Daily Archives: November 2, 2016

(CT The Exchange) Evangelicals Across The Spectrum Are Clarifying Marriage As A Core Belief

Marriage, as Jesus defines it in Matthew 19””where a man leaves his father and mother and joins with his wife in covenant marriage””is a core evangelical belief.
It might not seem that way these days, when we hear of a few people making news by changing their views on sexuality and marriage, but we are in a season of one evangelical organization after another feeling the need to make clear their position on marriage.
That’s the bigger story than the celebrity of the moment.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(GCV) Edward Keazirian–Opening The Word

Similarly, Jesus affirms that Scripture, as the Word of God, is truth and is endowed with the full authority of God. Therefore, he and his disciples after him are to believe and obey the Scriptures. Even Satan understands that God’s Word is supremely true and authoritative, and so his first tactic is always to cast doubt on God’s Word: “Did God really say, . . .” (Genesis 3:1) or “If you are the Son of God, . . .” (Matthew 4:3). Thus, every temptation ultimately tests our allegiance to the word and authority of God.

Rather than question God’s Word, Jesus uses the Scripture to dispel doubt. Jesus relies upon the Scripture as the basis for his preaching and teaching (doctrine), for reprimanding Satan (rebuke), for reestablishing proper belief and behavior (correction), and for continuing education and maturation (training in righteousness). Jesus thus demonstrates in his own life the role that Scripture should play in the life of every disciple and every church (2 Timothy 3:16).

So, what’s wrong with making bread? Nothing, unless it leads you to betray your God, your identity, and your destiny. And that is exactly what was at stake for Jesus.

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Posted in Seminary / Theological Education, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Canon Joanna Penberthy elected Wales' first woman bishop

Canon Joanna Penberthy will become the 129th Bishop of St Davids in Pembrokeshire.

An electoral college of 47 people from across Wales spent two days locked in St David’s Cathedral before coming to their decision.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales

Bp Robert Innes–All Saints’ Day: Life (and Death) in the Forest

It has been a glorious autumn, with wonderful blue skies, pinky-red sunsets and delightfully mild temperatures. Today is All Saints Day: a major public holiday in Belgium as in many Catholic countries. So what better than to head out into the forest to see the trees in all their autumn glory….

The vocation of most clergy, at least those who work in ”˜churches of the land’, is very much bound into the cycle of birth, life, maturing, dying and death. Baptisms, weddings, funerals ”“ the ”˜occasional offices’ ”“ take up a good part of the typical clergy week. This is less so for clergy in the Diocese in Europe serving diaspora congregations with less connection to a territory and its inhabitants. Whilst clergy in typical parish churches might expect to conduct two or (many) more funerals a week ”“ that’s less common in the Diocese in Europe.

My own life ”“ and here I am like many of the lay people in our diocese ”“ is lived to a considerable degree in environments far removed from the natural rhythms of the forest: offices, airports, hotels and the railway lines and roads that connect them. These environments are designed to feel comfortably the same 24 hours a day 365 days a year, with continuous lighting, constant Wi-Fi and non-stop coffee.

Living in these kinds of environments could lead us to minimise or even forget the profound cycle of change that is built into the natural environment.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Energy, Natural Resources, Europe

In this Crazy election Season, Donald Trump's chances of winning are suddenly surging in the last wk

From 89.5 last week to the 57’s this morning for a Hillary Clinton victory.

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

(Washington Post) Why Christianity’s holiest shrine is guarded by two Muslim families

In an interview with CNN earlier this year, Adeeb Joudeh, the current keeper of the key ”” an old, cast-iron object that’s a foot long ”” considered his family’s hereditary task to be a metaphor for religious tolerance.

“For me, the source of coexistence for Islamic and Christian religions is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,” he said.

His counterpart, Wajeeh Nuseibeh, described the vital role of these two Muslim families in Jerusalem to the San Francisco Chronicle in 2005.

“Like all brothers, they sometimes have problems,” he said, referring to the feuding Christian sects. “We help them settle their disputes. We are the neutral people in the church. We are the United Nations. We help preserve peace in this holy place.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, History, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Israel, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths

Eleanor Parker–A Song for All Souls

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for All Souls Day

O God, the Maker and Redeemer of all believers: Grant to the faithful departed the unsearchable benefits of the passion of thy Son; that on the day of his appearing they may be manifested as thy children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Daily Prayer

O Eternal God, our heavenly Father, who hast given to us thy children an abiding citizenship in heaven, and, in the days of our pilgrimage, a citizenship also upon earth: Give us thine aid, as we journey to that heavenly city, so faithfully to perform the duties which befall us on our way, that at the last we may be found worthy to enter into thy rest; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth! Amen and Amen!

–Psalm 72:18-19

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Times Live) Archbishop Theo Makgoba calls all Anglicans to pray for South Africa

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has called on the public to join him in a vigil for the country on the steps of St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town tomorrow”š Wednesday November 2”š from 1 to 2 pm. The theme of the vigil is “A lament for our beloved country”.

It will entail 45 minutes of silence”š followed by interfaith prayers and a commitment to ongoing prayers for South Africa for the next year.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, South Africa, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

(CT) How Gratitude Made Ann Voskamp an Activist

On the release of her second major book””The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life (Zondervan)””Voskamp, 43, is especially mindful of the temptation to grow bigger than her roots. An extreme introvert for whom fun means curling up and reading Jonathan Edwards, Voskamp is ambivalent about the 10-city book tour she’s about to take. In conversations with her bubbly publicist, she’s trying to secure as many days at home.

“We need to break the ladders and go lower,” Voskamp tells CT on a visit to her farmhouse this summer. “That means destroying platforms and living hidden lives that have dirt underneath our fingernails, as opposed to everyone striving to get behind a microphone. . . . Numbers can be toxic to our souls.”

Even still, Voskamp has some pretty interesting numbers in her life: 7 children, ages 21 to 2; 600 acres, on which her husband, Darryl (“The Farmer” to her readers), grows corn and raises pigs; 1,000 gifts, which Voskamp made herself write down in a time when gratitude was elusive and which spawned her first book; 1 million”“plus copies, which that book went on to sell; and 1 Tim Keller sermon, a different one of which Voskamp tries to read every night before bed.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Canada, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Women

For all the Saints for All Saints Day

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(AM) Andrew Symes–Gospel, church and nation

A report in the Church Times, entitled Thinking about Evangelism, includes interviews with members of Archbishop’s Task Force on evangelism, and other clergy. According to Chris Russell, a renewed and more urgent focus on evangelism should not be “motivated by anxiety about numbers” but because “people do not know Jesus Christ”. While the Archbishops of York and Canterbury have recently led high profile initiatives in prayer, witness and mission, at the local level it seems that many clergy are not giving priority to evangelism in parishes. Why is this? Its clear from the interview quotes that for some, there is an aversion to speaking about faith outside of the regular liturgy of worship and the church doing good in the community and caring for the poor; the work of priesthood is seen as ”˜witness through presence’.

Among those interviewed in the report there is no clear agreement on what evangelism is, and a coyness about defining the message. One Diocesan official talks about churchgoers making friends and inviting people to “explore who you are as a spiritual being” (which might at best be described as pre-evangelism, not sharing good news about Jesus!) There is an assumption that provision of love, authenticity, family, examples of “real” alternative values (not defined) will draw people in to the faith community. An inevitable comment from sociologist Linda Woodhead concludes the piece: the church should stop being a moral judge, and offer experience of God through silence and mystery.

There are similar vague sentiments expressed in an article by Malcolm Brown from Church House. He begins by making some good points: there needs to be more support for intentional evangelism through the local church in historically neglected areas of the country for mission: low cost housing estates. The Renewal and Reform programme wants to enable this, believing that the Church must not retreat but engage and grow in these areas, linking evangelism and “the transformation of people’s lives”¦building bonds of community around shared faith in Christ”. The parable of the sower teaches us that the seed of the Gospel should be sown everywhere, not just in ground we think more likely to be fruitful ie economically viable, or areas where it is easier to attract clergy to live and minister.

As someone who spent seven years as a vicar in a periurban estate I would agree with this. But in terms of the crucial questions of method and message in the toughest areas, Brown can at the moment only suggest facilitating a conversation among existing and would be practitioners. Again there is a tiptoeing around any definite statement about Christian faith (such as repentance from sin, conversion to Christ, the power of the Spirit), or about possible causes of urban deprivation and associated church struggles. The official line seems to be: we want church growth, so evangelism is necessary, but it’s up to each of us to define it according to our different theologies.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry