Friday, February 15, 2013

Scrolling around...February 15, 2013

Imprisoned Pastor Saeed Abedini: 80 Congressmen Urge John Kerry to Intervene
..."This is a significant bi-partisan effort to secure the freedom of a U.S. citizen who faces incredible torture and life-threatening punishment in one of Iran's most brutal prisons – simply because of his Christian beliefs," said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), in a statement on Thursday.

Syria: two priests abducted on the way to Damascus
Christians in Aleppo are seeking information on the wellbeing of two priests, Father Michel Kayyal (Armenian Catholic) and Father Maher Mahfouz (Greek Orthodox), who were abducted on February 9 by a group of armed rebels on the Aleppo-Damascus road. So far, attempts to open channels and negotiations have failed...

Are ashes to go a Protestant no-no?
This week’s celebration of Ash Wednesday has prompted several stories built around the theme of “ashes to go” — a recent phenomena of liturgical Protestant church ministers — (I’ve seen reports of Methodist, Episcopal and Lutheran clergy involved) imposing ashes on the foreheads of individuals in public places outside of the confines of worship...

Egypt Against Itself: A society on the edge of chaos.
...The economy is hemorrhaging reserves and incapable of securing foreign investment, while Egypt’s currency tumbles to record lows. The international community, captivated two years ago by the revolution, has little confidence that Egypt’s new rulers can make peace between the country’s feuding factions. If the conventional wisdom among Western policymakers holds that Egypt is too big to be allowed to fail, the stark reality is that by many measures it is already failing...

German Church Becomes Mosque
Muslim plans to convert a former Lutheran church in the city of Hamburg into a mosque is generating controversy across Germany.
From Berlin to Dortmund to Mönchengladbach, the gradual proliferation of mosques housed in former churches reflects the rise of Islam as the fastest growing religion in post-Christian Germany. In the most recent case, the church would be the first converted into a mosque in the second-largest city in Germany....

The most painful things I’ve ever borne are betrayals by Christian friends
Here’s how Don Carson recently replied to a question about suffering during a Q and A. (This is a lightly edited transcript from 13:37 to 14:40 in the audio file.)

The Beards of Ministry A field guide for pastoral facial hair...


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