Saturday, January 28, 2006

There is mercy in God like a river, but it is for the penitent believer in Christ Jesus. There is a love in God towards sinners which is unspeakable and unsearchable, but it is for those who hear Christ’s voice and follow him.

Seek to have an interest in that love. Break off every known sin, come out boldly from the world, cry mightily to God in prayer, cast yourself wholly and unreservedly on the Lord Jesus for time and eternity, lay aside every weight. Cling to nothing however dear, which interferes with your soul’s salvation, give-up everything, however precious, which comes between you and heaven.

This old shipwrecked world is fast sinking beneath your feet, the one thing needful is to have a place in the lifeboat and get safe to shore. Give diligence to make your calling and election sure. Whatever happens to your house and property, see that you make sure of heaven.

Oh, better a million times be laughed at and thought extreme in this world, than go down to hell from the midst of the congregation.

J.C.Ryle (1816-1900)

Art: Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library,
Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

Blessed Clarity
By Matt Kennedy+

Four nominees for the office of Presiding Bishop were announced this week. Of the four, three voted to confirm Gene Robinson’s election as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. One, bishop Parsley of Alabama, voted no. But don’t let the “no” fool you. Since then he has actively worked to silence the orthodox voices in his diocese as anyone at Stand Firm Alabama will tell you. He may be doctrinally “orthodox” but apparently he won’t let a small thing like that get in the way of institutional loyalty. Hence, the quotation marks around the word orthodox.

Nevertheless, were I a betting man, I’d put my money on bishop Parsley. The self-described moderates and even the orthodox delegates will likely cast their votes for him if Brad Drell’s thoughts are any indication. That should be enough to defeat the other three who are, by all accounts, solid revisionists.

The silver lining in all of this is clarity. Unlike say bishop Jenkins or bishop McPherson, Bishop Parsley will not fool anyone domestically or internationally. He may not be a revisionist personally, but he is most definitely a known collaborator with institutionalized revisionism.

Taken together, the slate of nominees does not signal a compromising stance with regard to the rest of the Communion. Nor does it portend the proverbial and long expected Windsor “fudge”. If this slate is any indication, Columbus will be a clear and defining moment where the deep theological chasm between ECUSA and the rest of Christendom will be revealed. I pray it is so.

Found at ORTHONY

Bishop’s Murder: Anglican Church Calls For Prayers

CHURCH of God Nigeria, Anglican Communion has called for prayers by all faithfuls for God’s intervention that will lead to the arrest of the killers of the Rt. Reverend Elisha Yisa of the St. Pauls Anglican Church Bida in Niger State.

The Anglican communion in a reaction to the cold blooded murder of the cleric said, prayers by all faithfuls would stop people from desecrating the Holy places, once those that committed the murder were fished out.

the rest

Embryonic Human Beings
Robert P. George
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence
Princeton University

A human embryo is not something different in kind from a human being, like a rock, or a potato, or a rhinoceros. A human embryo is a whole living member of the species Homo sapiens in the earliest stage of his or her natural development. Unless severely damaged or denied or deprived of a suitable environment, an embryonic human being will, by directing its own integral organic functioning, develop himself or herself to the next more mature developmental stage, i.e., the fetal stage. The embryonic, fetal, infant, child, and adolescent stages are stages in the development of a determinate and enduring entity—a human being—who comes into existence as a single cell organism (zygote) and develops, if all goes well, into adulthood many years later.

A human embryo (like a human being in the fetal, infant, child, or adolescent stage) is not properly classified as a “pre-human” organism with the mere potential to become a human being. No human embryologist or textbook in human embryology known to me presents, accepts, or remotely contemplates such a view. The testimony of all leading embryology textbooks is that a human embryo is—already and not merely potentially—a human being. His or her potential, assuming a sufficient measure of good health and a suitable environment, is to develop by an internally directed process of growth through the further stages of maturity on the continuum that is his or her life.
The rest-Excellent!

Pastor to preach, defy Episopal bishop's order
Leader of the former All Saints Episcopal plans to speak Sunday
Marketta Gregory
Staff writer

(January 28, 2006) — The pastor of All Saints Anglican Church plans to preach Sunday even though Rochester's Episcopal bishop has forbidden him to do so.Bishop Jack McKelvey has "inhibited" the Rev. David Harnish, which means Harnish is no longer supposed to lead services, baptize or officiate at weddings.

The sanctions arose because Harnish and his Irondequoit parish have joined the Church of the Province of Uganda, a separate church within the Anglican Communion. Like the Episcopal Church of the USA, it has roots in the Church of England.

The dispute between the Episcopal diocese and All Saints burst into the open in November, with the diocese voting to dissolve the church, formerly All Saints Episcopal, because it was withholding $16,000 from the diocese. The core issue was the diocese's support of the ordination of a gay bishop in New Hampshire in 2003, which caused widespread dissension among Episcopalians.

Va. Episcopalians Struggle With Possibility of Schism
Homosexuality Issue Shadows Convention Debate
By Caryle Murphy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 28, 2006

Members of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia conclude their annual convention today in Richmond amid growing fears that continuing differences over the 2003 consecration of an openly homosexual bishop will prompt some conservative parishes to withdraw from the diocese.

No parish is threatening to depart imminently. But much depends on the outcome of the 2.3-million member denomination's national convention in June. That assembly is likely to see fierce debate over homosexuality, scriptural interpretation and the importance of American Episcopalians staying in tune with the more conservative views of their larger, worldwide community of Anglicans.

Washington Passes Gay Rights Bill, Protestors Plan Pro-Family Rally
Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006
Posted: 10:16:30AM EST

Lawmakers in the state of Washington passed a gay rights bill Friday that would add sexual orientation to a state law banning discrimination in housing employment and insurance based on gender, religion, and other factors.

The bill passed the Senate with a 25 – 23 vote, with one Republican joining Democrats in voting in favor. The House approved it 61 to 37, and Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire said she would sign it on Tuesday. "We don't choose who we love. The heart chooses who we will love," said the lone Republican senator, Bill Finkbeiner. "And I don't believe that it is right for us to say … that it's acceptable to discriminate against people because of that."

While gay rights activists applauded the measure, which would make Washington the 17th state with laws banning discrimination on the basis of sexual preference, others warned that the law would “trample unrelentingly” on religious viewpoints that object to homosexuality. "

We, the state, are telling people to accept, actually to embrace, something that goes against their religious views," said Sen. Dan Swecker (R- Rochester).

The Women in Christ's Life: Anna, The Prophetess
Kris Swiatocho
The Singles Network Ministries

Excerpt: Anna: A Woman With Purpose

Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, and was very old. She was a widow, for her husband had died when they had been married only seven years.

She was now eighty-four years old. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about Jesus to everyone who had been waiting for the promised King to come and deliver Jerusalem.— Luke 2:36-38

The rest-it's amazing what we can learn from her life!

