Thursday, January 31, 2008

Modern Christianity is crucially weak at three vital points. The first is its compromised, deficient understanding of revelation. Without Biblical historicity and veracity behind the Word of God, theology can only grow closer to Hinduism. Second, the modern Christian is drastically weak in an unmediated, personal experiential knowledge of God. Often, what passes for religious experience is a communal emotion felt in church services, in meetings, in singing or contrived fellowship. Few Christians would know God on their own. Third, the modern church is often pathetically feeble in the expression of its focal principle of community. It has become an adult social club, preaching shop, or minister-dominated group. With these weaknesses, modern Christianity cannot hope to understand why people have turned to the East, let alone stand against the trend and offer an alternative. ...Os Guinness image

Church Times: UK Evangelicals ask conservative Primates to rethink
by a staff reporter

1 February, 2008

A GROUP of Evangelical bishops in the Church of England have written to conservative Primates urging them to rethink their objections to the Lambeth Conference.

The group, seven diocesan bishops and 13 suffragans, wrote to the Primates of Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Southern Cone of America that they “long to share with you in fellowship and in celebration at Lambeth”. To stay away, they suggest, “would inevitably split apart those who share an equally high regard for scriptures [sic] and for the historic faith of the Church”.
the rest

TLC: English Bishops Urge Primates to Attend Lambeth Conference

Outrage in New Hampshire: Lawmakers Consider Measure Endangering Minors and Trampling Parental Rights
By Denise Burke January 30, 2008

New legislation under consideration in New Hampshire would require guidance counselors or healthcare providers to counsel teenage girls before they undergo an abortion, but effectively denies parents or guardians the right to be consulted and involved in this major medical decision.

In 2007, New Hampshire lawmakers repealed the state’s parental notification statute that required an abortion provider to notify a girl’s parent or guardian when she requested an abortion. However, several lawmakers are currently attempting to revive the requirement.
the rest

Hindu chants invocation in Colorado Senate
Now lawmaker suggests 'om' opens door for prayers 'in Jesus name'
January 31, 2008
By Bob Unruh
© 2008

A Nevada Hindu who has opened the U.S. Senate with a faith-specific chant now has provided the invocation to open the state senate in Colorado, and a senator is suggesting since "om" has been cited, perhaps prayers "in Jesus name" again should be allowed.

The comments came after Rajan Zed, a Hindu from Reno who is making a series of appearances at state legislatures to promote Hinduism, was allowed to open the Colorado Senate, under the leadership of Senate President Peter Groff, with a Hindu chant of the "om" syllable that, according to his belief system, contains the universe.
the rest

GAFCON Press Conference
30th January 2007

The Primate of Nigeria, the Most Reverend Peter Akinola, gave a press conference in Lagos, Nigeria on January 30 announcing the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in the Holy Land. The occasion was a gathering of the GAFCON Theology Resource Team.

Statement and Interview

Christian Photographer Hauled before Commission for Refusing Same-Sex Job
By John Jalsevac
New Mexico, January 30, 2008

( - The case of a Christian photographer who refused to photograph a same-sex "commitment ceremony", was heard before the New Mexico Human Rights Division on Monday.

A same-sex couple asked Elaine Huguenin, co-owner with her husband of Elane Photography, to photograph a "commitment ceremony" that the two women wanted to hold. Huguenin declined because her Christian beliefs are in conflict with the message communicated by the ceremony.
the rest

Tainted Drugs Tied to Maker of Abortion Pill
January 31, 2008

BEIJING — A huge state-owned Chinese pharmaceutical company that exports to dozens of countries, including the United States, is at the center of a nationwide drug scandal after nearly 200 Chinese cancer patients were paralyzed or otherwise harmed last summer by contaminated leukemia drugs.

Chinese drug regulators have accused the manufacturer of the tainted drugs of a cover-up and have closed the factory that produced them. In December, China’s Food and Drug Administration said that the Shanghai police had begun a criminal investigation and that two officials, including the head of the plant, had been detained.

The drug maker, Shanghai Hualian, is the sole supplier to the United States of the abortion pill, mifepristone, known as
RU-486. It is made at a factory different from the one that produced the tainted cancer drugs, about an hour’s drive away. the rest

Anglican Covenant Design Group meets in London
by Jennifer Gold
Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Anglican Covenant Design Group is in London this week to review responses to the draft Covenant and fashion steps towards a final document.

The Covenant was first proposed in the 2004 Windsor Report as a means of rebuilding trust and cooperation between the churches in the Anglican Communion after relations became strained over a number of contentious issues, most notably homosexuality.

The 70 million-strong Anglican Communion has been in consultation on the draft Covenant since it was presented by the Covenant Design Group at the Primates Meeting at Dar es Salaam in February 2007.
the rest

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The blessed Lord condensed it all into one single message of eternal comfort spoken to the disciples on the Sea of Galilee: "It is I, be not afraid."

He is the antidote to fear; He is the remedy for trouble; He is the substance and the sum of deliverance. We should, therefore, rise above fear. Let us keep our eyes fastened upon Him; let us abide continually in Him; let us be content with Him. Let us cling closely to Him and cry, "Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea". (Psalm 46:2) ...AB Simpson

Rare snowstorm hits the Middle East
By IAN DEITCH, Associated Press Writer
Wed Jan 30, 2008

JERUSALEM - A rare snowstorm swept the Middle East on Wednesday, blanketing parts of the Holy Land in white, shutting schools and sending excited children into the streets for snowball fights.

