Daily Archives: September 9, 2015

The Next Archbishop of the Province of Southeast Asia

Bishop Ng Moon Hing of West Malaysia has been elected the next Archbishop of our Province. His installation is scheduled for January 2016 in Kuala Lumpur.

Please pray for him and his family as he prepares for this new role and responsibility.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Anglican Church in South East Asia

(B+C) Mark Noll on the United Church of Canada (a case study of liberal evangelicalism)

Writing self-consciously in the train of Clifford and Grant, Phyllis Airhart pushes well beyond either defensiveness or indictment. Her research leads, instead, to a deeply sympathetic account of the liberal evangelicalism and the national aspirations of early United Church history, but also an account that is realistically candid about the ultimate dissolution of the former and eventual disappointment of the latter. Because of how well she describes the life and death of these two phenomena””the particular Protestant type and the particular national agenda””her book raises questions with implications far beyond Canada.

Americans are not in the best position to assess the merits of “liberal evangelicalism” since we inhabit a religious landscape that has been dominated by strong binaries. In our religious history, “evangelical” and “liberal” have been construed as polar opposites, and our bookshelves bulge with studies riffing on the poles: fundamentalist vs. modernist, liberal vs. conservative, evangelical vs. ecumenical, traditional values vs. individualistic values, evangelism vs. social gospel, single-issue politics vs. Kingdom politics, and so on. In other parts of the English-speaking world, it has been more obvious that the institutionalized evangelical Protestantism that became so important in so many places for so many purposes during the 19th century always defined a spectrum of practices and beliefs. Broadly considered, all evangelicals embrace the four characteristics specified in David Bebbington’s well-known definition: conversion, the Bible, the cross, and activism. But those who can be grouped together as sharing these characteristics have promoted an almost limitless array of specific variations. Even in the United States’ own history, a broad range of evangelicals have always combined features from both ends of the spectrum. Against the stereotyping, many “fundamentalists” as fully deserve the evangelical label as do at least some whom right-side-of-the-spectrum folk call “liberals.” So, for example, recent research by Heath Carter of Valparaiso University has shown how many evangelical traits””like trust in Scripture and stress on Christ as redeemer as well as model””informed early “liberal” agitation for labor and industrial reform toward the end of the nineteenth century.

Phyllis Airhart’s careful documentation suggests that the United Church of Canada may have been the most significant example of liberal evangelicalism in the Protestant world from its founding in 1925 until the late 1950s.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Canada, History, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

(Bloomberg) Boko Haram's Cost to Nigeria's Borno State: $1 Billion And Rising

Boko Haram militants have destroyed infrastructure that may cost more than $1 billion to rebuild in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno, the main theater of the government’s six-year fight against the Islamist insurgency, according to Governor Kashim Shettima.

“Hospitals, bridges, roads that they mined will require about 79 billion naira ($397 million)” to rebuild, Shettima, 49, said in an interview at his office in the state capital of Maiduguri. “If you are to quantify the homes, the figure may reach even three times the figure I quoted.”

The conflict has displaced 1.6 million people in Borno state, or 27 percent of the population, and about 121,000 live in camps in Maiduguri, according to the National Emergency Management Agency. With Boko Haram razing villages, schools, hospitals, clinics and businesses in 22 of 26 of Borno’s local government areas, residents have abandoned their homes and sought refuge in the relative safety of the state capital and the neighboring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

Statement by the Bishop of Durham on the conviction of Bishop Peter Ball

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

(FT) Is a global recession coming?

Economists at Citigroup argue in a new report that a global recession is now “the most likely outcome” over the next two years.

What exactly do they mean by a global recession?

They point out:

We use the only definition of a recession we know that makes sense when it is used consistently. As stated earlier, we define a recession as a period during which the actual unemployment rate is above the natural unemployment rate or Nairu, or during which there is a negative output gap: the level of actual real GDP is below the level of potential real GDP.

To avoid excessive attention to mini-recessions, the period of excess capacity should have a duration of a year or longer.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, China, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, Russia, Theology

Archbishop Justin Wely speaks in House of Lords debate on Syrian refugees

“Does the Noble Lady accept, however, that 20,000 is still a very slim response in comparison to the figures given by the UNHCR and the European Commission, and to the other needs we see; and that it is likely that it is going to have to rise over the next five years, unless of course the driver ”“ which, I hope she also accepts, is local conditions in the camps ”“ is dealt with significantly?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Syria, Theology

In Charleston, Emanuel AME survivors feel forgotten as life moves forward

An endless night before, Felicia Sanders had left her blood-soaked shoes with the dead in the fellowship hall of her beloved lifelong church, Emanuel AME.

Barefoot as the sun rose, she trudged up the steps to her home, the one where 26-year-old Tywanza Sanders’ bedroom waited silently, his recent college acceptance letter tacked onto a bulletin board beside his poetry. It was after 6 a.m., and she hadn’t slept. She hadn’t eaten, not since going to Emanuel AME’s elevator committee meeting the evening before, then its quarterly conference and then its weekly Wednesday Bible study. There, 12 people met in God’s midst. Nine of them died, 77 bullets in their midst.
Felicia had answered questions all night from myriad authorities determined to find the killer. Now her phone rang. Her doorbell rang. Reporters, friends, family, strangers, an endless blare through the jangle of her muddled thoughts. Finally, in a delirious rage, she called an old friend, attorney Andy Savage.

“Andy, it’s too much!” she cried into the phone.

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theodicy, Theology, Violence

Emmett Till’s death, and history, is fading in the Mississippi town where he died

Today, Bryant’s Grocery is derelict and forgotten, much like the town of Money. Although Till’s lynching is considered a pivotal spark of the civil rights movement, there’s little here to recall those events other than a modest historic marker erected outside Bryant’s four years ago.

Some say the grocery store should be turned into a museum, like many other places critical to the civil rights movement, or at least prevented from falling down.

“They should have preserved all of it,” said Eddie Carthan, a distant relative of Till’s mother and the former mayor of Tchula, which in the 1970s became one of the first Delta plantation towns to elect a black mayor.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Race/Race Relations, Rural/Town Life, Theology, Violence

An ACNS Profile Article on Josiah Idowu-Fearon: Called to be a bridge-builder for the Lord

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

(ACNS) New Anglican Communion Secretary General commissioned

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

(NPR) Queen Elizabeth Reigns the Longest of any–A Milestone For A Beloved Monarch

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, History, Politics in General

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Constance and her Companions

We give thee thanks and praise, O God of compassion, for the heroic witness of Constance and her companions, who, in a time of plague and pestilence, were steadfast in their care for the sick and the dying, and loved not their own lives, even unto death. Inspire in us a like love and commitment to those in need, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.

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

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

And since it is of thy mercy, O gracious Father, that another day is added to our lives; We here dedicate both our souls and our bodies to thee and thy service, in a sober, righteous, and godly life: in which resolution, do thou, O merciful God confirm and strengthen us; that, as we grow in age, we may grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 1that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

–Philippians 2:5-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Migrant crisis: Germany's Merkel says EU quotas are a 'first step'

Mandatory quotas determining how many migrants each European Union country should take in are a “first step”, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says.

She was speaking as the EU continues to grapple with a huge influx of migrants, which peaked at the weekend.

The European Commission is set to announce plans on Wednesday, including quotas, to distribute 120,000 migrants among member countries.

Germany says it can cope with more in the future but wants the burden shared.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Germany, Globalization, Immigration, Iraq, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Politics in General, Syria, Theology

(F Things) Douglas Farrow–The Ethical Cleansing of the Medical Profession

Wesley Smith is right: north of the border there is a concerted attempt to erase the conscience rights of doctors, by demanding referrals for the killing of the unborn (who do not need to put in a request) and of the terminally ill (who thus far do) and, for that matter, of any other procedure deemed “medical.”

