He has served as rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Cahaba Heights in Birmingham since 2007.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint James the Apostle

O gracious God, we remember before thee this day thy servant and apostle James, first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ; and we pray that thou wilt pour out upon the leaders of thy Church that spirit of self-denying service by which alone they may have true authority among thy people; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to begin the Day from the Pastor's Prayer Book

Fortify us, O God, with the courage which cometh only from thee; that in the midst of all our perils and perplexities we may find that peace which only thou canst give; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

He went away from there and came to his own country; and his disciples followed him. And on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.

–Mark 6:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

[Christianity Today] Os Guinness: Welcome to the 'Grand Age of Apologetics'

Tim Stafford spoke with Guinness about making the gospel appealing in a secularizing culture.
What made you decide to write about apologetics at this time?

Clearly we’re at a stage in Western history where we need the church to be persuasive. Public life has grown more secular. Private worlds have become more diverse, and we have a mounting hostility against us. If ever Christians at large and evangelicals in particular needed to be persuasive with people who are not open, it’s now. So I thought it was the time to write.

Fool’s Talk is the fruit of many decades of thinking. I owe a huge debt to C. S. Lewis, from whom I came to faith; to Francis Schaeffer, who introduced me to the discipline of apologetics; and to Peter Berger, the sociologist, who has probably shaped my mind more than any other living person. My approach is a mixture of the three of them.

At the beginning of your book you refer to this as “the grand age of apologetics.” That will surprise some people. What do you mean by it?

The phrase is not mine. I read it in a sociology article, and it surprised me at first. In the age of the Internet, everyone is presenting their daily me. Think of Facebook. People are selling themselves, defending themselves, presenting themselves, arguing for themselves, whatever. In that sense this is the age of apologetics. When I read that, I realized that we Christians have had this in our DNA for 2,000 years. But are we prepared for this extraordinary new age?

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Posted in Apologetics, Theology

[Evangelical Focus] Interview: Mike Overd: “My desire is for all to know the Saviour”

“We are very quick to criticise street preachers”, says British street preacher who faces a retrial at the end of July.
After having been found guilty of violating Section 5 of the Public Order Act earlier this year, UK street preacher Mike Overd faces a retrial on Friday 31st July.

Cleared of all charges in his first court appearance in 2012, the Taunton-based ex-paratrooper and his legal representatives at Christian Concern are confident that they will get another not guilty verdict at the end of the month.

Section 5 of the British Public Order Act has to do with offences related to causing harassment, alarm or distress by using threatening, abusive or insulting words and/ or behaviour.

We took some time to catch up with Overd to find out more about his trial and his message.

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Posted in Uncategorized

CT: Street preacher guilty of using 'threatening' language by quoting Leviticus

By Lucinda Borkett-Jones Christian Today Features Editor Published 23 March 2015
A Christian street preacher was today found guilty of using “threatening” language by quoting the Bible when speaking about homosexuality on the streets of Taunton in June last year.

Former paratrooper Mike Overd was convicted under section 5 of the Public Order Act, which concerns causing harassment, alarm or distress by using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

The judge at Bristol Crown Court told him that he should not have used the particular verse in the Bible ”“ Leviticus 20:13 ”“ because it uses the word “abomination”. The judge suggested that there were other verses he could have chosen if he wanted to talk about what the Bible says about homosexuality.

Libby Towell, spokesperson for the Christian Legal Centre, who represented Overd, said: “The judge is effectively censoring the Bible and saying that certain verses aren’t fit for public consumption.”

Overd was given a fine of £200, and told to pay £1,200 in costs and compensation. This included a sum for the emotional harm caused to the homosexual man, who is also a Christian, to whom he was speaking when he quoted Leviticus.

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

Smithsonian Mag: 1500 year old text has been digitally resurrected from a Hebrew scroll

…word about Seales’ software reached the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). They already had the Ein Gedi scroll scanned with a micro-CT machine but couldn’t make sense of the information. Could Seales help? A meeting was arranged in the U.S., and over lunch, he was handed a hard drive containing terabytes of raw data. Though in much better condition than the Roman scrolls, the Hebrew parchment offered its own challenges. Made of animal skin instead of plant-based papyrus, it had bubbled and blistered over the years. New programming tricks that corrected for those imperfections in the data would be needed.

“This is probably a simpler problem than the Herculaneum scrolls, which are really the worst-case scenario in the field,” says Vito Mocella of the Italian National Research Council, who heads the Italian team that ultimately found a way to read letters on the Roman scrolls using an enhanced scanning technique and a powerful particle accelerator. “But even if it’s simpler, it’s still not so easy.”

Luckily for Seales, the Hebrews added metal to their inks, which showed up clearly as bright white spots in the CT data. As his software virtually unwound a single layer from the middle of the scroll, text revealed itself: “The LORD summoned Moses and spoke to him,” it began. Israeli translators identified the words as the first verse of Leviticus, the book of laws.

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Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

John Bingham: Police widen manhunt for rector on the run

A Church of England rector who went on the run as he was convicted of pocketing thousands of pounds of fees from funerals and weddings is now feared to have skipped the country, police have revealed.

Interpol is now assisting in the search for the Rev Simon Reynolds, the Rector of Farnham in Surrey amid signs that he has made his way to continental Europe.

South Yorkshire Police made the disclosure as the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Tony Robinson, made a personal plea to the cleric to hand himself in, amid fears for his safety.

“Never forget we are praying for you,” the bishop, who has known Mr Reynold for several years, told him.

The 49-year-old, who previously helped oversee music and worship at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, walked out of Sheffield Crown Court – where he was on trial for theft from his former Yorkshire parish – during the lunch break on Thursday and did not return.

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

Herbert Howells: Evening Canticles (Collegium Regale)

Luke 1:46-55 and Luke 2:29-32

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Church Times: C of E voices opposition to latest Assisted Dying Bill

The latest attempt to change the law on assisted dying, which is to be debated by MPs in a Second Reading in September, has faced opposition from critics from the Church of England and elsewhere.

The Private Member’s Bill, if passed, would enable terminally ill adults who are “voluntary, clear, settled, and informed” to end their life with medically supervised assistance.

In a blog post, “Caring for the vulnerable in a compassionate society”, published on the Church of England website on Wednesday, the Revd Dr Brendan McCarthy, the Church’s national adviser on medical ethics, said that the Assisted Dying Bill “has the potential to damage both the well-being of individuals and the nature and shape of our society”.

“Every person’s life is of immeasurable value and ought to be affirmed, respected and cherished by society . . . even when some people no longer view their own lives as being of any further value. . .

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

Trinidad Express: Anglican Church facing dwindling membership

The Anglican Church in Trinidad and Tobago continues to face declining numbers both in members and clergy, Rev Canon Steve West has said.

West was at the time addressing a packed congregation at the ordination ceremony of 15 persons to the Diaconate (the Holy Order of Deacon, at the Cathedral of the Trinity Cathedral, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, on Wednesday.

“The Anglican Church and the dioceses of Trinidad and Tobago is facing a dwindling membership: we have many people who say they are Anglicans but on Sunday morning they are not worshipping in church with us, and we have a severe shortage of clergy. We have parishes without parish priests,” West said.

Some of the interventions in response to declining membership have included a supplementary ministry programme, a diocesan strategic plan and in more recent times the capacity building project and capacity building report. Other solutions include an annual bible convention, youths interacting with the bishop and Lenten and advent caravans and diocesan bible study.

“This is a memorable and historical day in the dioceses of Trinidad and Tobago. Never before have we had an ordination of 15 persons. Never before has the church given such a bold response to the crisis of the shortage of clergy. Never before has a Bishop taken such a bold step to accept the ministry of 15 persons of varied backgrounds who together have over 250 years of ministry in the church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, West Indies