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Archive for January, 2012

Haylee Gray Scott, in what is bound to be a controversial post on the blog Her.meneutics, argues that women’s insecurities about church leadership lead them to undermine other women in the church. The title of her post is “Christian Catfights.”

Francis Cardinal George reflects on the spiritual implications of the restoration of the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus in the revised Roman Missal.

Leil Leibovitz discusses the problems with the philosophy and latent spirituality in George Lucas’ films Star Wars and Red Tails. Theology for nerds.

Denis Alexander, in Huffington Post, explores the theological implications of genomics on the doctrine of the Imago Dei. For more on what it means to be made in the image of God, read Adam D. Rick’s article in the Winter edition of the Center for Theology, “Meredith Kline on the Imago Dei.”

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Bishop Bill Murdoch’s sermon, “Transitions in Leadership, Transitions in Life,” his last as rector at All Saints’ Anglican Church in Amesbury, Massachusetts before he focuses full time on his episcopal duties, is available on the Pulpit Talk page of the Center for Theology.

Mark Galli asks a provocative question: why do we want to see God’s face when it’s only going to kill us?

Katelyn Beaty reviews Lauren Winner’s latest book “Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis,” which explores the spiritual desolation Winner experienced after divorcing her husband of six years.

Eric O. Jacobsen critiques the over-ruralized aspects of Evangelical eschatology, arguing that the Bible suggests the new heavens and new earth will be an urban landscape, not a return to Eden.

Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen explains why the doctrine of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ is crucial to our faith.

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Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

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Epiphany in the Atrium is a rich time. While some children continue to think about the lessons of Advent and Christmas, others review the Altar materials and also Gestures used in Holy Eucharist. We begin to hear some of the parables Jesus taught: the Mustard Seed, the Precious Pearl, the Yeast. And we return to the parable that gives the Catechesis its name: the Parable of the Good Shepherd.

Each day this week my mind has returned to the observations about the Good Shepherd shared by one of our 3 year olds. She and I began this lesson with help from one of our oldest children, a real advantage of having mixed ages together. All of us considered again the Good Shepherd who knows His sheep by name; the sheep that follow His voice; and the verse, “I have other sheep not in this flock here; I must bring them also.” (John 10:16)

My job as catechist is to present the Scripture and make room for the Holy Spirit to work. As we gathered the sheep back into the sheepfold, I heard myself saying aloud,

“I wonder how the sheep feel to be with the Good Shepherd in the sheepfold.”

A small voice said, “They feel good.”

I continued, “How does the Good Shepherd feel being so close to His sheep?”

The answer, “He feels happy.”

So complete was this picture of Shepherd and Sheep that any other words seemed superfluous. Later I continued the extensions of the Good Shepherd lesson with older children.  In these we consider how the Shepherd calls His Sheep each week to the very particular place of Eucharist; as we did so, the simple words spoken earlier echoed in my mind.  And as it turned out, this smallest child was quite an eavesdropper, too , for it was she who declared  something to the others as she sat nearby, overhearing their lesson and me asking them if anything looked familiar.

When she saw the sheep gathered around the Altar, she said,

“They have Bread.”

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The Winter edition of the All Saints’ Center for Theology is now available. In this issue, we have three original articles and two reprints arising from the pages of this blog. Additionally, we’re continuing to make Matthew Brench’s lectionary available on the home page to make it easily accessible (check it out, it’s a great resource).

First, we continue our series on the 39 Articles with Jack King’s essay on Article IV and the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jack has a great ability to marry theology to our devotional life, and this essay is no exception. For example, take this gem: “With Christ’s resurrection, our afflictions become an opportunity to share with the world “the hope that is within us” that our risen Lord will make all things new.”

Second, Adam L. Mathis provides a brief note on “Practical Eschatology,” which is his attempt to help shepherd the church away from ungodly obsessions with the End Times and toward a more healthy understanding that encourages holiness. “Love,” Adam says, “not the time of Christ’s return, should motivate us to serve God now.”

Third, Joe Merrill explains the theological and spiritual basis for passing the Peace of Christ during the Anglican liturgy. Passing the peace is more than just a regular “meet and greet,” rather it is a way to advance the glory of God’s kingdom to each other. As Joe says, “By saying “Peace of Christ,” we wish the full reconciliation between humanity and God to be brought about in the lives of everyone we greet.”

Our reprints come from past blog posts by Adam D. Rick and John Pryor. Occasionally, the Center will reprint posts from the blog after the editorial board has discerned their value to the church (they have received a “stamp of approval,” in other words). This season, we are reprinting Adam’s post “Meredith Kline on the Imago Dei,” which describes biblical theologian Meredith Kline’s work on the doctrine of the image of God, and John’s post “Without God There Is No Art,” which explores (in a round-about way) the spiritual implications of the current art climate.

We hope you benefit from these articles; they are intended to serve our spiritual formation in Christ and to provide a public witness to the world. May it be so.

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In response to the past week’s viral video on hating religion while loving Jesus, Jonathan Fitzgerald in The Wall Street Journal discusses how the video represents a long history of theological disputes concerning the nature of authentic Christianity.

The American Anglican Council has released a communique from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala on the reconciliation meeting between the Anglican Church of Rwanda and AMiA.

Pope Benedict XVI issued a warning concerning the threat to religious freedom in the U.S., observed primarily through abortion, adoption, and marriage laws under consideration in the federal government.

Donald DeMarco, in The Catholic Thing, discusses the three debilitating effects of Original Sin: “a darkening of the intellect, a weakening of the will, and a diminished unity of body and soul.”

 

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Fr. Dale Matson discusses the mysticism of St.Paul, arguing that the apostle was the prototype of the converted and sanctified human.

Conciliar Anglican provides a video post for their “Ask an Anglican” series in which Fr. Jonathan answers the question “What are the Sacraments for?

Responding to a spiritual crisis among seminarians, Desiring God Ministries is releasing a devotional series entitled “How to Stay Christian at Seminary.”

Robert Spencer, in Crisis Magazine, has a fascinating essay on the history of the church of Antioch and its relation to the broader Catholic church.

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