EU Approves Ban on 'Homophobia'; Christians Remain Silent
By Allie Martin
January 27, 2006

(AgapePress) - The European Union has unanimously approved a resolution banning "homophobia." A Christian attorney in Mississippi explains why that should concern the citizens of the United States.

The resolution, called "Homophobia in Europe," defines homophobia as "an irrational fear and aversion of homosexuality and of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people based on prejudice, similar to racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism." It calls for action against member states that do not implement programs directed at fair treatment of homosexuals in employment and occupation. It also seeks to "ensure that same-sex partners enjoy the same respect, dignity and protection as the rest of society."

Steve Crampton, chief counsel for the American Family Association
Center for Law & Policy, says although the resolution is not law, it could eventually affect the United States. Story

AFA Lawyer Denounces University's New Pro-Homosexual Healthcare Policy By Jim Brown
January 27, 2006

(AgapePress) - A constitutional attorney says the University of Florida (UF) is seeking to advance a radical pro-homosexual agenda with its new healthcare plan for employees.

Under the UF plan, the so-called "domestic partners" of both homosexual and heterosexual employees are eligible for health insurance coverage as long as they are having sex. In order to qualify, employees must declare they are involved in a "non-platonic" relationship.

Steve Crampton, chief counsel with the American Family Association
Center for Law & Policy, says, in this case, homosexuality appears to be the preferred lifestyle of the State of Florida. He notes that the UF healthcare plan favors same-sex couples over other unmarried people living together in a household for more legitimate reasons.

"So here's a daughter who may be supporting an invalid mother, or a young man who has taken in a dying uncle, unable to work," Crampton posits. "Or how about the Christian who has taken in a homeless man who's out of work and down on his luck, and he's just trying to help him out? Forget it -- you can't get these benefits."
The rest

Diocese of Central NY refuses to accept Rwandan priest

The Rt. Rev. Gladstone Adams, Bishop
310 Montgomery Street
Syracuse NY 13202

January 23, 2006

Dear Bishop Adams:

I am in receipt of the letter of Kathryn Eden dated January 19, 2006 in her capacity as president of the standing committee informing me that the standing committee will not be recommending me for reception into the Episcopal Church and this diocese. When I was before the standing committee on January 10, 2006, I stated that I would be willing to sign the affirmation under Canon III.11.4 to “promise in writing to submit in all things to the Discipline of this Church without recourse to any other ecclesiastical jurisdiction or foreign civil jurisdiction.” In fact, I emphatically stated that I took that promise very seriously. But apparently they did not accept me on my word, since they raise “some unresolved issues concerning the Episcopal Church and [my] connection with the Church of Rwanda.” I want to be clear: while my offer to make the promises required by Canon was very sincere and without reservation, my answers to the other questions posed to me by the Standing Committee are the result of prayerful consideration and I do not foresee my position changing at any time in the future.

As you know from the letters dimissory of Archbishop Kolini which were delivered to you a year ago this month, I am a priest in the Anglican Province of the Church of Rwanda. My parish has never understood the logic of your insistence on a Canon III.11 process for my acceptance into this diocese, since that canon applies only to priests ordained in churches in the historic succession but not in communion with this church. Because the Church of Rwanda is in communion with the Episcopal Church in the United States (at least from America’s perspective) the parish does not see the need for a Canon III.11 procedure, but we were willing to accommodate it at your request. The standing committee’s judgment that “we cannot certify you to continue in the process” puts an end to that Canon III.11 reception process.

Since you have indicated that the recommendation of the standing committee was necessary for my reception, we are apparently at the end of the line. Since you are not willing to accept me under Canon III.12 as a priest in the Church of Rwanda, we would ask that you return to the parish the letters dimissory of Archbishop Kolini.

This action indicates that the Diocese of Central New York is not in communion with the Church of Rwanda, which is an indication that Central New York is withdrawing from the worldwide Anglican Communion. Our prayers continue to be with you and the diocese as you move ahead with your decision, in the words of the Windsor Report, “to walk apart” from the Communion of the wider church. Obviously, we refuse to abandon the Anglican Communion.

If you wish to discuss this matter further, I am available to meet with you at your convenience.

Robert Hackendorf,

St Andrew's, Syracuse, NY

CC: The Rev. Kathryn Eden
The Very Rev. Thomas Luck, Dean
The Rev. John LaVoe
The Rev. Jennie Montgomery, Chair of the COM
The Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Kolini, Archbishop and Primate

Below is the letter from Kathryn Eden, president of the standing committee of the diocese of Central New York informing Fr. Robert Hackendorf that the standing committee of the diocese will not certify Fr. Hackendorf as a priest in the diocese. Bishop Skip Adams established a requirement over a year ago when Fr. Bob came to St. Andrew’s in Syracuse, New York that the standing committee certify him in order to be recognized as a priest in Central New York. Fr. Bob has been the “pastoral leader” of the parish for the last year, but out of deference to the bishop’s request, has until now not celebrated the Eucharist, although he wears a clergy collar, and vests in a stole for all liturgies, preaches, teaches classes, presides over vestry meetings, and does every other thing one sees a rector do in a parish. Fr. Hackendorf has been ordained clergy in the Anglican Communion for almost six years, and is and has been for the last several years canonically resident in Rwanda under Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini. Archbishop Kolni’s letters dimissory were delivered to Bishop Adams just over a year ago, but Bishop Adams, while acknowledging that he got the document, has not officially accepted or rejected them within 90 days as required by canon law. Bishop Adams has not yet responded to the letter of Fr. Hackendorf (above), nor has he responded to the
letter of the wardens of the parish of January 2, 2006 which was written to him concerning the acceptance of Fr. Hackendorf in this diocese. St. Andrew’s in Syracuse with an average Sunday attendance of about 200 people has the largest attendance of any parish in the diocese, and will be starting a third regular worship service on Saturday evenings beginning Saturday, February 4, 2006 to supplement the two Sunday morning services already being held. (Comment by Raymond Dague, chancellor to St. Andrew’s vestry)

January 19, 2006

Dear Robert,

We appreciated your willingness to meet with the Standing Committee on January 10, 2006. As we listened to you speak of your vocation and desire to embrace the Episcopal Church, we felt that you have some unresolved issues concerning the Episcopal Church and your connection with the Church of Rwanda. Title III, Canon 11, section 4 would require “a promise in writing to submit in all things to the Discipline of this Church without recourse to any other ecclesiastical jurisdiction or foreign civil jurisdiction…”

At this time we cannot certify you to continue in the process, however, we are not “closing the door” for a further conversation to reengage the process. We would encourage you to continue to explore your readiness to make the required promise in light of your concerns for some of the positions that the Episcopal Church holds and might continue to hold. We pray for you, for your ministry and for your ongoing discernment.

The Rev. Kathryn Eden
President of the Standing Committee

Diocese of Central NY

CC: The Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. Adams, III, Bishop
The Very Rev. Thomas Luck, Dean
The Rev. John LaVoe
The Rev. Jennie Montgomery, Chair of the COM

Friday, January 27, 2006

Enter then, all of you, into the joy of our Lord.
First and last, receive alike your reward.
Rich and poor, dance together.
You who fasted and you who have not fasted, rejoice together.
The table is fully laden: let all enjoy it.
The calf is fatted: let none go away hungry.

