Category : Marriage & Family
Today’s identity theology merely replaces northern European, male, cisgendered theology with another set of adjectives seeking to exercise power over others in the name of justice. But this is a false justice, because it lacks the divine righteousness that gives meaning to all lesser forms of justice. Call it retribution theology, a form of tribalism at its worst.
Christians need a theology that prophetically denounces sexism, homophobia and racism—in the past and in the present—without the divisiveness inherent to identity theology. This sort of inclusive theology is central to Mr. Keller’s preaching and ministry, which is done in one of the most diverse places in the world, New York City. Theologians like Mr. Keller focus on God, scripture, loving others, and missionary work. They’re not very concerned about their own navels.
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools,” Martin Luther King said in 1964. Is Mr. Keller not our brother? I am sad that my alma mater chose to undermine King’s vision and succumb to the demands of identity theology. When Mr. Keller stands before the seminary community next month, he will not deliver an acceptance lecture for the Kuyper Prize. Instead, he’ll demonstrate grace and magnanimity, for Mr. Keller’s unity with his detractors will truly be in Christ.
When Kate and Sean Norris first set up a church together, they were surrounded by pawn shops and tattoo parlors on the South Side of Pittsburgh.
At first, Kate said she was skeptical. The call to start a church had come to her husband while she was pregnant.
“It was just a divine kick in the pants that you cannot ignore,” she said.
For a time, the couple ran their church out of a supermarket. Once, they held mass in a tattoo parlor.
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) March 24, 2017
Dear Members of the Seminary Community,
On March 10 I sent a letter to the seminary community addressing the emerging objections to the Kuyper Center’s invitation to the Reverend Timothy Keller to speak at their annual conference and receive the Kuyper Prize. Those who are concerned point to Reverend Keller’s leadership role in the Presbyterian Church in America, a denomination which prevents women and LGBTQ+ persons from full participation in the ordained Ministry of Word and Sacrament.
As I indicated in my previous letter, it is not my practice to censor the invitations to campus from any of our theological centers or student organizations. This commitment to academic freedom is vital to the critical inquiry and theological diversity of our community. In talking with those who are deeply concerned about Reverend Keller’s visit to campus, I find that most share this commitment to academic freedom. Yet many regard awarding the Kuyper Prize as an affirmation of Reverend Keller’s belief that women and LGBTQ+ persons should not be ordained. This conflicts with the stance of the Presbyterian Church (USA). And it is an important issue among the divided Reformed communions.
I have also had helpful conversations about this with the Chair of the Kuyper Committee, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Reverend Keller. In order to communicate that the invitation to speak at the upcoming conference does not imply an endorsement of the Presbyterian Church in America’s views about ordination, we have agreed not to award the Kuyper Prize this year.
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) March 23, 2017
Moments of mutual connection protect marriages from the negative interactions we all confront from time to time
The latest piece of evidence for this theory comes from a report by University of Texas at Austin researchers Courtney Walsh, Lisa Neff, and Marci Gleason. Published in the Journal of Family Psychology, the study examined the links between recently married couples’ shared positive experiences, negative behaviors, and marital satisfaction. The 171 participating couples recruited into the study were all in their first marriage, had been married less than six months, and had no children at the time the study began. Their relationship experiences and happiness were measured over a three-year period in a series of three 14-day daily surveys.
The results largely echoed earlier work and mirrored the researchers’ expectations:
individuals who generally reported accumulating more emotional capital over each diary period exhibited lower reactivity to their partner’s daily negative behaviors compared with individuals who generally reported accumulating less emotional capital within the relationship.
That is, the daily marital satisfaction of people who regularly enjoyed more positive exchanges with their spouses—building up “emotional capital”—was less vulnerable to negative experiences. Your spouse’s occasional impatience and criticism hurt your day-to-day marital happiness less if the two of you have emotional reserves to fall back on.
The key word in that last sentence is “occasional.” According to other scholars, pleasant interactions vastly outnumber negative ones in successful marriages.
Read it all from the Institute for Family Studies.
When Chevron needed to fix up a property, it sought out the anonymous caretaker of a memorial that lie along the property’s fence, and helped that man make it a more permanent fixture.
The notion of tinkering with an embryo’s DNA – let alone creating designer babies – makes many of us recoil. But let us not forget the shock and horror at the news of the first “test-tube baby,” Louise Brown, in 1978.
After her birth, her parents received blood-spattered hate mail (and a tiny plastic fetus). Now we call it IVF, and no one bats an eye.
Technologies that allow parents to pick and choose embryos based on genetic testing are already a quarter of a century old. But the dawn of CRISPR, a technology that can “edit” mutated DNA at the embryo stage, has raised the spectre of Nazi-era eugenics and identikit babies out of a sci-fi thriller.
What if laws were in place to forbid scientists from using technologies to create the superrace we fear? What if we had consensus, and an ethical framework, to decide which embryos should live, and which should die?
Such questions are the beating heart of science journalist Bonnie Rochman’s new book, The Gene Machine: How Genetic Technologies are Changing the Way We Have Kids – and the Kids We Have, published in February.
A study by the Dallas Federal Reserve published in 2014, “Middle-Skill Jobs Lost in U.S. Labor Market Polarization,” found that:
While women were hit much harder than men by the disappearance of middle-skill jobs, the majority of women managed to upgrade their skills and find better-paying jobs. By comparison, more than half of men who lost middle-skill jobs had to settle for lower-paying occupations.
