Daily Archives: October 24, 2016

Ashers bakery loses appeal in case requiring them to make a cake supporting same-sex marriage

Ashers managing director Daniel McArthur said he and his family were “extremely disappointed” with the ruling .

“If equality law means people can be punished for politely refusing to support other people’s causes then equality law needs to change. This ruling undermines democratic freedom, it undermines religious freedom, and it undermines free speech,” he said.

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell said the “verdict is a defeat for freedom of expression” and could set a “dangerous, authoritarian precedent”.

“Although I strongly disagree with Ashers’ opposition to marriage equality, in a free society neither they nor anyone else should be compelled to facilitate a political idea that they oppose,” he said.

Read it all from the Irish Times.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ireland, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

James Bell, Bishop of Ripon, to retire

The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, says, “Bishop James has served the national church, the diocese, episcopal area, his colleagues and the people of our rural communities with faithfulness and theologically informed wisdom. And as an episcopal expert on rural affairs he has helped shape the Church of England’s approach to both ministry and mission across the country.

“Bishop James will retire in the knowledge that he has served diligently and faithfully, and he will leave the diocese with our gratitude, blessing and prayers. Please pray for him as he prepares to retire and move into a new form of life and ministry.”

Read it all.

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

Professor Alister McGrath–Does Science rob nature of it's mystery and beauty?

The core theme to be explored is how the natural sciences and Christian theology might offer an enriched or deepened vision of reality, which transcends the limits placed on each. John Ruskin (1819-1900) was one of the most acute observers of the tensions to emerge between science and religion during the Victorian age.

We shall explore Ruskin’s concerns, set against the background of the Industrial Revolution, and ask how can we do science without losing sight of the beauty of nature? And in what ways might a religious reading of nature help meet at least some concerns?

Go through it all (audio or word document options in the links).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

[Fivethirtyeight] How Evan McMullin Could Win Utah And The Presidency

It’s unlikely, but far from impossible
The idea that an independent candidate could swoop in to win has been largely dismissed, on the grounds that any conservative-leaning third-party candidate would be more likely to hurt Trump than Clinton, thus making a Clinton victory more likely. But McMullin may have one advantage that other second-tier candidates do not: Utah.

His path to the presidency basically looks like this:

1.Win Utah
2.Deadlock the Electoral College
3.Win in the House

Read it all [h/t AS Haley]

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Office of the President, Politics in General

(Sunday Telegraph) Russia and the West have 'entered a new Cold War'

Russia and the West have entered a new Cold War that could lead to growing confrontations across the globe, as Vladimir Putin challenges American international hegemony.

That is the consensus among military and foreign policy experts in Moscow, who have warned that Russia and the West are headed for a standoff as dangerous as the Cuban missile crisis.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Europe, Foreign Relations, History, Politics in General, Russia

Your Prayers Requested for the Diocese of South Carolina Clergy Conference Oct 24-26

David Hogg is the senior pastor of Christ Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC. Prior to that, he was the Academic Dean at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, AL. David earned his PhD from the University of St. Andrews and his M.Div. from Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia. He was born and raised in Toronto, ON. His wife is from Birmingham, UK and they have three boys. He has published on theological topics with Oxford University Press, IVP and NYU Press among others.

You can find more there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint James of Jerusalem

Grant, we beseech thee, O God, that after the example of thy servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, thy Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Daily Prayer

O Lord, who hast taught us that we can only be forgiven, as we ourselves forgive: Help us ever to bear in mind our continued shortcomings, our manifold transgressions; that as we remember the injuries which we have suffered and never merited, we may also remember the kindnesses which we have received and never earned, the punishments which we have deserved and never suffered; and therewith may render thanks to thee for thine unfailing mercies, and the mercies of our fellowmen; for thy name’s sake.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Blessed is he who considers the poor!
The Lord delivers him in the day of trouble;
the Lord protects him and keeps him alive;
he is called blessed in the land;
thou dost not give him up to the will of his enemies.
The Lord sustains him on his sickbed;
in his illness thou healest all his infirmities.

