Daily Archives: September 1, 2016

Andrew Symes–The C of E: limits to diversity and the inevitability of separation?

Concluding his own polite but critical review of “That was the Church that was”, theologian Andrew Goddard makes the following assessment:

“The key question the book raises for me is in what sense, if any, those committed to two such contrasting understandings of the church can genuinely walk together in the same institutional structure. Might it not be the case that, if either is to flourish, each needs to grant the other a distinct ecclesial space and identity to pursue two very different, probably irreconcilable, visions of”¦the church”¦”

This is significant, because Andrew Goddard has for many years been at the forefront of influential leaders within the C of E who hold to an orthodox evangelical understanding of Christian faith (particularly in regard to sexual ethics), but who support solutions to the problems of disagreements over doctrine and ethics based on institutional unity rather than confessional separation. So for example, Goddard was one of the leading advocates for an “Anglican Covenant” and always opposed GAFCON, saying that it was contributing to the divisions in the Anglican communion.
More recently, Goddard has been a supporter of Archbishop Welby’s “good disagreement” policy; he was one of the first to convene a day of discussions on sexuality between revisionists and conservatives before the official “Shared Conversations” began; and co-edited a book of essays exploring how “grace and truth” can be maintained together in a divided church.

Archbishop Justin Welby has said many times that the unity of the church is a given, and no-one has the right to “chuck out” those family members with whom one disagrees. Goddard’s article says clearly, contra Welby,

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Analysis, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CC) At Princeton Theological Seminary, students get their hands dirty

The students’ assignment was to spend half an hour walking around the farm and observing things. They could inspect the pond and grassy spaces. They could look into the hoop house, where lettuce, spinach, kale, onions, parsnips, and carrots had sprouted. They could search for nests and cocoons in the trees and bushes, which were still wet from a heavy rain. The aim was to take the time to notice parts of the 21-acre farm they might otherwise overlook. It was an exercise in paying attention.

When the students reconvened, one of them showed the professor, Nathan Stucky, a photo she had taken. What was this cluster of spheres covered with red spikes, wondered Lindsay Clark. Was it something made by an insect? (Clark later looked it up and found that it was a fungus that affects apples and cedars.)

In small groups, the students shared what they had seen on their excursions. The information they gleaned was not as important as the experience of slowing down and just looking, without having to worry about being productive. The discussion ran to the importance of recognizing the value in what is, rather than focusing on a result, whether a crop yield or a test score. Stucky posed a question: “What if the role of the teacher is to help people become fully themselves?”

The discussion was part of a class at Princeton Theological Seminary called Scripture and Food.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Islamic mob burns house of fellow Muslim, kill 8, because he helped Christian student in N Nigeria

A kindhearted Muslim man volunteered to help a Christian student who was mobbed for alleged blasphemy in Zamfara State, Nigeria. Radical Muslims ran amok and set the man’s home on fire, killing eight people.

The anger of the Muslims led to a riot in the Abdu Gusau Polytechnic in Talata-Mafara, Zamfara State, a local church leader said to International Christian Concern (ICC). The radical mob of Muslim students destroyed Christian campus offices, after which they proceeded to wreak havoc in the town proper.

“When I heard this from my pastor and one of my members, I immediately called some security officials because the radicals went on rampage in town,” said Rev. John Danbinta, Anglican Bishop of Zamfara, in an interview with ICC.

Read it all from the Christian Times.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Violence

Do not Take Yourself Too Seriously Dept (Catholic Memes): Block a Hyumn for a Year?

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Humor / Trivia, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

(NYT The Well) What Kids Wish Their Teachers Knew

When Kyle Schwartz started teaching third grade at Doull Elementary School in Denver, she wanted to get to know her students better. She asked them to finish the sentence “I wish my teacher knew.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Children, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Personal Finance, Theology

(NYT Op-ed) Tahmima Anam–Is There Safety in Piety?

At what point would I rather die?

It has been about two months since the terrorist attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery that led to the deaths of 20 people in my hometown, Dhaka, Bangladesh. By all accounts, the city ”” at least the part of the city where the attack took place, and where I have lived for the last two decades ”” is irrevocably changed. There are checkpoints all over the neighborhood; many restaurants and cafes have been shut down; foreigners are sending their families home and schools are yet to reopen. In the evening, the streets are quiet and sad.

But there is an abundance of talk. Everyone is still talking about the incident, playing it over and over in conversation, airing the accounts that have emerged from that night. One story in particular has transfixed everyone: According to some reports, there were two types of victims ”” the foreigners who were killed immediately by the terrorists, and the Bangladeshis who were murdered later when they refused to acquiesce to the demands of their captors….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Bangladesh, Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, Islam, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

Bosco Peters-In New Zealand, Marrying Divorcees-Forbidden; Blessing Same-Sex Couples-Allowed?

This post is to highlight what has mostly been missed in all the intense heat and noise of the same-sex-blessing feud: ironic though it may seem to some, the actual teaching of our church forbids the marrying of divorcees whilst it appears to allow bishops to authorise the blessing of committed same-sex couples in their jurisdiction.

Read it all (his emphasis).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of David Pendleton Oakerhater

O God of unsearchable wisdom and infinite mercy, who didst choose a captive warrior, David Oakerhater, to be thy servant, and didst send him to be a missionary to his own people and to execute the office of a deacon among them: Liberate us, who commemorate him today, from bondage to self, and empower us for service to thee and to the neighbors thou hast given us; through Jesus Christ, the captain of our salvation; 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 of Thanksgiving from Charles Simeon to Begin the Day

Blessed Lord, the only living and true God,
the Creator and Preserver of all things,
We live by you;
and our whole dependence is upon you,
for all the good that we either have or hope for.
We now desire to bless your name for those mercies,
which in so large a measure
you have generously given us.

Worthy are you, O Lord our God,
to receive all honor and glory,
all thanks and praise,
and love and obedience,
as in the courts of heaven,
so in all the assemblies of your servants upon earth;
for you are great, and you do wondrous things;
you are God alone.
You have looked favorably on your land,
and you have dealt graciously with us.
Instead of giving us over to all the calamities that we feared,
you have multiplied your mercies towards us,
for which we are now called to solemnize a day of thanksgiving.

How sweet and wonderful is it
to recount all the instances of your patience with us, and your blessings to us!

O what shall we render to the Lord for all his benefits!
O let not our hearts be stingy towards you,
whose hand has been so open and generous unto us.
But do enlarge these hearts of ours,
and fill them with more love and thankfulness to the gracious Giver of all our good things.

(Found there).

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.

–Psalm 37:3-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

GAFCON UK responds to Archbishop Nicholas Okoh’s August Letter

Read it all and see also there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Nigeria, England / UK, Global South Churches & Primates

(Tel.) Christopher Howse–The brightly burning hearse of Abbot Islip

The only colour image of what worship in Westminster Abbey looked like on the eve of the Reformation has been plucked from the miles of shelving in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and shown to the world, or at least to the readers of that excellent periodical The Westminster Abbey Chorister.

It is a wonderful picture, taken from the mortuary roll of John Islip, Abbot of Westminster, who died in 1532. He was important in the world and also stood for the dignity of the abbey of Benedictine monks. So his funeral was impressive.

The picture shows a part of the Abbey well known from royal weddings: the high altar against the screen that hides any view of the sacred chapel of St Edward the Confessor. On state occasions the altar is usually laid with huge bits of gold plate, like a sideboard.

It is quite otherwise in the Islip picture, being bare but for two candlesticks and a service book.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Theology