Daily Archives: January 30, 2016

(CEN) Religion ”˜is not the driver of extremism’ Parliamentary group is told

“To see religion as the driver of extremism or division in society is a mistake,” the Rev Nigel Genders told a special meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Religious Education last week.

He told the meeting: “There is no evidence that any religion or ideology is a primary motivator of terrorism. That lies in anger at injustice, a sense of moral superiority, a promise of adventure and being a hero.”

He told the gathering of over 100 people that young people are searching for a sense of identity in a moral vacuum.

“Religion is not the problem and RE is not about countering these issues.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture

[Gavin Esler] The Good Goering

..While Hermann was condemning millions to death in the name of National Socialism, his bohemian, Nazi-hating younger brother Albert secured the release of 34 prominent Jews and other political prisoners from the concentration camps and rescued many more from certain death.

He pretended they were to be used as forced labour in his factories ”“ and then allowed them to escape.

As Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, considers the remarkable step of awarding Albert Goering its highest honour by naming him alongside Oscar Schindler, the rescuer of Jews made famous in the film Schindler’s List, as one of the Righteous Among The Nations, I have investigated the brothers’ contrasting and intertwined life stories..

Read it all and Esler’s full broadcast is available here [h/t Anne Kennedy]

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Religious Freedom / Persecution

Survey claims Anglicans 'more likely to back' same-sex 'marriage than oppose it'

More members of the Church of England now support same-sex marriage than oppose it, new polling suggests.

The finding, from a YouGov survey of more than 6,000 people, suggests the Church’s leadership, which led a high-profile campaign against a change in the law, is at odds with the majority of Anglicans in England for the first time.

It also points to a sharp fall in opposition to same-sex marriage among those who identify as members of the Church of England since the law changed, echoing a shift in wider society.

Read it all from the Telegraph.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sociology, Theology

[Time] Expansion of Christian Church in the Birthplace of Confucius Creates Controversy in China

Confucius’s hometown, Qufu, knows how to market its most famous native son. Visitors to the city in eastern China’s Shandong province can savor Confucian cuisine, worship at a Confucius temple and follow the family tree of the Kong clan, which claims an unbroken lineage going back some 80 generations to the Great Sage himself. The tourist boom has only intensified as China’s communist leadership embraces homegrown traditions once derided as feudal relics by the party’s revolutionary elders.

Now, the presence of a Christian church near Confucius central is sparking debate as to whether the ancient philosopher ”” or, more accurately, his descendants ”” can handle an influx of Western spirituality in a nation yearning for fulfillment. In an online article published late this month, a prominent Confucian scholar protested the expansion of an existing church less than 2 miles from Qufu’s main Confucian temple and kickstarted a campaign against it. Such a church “towering over” the Confucian sanctuary, wrote Zeng Zhenyu, would stir up “intense controversy.” Sure enough, a torrent of digital discourse has ensued in China, with scholars and laymen alike parsing the ancient ideology’s stance towards a diversity of faiths.

Read it all

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Asia, China

[Bishop Charlie Masters] Reflections on Canterbury ”“ Two weeks after

..It was the GAFCON Primates’ goal and prayer that this meeting would focus on restoring good order and reviving the Anglican Communion in line with the clear teaching of the Bible. Evidence that order was being restored would require suspension of the US Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) at least until there was repentance and evidence of a change.

What did happen was that the gathering addressed the very narrow issue of TEC and its change of liturgies and the marriage Canon at its most recent General Convention last summer. The decision to discipline TEC finally came to a vote on Thursday. Archbishop Foley has made it clear that, while he chose not to participate in that vote, it was passed by a very large majority. After that, with TEC and the ACoC Primates still fully participating, he and some of the GAFCON Primates absented themselves from the remaining day of the meeting. They felt they could only continue if there was evidence that the Communion was being brought back into Biblical order. The fact that the ACoC was undisciplined and TEC was disciplined in a minor way but was still at the table made it necessary for the GAFCON Primates to leave…

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

[Martin Davie] Where do we go from here?

In this post I am not going to add to the discussion about what took place at the meeting of the Anglican Primates a fortnight ago. This topic has already been extensively discussed by a large number of other commentators and I am not sure there is much more to say about it.

What I am going to do in this post is instead to outline what I think are the key issues facing orthodox Anglicans as we move on to the next stage of the life of the Anglican Communion.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

[Bishop Graham Kings] The Centre Holds: Primates 2016 in Canterbury

W. B. Yeats’ 1919 poem, ”˜The Second Coming’ , has the memorable line:

Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.

The media, and many people around the world, thought there would be a split in the Anglican Communion during ”˜Primates 2016 ’. This was the meeting of the senior bishops of the 38 provinces, joined by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America , from 11th to 15th January at Canterbury Cathedral .

Remarkably, through the grace of God, the humility of the Primates and prayers throughout the world across the traditions of God’s Church, the centre held.

Here we consider seven interweaving themes of the week.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Roman Breviary

O God, who by the lowliness of thy Son hast raised a fallen world: Grant to thy faithful people perpetual gladness; and as thou hast delivered them from eternal death, so do thou make them partakers of everlasting joys; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

But I call upon God; and the LORD will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice. He will deliver my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.

–Psalm 55:16-18

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Benedictus in C – Stanford

Source: Luke 1:68-79 [AV] Lyrics from the Book of Common Prayer of 1662]

68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship

In a world shaped by religion, media must take it seriously says BBC chief

The head of religion and ethics at the BBC has called for the broadcaster to lead the fight against religious illiteracy.

Aaqil Ahmed calls on public service broadcasters such as the BBC to confront a world “defined by religion and conflict” but where most media fail to take religion seriously.

Few people know much about each other’s beliefs, values and customs, creating a climate where it is all too easy for prejudice to take root, he says.

Read it all from Christian Today.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Religion & Culture, Theology

"The mainline.church has to stop fretting about its future and sacrifice itself to mission"

Little good comes from getting fixated on the empty pews. The mainline Protestant church has to stop fretting about its future. The anxiety takes up the air and leaves the church too lethargic to offer anything to the world. The alternative response is for the church to do what it’s always done at its best, what it did from the beginning: stop thinking about its future and sacrifice itself to its mission.

When I was working through my way through a graduate program in the history of Christianity, I became convinced that there is no rational explanation for the church’s survival over the past 2,000 years””there were many compelling political, intellectual, and social reasons for it to have gone out of business long ago. And none of those threats were ever as dangerous to the church as it was to itself. We’ve always been our own worst enemy when we fail to live out of the gospel we proclaim. But still the church perseveres.

The only possible explanation for the church’s survival is that Jesus Christ chose to use it to continue his mission of bringing the kingdom of God to earth.

Read it all from Craig Barnes in the Christian Century.

Posted in Uncategorized