Let none lament his poverty;
for the universal Kingdom is revealed.
Let none bewail his transgressions;
for the light of forgiveness has risen from the tomb.
Let none fear death;
for death of the Savour has set us free.

An Easter Sermon by John Chrysostom
Biography Art

Pennsylvania Bishop 'Committed to Staying,' Won't Resign

The Bishop of Pennsylvania, the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr., has rejected a
request from the standing committee, stating in an e-mail message to the clergy that he will not resign.

After an all-day meeting with his staff on Jan. 26, Bishop Bennison said his resignation “would not be a solution to the challenges” facing the diocese. Bishop Bennison said the best way forward was to “pursue together a rigorous long-term process for addressing our problems.”

He pledged his cooperation with the reconciliation process and invited “the standing committee and all of you to be part of it.” To comply with the standing committee request would not set a proper example for the Church in the midst of its present difficulties, he said.

the rest-The Living Church

Everyone wants a piece of China, including Christians
By Edmund Chia

Everything seems to be pointing to China being the center of the world in the not too distant future. It is the world's fastest-growing economy today, with the magic figure of 1.3 billion people cited. Wal-mart sees in China 1.3 billion bodies to be clothed; Nike is counting the 1.3 billion pairs of feet; Oral-B has interest in the 1.3 billion mouths. Every entrepreneur drools over the Chinese market.

There should be a little of something for everyone. Yes, everyone, including the church.

That was why about 150 of us gathered last fall at Sant'Anselmo, a Benedictine monastery in Rome. We were Europeans and Chinese and had come for a Europe-China conference. Our conversation centered around Chung Kuok, or the Middle Kingdom, as the Chinese call their homeland.
The rest

Empathy for Sin, Sympathy for Sinners:
Brokeback Mountain and the End of the Spear Controversy
by Marc T. Newman, Ph.D.

Brokeback Mountain, from director Ang Lee, is surprising its critics. Some believed that people would not show up to see a "gay cowboy movie." But after sweeping major categories at the Golden Globe awards and positioning itself for Oscar contention, it seems to be expanding its markets every week. Some argue that it could end up bringing in more that $100 million at the box office.

The other side of the homosexual controversy this week came from an unexpected quarter. When the news broke that martyred missionary Nate Saint and his son Steve were both being portrayed in End of the Spear by Chad Allen, a man who is a homosexual activist, some Christians went berserk. Others called for a boycott of the film, arguing that attending somehow made one complicit in the "homosexualization of America." I have received more hate mail for championing End of the Spear as a God-honoring film (which it is) than for any other piece I have written in the last three years.
the rest-commentary

Billion Soul Pastors Conference Convenes All-Star Cast of Speakers
Friday, Jan. 27, 2006

Posted: 10:05:29AM EST

Nearly 2,000 attendants representing every state and from over 20 countries soaked up the wisdom and insights from key leaders at an event meant to train pastors to plant five million new churches and convert one billion new souls to Christ over the next ten years.

The Billion Soul Pastors Conference is hosting a sold-out crowd at Faith Assembly Church in Orlando, Fla., from Jan. 25-27. Its vision to complete the Great Commission has generated much excitement around the nation since 2002, when the first pastors’ conference drew more than 5,000 pastors. James O. Davis, co-founder, president and CEO of sponsoring ministry, the Global Pastors Network (GPN), said Thursday evening that this is the greatest concerted effort of evangelism in history. He said that with laser-like vision, the Great Commission can and will be fulfilled.

“It starts with a mandate from the Master. God puts vision in our hearts,” said Davis. “When God gives vision, when God puts something in your heart, you’re not chasing every rabbit any more. When He puts it in your heart, your light will be clear, [and] your direction will be crisp. We need to go where God wants us to go – to finish the Great Commission for the glory of God.” the rest

Hamas divulges'peace initiative'
Leader reveals to WND truce plan,but explains aim is to destroy Israel
Posted: January 27, 200612:27 p.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein

JERUSALEM – Hamas, which catapulted to power in this week's Palestinian elections, will soon make public a "peace initiative" in which it will offer to trade strategic land with Israel, cease attempts to capture parts of Jerusalem, and sign a 10-year renewable cease-fire with the Jewish state, a top Hamas leader told WorldNetDaily during an exclusive interview.

But the Hamas leader said the plan, which he justified using Islamic tradition, is a temporary machination to ease international and U.S. hostility toward his group in hopes of receiving financial assistance, explaining Hamas will not give up its goal of destroying Israel.
The rest

Episcopalians Gone Wild
NBC's "Book of Daniel" didn't get much right about the Episcopal church.
by Mark D. Tooley
01/27/2006 12:00:00 AM

NBC'S lame-duck series Book of Daniel kicked up a lot of controversy during its brief run, but perhaps not for the right reasons.

Starring Aidan Quinn as Daniel, the program centers on an Episcopal priest in a posh Connecticut suburb. His wife is infatuated with martinis, one of his sons is homosexual, the other is sleeping around, his daughter is selling dope, the Jamaican housekeeper is smoking it, his brother-in-law has stolen $3.5 million from the church (after having a threesome with his wife and his secretary), and the lady bishop is having an affair with Daniel's father, who is the presiding bishop of the Episcopal church. Meanwhile, Jesus periodically appears to Daniel to dispense non-judgmental advice, except when it comes to Daniel's addiction to pain killers.

Sleeping around. Homosexuality. Thievery. Ecclesial chaos. Abuse of prescription drugs. Lots of people with more money than common sense. Is this what the U.S. Episcopal Church really looks like?

The American Family Association, an evangelical group, organized a boycott against the program because of its perceived smarmy stance towards Christianity. The AFA helped persuade 11 NBC affiliates not to broadcast Daniel. And three of the show's four major sponsors also withdrew.
the rest-very interesting!

Preaching hatred
By Diana West
January 27, 2006

Abu Hamza al-Masri, the hook-handed former imam of the notorious Finsbury Park mosque -- spiritual home to "shoe bomber" Richard Reid and "20th hijacker" Zacarias Moussaoui -- is on trial this month at the Old Bailey. Charges include nine counts of soliciting to murder, four counts of stirring up racial hatred, and two counts of possession of material related to the other charges, including the 10-volume Encyclopedia of the Afghani Jihad -- a terrorism how-to guide now immortalized in London tabloidese as "Hook's 'Bomb Big Ben' Book."

Jurors in the London case will be listening very carefully to nine audio and video recordings of sermons by Abu Hamza seized by police from the mosque, which, not at all incidentally, has also yielded a trove of weapons, hundreds of suspected forged or stolen passports, even a few hazmat suits. Also seized was a box rather helpfully labeled "jihad."
The rest

Jeffrey John breaks silence on civil partnership
Friday, 27 January 2006

The Dean of St Albans, Dr Jeffrey John, has broken his silence on civil partnerships, arguing that it is a “tragedy” that the Church cannot regard gay relationships as part of God’s work. Dr John says in the foreword to a new book published by
Affirming Catholicism that civil partnerships rightly confer exactly the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual marriage.

