Friday, June 12, 2015

From Evangelical Left to Post Evangelical; NYT: The Child Preachers of Brazil...more

 Biologist in TEDx Talk: Life's "Complex Interacting Molecular Machines" Appear "Built by an Engineer"   (Good talk, Darwinians will not be happy, but no mention of a "Creator", only 'alien' technology...)

Even Materialists Crave Religion ...Transhumanist eschatology contains the Christian element of hope, but its believers expect that man—assisted by artificial intelligent machines, no God needed—will invent the means of attaining an immortal new age. In the transhuman New Jerusalem, we would live for thousands of years, perhaps by sharing uploaded consciousnesses in computer software programs or, if we remain physical, by self-designing our capabilities to resemble the characters in the X-Men comic books. Eventually, according to Princeton biologist Lee Silver in his transhumanist manifesto Remaking Eden (get the title?), humans will become immortal “mental beings”...

“They asked everyone who is Muslim or not”: ISIS kidnaps 86 Eritrean refugees in Libya  ...The refugees were reportedly seized as they were traveling by truck to Tripoli in their quest to reach Europe. At least 12 of those taken were women, and a number of children were also apprehended as well. Estefanos reports that ISIS began dividing those aboard the truck by religion, and some lied in order to save their lives...

Stand Firm: Tony Campolo and Unicorns Trotting Over Rainbows

Tony Campolo and David Neff: From Evangelical Left to Post Evangelical? Can Evangelicals who are liberal politically continue to affirm orthodox Christian teaching about marriage and sex?

Likely the tension will increase as two prominent voices, one a longtime social justice activist, the other a former Christianity Today editor, announced their affirmation of same sex couples.

“I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church,” declared a news release from 80 year old Tony Campolo, a longtime popular speaker, Democratic Party activist and sociology professor at Eastern University in Philadelphia.

Quickly responding to Campolo on Facebook was retired Christianity Today editor David Neff, who cheered: “God bless Tony Campolo. He is acting in good faith and is, I think, on the right track.”

Campolo’s stance was hardly surprising to anyone who’s followed his career, often aligned with Sojourners mobilizer Jim Wallis. Less predictable was the announcement from Neff, although he in recent years became more associated politically with the Evangelical Left...

A Day Late, A Dollar Short
Tony Campolo has become the latest evangelical leader to declare for gay marriage. It is perhaps not a surprise: Campolo has been a gadfly in the evangelical world throughout his career and his adoption of this cause is of a piece with many of his other pronouncements over the years. While his move is unlikely to have a great impact on evangelicalism—far more significant will be the coming shifts on the issue by megachurch pastors—his statement is emblematic of the way evangelical attitudes are likely to change.

What is surprising in the statement is the complete absence of any thoughtful argumentation in his articulation of his position. Though he professes to have heard every kind of biblical argument against same-sex marriage, he does not burden the reader with any of these, or why he has found them so lacking. Instead, he prefers to use straw men, false dichotomies, and the rhetoric of social science to present his case...

8 Keys to Personal Prayer
Prayer is first and foremost a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Some people think of prayer as a business transaction or as something they have to do just like checking something off a to-do list. But that isn't really prayer at all. Think of prayer in intimate terms, like a conversation between close friends. What are some words you think of when you think of an intimate friendship? You probably think of words like loving, caring, warm, sincere, personal and intimate. These are words that should be used to describe our prayer time with the Lord. Prayer should not be dry or stuffy; it should be warm and intimate.

Every believer can have a dynamic personal prayer life. The Bible gives us the keys we need to develop a powerful prayer life. The Scriptures are full of examples of men and women who walked with God and used prayer to impact their world, and you can do the same thing through prayer...

NYT: The Child Preachers of Brazil The youngest evangelists in the country’s Pentecostal churches try to balance the demands of their youth with those of their faith...

Bugs swarm memorial service for 'Gosnell babies'
The babies killed by Kermit Gosnell died in an unimaginably evil way: Born live in botched, illegal, late-term abortions, they were murdered by a depraved doctor and his untrained staff who used scissors to snip their spinal cords even as they began to wriggle and cry.

So perhaps it's fitting that a memorial service Wednesday at Laurel Hill Cemetery in East Falls where the so-called Gosnell babies now are buried was accompanied by a plague of locusts. Or rather, a swarm of flying ants.

"It's almost demonic how they all showed up right now, isn't it?" whispered one mourner, pinching one flying ant between his fingers as another alighted on his neck...

When the Insane Are Normal, the Normal Are Insane    The wave of media cheerleading for Bruce Jenner’s splashy debut as Caitlyn Jenner, his new putatively female identity, is one of those moments that has a lot of us of looking around and wondering if the whole world has gone insane.

Obviously, Bruce Jenner is not a woman. But the fact that so many people want us to think this is true, and that they appear to want to believe it themselves, is ominous...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pastor Saeed Abedini 'Viciously Beaten' in Iranian Prison; USAF and transgenders...more

Pastor Saeed Abedini 'Viciously Beaten' in Iranian Prison, Told His Only Way Out Is to Deny Jesus Christ  American pastor Saeed Abedini has reportedly been "viciously beaten" by fellow prisoners in an unprovoked attack in the Iranian prison where he's being held. The pastor was punched in the face, leaving his eyes beaten black and blue, but prison

The American Center for Law and Justice, the law group which represents his wife, Naghmeh Abedini, and the couple's two children in the U.S., said that the prisoners also demolished a small table that the pastor had used to study and read during the beating that he endured last week...

United States Air Force Enters New Era For Transgenders ...Nevertheless, while Russian bombers have substantially increased the number of times they are “buzzing” American airspace and testing our defenses this year (along with those of a number of European nations), the United States Air Force has now developed a winning strategy. Mind you, not a strategy to counteract Russian bomber incursions or for the defeat of ISIS, but rather, our Air Force has now officially eased its discharge policy on transgenders in conjunction with “Gay Pride Month.” Under the leadership of Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, who has long supported “gender confused” airpersons to serve, high-ranking Air Force officials will decide the fate of known transgenders in their ranks, and an objective medical diagnosis will no longer suffice to trigger automatically a service member’s discharge. Senior officers are now free to keep open transgenders in their units, despite the fact that this violates military policy...

“Our Father” or Fairy God Mother?  ...Ultimately, this is an attempt by some in the Church of England to allow human beings to define God as they see fit. This is an inversion of the creation formula itself. God is the potter and we are the clay (Isaiah 64:8), not vice versa (Isaiah 29:16). One can only pray that this initiative to have the liturgy address God in a manner contrary to His will fails to receive the approval of the General Synod. Should they succeed, God’s name will be denigrated and women will be robbed of an image of a loving father.

Calvin and Hobbes Original.png
Calvin And Hobbes embodied the voice of the lonely child ...Calvin didn’t have trouble focusing on the world around him, he had trouble reconciling himself to the fact that the world around him was such a disappointment. The reason the strip appealed to people both young and old is because Calvin was feeling underwhelmed at a college graduate level. It’s not unheard of for children to experience this, particularly those who are more sensitive to their surroundings, and for many it was a relief to know that seeing the world without the luster and facade constantly created for us wasn’t so unusual. Calvin made it okay to be disheartened and disappointed by life and normalized the inherent loneliness that childhood can bring. He was there for us as we grew up and while we learned that things were capable of getting so much better and so much worse as we experienced puberty and beyond, he was still mired in the first grade, raging against the machine...

Albert Mohler: Which Way, Evangelicals? There is Nowhere to Hide

June 10, 2015

That first issue of Christianity Today registered significant concerns about the trajectory of Christianity in America. Secularism was already the prevailing worldview in some elite circles of the culture, and those who founded Christianity Today did so, in large part, to establish a conservative counter-voice to the liberal magazine, the Christian Century.

Christianity Today has exerted a significant influence among American evangelicals since that first issue was published. But, as University of California at Berkeley historian David Hollinger has noted, “the fact remains that the public life of the United States moved farther in the directions advocated in 1960 by the Christian Century than in the directions then advocated by Christianity Today.”
If anything, that is an understatement.

