Daily Archives: October 3, 2017
(Economist) America might see a new constitutional convention in a few years. If it did, that would be dangerous thing
The I’s had been dotted; the T’s were crossed. The 55 delegates to America’s first and so-far-only constitutional convention had hammered out compromises on the separation of powers, apportionment of seats in the legislature and the future of the slave trade. But on September 15th 1787 George Mason, a plantation owner from Virginia, rose to his feet to object.
Article V of the draft text laid out two paths by which future amendments could be proposed. Congress could either propose them itself, or it could summon a convention of representatives from the states to propose them. Mason warned that if the federal government were to become oppressive, Congress would be unlikely to call a convention to correct matters. To protect the people’s freedom, he argued, convening power should instead be vested in the states. Should two-thirds of their legislatures call for a convention, Congress would have to accede to their demand: a convention they should have.
The constitution was signed two days later, with Article V changed as Mason had suggested. Since then 33 amendments have been proposed, with 27 subsequently ratified, a process which requires approval in three-quarters of the states (see chart 1). Whether the issue was great (abolishing slavery) or small (changing the date of presidential inaugurations), all 33 of the proposals came from Congress. Mason’s mechanism for change driven by state legislatures has never been used. Even politically informed Americans often have no idea it exists.
That could soon change.
(Wa Post) 1 Picture of what happened to 2 people who met at the concert in Las Vegas before the shooting
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) October 3, 2017
Up-and-coming country star Luke Combs had just started his set on the smaller of the two festival stages when Kody Robertson, an auto parts salesman from Columbus, Ohio, squeezed in at the end of the bar next to Michelle Vo, an insurance agent from Los Angeles.
The 32-year-olds connected immediately. They joked about their mutual love of golf. He recommended new beers for her to try as she showed him the large floral tattoo covering much of her back. They realized that they were both staying at the Luxor.
A longtime country music fan, Robertson was in Vegas with a group of friends and told Vo about the fun they’d had at last year’s Route 91 Harvest festival. Vo replied that she’d only recently fallen for the genre; this was her first festival. She was here alone. By the time the night’s final act took the main stage, the fast friends had settled into a spot about 20 yards from the right side of the stage, nestled between a few cuddly married couples and a rambunctious bachelorette party.
Then the first shots were fired.
(CT) Justin Barrett–Does Your Pastor Need a Friend? A study reveals why relational ministry can leave our inner circle empty
— Fuller Seminary (@fullerseminary) October 3, 2017
My pastor recently asked me, “Why is it so hard for people to see pastors as friends and not just pastors?” In one respect, the question caught me by surprise. He is part of a large pastoral staff of a big and vibrant church with a reputation for being highly relational. How can someone whose life revolves around forming caring relationships have a lack of friendship?
It turns out my pastor is far from alone. In a recent study, my team discovered that most relational-style pastors and missionaries average fewer personal relationships than the typical adult, and an alarming number have too few close confidants to support them in their life and calling.
Though it may be tempting to simply encourage ministers to seek more relationships, many ministers are faced with a trade-off between quality and quantity. Those with a large number of very intimate relationships have a smaller overall social network, and those who form lots of relationships have impoverished inner circles. Failing to get the right balance corresponds with burnout and ministry ineffectiveness.
Watch it all for those interested.
Most people genuinely want to do good by others. The church, though, has stopped providing them with the means to do so because it has lost faith in itself. In the resulting vacuum people have turned instead to secular ideologies such as multiculturalism, feminism, egalitarianism and so on.
These, though, are all utopian ideologies aimed at perfecting human nature and the world. Utopia is an impossibility. Throughout history utopian creeds have led directly to cruelty, tyranny and mass slaughter.
It is that tragic combination of the desire to create a kinder, gentler society with ideologies producing the precise opposite which has resulted in a society articulating the highest ideals while often acting with indifference or cruelty.
If the archbishop wants to create a kinder society he should do something really revolutionary. He should start robustly upholding and promoting the values and beliefs on which his church is based.
Read it all (requires subscription).
For churches struggling to get people through the doors on a Sunday morning, letting them stay overnight may be the answer.
As champing, basic camping in disused churches, has become increasingly popular, a new Church of England scheme seeks to profit from providing a more glamorous alternative. Instead of bedding down on an uncomfortable pew, guests will be invited to stay in luxurious oak ‘pods’ which sleep up to six.
For up to £890 a week, guests can enjoy their own state-of-the-art kitchen, flat-screen televisions, free wi-fi, wood-burning stove, under-floor heating and private bathroom. All a far cry from the frosty facilities church-goers in rural areas might be used to.
Those who hire the pods will enjoy exclusive use of the church during the week, but their stays will have to be tailored so they do not clash with weddings or Sunday services.
O God, the shepherd of all, we offer thanks for the lifelong commitment of thy servant John Raleigh Mott to the Christian nurture of students in many parts of the world; and we pray that, after his example, we may strive for the weaving together of all peoples in friendship, fellowship and cooperation, and while life lasts be evangelists for Jesus Christ, in whom alone is our peace; and who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
— Universidad España (@aguilasunes) May 25, 2017
Almighty and eternal God, who madest thy light to shine in the darkness by the sending of thy Son Jesus Christ to deliver us from the dominion of evil: Visit us now, we pray thee, in the darkness of these times, and let thy truth and righteousness shine forth among us. Take from the world the fears which oppress mankind, that we may live in the power of justice and the freedom of thy truth; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
–New Every Morning (The Prayer Book Of The Daily Broadcast Service) [BBC, 1900]
The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.