His view flies in the face of Church of England bishops who have been at pains to emphasise that civil partnerships are not the same as marriage. The book is written by Jonathan Sedgwick.

In the book, Civil Partnership: A Guide for Christians, Dr John, who was forced to decline the post of Bishop of Reading after evangelical protests, says: “God made all of us, gay or straight, in his own image to reflect his kind of love.” the rest

Canadian Election Dumps Liberals
Stephen Brown
January 27, 2006

"It’s a very sad day for Canada when the Liberal government has been ousted by the Republican Right.” – Rosie O’Donnell

When an exercise in democracy makes arch-liberal Rosie O’Donnell and others of her ilk unhappy, then you know conservatives have something to cheer about.

And the election in question that has O’Donnell so downcast occurred last Monday when Canadians ended the corrupt, 12-year rule of Canada’s anti-American Liberal Party and handed power over to the America-friendly Conservative Party of Stephen Harper, Canada’s new prime minister. (Contrary to O’Donnell’s expert political analysis, Canada doesn’t have a Republican Party).

The final tally of this encouraging victory saw the Conservatives win 124 out of a total of 308 seats in Parliament, 25 more than the last election two years ago in 2004, and receive 36.3 per cent of the popular vote, enough to form a minority government. By contrast, the Liberals’ seat total dropped to 103 from 135, while they garnered only 30.2 per cent of popular vote. The socialist New Democratic Party and the Bloc Quebecois, the separatist party that campaigns only in Quebec, got 29 and 51 seats respectively, while one independent candidate also won.
the rest

Food for Thought: Whatever Happened To Masculinity?
January 26, 2006 11:24 PM EST

The recent Hollywood infatuation with homosexuality is only the latest example of how true American manhood is being systematically dismantled. Throughout our culture, masculinity is de-emphasized, even scorned.

I well remember how Ronald Reagan was castigated as being "too masculine." Truly, Reagan was the last masculine president America has had (and maybe will have). Can you imagine what today's generation of soft Americans would think of Harry Truman or Theodore Roosevelt?

By masculine, I mean a man who not only demonstrates the physical qualities of ruggedness but who also possesses inner toughness. A man who says what he means and means what he says. A man who recognizes the importance of honesty. A man of noble principle. A man without covetousness. A man who cannot be bribed or bullied. A man committed to manly virtues. A man who is the head of his home and knows how to control and discipline his children. A man who loves justice but also knows tenderness and mercy. A man who fears God and shows reverence for the sacred. A man who knows the difference between the rule of law and the lust for power. On the whole, our society today has little tolerance for such men. Even in our churches, masculinity is dying.
the rest

Thursday, January 26, 2006

God Routs Fear
Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel. (Numbers 23:23)

How this should cut up root and branch all silly, superstitious fears! Even if there were any truth in witchcraft and omens, they could not affect the people of the Lord. Those whom God blessed, devils cannot curse.

Ungodly men, like Balaam, may cunningly plot the overthrow of the Lord's Israel; but with all their secrecy and policy they are doomed to fail. Their powder is damp; the edge of their sword is blunted. They gather together; but as the Lord is not with them, they gather together in vain. We may sit still and let them weave their nets, for we shall not be taken in them. Though they call in the aid of Beelzebub and employ all his serpentine craft, it will avail them nothing: the spells will not work, the divination will deceive them. What a blessing this is! How it quiets the heart! God's Jacobs wrestle with God, but none shall wrestle with them and prevail. God's Israels have to prevail against them. We need not fear the fiend himself, nor any of those secret enemies whose words are full of deceit and whose plans are deep and unfathomable. They cannot hurt those who trust in the living God. We defy the devil and all his legions.

CH Spurgeon

"The Last Word" by Tom Wright. A Review
The Last Word - Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture.

N. T. Wright (San Francisco: Harper, 2005) US$19.95A

Review by Richard Kew

Five years ago, when it was still possible for those of differing viewpoints have a relatively fair exchange of idea, I was drinking coffee with the rector of a large Episcopal congregation who is on the left hand side of the issues troubling us. One thing we agreed upon was the desperate need to deal with hermeneutics and the authority of Scripture. We both love the bible intensely, and neither of us was necessarily comfortable with the way "our side" handled it, so we felt the time had come to get this skunk out onto the table. Alas, events overtook us, and such a conversation is probably no longer possible in today's charge atmosphere.

Yet having read Tom Wright's latest book on the nature of Scripture's authority, I think we have here a tool which might help break up some of that logjam. In his preface, the Bishop of Durham says he was spurred to write about the authority of Scripture as a direct result of his significant involvement in the International Anglican Doctrinal and Theology Commission, as well as the Lambeth Commission which produced the Windsor Report. He dedicates the book to Bishop Stephen Sykes and Archbishop Robin Eames, the respective chairs of those panels.
The rest

Two Dead after Attack on Church Construction in Egypt

Two Coptic Christians are reported dead and at least ten others were injured when a group of Muslim youths attempted to stop the construction of a new Coptic church building in the village of el-Udaysaat near the southern Egyptian town of Luxor . The attack took place in the early morning of January 19 when the youths set fire to building materials. They claimed the church did not have permission to build. According to reports from the U.S. Copts Association, police officers who arrived at the scene did little to stop the violence or protect the Christians. Those who died of injuries were Kamal Shaker and a thirteen-year-old boy, George Shahata. Shahata is reported to have died as the result of a heart condition that was exacerbated by the attack.


Iraq's WMD Secreted in Syria, Sada Says
By IRA STOLL - Staff Reporter of the Sun
January 26, 2006

The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.

The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, "
Saddam's Secrets," released this week. He detailed the transfers in an interview yesterday with The New York Sun.
"There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands," Mr. Sada said. "I am confident they were taken over."

Mr. Sada's comments come just more than a month after Israel's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam "transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria."
The rest

Sleep Disorders Increase After Abortion Says New Study

SPRINGFIELD, IL, January 25, 2006 ( - A new study published in Sleep, the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, has found that women who experienced abortion were more likely to be treated for sleep disorders or disturbances compared to women who gave birth.

The researchers, David Reardon of the Springfield, Ill.-based Elliot Institute and Priscilla Coleman of the University of Bowling Green, examined medical records for 56,284 low-income women in California who gave birth or underwent an abortion in the first six months of 1989. Researchers examined data for medical treatment for these women from July 1988 to June 1994 and excluded women who had been treated for sleep disturbances or disorders in the 12 to 18 months prior to abortion or delivery.

Christians Angered by Kanye West Mockery
Jason Barnes and Jim Meyers
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006

Christian activists are outraged by a Rolling Stone magazine cover that depicts rapper Kanye West as a Christ figure with a crown of thorns atop his head.

