Daily Archives: September 28, 2015

Albert Mohler–Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books

A few initial suggestions:
1. Maintain regular reading projects. I strategize my reading in six main categories: Theology, Biblical Studies, Church Life, History, Cultural Studies, and Literature. I have some project from each of these categories going at all times. I collect and gather books for each project and read them over a determined period of time. This helps to discipline my reading, and it also keeps me working across several disciplines.
2. Work through major sections of Scripture. I am just completing an expository series, preaching verse by verse through the book of Romans. I have preached and taught several books of the Bible in recent years, and I plan my reading to stay ahead. I am turning next to Matthew, so I am gathering and reading ahead””not yet planning specific messages, but reading to gain as much as possible from worthy works on the first gospel. I am constantly reading works in biblical theology as well as exegetical studies….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Books, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CC) Jason Byassee–What do we Learn from how Churches use Screens in Worship?

I’ve been screening churches in my new city of Vancouver, and I guess you could say they’ve been “screening” me. Almost every church I’ve visited uses a screen in its sanctuary during worship. In the 1980s or ’90s this might have been a signal that a congregation had taken a side in the worship wars. Now it’s just a sign that a church is open and functioning.

One congregation showed a funny video of Canadians singing an ode to Canada Day (replete with a poke at American politics). Another screen featured a long clip from the movie Frozen. What all this had to do with Jesus was not clear. The video clips were pleasant distractions, brief entertainment in the context of worship.

But other uses of screens struck me as more theologically intentional. One congregation featured background images of the city of Vancouver. These appeared before and after worship and during announcements. The images were not just beautiful. They announced that this was a church not only in but for a city. God’s kingdom always comes in particular settings, and the church is called to love its neighborhood, as God does in Christ’s incarnation. This same church asked its preachers to say, “You can follow along as I read in your pew Bibles, or the words will be on the screen . . .” I noticed nary a Bible opening. All heads were up.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(BBC) Woman bishop leads first Church of England ordination service

A woman bishop has become the first in the Church of England to lead an ordination service.

Four clergy will be ordained by Rev Dame Sarah Mullally in Devon this weekend.

They have spent a year as deacons but once ordained they will be able to perform weddings and lead Holy Communion services.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

(FT) US-Russia: The battle for Syria

Vladimir Putin certainly knows how to steal a show. The Russian president will speak today at the UN General Assembly for the first time in a decade. The rapid build-up of Russian military force in Syria in recent weeks has turned Mr Putin into the centre of attention in New York, as rivals and allies both speculate about his intentions.

To his delight, he has managed to put the US on the back-foot. After a year of trying to freeze out Mr Putin over his military intervention in Ukraine, US President Barack Obama has decided he has little choice but to meet the Russian leader to discuss Syria.

The Russian intervention in Syria ”” in support of the isolated regime of President Bashar al-Assad ”” has come at a time when Washington’s own strategy for resolving the conflict is in tatters. The US-trained force of Syrian fighters numbers in the dozens, not the planned thousands, while air strikes have had only a limited impact on the Syrian operations of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Middle East, Politics in General, Russia, Syria, Theology

A BBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme on the Called Primates Gathering by Archbp Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury invites the 37 heads of Anglican churches to a meeting….this features Chris Sugden and Colin Coward as the guests.

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Theology

A Statement on the CofE vision for education

From here:

“Church schools continue to be oversubscribed and popular with parents and pupils, opting for a Christian based education whatever their own faith. Both community and church schools increasingly testify to difficulties in recruiting headteachers and our recent consultation has shown a strong desire for more support in training new leaders. Heads and teachers have told us that they want more help and better training to enable them to promote the Church of England’s vision for education. To this end we are consulting about plans to better equip and support leaders and teachers across the country in a fast-moving educational environment.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Theology

Western Canada Religious conference tackles the reality of God

A panel of six different faiths found commonality during a religious conference that tasked its speakers to discuss God as myth or reality.

“I don’t think it’s possible to prove or disprove the existence of God in any rational way,” said Anglican priest Peter Zimmer, who presented before an audience of about 80 people Sunday evening at the University of Northern B.C.’s Canfor Theatre for the World Religions Conference.

The question, to him, is the difference faith can make in a person’s life.

Zimmer suggested all major religions attempt to answer three questions: where do we come from, where are we going, and what must we do on our way.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Education, Inter-Faith Relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology

An Edmonton Journal Profile of Anglican Priest Travis Enright

What spurred him on his journey to the priesthood was a growing realization of how poorly Canadian students are taught about the aboriginal experience. His mother went to a residential school, as did most of his relatives. Talking to elders to learn more about Cree history, he was drawn into “the story of the land.” Meanwhile, his Christian faith was nurtured by his mother and grandfather, both “hard-core Anglican.”

“That’s the work I’ve been doing, trying to reconcile those two things: the work of Jesus Christ, the history of Canada, the impact of both of those questions on Cree people. How can we as Cree people be fully engaged in our identity and be connected to the land, and still be connected to Jesus Christ?”

After graduating from university, he briefly worked for Revenue Canada until, wanting more human contact, he turned to hairdressing, eventually buying his own shop. It proved to be an inspiration for the next step in his life: seminary.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

Bishop Mouneer Anis–Welcome refugees, support development, make peace

First we need to welcome and help refugees.

In order to do this we need to put more and more pressure on governments in developed countries to accept more refugees. Lebanon, such a small country, with a population of 5 million people and a weak economy is hosting 1.5 million Syrian refugees. The rest of the neighbouring countries did the same. In Egypt we accepted a quarter of a million Syrian refugees in addition to 2.5 African refugees. After welcoming refugees in the country the churches can then cooperate with the government and UNHCR to provide for the needs of the refugees in a more holistic way. I was so encouraged by the appeal of Pope Francis when he asked every parish to host refugee family. It is so important that these refugees may encounter the love of Jesus in us.

In our refugee program in Egypt and Ethiopia we deal with thousands of refugees. We help them to find accommodation and shelters. In fact some of our churches in Ethiopia became shelters for the thousands who walked in from South Sudan. We also have programs to build their capacities so that they can find jobs. And we provide education for their children as well as health care through our clinics. I am sure you [others] do better than us in these areas. Let us see Jesus in each one of them and let us hear Him saying, “I was a stranger and you invited me in” when we meet them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from William Temple

O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst pray for thy disciples that they might be one, even as thou art one with the Father: Draw us to thyself, that in common love and obedience to thee we may be united to one another, in the fellowship of the one Spirit, that the world may believe that thou art Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I will sing of thy steadfast love, O LORD, for ever; with my mouth I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations. For thy steadfast love was established for ever, thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens.

–Psalm 89:1-2

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NYT) Thousands Enter Syria to Join ISIS Despite Global Efforts

Nearly 30,000 foreign recruits have now poured into Syria, many to join the Islamic State, a doubling of volunteers in just the past 12 months and stark evidence that an international effort to tighten borders, share intelligence and enforce antiterrorism laws is not diminishing the ranks of new militant fighters.

Among those who have entered or tried to enter the conflict in Iraq or Syria are more than 250 Americans, up from about 100 a year ago, according to intelligence and law enforcement officials.

President Obama will take stock of the international campaign to counter the Islamic State at the United Nations on Tuesday, a public accounting that comes as American intelligence analysts have been preparing a confidential assessment that concludes that nearly 30,000 foreign fighters have traveled to Iraq and Syria from more than 100 countries since 2011. A year ago, the same officials estimated that flow to be about 15,000 combatants from 80 countries, mostly to join the Islamic State.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Iraq, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Syria, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Young Adults

Catalonia vote: Pro-independence parties win elections

Pro-independence parties in Spain’s Catalonia region have won an absolute majority in regional elections, near complete results show.

With more than 90% of the votes counted, the main separatist alliance and a smaller party won 72 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament.

They said earlier a majority would allow them to declare independence from Spain unilaterally within 18 months.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, History, Politics in General, Spain, Theology