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In the news ...

William Crawley | 13:08 UK time, Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Occupy protests outside St Paul's Cathedral continue to dominate the religion news agenda. Three cathedral clergy have now resigned and we've embarked on a full-scale public debate about whether the Church of England has lost the plot. You can comment on that debate here, or add suggestions to other stories worth noting.


Dr Giles Fraser addresses Occupy controversy in a Thought for the Day.
Archbishop of York attacks high-paid executives.
Archbishop of Canterbury: 'Why Royal family must stay Anglican'
Church of England vetoes services of blessing for same-sex couples
Ireland closure of Vatican embassy angers Catholic church leaders.
Richard Dawkins: 'Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist'
Intellectual Roots of Wall St. Protest Lie in Academe.
Scientists and autism: When geeks meet.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    "What would Jesus do?" is not the correct question (at least for a proper Christian who actually believes in the reality of God. It might do for "cultural" or "atheist" pseudo-Christians, who naively reduce "the dead Jesus" to merely a moral example from the past).

    The correct question concerning our living Saviour is, of course:

    "What is Jesus doing?"

  • Comment number 2.

    “Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist.”

    If only all intelligent people would be like Jesus.

  • Comment number 3.

    The correct question concerning our living Saviour is, of course:

    "Can it reproduce and evolve?"

  • Comment number 4.

    paul james (@ 3) -

    "Can it reproduce and evolve?"


    ??

    Please do elaborate, my friend, with reference to the context of my original comment.

    Or are you just having an "off" day wit-wise?
  • Comment number 5.

    Dawkins is a real scream. Apparently he reckons that an intelligent person ought to deny intelligent causation, and affirm that intelligence derives from non-intelligence, whereas someone who affirms the objective reality of intelligence is considered to be unintelligent. Now that is really cute reasoning!!

    Isn't RD supposed to be one of the self-proclaimed "Brights"?!!

    (/ harrumph....!!)

  • Comment number 6.

    Dawkins is a real scream, indeed.

    One of his favourite lines is to respond to the 'my religion gives me comfort' defense with we shouldn't believe something just because it is comforting but because it is true.

    Of course, in the light of Dawkins' recent acrobatic antics giving his 'reasons' for not debating Bill Craig, it seems to me that Dickie Dawkins has succumbed to believing things because they give him comfort rather than because they are true.

    Bless his socks.

  • Comment number 7.

    LSV
    Sorry old chap, bit obtuse for you? just a definition of life- as in living saviour.

  • Comment number 8.

    paul james -

    I love definitions based on circular arguments.

    They're great fun aren't they?

    It's also good to know that, according to your authoritative definition, someone who is infertile and clearly not evolving, is therefore dead!!

    Well done, my good man. You're doing well. In fact, so well, you may even graduate to become one of the "Brights", like the great man himself, whose praises we have already been singing on this thread!

  • Comment number 9.

    It's also good to know that, according to your authoritative definition, someone who is [not reproducing] and clearly not evolving, is therefore dead!

    Isn't that an argument given by many theists against Gays lol
    They seem to think we're absolving ourselves from sort of Christianised version of Saṅsāra- as if mechanical replication is the only form of creative endeavour that breathes life into our spiritual existence. Christianity is often used pushed by its proponents as a fertility cult concerned with reproduction
  • Comment number 10.

    Another Definition:

    The Walking Dead. Scientific name Homo Coprophagus Somnambulus.

    A deceased human being who has partially returned to life due to undeterminable causes. The brain retains base facilities, namely gross motor function. In its near-mindless state, it grasps no remains of emotion, personality, or sensation of pain. In rare cases, some of the reanimated have reflexively preformed routine activities from their past lives.

  • Comment number 11.

    How about an on-topic comment?

    As I understand it, the CoE gained much of its present wealth from its previous involvement with the slave trade. I understand that its present assets exceed 8 billion pounds.

    No doubt Jesus needs this for his greater purpose... of accumulating more money apparently.

  • Comment number 12.

    "...someone who is infertile and clearly not evolving, is therefore dead!!"

    Not "dead", just not reproducing. Therefore this person's genes will not be passed on. A bit obvious, but there you are.

    As for gays, as someone else mentioned: obviously most gay people do not pass on their genes (though there are many social/historical reasons why gay people may have produced offspring).

    Even so, a 'gay' tendency has been successfully passed down through the generations by natural selection. This implies that homosexual tendencies have a natural human benefit. You can work out what that might be for yourself.

    A late friend of mine told me that 'lesbian love' was a very common sight on his Co Fermanagh farm once the female cattle were left without males. Similarly male homosexual activity in male-only prisons, etc has been well documented.

    That to one side: it's funny that the first thing a 'Christian' does when confronted by a post about money is misdirect the thread towards the scientific topic of evolution.

    Money is a very important thing for Christians, I can't help noticing.

  • Comment number 13.

    The hypocrisy of the Church of England knows no depths,

    But the Church of England has warned that its clergy should not provide services of blessing for same-sex couples.

    I wonder, why the discrimination?

    They have no problem giving a blessing to heterosexual couples living together in a relationship/marriage not recognized in heaven condemned as Sin by Jesus Christ.

    "Afterwards they returned to Windsor Castle for a service of blessing led by the Archbishop of Canterbury."

    The Sin, Christ calls it ADULTERY, and the sin is not the sex as most people believe adultery is, it is the marriage, the violation of a marriage covenant.
    "and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery". Matthew 5:32 KJV
    and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.Matthew 19:9 KJV

    The hypocrisy of a church which can set aside the Bible, the word of God when it suits it, so that it can discriminate between heterosexual sinners and gay sinners, or royal sinners and gay sinners.

