Daily Archives: December 17, 2015

(GR) Terry Mattingly–That New York Times headline about Catholics witnessing to Jews? Look again

Did you catch the subtle, but very important, difference between the lede and the actual quote from the document?

The lede says that it is wrong for Catholics ”“ which would mean priests, laypeople and other Catholic individuals ”“ to try to win Jewish individuals to Christian faith. But what does the document say? It says that the Catholic Church, as an institution, “neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews (italics added).”

So evangelism by individual Catholics talking with individual Jews is acceptable, while organized efforts targeting Jews alone ”“ perhaps a Catholic version of Jews for Jesus ”“ are considered out of bounds.

Thus, the headline and the lede need to be corrected to reflect the actual content of the story and the document on which it is based.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Inter-Faith Relations, Judaism, Media, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(Chicago Tribune) Wheaton College says view of Islam, not hijab, got Christian teacher suspended

Wheaton administrators insisted it was Hawkins’ comments ”” not her decision to wear a hijab ”” that was at the root of the problem. She was asked to provide a theological response to several other statements as well, though the college did not provide details.

Denny Burk, a professor of biblical studies at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said his greatest concern about Hawkins’ explanation was the lack of clarity about the particulars of Christianity. Without further explaining the nuances of her argument, she implicitly denied Christian teachings, he said.

“We’re people of the book, but our books are very different,” he said. “They’re witnessing to two different ways of salvation. The Bible is witnessing to Jesus Christ, the son of God. That’s unique of all the world religions, and that uniqueness was what I thought was missing from what she said.”

But Miroslav Volf, a theology professor at Yale Divinity School and founding director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, praised Hawkins’ gesture as extraordinary and an apt Advent devotion. He said her comments about Christians and Muslims worshipping the same God speak to the common ground the two religions share.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Christology, Education, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Young Adults

(AAC) Phil Ashey–The Anglican Church of Canada a.k.a. The Episcopal Church (North)

t sounds like there is some anxiety on the part of the ACoC. Could it be that they are worried about being excluded themselves, of being tied too closely to The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its repeated violations of Biblical and communion teaching on human sexuality, Biblical authority, and the mind of the Church in its decision making on these issues?

It will be difficult for them to differentiate themselves from TEC, for it was the decision of the ACoC Diocese of New Westminster in 2003, along with TEC’s consecration of a partnered homosexual bishop, that originally tore the fabric of the Anglican Communion.

Since then, consider the “facts of the ground” (taken from Martin Davies’ recent paper) that the ACoC has established in Canada….Frankly, this follows exactly the pattern we saw in the United States in TEC: create facts on the ground in violation of the Bible, and then call for “theological reflection” upon those facts-that-you-have-just-established.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(Reuters) Burundi on cusp of civil war: U.N. human rights chief

Burundi is on the verge of civil war because of a campaign of political repression in which at least 400 people have been killed and almost 3,500 arrested, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said on Thursday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Burundi, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Theology, Violence

(Local Paper) Pain of loss deeply felt 6 months after Emmanuel Church shooting

Six months have passed since Dylann Roof allegedly shot and killed nine parishioners at an Emanuel AME Church Bible study.

The funerals are over. The flowers and tributes have thinned out on the Calhoun Street church’s sidewalk. President Barack Obama and his press corps have long since left town.

Charleston is trying to move toward normal again, but Deborah Stewart still misses Myra Thompson.

“She wasn’t just my sister-in-law,” Stewart said. “She was my friend.”

Read it all (and note the headline used above is from the print edition).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(Guelph Mercury) Travis Davis–"Anglican Diocese [of Niagra] only cares about money"

Two contract extensions in spite of the fact that the City councillors unanimously said no to the rezoning application. Two extensions in spite of the feelings of the neighbours who want the church to remain a church and in spite of the hopes and prayers of local congregations who are longing for usable worship space. Preserve a church as a church? Why do that when you can reap an extra million dollars by selling to a developer who specializes in high-density construction?

The words of Bill Mous, spokesperson for the Diocese, ring hollow to anyone who has a stake in the neighbourhood surrounding the church property. The Diocese “cares deeply for Guelph”? This community does not feel cared for.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Stewardship, Theology

A.S. Haley–The Episcopal Church's Bishops Abuses Turn Inward

In a development that few Episcopalians of four or five years ago could have imagined, the Episcopal bishops of the most powerful and financially secure dioceses have begun to turn on their own once-strong, but now severely weakened, parishes. Having driven out all the dissenters at enormous expense to their coffers, these dioceses are increasingly trying to make up their losses by sacrificing valuable real estate — even if it means turning out previously loyal congregations from their hard-won property. And — who could have foreseen it? — the parishes most harmed by the continuous litigation were precisely those with the most valuable properties.

A prime example is the Diocese of Los Angeles, led by the litigious J. Jon Bruno — he of the forkèd tongue. For nine years he waged war in the California courts against four dissident congregations to prevent them from keeping title to their own parish properties. Using the notorious Dennis Canon, he was singularly successful in having California courts impose an irrevocable trust on the local parishes’ real estate, so that when they voted to withdraw from the diocese, they necessarily forfeited all rights to their property.

But his victories came at a tremendous cost: the Diocese had spent more than eight million dollars as of last year, and was still incurring more costs to subsidize two of the remnant congregations in their newly recaptured sanctuaries. Bishop Bruno negotiated sales of two of the properties: the parish of All Saints Long Beach was allowed to purchase their property on a long-term contract, and he sold the church of St. David’s in North Hollywood to a private school.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Henry Stobat

O God, Father of mercies, who didst so love the world that thou didst give thine only begotten Son to take our nature upon him for us men and for our salvation: Grant to us who by his first coming have been called into thy kingdom of grace, that we may always abide in him, and be found watching and ready when he shall come again to call us to thy kingdom of glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High; and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

–Psalm 50:14-15

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Clergy 'tried to cover up Bishop Peter Ball sex abuse'

Evidence suggesting senior clergy tried to cover up sex abuse by an Anglican bishop has been uncovered by the BBC.

Two priests raised concerns about Peter Ball but were urged to keep quiet or saw no action taken, it has emerged.

And a couple who worked for now-jailed Ball, former bishop of Lewes and Bishop of Gloucester, said they also tried to raise concerns but were ignored.

Ball’s offending is the subject of an independent review and a national inquiry is looking at Church abuse.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Children, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

(AJ) Archbp Fred Hiltz: Primates’ Meeting ”˜not a decision-making body’

Hiltz also said that after his meeting with Welby, he came away “encouraged by his [Welby’s] clarity in terms of what the Primates’ Meeting is and what it’s not.”

The Primates’ Meeting “is not a decision-making body””it’s a body for people that come together to pray and discuss and discern and offer some guidance. We don’t make resolutions,” Hiltz said.

Since it was announced that Archbishop Foley Beach, the leader of the breakaway Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), would be present for the first part of the meeting, Hiltz said there has been concern in some quarters over whether or not attempts will be made to confront The Episcopal Church (TEC) over its decision this year to allow same-sex marriages. But Hiltz said Welby was quite clear that the meeting would not exclude any of the primates of churches that are members of the Anglican Communion.

“His principle is one of full inclusion of all the primates. I think he will encourage, and if need be, challenge, the primates to uphold that principle,” Hiltz said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Globalization, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Washington Post) Do Muslims and Christians worship the same god? College suspends prof who said Y

Wheaton College, a prominent evangelical school in Illinois, has placed a professor on administrative leave after she posted on Facebook that Muslims and Christians “worship the same God.”

The official school statement Tuesday about associate professor of political science Larycia Hawkins’s suspension said Wheaton professors should “engage in and speak about public issues in ways that faithfully represent the College’s evangelical Statement of Faith.”

Following a protest and sit-in of about 100 people Wednesday afternoon on campus, President Philip Ryken and later Provost Stanton Jones said they would not be lifting the suspension. It wasn’t clear how long Hawkins was suspended for, but some of the student leaders who had been involved in talks with administrators said it was through the spring semester.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Christology, Education, Evangelicals, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology, Young Adults