The next step in open communion

Anglicans already share communion with other Christians.  In Canada, they are working on the next step:  Sharing communion with the unbaptized.  And people who follow other religions: Canadian Anglicans will hold discussions this spring about whether baptism is necessary for taking part in communion — questioning a requirement of Christianity that has existed for 2,000 years. “Official teaching is you have to be baptized first. But a number of clergy across the country feel strongly about this as an issue… Read more

The new leaders of the free world

Americans are the new French.  And the French (and British) are the new Americans.  At least when it comes to foreign policy. Whatever happened to the good old days when the U.S. aggressively confronted evil-doers and France screamed about our defiling the altar of the United Nations? Now, it is France and other European allies who are leading the way in confronting brutal dictators while the U.S. drags its feet so as not to look like an anti-Muslim resource-grabber. And… Read more

What would Jesus do about nationalizing the means of production?

Anthony Sacramone says, uh, no, taking on a claim in the Huffington Post: This is what passes for deep thinking at the Huffington Post: an assistant professor of history insists that evangelicals must “hate” Jesus because they’re not socialists. Because Jesus was a socialist, you see. Really? Jesus ran concentration camps? He murdered people who wore glasses because they were perceived to be intellectuals? He shot dissidents? He confiscated money he didn’t earn in order to fund a massive slave… Read more

More Bible translations

The Washington Post has an article about two new Bible translations.  We’ve already blogged about the new gender-adjusted NIV that will take the place of the NIV beloved by many evangelicals.  There is also a new translation of the New American Bible, the version approved for Roman Catholics. The new Catholic Bible retools only the Old Testament. The first new version since 1970, it is meant to sound more poetic and more contemporary, with “spoils” replacing “booty” and “burnt offering”… Read more

Newt explains his affair to Christians

Newt Gingrich is gearing up for a presidential run, so he is courting social conservatives.  That requires him to account for his three marriages, including the one that grew out of his affair with a young staff member even as he was lambasting President Clinton for his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.  What do you think of his explanation? Newt Gingrich says his passionate hard work for his country contributed to his marital infidelity. In an interview posted Wednesday by The… Read more

Procedural ploy lets Wisconsin finesse union

We have been following Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s effort to stop the state employee union from being able to engage in collective bargaining for benefits.  We have also discussed the Democratic legislators who have been on the lam to prevent a quorum to take up the measure.  Here is the latest development:  Some slick parliamentary procedure let Republicans pass the bill without a quorum. The Wisconsin Senate succeeded in voting Wednesday to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public… Read more

Lent catches on

The Washington Post has a weekend religious services directory that prints notices and advertisements from local churches.  I was surprised to see how many churches besides the usual liturgical denominations (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran) are holding Ash Wednesday services, in a number of cases complete with the imposition of ashes. The same issue included a wire article on how Protestants are increasingly adopting Lenten fasts:  via Lent Gets a 21st-Century Update – Religiontoday – News – Christianity.com. It cites evangelicals… Read more

The oldest church in the world

Lent is a good time for contemporary Christians to contemplate their solidarity with the Church as the Body of Christ, which extends around the world and back through time. Here are the remains of the oldest church building that has been found.  It’s called the  Dura-Europas, from a town by that name, in Syria.  It has been dated from 235 A.D. It’s a house church,in that it’s an ordinary house to which was attached a separate long hall that was… Read more

Let’s pray the litany for Lent

LCMS president Matthew Harrison challenges everyone to join him in a Lenten project that is not giving something up, that is doing something very positive for others, and that will benefit your spiritual life:  Praying the Litany every day. The Litany is an ancient structure for prayer that builds on Biblical texts and that covers EVERYTHING we are to pray for, in vivid and piercing language.   Yes, Catholics have a version, but it goes back before the rise of… Read more

Facebook and divorce

Back to the bad effects of the internet: Facebook is cited in 1 out of every 5 divorces in the United States, according to the Loyola University Health System. Furthermore, 81 percent of the country’s top divorce attorneys say they have seen an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence during the past five years, according to a recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). Last but not least, Facebook is the unrivaled leader… Read more

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