Monthly Archives: October 2015

An interview with Tom Wright on his book Paul and his recent Interpreters

This companion volume to N. T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God and Pauline Perspectives is essential reading for all with an interest in Paul, the interpretation of his letters, his appropriation by subsequent thinkers, and his continuing significance today. In the course of this masterly survey, Wright asks searching questions of all of the major contributors to Pauline studies in the last fifty years.

Listen to it all (24 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Books, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Alfred the Great

O Sovereign Lord, who didst bring thy servant Alfred to a troubled throne that he might establish peace in a ravaged land and revive learning and the arts among the people: Awake in us also, we beseech thee, a keen desire to increase our understanding while we are in this world, and an eager longing to reach that endless life where all will be made clear; 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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Blessed is he who considers the poor!
The Lord delivers him in the day of trouble;
the Lord protects him and keeps him alive;
he is called blessed in the land;
thou dost not give him up to the will of his enemies.
The Lord sustains him on his sickbed;
in his illness thou healest all his infirmities.

–Psalm 41:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Thomas Aquinas

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know thee, diligence to seek thee, wisdom to find thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

–Psalm 38:21-22

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Saint Alcuin

Eternal Light, shine into our hearts;
Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil;
Eternal Power, be our support;
Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance;
Eternal Pity, have mercy upon us;
that with all our heart and mind and soul and strength we may seek thy face and be brought by thine infinite mercy to thy holy presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

O LORD, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.

–Psalm 26:8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Dwindling membership forces Eastern Oregon Episcopal Church’s closure

More than a century of…[Episcopal] worship in Nyssa is coming to a close.

Dwindling membership has led St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to seek permission to close. After several months spent looking for options, the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon has consented.

“There are so few of them,” the Rt. Rev. Bavi Edna “Nedi” Rivera said. “Several of the members are older and some of them have moved away to places where they can get ”¦ care or be near family.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Data, TEC Parishes

After Shootings, Varying Shades of Recovery at Charleston SC's Mother Emmanuel AME Church

Four months after one of the worst racially motivated massacres in recent American history, the members of this historic African-American church are laboring to return to the everyday rhythms of worship. But they also know that things will never be the same.

Many of Emanuel’s 550 members are proud of the example of forgiveness they set for the world ”” the “open heart” that President Obama cited in his eulogy for the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, Emanuel’s slain pastor. But to worship at Emanuel is also to revisit a crime scene, a sacred space violated by a white gunman who took the lives of nine of their friends.

In the fellowship hall, on a post and a wood-paneled wall, a few small, rectangular cavities are visible ”” the places, members say, where investigators cut out the bullet holes.

The members are also struggling with pain, hard feelings and new questions about their future….

Read it all from the New York Times.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Luke

Almighty God, who didst inspire thy servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of thy Son: Graciously continue in thy Church the like love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of thy Name; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Saint Benedict

O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive thee, diligence to seek thee, patience to wait for thee, eyes to behold thee, a heart to meditate upon thee, and a life to proclaim thee; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

To thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in thee I trust,
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Yea, let none that wait for thee be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know thy ways, O Lord;
teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me,
for thou art the God of my salvation;
for thee I wait all the day long.

–Psalm 25:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Communiqué of the Global South Primates Cairo, Egypt 14-16th October 2015

After much deliberation and discussion we agreed on the following decisions:

1. We discussed the importance of unity among us. We affirmed the importance of blessing and encouraging each other. We are committed to working together for the expansion of God’s Kingdom.
2. We were happy to receive a report from Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina, which receives Primatial oversight from the Global South. We praise the Lord for his faithful stance in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

3. We studied the letter of invitation from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the upcoming Primates meeting. We have agreed to attend the meeting, and welcome the invitation for the Primates to suggest the items of the agenda. We appreciate this very helpful approach, one that gives us a sense of ownership and responsibility to our meeting. We agreed on the agenda items which we will request.

4. We grieved one more time at the unilateral decisions taken by the last General Convention of the Episcopal Church (TEC) in the USA to redefine marriage and to accept same-­”sex marriages (Resolutions A036 and A054). We see these latest resolutions as a clear departure from not only the accepted traditional teaching of the Anglican Communion, but also from that of the one Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church, which upholds the scriptural view of marriage between one man and one woman. (Lambeth Resolution 1:10, 1998.)

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Christology, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(TGC) Greg Gilbert–Talking About Jesus with America’s Least Religious Generation

Millennials, like the rest of us, are human beings. I know that’s not a terribly surprising thing to say, and I haven’t actually heard anyone deny that fact. But with the coming of age of each new generation, it seems there’s always a flurry of books and articles competing both for the honor of naming that generation and of describing what’s unique about them. And of course, so long as we’re okay using sweeping generalizations, each generation does tend to exhibit characteristics setting it apart from those who came before and will come after. Usually that has to do with the historical and cultural context in which they came of age. So one generation was deeply affected by the post-World War II world, the next by the upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s, the next by the Cold War, and on and on.

I’ll leave it to the professionals to do the work of describing exactly what’s affected millennials and how it’s affected them. As a Christian pastor, my task is to do the even harder work of reminding people””including millennials themselves””they’re not that different from the rest of us. The world has been around for a very long time, and the deepest problems plaguing millennials today have plagued every generation throughout human history. What’s more, the greatest solution we can offer millennials is the same as it’s ever been. That doesn’t change.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Apologetics, Christology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology, Young Adults

(CNBC) How social media is making us less social: Study

It’s something everyone suspected, but now it’s official: The under-30 crowd is addicted to their cell phones.

Those are the findings of a new survey, which showed that as millennials spend more time engaged on social media platforms, it’s causing them to be less social in real life. The study, conducted by Flashgap, a photo-sharing application with more than 150,000 users, found that 87 percent of millennials admitted to missing out on a conversation because they were distracted by their phone. Meanwhile, 54 percent said they experience a fear of missing out if not checking social networks.

Nearly 3,000 participants were asked about how they felt about social media in social settings, and found that the guiltiest culprits are often females. The study found 76 percent of females check social media platforms at least 10 times when out with friends, compared with 54 percent of males.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Science & Technology, Teens / Youth, Young Adults

A Nice Haaretz Article on Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky

On October 15, 1906, Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, the Jewish-born, rabbinical school-trained, former Anglican bishop of Shanghai, died in Tokyo, after a lengthy illness, at age 75. Apart from the novelty interest of a converted Jew becoming a church official and serving in the exotic East, Schereschewsky is remembered for having produced a much-respected translation into Mandarin Chinese of the Hebrew Bible, among other sacred texts, which became the standard 20th-century translation.

Samuel Schereschewsky was born on May 6, 1831, in Tauroggen, a Jewish shtetl in the Russian empire, in what is today southwest Lithuania. Both of his parents ”“ the former Rosa Salvatha, of Sephardi-Jewish heritage, and Samuel Joseph Schereschewsky ”“ died when he was very young. Samuel was apparently raised by a much older half-brother, a timber merchant who was the product of his father’s first marriage.

At age 15, he left his brother’s home, and held jobs as a glazier and as a Hebrew tutor before entering the rabbinical seminary in Zhytomir, in Ukraine.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Church History

A Charlotte Observer article on Billy Graham's new Book ”˜Where I Am’

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Evangelicals, Other Churches

Former Stanford dean explains why helicopter parenting is ruining a generation of children

Julie Lythcott-Haims noticed a disturbing trend during her decade as a dean of freshmen at Stanford University. Incoming students were brilliant and accomplished and virtually flawless, on paper. But with each year, more of them seemed incapable of taking care of themselves.

At the same time, parents were becoming more and more involved in their children’s lives. They talked to their children multiple times a day and swooped in to personally intervene anytime something difficult happened.

From her position at one of the world’s most prestigious schools, Lythcott-Haims came to believe that mothers and fathers in affluent communities have been hobbling their children by trying so hard to make sure they succeed, and by working so diligently to protect them from disappointment and failure and hardship.

Read it all from the Washington Post.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Children, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology, Young Adults

(NYT) A Small Indiana Town Scarred by a Trusted Doctor

On a spring evening last year, Debra Davidson flipped on the television to watch the local news. When an item came on about her longtime physician, she perked up and leaned forward. Then she screamed. Her husband rushed into the living room to see if everything was O.K.

Everything was not O.K. The report said that her cardiologist, Dr. Arvind Gandhi, had been sued by two former patients who accused him of performing unnecessary operations.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Psychology, Rural/Town Life, Theology

(OUP Blog) Charles Williams: Oxford’s lost poetry professor

Wartime Oxford was short of lecturers, and [CS} Lewis immediately set about pulling strings to get [Charles] Williams to lecture for the English Faculty. He began in February 1940, speaking on Milton, and the results exceeded all expectations.

Fifty years later, former students still remembered his performances vividly ”“ ”˜Mounting the steps at a bound and launching straight into a flood of quotation’; ”˜telling students “Never mind what Mr. so-and-so says about it, read the text and think for yourself!”’; ”˜declaiming like an Old Testament prophet or an enthusiastic evangelical preacher’; ”˜Leaping from one side of the stage to the other, and acting in turn the part of each character he was talking about’; ”˜clutch[ing] his copy of Wordsworth, once almost throwing it into the air, but luckily catching it again”¦ totally absorbed in his fascination with the subject’; ”˜Pacing up and down the platform”¦ return[ing] to its centre table three times to bang on it three times with his fist to impress on his audience that “Eternity ”” forbids thee ”“ to forget”’. In short, ”˜Electrifying!’ Some of those students went on to become teachers of English and throughout their careers returned to their notes on those lectures for inspiration.

Lewis was so impressed with Williams’s lecture on the theme of chastity in Milton’s Comus that he declared, ”˜That beautiful carved room had probably not witnessed anything so important since some of the great medieval or Renaissance lectures. I have at last, if only for once, seen a university doing what it was founded to do: teaching Wisdom.’

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, History, Poetry & Literature, Theology, Young Adults

Telegraph's John Bingham Tweeting Anglican global south primates say they will attend Jan Meeting

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Global South Churches & Primates

Former Anglican Bishop of Grafton stripped of title over handling of abuse claims

A former bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton has been stripped of any standing within the church over his handling of allegations of abuse at the North Coast Children’s Home.

Keith Slater was Bishop of Grafton for 10 years until his resignation in May of 2013.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

(Telegraph) Church anger at longer Sunday shopping hours

Church leaders have expressed their anger at the government for denying them a say over new Sunday trading laws, in a major clash between ministers and bishops.
Senior aides to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, protested to ministers that the Church was not properly consulted before George Osborne announced plans to allow shops to open for longer on Sundays.

The Church of England now fears the government will attempt this week to sneak the new law through Parliament without it being scrutinised properly by the Anglican bishops who sit in the House of Lords.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Archdeacon Mark Mukan from Jos, Nigeria to be at Christ Saint Paul's this morning

Fr. Craige [Borrett] met Fr. Mark during his sabbatical while in Nigeria. Fr. Mark coordinates mission outreach for the Diocese of Jos. For many years, he was the pastor of Gospel Centre in Numan, Yola State- an area now threatened by Boko Haram. He is the proud husband of Eunice Lantana and the father of three children.

Fr. Mark will be with us for both services Sunday and for A Time in the Word beginning at 9:05 in the Ministry Center. Fr. Kendall {Harmon] will be interviewing Fr. Mark.

You may find a picture of Mark Mukan there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths

(LA Times) For those left in Syria, life among the ruins takes on a ghostly air

…ever-resilient Syrians strive to maintain some shreds of social cohesion amid an overriding sense of insecurity and uncertainty about the future.

Daily conversations on Skype, WhatsApp and other social media applications help people stay in touch with those scattered around the world. One exile has developed a cellphone app to show where his friends are, lights on the screen indicating far-flung locales.

“Every night we spend at least an hour on WhatsApp trying to catch up,” says Elia Samman, who runs a waste management business in Damascus, the capital, but is a native of Homs, once the country’s third-largest city.

Of nine Homs families his family was close to, he says, only three remain in Syria. The rest have left for Sweden, Germany, Egypt, Persian Gulf nations or other destinations.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Defense, National Security, Military, Marriage & Family, Middle East, Syria, Violence

Family whose 6 yr old daughter was killed by drunk driver wins suit against Bar who served him

A Richland County jury on Friday afternoon socked a local bar with a $3.85 million negligence verdict in connection with the bar’s role in serving liquor to a drunk man who several hours later rammed his Jeep into a car, killing 6-year-old Emma Longstreet.

The jury, which began deliberations Thursday afternoon and broke for the night, deliberated more than eight hours in the civil case before reaching a verdict sometime before 4 p.m. Friday.

“Justice was served,” said Emma’s father, David Longstreet, who with his wife, Karen, their three children, and Kenny Sinchak, a motorist in another car, brought the lawsuit against the Loose Cockaboose Sports Bar.

The jury found the bar was serving liquor after a state-mandated closing time, and that it had served an obviously intoxicated Billy Patrick Hutto.

Several hours later, Hutto, a repeat DUI offender, ran a red light going 60 mph and slammed into the Longstreets’ car in Lexington County while they were on their way to church. Emma died later in a local hospital.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Alcohol/Drinking, Children, City Government, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, State Government, Theology, Travel

A Prayer to begin the Day from E M Goulburn

O Blessed Jesus, who hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, and hast consecrated us in baptism to be temples of the Holy Ghost: Make us, we beseech thee, both in body and soul, meet for thy dwelling place; that our hearts may be houses of prayer and praise, of pure desires and holy thoughts of thee, whose we are and whom we serve, and to whom be glory, now and for evermore.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens,
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his host!

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
And he established them for ever and ever;
he fixed their bounds which cannot be passed.

–Psalm 148:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

C of E Bishops call on Prime Minister for a "meaningful and substantial response" to refugee crisis

Calling directly on the Prime Minister to increase his current offer to accept 20,000 refugees over the next 5 years to 50,000 the Bishops write:

“We believe such is this country’s great tradition of sanctuary and generosity of spirit that we could feasibly resettle at least 10,000 people a year for the next two years, rising to a minimum of 50,000 in total over the five year period you foresaw in your announcement. Such a number would bring us into line with comparable commitments made by other countries. It would be a meaningful and substantial response to the scale of human suffering we see daily.”

In addition to “recognising and applauding” the announcements made by the Prime Minister the Bishops offer help from the Church of England in encouraging their churches to provide welcome, housing and foster care to refugees as well as to support the Government in its ongoing efforts.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Iraq, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Syria, Theology

New federal Domestic Terrorism Office sparked by the Charleston Massacre at Mother Emmanuel Church

The U.S. Department of Justice has established a new office to coordinate investigations into homegrown attacks, something civil rights advocates say is a partial response to Dylann Roof and the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church.

“It very likely took the Charleston massacre to make this a reality,” said Mark Potok, spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, of the newly created position of Domestic Terrorism Counsel.

Potok said that for much of the past decade, the focus of federal law enforcement has been on foreign terror threats, such as al-Qaida and ISIS. The Justice Department’s move this week represents a return of focus onto warnings that rise at home.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, The U.S. Government, Theology, Violence