–Psalm 41:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

[Bosco Peters] The End of Common Prayer

I serve in a church (The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia) where our Prayer Book is a decade younger than that 1979 book. We are also significantly smaller than The Episcopal Church. And we are a church that has, step by step, abandoned common prayer. Our church is held together by the smallness of our size ”“ and when I say “held together”, it is doing so currently only by the skin of its teeth with a last-ditch attempt by many to stress a list of doctrines to hold to, often drawn from the very common prayer that has been abandoned, and particularly discarded by those who now want to mine it for the list of doctrines that they want everyone to tick every box of.

If TEC wants to see the results of abandoning common prayer, let them send some people over to see the Anglican Church of Or.

My intention is to have other posts following this one that will pick up the dialogue happening around the value or not of common prayer. As just one consequence ”“ how much reflection has been done around the loss of time, money, and energy to create unrelenting novelty in community after community where congregations are, numerically, not much different to an average school class size? Have we become a shrinking club of novelty-idolising Baby Boomers living off our inherited funds and properties as we entertain ourselves into historical oblivion?

Read it all

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Lord Jesus, think on me

Lord Jesus, think on me
And purge away my sin;
From earth-born passions set me free
And make me pure within.

Lord Jesus, think on me
With care and woe opprest;
Let me Thy loving servant be
And taste Thy promised rest.

Lord Jesus, think on me
Amid the battle’s strife;
In all my pain and misery
Be Thou my Health and Life.

Lord Jesus, think on me
Nor let me go astray;
Through darkness and perplexity
Point Thou the heavenly way.

Lord Jesus, think on me
When flows the tempest high;
When on doth rush the enemy,
O Savior, be Thou nigh!

Lord Jesus, think on me
That, when the flood is past,
I may the eternal brightness see
And share Thy joy at last.

Synesius of Cyrene c. 375-430
Trans Allen W. Chatfield 1808-1896

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship

[CT] Virginia Prodan: I Found the Gospel in Communist Romania

And then I shared it with the man the government sent to kill me.
One evening a client came in to discuss some paperwork related to a property settlement. We had been meeting for months now, and frankly, I was exhausted. But this particular client never seemed to get discouraged. He always smiled, and he had a sense of contentment unlike anything I had ever seen. It was as though he were somehow oblivious to all of the misery that surrounded him. He radiated joy and peace, and for some reason, it troubled me.

Without thinking, I confessed, “I wish I had what you have in your life. I wish I had your sense of peace and happiness.”

“Do you go to church?” he asked.

“Yes,” I replied. “On Christmas and Easter. Why?”

“Would you like to come with me to my church this Sunday?”

Read it all

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

[Medianet] NT Wright: Church, Media and Public Life in a Post-Rational World

..The church must speak with wisdom and expertise, and not be put off by the neo-atheists or anyone else; the media must recognise that this is part of the church’s vocation and task, and must find ways of working creatively so that the proper vocations of all may be properly exercised. And if possible the church itself should seek out and celebrate its own poets, philosophers and dramatists who, like St Paul in his famous Christ-poem in Philippians 2, are able in sharp and memorable phrases to declare under Caesar’s nose that Jesus is Lord and Caesar isn’t. This is part of the task of early Christian ”˜apocalyptic’: to create a glorious, poetically imagined world in which people are able to glimpse what it might mean to say that on the cross Jesus defeated all the powers of the world, and then to live from within that newly imagined world. And if the church’s artists, musicians and poets are to do this for tomorrow’s world they will need to know how to use the media itself wisely and well.

I am calling, therefore, for a fresh appraisal of the vocations of church and media alike, rooted in a larger biblical theology of the God of Israel, made known in Jesus and the Spirit, and able to address the multiple confusions and sorrows of today’s dangerous world. The vocations themselves are dangerous, there’s no question about that. We will get them wrong and need further internal and external critique and correction. But that is no excuse for not making a fresh start.

Read it all

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life