Suffice it to say that the founders of Christianity Today did not have the legalization of same-sex marriage on their radar. They did not even have a vocabulary that would define it.

Tony Campolo’s announcement this week that he is “finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church” hardly registered as a thunderclap. Campolo, long proudly identified with the evangelical Left, acknowledged in his statement that his previous answer to the question “has always been somewhat ambiguous.” Nevertheless, Campolo’s direction was clear. His wife and the organization he leads have both called for the legalization of same-sex marriage, and Campolo’s announcement came as no surprise to anyone who had followed his statements in recent years.   the rest
In this season of testing, Christians committed to the gospel of Christ are called upon to muster the greatest display of compassion and conviction of our lives. But true compassion will never lead to an abandonment of biblical authority or a redefinition of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A.S. Haley: Bishop Iker and His Diocese Win All Saints Fort Worth Case

June 10, 2015

News has just been received that Bishop Iker and his Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth are the victors in the separately-tried lawsuit to determine the ownership of the grounds and property of All Saints, Fort Worth.

Judge John Chupp of the Tarrant County District Court had severed off the All Saints case, because its facts were more dependent on documents and circumstances that were not shared with all the other parishes in dispute. As I wrote in an earlier post:
My understanding is that Bishop Iker’s diocesan corporation does hold title to the two parcels of real property on which the church and the main accessory buildings of All Saints are situated. However, the parish in the intervening years acquired several parcels of nearby property to make more room. Of these, three are held simply in the name of the parish itself, while one (used for a curate’s home) was acquired in the name of the parish corporation, despite the provisions of Canon 31 linked above. (The church also uses another parcel about 7 miles away for “All Saints School.” The school is run as a separate corporation, and its ownership of the property is not at issue in the lawsuit.)
The case ended up being resolved on a motion for summary judgment, instead of being tried to a jury. (Both sides filed motions, which meant that they agreed there were no disputed facts to be tried.) Bishop Iker’s motion and supporting papers are here; the opposition papers do not appear to be online, and the reply papers are here. At the hearing on the motion held today before Judge Chupp, he granted judgment to Bishop Iker and his Diocese... the rest

Anglican Unscripted Episode 184

June 10, 2015

Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Each Episode Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe. Please Donate -

Monday, June 08, 2015

The Fallen of World War II

The Fallen of World War II from Neil Halloran on Vimeo.

An animated data-driven documentary about war and peace, The Fallen of World War II looks at the human cost of the second World War and sizes up the numbers to other wars in history, including trends in recent conflicts.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

A.S. Haley: Making a Mishmash of Marriage.......Part III

June 4, 2015

In Part I of this series, I showed that the attempt by General Convention in 2012 to authorize, sub rosa, same-sex marriages without bothering first to change the canons or the Book of Common Prayer led to widespread disciplinary violations by clergy in those States that recognized those unions.

In Part II, I outlined the inadequacies of two current proposals to cure the canonical dilemma: Resolutions 2015-A036 and 2015-A054. Taken together as offered, they would eliminate the traditional equation of marriage to Holy Matrimony as celebrated in the BCP, and render the concept of “marriage” virtually meaningless—the proposed rites for same-gender marriage run the gamut from invoking blessings, to becoming “bound to one another”, to being “married according to the laws of the State of X.”, to being “wed to one another,” to being “ever hereafter United in Matrimony” [sic]. Nothing could better indicate the inability of this generation to perceive its roots than this smorgasbord of two-person hookups offered to all and sundry.

This is what comes of acting first and thinking later. “We can, and should, do same-sex marriages NOW—let’s worry about justifying it down the road.” (This impetus appears to have been behind the unquestioning adaptation [see below] of the BCP liturgy for Holy Matrimony to same-gender marriages. According to the Supplemental Materials of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, “a number of respondents expressed frustration or confusion that the [original draft] liturgy appeared to be a ‘separate but equal’ rite, which therefore was not equivalent to marriage” (p. 5 at the link; italics added).... the rest