Daily Archives: June 9, 2016

Beth Routledge says Achbp Welby Threatens Sanctions Against the Scottish Episcopal Church

It has been learned today that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has privately threatened to sack the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, David Chillingworth, from ecumenical dialogue if members of the church’s General Synod do not do as they are told with respect to same-sex marriage.

This will be an extension of the sanctions applied to the Episcopal Church of the United States of America by the Primates’ Meeting in January of this year, after ECUSA agreed to acceptance of marriage equality within their own province.

It is fair to say that this communication to our Primus came as a surprise to members of our own General Synod.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Archbishop Welby's speech calling for greater religious literacy in the media

Despite easy assumptions of secularity, true diversity also means paying proper attention to religion. After all ”“ and this should not really need stating ”“ it is impossible to understand the world today without understanding religion. Not religion as an exercise in private piety that needs to be covered simply to keep some strange people happy; but because religion is a prime motivator of behaviour for both individuals and communities.

A religious commitment or worldview shapes the ethical choices, political priorities, economic preferences and cultural expressions of whole societies. We cannot hope to understand why people do the things they do if we don’t understand what drives them ”“ consciously or unconsciously.

You could argue that one of the great crises of our times is that we are facing religiously-motivated threats for the first time in more than 200 years, and broadcasters have neither the images nor the interpretative skills needed to face them.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Media, Religion & Culture

Evangelion 2016 Plenary One: Justin Terry–The Case for Evangelical Anglicanism

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(Ian Paul) Is Jeffrey John right? Did Jesus heal the centurion's same-sex companion?

In closing, I would like to make three final observations. First, I keep being told that there are ”˜good arguments’ for the Church to change its teaching on this issue. If there are, then where are they? Jeffrey John is a leading figure in this debate, so how come he offers us here such a poorly researched, implausible and incoherent case? Why is the case being made by SEC, a sister church in the Communion, so thin?

Secondly, what is Jeffrey John doing from the pulpit? He consistently makes the claim that texts ”˜must mean this’ when they probably don’t, that Paul ”˜certainly would have thought this’ when the majority think he wouldn’t, and that ”˜this is what Jesus does’ when the gospels writers suggest the opposite. It is one thing to make a case, even a contentious one; it is quite another to disguise from your listeners that there is another possibility. It is a bit like saying ”˜I am not interpreting the Bible; I am simply telling you what it says.’ It is a naked power play, and is wrong whoever does it. Some would call this dishonest; others might label it deceptive. It doesn’t seem to me to be a legitimate way to feed sheep….

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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Update: Robert Gagnon has written on the passage in question there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Archbishop of Canterbury urges Anglicans to pray for Orthodox leaders

“At the Primates’ meeting and gathering in Canterbury this past January, all of us who were there were deeply aware of the prayers for our work not only from Anglicans around the world, but also from our ecumenical friends. The many messages and gestures of prayerful support received from leaders and other Christians was one of the many graces of that time in Canterbury.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

[Times Enterprise] Trinity Anglican Church’s Hobby set to succeed retiring Pittsburgh bishop

“Papa is going to Pittsburgh to be the new Rook,” announced one of Jim Hobby’s young grandsons recently.

Hobby, rector (pastor) of Trinity Anglican Church in Thomasville, was recently elected by the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh to fill the office of retiring Bishop Robert Duncan, former ”” and founding ”” archbishop and primate of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

Although he clearly got his game pieces mixed up, it’s no surprise the 4-year old budding chess player would assign his grandfather a position just behind the rank and file of the game: it’s where Hobby has faithfully served the last 30 years as an ordained member of the Anglican priesthood. But how does the rector of a relatively new congregation from a small town in south Georgia become the bishop-elect of one of the country’s biggest ”” some would say its flagship ”” diocese?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

[Dio Egypt] Please pray for Gambella region

After Nuer refugee children were killed in a road accident mobs of ”˜highlanders’ [the Gambellan term for those from central Ethiopia] bent on revenge against Nuer refugees for the murder of numerous highlanders were turned back by the Ethiopia army ”“ this is significant because the vast majority of soldiers are themselves highlanders..

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

[EA] Christians in Sport launch sports mission pack

..Christians in Sport has launched a sports mission pack to give churches the chance to share Jesus during the upcoming summer of sport.

With the tennis and cricket underway, the European championships around the corner, and the Olympics in Rio a few months away, the pack has everything that churches need to make the most of the sporting spirit.

The pack includes a short talk, a sports quiz and a short gospel film to share at events.

Jonny Reid, communications team leader at Christians in Sport says: “The Olympics and Paralympics, Euro 2016 and The Ryder Cup are just a few of the major sporting events taking place this summer that many in your local area will be excited about.

“We know that these major sporting events present great opportunities to reach sportspeople with the gospel…

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

[Andrew Symes] Bp Alan Wilson to speak at “Queering paradigms” conference in the Cayman Islands

Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, is to give a keynote address at a gathering of academics and social activists at a conference taking place in the Cayman Islands, sponsored and hosted by the “Queering Paradigms Network” of Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.

The organisation’s website states:

The Queering Paradigms network is dedicated to examining the current state and future challenges of queer studies from a broad trans-disciplinary and polythetic perspective, and by interrogating numerous social, political, cultural and academic agendas.

The programme of the conference, which can be seen here, describes a very comfortable venue in one of the most expensive locations in the world. It is not apparent who is funding the meeting, or the budget of the department of Comparative Religion, Gender and Sexuality at Canterbury Christ Church University. Many of the nearby Caribbean nations are trying to resist the imposition of the new sexual ethics of the wealthy nations, and this attempt to retain traditional family values will be strongly criticised during the conference…

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

[Guardian] Doctors edge closer to creating babies with DNA from three people

Doctors are a step closer to creating babies with DNA from three people after research on healthy embryos found the procedure was likely to produce normal pregnancies.

Studies on embryos made with extra DNA showed that the majority were indistinguishable from standard IVF embryos, although further tests hinted that the procedure still carried risks.

The work will be reviewed by the UK government’s fertility regulator, which is expected to make a recommendation on whether or not to approve the treatment under licence before the end of the year.

The experimental technique, known as mitochondrial donation, has been developed by researchers in Newcastle to prevent women from passing on devastating and often fatal genetic diseases to their children.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family

(1st Things) Peter Leithart on biblical ethics, the Old Testament and resistance to the State

“While Athenian philosophy was in many respects quite distant from the political cosmologies that characterized the great Near Eastern empires,” writes Yoram Yazony (The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture), “it continued to develop their view of man as being essentially a creature of the state that governs him, and of ethics as a discipline that aims to understand how the virtuous individual goes about contributing to the good of this state” (132).

On this point, the ethics of the Hebrew Bible diverges quite radically: “The very first instruction that the God of Israel issues to Abraham is the command to leave the country of his birth and to sever his ties with it – just that which Socrates presented as being unthinkable.” Other biblical heroes find themselves in similar positions, often standing outside or against the established powers: “virtually all of [them] are portrayed as being in a condition of acute conflict with the rulers of the nations in which they live, and as disobeying their laws and commands almost as a matter of course. Indeed, it often seems as if the authors of the biblical narratives believe that the laws of states, and the commands of the kings who rule them, are no better than empty words, bearing no normative force whatsoever” (132). Hazony doesn’t believe this is the case, but the theme of resistance to power is striking.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NPR) National Cathedral Will Remove Confederate Flag Stained Glass Windows

The National Cathedral will be removing two images of the Confederate Flag from the building’s stained glass windows, after a period of public discussion on issues of race, slavery and justice.

The windows in question memorialize Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson; they were installed in 1953 after lobbying by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Art, Episcopal Church (TEC), History, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes

(BBC) Archbishop Tutu's daughter interviewed about her recent choice

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s youngest daughter Mpho Tutu van Furth recently made public her same sex marriage to her partner Marceline van Furth. She is also a reverend in the Anglican Church, but revealing her sexuality forced her to relinquish her licence to carry out her duties as a priest…

Listen to it all (just under 4 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, South Africa, Theology

(TLC Cov.) David Ney–Evaluating ”˜This Holy Estate’: Dismissing our Lord and his Gospels

The most disheartening section of the [Anglican Church of Canada’s] report comes in its treatment of the words of our Lord in Mark 10:1-10 and Matthew 19:1-9. Whatever the motivation may have been, the report circumvents a straightforward reading of Scripture. In his disputes with the Pharisees regarding divorce, Jesus invokes the original purpose of God in establishing marriage: namely, to create an indissoluble bond between man and woman. The report comments on these passages (

Jesus refuses to be entrapped, and yet also refuses to make a new law; rather, he challenges the “hardness of heart” reflected in both casual and utilitarian practices of divorce and remarriage in the Hellenistic world. Jesus is therefore not stating a timeless doctrine of marriage, but rather giving a pastoral (and political) response to a particular set of practices.

The first sentence in this paragraph is on the right track. Jesus doesn’t fit into the casts forced upon him by some contemporary rabbinic positions regarding divorce. He does not make a “new law” either; in fact he simply reiterates a very old “law,” one going all the way back to creation in Genesis 1 and 2. Further, the report is correct in noting that Jesus probably was concerned about “a particular set of practices,” not least the permissive attitude toward divorce that was common at the time.

It does not follow, however, that Jesus is “not stating a timeless doctrine of marriage.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Columba

O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant Columba didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in Scotland: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness to thee by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Frank Colquhoun

O Heavenly Father, who hast given us a commandment, that we should believe on the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, and love one another: Give us also grace to keep this commandment, that we may evermore dwell in thee, and thou in us, in the power of thy Holy Spirit; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
for you know not what evil may happen on earth.
If the clouds are full of rain,
they empty themselves on the earth;
and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.
He who observes the wind will not sow;
and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.
In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun.

For if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.

–Ecclesiastes 11:1-8

Posted in Uncategorized

(CEN) Church’s network of credit champions goes national

The Just Finance Network, formerly known as the Church Credit Champions Network (CCCN), has proposed a nationwide roll out of ”˜credit champions’ to help people manage money and debt.

The scheme has already been piloted in churches in London, Southwark and Liverpool and has trained more than 260 volunteers. Organisers believe it is now ready to go nationwide.

Of the Church Credit Champions Network, the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev Paul Bayes, said that desperate people had been exploited by unscrupulous credit providers locking them into a crippling spiral of debt.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

(1st Things) Greg Forster–The Benedict Option as Culture War

This common mistake””thinking that the Benedict Option means withdrawal from politics””is likely to be just as common with respect to whatever fad succeeds Benedict.

What was wrong with the culture war? Many particular things, but the overarching problem was the failure of grace toward those outside Christian (or “Judeo-Christian”) identity. God is holy but he is also loving, and his response to the darkness of the world’s evil was the cross. In the present age, he withholds his ultimate judgment upon the unholy world. And he calls his people to be holy as he is holy, but also to love the unholy world as he loves it, such that he gave his only son.

Now, what is wrong with the Benedict Option? To the extent that it has sufficient coherence to be criticized, it, too, has many particular faults that could be examined. The overarching problem, however, is the Benedict Option’s failure to love the unholy world. The holiness of the church has crowded out its divine mission. The Benedict Option projects the same spirit of resentment and hostility toward the world outside of Christian identity.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Anglican Taonga) New Zealand's Anglican Franciscan friary to close

New Zealand’s sole Anglican Friary is about to close.
The Friary of the Divine Compassion has, for almost 15 years, been a spiritual anchor for Te Ara Hou, which is the Anglican social service community in Hillcrest, Hamilton.
But time has caught up with the brothers.
Late last year, Br Brian, who was 90, died. Br Brother Damian Kenneth will soon be moving into a retirement village, while the Rev Phil Dyer ”“ a Third Order Franciscan who has, in recent times, lived at the Friary ”“ will also be moving on.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces