Friday, October 23, 2015

Muslim gangs plunder German churches; Strongest hurricane ever recorded menaces Mexico...more

Muslim gangs plunder German churches
Islamic gangs in Germany have broken into schools and churches and plundered collection boxes, crosses and other valuable and sacred objects used in church services, according to prosecutors.

From the schools, the men stole laptops, money and a cash card, which they used to finance ISIS jihadist fighters seeking to topple the regime of Syrian president Bashur al-Assad, alleged chief prosecutor Nadja Gudermann...

Patricia, strongest hurricane ever recorded, menaces Mexico Patricia-the strongest hurricane ever recorded -- barreled closer and closer Friday morning to Mexico's Pacific coast, where residents have been told to brace for its 200-mph sustained winds and torrential rains.

The Miami-based meteorological center, in its 10 a.m. CT (11 a.m. ET) advisory, warned of a "potentially catastrophic landfall ... in southwestern Mexico" late that afternoon or early evening. While its strength could fluctuate, "Patricia is expected to remain an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane through landfall."...

Episcopal Losses Accelerate
Although you likely didn’t see many headlines, the past two weeks have been significant. Biblically faithful Anglicans are witnessing encouraging developments on the global, provincial and local levels. I’ll outline three of them for you here.

First, there is increasing international recognition and support for the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). The Global South, a grouping of 24 out of 38 provinces in the worldwide Anglican Communion, formally voted to recognize ACNA as a partner province and extended an invitation for ACNA to join the group with both voice and vote.

While ACNA has long had strong support from the leaders of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), the Global South includes additional primates representing provinces like Burundi, the Indian Ocean and the Middle East and North Africa. Separately, the synod of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, Australia passed a motion declaring itself “in communion” with ACNA. These orthodox allies recognize that ACNA is a partner in Gospel mission and has staying power.

Anglicans also have continuing dialogue with ecumenical partners in the Lutheran, Orthodox and messianic Jewish traditions, among others. A formal invitation by the Russian Orthodox Church for a visit by ACNA leaders early this autumn was testament to increasing common ground between the churches.

We can expect all of these developments to have an impact on the primates’ gathering that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has proposed for this coming January. You’ll recall that Welby has also issued an invitation to ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach to participate, a first for the new province.

Secondly, the Episcopal Church recently released its 2014 membership data. The top-line summary continues to be that the Episcopal Church (TEC) maintains an alarming membership and attendance decline unbroken since the early 2000s. Even more alarmingly, Episcopal Church baptisms have dropped by almost half in the last decade, boding poorly for the future...

Krauthammer: "We're Living In An Age Where What You Say And Its Relation With The Facts Is Completely Irrelevant"  "That's They knew it was a terror attack. They got it from Gregory Hicks, who was on the ground in Tripoli who told them that. He had ended up demoted in the State Department for having transgressed against the Secretary. And yet, they go ahead, they put Susan Rice on that weekend. And tell a tale that is completely false. Spontaneous demonstration, out of control, et cetera, of the video. I think that's where the emphasis ought to be."

How Should Christians Respond to the Transgender Phenomenon?  In June, Christianity Today published an article by Mark Yarhouse, a professor of psychology at Regent University in Virginia, on “gender dysphoria.” Gender dysphoria is the APA's current description of the condition whereby someone perceives one's “gender” to be other than one's birth or biological sex. The previous designation in the APA's diagnostic manual (and in my view still preferable) is “gender identity disorder” (GID)...

What is the Earliest Complete List of the Canon of the New Testament? 
In the study of the New Testament canon, scholars like to highlight the first time we see a complete list of 27 books.  Inevitably, the list contained in Athanasius’ famous Festal Letter (c.367) is mentioned as the first time this happened.

As a result, it is often claimed that the New Testament was a late phenomenon.  We didn’t have a New Testament, according to Athanasius, until the end of the fourth century.

But, this sort of reasoning is problematic on a number of levels.  First, we don’t measure the existence of the New Testament just by the existence of lists. When we examine the way certain books were used by the early church fathers, it is evident that there was a functioning canon long before the fourth century.  Indeed, by the second century, there is already a “core” collection of New Testament books functioning as Scripture...


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