Daily Archives: September 16, 2015

(NPR) Adam Frank–A Question For You About Evolution, God And Death

I was stunned by this passage [from Columbia University President] Fredrick A.P. Barnard ”” for here we see a man confront what reason tells him must be true (evolution) only to reject it for what his heart most fears. But why the fear? I have written before about our attitudes about death and the afterlife. With this quote, I’d like to do bring a question directly to the 13.7 community (well, two linked questions, really).

First, to our religious readers: Would your belief in God be any different if there was no promise of immortal life? If God created a world where death was just the end of consciousness, would that change anything for you?

And to our atheist and agnostic readers, I ask an inverted form of the same question: Would it be possible to believe in a God who had set the universe running through processes such as evolution ”” including the reality that death was just the end of consciousness?

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, History, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Secularism, Theology

The Archbishop of Canterbury calls for a new Primates' Gathering

The Archbishop of Canterbury today wrote to all 37 Primates inviting them to attend a special Primates’ gathering in Canterbury to reflect and pray together concerning the future of the Communion.
The meeting, to be held in January 2016, would be an opportunity for Primates to discuss key issues face to face, including a review of the structures of the Anglican Communion and to decide together their approach to the next Lambeth Conference.

The agenda will be set by common agreement with all Primates encouraged to send in contributions. It is likely to include the issues of religiously-motivated violence, the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the environment and human sexuality.

Read it all.

Other posts on this subject – newest first:
+ (Get Religion) The Atlantic goes halfway in reporting on Anglican primates meeting (September 21, 2015)
+ Gavin Ashenden responds to the London Times Editorial on the Anglican Primates Meeting (September 21, 2015)
+ GAFCON Chairman’s September Pastoral Letter on Saint Matthew’s Day (September 21, 2015)
+ (Daily Nation) Kenyan Anglican Primate Downplays Split Call Ahead of Proposed 2016 Primates Meeting (September 20, 2015)
+ Archbishop Mouneer at All Souls Church in London (September 19, 2015)
+ Canon Phil Ashey: What Brings Us Together (September 18, 2015)

+ Note to Blog Readers, the L. Times Editorial on the Primates Meeting is available on Anglican Ink (September 18, 2015 )
+ (The Tablet) Mgr Mark Langham””Too early to call time on the Anglican Communion (September 18, 2015)
+ Philip Johanson””Does C of E require radical emergency surgery or should it bea slow death? (September 18, 2015)
+ (Irish Times) Anglicanism in crisis: Canterbury’s risky move (September 18, 2015)
+ A BBC Today Programme Segment on the proposed Anglican Primates meeting (September 18, 2015)
+ (NYT) Meeting of Anglican Leaders Could Lead to a Looser Federation (September 18, 2015)
+ (Church Times) Crunch time for the Communion as Welby summons Primates to Canterbury summit (September 18, 2015)
+ GAFCON calls for ”˜truth on the table’ in the Anglican Communion in called Primates Meeting (September 18, 2015)
+ Archbp Josiah Fearon on the call for a special Primates’ Meeting in January 2016 (September 17, 2015)
+ A Statement from ACNA leader Foley Beach on the Proposed Primates Gathering (September 17, 2015)
+ A S Haley””A Surprise Meeting for an Anglican Family no longer functioning as a Communion (September 17, 2015)
+ (L. Times Leader) The Archbishop of Canterbury is offering the Anglican communion a reality check (September 17, 2015)
+ ([London Times) Archbp Welby holds crisis talks to prevent a church split (September 17, 2015)
+ (Guardian) Archbishop of Canterbury plans to loosen ties of divided Anglican communion (September 16, 2015)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Globalization

Anglican Leaders on Isle of Man Face "Bullying" accusation and call for Resignation

More than 160 people, including several high profile local residents, have signed an ipetition addressed to the Lieutenant Governor.
They claim that ‘severe damage’ is being done to the Anglican Diocese of Sodor and Man by what they called the ‘flawed leadership’ of Bishop Robert Paterson and his Archdeacon Andie Brown.

Read it all and there is more there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(BP) Eric Metaxas–The Death of Good Journalism

Back in the day, the iconic Walter Cronkite closed his nightly CBS newscast with the reassuring words, “And that’s the way it is.” And for a generation at least, Americans believed him.

Well, they don’t any more. Survey after survey has shown that few professions are held in lower regard by the public than journalism. Survey after survey has also revealed that many elite journalists hold to a narrow, secular worldview that sees religious belief as irrelevant to the “real” issues of the day””if not downright dangerous.

“Now the problem with this journalistic orthodoxy,” says Robert Case of the World Journalism Institute, “is that it is disingenuous. ”¦ The post-modern journalist subscribes to no external standard for her judgments. ”¦ With the post-modern loss of the quest for objective truth, journalistic judgment is subject to personal whim, and manipulation by the media elite who have their own perspective on truth.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Media, Movies & Television, Philosophy, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology

(C of E Blog) Talitha Proud–We are Called to have a Christian presence in every online community

Underneath the logo on the Church of England website is the tagline “a Christian presence in every community”. And while this is seen through many churches up and down the country on a daily basis – we often neglect one community.

The online community.

Before going any further, there are a few myths we need to bust:

First, social media isn’t a fad. 83% of UK adults now go online and 66% of those online adults have a social networking profile such as Facebook or Twitter. It’s not just for young people either – one of the fastest growing groups on social media is the over 50’s and those aged 65-74 are almost twice as likely to use a smartphone now compared to 2012.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Christology, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(CC) Katherine Pershey–What Google doesn’t know

A few years ago, Tim Kreider wrote this for the New York Times:

I’ve often thought that the single most devastating cyberattack a diabolical and anarchic mind could design would not be on the military or financial sector but simply to simultaneously make every e-mail and text ever sent universally public. It would be like suddenly subtracting the strong nuclear force from the universe; the fabric of society would instantly evaporate, every marriage, friendship and business partnership dissolved.

An utterly chilling thought, isn’t it? It makes the Ashley Madison hack look quaint in comparison. I have certainly said and done things in one context that would be troublesome in another. I suspect that my private e-mails, made public, could undo me in a quick minute.

We affirm a right to privacy, yet privacy is largely an illusion. As Sproul rightly if unwisely pontificated, we hide nothing from God. Ironically, the Internet, in becoming such a powerful force in our lives, illustrates this””albeit as a mere idol. If you took the sum total of everything the Internet knows about any one user””search history, website memberships, financial data, e-mail archive””you might well be able to conjure up a reasonable facsimile for Who You Really Are, secrets and all.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Globe+Mail) André Picard–Court has ruled on "assisted death," but Canada is not prepared

On Feb. 6, 2016 ”“ one year after the historic Supreme Court ruling in the case of Kathleen Carter and Gloria Taylor ”“ physician-assisted death will be legal in Canada. The Canadian Medical Association last week debated what life would be like for physicians and patients in this brave new world. One thing was clear: We are woefully unprepared for Feb. 7.

The Court said the Criminal Code’s prohibitions on assisted suicide will no longer apply “to the extent that they prohibit physician-assisted death for a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination of life and (2) has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.” It also stated that physicians cannot be compelled to hasten a person’s death.

In the yawning gap between this straightforward theory and the complexities of everyday practice lie many questions:

Ӣ When a patient asks for a hastened death, who will they ask?

”¢ What do the terms “grievous and irremediable” and “enduring suffering that is intolerable” mean?

”¢ Who will determine a patient’s capacity to consent?

”¢ If a physician can’t be compelled to perform the act, does he or she have an obligation to refer to a doctor who will?

”¢ How long will the “cooling off” period be between a request and administration of a lethal drug?

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Canada, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(CT) Kim Kuo–Assisted Suicide and Real Death with Dignity

If you are wondering what the next social debate in the United States will be, NPR host Diane Rehm spelled it out recently in a public campaign: assisted suicide.

Those like Rehm who believe terminally ill patients should be to able to end their lives with help from physicians typically avoid the words suicide and mercy killing. The bald truth of those words would not win support for the movement. Still, Rehm declared that Jack Kevorkian, who went to jail for killing terminally ill patients, “was before his time” and that “the country wasn’t ready.”

But it’s apparently ready now. The agenda is set. Death will not be defeated.

Assisted suicide””defined as a physician providing a patient the means to take his or her own life, usually through medicine””is now legal in five states, with several more currently considering end-of-life legislation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(Diocese of London) Top tips for building a youth team

1. All ages, all stages
There is no model youth leader in terms of looks, age, dress sense, sense of humour, personality etc. Just as all young people come in all shapes and sizes, so will your youth team. Just as you have extraverts and introverts in your youth group, you need extraverts and introverts in your youth team. The only rule needs to be to turn up and be able to chat to the youth. (These clearly aren’t the only rules, but we’ll start there”¦)

2. The personal approach
I’ve heard this said in various seminars and within a youth-work magazine recently but it really is true. Desperate pleas from the front of church on a Sunday rarely get anyone signed up, and if they do, they often get the wrong people signed up. It is almost without fail the personal approach that pays off in the long term. As a youth worker you should always have your youth hat on and be thinking whether someone you’re engaging with is right for one of your teams. I would then suggest you invite them for a coffee to chat about the different youth ministries, followed by you and them checking out one of the ministries they may be interested in, and then an agreement on both sides to pray, without pressure either way, and in the knowledge if it’s yes on both sides and yes from God, then you might proceed.We would suggest a minimum of a year’s commitment and a review after three months from both sides.