  • Comment number 14.

    re:-“The constitutional question, of course the tough one, is the upbringing of any heir to the throne in an Anglican environment, given that the heir to the throne will be the supreme governor, under law, of the Church of England,” says the Archbishop in an interview with Vatican Radio.
    “I think if we’re quite clear that, so long as the monarch is supreme governor of Church of England, there needs to be a clear understanding that the heir is brought up in that environment, all well and good.”

    Again we have this Church ready to discriminate, there is no bar at the moment for the Monarch marrying a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Sikh, or a Shinto, only a Catholic is barred. So theoretically as it stands the heir to the thrown could be raised in a Muslim environment and that's not a problem, only being raised in a catholic environment. The ideal would be church of England, but you would think that the Church of England, would be more concerned that the Monarch or heir to the monarchy would be raised in a Christian environment, as not all Protestants consider themselves to be Christian.

  • Comment number 15.

    newdwr54 (@ 12) -

    "...someone who is infertile and clearly not evolving, is therefore dead!!"

    Not "dead", just not reproducing. Therefore this person's genes will not be passed on. A bit obvious, but there you are.


    Very true, dear chap, very true.

    Trouble is that you are only defining "life" in material terms, as if "the material" is all that exists. Since the philosophy of materialism is epistemological bunk, then that rather undermines your definition of "life".

    With reference to my original comment: our living Saviour - Jesus Christ - is not a material creature chained to this earth.

    Fancy a little chinwag about the self-contradictory epistemology of materialism? I'm up for it, but I've presented my proof so many times already that I guess it won't be too difficult for me to repeat myself.
  • Comment number 16.

    LSV
    Sooo...if not Zombie Jesus perhaps you will give us your definition of life?

  • Comment number 17.

    Re in the news:- Ireland closure of Vatican embassy angers Catholic church leaders,

    It's about time the UK did likewise, I am sure we have no economic return from our embassy there. We have an embassy in Rome, we don't need 2 in the one city. After all we only have an honorary consulate in Monaco, where I am sure we have more of an economic return than from the Vatican.

  • Comment number 18.

    paul james (@ 16) -

    LSV
    Sooo...if not Zombie Jesus perhaps you will give us your definition of life?


    Well, I am very surprised that you should refer to Jesus as a "zombie", considering that the philosophy of materialism advocates an anthropology of zombie-ism. If your self-contradictory philosophy is true (whatever "true" could possibly mean within such a philosophy), then all living creatures (if I dare use the word "creature" - perhaps "evolvure" might be more appropriate) are merely machines and nothing more. Human beings are therefore "dead", in the sense that they are fundamentally no different from inaminate objects - i.e. entirely reducible to matter. "Soulless machine" sounds like an accurate definition of "zombie".

    "Life" is more than the merely mechanistic - at least "human life" is. It involves something called "consciousness" - a reality that materialism cannot explain (which is hardly surprising, given that consciousness is non-material, but spiritual).

    But coming back to the idea of the resurrection of Jesus. Even if materialism were true, and even if (by some strange means) someone did rise from the dead - in other words, their mechanical body started working again - I fail to understand the description of "zombie". Since, according to your view of reality, we are all merely material machines, then how could a revived machine possibly be any different from a functioning machine that had never ceased working and therefore which had not needed to be revived?

    It sounds to me like you haven't really thought through the implications of your own philosophy (a very common fault of atheists).
  • Comment number 19.

    So your living jesus isn't?

  • Comment number 20.

    paul james (@ 19) -

    So your living jesus isn't?


    Isn't what??
  • Comment number 21.

    LSV@20
    So your living jesus isn't?
    Isn't what??

    Why living of course!

  • Comment number 22.

    paul james (@ 21) -

    Actually the living Jesus is living, 'cos it would be rather strange for a living person to be dead, dontcha think?

    But he is not an evolving and reproducing organism pottering around the jungles of Borneo, if that's what you mean by "living". Some of us have a rather broader understanding of "life" than your good self seems to have.

  • Comment number 23.

    LSV

    Some advice old chum, lay off the evangelising it really handicaps the standard of your (sometimes fine) debating skills.

  • Comment number 24.

    12. newdwr54 :
    I hope your friend on the farm there recognizes his cows' behavior indicates they are in season & if he doesn't produce a bull-or the AI man- ASAP he will miss the opportunity to breed until the next cycle.

  • Comment number 25.

    11.At 00:08 6th Nov 2011, newdwr54 wrote:
    How about an on-topic comment?

    As I understand it, the CoE gained much of its present wealth from its previous involvement with the slave trade. I understand that its present assets exceed 8 billion pounds."
    ***
    I'd be interested to know what groups in Britain & the Americas did NOT gain wealth from the slave trade?

  • Comment number 26.

    paul james (@ 23) -

    Some advice old chum, lay off the evangelising it really handicaps the standard of your (sometimes fine) debating skills.


    Well, given that "evangelising" - strictly speaking - means "communicating good news", then I hope that everything I write can be described thus.

    I suspect, however (correct me if I'm wrong), that you are using the word to denote "preaching" (i.e. communicating dogma) as distinct from "reasoning". If that is the case, then please let me know what you are referring to specifically.

    Of course, you could be using the word to express dismay that I am trying to convert you. If that is so, then please direct me to those words I have written, which reveal that intention.

    Thanks.
  • Comment number 27.

    "The Catholic Church is legally responsible for the alleged rape of a seven-year-old girl by a priest, the High Court ruled today in a landmark judgment."

    Read more: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2058946/Catholic-Church-responsible-1970s-rape-girl-7-priest-Wilfred-Baldwin.html

  • Comment number 28.

    @ 27 -

    "newlach the pre-crime executioner" is googling again (and attempting to divert attention away from his own "special" version of morality).

  • Comment number 29.

    Perhaps you've seen the recent US child abuse scandals involving the Boy Scouts & another with Penn State football? Both involved cover-ups.
    Fallen human nature & vulnerable kids.

  • Comment number 30.

    America's Most Famous Preacher, Turns 93. I guess when you're that old & famous, each birthday's gonna be marked with a story lol

  • Comment number 31.

    This is quite a nice article- Thanks Giving

  • Comment number 32.

    @30.Ryan_:
    Thanks for sharing that article about Billy Graham.It's nice to see someone like him who's remained decent & kept his integrity.

  • Comment number 33.

    31.At 16:24 8th Nov 2011, _Ryan_ wrote:
    This is quite a nice article- Thanks Giving
    *************
    Important thoughts, thanks!
    We had a missionary speak at church recently.He had just returned from a visit to Haiti.He said if we had a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, & food on the table to give thanks.Many of the folks he worked with in Haiti were still living in tents in conditions we can't imagine.

  • Comment number 34.

    Yes mscracker you're right, the conditions in Haiti must be hard to imagine. Progress there seems to be more peacemeal than strategically planned, but good work is still being carried out & progress (albeit small) is being made. Here's some news about School building. But as this article points out, access to clean water is still a problem.

    It is estimated that 80% of Haitians do not have access to latrines and more than half of the population lacks access to safe drinking water.
  • Comment number 35.

    @34. _Ryan_ :
    Thanks so much for sharing the article about work in Haiti.It's overwhelming if you look at the situation as a whole but broken down into smaller projects there is some encouraging news.
    The priest who spoke at our church builds little homes similar to the buildings shown in your article.He travels to Haiti & Jamaica with crews of volunteers.He said on his last trip to Jamaica he built a home for a family of three.They'd been living in a hut which was just the size of the mattress they all slept on.I guess that was all the sheet metal they could come up with.

  • Comment number 36.

    I've never been to either Haiti or Jamaica, but a best friend from school goes over quite a bit to see family. I think he finds the disparity in wealth a bit of a culture shock. I can't remember what Parish his dad's family are from, but it's out in the country, far from the capital. Thanks for mentioning the good work the Priest does, it's great to know people with skills are going out to help with infrastructure projects. Makes me wish I'd done a more useful degree or trade! All I can really do from here is set aside money to help with projects like that

  • Comment number 37.

    *He goes over to Jamaica, not Haiti

  • Comment number 38.

    'An Anglican newspaper has defended the publication of an article that compares gay rights campaigners to Nazis, saying the author has "pertinent views".'

    https://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/08/anglican-newspaper-defends-gaystapo-article

    It seems that the C of E will not be conducting any same-sex wedding ceremonies any time soon.

  • Comment number 39.

    Here's a news program from MSNBC re a subject discussed here from time to time.Sadly it's from the fairly recent past:

    "Victims speak out about North Carolina sterilization program, which targeted women, young girls and blacks" Full text in link below

    https://rockcenter.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/07/8640744-victims-speak-out-about-north-carolina-sterilization-program-which-targeted-women-young-girls-and-blacks

    'NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams produced an incredible and moving news feature, “State of Shame”, on the horrific and racist eugenics practice of forced sterilizations. The story centered on a central figure in the MAAFA21 documentary, Elaine Riddick, a black woman who was forcibly sterilized after being raped at age 13." Full Text in link below



    https://www.lifenews.com/2011/11/08/state-of-same-eugenics-still-drives-the-abortion-industry/

  • Comment number 40.

    39 mscracker

    That is a shocking story about Elaine Riddick. Sterilizing an innocent victim of rape makes no sense to me at all, and I would urge the state authorities to stop stalling on the matter of compensation.

    I see the anti-abortion lobby suffered a recent ballot defeat in Mississippi. Republican Phil Bryant has said that if the vote turned out like this it would be a win for Satan. He was simultaneously elected to the post of state governor.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/09/mississippis-failed-perso_n_1083960.html

  • Comment number 41.

    @40.newlach:
    I agree.Other US states have had similar sad histories.
    I haven't kept up with Mississippi politics but did hear a black preacher from that state say on tv that as MS was the last state in America to grant full civil rights to black citizens it would be just & fitting that they might be the first to enact legislation to extend full human rights to the most vulnerable & voiceless in society.
    I don't know how Satan felt about the vote, but I concur with the preacher.And those folks in N.Carolina who want compensation.

  • Comment number 42.

    newlach’s post 40,

    from the huffington article:

    ["It's just one sentence that says every human being is a person," Jennifer Mason, spokesperson for Personhood USA, told HuffPost on Tuesday. "We're out combating the lies and getting the truth out, so we'll see what happens."]



    “It’s just one sentence” sounds pretty much like manipulation to me.

  • Comment number 43.

    @ 38. newlach wrote:

    'An Anglican newspaper has defended the publication of an article that compares gay rights campaigners to Nazis, saying the author has "pertinent views".'

    Isn't it interesting how, having boxed themselves in with their own discriminatory cant and doctrine, churches have a habit of blaming the victim for achieving some protection against discrimination.

    Thus we have the Catholic Church hilariously talking about witch-hunts by the media, and comparing solid secularism with "the worst aspects of anti-Semitism". (One wonders what the best aspects of anti-Semitism are - presumably they're of the Catholic brand.)