The image on the magazine's upcoming issue due out on newsstands Friday - shows the controversial Grammy nominee with "blood" streaming down his face, mimicking the passion of Christ during his torture and crucifixion.

Offended Christian groups have called the cover image "sacrilegious" and an insult to Christians. One Christian leader even suggests the depiction is racist.
The rest

Gay Marriage Ban Advances Toward Va. Referendum
Md. Lawmakers Offer Similar Bill
By Chris L. Jenkins
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 26, 2006

RICHMOND, Jan. 25 -- The state Senate all but guaranteed on Wednesday that Virginia will hold a November referendum on whether to amend its 230-year-old Bill of Rights to bar same-sex marriages.

The Senate voted 28 to 11 to follow the House of Delegates in approving the amendment. Though each chamber still must pass the measure adopted by the other, their wording is identical and support among the senators and delegates is strong.
The rest

Islamic fundamental networks are turning Spain into a nursery for martyrs in Iraq
Mélchor Sáiz-Pardo

“Spain has become the centre of a network of Al Qaeda terrorist cells, whose task is to recruit Jihad fighters prepared to die in Iraq.” So said a senior police office last week, and the figures he produces would seem to support his statement. Last year alone, the police disbanded four groups dedicated to the recruitment of ‘martyrs’ for the cause, which is to perpetrate suicide attacks against the occupation forces in Iraq.

More than 50 people have been arrested by the Spanish police since June 2005, accused of belonging to terrorist cells involved in recruitment. It was then that police operations against these terrorists began, with names like Operations Tigris, Sello, La Unión, Jackal, Chameleon and Genesis. The number of recruiters arrested in Spain is almost as large as the number arrested for the same reason in the rest of the entire European Union during the same period.

We are making far too many laws, says Archbishop
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

TONY BLAIR’S Government was condemned yesterday by the Archbishop of York for passing too much legislation and risking debasement of the law as a result.

The Most Rev John Sentamu, speaking after being sworn in to the House of Lords, made clear that he would be an active member of the Upper House. His background as a lawyer and judge in the Uganda of Idi Amin will make him a valuable addition to the 26 bishops.

The Archbishop said: “What I feel very strongly about is when you make a lot of laws all the time, one has to be extremely careful they are not made in haste.” He called for a study on exactly how many laws had been passed since Labour was elected in 1997. “I think there have been too many,” he said. “The more laws you pass, the greater the insecurity you create in society.”
The rest

Passionate prose is a real revelation
By Ruth Gledhill

I STARTED reading Deus Caritas Est expecting to be disappointed, chastised and generally laid low. An encyclical on love from a right-wing pope could only contain more damning condemnations of our materialistic, westernised society, more evocations of the “intrinsic evil” of contraception, married priests, homosexuality. It would surely continue the Church’s grand tradition of contempt for the erotic, a tradition that ensures a guilty hangover in any Roman Catholic who dares to indulge in lovemaking for any reason other than the primary one of reproduction. How wonderful it is to be proven wrong.

The first half of the encyclical, the part on eros written by the new Pope himself, is a startling revelation, almost akin to reading one of George’s Herbert’s poems on love and God, or C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves. The language itself verges at times on the erotic.
The rest

Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester Issues Inhibition Against Rector of Embattled Church
January 26, 2006

Contact:: Raymond J. Dague 315-422-2052

The Rt. Rev. Jack McKelvey, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, with approval of the diocesan Standing Committee, today inhibited the Rev. David Harnish, Rector of All Saints, Rochester, charging the priest with “abandonment of communion.” The inhibition attempts to prevent Father Harnish from fulfilling his role and “priestly functions” as rector of All Saints, but it is unenforceable as Father Harnish is currently under the jurisdictional authority of the Anglican province of Uganda, and not under the Diocese of Rochester.

“The Bishop’s action is a little like a nasty employer who claims to be firing an employee after that employee quit last year to work for another company where he would be treated better,” said Raymond Dague, the attorney for the parish. “A priest works for his parish, and not the bishop, but the idea is the similar.”

Bishop McKelvey’s actions follow a trend in dioceses across the country in which revisionist bishops misapply and abuse canon law in order to take disciplinary action against clergy who oppose their revisionism. The charge of “abandonment of communion” is a church law provision applicable in cases of clergy who leave the Episcopal Church to join a different denomination or religion, and a step usually accompanied by a renunciation of their Episcopal ordination vows. Serving under the Anglican Church of Uganda, Father Harnish remains a priest in good standing within the Anglican Communion anywhere in the world. In declaring Father Harnish out of communion with the Diocese of Rochester, Bishop McKelvey and the Standing Committee appear to be declaring themselves out of communion with Uganda.

Bishop McKelvey’s inhibition of Father Harnish is the latest punitive action the diocese has directed toward All Saints and their rector. During the diocesan convention November 18-19, 2005, delegates voted to declare All Saints Episcopal Church “extinct.” In so doing, the diocese violated both its canon [church] law and a New York statute

Canon 13 of the Diocese of Rochester provides for a parish to be declared extinct if and when “it shall appear to the Bishop and the Council that a congregation organized as a parish has ceased to fulfill the requirements under the Religious and Corporations Law of the State of New York…”. The religious corporations law outlines clear criteria for determining whether or not a church can be declared extinct: the church has failed to maintain services for two consecutive years. The statutes specify an additional criteria for Episcopal parishes to be declared extinct: when they have an insufficient number of individuals qualified to serve on the vestry [church board] for two consecutive years. All Saints in Rochester has maintained continuous religious services since it was founded 80 years ago, and held elections last month electing new members to its vestry.

“All Saints is an ongoing parish which in no way meets the requirements of law to be declared extinct,” said Dague. “The bishop has abused his power and run roughshod over canon and civil law in his attempt to destroy a biblically faithful congregation.”

The Episcopal Church is currently recognized as a member of the Anglican Communion, but that status is threatened given the current crisis within the Anglican Communion. Twenty-two of 38 primates have declared broken or impaired communion with the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA), and the vast majority of the Communion believes ECUSA has abandoned the faith and practice of Anglicanism as well as historic Christian teaching.

Standing Committee Asks Bishop Bennison to Resign

By unanimous vote, the standing committee of the Diocese of Pennsylvania has asked its Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr., to retire or resign.

In a letter to diocesan clergy dated Jan. 25, Bishop Bennison said he was “seriously praying about the standing committee’s request,” and called for prayer “for me, for our colleagues throughout the diocese, and above all for the unity and health of our diocese.”

In recent years, the diocese has spent $9.6 million in unrestricted net assets in order to meet program expenses as parochial contributions have declined. Bishop Bennison opened the diocese’s 222nd convention on Nov. 5 with a call to affirm his leadership. “If you feel I’m not leading you effectively, tell me, and if I feel it is God’s will, I’ll resign,” he said as reported in the diocesan newspaper, The Pennsylvania Episcopalian.

Convention rejected the proposed $4.8 million budget. It also rejected a proposed mandatory parochial assessment and approved a resolution calling for the election by convention of finance and property committee members, removing their appointment from the bishop’s authority.

