We recognize that there is a spiritual vacuum caused by the silence and even compromise of much traditional leadership in the West and it is not surprising that new leadership should emerge. Our preference is that it will emerge from the highest level of cooperation and collaboration between these initiatives, so that those who uphold ‘the faith once delivered to the saints’ (Jude 4) work together as far as the integrity of their church polity allows. Nonetheless, we pray that the ministry of Bishop Ashenden, and all Christian leaders who love the truth, will bear much fruit for the gospel.
Daily Archives: September 29, 2017
(Gafcon) Peter Jensen–A Statement on the Consecration of the Rt Revd Gavin Ashenden by the Christian Episcopal Church
Cost of Living, 1938. pic.twitter.com/5RjQtsEvXf
— History In Pictures (@HistoryInPix) September 29, 2017
([London] Times) Tony Blair institute finds that non-violent Islamist groups serve as recruitment pool for jihadists
More than three quarters of British jihadists have been involved with non-violent Islamist groups before turning to foreign fighting and carrying out terrorist attacks, a report reveals today.
Islamist groups have acted as a “recruitment pool” for dozens of jihadists who have gone on to join al-Qaeda, Islamic State and other terrorist groups, according to research by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.
Researchers examined the biographies of 113 men from across the UK who have joined the jihadist movement, from the 1980s to the Syrian civil war. The institute’s report says that at least 77 per cent of the sample had links to Islamism, either through association with Islamist organisations or by connections to those who spread the extremist ideology.
Read it all (requires subscription).
A group of prominent evangelical Christians is calling on President Donald Trump to take further steps to condemn white supremacists — specifically those in the alt-right — following the August white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one woman dead.
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
Jews aren’t the only ones with profound disagreements within their community. Faith in the public square has become as polarized as politics. That’s really a shame for civic life, says John DiIulio Jr. of the University of Pennsylvania, once an adviser to President George W. Bush on faith-based initiatives. “Religion can be a tremendously and uniquely powerful civic tonic—and a tremendously and uniquely destructive civic toxin,” he noted during a talk at the Brookings Institution earlier this month.
At the same event Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, blamed heightened polarization on a loss of transcendent purpose and meaning in public life. He observed that people are “finding tribal identities in political movements or cultural arguments in a way that often really isn’t about coming to a solution to those arguments, but about identifying ‘I am the sort of person who stands here as opposed to the sort of people who stands there.’ ”
Tribalism, sectarianism, polarization, mistrust. Sounds like Twitter.
How about a real conversation? Recently I took part in one in rural Maryland at the invitation of the Jewish Week of New York, which has been convening such gatherings for more than a decade. There were more than 50 of us, all Jewish, but with different backgrounds, beliefs and experiences. The idea was that we were the ones who would set the agenda. From the start, we went around and talked less about what we do than what we care about and what we hope to do.
(SA) Nigel Fortescue reviews Vaughan Roberts and Peter Jensen’s new book “Faith in a Time of Crisis”
Why invest time in reading a book about controversies and divisions within the Anglican denomination?
With this question, the editor of Faith in a Time of Crisis opens a book that is timely, essential reading. The answer to this question is, of course, that in the controversies and divisions the gospel is at stake. It is no longer reasonable to assume that the bloodlines of British politeness that run through Anglicanism will hold the Communion together.
The fractures caused by the actions of some Anglican leaders over the past two decades have exposed the reality that at least two different gospels are being preached and believed in the Anglican Church across the world. With this in mind, Roberts and Jensen write to encourage, urge and compel us to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
In typical Roberts style, the book is surprisingly short, easy to read and filled with engaging illustrations and sharp pastoral challenge. Several questions were added to my “discuss with staff” list as I read the five chapters that unpack the True Gospel, True Sex, True Love, True Unity and True Faith – the last written by Peter Jensen.
The statistics, published on Wednesday, show signs that the drive to nurture vocations to the ordained ministry — a central plank of the Renewal and Reform programme — is having an effect. Overall, the number of those entering training is 14 per cent higher than last year (476 candidates).
None the less, the C of E must reach its target of 50 per cent more ordinands by 2020 if it is to reverse the overall decline in clergy numbers. At the present rate, people are not entering the ministry at the same rate as others are retiring.
Another Renewal and Reform target is to recruit younger and more diverse candidates. Ordinands are younger than last year: 28 per cent of this year’s intake are under the age of 32, compared with 23 per cent last year. At the other end of the age range, 16 per cent are aged 55 or above, compared with 20 per cent of last year’s intake. The overall number of new ordinands under the age of 39 rose by 39 per cent, from 109 to 151….
One of the principal tasks of a leader is to communicate reality to those who wish to take his or her lead, and the reality that I observe all around me, not just in Church but in every sphere of life, is a mood of impatience with other points of view, of an increasing narrowing of vision and of a drawing back from the sort of commitment that creates sustainable and worthwhile communities. It is hardly an exaggeration to call these developments the triumph of individualism and I sometimes think that the word “individual” should be banned from Christian conversations and replaced by a word like “person” to reflect the complexity and value which each of us has – what we share as much as what we need.
This individualism which is so prevalent in our world and sometimes in our parishes is the enemy of reasoned debate and very far from the spirit of Anglicanism. Over the past ten years or so a new and very revealing way of opening a conversation or a debate has entered into our way of talking. “Speaking as an X.” somebody will say, whatever X might be. Speaking say as a woman or speaking as a progressive or speaking as a traditionalist or speaking as a unionist or as a republican – whatever it might be. But the intention of that way of opening a conversation is not to engage in an equal conversation but to establish some sort of privileged position. “I am X and you are not, so you couldn’t possibly understand.” It is an attempt to set up a wall against questions and it turns conversations into an encounter about power. The winner of the argument won’t be the person who has the strongest reasons but the one who has the morally superior identity and can express the greatest outrage at being questioned.
The key word to look out for is “offended”. Other people’s arguments aren’t weak or illogical – they are offensive. What replaces argument is a series of taboos rather like in the old paganism where only a small number of people, like the Druids or the shamans, were permitted to speak on certain matters or do certain things but nobody else not of that caste could interfere. Propositions become pure or impure, not true or false. Ask any of your children who have been to university recently about the matters which people simply aren’t allowed to debate any more or the beliefs which are denigrated because they are outside a certain limited range of reference.
As you may have guessed by now I believe that the antidote to this strange perversion of the liberal spirit is the smallness and the diversity of the parish. It is what I meant when I said last year that the parish is the place where we create local significance in a globalised world.
O everlasting God, who hast ordained and constituted the ministries of angels and men in a wonderful order: Mercifully grant that, as thy holy angels always serve and worship thee in heaven, so by thy appointment they may help and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
September 29th is Michaelmas, the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel and All Angels, honouring the Great Taxiarch and Archistrategos of the Heavenly Host, Guardian of the Church, and patron of soldiers. pic.twitter.com/7fF4AgawLl
— Tradical (@NoTrueScotist) September 29, 2017
Lord of all power and might, fill our lives with the joy of thy Word and the courage of thine apostles, that having caught the vision of thy Kingdom we may proclaim it with power and a glad heart, to the salvation of men’s souls and the creation of a better order more conformed to the pattern of thy Kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
–Robert W. Rodenmayer, ed., The Pastor’s Prayerbook: Selected and arranged for various occasions (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960)
Dost thou work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise up to praise thee?…Is thy steadfast love declared in the grave, or thy faithfulness in Abaddon? Are thy wonders known in the darkness, or thy saving help in the land of forgetfulness?