Wonderfully encouraging–watch it all.
Daily Archives: June 26, 2016
O God of love, we pray thee to give us love:
Love in our thinking, love in our speaking,
Love in our doing, and love in the hidden places of our souls;
Love of our neighbours near and far;
Love of our friends, old and new;
Love of those with whom we find it hard to bear,
And love of those who find it hard to bear with us;
Love of those with whom we work,
And love of those with whom we take our ease;
Love in Joy, love in sorrow;
Love in life and love in death;
That so at length we may be worthy to dwell with thee,
Who art eternal love. Amen
The art and literature of Paul’s day provide ample evidence for the widespread practice of sexual immorality. When we read that “the sexual life of the Graeco-Roman world in NT times was a lawless chaos” (Barclay 1962:24), we only need to observe the chaos in our own world to understand the conditions in Paul’s day. In fact, a good case could be made that in the two millennia since the Roman Empire, our generation comes closer than any previous one to the blatant prevalence of sexual perversions that was characteristic then. And a study of the fall of the Roman Empire suggests that any society that tolerates the unchecked promotion of such perversions will inevitably fall apart from the rottenness within.
–G. Walter Hansen Galatians (Downer’s Grove: IVP Academic, 2010), pp.174-175
Ii is just 50 hours since the referendum result was announced. In that time, the British prime minister has resigned, there has been a coup against the leader of the Labour party (still playing out as I write), sterling has had one of its biggest one-day falls in history, the banks are starting to talk about moving jobs to Europe, and Scotland has opened the process of calling a second independence referendum.
The political turmoil was predictable and predicted in this blog. Most MPs backed the Remain case and now have to implement the Leave case. Even the Leave campaigners are balking at invoking Article 50 immediately; David Cameron reversed his position and has left the decision to his successor. That means it won’t be until October. This can be presented as tactically shrewd; there is no rush. Although the rest of the EU is pushing the UK to act immediately, it would seem as if it can’t force the pace. But it also reflects the lack of clarity in the Leave campaign about what kind of deal they want;a Norway-style approach (with continued free movement and budget contributions) or complete separation (with restricted access to the single market).
Of course, this politicking only extends the period of uncertainty that will follow the referendum result. The nature of the UK’s trading relationship with the EU will not become clear until late 2018 at the earliest.
O God, who in thy fatherly love hast called us that we should inherit a blessing: Give to us also, we pray thee, the blessing of wholesome speech and loving deed; that following always that which is good, we may do and suffer all that thou willest; in the name and strength of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord.
So Paul, standing in the middle of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything. And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us, for
‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your poets have said,
‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead.”
Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” So Paul went out from among them. But some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
23. We asked our witnesses to gauge the influence which each of the EU institutions would exercise over the negotiations. Both thought that the Member States would exercise the greatest influence, despite the conduct of the negotiations being the responsibility of the Commission. Sir David said: “I would envisage that, formally speaking, the Commission will do the negotiations, but in the way things work I strongly suspect that the Council’s internal services will also be closely involved right the way through, as well as the other Member States.”28 Professor Wyatt said that the Member States “would be in the driving seat” and would “call the important shots”. He provided a helpful insight into how the Member States would exercise their inf luence through the Council:
“The European Council is not going to be hands-on all the time. Who will be hands-on all the time will be the Committee of National Representatives, which is overlooking the Commission negotiations. The normal committee is the Trade Policy Committee, which I think meets once a month, but its deputies meet every week … Changing of the negotiation mandate is possible and could, and would, happen.”29
24. Both witnesses agreed that the European Parliament’s power to refuse to give consent to the draft withdrawal agreement also gave it considerable influence.
Read it all if interested [pdf] h/t Bp G Kings twitter
“Great Britain will remain a close partner,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday in Potsdam, outside Berlin.
“It shouldn’t take ages” for Britain to deliver formal notification that it wants to leave the European Union, “but I would not fight now for a short time frame,” she stated, seeking to temper pressure from Brussels, Paris and her own government to force Britain into negotiating a quick divorce from the EU.
Britain would remain a full-fledged member of the European Union until the negotiations were completed – with all the rights and responsibilities, she added.
“We will conduct the necessary negotiations in the spirit of our future partnership,” Merkel said.
The newspaper Handelsblatt quoted an internal document from the Ministry of Finance in Berlin regarding Germany’s strategy in the case of a Brexit. Britain would be offered “constructive negotiations,” Handelsblatt wrote, underlining that the members of Wolfgang SchÃ¤uble’s ministry were expecting a “difficult” divorce.
According to the document, the objective could be an association agreement between the EU and the UK. An association treaty spells out trading rules and other regulations between the European Union and a non-EU country. Other reports suggested any such agreement would not cover financial services.
..Now the catastrophic scenario that many feared has materialized, making the disintegration of the EU practically irreversible. Britain eventually may or may not be relatively better off than other countries by leaving the EU, but its economy and people stand to suffer significantly in the short to medium term. The pound plunged to its lowest level in more than three decades immediately after the vote, and financial markets worldwide are likely to remain in turmoil as the long, complicated process of political and economic divorce from the EU is negotiated. The consequences for the real economy will be comparable only to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
That process is sure to be fraught with further uncertainty and political risk, because what is at stake was never only some real or imaginary advantage for Britain, but the very survival of the European project..
By Ruth Gledhill
The Vicar of Baghdad was suspended by the charity he founded amid an investigation into alleged payments used to rescue Islamic State sex slaves, according to The Times.
Canon Andrew White, 52, who was ordered to leave Iraq at the end of 2014 by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby over fears for his safety, has continued working in the Middle East and worldwide to help Christians, Yazidis and other minorities fleeing ISIS.
He was suspended after the Charity Commission launched an investigation into the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, the charity he set up in 2010 when he was Vicar of St George’s Church, Baghdad.
Last October Canon White posted a notice on Facebook where he said: “Want to know what we are doing to help the Yazidi sex slaves?”
The Ukrainian parliament has requested that Constantinople recognize the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s independence from Russia, the parliament website reported Thursday.
The appeal to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople ”” the head of the Orthodox Church”” was supported by 245 deputies, with 20 deputies voting against. The move is hoped to speed up “changes that will grant the Ukrainian church independence from an aggressor state,” the Kommersant newspaper reported.
Last month in Minya, Egypt, a 70-year-old Christian woman was beaten and dragged through the streets naked by a mob because her son was suspected of having an affair with a Muslim woman. Horrors like these have renewed fears of religious discord in Egypt. President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi and his government regularly describe Egypt as unified and have worked hard””publicly””to reduce Muslim-Christian tension. But the Minya event has once again demonstrated the relative impunity of the Egyptian police, who failed to respond to earlier warnings of a violent, religiously-motivated attack and took hours to appear on the scene.
The status of Coptic Christians in Egypt has for the most part remained unchanged since Anwar Sadat came to power in 1970. Today, there is little Christian representation in government, and sectarian violence is all but commonplace. But many have suggested that President Sissi is more respectful of minority rights than his predecessors, and many Christians supported Sissi’s rise to power.
The outcome of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom is good news for Icelanders and presents an opportunity for Iceland and other countries in the North-Atlantic according to the country’s President Ã“lafur Ragnar GrÃmsson.
“First and foremost the outcome is the most serious setback the leadership of the European Union has seen for a very long time,” Mr. GrÃmsson said, “… and a verdict so grim that it is hard to find words to describe this historic event.”
“First of all, it is now obvious that here in the North Atlantic will be a triangle of nations that all stand outside of the European Union: Greenland, Iceland, Great Britain, Faroe Islands and Norway,” says President GrÃmsson. “This key area in the North will be outside of the influence of the European Union.”
Britain should look North
The decision reached by British voters means that the EEA Agreement that Iceland and Norway have with the EU will become more relevant according to Mr. GrÃmsson..
..It is important to understand what the Leavers were campaigning for. And what they were campaigning against. They were campaigning to end the EU idea of political integration across Europe, of the unification idea sometimes referred to as the United States of Europe. They were campaigning against a myriad of regulations and social policies and immigration policies. They were not campaigning against the trade and customs arrangements that were the original underpinning of the EU when Britain joined the EU in 1973.
For the UK, the alternative to the EU is not nothing. There are other arrangements, such as EFTA, which Leave campaigners have endorsed as a better alternative for the UK.
EFTA (the European Free Trade Area) is an association of EU-neighboring countries who operating a free trade area amongst themselves ”“ and have negotiated free trade agreements with the EU and several countries, including Canada. The EFTA members are Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. EFTA operates in parallel with the EU and all four member states participate in the EU’s single market..
Britain’s high commissioner is open to signing a free trade deal with Canada now that the United Kingdom has opted out of the European Union.
Howard Drake said Britain will go it alone on trade agreements after the Brexit vote, adding the U.K. will not cease to be a trading nation after it pulls out of the EU.
“We’re an island. We’ll be strongly pro-free trade outside the European Union,” he said in an interview with Chris Hall on CBC Radio’s The House.
“We’ll be looking to make trade deals with other countries around the world, including Canada. Other countries that are currently outside the EU do have very good trading relationships and trade agreements with other countries, so we can be the same. We have a lot to bring to the party,” he said, noting Britain is the fifth largest economy in the world.
Former Conservative cabinet minister Pierre Poilievre said Friday the Liberal government should “immediately conclude” a trade deal with Britain, but that would be a difficult task given the country remains a member of the EU for the foreseeable future ”” at least two years ”” as it hammers out an exit strategy.
Drake also signalled that the Commonwealth of Nations ”” the organization of 53 mostly former British colonies and territories ”” could play a more robust role in Britain’s foreign policy in a post-Brexit world.
“We have always believed that the Commonwealth has a significant role,” he said. “Canada, the relationship, as we all know, is extraordinarily close. We have a unique relationship between us, given our history.”