Daily Archives: May 3, 2016

[Ligonier] RC Sproul: Christ’s Call to Make Disciples

..Despite my profound desire for evangelism, I was a failure at it. This realization came to me early in my ministry. Yet, I also discovered that there are many people whom Christ has called and whom He has gifted by His Spirit to be particularly effective in evangelism. To this day, I’m surprised if anyone attributes their conversion in some part to my influence. In one respect, I’m glad that the Great Commission is not a commission principally to evangelism.

The words preceding Jesus’ commission were these: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18). He then went on to say, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (v. 19). When Jesus gave this commission to the church, He was speaking authoritatively. He gave a mandate to the church of all ages not simply to evangelize but to make disciples. That raises a significant question: What is a disciple?

Read it all [h/t Robin Jordan]

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

AU 226 – Self Identities Revealed

‘TEC has a sexual identity crisis this week and the ABC doubles down on happy happy primates….’

With thanks to Kevin Kallsen and George Conger at Anglican TV

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council

[The Rev Theodore L Lewis] Canterbury and the Primates’ Meeting in light of ACC-16

In itself the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka (ACC-16), was reminiscent of a bowl of blanc mange without a bottom. To be sure, the meeting adopted some 45 resolutions and elected a new chairman. But none of the resolutions mattered much; and the new chairman, the Archbishop of Hong Kong, is reportedly cosy with Beijing. Negatively, however, it allowed The Episcopal Church (TEC) delegates to participate fully, including with regard to doctrinal matters. It thereby failed to uphold the three-year suspension of TEC resolved on by the Primates’ meeting in Canterbury last January, in consequence of TEC’s canonical allowance of same-sex marriage. And this has two major significances. One is that Justin Welby, the present Archbishop of Canterbury, who is president of the ACC and was understood by the Primates to give assurances of TEC’s doctrinal non-participation, can be relied on little more than his predecessor, Rowan Williams, to play a positive role the Anglican Communion. The other is that the GAFCON Primates’ and their associates, though not uncoordinated in confronting Canterbury’s negativity, need to coordinate much more. Conciliarism points to a way in which they might do so…

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council

[Bishop Graham Kings] African Joy of the Gospel: Anglican Consultative Council in Zambia

..I was greatly encouraged by my time in Lusaka at ACC-16. It was a delight to meet so many old friends from around the Communion, including a former student from St Andrew’s College, Kabare, Kenya, Johnson Chinyong’ole, now the Provincial Secretary of the Church of Tanzania, and to make new friends.

A colleague in Durham University had said that for the Mission Theology in the Anglican Communion project I should, some time, contact Professor Joanildo Burity in the Anglican Province of Brazil, who had been in Durham for four years. I was hoping to arrange a meeting in the UK or Brazil. God surprised us with the discovery of each other at ACC-16.

He attended the workshop I led on the book of theological resources in times of persecution entitled, ”˜Out of the Depths: Hope in Times of Suffering’, written by members of the Anglican Inter Faith Network..

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council

Is it possible to regenerate the brains of dead people? 1 biotech co. thinks yes is the answer

A groundbreaking trial to see if it is possible to regenerate the brains of dead people, has won approval from health watchdogs.

A biotech company in the US has been granted ethical permission to recruit 20 patients who have been declared clinically dead from a traumatic brain injury, to test whether parts of their central nervous system can be brought back to life.

Scientists will use a combination of therapies, which include injecting the brain with stem cells and a cocktail of peptides, as well as deploying lasers and nerve stimulation techniques which have been shown to bring patients out of comas.

Read it all from the Telegraph.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology, Theology

Food for Thought from CS Lewis

Peter did not feel very brave; indeed, he felt he was going to be sick. But that made no difference to what he had to do. He rushed up to the monster and aimed a slash of his sword at its side. That stroke never reached the Wolf. Quick as lightning it turned round, its eyes flaming, and its mouth wide open in a howl of anger. If it had not been so angry that it simply had to howl it would have got him by the throat at once. As it was ”“ though all this happened too quickly for Peter to think at all ”“ he had just time to duck down and plunge his sword, as hard as he could, between the brute’s forelegs into its heart.

–The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (New York: HarperCollins; Reprint ed. 2008), p.120 (my emphasis)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Poetry & Literature, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Painkiller epidemic: Nearly half of Americans know an addict

Almost half of all Americans personally know someone who has been addicted to prescription painkillers ”” and most people feel the federal government isn’t doing enough to stem a growing epidemic of opioid addiction, a new survey shows.

The survey released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation also found that a large majority of Americans believe that lack of access to care for people suffering from substance abuse is a problem in the United States.

The findings come as abuse of opioids ”” including prescription painkillers and the illegal drug heroin ”” has significantly increased in recent years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Christina Rossetti

O Lord, whose way is perfect: Help us, we pray thee, always to trust in thy goodness; that walking with thee in faith, and following thee in all simplicity, we may possess quiet and contented minds, and cast all our care on thee, because thou carest for us; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time.

–1 Timothy 2:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

[Fr Dale Matson] A Still Small Voice And The Holy Spirit As Life Choreographer

How do we tune in to the Holy Spirit? How do we get on His wavelength? Sometimes it seems like when my grandsons try to communicate with each other on our walkie talkies. They both press the talk button at the same time and can’t hear what the other is saying. The range of the walkie talkies is about five miles but they yell all the louder at each other from a distance of about ten feet. Sharon and I can hear them both without the walkie talkies quite well thank you. Sometimes Jamison is on channel one and Maxwell is on channel three. They can’t seem to agree to be on the same channel. Here are the lessons learned. First of all, unlike Jamison and Maxwell, we need to get our finger off the talk button and simply listen. Second, never buy a boy anything that will amplify the sound of his voice. Let’s look at one of my favorite passages from the Old Testament to help us understand how God communicates with us.

Read it all

Posted in Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

(Barna) Porn in the Digital Age: New Research Reveals 10 Trends

Pornography is not new, but the digital age has made it more ubiquitous and accessible than ever before. The technological realities of smartphones and high-speed internet have fundamentally changed the landscape of pornography, and ushered it into the cultural mainstream where it enjoys increasingly widespread acceptance.

In Barna’s landmark study, The Porn Phenomenon (now available to purchase online), commissioned by Josh McDowell Ministry, we interviewed thousands of American teens, young adults and older adults about their views on and use of pornography. Here are ten of the most compelling findings:

1. There is Moral Ambiguity Toward Porn, Particularly Among Younger Americans
Perhaps the most sobering finding from the study is the reality of how accepted viewing porn has become in our culture today, particularly among teens and young adults. Around half of adults 25 and older say viewing porn is wrong (54%), and among teens and young adults 13-24, only a third say viewing porn is wrong (32%). This posture toward porn among younger Americans is confirmed by how they talk about porn with their friends: the vast majority reports that conversations with their friends about porn are neutral, accepting or even encouraging. They generally assume most people look at porn at least on occasion, and the morality of porn is rarely discussed or even considered. Just one in 10 teens and one in 20 young adults report talking with their friends about porn in a disapproving way.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pornography, Science & Technology, Sociology, Theology

(C of I) Reprint of Bp Harold Miller's Desire of Our Soul is now Available

It is not often that the Church of Ireland has a best seller but such was the demand for Bishop Harold Miller’s guide to the Book of Common Prayer, The Desire of Our Soul, that it sold out. And such has been the continuing demand for it that a reprint has been necessary. The reprint, with an attractive new cover, has just been released and is available from The Book Well online Christian bookshop.

The book is a companion to the Book of Common Prayer 2004. In this guide, Bishop Miller leads the reader through the different services in the Prayer Book, especially the ones newly introduced in 2004. He enables the reader to understand something of the meaning of the liturgies, the reason why they are as they are, and the way in which they can provide the people of God with words which can deepen both public and personal devotion.

The publication also includes a series of charts laying out the structure of many of the services, and a set of questions at the end of each chapter which m

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Book of Common Prayer, Anglican Provinces, Books, Church of Ireland, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

The Telegraph on the Premiere League Triumph of Leicester City, a Miracle if ever there was 1

It is quite a small room: plain white walls, two three-seater sofas, a couple of pot-plants. If it were not for the black-and-white pictures of 19 Premier League managers hung on the walls, it could be a humdrum suite in a mid-ranking business hotel.

Instead, Claudio Ranieri’s office at the King Power stadium has become the nerve-centre of the greatest fairytale English football has ever seen, the place where plots have been hatched and victories toasted.

Ranieri’s decision to adorn the wall with images of his peers was designed to make them feel at ease when they visited him after matches; instead, they have assumed the look of big-game trophies, all eclipsed by Ranieri and his remarkable band of title winners.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Men, Sports