Daily Archives: October 13, 2016

Alan Jacobs–responding to the counsel of Eric Metaxas on Donald Trump

Third, Eric writes, “It’s a fact that if Hillary Clinton is elected, the country’s chance to have a Supreme Court that values the Constitution ”” and the genuine liberty and self-government for which millions have died ”” is gone. Not for four years, or eight, but forever.” Essentially, this is to say that Hillary is Sauron, and the Presidency the One Ring. “If [she gains] it, your valour is vain, and [her] victory will be swift and complete: so complete that none can foresee the end of it while this world lasts.” But is there any evidence whatsoever that this prophecy ”” Eric’s about Hillary, I mean, not Gandalf’s about Sauron ”” is true? It’s the same claim that Decius makes with his “Flight 93” analogy, but as far as I can tell, none of the people who prophesy so boldly have ever defended it. They just assert it. Saying “it’s a fact” doesn’t making it a fact. The prophecy of ultimate and endless doom is just a guess.

And a despairing guess ”” which is the element of all this that isn’t poor judgment, but rather a sin. If Hillary Clinton is elected, that will not foreclose the possibility of Christian revival in America. And if there ever is Christian revival in America, then surely Eric Metaxas believes that that would be good news for the cause of “genuine liberty and self-government.” Hillary is not mightier than Sauron, and American democracy is not quite that fragile, even if it is profoundly flawed, and the possibility of spiritual renewal is always at hand.

Read it all.

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

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Office of the President, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Guardian) For whom the bell tolls: York Minster to fall silent after sacking ringers

The bells at York Minster are to fall silent for the festive period after the cathedral’s management sacked all of its voluntary bellringers without warning.

The world-famous bells will not be heard again until after the new year, meaning a break with the tradition of ringing them on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve as well as on Remembrance Sunday.

At a special meeting on Tuesday night all 30 volunteer bellringers were told that bellringing activity at the Minster would cease with “immediate effect” while the management recruited a paid head bellringer, who would in turn select new volunteers in 2017.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Music, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

*Must not Miss* Peter DeMarco–A Letter to the Doctors and Nurses Who Cared for My Wife

There is another moment ”” actually, a single hour ”” that I will never forget.

On the final day, as we waited for Laura’s organ donor surgery, all I wanted was to be alone with her. But family and friends kept coming to say their goodbyes, and the clock ticked away. About 4 p.m., finally, everyone had gone, and I was emotionally and physically exhausted, in need of a nap. So I asked her nurses, Donna and Jen, if they could help me set up the recliner, which was so uncomfortable, but all I had, next to Laura again. They had a better idea.

They asked me to leave the room for a moment, and when I returned, they had shifted Laura to the right side of her bed, leaving just enough room for me to crawl in with her one last time. I asked if they could give us one hour without a single interruption, and they nodded, closing the curtains and the doors, and shutting off the lights.

I nestled my body against hers. She looked so beautiful, and I told her so, stroking her hair and face.

Read it all from the New York Times. If you have a moment, this is a lovely video report also.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

(CEN) Global South leaders hit out at Scotland, Canada and Wales over Canon changes

Leaders of the Global South have attacked “the inability of existing Communion instruments to discern truth and error and take binding ecclesiastical action”.

In a closing communiqué following the meeting in Egypt, they lamented the failure “to discipline those leaders who have abandoned the biblical and historic faith, to check the marginalisation of Anglicans in heterodox Provinces who are faithful, and in some cases have even sanctioned or deposed them.”

The statement also expressed their grief that some Churches had given “authorisation of liturgies and making pastoral provisions for blessing of civil unions of same-sex couples and blessing or solemnising of same-sex marriage”¦ and ordination those who live in same-sex union”¦

“Churches that condone these practices are severing themselves from their own spiritual roots”¦ they also undermine their moral witness to their own societies, and cause huge confusion among the Anglican faithful in our Churches in this globalising world.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Archbishop Welby's address at Westminster Abbey anti-slavery service

William Wilberforce convinced his generation that slavery was a sin ”“ a sin that was a curse of the country in which he lived. That belief has not changed. Yet slavery still demeans more than 30 million in our world. This is the reality for thousands, possible tens of thousands, in our own country, not because we think it is acceptable, but because our sin lies in blindness and ignorance.

I have had to learn that myself. Change that and the problem will be transformed. At the heart of that slightly demanding and complex reading a few moments ago, is freedom.

Paul is writing in a world where 30 per cent of the population were slaves and slavery was visible all around, absolutely unchallenged.And he tells the Galatian Christians that in Christ there was no difference between the slave and the free.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

(Crux) An Anglican-Catholic ecumenical triumph in the Lone Star State

One of the forerunners of the Ordinariate is the remarkable parish of Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, Texas.

As a young Anglican seminarian, Christopher Phillips trained for the ministry at Salisbury in England. On his return to the United States he and his wife Joanne, living at that time in Rhode Island, felt the call to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.

It was 1981 and Pope John Paul II had just given permission for married Anglican priests who become Catholic to be granted a dispensation from the vow of celibacy, thereby allowing them to be ordained as Catholic priests. Permission was also granted for groups of Anglicans to set up “personal parishes” using an Anglican-style liturgy under the supervision of their Catholic bishop.

At the same time Christopher and Joanne were discerning the way forward, a small group of Episcopalians in San Antonio had decided to leave the Episcopal church and seek re-union with Rome. They asked Christopher if he would move to Texas to be their pastor.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., England / UK, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

C of E Crown Nominations Commission to be Theologically reviewed

The Commission has been very active over the last few years and as it is anticipated that there will be fewer vacant sees in the near future, it is timely to review the way in which it works. The focus of the group will be to explore and provide the theological framework for the Commission as it discharges its responsibilities and to make any recommendations on process in the light of this. The group will be inviting a number of people to meet with it as well as receiving written submissions. It is very conscious of its responsibility to ensure that the full richness and diversity of Church voices are represented and starts its work this week.

It is anticipated that the group will make a report to the Archbishops who have commissioned the work. They have committed to sharing it with General Synod in 2018.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Joseph Hall

O Thou who hast prepared a place for my soul, prepare my soul for that place. Prepare it with holiness; prepare it with desire; and even while it sojourneth upon earth, let it dwell in heaven with thee, beholding the beauty of thy countenance and the glory of thy saints, now and for evermore.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

I love thee, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me,
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me,
the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire.
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare,
at thy rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

He reached from on high, he took me,
he drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
They came upon me in the day of my calamity;
but the Lord was my stay.
He brought me forth into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.

–Psalm 18:1-20

Posted in Uncategorized

(ACNS) ACC chair sets out his vision

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council

(AP) Closed US restaurants, damaged homes: Hurricane Matthew may cost $10B

For a storm that inflicted less damage than many had feared, Hurricane Matthew nevertheless impaired or destroyed more than 1 million structures, forced businesses from Florida to North Carolina to close and put thousands temporarily out of work.

In many affected areas, small-business owners were still assessing the damage.

“I’ve never had anything like this in 12 years of business,” said Ami Zipperer, who has two garden supply stores in the Savannah, Georgia, area.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Personal Finance, Weather

(RI) Rob Sturdy–Are Evangelicals Even Christian?

The piece is essentially an op-ed commentary on a survey conducted by Lifeway Research and funded by Ligonier ministries. The defining feature of the survey, at least to me, was an inability for those surveyed to think consistently about their faith. For example, 60% of respondents believed that Heaven is a place where “all people will ultimately be reunited with their loved ones” however 54% percent of respondents said that “only those who trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior” will go to heaven. Adding to the confusion, 64% believe that “God accepts all forms of religion.” It doesn’t take a seminary degree to see the incompatibility of the above viewpoints. The only way I could reconcile the above viewpoints would be with the theologically liberal solution of a Universalist Cosmic Christ, which is probably not what the respondents intended!

And while logical inconsistency might be the defining feature of the survey, it is by no means the most interesting. Apparently, for this survey LifeWay used “stringent criteria” in order to separate “Evangelicals” from Christians in general. Those respondents who identified as “Evangelical” must indicate the Bible as “their highest authority,” that personal evangelism was important and that “trusting in Jesus’ death on the cross is the only way to salvation.” The expectation was that the Evangelicals would perform better on the more theological/biblical portions of the survey than the more generic “Christian” respondents. But as Morris points out in his article for The Federalist, Evangelicals actually performed worse. And the points they scored worse on were not Bible trivia such as “who was the first Apostle called by Jesus,” but rather the Evangelicals struck out on fundamental articles of the Christian faith.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Theology