From 1979 to 2007, seven percent of men and 16 percent of women with middle-skill jobs lost their positions, according to the Dallas Fed study. Four percent of these men moved to low-skill work, and 3 percent moved to high-skill jobs. Almost all the women, 15 percent, moved into high-skill jobs, with only 1 percent moving to low-skill work.
Men whose childhood years were marked by family disruption seem to fare the worst.
…though I am proud to confirm that all of us, whatever our views on this matter, are united in our condemnation of homophobia, we must also acknowledge that it is of little comfort to young gay or lesbian members of our Church to know that while prejudice against them is abhorred, any committed faithful sexual expression of their love for another is forbidden. In fact it is worse than this, our ambivalence and opposition to faithful and permanent same sex relationships can legitimise homophobia in others.
None of us are content with this situation.
This issue is, therefore, one that must be dealt with in a number of ways: theologically, ethically, pastorally and missiologically. We must let the insights and experiences of each of these responses shape our overall response. As with the challenges of previous ages, it is the refining fire of the questions the culture poses that reveal new depths to the gospel we proclaim. Also we must acknowledge that the culture itself has to a large extent been shaped by those Christian virtues of tolerance and acceptance that we hold dear. It is therefore not sufficient to say, ‘Oh if only we could stop talking about human sexuality and get on with the real business of preaching the gospel!’ This is the real business of preaching the gospel: it is about what it means to be made in the image of God and of the new humanity God has won for us in Christ. It is about finding the legitimate boundaries
within which Christian people can legitimately disagree.
Nor can we simply ignore the biblical passages that pertain to this debate. They are part of our storyand our inheritance. But what we can do is recognise that what we know now about human development and human sexuality requires us to look again at those texts to see what they are actually saying to our situation, for what we know now is not what was known then. Of course this isalso an area where conclusions are conflicted (even the rules that govern our biblical hermeneutics) but it does at least demonstrate that we are all seeking to be faithful to scripture and how weinterpret it within the contexts we serve.
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) March 14, 2017
Mr. Kelly describes his reaction as a mixture of surprise, embarrassment and amusement but also love and affection. The couple says they weren’t mad and didn’t scold the children. “I mean it was terribly cute,” Mr. Kelly said. “I saw the video like everybody else. My wife did a great job cleaning up a really unanticipated situation as best she possibly could… It was funny. If you watch the tape I was sort of struggling to keep my own laughs down. They’re little kids and that’s how things are.”
On Wednesday, Mr. Kelly and his family plan to hold a press conference at his university to answer questions from the Korean media, which have a strong interest in the video. Most important to them is that people can laugh at the video as unvarnished but normal family life.
“Yes I was mortified, but I also want my kids to feel comfortable coming to me,” Mr. Kelly said.
“I made this minor mistake that turned my family into YouTube stars. It’s pretty ridiculous.”
(Changing Attitude Scotland) A Majority of Scottish Episcopal Synods have voted to change the definition of marriage
Proposals to make changes to Canon 31 of the Scottish Episcopal Church’s canons have now been discussed by all the diocesan synods. A very clear majority of the synods voted in favour of change – 6 dioceses voted in favour, whilst one (Aberdeen and Orkney) voted against change.
The changes that are proposed would allow some clergy to be nominated to be able to conduct marriages for same-sex couples. If the changes are approved they would also remove the ban on clergy and lay readers entering into same-sex marriages themselves.
If it’s universally acknowledged that a single man with a good fortune needs a wife, the American economy may be now illustrating the inverse of that corollary: Poor men with dwindling job prospects are going to lack marriage prospects.
The decline of the institution of marriage has been studied by social scientists and policymakers, but new economic research from MIT economics professor David Autor and his colleagues points to labor issues that helped Donald Trump win the presidential election: The decline of American manufacturing and the rise of Chinese imports.
As manufacturing jobs dried up over the last few decades, blue-collar men have suffered from lower income, fewer job opportunities and the increased likelihood of risky behavior, which in turn has hurt their marriage prospects, Autor and his co-authors wrote in a paper published at the National Bureau of Economic research.
A letter from Lambeth Palace has said that a church service after a same-sex marriage can be “almost indistinguishable from a wedding”.
The letter was written to Dr Richard and Matthew Edwards, who married last year in Birmingham Register Office. Both are members of the PCC at St Paul’s, Birmingham. Dr Edwards is the treasurer, and Matthew Edwards the vice-chair and a churchwarden. They have been together for five years, and got engaged in 2015. Before they married, they wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury for guidance.
The letter they received in response, written by the Archbishop’s correspondence secretary, Andrew Nunn, demonstrates the Church of England’s ambivalence on the question of same-sex marriage. He states: “marriage in an Anglican church is not an option for you.” On the other hand, he describes the practice of having a blessing in church after a civil ceremony. “The church ceremony can be arranged so as to be almost indistinguishable from a wedding, but without the legalities.”
The Sheppard sisters are running sensations, but it’s what the three young girls are running from that makes them extraordinary.
Tai, 12, Rainn, 11, and Brooke, 9, run hurdles, distance, and high jump, respectively.
When the girls’ half-brother was fatally shot, their family fell on hard times and was evicted from their home. They have lived in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn, New York’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood since September of 2015.
Read it all (video highly recommended).
Fifty-six-year-old Mr Flint, who is married with children, said: “To me it is inevitable that same sex marriages will be celebrated in church one day and that will be the norm – and I welcome that. “When we look back, I think we’ll ask why were we dithering. The Church is always evolving. At one point divorcees couldn’t get re-married in church.” He said he was ‘frustrated at the moment with the bishops who have closed ranks.’