3. Set the expectations high

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Theology, Youth Ministry

(LICC) Antony Billington: Whole-Life Fruitfulness

”˜Without doubt’, according to Bishop J.B. Lightfoot, ”˜Colossae was the least important church to which any epistle of St. Paul is addressed.’ Impolite, perhaps, but probably true. What had once been a prosperous city had declined in size and significance, and was largely populated by low-born people who eked out a living as shepherds and slaves, wool dyers and market traders.

And yet it is ones like these for whom Paul thanks God, excited that the gospel which has been ”˜bearing fruit and growing in the whole world’ has also been bearing fruit and growing among them. That fruitfulness is then applied to the Colossians again as Paul prays for them to be ”˜bearing fruit in every good work’.

Far from being incidental, his references to ”˜bearing fruit’ here and elsewhere in his letters tap into a rich seam which runs through the Bible from beginning to end. We find fruit on the first and last pages of Scripture ”“ in the garden of Eden and the new Jerusalem ”“ and almost everywhere in between. Look more closely, and it becomes clear that God’s desire for fruitfulness is as extensive as the gospel ”“ with what God has done in Christ in bringing men and women back to himself and in setting in motion his plan to restore the whole of creation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ninian of Galloway

O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant and bishop Ninian didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in the land of Britain: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness by following the example of his zeal and patience; 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 History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Euchologium Anglicanum

Cleanse our minds, O Lord, we beseech thee, of all anxious thoughts for ourselves, that we may learn not to trust in the abundance of what we have, save as tokens of thy goodness and grace, but that we may commit ourselves in faith to thy keeping, and devote all our energy of soul, mind and body to the work of thy kingdom and the furthering of the purposes of thy divine righteousness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth! Amen and Amen!

–Psalm 72:18-19

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Heartfelt Sympathy+Prayers for Luke Shaw who suffers broken leg in Today's Champions League Match

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw is set for a long spell on the sidelines after suffering a double fracture in his right leg against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The England international was caught in a challenge with Hector Moreno when bursting into the box in the 15th minute. Although Moreno won the ball, the momentum of his tackle saw him catch Shaw with his follow through.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Men, Sports, Young Adults

(DS) Ryan Anderson–Let us put the responsibility For the Breakdown of Marriage where it belongs

Long before there was a debate about same-sex anything, far too many heterosexuals bought into a bad liberal ideology about sexuality that came out of the sexual revolution. It was heterosexuals in the ’60s and ’70s who began to live as if marriage should last only as long as the romantic feelings last, replacing “as long as we both shall live” with “as long as we both shall love.” If what makes a marriage is merely consenting adult romance, then there is no reason why marriage has to be permanent or limited to two persons, much less sexually exclusive.

As a result, cohabitation, no-fault divorce, extramarital sex, non-marital childbearing, pornography, and the hook-up culture became normalized, and each contributed to the breakdown of the marriage culture. Same-sex marriage didn’t cause any of these problems. Ashley Madison didn’t cause these problems. The redefinition and the website are, rather, the logical conclusion of these problems. The problem is that these conclusions follow a train of logic that begins from utterly false premises.

And it is on these “love = love” false premises that Justice Kennedy based his Supreme Court opinion redefining marriage throughout our nation. After all, the legal redefinition of marriage could take place only after 50 years of a cultural redefinition””with all of the broken hearts and broken homes that it has left in its wake.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Sexuality, Theology

Tim Rhys Evans – The Hippopotamus Song

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music

[ChronicleLive] How new laws banning so-called legal highs could stop cathedrals using incense

Cathedrals are worried that planned new laws banning so-called legal highs could make it a crime to use incense in services.

And they are lobbying the Government to change the legislation to ensure priests and can use incense without risk of arrest.

The plea has come from the Association of English Cathedrals, which represents cathedrals across the country including Durham and Newcastle.

Read it all

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

[DT] Bishop Harrower’s parting wish

Focusing on differences that divide communities is what Bishop Harrower believes prevents deeper conversations that could make a real difference.

He believes Australia has become fearful of change and needs to rebuild a positive sense of place.

“We can’t blame the media for creating a divide … people don’t seem to be interested in anything other than conflict,” he said.

“I believe we can work together for the common good and instead of focusing on our differences we need to focus on the values we share.”

Bishop Harrower was a petroleum engineer before he served as a missionary overseas and was appointed to the episcopate in 2000 after being offered the Tasmanian position during his time as a vicar in Melbourne.

He will return to his home state of Victoria to continue his work on the board of World Vision and as an assistant to the Primate of Australia.

Read it all

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