Daily Archives: October 19, 2016

Peter Bradshaw responds to Jenni Murray–Porn in schools? No ”“ what students need is James Stewart

Read it all also from the Guardian.

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

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Children, Education, England / UK, Pornography

(Guardian) Jenni Murray–Porn in the classroom? Here’s why it makes sense

Read it all.

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

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Education, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pornography, Teens / Youth, Theology

[Andrew Symes] Commentary on The Open Letter from Evangelicals to C of E Bishops

7. We do not believe therefore that it is within our gift to consider human sexual relationships and what constitutes and enables our flourishing as sexual beings to be of ”˜secondary importance’. What is at stake goes far beyond the immediate pastoral challenges of human bisexual and same-sex sexual behaviour: it is a choice between alternative and radically different visions of what it means to be human, to honour God in our bodies, and to order our lives in line with God’s holy will.

This is a strong rebuke to those Church leaders who want to relegate the issue of sexuality to the level of ”˜adiaphora’ while focussing on institutional conformity. It is also a call to integrate our understanding of sexuality into a wider, positive vision of living as the people of God, rather than seeing it as just a pastoral issue for a minority.

8. At this crucial juncture, as our bishops pray and discern together regarding how the Church of England should walk forward at this time, we urge them not to depart from the apostolic inheritance with which they have been entrusted.

Of course, it could be argued that some Bishops have already departed from this inheritance! But the letter wisely does not refer to this.

9. Any further changes to practice or doctrine in these important areas will set the Church on a path of fundamental disunity. It would cause a break not only with the majority of the Anglican Communion, but with the consistent mind of the worldwide Church down many centuries. It will trigger a process of division and fragmentation among faithful Anglicans in England. Responses would vary, but the consequences for the life and mission of the Church will be far-reaching, both nationally and globally.

A serious warning which will no doubt be seen as a threat to schism. It’s significant that this letter came out just a few days after similar clear statements from the Global South and GAFCON. But it’s not saying to the Bishops “if you change, we will split”, but rather “if you change you have created a split”. There is no attempt at trying to reconcile the different views, or calls for further talks. This appears to be acknowledging that the Pilling/ Shared Conversations project, with its idea that different views and practices on sexuality can coexist in a united Church, has not succeeded.

Read it all

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

[Russian Orthodox Church] Patriarch Kirill Expresses Dismay to Archbishop Welby at CoE's Direction

Patriarch Kirill drew Archbishop Justin Welby’s attention to the Russian Orthodox Church’s concern over the liberalization of the Church of England’s teaching on church order, particularly, the ordination of women as priests and bishops and on the family and morality. His Holiness Kirill expressed hope that the Church of England will oppose challenges of the modern world and seek to preserve the Gospel’s teaching.

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

Archbishop Welby welcomes Patriarch Kirill to Lambeth Palace

The visit represents the first time that Archbishop Justin and Patriarch Kirill have met, but it is the second time a Patriarch of Moscow and an Archbishop of Canterbury have met at Lambeth Palace in recent times. The first meeting was that of Archbishop Michael Ramsey with His Holiness Alexey I in 1964.

The relationship between the two churches has endured for more than three centuries, through some very difficult times as well periods when the two countries have stood side by side. This relationship has been cemented through many personal contacts and through the spiritual and cultural interchange which has enriched both churches.

After welcoming Patriarch Kirill and his delegation to Lambeth Palace, Archbishop Justin had a personal conversation with Patriarch Kirill. Uppermost in the conversation was their shared compassion for Christian, and other, minorities in many parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, where they have been systematically targeted and persecuted and their communities decimated.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Europe, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Russia

(Gallup) Americans Continue to Cite the Economy as the Top Problem Facing the Country

With the presidential election looming, more Americans cite the economy (17%) than any other issue as the most important U.S. problem in October, followed by dissatisfaction with the government (12%). Americans’ concerns about the major problems facing the country are largely consistent with what they have been throughout 2016.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Sociology, Theology

(NPR) After ISIS, People From Mosul Fear What May Come Next

He says he expects chaos and violent retribution if ISIS is pushed out of Mosul. He fears that families who lost loved ones to the militants will take revenge not just on those who worked with ISIS, but on their whole families.

“There is no law, in the years to come,” he says. “The government is weak. I don’t trust these guys.”

He regards his life in Mosul as over. He never plans to go back, and says when he sits with his friends from Mosul in the nearby city of Irbil, they do not speak of home.

None of them will return, so reminiscence is painful.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Iraq, Middle East, Terrorism, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Sightings) Russell Johnson–Google vs. ISIS and Freedom of Information

Much could be said about the Redirect Method, but two things stand out to me. First, as a philosopher of religion, I find [Yasmin] Green’s point fascinating. Regardless how one mixes the faith-and-reason cocktail, a theopolitical agenda like ISIS’s is undeniably still dependent upon information. People enlist in groups like ISIS not simply out of blind hate or misdirected zeal, but because they find ISIS’s description of the world reasonable and compelling. Green’s wording is suggestive: in “arming individuals with more and better information,” Google is acting on the assumption that facts may be as fatal to ISIS’s success as bullets. Google’s experiment rests on a perspective shared by many professors of religion; in Kofi Annan’s words, “Education is peace-building by another name.”

Second, this program raises the question of precedent. Though I doubt many net neutrality advocates will rally in support of ISIS, there is reason to be leery of Google’s self-appointed mission to steer users away from certain ideological stances. Given that the dream of the Internet is a pure democracy of information and opinion, do we trust Google to be the gatekeeper of theopolitical correctness? It’s one thing if I search for “crayons” and Google””after receiving a payment from Crayola””directs me to Crayola’s website. But what about topics far more controversial than my coloring hobby? How comfortable are we with the leading search engine employing “targeted advertising campaigns” on disputed religious and political matters?

The dilemma is this: everyone is pro-information, but we tend to see only the information that supports our particular worldview.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Multiculturalism, pluralism, Other Faiths, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Terrorism, Theology

(SA) Chase Kuhn–Meaning in the Mundane

How do we think about the value of our work?

There is a trend in recent theology to locate the meaning of our work in eternity. If we, as God’s people do good things, these things will remain forever. So, they argue, do whatever you are doing with great heart because ”“ultimately ”“ what you do will be a part of God’s kingdom and the new creation.

Others argue that the only thing that matters in our lives is how we use our vocation to advance the kingdom through gospel proclamation. In other words, our jobs and lives only matter so much as we can tell people about Jesus; everything else is just details.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Henry Martyn

O God of the nations, who didst give to thy faithful servant Henry Martyn a brilliant mind, a loving heart, and a gift for languages, that he might translate the Scriptures and other holy writings for the peoples of India and Persia: Inspire in us, we beseech thee, a love like his, eager to commit both life and talents to thee who gavest them; 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, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Church History, India, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Henry Stobart (1824-1895)

Into thy hands, O Lord, we commend our spirits, souls, and bodies, for Thou hast created and redeemed them, O Lord God Almighty. Guide us this day with Thine eye and kindle thy light in our hearts, that Thy godly knowledge increasing in us more and more, we may always be found to walk and live after Thy will and pleasure, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

–Henry Stobart, Daily Services For Christian Households (London: SPCK,1867), p. 72

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

–Psalm 38:21-22

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Barna) Most Americans Believe in Supernatural Healing

Though often the subject of much debate””both theologically and scientifically””the majority of American adults (66%) believe people can be physically healed supernaturally by God. This majority is made up equally between those who either strongly (33%) or somewhat (33%) agree that it’s possible to be physically healed supernaturally by God. The remaining one-third (34%) are skeptical, comprised of those who either strongly (19%) or somewhat (15%) disagree.

Though there is consensus across the generational groups among those who strongly agree about supernatural healing, when it comes to those who strongly disagree, Millennials are more likely to be skeptical””one-quarter (25%) strongly disagree, twice the amount of Elders (13%). The other two groups fit into a sliding scale based on age (Gen-Xers: 21% and Boomers: 14%).

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine, Religion & Culture, Sociology, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

(WWM) Bishop Warns Christians to Prepare for End-Times Martyrdom

A former bishop of North Africa, Bill Musk, noted that North African Christians were persecuted in the early centuries of Christianity as they are now, and said unity was vital to withstand such challenges. A communiqué from the talks reported: “The Arab invasions eventually overwhelmed the church [in North Africa], but the seeds of its demise were sown long before.”

Bishop Emeritus Musk also praised the fifth-century Council of Carthage, which took place in what is now Tunisia, at which it was decided that no diocese had the right to discipline leaders in another, despite a deep cultural divide within the church. Bishop Musk described the church at that time as being riven between a Latin elite that advocated a compassionate response to Christians who denied their faith under persecution, and local Berbers, who insisted upon faithfulness to Christianity until death.

Speakers at the conference emphasised the church’s North African heritage, challenging the view of the church as a foreign imposition foisted on Europe’s former colonies. American Canon Dr. Ashley Null, highlighted the “deep dependence” of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, one of the architects of Anglicanism, on St. Augustine, whose bishopric of Hippo lies in modern-day Algeria.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Church History, Egypt, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East, Theology