Daily Archives: March 4, 2016

(WSJ) Matt Emerson: At Its Heart, Science Is Faith-Based Too

…just as faith is indispensable to science, so is reason essential to religion. Many find themselves relating to God in a way analogous to the scientists searching for gravitational waves. These seekers of religious truth are persuaded by preliminary evidence and compelled by the testimony of those who have previously studied the matter; they are striving for a personal encounter with the realities so often talked about, yet so mysterious.

In such a context, it isn’t blind belief that fuels the search, any more than scientists blindly pursued the implications of Einstein’s theory. Rather, it’s a belief informed by credible reasons, nurtured by patient trust, open to revision. When I profess my belief in God, for example, I rely upon not only the help of the Holy Spirit. I also rely upon the Einsteins of theology, thinkers like St. Thomas Aquinas, whose use of reason to express and synthesize theological truths remains one of the great achievements in Western civilization. Aquinas’s “Summa Theologica” is a LIGO for the Christian faith.

To be sure, religion and science are different. But many religious believers, like scientists, continue to search for confirmation, continue to fine-tune their lives and expand their knowledge to experience a reality that is elusive, but which, when met, changes life forever. And if the combination of faith and reason can deliver the sound of two black holes colliding over a billion light years away, confirming a theory first expressed in 1915””what is so unthinkable about the possibility that this same combination could yield the insight that God became man?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

[NewTimes Rwanda] Africa Needs Development-Oriented Churches, Say Clerics

In a tele-visual message, renowned American evangelist Rick Warren called on African church leaders to seize the current demographic transformation on the continent, and take responsibility to help the church in fulfilling their responsibilities to be part of desired change.

The conference was hosted by Rwanda Purpose Driven/PEACE Pan-an umbrella organisation of Christian churches in Rwanda.

The organisation is supported by Dr. Warren’s US-based Saddleback Church.

Priests should turn their faith into action, turn their statements and beliefs into practical behavior, to see the potential in their people and help them transform their communities, according to Charzan.

Onesphore Rwaje, the archbishop of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, said the churches in Rwanda have mastered the art of unity, and have strived to be part of community transformation through engaging in various charitable ventures.

“In Mathew 29:8, the Bible tells us to go into the world, teach the gospel and transform the people socially, physically, morally and spiritually that’s the gospel. We are not yet where we want, but if you move around the communities, you will see there are number of such vivid projects the church in Rwanda has united on to transform the society,” Rwaje said.

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

(CEN) Anglican Primates’ January deal begins to unravel

The Church of Uganda will boycott the April meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka.

In a letter dated 23 February the Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev Stanley Ntagali, said comments made by ACC chairman Dr James Tengatenga that the Americans could not be kept away from the meeting, and statements by Episcopal Church leaders that they would pay no heed to the primates’ call that their Church withdraw from pan-Anglican bodies for three years had led inevitably to this outcome. Distrust over the efficacy of American promises of good behaviour were a long standing problem in the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Ntagali said.

He cited the 2003 incident where Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold promised not to consecrate Gene Robinson, an undertaking given at the emergency Primates’ Meeting held at Lambeth Palace, and his decision shortly thereafter to serve as Robinson’s chief consecrator.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Uganda, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

The Archbishop of York Visits Foster Care Team at East Riding Council

Archbishop Sentamu said: “When Jesus was telling his disciples to let the children come to him, he told them that whoever welcomes a child in his name welcomes him. It is both a great responsibility and a great privilege to be involved in the lives of young people. We owe them our very best because in them we encounter the face of Jesus Christ.

“I know this for myself, as my wife Margaret and I fostered two children who have now grown up and we continue to be immensely proud of them.”

The council is currently looking to recruit new foster carers, (who don’t necessarily have to live in the East Riding), particularly for children aged from five to 15.

Councillor Julie Abraham, the council’s portfolio holder for children, young people and education, said: “Our foster carers and their families are exceptional people and we were delighted to be able to talk about their work to the Archbishop, who has a personal understanding of the importance of their role….”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE)

(Church Times) James Cocke, 89, Longest-serving vicar in C of E, celebrates 59 years in one parish

A Clergyman who was the new man in his parish when Harold Macmillan was the new man in No. 10 is looking forward to celebrating 60 years in post.

The Revd James Cocke, who, at 89, is still Vicar of All Saints’, Highfield, in Oxford, celebrated the 59th anniversary of his collation last week. He has ministered to the parish since 23 February 1957, which is thought to make him the longest-serving incumbent in the Church of England.

On Monday, he said that plans were already being prepared to mark the diamond jubilee of his ministry at All Saints’, next February.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Gafcon March Prayer Update

We thank you for your continued support and prayer for the GAFCON movement. We would like to ask for your prayer over the next few weeks for a number of important areas:

1. The GAFCON Primates Council in April 2016

As the GAFCON Primates prepare to meet in Santiago de Chile please pray for the following:

Travel arrangements and preparations for the meeting
The continued availability and good health of those attending
Good discussions about the outcomes of the Canterbury Primates Gathering in January 2016

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Global South Churches & Primates, Spirituality/Prayer

Al Mohler–Everything That is Solid Melts Into Air ”” The New Secular Worldview

Secularization is not about rejecting all religion. Taylor urges that people in the current hyper-secularized culture in America often consider themselves to be religious or spiritual. Secularization, according to Taylor, is about belief in a personal God, one who holds and exerts authority. He describes the secular age as deeply “cross-pressured” in its personal experience of religion and rejection of the personal authority of God.[2] The issue is binding authority.

Christians are the intellectual outlaws under the current secular conditions. Entering a discussion on the basis of a theistic or theological claim is to break a cardinal rule of late Modernity by moving from a proposition or question to a command and law and authority and to do so in the context of a culture now explicitly secularized, and a culture that either reduces such claims to something below a genuine theistic claim or rejects them to court. Secularization in America has been attended by a moral revolution without precedent and without endgame. The cultural engines of progress driving toward personal autonomy and fulfillment will not stop until the human being is completely self-defining. This progress requires the explicit rejection of Christian morality for the project for human liberation.

The story of the rise of secularism is a stunning intellectual and moral revolution. It defies exaggeration. We must recognize that it is far more pervasive than we might want to believe, for this intellectual revolution has changed the worldviews of even those who believe themselves to be opposed to it. Everything is now reduced to choice, and choice is, as Taylor reminds us, central to the moral project of late modernity, the project of individual authenticity.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, History, Other Faiths, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Theology

11 Sobering Quotes from Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn

Great food for thought–read and ponder them all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Books, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, History, Pastoral Theology, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Russia, Theology

Chick-fil-A Offering Free Ice Cream for Families Who Turn Off Their Phones

Chick-fil-A is offering free ice cream to families who silence their phones and place them inside a box known as a “cell phone coop” for the entire meal.

The so-called challenge is available at more than 150 of the chain’s locations.

“We really want our restaurant to provide a sense of community for our customers, where family and friends can come together and share quality time with one another,” Brad Williams, a Chick-fil-A operator in Suwanee, Georgia, said in a statement. Williams is responsible for the coop.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Science & Technology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Frank Colquhoun

Lord Christ, almighty Saviour, we cry to thee for aid against our strong enemy. O thou who art the Stronger than the strong, deliver us, we pray thee, from the evil one, and take sole possession of our hearts and minds; that filled with thy Spirit we may henceforth devote our lives to thy service, and therein find our perfect freedom; for the honour of thy great name.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw him, and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.” And he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennes”²aret, and moored to the shore. And when they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized him, and ran about the whole neighborhood and began to bring sick people on their pallets to any place where they heard he was. And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or country, they laid the sick in the market places, and besought him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched it were made well.

–Mark 6:47-56

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A S Haley–TEC's Los Angeles Bishop Bruno Tries to Serve Two Masters

Under California law, a religious body or organization may create a unique form of corporation, called a corporation sole, whose principal purpose is to allow the parent organization (which may or may not itself be incorporated) to hold title to real property. A corporation sole is different from the usual variety of that entity: it has a single officer, director and shareholder, who are all one and the same person, called “the incumbent of the corp sole.” The governing body makes the rules for who can be the incumbent. Typically it is that body’s bishop or other spiritual leader.

Bishops may come and go, but corporations sole do not. Under law, their existence is perpetual — and that is why they are a good vehicle for maintaining ownership of real property. And like any religious organization, they are not-for-profit, and pay no income taxes.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that Bishop J. Jon Bruno of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles is at odds with his own Diocese over the disclosure of financial information concerning the corporation sole of which he is the incumbent. (In order to avoid a vote on an outside audit of his corp sole at the diocesan convention last December, Bishop Bruno promised to disclose its financial statements.)

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Parishes

(WSJ) Fay Vincent–Life as the Ninth Inning Nears

I spend most of my time in the company of my cherished wife. I think there is truth in the old line that older marrieds tend to resemble each other as time goes by. I enjoy visits with friends as well, but I have a rule: None of us can speak more than three sentences about medical news. I am certain my problems have limited interest, and so, I fib a lot when I am asked how I am doing.

To me, old age seems to be the art of keeping going. Speed and direction are not important. Movement is. I swim but slowly. I barely walk. I write, but with acute knowledge that my values and opinions are outdated. I still think duty, honor and country should be the national mantra. I know better.

The very best thing about growing older is that I no longer try to change anyone’s mind. I can easily accept disagreement from friends and even critics. I also have long since surrendered any hope of impressing others, or of being impressed by them. In these final innings I want to stay at bat, even if I know I cannot expect to get a hit.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology