Daily Archives: September 12, 2016

A Video Invitation to the Upcoming Men's Summit from South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Men, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CT) Howard Butt’s High Calling of Daily Work Is Done

“I just bootleg the gospel,” Howard Butt Jr. told 1,500 Baptist men in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1954. Butt meant he had no license to preach, but that didn’t stop him from doing it. The 89-year-old well-known author and speaker, as well as creator of the Laity Lodge Retreat Center, passed away yesterday evening from complications related to Parkinson’s.
“Howard was a mentor, a motivator, and a model servant whose mind and heart were profoundly poured out on me at a most critical time,” said Christianity Today International president and CEO Harold Smith.
“His words of exhortation and encouragement to both my wife and me during a challenging first year of executive leadership offered us the assurances of God’s watchcare and direction””even in an industry experiencing such tumultuous change,” Smith stated. “Truly, the power of Howard’s presence in word and deed has left a God-anointed legacy that will inspire me and the entire CT team for years to come.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Ministry of the Laity, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NYT) South Sudan Leaders Amass Great Wealth as Nation Suffers, Report Says

Leaders of the two sides responsible for mass killings and rapes in the South Sudan conflict have amassed enormous wealth inside and outside the country, at least some of it illegally, according to an investigative report released on Monday by a Washington advocacy group.

The families and top associates of the principal opponents in the conflict, President Salva Kiir and his rival and former vice president, Riek Machar, own multimillion-dollar properties, drive luxury cars and stay at expensive hotels, “all while much of their country’s population suffers from the consequences of a brutal civil war and, in many places, experiences near-famine conditions,” according to the report.

Neither of the two men nor members of their immediate families are among the half-dozen South Sudanese officials facing the international sanctions imposed last year. But the report said the leaders had “benefited financially from the continuing war and have effectively ensured that there is no accountability for their human rights violations and financial crimes.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Anthropology, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Poverty, Sudan, Theology

Andrew Goddard-Deciding whether to approve of certain ways of life cannot B from "inclusion" appeals

The letter writers are, however, unlikely to accept this conclusion. Their call for full inclusion asked for much more. They want the bishops to “enable those parishes that wish to do so to celebrate the love that we have found in our wives and husbands”. But this is to address a separate question from that of inclusion. It is a question not of including people but of deciding which of the many patterns of life found among LGBTI people the church can faithfully celebrate. Even their own proposal would not be fully inclusive of all LGBTI people once inclusion is to be understood beyond “full participation in ministry”. It would still exclude from the church’s liturgical celebrations those who, for whatever reason, do not choose to marry their same-sex partner but to structure their relationships in other ways.

Despite this, the appeal to inclusion continues in order to persuade people to go further and commend same-sex unions. But this is a quite distinct matter involving inclusion and approval of certain ways of life as morally acceptable rather than inclusion of people. The reason for this continued appeal to inclusion was caught by Justin Welby speaking at Greenbelt where he said:

We cannot pretend that ”“ so I’m putting one case then I’m going to put the other ”“ we cannot pretend or I can’t pretend myself that inclusion from the point of view of someone in a same sex relationship just to take a simple”¦that inclusion of someone in a same sex relationship that falls short of the blessing of the Church is going to feel like inclusion ”“ it’s not going to be perceived as inclusion. I think we’re conning ourselves if we say that there is some clever solution out there that means you can do less than that and it will feel like inclusion.

Here ”“ voicing the views of many ”“ he has developed the language of inclusion in two important but flawed respects. It refers to a subjective experience ”“ something must “feel like inclusion””“ and then to inclusion in a specific form as being necessary if it is “to be perceived as inclusion” and meet that subjective test: the “blessing of the Church” on “a same sex relationship”. These two moves are what then lead to a number of problems.

Read it all from Fulcrum.

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, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Chicago Tribune Editorial–Why Obamacare failed

Obamacare failed because it flunked Economics 101 and Human Nature 101. It straitjacketed insurers into providing overly expensive, soup-to-nuts policies. It wasn’t flexible enough so that people could buy as much coverage as they wanted and could afford ”” not what the government dictated. Many healthy people primarily want catastrophic coverage. Obamacare couldn’t lure them in, couldn’t persuade them to buy on the chance they’d get sick.

Obamacare failed because the penalties for going uncovered are too low when stacked against its skyrocketing premium costs. Next year, the penalty for staying uninsured is $695 per adult, or perhaps 2.5 percent of a family’s taxable household income. That’s far less than many Americans would pay for coverage. Financial incentive: Skip Obamacare….

Obamacare failed because it hasn’t tamed U.S. medical costs. Health care is about supply and demand: People who get coverage use it, especially if the law mandates free preventive care. Iron law of economics: Nothing is free; someone pays. To pretend otherwise was folly. Those forces combined to spike the costs of care, and thus insurance costs.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Theology

The Lamb of God, a sermon by Bishop John Henry Hobart for his Feast Day

The striking and appropriate terms in which the prophet Isaiah depicts the character and offices of the Messiah, have procured for him, by way of eminence, the title of the Evangelical Prophet. He exhibits a glowing but faithful picture of the character of Christ, and all the humiliating and all the triumphant events of his life. In the chapter which contains my text, the prophet has dipped his pencil in the softest colours, and draws a portrait of the Saviour, which, while it conveys to us the most exalted ideas of his character, is calculated to awaken our tenderest and liveliest sympathy.

Let us then contemplate the character of Christ, as delineated by the prophet under the emblem of “a lamb brought to the slaughter,” that our penitence may be awakened, our gratitude enlivened, and our souls warmed with the ardent emotions of love and duty.

Under the character of a “lamb brought to the slaughter,” we are led to consider,

The innocence of Christ;

His tenderness and compassion;

His patience;

And, finally, to consider him as the victim for our sins.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, TEC Bishops

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Henry Hobart

Revive thy Church, Lord God of hosts, whensoever it doth fall into complacency and sloth, by raising up devoted leaders, like thy servant John Henry Hobart whom we remember this day; and grant that their faith and vigor of mind may awaken thy people to thy message and their mission; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Spirituality/Prayer, TEC Bishops

A Prayer to Begin the Day from New Every Morning

O Spirit of the living God, who dost sanctify the lives of thy people, and dost build them up into a holy temple for thy habitation: Grant us so to know thy indwelling presence that we may be set free from lesser desires, and by thy grace may be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ our Lord.

–New Every Morning (The Prayer Book Of The Daily Broadcast Service) [BBC, 1900]

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. What can flesh do to me?

–Psalm 56:3-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

20 haunting photos from the September 11 attacks that Americans will never forget

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Photos/Photography, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues

Music for 9/11 Fifteen Years Later-Bainton-And I saw a new heaven (St Paul's Cathedral Choir, 2011)

Text: And I Saw A New Heaven

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and first earth had passed away, and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying: ”˜Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them and they shall be his people; and God himself shall be with them and be their God; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.’
Revelation 21: 1”“4

You may read a bit more about the music and its writer there.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Music

Tim Keller's "Sermon of Remembrance and Peace for 9-11 Victim's Families" in 2006

One of the great themes of the Hebrew Scriptures is that God identifies with the suffering. There are all these great texts that say things like this: If you oppress the poor, you oppress to me. I am a husband to the widow. I am father to the fatherless. I think the texts are saying God binds up his heart so closely with suffering people that he interprets any move against them as a move against him. This is powerful stuff! But Christianity says he goes even beyond that. Christians believe that in Jesus, God’s son, divinity became vulnerable to and involved in – suffering and death! He didn’t come as a general or emperor. He came as a carpenter. He was born in a manger, no room in the inn.

But it is on the Cross that we see the ultimate wonder. On the cross we sufferers finally see, to our shock that God now knows too what it is to lose a loved one in an unjust attack. And so you see what this means? John Stott puts it this way. John Stott wrote: “I could never myself believe in God if it were not for the Cross. In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it?” Do you see what this means? Yes, we don’t know the reason God allows evil and suffering to continue, but we know what the reason isn’t, what it can’t be. It can’t be that he doesn’t love us! It can’t be that he doesn’t care. God so loved us and hates suffering that he was willing to come down and get involved in it. And therefore the Cross is an incredibly empowering hint. Ok, it’s only a hint, but if you grasp it, it can transform you. It can give you strength.

And lastly, we have to grasp an empowering hope for the future. In both the Hebrew Scriptures and even more explicitly in the Christian Scriptures we have the promise of resurrection….

Read it carefully (noting especially the original setting as described) and read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Christology, History, Office of the President, Politics in General, Terrorism, Theodicy, Theology

(History in Pictures) Construction of The Twin Towers, 1970

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Architecture, History, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues

The 9/11 Encyclopedia

This really is quite something–explore it and see what strikes a chord with you.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Terrorism