The weather in Jerusalem topped local newscasts, eclipsing a government report on Israel's 2006 war in Lebanon.

Men in long Arab robes pelted each other with snowballs in the Jordanian capital, Amman, and the West Bank city of Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian government, came to a standstill.
the rest

TLC: PB Recognizes Remaining San Joaquin Episcopalians
January 30, 2008

During videotaped remarks shown Jan. 26 at the Church of the Saviour in Hanford, Calif., Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori recognized Episcopalians gathered there as the legitimate members of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. Bishop Jefferts Schori also announced that she had written to the eight standing committee members informing them that she did not “recognize” them as the standing committee of the diocese.

“I understand that these have included voting to amend the diocese’s constitution and canons and attempting to organize as the standing committee of an entity that identifies itself as an Anglican diocese of the Province of the Southern Cone,” Bishop Jefferts Schori wrote. “These actions directly conflict with the constitution and canons of The Episcopal Church,” she added, citing as justification for her action Canon 1.17.8, which requires those holding office in The Episcopal Church to “perform the duties of that office in accordance with the constitution and canons of this church and of the diocese in which the office is being exercised.” The canons are silent as to who determines whether or not an individual has “well and faithfully” performed the duties of office and since in the case of a standing committee it calls into question the fiduciary responsibilities of individuals charged with oversight of a non-profit corporation, it may be necessary to obtain a court order before the six can be “officially” decertified.
the rest

Abortionist Inflicts Demonic Psycho-terror on
Pro-life Protestors in Vienna
By Peter J. Smith
VIENNA, January 25, 2008

( - Austrian pro-life demonstrators outside the clinic of Austria's most notorious abortionist, Dr. Christian Fiala, are now enduring his latest infliction of demonic psychological terror from paid clinic escorts, who have in the past abused and assaulted both physically and sexually the praying peaceful protestors.

Video footage from Gloria TV shows Fiala's goons trying to intimidate the demonstrators outside his clinic with an intense form of psychoterror and hatred aping the demonic. The video records the clinic escorts swaying side to side, contorting their faces into snarls, howling like wolves, grunting heavily, uttering screams and wailing moans, chanting fiercely, breaking into hyena-like laughs and heaping other such psychological abuse in an unnatural manner for human beings.


the rest

Christians 'fleeing from Iraq'
Wednesday, 30th January 2008
By: Nick Mackenzie

CHRISTIANS are on the verge of being wiped out from Iraq, and from ‘the entire region where Jesus Christ lived and worked,’ an Archbishop has warned.

The startling claim came from Archbishop Avak V Asadourian, a leader in the Armenian Church in Iraq. Speaking to Ecumenical News International, the church leader said that Christians are fleeing the country and now make up less than three per cent of the country’s 27.5 million population.He said of Iraqi Christians: "They are faced each day with being kidnapped or facing the agony of having a loved one who is kidnapped."
the rest

What some biblical scenes might have looked like from a Google Earth satellite
(h/t Touchstone)


Oxford clergyman attacks Muslim plans for calls to prayer
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
January 30, 2008

The clergyman who runs one of Oxford’s largest and most successful churches has attacked Muslim plans to begin calls to prayer from the city’s Central Mosque.

The Rev Charlie Cleverley, Rector of St Aldate’s, a thriving charismatic evangelical church in the heart of Oxford, claims non-Muslim residents will be driven away by the thrice-daily calls to prayer over the eastern part of the city.

In coming out against the proposals, Mr Cleverley, who previously worked at a church in a Muslim area of Paris, is going against the views of his own bishop.

The Bishop of Oxford, the Right Rev John Pritchard, has backed the plans, to be submitted to the city council by leaders of the mosque later this year.
the rest

CANA Grows Pulling in Archbishops and Bishops to Priestly Ranks Leader Confident in Virginia Lawsuits.
"We are moving forward"
By David W. Virtue

The leader of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a Nigerian church plant of orthodox Anglicanism in the US says his church is growing with some 60 parishes (20 more in the pipeline), 120 plus clergy, and some 8,000 in attendance all in two years, making it one of the fastest growing body of orthodox Anglicans in North America. In an interview with the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns at the Anglican Mission in the Americas Winter Conference in Dallas, David W. Virtue talked with Bishop Minns about the present state of Anglicanism in North America and CANA.

Interview at Virtueonline

US Envoy Calls Kenya Violence 'Ethnic Cleansing,' Not Genocide
By VOA News
30 January 2008

A senior U.S. diplomat says "ethnic cleansing" is underway in Kenya's Rift Valley in the aftermath of last month's disputed presidential election, but she says the violence does not rise to the level of genocide.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer told reporters Wednesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that the aim of the violence in the Rift Valley is to push certain people out of the region.

Frazer said the United States is reviewing its aid to Kenya in light of the political turmoil there.
the rest

Added: Kenyan pastors tell of surviving the violence

Letter shows rift among Episcopal conservatives
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
By Steve Levin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In the first public sign of disagreement among theologically conservative clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh over the leadership of Bishop Robert W. Duncan Jr., 12 such rectors and priests told him this week they disapprove of his effort to remove the diocese from the Episcopal Church and will, instead, remain with the denomination.

The 12, including the president of the diocese's clergy association and its longest-tenured rector, mailed a signed, one-paragraph letter yesterday to the diocese's 66 churches saying that while they supported the "reformation of the Episcopal Church ... we have determined to remain within, and not realign out of" it.
the rest

TLC: Bishop Howe: Church Litigation a Travesty
January 29, 2008

The Diocese of Central Florida is “poised for a new round of significant growth,” after three months of tense negotiations with clergy and lay leadership from nine congregations seeking to leave The Episcopal Church, according to Bishop John W. Howe.

At the conclusion of the diocesan convention Jan. 25-26 at St. James’ Church, Ormond Beach, Bishop Howe told a reporter for The Living Church that though exhausted, he was pleased with the negotiations.

“We are on the best of terms with all those leaving,” he said. “And we are committed to rebuilding where there have been losses.”

In his address to convention, Bishop Howe said the last three months had been the worst period of his life. However, amicable solutions had been reached with the members of the eight congregations who sought to withdraw from the diocese.
the rest

McCain wins in Florida with seniors, Hispanics, moderates
January 29, 2008

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Drawing heavily on votes from senior citizens, Hispanics and moderates, Arizona Sen. John McCain won Tuesday in Florida, the biggest prize thus far in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

But exit polling by CNN suggests that McCain scored points in areas he wasn't expected to. He outpaced chief rival Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who campaigned as a successful businessman, among voters who cited the economy as their chief concern.
the rest

WSJ: Judging John McCain

Ruth Gledhill Reports from England for AnglicanTV
January 29, 2008

Ruth Gledhill has graciously volunteered to be an AnglicanTV Correspondent in Britain. After the Lambeth press conference last week Ruth recorded a couple interviews and gave us some important insight into the press conference.

Here is her first interview with Simon Sarmiento of

The video is great -- but Ruth and I need to work a little on the sound and uploading it to the AnglicanTV servers. My apologies to both Ruth and you for not being able to post this sooner.


New Blog!

Check out the new blog called Anglican Revivalist by Robert S. Munday, Dean of Nashotah House.

The focus is on revival, evangelism & missions. Dean Munday talks about it

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision." 1 Samuel 3:15

God never speaks to us in startling ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand, and we say, "I wonder if that is God's voice?" Isaiah said that the Lord spake to him "with a strong hand," that is, by the pressure of circumstances. Nothing touches our lives but it is God Himself speaking. Do we discern His hand or only mere occurrence?

Get into the habit of saying, "Speak, Lord," and life will become a romance. Every time circumstances press, say, "Speak, Lord"; make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline, it is meant to get me to the place of saying, "Speak, Lord." Recall the time when God did speak to you. Have you forgotten what He said? Was it
Luke 11:13, or was it 1 Thess. 5:23;? As we listen, our ear gets acute, and, like Jesus, we shall hear God all the time.

Shall I tell my "Eli" what God has shown to me? That is where the dilemma of obedience comes in. We disobey God by becoming amateur providences - I must shield "Eli," the best people we know. God did not tell Samuel to tell Eli; he had to decide that for himself. God's call to you may hurt your "Eli;" but if you try to prevent the suffering in another life, it will prove an obstruction between your soul and God. It is at your own peril that you prevent the cutting off of the right hand or the plucking out of the eye.

Never ask the advice of another about anything God makes you decide before Him. If you ask advice, you will nearly always side with Satan. "Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood."
...Oswald Chambers

I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". ... C. S. Lewis image

DOSC 2008: Bishop-Elect Mark Lawrence
Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Bishop Salmon's Final Address
Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Benedict XVI's Lenten Address:
"Almsgiving, According to the Gospel, Is Not Mere Philanthropy"

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 29, 2008 ( Here is the text of Benedict XVI's message for Lent, dated Oct. 30 and released today by the Vatican.

Ash Wednesday is Feb. 6.

Text image

Young evangelicals could be key in GOP race
Mark I. Pinsky Sentinel Staff Writer
January 26, 2008

Lauren McLaughlin and Jeremiah Shaw spent Friday morning supporting efforts to sign up new voters through a Christian program called "Redeem the Vote."

They're members of Northland, A Church Distributed, and committed evangelical Christians. But like many other Central Florida evangelicals, they haven't figured out how they'll vote in Tuesday's presidential primary.

McLaughlin, 19, a student at the University of Central Florida, said Friday that she was "still researching. The compassion issues and global policy are most important to me."
the rest

The World's First Pro-Life Film Festival
Cinema Vita means "Films for Life"

January 11, 2008

Film festivals are more popular than ever. A
Google search for the term "film festival", for example, produces 23 million links. Some festivals specialize in a particular theme or genre (horror movies or documentaries), while many cater to independent films, some of which reflect certain cultural or ideological viewpoints. For young filmmakers, festivals can be valuable avenues for presenting their work to a wider audience and gaining financial backing, as well as the attention of critics. And well-known festivals such as Cannes (France), Sundance (United States), and Raindance (England) have a tremendous influence on the movie industry, especially in shaping critical expectations.

But what about a pro-life film festival? Has one ever been held? It doesn't appear that such a festival has ever existed—until now, with the first annual
Cinema Vita Film Festival, to be held on March 7, 2008, in San Francisco. the rest

The PB Looks a Gift Horse in the Mouth

... and then declines the offer.The San Joaquin drama took another turn yesterday--one that I have to say caught me by surprise, and very little surprises me anymore.

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of San Joaquin (whatever that may be--we'll just leave it alone for the moment) has accomplished a noteworthy feat. Six of the eight elected members have been "de-acknowledged" by not just one, but two Primates of the Anglican Communion. How did they manage such an accomplishment?
the rest
(h/t Anglicans Ablaze)

"Liberal theology without the gospel has the smell of death rather than of life" -- J.I. Packer

In a wide-ranging interview, the Canadian Anglican theologian J.I. Packer talked with David W. Virtue about the state of the Anglican Communion at the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) Winter Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Interview at Virtueonline

TLC: Bishop Chane ‘Sick of Reports of Decline’
January 29, 2008

The Episcopal Church can be viewed as one large community that is well positioned to compete with non-denominational megachurches, said Bishop John Bryson Chane of Washington during his address to the convention of the Diocese of Washington Jan. 26 at Washington National Cathedral.

“I am so sick and tired of reading reports about the statistical decline of The Episcopal Church that I no longer read them,” Bishop Chane said. “You can do anything you want with statistics.” He said that when he visits parishes around the diocese someone will sometimes say, “Bishop, we just can’t compete with the non-denominational megachurches that seem to be surrounding us on every side.” While he said at first glance this may seem to be true – since megachurches have jammed parking lots “like huge hockey rinks … often with local police directing traffic,” Bishop Chane urged convention goers to look beyond the crowded parking lots and concentrate on the bigger picture.
the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury calls for new law to punish 'thoughtless or cruel' words
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
January 29, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has called for new laws to protect religious sensibilities that would punish “thoughtless and cruel” styles of speaking.

Dr Williams, who has seen his own Anglican Communion riven by fierce invective over homosexuality, said the current blasphemy law was “unworkable” and he had no objection to its repeal.

But whatever replaces it should “send a signal” about what was acceptable.
This should be done by “stigmatising and punishing extreme behaviours” that have the effect of silencing argument.
the rest

City Pastors Switch Pulpits for Solitude, Renewal
By Katherine T. Phan
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Jan. 29 2008

MT. BETHEL, Pa. – When city folk want a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city and the laundry list of demands from daily life they come to the quiet hills of Pennsylvania. For
New York pastors, finding renewal is also as simple as going back to the basics.

"Silence and solitude are the two most difficult spiritual disciplines in the West," Pete Scazerro, author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, told a crowd of 300 New York church leaders who kicked off their annual prayer retreat at Mt. Bethel, Pa., on Monday.

As a pastor himself, Scazerro said there were times he was so busy fulfilling the demands of his position that it was hard for him to find time alone with God. He could be preparing a sermon for hours and still not think about God, he said to acknowledging grunts and chuckles.

the rest

Babies feel pain before 24 week abortion limit
28 January 2008

Unborn babies can experience pain before the upper age limit for abortion, a world expert in foetal pain will tell MPs.

Professor Sunny Anand, from the University of Arkansas, will address MPs at a discussion group on abortion on Monday, 28 January 2008.

The meeting has been organised ahead of expected attempts to change the law on abortion when the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill comes before the Commons.
the rest

Robot scribe copies the Bible as a performance art event
Mon, Jan 28, 2008

Karlsruhe (Germany), Jan 28 (DPA) After seven months of writing day and night, a robot in Germany clutching a fountain pen has completed a 'manuscript' Bible in cursive handwriting.

The exercise was a piece of performance art by the Centre for Art and Media in the German city of Karlsruhe, which uses state funds to explore new art ideas.

The machine, dubbed 'Bios (Bible)', began copying the Bible in June onto a 900-metre-long roll of paper, with its arm forming each letter with the pen after all 66 books of scripture had been loaded into its memory. the rest

Sentamu stands the Pope a beer
Riazat Butt
Tuesday January 29, 2008
The Guardian

When meeting the Pope it is customary to offer him a gift, and Benedict XVI has amassed many tokens of esteem. Tony Blair gave him a painting of the Catholic convert Cardinal Newman and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah presented him with a jewelled scimitar.

When the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, met the pontiff he gave him the Holy Grail, a beer brewed in Masham, North Yorkshire.

It was the highlight of the archbishop's first trip to Rome to celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and to cement cordial relations between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.
the rest

Trinity Episcopal Church's proposed break from the national church has divided Vero Beach congregation
By Elliott Jones
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

VERO BEACH — Opponents of Trinity Episcopal Church's proposed break from the Episcopal Church turned down the church leadership's latest offer: $1.3 million for a new church, representatives said Monday.

Last week, opposition from a minority of the church's membership prompted the Central Florida Diocese to withdraw an earlier proposal that included letting the majority keep the existing church property. However opponents would have gotten an historic chapel next to the main sanctuary, church and diocese officials said.
the rest

Monday, January 28, 2008

Australia: Agreement will be signed by local Anglican and Roman Catholic heads
Christian Today Australia
Tuesday, 29 January 2008

In a sign of warming relationship between the Anglicans and the Catholics in NSW, a formal covenant will be signed between them with the Anglican Archbishop of Newcastle, Dr Brian Farran, saying it was an indication of the common value they shared together and a step towards ‘healing’ the differences.

This covenant, the second time it was agreed upon in Australia, would be signed by three regional heads of the two largest Christian denominations, spanning areas around Newcastle. A Fairfax newspaper reported the agreement will entail holding an annual ecumenical service of worship, an annual joint clergy day, annual exchange of pulpits and examining the possibilities of sharing church planting. the rest

Polling station at Mass. Catholic church won’t cover crucifix
West Boylston, MA
Jan 28, 2008

(CNA)- A Catholic church to be used as a polling site for the Massachusetts presidential primary will not have to cover up or remove its crucifixes or other religious images, countering an earlier decision that could have required such action, the Telegram and Gazette reports.

Our Lady of Good Counsel was chosen as a primary polling site after a municipal building was condemned because of structural problems. “The church provided a safe and reasonable alternative to the voters of West Boylston, and we thank them for stepping up and assisting the town in our hour of need,” town administrator Leon A. Gaumond said, according to the Telegram and Gazette. the rest

Albert Mohler: Old and Alone?
Monday, January 28, 2008

For many years now, Elizabeth Marquardt has been producing some of the most compelling research on the children of divorce. As her research makes clear, the children of divorce leave no doubt about the negative -- indeed devastating -- effects of divorce among their parents.

Now, Marquardt has turned the research tables, so to speak, looking at what happens when divorced parents age -- a significant demographic trend in a world of aging baby boomers.

In "
The New Alone," published by The Washington Post, Marquardt reports on the research she has been conducting with Norval Glenn, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin. As Marquardt and Glenn report, divorce often leads to permanent changes in the relationship between children and parents. As they summarize, "the divorce itself has a lot to do with how parents and children get along." the rest

Homosexuals Squelch Facts About MRSA Outbreak, Conservatives Say
By Pete Winn Senior Staff Writer
January 28, 2008

( - Conservative groups say the truth about a new "multi-drug resistant microbe" prevalent among homosexual men is not being presented to the public because of political correctness.

Almost two weeks ago, researchers announced they have isolated a new form of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an infection that is spreading through San Francisco's homosexual community and could spread to the general community.
the rest

Al Gore backs homosexual 'marriage'
Jim Brown - 1/28/2008

Al Gore, the most recent Democratic vice president of the United States, has announced his support for same-sex "marriage," saying the legalization of such unions does not threaten heterosexuals. Conservative activist Peter LaBarbera says it was only a matter of time before Gore openly offered up such an endorsement.

Gore has joined New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and other leading Democrats in calling for the legalization of homosexual marriage. Commenting in a video featured on his Current TV network, the former Democratic member of Congress and nominee for president says it is wrong for the government to "discriminate" against individuals because of their sexual orientation.
the rest

Rick Warren: Mainline Church Problems Need Evangelical Solution
Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Jan. 28 2008

WASHINGTON – Megachurch pastor Rick Warren suggested Sunday that mainline churches need to reconcile with evangelicals to counter its mounting problem of membership decline.

“The reconciliation is that in a pluralistic world…we (Christians) need to be on the same team because we share the same savior,” Warren contended Sunday, as he spoke with the dean of the Washington National Cathedral, Samuel T. Lloyd III, who observed that evangelical churches are thriving and full of vitality, while most mainline denominations are confronting worrisome membership decline.

During the Cathedral’s weekly Sunday Forum: Critical Issues in the Light of Faith, Lloyd asked Warren how mainlines should tackle the problem.

“100 years ago the phrase ‘social gospel’ first came out,” Warren responded. “Some people took that to mean only if we reform the social government and society and not personal faith in Christ Jesus – that is, if we make the world a better place – we don’t need personal redemption.”

That idea led to mainline churches going “one way” and evangelical churches another way, he said.
the rest

More are grasping abortion’s emotional wounds
By Gayle Atteberry
January 27, 2008

“I believe we can all recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic choice to many, many women. ... This decision is a profound and complicated one; a difficult one, often the most difficult that a woman will ever have to make.”

These are the words of Sen. Hillary Clinton, spoken to the New York State Family Planning Providers on Jan. 24, 2005. Similar words have been spoken by many politicians and activists to support and protect abortion.

It is difficult to process the contradictions of those who defend abortion. In one breath they say abortion is not about the life or death of a baby; it is simply a woman’s choice. They say pregnancy is just excess cells — “products of conception” — that can be legally discarded. Yet in the next breath they make statements like Senator Clinton’s.

So it must be asked, why is abortion sad? Why is it tragic? Why is it profound and complicated? Why is it often the most difficult decision a woman will ever have to make, if it is indeed only excess cells within the womb?
the rest image

Lawmakers consider mandatory counseling for teens before abortion

Archbishop Christodoulos dies at 69
ATHENS, Greece
Jan 28, 2008

Greece's Orthodox Church leader, Archbishop Christodoulos, who eased centuries of tension with the Vatican but angered liberal critics who viewed him as an attention-seeking reactionary, died Monday at his home of cancer, church officials said. He was 69.

In this file picture from 1998, Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens, leader of the Greek Orthodox Church, prepares to give his enthronement address in Athens' main cathedral. Photo: AP
Regularly named Greece's most popular public figure in opinion polls, Christodoulos headed the church, with 250 million faithful, for a decade and reached out to opponents during his illness.
the rest

Gordon B. Hinckley, 97; led Mormons' rapid growth
The president-prophet moved the church closer to the religious mainstream, offering a media-friendly face.

By William Lobdell, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
January 28, 2008

Gordon B. Hinckley, the elderly but indefatigable Mormon leader who guided the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into the 21st century by building more temples, traveling more miles and moving Mormonism closer to the religious mainstream than any of his predecessors, died Sunday. He was 97.
the rest

Commentary: The Continuing Drama in the Episcopal Church Visits the Diocese of Pittsburgh
By Randy Sly
Catholic Online (

In an attempt to rid the Episcopal Church of one of the strongest orthodox voices, the Presiding Bishop charged the Right Reverend Robert Duncan with abandoning the communion. Who will be next? What will this mean for the future of orthodox Anglicans? Where will this drama take them?