    Then you get the whole Catholic child rape scandal blamed on gay people. Then they revise that and say, no, well, actually it was "ephebophiles". That (entirely discursive) distinction - so handy in matters of theology and self-absolution - which distinguishes paedophiles from people who merely rape teenagers.

    I have to take issue here, too, with people who go on about the "corruption" of language, insofar as "gay" used to mean "happy", and that they can no longer use the word "gay" like they used to - as if they ever did.

    "I remember my grandpa on Sundays. And every Sunday he would remark how gay a day was Sunday that he didn't have to dig spuds..."

    Really? I mean, really?

    Whether gay means homosexual or happy, I still find it a pretty weak word. More annoying to me is the hijacking of "philia" - meaning "love" - and attaching it to ephebe, or "male youth", or "paed", the prefix meaning "child" in Greek.

    Looked at, there is some interesting (and cowardly and insidious) linguistic hokey-kokey going on here. Refer to something heinous by a euphemism - "child abuse" (which suggests there is some "proper" "use" for children) or render it into another language - even an ancient on - hence "paedophilia".

    Who doesn't love children? (OK, there are people around who children annoy greatly, so they're not paedophiles. But if children annoy them so much that they rape them, then they are?)

    It's a funny old business this. Not. I get more upset by the hijacking of -philia than I do about the mere connotations of being gay on a sunny morning (which I suspect only bad poets were anyway).

    But I digress. A law which removes the privilege of one group to discriminate against another, by their own law, makes the people granted fairness Nazis?

    What is wrong with this picture?

    "There was a time when all I had to do was rape a young girl to take her as my wife! Now? Pfft. These women are such Nazis!"

    To close, I'd like to be clear that I haven't the faintest clue why any gay person would want to "marry" in a church. I have serious doubts about the value of the institution of marriage at all. But if it all they're doing is causing a bit of trouble for the sake of it (which I doubt they are, because some gay people inexplicably remain tied to their churches, despite being reviled by them), then I find that pretty good show.

    "How do we pretend to love them when we hate them? How do we insist they're having sex even if they're not, when we're so fond of making wafer thin semantic distinctions in our own theology to evade BIG PROBLEMS?"

    Oh I don't know. I'll leave it to the mudslingers who wear saccharine smiles.

  • Comment number 44.

    More on the 'Personhood USA' movement:

    https://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/22935.aspx

  • Comment number 45.

    @44. marieinaustin:
    Thanks for sharing that article.I found this quote from it kind of ironic. Biology has already singled out women for"physical sacrifices and burdensome duties not required of any other class of citizens" Biology sort of sucks for women, but we already knew that, & as unfair as that may be, human life is sacred-even at it's smallest & most defenseless.Much human life destroyed before birth is female.We aren't counted of much value in many cultures either.

    "They ignore, however, what it would mean to single out pregnant women for physical sacrifices and burdensome duties not required of any other class of citizens. Such exceptional treatment would raise serious equal protection questions."

  • Comment number 46.

    mscracker,

    I agree. That was an ironic statement. I personally don’t think making abortion illegal is the solution. I don’t think ‘Personhood’ will succeed, anyway. And even though I started it, I’m really done with the useless back and forth of that subject. Sorry.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Meanwhile, it’s become Oddly lenient over there. “Human love is emotional but that is not true love.” Huh? “Human love is...not true love” and no one blinks? Just agreement? I don’t get it. Is Obama on that keyboard and it’s 2009 or what?

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Anyway, I wanted to say: Thank you for welcoming me here. !

    Now I need to get back to healthier stuff. :o)

    Take it easy.

  • Comment number 47.

    Here's a video of Greg Beale speaking about his new book 'A New Testament Biblical Theology', published in the UK in December;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=poGiebIYJfQ

    On a few occasions now the relationship between the Old and New Testaments has been discussed (and I use that term loosely) on this blog, this book is going to be an essential resource on that area.

  • Comment number 48.

    Poppy art at St Paul's Cathedral

  • Comment number 49.

    Newthornley's remark in the other thread- "perhaps in another million years"- reminded me of this article in the Telegraph- Siberians share DNA with extinct human species

  • Comment number 50.

    After sharing the news item last week re. eugenic sterilizations in North Carolina as late as the 1960's, I found something much more recent:


    “Forced Sterilization” and Eugenism Before the European Court of Human Rights"
    On 22 March 2011, the forth Section of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will hold a hearing in a case of “forced sterilization”. (Case V. C. v. Slovakia – n° 18968/07). This case is the first of a number of cases brought before the European Court by several women of Roma ethnic origin who have been sterilized in public hospitals since 1999, i.e. after the fall of the communist regime." Full text in link below:


    https://www.eclj.org/Releases/Read.aspx?GUID=152242ef-ec30-48a1-a7af-e93a35897453

  • Comment number 51.

    mscracker

    A very interesting case. Last week the Court ruled in the woman's favour and awarded her a sum of 43,000 euros. It is not a "final" judgement, however. The Slovakian authorities could refer the case to the Grand Chamber. Here a panel of 5 judges would decide whether the case deserves further consideration.

    Searching for information related to the Roma I came across this article concerning a 10-year-old girl from Romania. Quite shocking.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11684854

  • Comment number 52.

    @51. newlach:
    Thanks for sharing that article. I remember seeing it a while back.
    Ten years old seems hard to imagine. In researching my own family history I found a greatgrandmother who was married at 12 & widowed at the age of 31 with 9 children ages 18 & under. Different times & differing cultures.

  • Comment number 53.

    @49. _Ryan_ ,
    Thanks, interesting article!
    I think the BBC had something about this, too.
    It makes you wonder how much else remains undiscovered.

  • Comment number 54.

    One of Chile's most respected priests has been exposed as a child molester. The case against him, however, was dismissed by the judge because the abuse happened so long ago. Very strange, especially when the judge accepted that the allegations against the child molester were "truthful and reliable". The Vatican has already found him guilty of abusing children, and it has come down really hard on him - sentenced to 'a life of "penitence and prayer" in a monastery'!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-15730572

  • Comment number 55.

    @54. newlach :
    Perhaps the Church should bring back the Inquisition for harsher treatments in these cases? The rack, thumbscrews?
    I think penitence in a monastery's about the best they would be able to come up with for an 81 year old man that the secular courts can not convict.
    Like Chile, some US states have statutes of limitations, too. There's only so much the courts can do in those cases.Civil suits are sometimes an option for victims.
    Here in America,(Pennsylvania), we've got pretty much a whole university involved in a child abuse cover-up.Bad apples everywhere.

  • Comment number 56.

    mscracker

    I was thinking something along the lines of a public statement by the Church to the effect that Karadima is a paedophile and that the Church wants nothing more to do with him. Rather than sentencing him to live out the rest of his days in a monastery, the Church should have urged monasteries to slam the door in the child molesters face. Also, the Church should have made it publicly known that it wanted returning any of its property in the possession of Karadima (books, clothing, silverware etc).

  • Comment number 57.

    @56. newlach :
    Traditionally, penitents go off to secluded places like monasteries.Where would you have him live if not in prison? Surely not out in the community where there are children.
    I vote for the thumbscrew option.

  • Comment number 58.

    I just saw this in an American Catholic newspaper online:

    Pope Approves Date for American Ordinariate for Former Episcopalians
    ‘In 500 years, we will be reading about this in the history books,’ says one former Anglican priest.


    Read more: https://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-approves-date-for-american-ordinariate-for-former-episcopalians/

    https://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-approves-date-for-american-ordinariate-for-former-episcopalians/

  • Comment number 59.

    Former priest James Martin Donaghy on trial over the sexual abuse of Father Patrick McCafferty. Mr Donaghy, 53, of Lady Wallace Drive, Lisburn denies a total of 26 charges.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-15765457

  • Comment number 60.

    In the news, Ian Paisley throws in the ministerial towel ,

    will be interested to read his autobiography, especially what motived him to leave his Godly Baptist roots and background and join Protestantism, a label that does not even require the holder to be Christian

    that will definitely interest me.

  • Comment number 61.

    @60.gerry:
    Being American, I guess I'm a bit confused here.What part of the Baptist faith is the Free Presbyterian Church?

  • Comment number 62.

    RE. 61. At 14:39 17th Nov 2011, mscracker wrote:
    @60.gerry:
    Being American, I guess I'm a bit confused here.What part of the Baptist faith is the Free Presbyterian Church?

    IT NO PART AS FAR AS i KNOW, Baptists align to the Baptist confession of faith and on the otherhand in opposition Free Presbyterians to the Westminster Confession of faith

  • Comment number 63.

    gerry

    will be interested to read his autobiography, especially what motived him to leave his Godly Baptist roots and background and join Protestantism, a label that does not even require the holder to be Christian

    I'm not really sure what to make of this. That Baptists are not Protestants is something of a canard.

    IT NO PART AS FAR AS i KNOW, Baptists align to the Baptist confession of faith and on the otherhand in opposition Free Presbyterians to the Westminster Confession of faith

    A couple of things;

    1) The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith (the one linked to) is basically a revision of the Westminster Confession of Faith, principally regarding church government and sacramentology. The Free Presbyterian Church is probably more Baptist on the sacraments than Presbyterian, it also has an open policy on the proper subjects of baptism. (The Savoy Declaration is another revision of the WCF, only along Congregationalist lines)

    2) Most Baptists today do not subscribe to the LBCF, in fact most Baptists do not subscribe to any confession whatever. Those that do subscribe to the LBCF are usually termed 'Reformed Baptists'. Reformed Baptists are Calvinists and Federalists as opposed to Arminians and Dispensationalists. There are also Baptists who are Calvinists but not Federalists.

    So it seems to me that you're none too familiar with what you're talking about, and not for the first time.

  • Comment number 64.

    @ 62 & 63:
    I asked because I think the article mentioned Ian Paisley retiring from his ministry at the Free Presbyterian church, not a Baptist church.
    Thanks for the history & explanation.

  • Comment number 65.

    Splitters!

  • Comment number 66.

    Vatican takes legal action over Benetton pope kiss ad. Seems to me a course of action which guarantees this kiss the widest coverage possible. The message is 'unhate'. I guess the world works in mysterious ways if this is the mechanism needed for something so humble as a one city ad campaign in Rome to be catapulted across to a world audience. Whilst the Vatican takes umbrage at a kiss & issues legal proceedings, perhaps the display of kisses between dignitaries in Rome & a cuddle from Amma in London could engineer a modicum hope for this world :p

  • Comment number 67.

    Ryan

    If only the Vatican dealt as swiftly and robustly with allegations of child abuse by Catholic clergy.

    Latest from the trial of abuse survivor Fr McCafferty. He told the court that those in charge of the seminary '"should not have been in charge of pigs never mind students".'

    He also said: '"This person, he was very domineering and you couldn't escape from Jim Donaghy [former priest], you couldn't escape from him - he actually almost took over my mind"'.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-15781105

  • Comment number 68.

    Apparently Tesco have decided to partner with 'London Pride' next year, instead of supporting a worthy charity. A very unwise move, don't you think? Supporting the 'gay' lifestyle, which undermines marriage and damages society, may well turn out to damage Tesco as well!

    Hopefully they'll think again.

  • Comment number 69.

    68, This is hardly 'news'. However, It's obviously doing the rounds with the religious far-right. Tesco has already sponsored this years. At risk of repeating myself, they took part alongside the Armed Forces, Police Service, Mayor Of London and Christian groups.
    Your talk of a gay damage to society really takes the biscuit. Alan Turing's codebreaking work during the second world not only shortened the war by 2 years as Churchill said but saved countless lives. It also brought about the first electronic computer & what he conceived has gone on to change the world. The work of Turing and others was a central foundation for all computing technology including the algorithms that underpin internet search engines.

    A great damage to society is a religious class who make a mockery of Christianity championing it as something akin to a pagan fertility cult with nothing more than a superficial & theatrical take on morality. There is no moral currency in their contribution to 'the Troubles'. The contribution bestowed by the religious class has been to stoke division & hatred. Pastor, what price your 'wisdom', how much do you get paid?

  • Comment number 70.

    Ryan

    It's obviously doing the rounds with the religious far-right.

    What is the 'religious far-right'?

  • Comment number 71.

    @ Andrew, 63.

    In what sense is the term "federalist" used here? Just curious.

  • Comment number 72.

    Aboutfarce

    Federalism is, more or less, another name for Covenant Theology.

    It can get quite nuanced but basically there are two covenants which run throughout the bible, the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. And that a man's relationship with God is to be understood through these covenants.

    The covenant of works is a unilateral covenant between God and Adam promising life for obedience. In the covenant of works Adam acts as the federal head for mankind.

    In the fall Adam failed to abide by the terms of the covenant, and so Adam, and the human race, is punished with death. The covenant of works continues and it is the default way in which man relates to God.

    In the covenant of grace God promises redemption through Christ, who fulfilled the covenant of works on behalf of the elect in His life, death and resurrection. And here, Christ acts as the federal head.

    Some people argue for a third covenant called the covenant of redemption, which is, at least, logically prior to the covenant of grace. This is an intra-Trinitarian covenant between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit on the plan of redemption.

    Covenant theology is an extremely important idea within Reformed theology. The Westminster Confession gives a overview, as does the 1689 Baptist Confession. The classic work on the subject is Herman Witsius' 'econonmy of the covenants'. Another would be the Scottish Presbyterian Thomas Boston or Edward Fisher's 'The marrow of modern divinity'. The basic framework of covenant theology was fairly static until the 20th Century when it is challenged within Reformed theology by Neo-Orthodox theologians like Karl Barth and T.F Torrance and revised by others, like the Presbyterian theologian John Murray. And these debates are ongoing.

  • Comment number 73.

    Conservative Protestant 'Christian' Presbyterian/Baptist fundamentalist religion through another lense

  • Comment number 74.

    Hi again campers!

    I'd like to suggest that Basil D'Oliveira CBE, who has just passed away, is a worthy subject for an item in one of these 'Making the news headlines' threads. To think, he could only begin his test career in his mid 30s - and he nearly wasn't selected for the 1968 tour which eventually led to apartheid South Africa's sporting isolation.

    Here also is a serviceable quotation from Blessed John Henry Newman;

    "This is why the Blessed Virgin is called powerful - nay, sometimes, All-powerful, because she has, more than anyone else, more than all Angels and saints, this great, prevailing gift of prayer. No one has access to the Almighty as His Mother has; none has merit such as hers. Her Son will deny her nothing that she asks; and herein lies her power. While she defends the Church, neither height nor depth, neither men nor evil spirits, neither great monarchs, nor craft of man, nor popular violence, can avail to harm us; for human life is short, but Mary reigns above, a Queen forever."

  • Comment number 75.

  • Comment number 76.

    Do we really give proper consideration to the naked hypocrisy of a company like Tesco, which exploits Christmas as a way of generating a fat profit, while brazenly seeking to sabotage conventional Christian morality (see pastorphilip's #68).

  • Comment number 77.

    Incidentally Andrew, just to say this computer blocks Wikipedia, so i hope to be advised of your article later on.

  • Comment number 78.

  • Comment number 79.

    Andrew;

    I'm afraid your other link is blocked as well. However, if they have to do with the unusual juxtaposition of issues in #74, i don't claim that the cricket and the theology are related. It's a sort of '2 for 1' post; read one, get one free.

  • Comment number 80.

    Theophane

    No, not directed at your post. Directed at #73.

  • Comment number 81.

    Oh I rather think the sub headlines of link 73 -Religious Beliefs, Christian Identity, Fundamentalism & the subsequent sub headings relating to Racism & Bigotry are rather apt & go along way to explain some of the behavioural & social problems fomented by a reckless Religious 'right' here.

    Hadesphane, the last paragraph of Political Beliefs- the excerpt from the Texas Knights 2002- reminded me of thoughts you frequently post here. Welcome back :)

  • Comment number 82.

    Is there much hope for America when their parliament (congress) class pizza as a vegetable -Is pizza a vegetable? Well, Congress says so

    "Never mind that tomatoes are a fruit, and commercial tomato sauce has so much sugar in it that not only is it not a vegetable, but it should be classified as a dessert"
  • Comment number 83.

    76 Theophane

    Tesco has an annual budget of £64 million that it gives to charities and good causes. I think a donation of £30,000 to provide for a family tent at a Gay Pride event will upset only homophobes.

    What upsets me, however, is the latest set of Christmas stamps - a dopey looking woman holding a baby, what looks like an old guy trying to squeeze an angel's breast, and three blokes in pyjamas below a bright star. Matthew 1:21, Matthew1:23, Luke 2:7, Luke2:10 and Matthew 2:10. I do not want this sort of junk coming through my letter box.

  • Comment number 84.

    Ryan

    Oh I rather think the sub headlines of link 73 -Religious Beliefs, Christian Identity, Fundamentalism & the subsequent sub headings relating to Racism & Bigotry are rather apt & go along way to explain some of the behavioural & social problems fomented by a reckless Religious 'right' here.

    Oh I rather think you'd need to demonstrate that. I also rather think we're owed a definition of the 'religious right', not to mention the 'religious far right'. Will one be forthcoming?

    Of course one of the main uses of this kind of language is as a slur. It doesn't matter that no one really knows what it means, its purpose is not to say something true. Rather, everybody knows that being 'far right' is a terribly bad thing and so, rather than argue down one's opponent, one must try and get the label to stick. That, apparently, is a sufficient refutation of their position.

    Here's a line or two from Orwell's essay 'Politics and the English language';

    The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable." The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning...Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality...As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy.
  • Comment number 85.

    Not so much in the news but news to me, if that counts, theologian Graham Ward on Capitalism and Eschatology;

    https://vimeo.com/25112753

  • Comment number 86.

    Andrew's Orwellian '84- We already touched on these points In August- in the closing posts of 'When is an historian not an historian?' To appease your sensitivity to the words 'right' & 'far-right', feel free to omit them. Please don't feel a label need distract you from the content highlighted in link 73. You wouldn't want to blur them on a spindle of semantics

  • Comment number 87.

    Re Hadesphane's 76, I hardly ever shop at the place, but Tesco has invested a great deal in N.I- job creation being just one facet of that, this cannot be flippantly undermined by knee-jerk bigotry- although given the cultural & religious legacy of this province it's hardly surprising. So many of the conservative religious here are 'Christian' in label only- a superficiality not even skin deep. I Know quite a few people who work for Tesco, a friend of mine graduated from UU a coupla years back- wanting to stay in N.I, the only avenue available to him was a managerial programme through Tesco. It now means he and his family of 4 are able to stay in this province, in the town he grew up in. It wouldn't be the first time that this culture has bitten the hand that feeds it & sabotages its own future with dogged pettiness

  • Comment number 88.

    Perhaps the DUP & other conservative 'Christians' would prefer annexation to a 'confederacy' of the Deep South than be a part of the United Kingdom

  • Comment number 89.

    No-one is denying that Tesco has provided jobs for many people, nor that it has contributed a lot of money to charitable causes.

    My point is that what it is now proposing to do is political, not charitable, and that its action will offend many of its customers, not just those with orthodox Christian beliefs about marriage and family.

    I hope Tesco's will think again.

  • Comment number 90.

    It isn't proposing to do anything, it's already in place. Just because it's on your radar now doesn't alter the fact they contributed to this years event- ie- it's already happened. Some families are open & accepting to the reality there are homosexuals in their number. Tesco is supporting that freedom & acceptance, something you're happier to attack than accept. By your 'its action will offend many of its customers', you mean you & others in various shades of conservative 'christian'. Are you also offended the Armed Forces, Police Service, Mayor and other Christian groups take part? Will you boycott the Armed Forces & Police Service too? Pastor, what's the source of your income. It seems to be fear, ignorance and moral outrage. Combined with whoever's prey du jour for ritual sacrifice and I guess you have an occupation that puts food on your table

  • Comment number 91.

    Ryan

    Andrew's Orwellian '84- We already touched on these points In August- in the closing posts of 'When is an historian not an historian?'

    I'm not sure that we did.

    To appease your sensitivity to the words 'right' & 'far-right', feel free to omit them.

    Since that wasn't my objection, this is a strawman. How like you to miss the point. My objection is to your using language that doesn't mean anything.

    Unless, of course, a belated definition of the 'religious right' and 'religious far right' is forthcoming. I'd be delighted to see the day.

    Please don't feel a label need distract you from the content highlighted in link 73.

    And what are we to make of the content in the document? As yet it seems unclear.

    The Ku Klux Klan profess to be Protestant, conservative, fundamentalist, Christians, so all Protestant, conservative, fundamentalist, Christians are like the KKK but in a different situation? As I have already pointed out, this commits the fallacy of association. And if this isn't the point you're making you're going to have to spell it out.

    You wouldn't want to blur them on a spindle of semantics

    You'd first have to say what 'they' were.

  • Comment number 92.

    No not really Andrew. Your style is to obfuscate- to distract & turn your engagements into word play. The content of the sub headings are pretty accurate in exposing much of the bigotry simmering beneath your particularly virulent, caustic strain of Christianity- one that you 'politefully' mask with an intellectual 'civility'. Wonderful too that a blurb from the Texas Knights sum up a years worth of Hadesphane posts. Fantastic stuff.
    Peterm2's been perfectly capable of presenting a sensible side to the conservatively religious while citing NT Wright as a big influence- an ex-Bishop who in his literal interpretation of the Bible, believes the world is 'in fact' 6000 yrs old. Peter has a talent you could do well to emulate. Think how much you could get away with lol

  • Comment number 93.

  • Comment number 94.

    Ryan

    No not really Andrew.

    No not really what?

    Your style is to obfuscate

    Did you look up obfuscate before you picked it?

    I'm the one asking for clarity and you're the one using language that is inherently ambiguous. Scroll up and read the Orwell citation again. Better yet, read the entire essay.

    to distract & turn your engagements into word play.

    Notice you're the one who can't answer a simple question, the real distraction is every comment you make without answering it.

    Speaking of silly accusations, here's Ryan in the lift the other day; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqwlrUJdO04&feature=related (he's the one wearing green trousers).

    The content of the sub headings are pretty accurate in exposing much of the bigotry simmering beneath your particularly virulent, caustic strain of Christianity

    That's an assertion not an argument. And, as I have now repeatedly said, you cannot just say all 'fundamentalist Christians' are like the KKK because that commits the fallacy of association. You need to make the argument.

    You've now moved from comparing 'fundamentalist Christians' in general to the KKK to comparing my 'virulent, caustic strain of Christianity' with the KKK. But there are several problems with this;

    1) You're being bigoted, virulent and caustic in comparing me with the KKK without any supporting evidence, so if evidentially light bigotry, virulence and causticity are things to be avoided I'm afraid you're condemned by your own words.

    Whilst I'm on the subject, you've now condemned *all* Christians who self-identify as 'Protestant, conservative, Fundamentalist' as being like the KKK, to which you've also added the entire Deep South. All without supporting argumentation or evidence. That seems to me to be a sine qua non of bigotry.

    2) You'd have to demonstrate that 'my' Christianity is as you say it is. But that raises another issue. You'd first have to accurately describe it. I don't self identify as a 'fundamentalist' or a 'conservative' or, even, an 'evangelical' as it is presently used. So what is the point of reference?

    your particularly virulent, caustic strain of Christianity - one that you 'politefully' mask with an intellectual 'civility'.

    You've evidence for this?

    Peterm2's been perfectly capable of presenting a sensible side to the conservatively religious

    What is sensible and what is not are not things to be stipulated in advance.

    Peter has a talent you could do well to emulate. Think how much you could get away with lol

    We can't all be as lucid as Peter is. We can try.

  • Comment number 95.

    Steady on guys!


    Ryan

    Where are you getting your NT Wright info?

  • Comment number 96.

    LOL *yawn*
    Andrew in another thread

    Your feelings are never my feelings, you get the 'warm fuzzies' bathing kittens whereas I get the 'warm fuzzies' drowning them. Different strokes for different folks.
    What more can be said about your brand of *Christianity*... does more to obstruct goodness than assist it.

    Oh and yeah I had to check I had the right spelling of obfuscate ;)

    Maybe when Protestant, conservative, fundamentalist Christians learn to not condemn & tar *all* gay people with the same brush- as being incapable of love, as untermensch, as invalid, not worthy of being identified as fully franchised members of society- when they become unsusceptible to homophobic memes that tell them to boycott shops that accept homosexuality (these information viruses that travel across the net in waves of bigotry-infused seeding by means of search engine technology invented by a gay man- Turing), then I won't feel that *all* Christians who self-identify as 'Protestant, conservative, Fundamentalist' are a virulent, caustic strain of Christianity akin to the KKK.

    This type of Christian must surely be aware this is how others in society view them, so when they start throwing their weight around, they too better be aware how they're viewed outside of their clique
  • Comment number 97.

    Ryan

    Andrew in another thread 'Your feelings are never my feelings, you get the 'warm fuzzies' bathing kittens whereas I get the 'warm fuzzies' drowning them. Different strokes for different folks.'

    Apparently you're unfamiliar with an internal critique. You're also quoting me selectively. That discussion was on the knowledge of God;

    You [Eunice] don't *know* what love is, you don't *know* what evil is, you don't *know* what God is. Love, evil, God are simply felt. And, as I have already suggested, there is no way to distinguish between the feelings of one and the feelings of another, which are good and which are evil, without recourse to objective, normative, propositional theology. Your feelings are never my feelings, you get the 'warm fuzzies' bathing kittens whereas I get the 'warm fuzzies' drowning them. Different strokes for different folks.


    What more can be said about your brand of *Christianity*... does more to obstruct goodness than assist it.

    Again, where's the supporting argument?

    Oh and yeah I had to check I had the right spelling of obfuscate ;)

    As long as you get the right spelling, never mind the meaning ;)

    Maybe when Protestant, conservative, fundamentalist Christians learn to not condemn & tar *all* gay people with the same brush- as being incapable of love, as untermensch, as invalid, not worthy of being identified as fully franchised members of society

    Who are the Protestant, conservative, fundamentalist Christians who believe/say these things about gay people?

    when they become unsusceptible to homophobic memes that tell them to boycott shops that accept homosexuality

    Speaking of memes, here's Dickie Dawkins on morality;

    JB: When you make a value judgement don't you immediately step yourself outside of this evolutionary process and say that the reason this is good is that it's good. And you don't have any way to stand on that statement.
    RD: My value judgement itself could come from my evolutionary past.
    JB: So therefore it's just as random in a sense as any product of evolution.
    RD: You could say that, it doesn't in any case, nothing about it makes it more probable that there is anything supernatural.
    JB: Ultimately, your belief that rape is wrong is as arbitrary as the fact that we've evolved five fingers rather than six.
    RD: You could say that, yeah.


    https://www.bethinking.org/science-christianity/beginner/the-john-lennox-richard-dawkins-debate.htm
  • Comment number 98.

    Andrew Obfuscate- you've a talent for wilfully obscuring arguments & making communication confusing. If not a talent, you've honed it well through practice

  • Comment number 99.

    Alleged presidential assassin Ortega-Hernandez reportedly called Obama 'the Antichrist'. So who put that idea in his head...- 'Obama the Antichrist' and end-times doctrine

  • Comment number 100.

    99.At 23:33 20th Nov 2011, _Ryan_ wrote:
    Alleged presidential assassin Ortega-Hernandez reportedly called Obama 'the Antichrist'. So who put that idea in his head...- 'Obama the Antichrist' and end-times doctrine"
    *****
    I think the voices in his head are directing his actions. The poor man is mentally ill.

 

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