In a long essay over at the Liturgical Institute, Robin Phillips explains how the great doctrine of Sola Fide (by faith alone) provides an area of continuity between Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants.
The Huffington Post reviews George Barna’s book “You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith.” In summary, young people leave the church because they find it judgmental, overprotective, exclusive, shallow, and unfriendly to doubters and science. One is tempted to respond that the church simply isn’t hipster-friendly.
With the death of Steve Jobs, the web as been a buzz with encomiums celebrating his unique genius. One of the more provocative comes from Andy Crouch (editor at Christianity Today) in The Wall Street Journal, where he calls Jobs a “secular prophet” who had the ability to “to articulate a perfectly secular form of hope” that was realized by following one’s own “inner voice, heart and intuition.”
J. Todd Billings, over at Christianity Today, provides a primer on How to Read the Bible.
One of the divisive issues within the Anglican church concerns the role of women in ministry, especially between North American and African churches. Surprisingly, a few African priests are fighting for “biblical equality” in their various contexts. One such example comes from Fr. Domnic Omolo Misolo, a priest in the Anglican Church in Kenya and founder of the Ekklesia Community for Advocacy and Peace Initiative (ECAPI). In an email to the organization Christians for Biblical Equality, Misolo writes :
I was convinced that the idea that men are superior and women are inferior was not true and not biblical at all, but just man-made and influenced by cultural context on our interpretation of the Scriptures.
My conscience became sharp on patriarchy and I started to view the effects of inequality in our society and how it has negatively affected our socio-cultural, religious, political, and economic context. I saw how women are oppressed and do not control social institutions/dimensions of human growth in society: in my community, women do not own property, and children are viewed as belonging to men and as wealth, hence women have no say on the number of children they give birth to and care for; we give priority to a boy-child’s education and yet give young girls in early marriage for wealth and bride price; men are culturally allowed to be polygamous, and having multiple sexual partners increases the vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and poverty; and women do not participate in policy making, which influences injustices. Actually, I saw all social ills and challenges in the African continent as a result of patriarchy/biblical misinterpretation and inequality between men and women and how patriarchy has been re-enforced by culture and religion. This phenomenon of male-superiority has the potential to influence the increasing trend of abuse of women both in the church, domestically, and sexually.
In the year 2010, I wrote to the Rt. Rev. Johannes Otieno Angela, Bishop of Bondo (Anglican Church of Kenya), asking the church to come up with an advocacy desk to look into issues of women empowerment. This is how we came up with Ekklesia Community for Advocacy and Peace Initiative (ECAPI), a faith based organization to look into women empowerment and biblical equality. This also made me re-think the relationship I have with my wife and family. We (my wife and I) decided it was wise for my wife to go back to school and now she is taking her bachelor degree in education at Egerton University (Kenya). This is the good news on how I became an egalitarian and chose the path of women empowerment.