Daily Archives: December 20, 2019
Christians focused almost exclusively on the theme of martyrdom. In particular, they were fascinated by a narrative found in 2 Maccabees about an anonymous Jewish woman and her seven sons who allowed themselves to be tortured and killed by Antiochus rather than violate their faith. Early Christian writers understood the Jewish martyrs as role models, who achieved the ultimate goal of escaping this world for a better one. According to Ambrose, the fourth-century bishop of Milan, the mother could have encouraged her sons to avoid death, “but she considered that her maternal love lay in [urging] her sons to a life that is everlasting rather than an earthly one.”
The authoritative story of the Maccabean era in Jewish tradition is quite different. Jewish rabbinical literature in antiquity didn’t focus at all on the Maccabean martyrs in the context of Hanukkah. Instead it emphasized the role of the Jewish fighters and what happened after their victory. Like the Christian retellings, Jewish tradition focused on the partnership between man and God. But rather than locating that partnership in heaven, it identified it here on earth.
Jewish tradition’s emphasis on the Hanukkah miracle of the oil reinforces this point. In a story popularized in American culture by Jewish celebrities like Adam Sandler, rabbinical literature records that when the Jewish fighters finally recaptured the Temple in Jerusalem, they sought to rekindle its seven-branched oil lamp, best known by its Hebrew name, menorah. Although they only had enough oil for one night, it lasted miraculously for eight nights until the Jews were able to procure a new supply. This tradition focuses on temporal existence. The miracle of the menorah allows the Jews to work at resuming their regular lives here on Earth.
While Christian tradition connected the story of the Maccabean era to the Temple’s menorah, it did so in a different way. In praising the Maccabean martyrs, the Syriac Christian writer Severus of Antioch wrote: “Not so [truly] did the candlestick of seven lights which made glorious the temporal Temple give light, as did this woman with the seven human lights, her sons, give light to the Church.” Severus played down the significance of the Temple’s menorah by comparing its seven branches with the seven martyrs who left this world behind.
An eight-year-old YouTube presenter has topped its list of high earners, making $26m last year.
Ryan Kaji (real name Gaun) made his toy review empire unboxing toys on YouTube from when he was just three. Now the eight-year-old has his face on toys and gets spotted in the supermarket.
A video from four years ago shows him woken from a toy-car bed by his parents, to find a giant egg with toys inside next to him. His speech is not yet fully developed – in the intro he says “welcomes to Ryan toy review”.
He plays with a series of toys that he retrieves from the egg, including a large racetrack that he puts toy cars on. Everything in the room, from his bed to the toys he plays with, is on the theme of the popular Pixar movie Cars.
The highest YouTube earner this year? An eight-year-old https://t.co/mbrZZqyPF5
— Guardian Tech (@guardiantech) December 20, 2019
(Church Times) Greater diversity in leadership, and the beauty of holiness: Bishop Cottrell sets out his hopes as Archbishop of York
A member of the Committee for Minority-Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC), Bishop Cottrell has previously warned that the Church was “going backwards” on ethnic diversity in its leadership (News, 17 July 2015). “There is still racism in our Church,” he told General Synod. “It is high time we woke out of our sleep and realised we are guilty of complacency and neglect.”
On Tuesday, he said: “Our record is not good: there is no point in pretending otherwise.” He dared to hope that, “when I do hang up my mitre . . . the Church will look different.” The Bishops enjoyed a “significant power” in making appointments, he observed. “We need to use it much more generously and wisely, to bring more people round the table. . . We will be a much better stronger Church for being more diverse in leadership.”
Bishop Cottrell has also warned that the Church’s stance on same-sex relationships means that it is “seen as immoral by the culture in which it is set” and has suggested that prayers of thanksgiving for these relationships — “perhaps a eucharist” — should be offered (News, 17 March 2017).
In a diocesan-synod address in 2017, he warned of the “missiological damage that is done when that which is held to be morally normative and desirable by much of society, and by what seems to be a significant number of Anglican Christian people in this country, is deemed morally unacceptable by the Church. . .
Read it all (registration).
“I simply don’t find England to be a nation of atheists. We are obviously not a nation of churchgoers either; but we are a nation of people who are hungry for meaning”https://t.co/JLpdRH51it
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) December 17, 2019
I think one can clearly state the nature of the myth of some kind of monolithic evangelical support for President Trump.
The evangelical movement is quite broad and diverse and comprises nearly ¼ or so of the USA population.
In this movement in terms of the last election (2016) there were four groups.
In the first group are evangelicals who voted for Hillary Clinton with varying degrees of enthusiasm, either for her policy or party stance in terms of things like support for the disenfranchised. This also includes also a number who voted for her because they saw no choice but to vote against Donald Trump.
In the second group are evangelicals who voted for a third party, or stayed at home and didn’t vote because even though they opposed a number of the Democratic nominee’s proposals they were horrified by Donald Trump’s character and modus operandi and could not in good conscience support him.
In the third group were people who were adamantly opposed to a number of Hillary Clinton’s proposals, but who reluctantly concluded that the only way they could influence public policy was to vote for one of the two people who were going to win. They therefore held their nose and voted against Hillary Clinton but very much thinking that they were worried about Trump as a person and what his character would do to the office.
In the fourth group were people who enthusiastically supported Donald Trump. The reasons for this support vary a great deal under the surface, one of the most interesting being a who number felt that the culture war had been shoved down their throat during the Obama years, and actively wanted a person who would enable a kind of payback, even with his modus operandi.
The main distortion comes from the NEARLY COMPLETE FOCUS on group four, and even a minority of leaders among group four. There may be an occasional nod to group three, but often it is falsely implied that group three are enthusiastically behind the current President, whereas they are not at all but saw no alternative given the American two party system. Groups one and two are hardly even talked about.
Therefore the picture given of the movement as a whole is entirely false. I would like to say personally how sorry I am for the Hispanic, African American, and mainly younger evangelicals whose voices are nearly entirely silenced by the false picture–KSH.
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
After more than a millennium of male dominance choirgirls now outnumber choirboys in England’s cathedrals for the first time.
The tradition of boys singing in cathedral choirs dates back at least 1,110 years with the first boy choristers singing at Wells Cathedral in the year 909.
There are now 740 boy and 740 girl choristers in English cathedrals, according to church statistics, but The Times has learnt that both of these figures have been slightly rounded up. There are, to be more precise, now 739 girls and 737 boys, marking the first time that choirgirls have outnumbered choirboys.
Read it all (requires subscription).
Exclusive: After more than a millennium of male dominance, choirgirls now outnumber choirboys in England’s cathedrals for the first time in history. https://t.co/j4yxqNunY3
— Kaya Burgess (@kayaburgess) December 20, 2019
Let’s grant this to the president: The Democrats have had it out for him from day one, and therefore nearly everything they do is under a cloud of partisan suspicion. This has led many to suspect not only motives but facts in these recent impeachment hearings. And, no, Mr. Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment.
But the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.
The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.
Trump’s evangelical supporters have pointed to his Supreme Court nominees, his defense of religious liberty, and his stewardship of the economy, among other things, as achievements that justify their support of the president. We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear, in a way the Mueller investigation did not, that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.
From Christianity Today’s editor in chief https://t.co/NVdQjg4odC
— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) December 19, 2019
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
Almighty God, who didst call thy servant Katharina von Bora from a cloister to work for the reform of thy church, grant that all of us may go wherever thou dost call, and serve however thou dost will, for thy honor and glory and for the welfare of thy whole church. All this we ask through Jesus Christ, our only mediator and advocate. Amen.
The late Martin Luther’s wife Katharina von Bora died six years after her husband on December 20, 1552. Her cart was involved in a bad accident near the city gates, seriously injuring her and Katharina passed away about three months later aged 53.https://t.co/kTdtU2cyBC pic.twitter.com/wZFz5SApTF
— Trivia Encyclopedia (@edpearce080759) December 20, 2019
Fence me about, O Lord, with the power of Thine honourable and life-giving Cross, and preserve me from every evil.
–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)