Daily Archives: February 14, 2016

(NYT Op-ed) Kate Bowler–Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me

On a Thursday morning a few months ago, I got a call from my doctor’s assistant telling me that I have Stage 4 cancer. The stomach cramps I was suffering from were not caused by a faulty gallbladder, but by a massive tumor.

I am 35. I did the things you might expect of someone whose world has suddenly become very small. I sank to my knees and cried. I called my husband at our home nearby. I waited until he arrived so we could wrap our arms around each other and say the things that must be said. I have loved you forever. I am so grateful for our life together. Please take care of our son. Then he walked me from my office to the hospital to start what was left of my new life.

But one of my first thoughts was also Oh, God, this is ironic. I recently wrote a book called “Blessed.”

I am a historian of the American prosperity gospel….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(FP) Karolina Kan–My Secret Life as a Forbidden Second Child in China

Even though my mother was ready to give up her job, having another child was not easy. Six months after she gave birth to my older brother, the family planning office took her to the hospital and forced her to put an intrauterine device in her body, a common practice at that time. Every few months, women who had already had one child would be taken to the hospital to take an ultrasonic photo and make sure their intrauterine rings were still there.

“The way they treated the women, pushing them up into the cars, sometimes even into trucks with some wooden bench for them to sit on, was like the way butchers treat the pigs when driving them to the slaughter houses,” said my mother. “There was no dignity. To cheer ourselves up, on the way we cursed the people who pushed us, or we sang songs.”

“But it’s their job, isn’t it?” I asked. “Nobody forced them to do that job, and they could always turn a blind eye,” she replied. “They used their knife of power to kill so many unborn babies.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Children, China, History, Marriage & Family

Rome recreated AD 320

h/t ACL Sydney

Posted in * General Interest

Linda Nicholls elected as successor to head of Anglican Diocese of Huron

Linda Nicholls was elected as the eventual successor to the head of the Anglican Diocese of Huron on Saturday.

Nicholls is the first woman to hold the role in the Huron Diocese, which takes in much of Southwestern Ontario.

An area bishop of Trent-Durham, Nicholls beat out seven other candidates in three ballots at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

“She is a gifted and faithful leader who will help chart our future to that place where God in Christ will us to be. I very much look forward to working with her, ” Bishop of Huron Robert Bennett said in a statement.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

Whatever you think of Justice Antonin Scalia's opinions, Catholic faith was a pillar of his life:

Quite aside from his legal views, what came through that night four years ago was just how keenly interested Scalia was in Church affairs, and how central reflection on his faith was to his life and his worldview.

There are, of course, Catholics who don’t believe Scalia drew the correct conclusions from his religious convictions, seeing his “originalist” view of the Constitution as more about conservative political ideology than genuinely Catholic sensibilities.

What can’t be denied is that Antonin Scalia was a serious Catholic, someone whose faith was a defining element of his life. His passing is a reminder that Catholicism’s contribution to public life in the United States may not always be ideologically coherent or predictable, but it’s profound, and he was a lifelong embodiment of that truth.

Read it all frp, John Allen in Crux.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the day from John Cosin

O Lord our God, grant us, we beseech thee, patience in troubles, humility in comforts, constancy in temptations, and victory over all our spiritual foes. Grant us sorrow for our sins, thankfulness for thy benefits, fear of thy judgment, love of thy mercies, and mindfulness of thy presence; now and for evermore.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee. So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name. My soul is feasted as with marrow and fat, and my mouth praises thee with joyful lips, when I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night; for thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy.

–Psalm 63:3-7

Posted in Uncategorized

(WSJ) Peggy Noonan–Trump, Sanders and the American Rebellion

…this goes hand in hand with the general decline of America’s faith in its institutions. We feel less respect for almost all of them””the church, the professions, the presidency, the Supreme Court. The only formal national institution that continues to score high in terms of public respect (72% in the most recent Gallup poll) is the military.

A few years ago I gave a lecture to a class at West Point, the text of which was: You are entering the only U.S. institution left standing. Your prime responsibility throughout your careers will be to keep it respected. I then told them about the Dreyfus case. They had not heard of it. I explained how that scandal rocked public faith in a previously exalted institution, the French army, doing it and France lasting damage. And so your personal integrity is of the utmost importance, I said, as day by day that integrity creates the integrity of the military. The cadets actually listened to that part.

I mention this to say we are in a precarious position in the U.S. with so many of our institutions going down. Many of those pushing against the system have no idea how precarious it is or what they will be destroying. Those defending it don’t know how precarious its position is or even what they’re defending, or why. But people lose respect for a reason.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Politics in General

(Church Times) Andrew Davison argues that science and faith are not strange bedfellows

Parties aside, scientists belong to a community far larger than their research group. The scientific community is one of the world’s most profoundly global associations.

Science needs that community because no scientist working independently could verify even the tiniest part of the ideas that they depend on. Scientists have to trust the work that others have undertaken.

This brings us to faith. Science relies on trust, and whatever else faith may comprise, trust is central. Both theology and science proceed on the basis of trust, and in neither case is that a matter of blind trust. Scientists publish their findings, so that other scientists can verify them. Someone comes up with a promising thesis; it is scrutinised by peer review.

Christian faith follows a parallel form of communal knowing: it involves trust, and it is not blind. The ideas that make up the Christian faith are the communal work of hundreds of thousands of thinkers, put to the test by billions of Christian people. The community extends across time as well as place: the faith has been weighed and tested down the ages.

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

(Local paper) Charleston churches take a hard look at their own racial divide

“In certain circles, race in the church just isn’t talked about,” said Philip Pinckney, a pastoral intern at Sovereign Grace Church of the Lowcountry and organizer of 1Charleston. He said that after seeing beautiful symbolic gestures of racial unity in Charleston following the Emanuel AME shooting, his church wanted to keep working on substantive changes.

Loritts, a pastor at New York’s Trinity Grace Church and president of the Kainos Movement for multi-ethnic churches, brought some hard words to a local church body that in many cases remains segregated by default. He noted the irony of walking through CSU’s Strom Thurmond Center, named after a prominent segregationist, en route to talk about racial unity, and he called into question the salvation of Christians who “were sexually chaste yet hated people who did not look like them.”

“We are not giving you license to subscribe to a colorblind ethic. God made me black. God made you white,” Loritts said, addressing a diverse crowd of about 200 attendees that skewed mostly white. “I am a Christian before I am black, and yet being Christian does not mean that I abandon my blackness.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology