…Radner is committed to an ecumenical and indeed Jewish-Christian history of figuralism less concerned with winners and losers (and the tired struggles of Christian schism) or particular philosophical stances, and more concerned with reconciling our history of divisive figuralism through the recognition of a shared posture toward Scripture. Radner’s performance of certain tensions throughout the study can thus be seen not only as an exercise in Christian skeptical occasionalism in the spirit of Butler, but also as part of a larger program of reconciliation among the warring factions of the faithful seeking understanding in the common words of Scripture, which takes up the mantle of George Lindbeck. This is not to say that Radner’s theological and philosophical commitments are completely obscured in the work. He nonetheless adopts a posture of ecumenical openness and invites his readers to an armistice in a no-man’s land between the historical reductionism of Scripture to a human artifact, on the one hand, and the antecedent interreligious and interdenominational warfare over appropriate figural readings of Scripture, on the other. The study reaffirms the author’s place as one of Anglicanism’s foremost theologians and ecumenists. This book is a gift to the Church, and warrants serious, sustained attention by pastors and scholars alike.
Daily Archives: May 26, 2017
(TLC) Michael Cover reviews Ephraim Radner’s New Book “Time and the Word: Figural Reading of the Christian Scriptures”
Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world. The growth and regional migration of Muslims, combined with the ongoing impact of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) and other extremist groups that commit acts of violence in the name of Islam, have brought Muslims and the Islamic faith to the forefront of the political debate in many countries. Yet many facts about Muslims are not well known in some of these places, and most Americans – who live in a country with a relatively small Muslim population – say they know little or nothing about Islam.
Here are answers to some key questions about Muslims, compiled from several Pew Research Center reports published in recent years…
Then again, the 19th-century marriage of liberalism and nationalism ended in a very ugly divorce in the first half of the 20th century. What about the dangers of reviving nationalism today? “There is no a priori guarantee that it could not devolve into something nasty,” Mr. Manent says. “But if we don’t propose a reasonable idea of the nation, we will end up with an unreasonable idea of the nation. Because simply: However weakened the idea of the nation, nations do not want to die.”
Then there is the example across the Atlantic. Like Tocqueville, Mr. Manent sees much to admire in the American experiment. Even as Europeans have sought to pool or even abandon their sovereignty, he says, “Americans remained very much attached to the idea of a people making its laws to protect itself.”
True, “this people was open to the world, since of course it was formed by immigration. But people came from all over the world, not to be human beings but to be citizens of the United States, which had a keen sense of its exceptionalism and unique character.” In the Second Amendment, the persistence of the death penalty, and the reluctance of U.S. courts to follow foreign precedents, Mr. Manent sees “not a proof of American barbarism” but of democratic vigor.
Max Warren, General Secretary of the Church Mission Society from 1942 to 1963, used to tell a story from his time in hospital after returning from service in Nigeria with a serious illness. One day he was examined by a medical student as part of his final examinations in front of his professor. After the examination the student gave his diagnosis of Warren’s illness to the professor. Warren knew that the diagnosis was wrong. So when he saw the professor the following day, he said to him, ‘I suppose that student failed because he got the diagnosis wrong’. ‘Oh no!’ replied the professor. ‘The diagnosis was wrong. But he would have got there in the end because he asked all the right questions’.
While we have been living with Islamism for some years, the creation of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ in June 2014 no doubt took all of us by surprise. And if there’s been a variety of responses among national governments, academics and journalists, there’s also been a variety of responses among Christians. So if none of us can claim to give a definitive answer to the question of how Christians should respond to Islamism and ISIS, can we at least attempt to ask some of the right questions? These would be the ten questions that I would want to ask.
(1) What do we Mean by ‘Islamism’ and How does it Differ from Other Kinds of Islam?
I hope we are past the stage of speaking about ‘Islamic fundamentalism’ and are starting to use terms like ‘Islamism’, ‘political Islam’ or ‘radical Islam’. I am not talking about ordinary Muslims who may have a political agenda of one kind or another, but Muslims who have a clear agenda about creating some kind of Islamic polity. It is important to recognise, however, that Islamists are not all the same. Some believe in democracy, pluralism and human rights, while others do not. Some believe that violence is sometimes justified in pursuing an Islamic agenda, while others reject the use of violence. They all want to see Islamic principles applied in the public sphere; but they recognise the huge differences in the political make-up of states all over the world and have different ideas about how a particular state could be more Islamic….
On the first day of resurrection, Easter Sunday, we are told that Jesus’ disciples were in a locked up room. They were in utter trauma due to all they had been through. They were broken and lost. But then the risen Jesus came among them and spoke to them. His first words were, ‘Peace be with you’. He then breathed the Holy Spirit onto them.
In these days of great pain and anguish, where there are many questions and few answers, let us pray that Jesus would enter all the rooms that are locked by fear.
Let us pray that he would breathe his Spirit into those of us who long for the coming of His Kingdom and His living presence would bring us peace beyond our understanding.
The killing of 22 people in a suicide bombing in Manchester on Monday had provoked “proper anger and rage” that must be directed into a “force for good”, the Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker, said this week.
In the worst terrorist attack in the UK since the London bombings of July 2005, a lone attacker, Salman Ramadan Abedi, detonated an improvised explosive device at Manchester Arena at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert. Among those killed were children, and parents waiting to collect their children. In addition to the deaths, 59 people were injured. Many are being treated for life-threatening conditions.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced that the threat level in the UK had been raised to “critical”, indicating that a further attack might be “imminent”. For the first time since 2003, troops were being deployed to join the police’s armed patrols. “It is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack,” Theresa May said. On Wednesday afternoon, the Manchester police chief, Ian Hopkins, said: “I think it’s very clear that this is a network that we are investigating.” Islamic State has claimed responsibility.
At least 23 people have been killed and 25 wounded after gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in central Egypt, state media report.
The incident occurred in Minya province, 250km (155 miles) south of Cairo, as the bus headed to a church.
O Lord our God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst call thine apostles and send them forth to preach the Gospel to the nations: We bless thy holy name for thy servant Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, whose labors in propagating thy Church among the English people we commemorate today; and we pray that all whom thou dost call and send may do thy will, and bide thy time, and see thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
— Alexander Haig (@ahaig) May 26, 2017
O God, Who art the unsearchable abyss of peace, the ineffable sea of love, the fountain of blessings, and the bestower of affection, Who sendest peace to those that receive it; open to us this day the sea of Thy love, and water us with the plenteous streams from the riches of Thy grace. Make us children of quietness, and heirs of peace. Enkindle in us the fire of Thy love; sow in us Thy fear; strengthen our weakness by Thy power; bind us closely to Thee and to each other in one firm bond of unity; for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
–James Manning,ed., Prayers of the Early Church (Nashville: The Upper Room, 1953)