WASHINGTON (Catholic Online) – Robert William Duncan will celebrate his sixtieth birthday on July fifth this year as well as his eleventh anniversary as a bishop in September. Little did he know in 1997, when he promised to uphold the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the church that his vows would be brought into question in a little more than a decade.

For those who hold to an orthodox Anglican perspective, Duncan has gone above and beyond the call of duty defending the church in both word and deed. Unfortunately, for Bishop Duncan and others, the church has morphed in all three areas.
the rest

Spreading the word in China

BEIJING, Jan. 28 -- Chen Yixian is like any other 23-year-old university student and enjoys South Korean and Japanese TV dramas, fashion and stuffed toys. She was raised as an atheist but later became the first Christian in her family. Today, she wants to be a pastor.

Although they do not believe in God, Chen's parents respect their only daughter's faith. They think the church environment is a good influence on her. They worry about the competitiveness of life today and see church as a haven.

Christianity is on the rise in China, and the number of Christians has rocketed to more than 16 million from 700,000 in 1949, statistics show.
the rest

Bishops make moves on Episcopal chessboard
by John Dart

In a scenario that may be performed repeatedly in months ahead, the Episcopal Church has declared that two bishops have "abandoned the communion of the church"—John-David Schofield, whose diocese in California has completed its voting to leave the denomination, and Robert Duncan of the Pittsburgh diocese, who has been the leader among dissident bishops aiming to form a competing, traditionalist church body.

But by mid-January, it became clear that Schofield had his right to conduct Episcopal ecclesial functions revoked, or "inhibited," whereas that prohibition was not applied to Duncan, leader of the conservative Common Cause Partnership, whose status will not be decided until September.

Duncan and his allies, who contend that Episcopal Church leadership has unacceptably installed a gay, partnered bishop and allowed same-sex union blessings, welcomed the news, saying that the move by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to depose Duncan had failed.
the rest

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A loving Personality dominates the Bible, walking among the trees of the garden and breathing fragrance over every scene. Always a living Person is present, speaking, pleading, loving, working, and manifesting himself whenever and wherever his people have the receptivity necessary to receive the manifestation. ... A. W. Tozer image

Stand Firm: Presiding Bishop “Removes” the San Joaquin Standing Committee

Mrs. Hughes

Mere Comments: Leviathans Make Nice Pets, Don't They?
Posted by Anthony Esolen
January 24, 2008

From Romano Guardini, Power and Responsibility (1956):

We cannot escape the impression that nature as well as man himself is becoming ever more vulnerable to the domination -- economic, technical, political, organizational -- of power. Ever more distinctly our condition reveals itself as one in which man progressively controls nature, yes; but also men; the state controls its citizens; and an autonomous technical-economic-political system holds all life in thrall. This growing defenselessness against the inroads of power is furthered by the fact that ethical norms have lost much of their influence, hence their ability to curb abuses of power is weakened . . .

Father Guardini, despite the Italian name, was a German philosopher, and sometimes writes like one. But he has that rare combination of farsightedness, both backward and forward, and attention to the particulars of the day. And in his day, the particulars were terrible enough. Guardini always writes under the burden of the evil that his native land vomited forth upon the earth, made manifest in that strutting artist named Adolf, but not slain with Adolf in the bunker in Berlin. He sees, too, that Nazism was but one manifestation of the modern age gone deranged. Nazism died, but the will to power did not. Guardini argues that the whole of modernity, from the late Renaissance to the bombing of Hiroshima, can be characterized by the naive trust in power -- with the magnificent achievements in the natural sciences that we all know of, and the destruction of cultural variety and community that we also know of, but do not want to think about.

the rest-h/t Titusonenine image

TitusOneNine: Resolution Passed by South Carolina Diocesan Convention Today
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Resolution: Be it resolved that the 217th Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina dissociates itself from the affiliation of The Episcopal Church (TEC) with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC).


On the 12th of January 2006, the Executive Committee of The Episcopal Church voted to formalize the relationship between The Episcopal Church and the RCRC, a registered political lobby, which advocates for unlimited abortion rights in the political realm. The literature and website of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice reveal that it advocates positions specifically at odds with those of the Episcopal Church as expressed by a resolution of the 1994 General Convention declaring that, “As Christians, we believe strongly that if [the right to abortion] is exercised, it should be used only in extreme situations. We emphatically oppose abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience.” Further on this the final day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, it must be noted that this affiliation represents yet another divergence from the normative moral teaching of Catholic Christianity.

TLC: Virginia Bishop: Conflict a Religious Liberty Issue
January 25, 2008

The Rt. Rev. Peter Lee, Bishop of Virginia, told members and guests attending the first day of the diocese’s annual council in Reston that the current “shadow” of litigation over the diocese is worth the expense because of the cause’s “serious consequences for religious liberty.

“If the attorney general’s view of the law prevails, it will mean that the Commonwealth of Virginia gives preference to churches with congregational governance, discriminates against churches that are hierarchical or connectional in their governance, and intrudes into the doctrine and discipline of communities of faith,” Bishop Lee said in his Jan. 25 address.
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100 Anglican clergy renew vows;

Saturday, January 26, 2008

In a united show of support, about 100 Anglican clergy with the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador reaffirmed their allegiance to the church Monday in the wake of a rift over same-sex unions that led to the departure of their previous bishop. One by one, retired and current clergy signed declarations renewing their licences a move the diocese has not taken in at least two decades.

Rev. Cyrus Pitman, the diocese's current bishop, said he called on the clergy to attend the mandatory meeting to offer them a sense of renewal after his predecessor, Donald Harvey, left the Church in protest.

"Today, my friends, is a fresh start,'' Pitman said in his sermon at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. "It's not a power grab as has been suggested by some.
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Australia: Churches unite in leap of faith
Michael Blaxland and Sarah Price
January 27, 2008

THE Anglican and Catholic churches are about to embark on a joint venture - a first for NSW.

Three regional heads of the two denominations will sign a covenant of co-operation in Newcastle on April 2.

Although co-operation exists on parish levels in some areas, it will be only the second time in Australia that Catholic and Anglican dioceses have agreed to a formal covenant.

Anglican Bishop of Newcastle Dr Brian Farran said that although there were issues dividing Christian churches, the covenant was an indication of what they had in common and a commitment to heal differences.

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New Anglican American bishop to visit Christ Church Sunday
Jennifer Edwards
Midland Reporter-Telegram

The new Anglican bishop for protesting Episcopal churches, including Christ Church Midland, will pay a visit and lead worship Sunday.

On Sept. 2, Anglican Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of Uganda consecrated the Rev. John Guernsey as bishop over all American Anglican congregations currently under the protection of the Uganda's Anglican Church.

Though he visited the area before his consecration, it will be the first time he's visited Christ Church Midland, he said. While here, he'll also visit Good Shepherd Church in San Angelo and an emerging group in Lubbock.
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Live Stream of the Consecration of Bishop Mark Lawrence

Friday, January 25, 2008

Lord, what a change within us one short hour
Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make!
What heavy burdens from our bosoms take,
What parched ground refresh as with a shower!

We kneel, and all around us seems to lower;
We rise, and all, the distant and the near,
Stands forth in sunny outline brave and clear;
We kneel, how weak! we rise, how full of power!

Why should we ever weak or heartless be,
Why are we ever overborne with care,
Anxious or troubled, when with us is prayer,
And joy, and strength, and courage are with Thee?
... Richard Chevenix Trench image

X Games competitors ride with Jesus
By Jason Blevins

The Denver Post

In a sports world where believing in yourself is an essential tool — you need that kind of faith before you can hit a three-rotation 1080 on a snowboard — the notion of believing in something bigger can be difficult to fathom.

But a swelling corps of Jesus fans is making itself known in the inherently hedonistic world of extreme sports.

At this year's Winter X Games in Aspen, born-agains sport Jesus stickers on their rides. They eschew the party scene that saddles just about all the action. They wade through the excesses, living a chaste life while pushing the boundaries of their sport, hoping their lifestyle inspires others.
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What a strange place Canada is
Special to Globe and Mail Update
January 21, 2008

A few days ago, I was interrogated for 90 minutes by Shirlene McGovern, an officer of the government of Alberta. I have been accused of hurting people's feelings because, two years ago, I published the Danish cartoons of Mohammed in the Western Standard magazine.

Ms. McGovern's business card said she was a "Human Rights Officer." What a perfectly Orwellian title.

Early in her interrogation, she said "I always ask people … what was your intent and purpose of your article?"

It wasn't even a question about what we had published in the magazine. It was a question about my private thoughts. I asked her why my private feelings were of interest to the government. She said, very calmly, that they would be a factor taken into account by the government in determining whether or not I was guilty. the rest

Commentary: The “Secret” Sacrament of the Archbishop of Canterbury
By Randy Sly
Catholic Online

An on-going story revolving around the activities of the Archbishop of Canterbury will not go away quietly. At the end of November the archbishop presided at a secret Eucharistic service with a group of homosexual Anglicans in London. While the event did, in fact, take place, it really wasn’t much of a secret, it upset many church leaders within Anglicanism, and it points to a fatal flaw.
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(h/t Anglican Mainstream)

ENS: Anglican Women's Empowerment to welcome delegates to 52nd UNCSW assembly
January 25, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] In February, women from every region of the world will arrive in New York to participate in the
52nd United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), held at the United Nation's headquarters. This year's theme is "Financing for gender equity and the empowerment of women."

The annual gathering, dedicated to gender equality and advancement of women, draws thousands to caucus, draft resolutions, learn, and exchange information about the progress being made toward fulfilling the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Beijing Platform for Action.

Hundreds of non-governmental organizations will be represented during the February 25-March 3 assembly including all the mainline denominations.

This will mark the fifth year of the Anglican Women's Empowerment (AWE) full-scale participation. The delegations will be smaller than previous years, but more experienced and targeted in their approach so as to have a sustainable impact on women in the Anglican Communion throughout the year. Anglican women are accredited to the U.N. through the Anglican Observer's office. The
International Anglican Women's Network (IAWN) will also be represented at the events.
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Spiritual Consumerism's Upside
Why church shopping may not be all bad.


Recently I read yet another lament of evangelicalism's "consumerist" approach to spiritual matters. Such critiques usually say that evangelicals encourage people to shop around to find the kind of church that meets their spiritual "needs." This needs-centered understanding of the Christian life has fostered a widespread breakdown of denominational and congregational loyalty, critics say. Faithfulness to a specific theological or ecclesiastical tradition has been replaced by "church shopping."

I must confess that I am more vulnerable than most in light of this charge. I am presently co-chairing, on behalf of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the officially sponsored dialogue between representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and four denominations in the Reformed tradition. In a sense, I am the most ecumenical member of the dialogue, having belonged at one time in my life to three of the four sponsoring Reformed denominations: I was raised in a parsonage of the Reformed Church in America, then belonged for 17 years—during my time on the Calvin College faculty—to the Christian Reformed Church, and am now a member of a PC(USA) congregation. Furthermore, my wife and I often attend services in a local Episcopal parish. So when I hear people refer disparagingly to "church shoppers," I feel that I need to defend my own shopping.
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New Research Could Help Reverse The Biological Clock For Dementia Patients

(Jan. 24, 2008) — Medical experts in the North-East of England believe they could have found the key to turning back the brain’s biological clock and reverse the effects of dementia and memory loss.

Independent research at the University of Sunderland has shown that regular exposure to safe low level infra-red light can improve learning performance and kick-start the cognitive function of the brain.

The results are a scientific breakthrough as to date medical treatments for dementia can only slow down brain deterioration and now human trials are to start to see if the treatment could provide a cure to illnesses like Alzheimer's.

Independent research carried out at Sunderland has demonstrated that low power infra-red (1072nm) can improve the learning performance.

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First Things: Waking Up to Springtime
By Richard John Neuhaus
Friday, January 25, 2008

It’s a good day to be thinking about the Christian mission, this Day of the Conversion of Saint Paul. Today is also the close of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, an observation that has, regrettably, become more anemic in the last decade or so. In 1990, John Paul the Great issued the encyclical Redemptoris Missio—the Mission of the Redeemer. There he expressed his intuition, his hope, his prayer, that the beginning of the Third Millennium would be a “springtime of world evangelization.”

Something like that may be happening. Consider the explosive growth of Christianity, especially in the Global South. And who knows what will happen when—and surely it is a question of when rather than if—China opens up? Redemptoris Missio tied together Christian mission and Christian unity. And, of course, the tie between mission and unity was the dynamic that launched what is called the modern ecumenical movement at Edinburgh in 1910. Not for nothing was that meeting called the World Missionary Conference. Unity is in the service of mission, which reflects Our Lord’s prayer in John 17 that his disciples may be one so that the world may believe that he is sent by the Father.
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Hate campaign underway in India
25 January, 2008

This is one of the 700 churches destroyed in India's Orissa State (WBTC Photo).India (MNN) ― While the violence in Orissa, India seems to be a little more calm, Christians are still afraid. Presently, more than 700 homes of Christians have been destroyed and more than 90 churches vandalized. The death toll is unknown.

President of the All India Christian Council Joseph D'Souza is in the United States. In an interview with Mission Network News, he relays that the Christmas-related violence has stopped, "but not the tensions, not the threats. And security of the Christians is very, very poor. According to reports that reach us, the VHP are going on distributing hate literature."

According to D'Souza, this is a lull before another series of attacks take place. He says it's a long-term, well-planned campaign to persecute Christians.
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Elderly Christian Woman’s Home Set Ablaze in Bangladesh

When Satan Hurts Christ's People
Reflections on Why Christians Suffer Losses

John Piper

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer

... Revelation 2:10

When huge pain comes into your life—like divorce, or the loss of a precious family member, or the dream of wholeness shattered—it is good to have a few things settled with God ahead of time. The reason for this is not because it makes grieving easy, but because it gives focus and boundaries for the pain.

Being confident in God does not make the pain less deep, but less broad. If some things are settled with God, there are boundaries around the field of pain. In fact, by being focused and bounded, the pain of loss may go deeper—as a river with banks runs deeper than a flood plain. But with God in his firm and proper place, the pain need not spread out into the endless spaces of ultimate meaning. This is a great blessing, though at the time it may simply feel no more tender than a brick wall. But what a precious wall it is!
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Election 2008

Peggy Noonan: Breaking Up
Is Hard to Do
January 25, 2008


Lesbian suit against Christian school tossed
'No triable issues': Academy's right to expel 2 girls in 'relationship' confirmed

January 25, 2008
© 2008

A California judge has ruled that Christian schools can set standards for behavior for their students, and impose penalties if they are not met.

The decision comes from Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gloria Trask, who found "no triable issues" on claims that a Christian school discriminated against two girls because of their perceived sexual orientation, according to a report in the North County Times.
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Synthetic life 'advance' reported
By Helen Briggs Science reporter, BBC News
Thursday, 24 January 2008

M. genitalium has one of the smallest known genomesAn important step has been taken in the quest to create a synthetic lifeform.

A US team reports in Science magazine how it built the entire DNA code of a common bacterium in the laboratory using blocks of genetic material.

The group hopes eventually to use engineered genomes to make organisms that can produce clean fuels and take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. the rest image

Israel's Holocaust memorial launches website in Arabic
By Aron Heller
Associated Press / January 25, 2008

JERUSALEM - Israel's Holocaust memorial launched an Arabic version of its website yesterday, including vivid photos of Nazi atrocities and video of survivors' testimony, to combat Holocaust denial in the Arab and Muslim world.
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Trinity to revisits deal breaking from church in Indian River County
By Elliott Jones
Friday, January 25, 2008

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Trinity Episcopal Church's initiative to break from the Episcopal Church appeared to be close at hand — until some parishioners recently spoke out about it.
The church's lead minister, the Rev. Lorne Coyle, has been pushing for separation because of disagreements with the national church over religious beliefs, he said last year.

Recently, church leaders and a diocese board reached an agreement in principal that could have allowed the separation, with those in favor of the separation keeping the property, including a new multimillion-dollar sanctuary.

When opponents of the church break-up learned of the proposal, they began voicing their dissent to Bishop John Howe with the church's Central Florida Diocese, based in Orlando. That caused the agreement to fall through, according to Howe's assistant, The Rev. Ernie Bennett.
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