On Jan 14., Diocesan Council approved an interim budget, cutting spending by $318,000, and asked that a special convention be held on March 25 to resolve the financial impasse.

The Living Church

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

You can also offer your prayers, obedience, and endurance of dryness to Our Lord, for the good of other souls, and then you have practiced intercession. Never mind if it all seems for the time very second-hand. The less you get out of it, the nearer it approaches to being something worth offering; and the humiliation of not being able to feel as devout as we want to be, is excellent for most of us. Use vocal prayer... very slowly, trying to realize the meaning with which it is charged and remember that... you are only a unit in the Chorus of the Church, so that the others will make good the shortcomings you cannot help.
... Evelyn Underhill

The American Anglican Council Expresses Grave Concern Over Nominees for Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
January 25, 2006

The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop for the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) announced today their nominations for Presiding Bishop: the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, Bishop of Atlanta; the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. Gulick, Jr., Bishop of Kentucky; the Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop of Nevada; and the Rt. Rev. Henry N. Parsley, Jr., Bishop of Alabama. Given the Anglican Communion’s call for the Episcopal Church to choose to walk together or walk apart, the choice of candidates for Presiding Bishop makes a strong statement.

If the Episcopal Church had any intention of repentance, candidates would clearly adhere to the authority of Scripture, affirm the apostolic faith, and commit to the immediate cessation of ordination/consecration of non-celibate homosexuals as well as the blessings of same-sex unions. We are deeply disturbed that the list of nominees does not include any candidate who is representative of orthodox Anglicanism. the rest

New law poses threat to Christian preachers
Date: Jan 27

A “CHILLING CULTURE of intimidation and investigation” could be the result of the Government’s religious hatred law, according to leading opponents after the Bill passed its final reading in the House of Lords this week. Don Horrocks of the Evangelical Alliance criticised the Church of England for “too readily accepting the Government’s line”.

Mr Horrocks said that although the Bill had been amended by the House of Lords with the so-called ‘Lester amendment’, whose key purpose was to ensure that ‘intent’ to incite religious hatred was put on the face of the Bill, the Government had added ‘recklessness’. He said he, and lawyers the EA had consulted, believed that it would be very difficult to defend against such a vague charge like recklessness. “This is a recipe for extremists and martyrs. We already know we have extremists in the Christian community, they are certainly there in the Muslim faith and perhaps other faiths as well,” he said.
the rest

Pittsburgh Chancellor Appointed Executive Officer for AMiA

Robert G. Devlin, chancellor for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, will remain in that office while serving as executive officer for the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA).

The organization's
website describes AMiA as providing "a way for congregations and clergy to be fully Anglican...while, at the same time, being free of the crises of faith, leadership and mission in the Episcopal Church USA."

As executive officer, Mr. Devlin will manage the “business side” of the AMiA and said he would be working with the organization’s staff to “develop an infrastructure that will support our continuing expansion.”

He will also work closely with the AMiA’s overseas supporters, which include nine primates of the Anglican Communion, who have endorsed the work of the AMiA in the U.S., and Canada and who attended the organization's
winter conference in Birmingham, Ala., earlier this month.
the rest

Priest told to stop handing out anti-gay sex pamphlets
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- A Roman Catholic diocese in western Pennsylvania has ordered a priest to stop distributing an anti-gay sex pamphlet that it says "borders on the pornographic."

The Rev. John Nesbella, who works at the Prince of Peace parish in Northern Cambria in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, said Wednesday he has stopped distributing "Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do."

But Nesbella says the seven-page document supports the church's stance against same-sex marriage by detailing claims about the negative medical consequences of gay sex acts.

The pamphlet is authored by Paul Cameron, a sociologist who chairs the Family Research Institute in Colorado Springs, Colo. It graphically describes various gay sex acts and refers to Cameron's own research, newspaper articles, medical journals and government statistics.

Cameron concludes, "Homosexuals are sexually troubled people engaging in dangerous activities."
The rest

World Famous Evangelist Billy Graham May Preach in New Orleans in March
World renowned evangelist Billy Graham, who is now 87, has decided to unite with his son, Franklin Graham, and attend a New Orleans event in March.
Posted: Wednesday, January 25 , 2006, 17:26 (UK)

World renowned evangelist Billy Graham, who is now 87, has decided to unite with his son, Franklin Graham, and attend a New Orleans event in March. It is not decided yet whether Graham senior will preach at the event, but the news has been warmly greeted by Christians across the globe.

Billy Graham, who remains one of the most dominant and influential Christians in the world, has explained to members of this organisation that he was greatly moved by the suffering the people of New Orleans had to endure following Hurricane Katrina, and that he would be delighted to come to “encourage pastors, churches and the people” of the area, A. Larry Ross (Graham’s spokesperson) reported.

The New Orleans event will carry the title of ‘Celebration of Hope’, and is scheduled to take place at the New Orleans Arena from 11-12 March.

Poll: Only 16 percent definitely back Hillary
Gallup survey shows majority of Americans oppose senator
Posted: January 25, 20062:13 p.m. Eastern

The latest national survey does not bode well for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, should she seek the presidency in 2008.

A Gallup poll for CNN and USA Today reveals 51 percent of Americans say they would absolutely not vote for Mrs. Clinton for president, with only 16 percent definitely backing her. Another 32 percent say they'd consider voting for the Democrat.

Thus, committed anti-Hillary voters outnumber pro-Hillary voters by 3-1.
The rest

Court rules home worship OK
County barred rabbi from holding services at his house
Posted: January 24, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006

A federal court
ruled a Florida county cannot prohibit a rabbi from holding prayer and worship services in his own home.

Rabbi Joseph Konikov of Orlando was faced with two land-use ordinance violations filed by Orange County.

"Americans have the right to meet in their homes for prayer or to study religious materials without government interference," said Rick Nelson, head of the American Liberties Institute, a group allied with the
Alliance Defense Fund.

In 2001, Konikov and his family were ordered by code enforcement officers to stop holding prayer meetings in their home, near Disney World, alleging he was in violation of local laws that forbade "operating a synagogue or any function related to a synagogue and/or church services. ..."
The rest

Humble Church Is at Center of Debate on Eminent Domain
Published: January 25, 2006

SAND SPRINGS, Okla., Jan. 23 - With bulldozers churning up the earth at the front door, the small Centennial Baptist Church in this struggling industrial hub west of Tulsa seems about to fall to the wrecker.

But the construction is just roadwork, for now. And that is all it will ever be if the congregation has its way.

"The Lord didn't send me here to build a minimall," said the longtime pastor, the Rev. Roosevelt Gildon.

In what a local newspaper called "a battle between God Almighty and the almighty dollar," Sand Springs is moving ahead with a redevelopment plan to clear the church and other occupants from the rundown district near downtown to make way for superstores like the Home Depot.

Ex-Homosexual Ministry Leader: Brokeback Mountain May Be Tip of the Iceberg
By Allie Martin
January 25, 2006

(AgapePress) - A former homosexual who now heads an international Christian ministry to individuals affected by homosexuality says movies such as the much touted mainstream media darling Brokeback Mountain are sending the wrong message to Americans about culture and sexuality.

Alan Chambers is president of
Exodus Global Alliance, an organization that includes the largest evangelical network of former homosexuals and that promotes the message to people struggling with unwanted same-sex desire that change from homosexuality is possible through the power of Jesus Christ. But while Exodus is offering hope based on scriptural truth, the ministry leader contends that movies like the homosexual "romance" Brokeback Mountain are fostering confusion and desperation.

"They don't point to the truth that homosexuality is a very difficult lifestyle," Chambers says. "It's one full of desperation and devastation and heartache. And the great thing is there are men and women who have overcome that lifestyle. That's something I wish was more talked about in the mainstream media."
the rest

Islamic studies in Ithaca
By: Zac DesAutels

A government-sponsored program is giving Ithaca College students and faculty the opportunity to learn more about Islamic and Malaysian culture from Dr. Mohammed Zin Nordin, associate professor and dean of the communications school at Universiti Sains Malaysia.

At a time when Islam and Muslims are dominating the news, many Americans lack a complete understanding of the religion's scope. Most estimates rank Islam as the second-largest religion in the world (after Christianity), with more than a billion adherents, and despite the Middle East being the constant backdrop of reporting about Islam, the majority of Muslims live in other parts of Asia.
The rest

Public schools looking at Bible literacy class
Backers say course is academic; others see religious motive
By Mike Linn

High schools across the nation are considering an elective course in Bible literacy. That's pitting advocates of church-state separation against proponents of the class who say their mission is purely scholarly.

Lawmakers in Alabama and Georgia in the past few weeks have introduced legislation clearing the way for their high schools to offer the course, which is based on the textbook The Bible and Its Influence.

The book's publisher, the Fairfax, Va.-based Bible Literacy Project, says about 300 school districts are considering the course, which covers the Old Testament, followed by both Jews and Christians, and the New Testament, the story of Jesus and his disciples.
the rest

Teachers won't put up posters on gay rights
5 instructors balk at directive, apparently over religious beliefs
Simone Sebastian, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Five teachers at San Leandro High School have refused to comply with a school district order to display a rainbow-flag poster in their classrooms that reads, "This is a safe place to be who you are," because they say homosexuality violates their religious beliefs, Principal Amy Furtado said.

The high school's Gay-Straight Alliance designed the poster, which includes pink triangles and other symbols of gay pride. In December the school board approved a policy requiring all district teachers to hang the posters in their classrooms.

District officials said the poster is an effort to comply with state laws requiring schools to ensure students' safety and curb discrimination and harassment. They say that too often teachers do not reprimand students who use derogatory slurs or refer to homosexuality in a negative way.

Pope gives views on modern love

Pope Benedict XVI has published his first encyclical, or letter to the whole Catholic Church, devoted to the meaning of love and charity.

In Deus Caritas Est, or "God is Love", he says physical love must be redefined by Christian faith and attacks modern obsessions with the "commodity" of sex.

Recent associations of God with "hatred and violence" make Christian love "timely and significant", he writes.

The encyclical has been published in seven key languages, including Latin.
The rest

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Without prayer we become deaf to the voice of divine love and become confused by the many competing voices asking for our attention. When we try to become very still, we often find ourselves so overwhelmed by our noisy inner voices that we can hardly wait to get busy and distracted again. Our inner life often looks like a banana tree full of jumping monkeys! But when we decide not to run away and stay focused, the monkeys may gradually go away because of lack of attention, and the soft gentle voice calling us may gradually make itself heard.

Henri J. M. Nouwen
Nouwen Centre photo

PITTSBURGH: Anglican Communion Network Continues to Grow
By Jenny Noyes
January 23, 2006

Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Anglican Communion Network (ACN or Network), announced the appointment of Wicks Stephens as Chancellor of the Network.

Stephens, who has served as interim Chief Operating Officer for the ACN since June, will be succeeded in that position by The Rev. Canon Daryl Fenton, who has worked since June as the Executive Assistant to Bishop Duncan. Stephens will also continue as Director of Development.

“As civil and canonical legal matters have unfortunately become a large part of church life for many faithful Episcopalians, it became clear to me that the Network needed to offer formal legal support to our affiliates. Mr. Stephens, with over 35 years of experience as a corporate litigator in Los Angeles , is a leading expert in church law and an obvious choice for the role,” said Bishop Duncan.

The rest at Virtueonline

Christian-Muslim Forum Launched by Archbishop of Canterbury
A new Christian Muslim Forum has been launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury to promote greater understanding between Muslim and Christian communities in Britain.
Posted: Tuesday, January 24 , 2006, 13:13 (UK)

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has launched a new forum which will work on fostering a greater understanding between Muslims and Christians.

The Christian Muslim Forum, which will meet three times a year, will be headed by the Bishop of Bolton, the Rt. Rev. David Gillet, and Dr Ataullah Siddiqui, director of the Markfield Institute of Higher Education, reports the BBC.

Eight presidents – four Muslim, four Christian – will lead the forum of 12 specialist members covering areas such as education and family issues, and six scholar consultants. Two full-time directors – one Christian, one Muslim- will also be employed by the forum.

Bishop Gillet denied, however, that the forum was a “talking shop”, assuring that it would promote better understanding through “common initiatives”.
The rest

We Are What We Behold
How to resist the demons that accompany influence and savvy.
A Christianity Today editorial
posted 01/24/2006 09:00 a.m.

Esther knew what was at stake in her decision. No one approached King Xerxes without an invitation and lived to tell about it. Not even her renowned beauty could spare Esther the same fate. Yet who better to intervene?

Mordecai reminded her that God would save his people from Haman's plot one way or another. So why not play a leading role in God's redemption story, Mordecai reasoned: "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14).

Esther risked her life, and God saved the Jews. Yet her relationship with Xerxes was a double-edged sword. While her influence represented the Jews' best hope, it also caused her to pause, thinking she could survive Haman's plot as a member of the royal family.

In the same way, evangelicals have wrestled with our relationship to power. When in a position of influence (and in our better moments), we leverage power to better the lives of our neighbors. Cultural savvy enables us to successfully translate the gospel for a changing world.
The rest

Gilded Bible Mixes Modern, Ancient
Illuminated Work Includes Twin Towers Reference

OMAHA, Neb. -- An illuminating exhibit got a big welcome to Omaha over the weekend.
The St. John's Bible is the first handwritten Bible produced since the invention of the printing press 500 years ago. Calligraphers and artists from St. John's University and St. John's Abbey in Minnesota took on the monumental task.

The Bible is making a stop in Omaha, under glass, at the Joslyn Museum. It is an illuminated work that is covered in gilt and calligraphy.

"It's an attempt to take this sacred scripture, this sacred work, and make it accessible to people today," said Director Carol Marrin.
the rest

Bible's history tied to advancement of written word
Exhibit at Florida International Museum
By Mitch Stacy
The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Bible's evolution from ancient Hebrew to modern languages and from clay tablets to printed books is a rich lesson in the history of civilizations, the origins of the written word and the revolution of printing.

The story of how the text of the Bible has been written and disseminated over the centuries is recounted in a new exhibition at the Florida International Museum that boasts artifacts as rare and priceless as they come, among them bits of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a fragment of the Gospel of John dating to about 250 A.D., a 1455 Gutenberg Bible and a first edition of the King James version from 1611.

The exhibit's founder and chief curator, William H. Noah, isn't a biblical scholar but a pulmonary physician who lives near Nashville, Tenn. He said a personal interest in the history of the sacred text led him to study it and assemble a collection that opened in Tennessee a year ago called "Ink & Blood: Dead Sea Scrolls to the English Bible."
The rest

No-Fault Divorce--The End of Marriage?
Tuesday, January 24, 2006

By now, any observer with a modicum of moral insight is aware that marriage is an institution in crisis. Nevertheless, one of the most significant factors contributing to this crisis is often overlooked, and that one factor has led to the breakup of more marriages than any other--no-fault divorce.

In an insightful article published in the March 2005 edition of Crisis magazine, Stephen Baskerville argues that America's embrace of easy divorce is the most significant reason that marriage is now threatened and, by some measures, hanging by a thread.

Baskerville, a political scientist at Howard University, points to the 2004 election as evidence that many Americans understand that marriage is in peril. "America is in revolt over marriage," Baskerville explains. "Some 17 states have now passed amendments to protect the definition of marriage, and more will follow." Baskerville credits the same-sex marriage controversy with building considerable support for President Bush's reelection and "has also shaken the decades-long loyalty of African Americas to the Democratic Party."

The rest-Albert Mohler

For what it's worth:
Cars Can Fly?
Google Earth says 'Yes'
Joey O'Donnell

Recently, on Google’s satellite photo transmitter “Google Earth,” in the Australian city of Perth, a flying car was caught on camera— levitating. How in the world is that possible? To date, not much is known about the topic, but here’s some information that was released about it.

According to the Channel Register’s (a European online news source) Oz photo interpretation bureau, the vehicle in question, described by Clinton Bird—a professor of architecture and abstract identification at the University of Auckland, is at an altitude of three or four meters and doing about 80 knots. That data rules out rocket powered turbofan outrigger engines, favored by the Moller Corporation (a corporation devoted to the development of flying, turbofan powered cars).

This leaves just one possible explanation: Australians have developed a gravity-busting engine— by putting a huge rotating ring above a super conducting coil and pumping enough electric current through the coil, resulting in a large magnetic field that will "reduce the gravitational pull on the ring to the point where it floats free". This anti-grav engine, bolted onto a second-hand Holden, is seen here in the split second before their X-Motor made the trans-dimensional leap to hyper light speed.
Story here

NBC Cancels 'Book of Daniel'
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006

Bowing to the power of the pocketbook, the failure to attract advertisers, NBC has decided to pull the plug on its controversial new show "The Book of Daniel.

"NBC didn't want to eat their economic losses, said Donald E. Wildmon, chairman of the American Family Association.

"Had NBC not had to eat millions of dollars each time it aired, NBC would have kept Daniel alive. But when the sponsors dropped the program, NBC decided it didn't want to continue the fight.

The prime-time soap opera featuring Aidan Quinn as a morally conflicted priest was virtually abandoned by advertisers, forcing the network to air promos instead.

Protesters See Mood Shift Against 'Roe'
Court Nominees, Young Activists Cited at Annual Antiabortion March
By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tens of thousands of abortion opponents held an upbeat rally on the cold, gray streets of downtown Washington yesterday and described what they see as a societal tide turning against the 33-year-old Roe v. Wade court decision that legalized the procedure.

Demonstrators at the annual March for Life said their movement has been buoyed by two recent Supreme Court nominees -- one of them confirmed -- who appear open to reconsidering the 1973 decision. They talked optimistically about how technological advances are producing clearer sonograms, which could make it harder to argue that a fetus is not a person.

Canada wakes up to new Conservative government
Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:18 AM ET
By Janet Guttsman and David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadians installed a Conservative government in office for the first time in 12 years but with a limited mandate, signaling voters' desire for change at a measured pace.
Newspapers were quick to point out on Tuesday the fragility of the Conservatives' mandate, with one describing it as party leader Stephen Harper's "Thin Blue Line."

"Canadians did not endorse neo-conservatism when they elected him last night," the Globe and Mail newspaper said in an editorial. "They voted against a Liberal Party that had become smug and arrogant."

Numerous callers to radio talk shows said it was time for change but they were not willing to revamp the entire Canadian political landscape by handing the Conservatives a majority in Parliament.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Eternal Father,

Source of life and light
whose life extends to all people,
all creatures,all things:
Grant us the reverence for life
which becomes those who
believe in You;
lest we despise it,
degrade it,
or come callously to destroy it.

Rather let us save it,
secure it
and sanctify it
After the example of Your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Robert A.K. Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury (1980-1991)

more 3-D sonogram pictures
prayer found at Lent and Beyond

Priest leaves, faithful follow
Differing opinions with Livonia church prompt exit of Kannapell, who is leading services at a hotel.
Catherine Jun / The Detroit News

LIVONIA -- In a conference room at the Holiday Inn near Interstate 275, a table placed atop a riser is a makeshift altar, and the Rev. C. Allen Kannapell raises a donated bronze chalice.

Without prayer books or hymnals, about 190 people gathered Sunday for a service in the most uncharacteristic of settings, drawn by their faith and their breakaway pastor, who recently was cast out of nearby St. Andrew's Episcopal Church.

On Jan. 7, Kannapell was suspended by the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan and ordered to leave the church on Hubbard, after Kannapell threatened to leave the Episcopal Church.

"We got thrown out, but we were ready to leave," said Kannapell, 36.

Italian Priest Faces Hearing This Week for Asserting Existence of Jesus Christ
Monday, Jan. 23, 2006
Posted: 2:08:25PM EST

A small-town parish priest in Italy will face a legal hearing this week after an atheist man accused him of unlawfully asserting that Jesus Christ existed.

Fr. Enrico Righi and his lawyers will appear in court this Friday because of a September 2002 complaint filed by Luigi Cascioli. Cascioli, a lifelong atheist, filed the complaint after Righi wrote in a parish bulletin that Jesus Christ was a historical figure born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, according to reports.

Cascioli, 74, based his complaint on two Italian laws that he asserts Righi violated: the “abuse of popular belief” – in which someone fraudulently deceives people, and “impersonation” – where someone benefits by assigning a false name to someone, according to AP.

The lifelong atheist says he has no problem with Christians freely professing their faith but wants to "denounce the abuse that the Catholic Church commits by availing itself of its prestige in order to inculcate – as if being real and historical – facts that are really just inventions," AP reported.