The Montreal Gazette today published a letter of mine objecting to this “ethical cleansing” of conscientious objectors from the medical community. The editor chose to leave off my final remark, that “the time has come to press for the full legal rights and recognition for those, both patients and professionals, of Hippocratic conviction. Bill 52 notwithstanding, and Carter v. Canada notwithstanding, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms still guarantees freedom of conscience and religion.”

While Carter (a truly atrocious judgment) left open the question of how patients’ rights and doctors’ rights are to be balanced under the Charter, it is noteworthy that the former set of rights is always considered only in terms of the rights of those who desire “medical assistance in dying” and never in terms of the rights of those who want physicians and health care professionals committed to the Hippocratic principles. It is imperative, at least as a holding action, that the latter be asserted and defended. Otherwise it will soon be impossible even to be trained in medicine without grave violations of conscience.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Canada, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology

(Scotsman) Allan Massie: Queen’s Elizabeth's majestic achievement

The value of the monarchy is first of all symbolic; it represents continuity. The Queen’s devotion to the Commonwealth and the idea of the Commonwealth is well-known; it is also an expression of hostility to racism. At the same time she has accepted and never questioned the lease of sovereignty to the European Union. She has recognised the truth of the oft-quoted lines from Lampedusa’s novel The Leopard: “Things will have to change if we want them to remain the same.” The Royal Family itself has changed. Marriages are no longer arranged, and its members, with the Queen’s permission or encouragement, marry for love like the rest of us, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, like the rest of us.

In rapidly changing times the monarchy also represents stability. Apparently undemocratic, it actually helps to guarantee democracy because the Head of State is above or beyond politics. It is no accident that so many of the European democracies which function most comfortably are monarchies: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands for example. The monarchy represents us all. The Head of State belongs to us all, not to one political party. One example of this in action was the Queen’s State visit to the Republic of Ireland, a visit of reconciliation, healing an old wound. It was comparable to George IV’s coming to Edinburgh ”“ “the King’s Jaunt”, choreographed by Sir Walter Scott.

The Queen has presided over ”“ orchestrated might be a better word ”“ the development of the Social Monarchy. There is scarcely a single charity or organisation in the land that doesn’t have ”“ or seek to have ”“ a royal patron. Enterprises like the Duke of Edinburgh’s awards scheme and the Duke of Rothesay’s Prince’s Trust have given innumerable young people opportunities they would not otherwise have enjoyed.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, History, Politics in General

John Piper on our day as the best and worst of times

In my lifetime I have seen a glorious and surprising revival of love for the God of sovereign grace and for his mighty gospel. Thousands of churches, seminaries, colleges, discipling centers, publishing houses, magazines, books, videos, websites, radio programs, global missions, music artists (from classical to rap), campus ministries, urban ministries, counseling centers, prolife efforts (and more) have come into being with a dynamic of God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated joy and missional courage (what we used to call evangelism) and passion for racial harmony and robust Reformed theology. And none of this is limited to one ethnicity or nation. It is the best of times.

On the other hand, I have witnessed with sometimes depressing heaviness the evisceration of the historic name “evangelical” to a meaningless conglomerate of people whose “evangelical” identity is that they all had grandparents who once believed what the reformers did. I have seen the mainline Protestant denominations collapse from gospel influence to faint cultural echoes. I have watched the rise of enormous churches and ministries who preach and export to poor nations a prosperity “gospel” that mutes the biblical teaching on suffering and reduces the glorious gospel to earthly betterment rooted in human attitudes, not the glory of Calvary.

And to mention just a few more of the many sorrows: the rise of a generation that knows little of the Bible, the disappearance of the weight of God’s awesome presence in worship, the glorification of immorality in entertainment, the explosion and ubiquity of pornography, the indifference in churches to justice for all ethnic groups, the decimation of whole neighborhoods through a dominant drug culture, the collapse of the family with the prevalence of premarital sex and easy divorce and the absence of responsible fathers. And the rise of civic leaders who, instead of standing against the disintegration, function as cheerleaders.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Evangelicals, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology