Daily Archives: April 8, 2016

[Canon Phil Ashey] Update: Forgery and False Pretenses on the eve of the ACC-16 meeting

Just when you thought Godly order couldn’t unravel any further, it appears that it has. According to an article published on Anglican Ink, a fraudulent letter was posted on the Anglican Church of Kenya’s website, with Archbishop Wabukala’s digital signature, purporting to reverse his public decision not to send a delegation from the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) to the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council which begins today.
These facts are troubling and invite obvious questions: Who had access to Archbishop Wabukala’s digital signature in such a way that they could forge such a letter? Who did so? Did they have help from others within the Provincial Office or with whomever is responsible for the website? What did Bishop Waweru know about this letter? Exactly what representations did he make to the lay and clergy delegates from Kenya? At least one blogger has noticed that the language in the forged letter is partially lifted from Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s letter imploring Churches to attend ACC-16. If this is so, did the Anglican Communion Office have any role in this forgery?

There is a larger question as well: What does this forgery, the gift of airplane tickets, assignments from ACC-16 and false pretenses under which some delegates from Kenya have come to ACC-16 say about the mind of the Anglican Consultative Council? What does it say about their public intent to overrule and usurp the authority of the Primates in order to pursue their own agenda? And to do so by overreaching the clear limits of their “advisory” authority as I have written below?

Finally, as Archbishop Wabukala notes in his April 6 letter, what does the deafening silence of the Archbishop of Canterbury ”“ in the face of these and other facts ”“ say about his leadership of the Anglican Communion?

The Apostle Paul wouldn’t hesitate a moment to give his opinion:

“Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:2 NIV

It is time for Anglicans everywhere to wake up and walk in the light (I John 1:7).

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

[Dr Peter Jensen] Back to Basics Part 5: The Power of The Gospel

..Some would say that those who break fellowship because of the distorted gospel are the ones at fault. They would say that we have succeeded in making so much fuss that all we talk about is sex, rather than Jesus. Furthermore, society no longer has the faintest idea of what the Bible is saying on this subject and cannot be sympathetic to our views. Instead the world labels us bigots and homophobes and we do not get a hearing for Jesus.

They would say that it is better to agree to disagree about the subject, enter a ”˜good disagreement’ with each other, maintain unity so that our quarrels do not become the story, and talk about Jesus.

But there are four problems with this argument.

First, it narrows Jesus down so that we are in danger of not teaching the real Jesus who called for repentance from sin.

Second, it forbids us to analyse and expose human sin and idolatry at precisely one of its most obvious points.

Third, it forbids us to do good in our community by offering a far better vision of what it is to be human.

Fourth, it insists that those who refuse to compromise over these matters are the ones at fault and grants a mark of approval to those who distort the gospel.

Fellowship in a false gospel, is not fellowship.

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

(Wa Po) The unbearable grief of a village that lost its boys to a suicide bomber

The suicide bomber who blew up a youth soccer match late last month left barely a dent in the hard, dry earth, a faint scorch on a concrete wall nearby.

But he gouged a chasm of grief in the heart of the small community that lost more than two dozen of its sons in a single moment, at 6:15 on the evening of March 25.

A total of 43 people died in the bombing at the game, according to figures provided by the local government. Of them, 29 were boys younger than 17 who had either been participating in the match or were watching their friends play.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Marriage & Family, Sports, Terrorism

Friday Food for Thought from Saint Augustine–Why do people hate the truth?

But why doth “truth generate hatred,” and the man of Thine, preaching the truth, become an enemy to them? whereas a happy life is loved, which is nothing else but joying in the truth; unless that truth is in that kind loved, that they who love anything else would gladly have that which they love to be the truth: and because they would not be deceived, would not be convinced that they are so? Therefore do they hate the truth for that thing’s sake which they loved instead of the truth. They love truth when she enlightens, they hate her when she reproves. For since they would not be deceived, and would deceive, they love her when she discovers herself unto them, and hate her when she discovers them. Whence she shall so repay them, that they who would not be made manifest by her, she both against their will makes manifest, and herself becometh not manifest unto them. Thus, thus, yea thus doth the mind of man, thus blind and sick, foul and ill-favoured, wish to be hidden, but that aught should be hidden from it, it wills not. But the contrary is requited it, that itself should not be hidden from the Truth; but the Truth is hid from it. Yet even thus miserable, it had rather joy in truths than in falsehoods. Happy then will it be, when, no distraction interposing, it shall joy in that only Truth, by Whom all things are true.

–St. Augustine, The Confessions, Book 10.23.34

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Church History, Soteriology, Theology

The Full Text of the New Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis: Amoris Laetitia

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Theology

(BBC) Pope Francis urges greater family understanding

Pope Francis has published new guidelines on family life that argue the Church should show more understanding of modern realities.

The document, based on two Synods on the issue, was eagerly awaited by the world’s 1.3bn Roman Catholics.

Entitled “On Love in the Family”, it does not change Catholic doctrine.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Men, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology, Women

(Church Times) Christianity to remain compulsory at Oxford

Courses in Christianity will remain compulsory for first-year theology undergraduates at the University of Oxford, a spokesman for the university said last week, responding to media reports that it was now possible to take a degree following only non-Christian religious, philosophical, and ethical options.

Two papers in Christianity are compulsory in the first year, and Christianity remains a significant component of second- and third-year studies, which most students would be unlikely to neglect, the spokesman said. The theology faculty, one of the oldest in England, added religious studies to its title two years ago, however, to reflect a wider range of options that were added after a course review. The University of Cambridge, where the title Faculty of Divinity has so far been retained, has also broadened its options.

The development at Oxford follows the trend among even the more traditional English universities….

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology, Young Adults

Christian Education: An Address in 1831 by William Augustus Muhlenberg for his Feast Day

Whether a lesson be mastered in obedience to conscience, or from a dread of punishment, from filial affection, or determination to beat a rival, is a question of little moment, I grant, in reference to the stock of knowledge acquired, but of incalculable consequence when asked in reference to the bearing upon moral character. The zeal to make scholars, should, in the minds of Christians at least, be tempered by the knowledge that it may repress a zeal for better things. The head should not be furnished at the expense of the heart. Surely, at most, it is exchanging fine gold for silver, when the culture of gracious affections and holy principle is neglected for any attainments of intellect, however brilliant or varied. What Christian parent, would wish his son to be a linguist or a mathematician, of the richest acquirements or the deepest science, if he must become so by a process, in which the improvement of his religious capabilities would be surrendered, or his mind accustomed to motives not recognised in the pure and self-denying discipline of the Gospel. Not that such discipline is unfriendly to intellectual superiority; on the contrary, the incentives to attain it, will be enduring, and consequently efficient, in proportion to their purity. The highest allurements to the cultivation of our rational nature, are peculiar to Christianity. Hence, literature and science have won their highest honors in the productions of minds most deeply imbued with its spirit. The effect, however, of exclusively Christian discipline in a seminary of learning, when fairly stated, is not so much to produce one or two prodigies, as to increase the average quantum of industry; to raise the standard of proficiency among the many of moderate abilities, rather than to multiply the opportunities of distinction for the gifted few.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Adult Education, Church History, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Augustus Muhlenberg and Anne Ayers

God of justice and truth, let not thy Church close its eyes to the plight of the poor and neglected, the homeless and destitute, the old and the sick, the lonely and those who have none to care for them. Give us that vision and compassion with which thou didst so richly endow William Augustus Muhlenberg and Anne Ayers, that we may labor tirelessly to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Revd Michaela Youngson

When everything was dark
and it seemed that the sun would never shine again,
your love broke through.

Your love was too strong,
too wide,
too deep
for death to hold.

The sparks cast by your love
dance and spread
and burst forth
with resurrection light.
Gracious God,
We praise you for the light of new life
made possible through Jesus.
We praise you for the light of new life
that shone on the first witnesses of resurrection.
We praise you for the light of new life
that continues to shine in our hearts today.

We pray that the Easter light of life, hope and joy,
will live in us each day;
and that we will be bearers of that light
into the lives of others.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved….Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore

Psalm 16: 7-8;11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

For Those Interested–New Wineskins 2016 Live

Program and Speakers here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Missions

Revisit Time Magazine's iconic 'Is God Dead?' cover 50 years later

Don Hamilton remembers the day well. This was back in 1966. He was 12 when a classmate asked him the question: “Does your father think that God is dead?” Hamilton had to admit that the answer was yes.

Before long, another friend’s grandmother had started lobbying to have his father, William Hamilton, who was then a professor at Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, N.Y, fired. Rather than going to church, the family started doing Bible reading at home, on their own. Eventually, they left Rochester. There was no way to hide Hamilton’s radical view after the April 8, 1966, cover of TIME Magazine asked the same question as young Don’s friend.

The story by TIME religion editor John Elson””and the gut-punch question on the cover, the magazine’s first to include only text””inspired countless angry sermons and 3,421 letters from readers. (For example: “Your ugly cover is a blasphemous outrage.”) The National Review responded by asking whether TIME were, in fact, the dead one. Bob Dylan even criticized it in a 1978 interview with Playboy: “If you were God, how would you like to see that written about yourself?” Fifty years later, it remains one of the most iconic TIME covers ever produced.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), History, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology