Daily Archives: November 6, 2015

(CT) Francis Beckwith–The Joys and Burdens of Being Both Evangelical and Catholic

In less than two weeks I will be delivering a paper in Atlanta at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society (EPS). It is a group in which I have held membership since 1988. It meets every year with the much larger academic alliance, the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). I was the 57th President of ETS before I resigned both my presidency and membership in May 2007, a week after I had been received back into the Catholic Church of my youth.

Since November 2007 I have participated in five EPS/ETS meetings. Some Catholic friends have expressed amazement (and dismay) that I still identify (with the appropriate caveats) as an Evangelical of a sort, even though I have, in many venues, offered critical assessments of aspects of the dominant streams of Evangelical theology that part ways with what the Catholic Church teaches.

So, for example, I have argued against the Reformers’ understanding of justification, for apostolic succession, the sacrament of penance, and transubstantiation, and for the permissibility of accepting theistic evolution (though, of course, rejecting philosophical naturalism). I explained in 2010 and 2011 how my own internal deliberations on the nature of the Reformation were instrumental in my return to the Catholic Church. And yet, I find myself back again at EPS/ETS among scholars, writers, and teachers who, with few exceptions, disagree with me on these matters. Why do I do it? There are two reasons.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

(CSM Cover Story) So how’s the American middle class, really?

The old image of the “middle class” as an aspirational state of being ”“ upward mobility coupled with a measure of financial stability ”“ hasn’t disappeared. But it’s under stress as much as at any time in the postwar era. Fewer Americans these days call themselves middle class, and many who do use that label see it as a badge of struggle as much as a badge of opportunity.

The middle class is being redefined partly by demographics. In 1970, fully 40 percent of US households were married couples with at least one child under 18 years old. By 2012 that share had declined to 20 percent of US households ”“ a shift that includes more single-parent breadwinners. It’s also being redefined by a changing job market ”“ notably by the rising importance of education on résumés, as well as the disappearance of punch-the-timecard jobs in offices and factories that once produced comfortable lifestyles but were vulnerable to automation.

All this doesn’t mean that living standards for average middle-income families are languishing in a state of permanent deterioration. A good deal of evidence suggests that’s not the case. And while some deride the insecurity of the Gig Economy ”“ the growing legions of people doing freelance, contract, temporary, or other independent work ”“ the changing job market has a bright side for many Americans: greater flexibility, creativity, and self-determination for one’s career.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

The Bp of Chester leads a debate on impact of pornography on society

Children and adults are being harmed by the widespread availability and use of pornography in society, the Bishop of Chester has warned.

The Rt Revd Peter Forster, leading a debate in the House of Lords on the impact of pornography on society, called for action in the face of evidence showing the damaging impact of pornograhy on adults as well as children and young people.

Speaking to peers, Bishop Peter highlighted the exposure of children to harmful sexualised content online.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Pornography, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

Friday Morning Mental Health Break–Psalm 91 sung by [Australia's] Sons of Korah

Listen to it all (Hat tip:LW).

Posted in Uncategorized

(Church Times) African commission on South Sudan describes mass atrocities

Women who were raped in churches are among the victims of mass atrocities perpetrated during South Sudan’s 22-month civil conflict, the long-awaited report of the African Union’s Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, published last week, shows.

The Commission documents acts of “extreme cruelty”, including brutal killings, the mutilation of bodies, and forced cannibalism.

The abuses were conducted “in a systematic manner and in most cases with extreme brutality”, it says. Witnesses in Juba reported sexual violence against women committed by both parties to the conflict, and “extreme cruelty exercised through mutilation of bodies, burning of bodies, draining human blood from people who had just been killed and forcing others from one ethnic community to drink the blood or eat burnt human flesh”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sudan, Theology, Violence, Women

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Temple

O God of light and love, who illumined thy Church through the witness of thy servant William Temple: Inspire us, we pray, by his teaching and example, that we may rejoice with courage, confidence and faith in the Word made flesh, and may be led to establish that city which has justice for its foundation and love for its law; through Jesus Christ, the light of the world, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer of William Temple to Start the Day

Lord Jesus Christ, who didst for me endure the horror of deep darkness, teach me by the depth of thine agony the vileness of my sin, and so bind me to thyself in bonds of gratitude and love that I may be united with thee in thy perfect sacrifice, my Saviour, my Lord, and my God.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

–Matthew 14:13-21

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Queensland civil unions: Anglicans, Baptists at odds with other Christians

Queensland’s proposal to reinstate civil partnerships for straight and same-sex couples has received support from Anglicans and Baptists, while other Christians continue to oppose the move.

Of the 30 submissions to the parliamentary committee, most were in support of the return to civil partnerships which were established in the dying days of the Bligh government, but changed into registered relationships in one of the first acts of the Newman government.

The Palaszczuk government legislation would alter the name and once again allow state-sanctioned ceremonies for same-sex and straight couples.

Read it all from the Brisbane Times.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Baptists, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

TEC Diocese of Pittsburgh–Nov 7th to be the end for St Martin's Monroeville before it is sold

For more than a half-century, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Monroeville has played an important, if not unique, role in the life of our diocese as a whole, as I know it has for many of you individually. Its visibility along the Parkway provided the means to proclaim to thousands of drivers every day that Jesus is alive. It was a Spirit-charged community, and members of our clergy and lay leaders alike have been fostered by that charism. And, it was the final resting place for some of our departed sisters and brothers.

As I am sure you are aware, there has not been an active Episcopal Church congregation worshiping at St. Martin’s for several years and the diocese now intends to sell the property.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Housing/Real Estate Market, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes