Second Sunday of Advent 2016 – Light of the Wold

second Advent candle

Today we relight the candle of HOPE.
Now we light the candle for the second Sunday in Advent. This is the candle of PEACE.

As we prepare for the coming of Jesus, we remember that Jesus is our hope and our peace.

* * *

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

The Christmas season is full of light – sparkling lights on the Christmas tree; houses in the neighborhood decorated with lights for the coming holiday; candles flickering on the mantle; a fire in the fireplace representing warmth, comfort, and hope. These are the images of light we will hold onto this Advent season.

And we hold these images as hope not only for our own lives; but for the lives of those suffering in Palestine, Israel, the Middle East, and around the world. We remember in our prayers this week:

  • The men, women, and children who are living in Gaza; often with only a few hours of electricity per day.
  • The 60,000 internally displaced persons in Gaza still waiting for a durable housing solution since the destruction of their homes during the 2014 Gaza War.
  • The families affected by the 155 demolitions or confiscations of Palestinian owned structures in East Jerusalem and the West Bank during September and October 2016.
  • Those affected by the terrible fires throughout Israel and the West Bank that destroyed hundreds of homes, displacing tens of thousands.

We close with a prayer from The Reverend Said Ailabouni, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago, Illinois:

God of mercy and compassion,
of grace and reconciliation,
pour your power upon all your children in the Middle East:
Jews, Muslims and Christians,
Palestinians and Israelis.
Let hatred be turned into love, fear to trust, despair to hope,
oppression to freedom, occupation to liberation,
that violent encounters may be replaced by loving embraces,
and peace and justice could be experienced by all.

(Source, Churches for Middle East Peace.)

 

 

 

 

Call for Papers – CEEAMS Conference, 13-18 February 2017, Osijek, Croatia

Love, Live, and Delight: Conversations in Central and Eastern Europe on present day documents and commitments on mission
13-18 February 2017, Osijek, Croatia

The 2017 CEEAMS Annual conference seeks to actively engage in worldwide conversations on four mission documents of the last years:

1. The Cape Town Commitment (CTC) discussed at the Third Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization in 2010, and published by the Lausanne Movement in 2011;
2. Together Towards Life (TTL), accepted in 2013 at the 10th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan, Korea;
3. the Evangelii Gaudium (EG), which concluded the year of Faith (2013) and was written in the first year of Pope Franciscus’ Pontificate.
4. The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today´s World (MOCT) – adopted in 2016 as an official document on mission at its Holy and Great Council. https://www.holycouncil.org/-/missionorthodox-church-todays-world

The conference seeks to identify key themes which are missiologically relevant for churches and Christian communities in Central and Eastern Europe, to critically analyse these documents and find ways of their translatability at academic level and in mission praxis, in and beyond in the region.
Conflicts, clashes, people worrying for their future, isolation, fear for the unknown, characterise the societies of Central and Eastern Europe; Christian communities and churches are challenged not to lose contact with each other and to open up to the societies to which they belong. Love, live and delight are calls for action prominently expressed in these four documents; they are active verbs more than ever relevant in the Europe of 2017, in which so much attention will be given to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Delighting in God, loving God and the fellow human being in order to be able to live together are the basic biblical values from which this conference seeks to find ways through which words of faith transform into lived faith.Read More »

popor de lozinci

ginduri triste de 1 decembrie

JURNAℓ SCOȚIAN

Cât eram în țară, în preajma sărbătorilor naționale, precum cea de astăzi, sau 24 ianuarie, sau 10 mai, făceam acest test: îi rugam pe cei din jur să-mi spună unul-două nume în legătură cu evenimentul respectiv. Un nume măcar, al vreunui român care să fi avut, de pildă, un rol de seamă la Marea Unire. Un nume, o mică poveste, un detaliu cu putere exemplară. Cu greu găseam pe cineva care să știe măcar un singur nume. Și asta nu în parohia mea de la țară, ci în oraș, printre absolvenți de licee și universități.

Ne-am învățat (cine ne-a învățat?) să purtăm memoria unor date sau evenimente mai mult decât memoria oamenilor care le-au făcut. Lozincile sunt mai eficiente decât istoriile personale, care, Doamne ferește, te mai pot pune și pe gânduri. Așa cum pe vechile noastre cărți nu se trecea mai niciodată autorul sau traducătorul. Nici azi nu știm…

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The European Union, Russia, Religion, and Fear

Public Orthodoxy

by Kristina Stoeckl

On 23 November 2016, the European Union Parliament passed a resolution entitled EU strategic communication to counteract anti-EU propaganda by third parties. In one part of this resolution, the signatories deplore that

the Russian Government is employing a wide range of tools and instruments, such as think tanks and special foundations (e.g. Russkiy Mir), special authorities (Rossotrudnichestvo), multilingual TV stations (e.g. RT), pseudo news agencies and multimedia services (e.g. Sputnik), cross-border social and religious groups, as the regime wants to present itself as the only defender of traditional Christian values, social media and internet trolls to challenge democratic values, divide Europe, gather domestic support and create the perception of failed states in the EU’s eastern neighbourhood.

The resolution was approved by 304 votes to 179, with 208 abstentions.

Religion comes up in two places in this resolution. It is mentioned first in the accusation that the…

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La mulți ani, Otniel Bunaciu (01.12.2016)

La multi ani prietenului meu, Dr Otniel Bunaciu.

Istorie Evanghelica

Otniel Bunaciu la BCB Filadelfia București (15.09.2013)Otniel Bunaciu este decanul Facultății de Teologie Baptistă din cadrul Universității București, profesor universitar în cadrul Universității din București, Institutul Teologic Baptist din București, dar și în cadrul altor instituții de învățământ superior din străinătate. Din anul 1991 este pastor al Bisericii Creștine Baptiste „Providența” din București. Între anii 2007–2015 a fost președintele Cultului Creștin Baptist – Uniunea Bisericilor Creștine Baptiste din România, iar în prezent este vicepreședinte cu misiunea. În perioada 2013-2015 a fost președintele Federației Baptiste Europene, mandat pe care l-a preluat la sfârșitul lunii septembrie 2013 în cadrul Consiliului Federației Baptiste Europene ținut la Bratislava și l-a predat în septembrie 2015 către Asatur Nahapetyan din Armenia. O transpunere istorică a implicării profesorului și pastorului Otniel Bunaciu în mediul academic și religios ar fi “sine ira et studio”.

Otniel Bunaciu, Nelu Brie, Daniel Mariș (octb 2016) Otniel Bunaciu, Nelu Brie, Daniel Mariș (octb 2016)

Pentru mai multe detalii despre alegerea în funcția de președinte al Federației…

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The Changing Seasons of Politics: Coming to Terms with the Aoun-Trump Axis

Martin Accad reflects theologically on the presidential processes in the US and Lebanon, with many similarities and reasons for concern. Lord have mercy!

The Institute of Middle East Studies

By Martin Accad

When the global community began to realize that the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ was growing bloody and violent with the turn of events in Syria, many journalists and political analysts – as well as the common pun-lover – began to refer to it as the ‘Arab Winter’ or the ‘Arab Fall.’ But I seriously doubt whether anyone expected that the orange-colored tree leaves of the current Fall season would manifest themselves as they have this month of November from Beirut to Washington, DC. Orange has indeed come upon us – from the orange logo of President Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement to the vastly mediatized orange hair-do of President-elect Donald Trump.

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La mulți ani, Dănuț Mănăstireanu !

Istorie Evanghelica

Imagini pentru dănuț mănăstireanu Foto: .criticatac.ro

În anul 2014 Alin Cristea a scris următoarele despre Dănuț Mănăstireanu

Îl consider a fi unul dintre cei mai buni cunoscători ai spaţiului confesional neo-protestant din România. […] Nu ştiu ca altcineva să fi avut în România un aşa impact (pe termen lung) în mediul evanghelic după 1989 (poate doar Iosif Ţon) precum Dănuţ Mănăstireanu, mai ales prin capacitatea sa relaţională, prin standardele sale înalte şi prin încurajarea diferitelor proiecte individuale şi colective. În mod deosebit, ţin să subliniez că este un om al dialogului, te simţi respectat în dialog cu el şi dacă nu e de acord cu tine sau ştie că ai căzut în slăbiciunea ipocriziei.

https://romaniaevanghelica.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/la-multi-ani-danut-manastireanu-30-11-2014/

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L-am cunoscut pe Dănuț în vara anului 2009 la Iași cu prilejul unui worksohop de istorie orală pe istoria evanghelicilor din România. Ne-am reîntâlnit în toamna aceluiași an, tot la Iași, la o conferință științifică organizată de…

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De ce nu sunt calvinist? (1): Introducere

Luci face aici rezumatul unui pelerinaj spiritual extrem de interesant, cu care s-ar putea sa se identifice, cel putin in parte, si unii dintre cititorii acestui blog. Eu unul abia astept urmatorul episod.

Skepsis

Există anumite dezbateri care nu se vor epuiza (aproape) niciodată. Una dintre ele este confruntarea dintre perspectiva calvinistă și cea arminiană. Unii se întreabă dacă dezbaterea își mai are rostul, în timp ce alții o văd ca pe un dat necesar și actual.

Una din cele mai dese întrebări care mi se pun, în diferite contexte, este aceasta: „tu ce ești? Calvinist sau Arminian?” Știind că nu e un subiect care poate fi parcurs la o cafea sau într-un schimb de comentarii pe Facebook(?!), aleg să răspund evaziv și să sar peste subiect. Nu că nu aș avea habar de ceea ce sunt🙂 dar știu că interlocutorul va sări cu o mie de întrebări și obiecții. Indiferent de culoarea mea teologică.

de-ce-nu-sunt-calvinist

Dacă pe Facebook nu se poate face teologie (și în parte o cred), măcar pe blog pot înșirui câteva rânduri în care voi prezenta câteva opinii personale în…

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Levente Horvath – The Promise of Living, not Just of Thinking to Be A Christian

celtic-cake
Celtic birthday cake (via Cami Di)

Note: I have received this birthday meditation from my friend Levente Horvath, addressed, again, to ‘a son of Advent’, and I have decided to share it with you.

* * *

As a Christian I shouldn’t try to think my way into a different way of living, but to live my way into a different way of thinking (paraphrasing Rohr). And of what does this different/new way of thinking consist? It is not just thinking that I am sharing the same confession of faith with the brethren, not that we agree with each other in our brains, but something far more beyond that. It is receiving others as I was received by Christ. As Jean-Louis Chrétien put it, “The first hospitality is nothing other than listening.” By listening, I pave the way toward living a “receiving-others-into-my-life, into-my-own personality”- lifestyle instead of living a life of pure thinking. In the New Testament Greek the word person (PERSONA in Latin) comes from PROSOPON, meaning “face-to-face.” This word in modernism was substituted with the word individual, INDIVIDUUM, the unit which cannot be further divided. But persona means turning to the other person, being open to listen to, receive, and let the person become part of me. This lets me be(come) a GENUINE PERSON. That is the secret of a Christian fellowship, of Christian living in, and as a member of, His Body. Rational abstraction is misleading, an illusion of living. Read More »

La mulți ani, Dănuț Mănăstireanu (30.11.2014)

a fost odata…

Romania Evanghelica

mv-32

Miroslav Volf și Dănuț Mănăstireanu – București, 11 iunie 2014

Îl consider a fi unul dintre cei mai buni cunoscători ai spaţiului confesional neo-protestant din România. […] Nu ştiu ca altcineva să fi avut în România un aşa impact (pe termen lung) în mediul evanghelic după 1989 (poate doar Iosif Ţon) precum Dănuţ Mănăstireanu, mai ales prin capacitatea sa relaţională, prin standardele sale înalte şi prin încurajarea diferitelor proiecte individuale şi colective. În mod deosebit, ţin să subliniez că este un om al dialogului, te simţi respectat în dialog cu el şi dacă nu e de acord cu tine sau ştie că ai căzut în slăbiciunea ipocriziei.

Nu pot decît să regret că spaţiul confesional evanghelic din România i-a oferit atît de puţin, în comparaţie cu ce i-a oferit el. Nu m-aş mira dacă într-o zi, într-o istorie nefardată a baptiştilor din România, voi fi nevoit să scriu că…

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Doua variante

Val mai explica odata, pentru aia mai grei de cap, de la dreapta, si de la stinga, cum a fost cu guvernul tehnocrat. Ca sa fie clar.
Numai ca aia, stingacii si dreptacii, au orbul (si surdul) ideologic al gainilor, si nu ar percepe adevarul nici daca ar urla la ei de la un metru distanta.
Dar omul poate sa incerce, ca nu-i bai.

Valeriu Nicolae

In prima o sa fie initial mai bine. Vechii mesteri o sa isi reia pozitiile si aparatul administrativ obisnuit sa raspunda amenintarilor politicianului marlan si ale baronului local deja ales va reactiona rapid. Mai toti sunt flamanzi rau dupa un an de pauza de spagi de la guvern asa ca deschiderea robinetului cu bani publici va ajuta potolirea foamei baronilor. Bani vor fi imediat promisi votantilor captivi, lucru care va rasplati votul acestora si va intari reflexul  raspunsului la mita electorala. Televiziunile penale si patronii lor vor avea din nou acces la finantarile generoase (inclusiv din fonduri Europene) date cu dedicatie, lucru care va ajuta cresterea discrepantei intre realitate si imaginea publica a actiunilor partidelor. Va creste numarul licitatilor cu un singur participant si a vilelor pe numele rudelor si amantelor baronilor loiali.

Pe termen mediu o sa fie din ce in ce mai prost iar pe termen lung poate…

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Brian Zahnd – Christian Certitude: A Disaster Waiting to Happen

enns-sin-of-certainly

Do you love your faith so little that you have never battled a single fear lest your faith should not be true? Where there are no doubts, no questions, no perplexities, there can be no growth.

– George MacDonald

In my spiritual memoir, Water To Wine, part of the story I tell involves my own journey away from cheap certitude toward an authentic faith. It is a phenomenon of modernity that certitude (mental assent toward something as an absolute empirical fact) has become confused with faith (an orientation of the soul toward God in the form of deep trust).

That this phenomenon is prevalent among certain streams of Christians is strangely ironic since this involves genuflecting at the altar of empiricism and privileging knowledge over faith. Privileging empiricism above faith as the final arbiter of truth is a hallmark of modernity, but it is also antithetical to Christianity.

Certitude is a poor substitute for authentic faith. But certitude is popular; it’s popular because it’s easy. No wrestling with doubt, no dark night of the soul, no costly agonizing over the matter, no testing yourself with hard questions. Just accept a secondhand assumption or a majority opinion or a popular sentiment as the final word and settle into certainty.

Certitude is easy…until it’s impossible. And, that’s why certitude is so often a disaster waiting to happen. The empty slogan “the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” is cheap certitude, not genuine faith.Read More »

Credință, securitate și corturi | Steaua

Source: Credință, securitate și corturi | Steaua

Iata aici o noua cronica a romanului Sarbatoarea corturilor a lui Ioan T Morar, scrisa de Victor Cublesan pentru revista clujeana Steaua.
Sincer sa fiu, cronica nu ma convinge, in ciuda aerului ei doct, profesional.

Criticul se raporteaza la obiectul sau de studiu precum proful de biologie are face disectii pe broasca in laborator (nu sunt foarte sigur daca in acest caz broasca este romanul sau autorul insusi).

Este evident ca domnul Cublesan nu rezoneaaza nici cu subiectul romanului, nici cu contextul in care se desfasoara actiunea lui. Rezultatul este un text arid, si cam sictirit. Din el aflam insa, dincolo de orice putinta de tagada, ca daca criticul nostru ar fi scris romanului cu pricina, rezultatul ar fi fost unul net superior. Ceea ce dovedeste ca cei care sunt in stare sa faca ceva, o fac; in vreme ce ceilalti ii invata pe altii cum sa faca (ceea ce ei insisi n-au putut face vreodata).

Daniel Oprean: Gramatica uceniciei

Daniel Oprean despre ucenicie, ‘Cenusareasa’ bisericii contemporane.

Istorie Evanghelica

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“Divinity School,” “School of Divinity,” and American Confusion

Prof Hurtado tries in this post to enlighten some of the heavily prejudiced, and poorly informed American theological secularists. I doubt there is much hope, but one could only try.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

In a session at the recent SBL annual meeting in which I served as a panel-reviewer of a recently published book, the discussion descended into speculations about how the views of panellists were shaped by whether they taught in a public university or a “Divinity School” (i.e., theological seminary preparing individuals for Christian ministry).  And it became clear that the other panellists thought that I was attached to the latter type of institution, which meant that I was supposedly working from some different set of presumptions than the other panellist.  So, some clarification is needed.

First, as for me, I last taught in a theological college with a faith-commitment in 1978.  Thereafter, I taught for 18 years in the University of Manitoba, Department of Religion (the major public university of Manitoba).  Then, from 1996 to 2011 I was Professor in the University of Edinburgh, a public-funded British university, not a church-related…

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The Disarray and Hope of Our Post-Election Abortion Politics

This article is about pro-lifers wrestling with their post- Trump election challenges. Really worth reading.

Public Orthodoxy

by Charles C. Camosy

Pro-lifers, despite being in the clear majority of the country, are now politically homeless. 73% of Americans want abortion to be broadly illegal after week twelve of gestation, but for the US Congress, a 20-week limit—a modest threshold that makes European restrictions look pro-life—seems impossible to achieve.

Senate Democrats still have the capacity to filibuster such common-sense restrictions, and given their recent commitments to wild abortion extremism, they almost certainly will. In a July opinion piece with the Los Angeles Times, I joined Kristen Day (executive director of Democrats for Life) in calling out the extremism of the Democratic platform supported by Hillary Clinton. In addition to supporting the coercion of pro-lifers to pay for the killing of the most vulnerable with their own tax dollars, the platform did the following:

  • It called for repeal of all “federal and state laws and policies that impede…

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E-Motion – A Free Preview

e-motion

Runtime: 1h 27m | Release date: 2013

This film features: Dr. Bradley Nelson.Imagine a world where the trapped emotions, fears, anxieties and unprocessed life experiences we hold in our bodies are the source for everything that ails us. That’s the world we live in.

Now imagine a world where everyone is manifesting from their heart the perfect creation that’s inside each of us. Imagine a world where abundance, inner peace, longevity and loving relationships abound. Imagine emotion experts from around the world sharing their wisdom and negative-emotion clearing techniques to light a new pathway for humanity. Imagine we are sacred, spiritual beings here for a much larger reason, serving a much higher purpose, a divine purpose. That’s where we’re going.

Read More »

The Tree Church – An Experiment in New Zeeland

After travelling the world and being a keen observer of Churches, Barry Cox decided to construct a unique Church of his own using living trees and  utilising his Tree Spade. After starting construction in April 2011, the Tree Church Gardens are now available for public visits and private events. Come and enjoy first-hand the living Church, the labyrinth walk and the extensive gardens for your viewing pleasure, photographic opportunities or private events.

Source, HERE.

Cititorii de limba romana pot gasi AICI un text despre acest interesant proiect.

 

First Sunday of Advent 2016 – Light Shines in Darkness

AdventWreath-celtic

In him was life,
and that life was the light of the people.
The light shines in darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
(John 1:4-5)

Advent is a season of waiting. The anticipation of things to come. The desperate hope that the darkness of the world is not the end of the story; but one day light will prevail.

For those invested and paying attention to the political realities of the Middle East, often darkness seems to rule the day. There is much darkness to lament.

The darkness of the Syrian conflict that has raged for more than half a decade and has

resulted in the displacement and death of millions… Read More »

Honouring Cuban Dissident Armando Valladares on the Day of Fidel’s End

armando-valladares
Armando Valladares

Another old communist devil, comrade Fidel, died today. Cuba, and the world, will be better off without him.

(By the way, I am still waiting, and hoping, that another old devil, comrade Mugabe, will also finally appear before the judgement throne of God, for his many crimes. The sooner, the better, for the sake of the embattled and hungry the people of Zimbabwe, and the good of the world as a whole.)

But today I refuse to talk about old devils. I prefer to rather share with you a few words in honour of one who dared to stand, at a high cost, against the devilish communist ideology in Cuba, the Catholic poet, diplomat, human rights activist, and public intellectual, Armando Valladares.

I remember of praying for him in the early nineteen eighties, after reading about his harsh imprisonment in Sergiu Grossu’s monthly magazine Catacombes, which the Romanian author edited in Paris, France.

Here are a few details about his life and work (source, HERE).

As you read about him, I invite you to say a prayer for freedom and dignity in Cuba.

May the Lord hear our prayers!

* * *

Armando Valladares Perez (born May 30, 1937) is a Cuban poet, diplomat, and human rights activist. In 1960, he was arrested by the Cuban government for protesting communism,[1] leading Amnesty International to name him a prisoner of conscience. Following his release in 1982, he wrote a book detailing his imprisonment and torture at the hands of the Cuban government [Against All Hope: The Prison Memoirs of Armando Valladares], and was appointed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan to serve as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.Read More »

Euforia fundamentalistă şi spiritul evanghelismului (4)

dyo

Continuare de AICI.

Evanghelismul

Termenul “evanghelic” este ȋn Romȃnia un confortabil substitut pentru “pocăit”, “neoprotestant” sau pentru extrem de incisivul “sectant”. Are chiar o nuanţă academică. Despre “neoprotestant” vă spun doar că este un hibrid specific Răsăritului (semnificaţia lui ȋn Occident este cu totul alta, bate ȋnspre liberalismul teologic) şi că, ȋn principiu, el desemnează acele culte creştine care nu sunt parte a reformei magisteriale (aici sunt, de regulă, și bisericile care nu s-au lepădat – cel puţin nu ȋn totalitate – de o perspectivă sacramentală şi liturgică a actelor de cult, bisericile lutherane şi reformate fiind un exemplu ȋn acest sens). Pentru o documentare mai detaliată, chiar dacă nu neapărat lămuritoare, asupra termenului “neoprotestant” vă recomand articolul lui Otniel Vereş de pe oglinda.net, Protestanţi sau neoprotestanţi? That’s the question!

Revenind la definirea termenului evanghelism, ce altă carte mai bună ar fi fost ca punct de plecare ȋn discuţia…

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Umberto Eco – The 14 Common Features of Fascism

umberto-eco
Umberto Eco

Here is what Eco says about these features:

‘…in spite of this fuzziness, I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.’

And here they are:

  • The cult of tradition. “One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements.”
  • The rejection of modernism. “The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.”
  • The cult of action for action’s sake. “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”
  • Disagreement is treason. “The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge.”

Read More »

Kevin Giles Responds at ETS to the heretical Views on the Trinity of Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware

kevin-giles
Kevin Giles, Australian author and Anglican priest

The paper below was given by Kevin Giles at the plenary forum on the Trinity at the Evangelical Theological Society annual conference, 15th November, 2016 at San Antonia. The other speakers were Dr Bruce Ware, Dr Millard Erickson and Dr Wayne Grudem; Dr Sam Storms presided.

* * *

Thank you, Dr Storms, for your welcome. It is a huge honor to be invited to give the introductory address at this ETS plenary forum on the Trinity.

In putting my case this afternoon I am going to speak very forthrightly and unambiguously, as from past experience I am sure Dr Grudem and Dr Ware will do.[1] Dr Erickson who stands with me in opposing Dr Grudem and Dr Ware’s teaching on the Trinity I am sure will be the clearest in what he says and the most gracious. I speak bluntly because the issues we are discussing are of monumental importance for the evangelical community. I believe what Dr Grudem and Dr Ware teach on the Trinity, and now very large numbers of evangelicals believe, contradicts what the Nicene creed, the Reformation and post-Reformation Protestant confessions and the ETS doctrinal statement teach.

To begin my presentation, I make three matters perfectly clear. First, I have no distinctive doctrine of the Trinity. My exposition of the Trinity which follows is simply an outline of what I consider to be the historic, orthodox doctrine of the Trinity as spelt out in the Nicene Creed. I know absolutely nothing about a so-called “evangelical egalitarian doctrine of the Trinity”

What this means is that I have basically the same understanding of the Trinity as the many complementarian confessional Reformed theologians who have “come out” in opposition to Dr Grudem and Dr Ware’s teaching on the Trinity.[2] What this immediately reveals is that the divide on the Trinity is not between evangelical egalitarians and complementarians but between creedal and confessional evangelicals and non-creedal and confessional evangelicals.Read More »

Politics by Candlelight: Contemplating Political Catharsis and Illumination

‘On the day that Donald Trump became president-elect, I reaffirmed my resolve never to question the ideal of democracy. But I could question the reduction of democracy to demagoguery.’ Well said. Lord have mercy!

Public Orthodoxy

by Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis

“Democracy is coming to the USA.” (Leonard Cohen)

Americans don’t like talking openly about politics across party lines; they prefer to talk in their own silos and not to each other. American Christians – at least, this is my experience among Orthodox Christians in America – would almost identify political argumentation as somehow betraying the Christian Gospel; I’m not so sure, however, that this is based so much on Gospel principle as on some misconception of the right to privacy.

Critics, then, may be politically or religiously ostracized – sometimes both. So at risk of stepping into the unknown territory of political purgatory, as a dual citizen of America and Australia, as a layman as well as a theologian, let me briefly consider the topics of money in politics, immigration as inclusion, and climate change in light of the recent presidential election.

Pay-to-play?

On the…

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Domnul a votat

O postare trista, legata de un eveniment care dovedeste ca prostitutia ‘sacra’ nu are limite. Sa ne fereasca Dumnezeu de mai rau. caci, vorba optimistului, se poatesi asa. Adica mai rau.

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Nu s-au hotărât unele capete luminate din sânul acelei confesiuni creștine care zice că ar mai avea în clin și mânecă cu ideea de separare a Bisericii de Stat dacă Dumnezeu face politică sau nu, așa că până la rezoluția finală, până să ni se spună limpede, măcar cu aceeași precizie cu care ni se desface pe butucii hermeneuticilor rămase adesea la nivel de exprimare din vremea în care francezii prăvăleau pe ulițele Parisului căpățână după căpățână de cugetător apostat, întreaga taină a unor pietre teologico-filozofale eterne – între care strălucesc într-o deplină libertate a teologhisirii duhovnicești predestinarea, mântuirea prin turnare de plozi și materialul din care se confecționează acoperitoarea femeii –, cine-i bun, frate de-al nostru, cine-i drăcușor eligibil și ștampilabil creștinește la alegeri – că deh, puntea-i subțire iar apele învolburate, iar nouă nu ne dă ghes credința la a umbla pe ele precum se făcea odinioară –…

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Timothy Snyder – 20 Lessons from the 20th Century

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Timothy Snyder

Timothy Snyder, Bird White Housum Professor of History at Yale University, has published on Nov 15, 2016, on his Facebook wall, the following lessons from the 20th century, which both Americans and Europeans would do well to rehearse, before it is too late. Here they are.

* * *

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

3. Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges. Read More »

Vasile Ernu și-a adus „Bandiții” la Iași!

Domnul Liviu Antonesei despre lansarea de la Iasi a ultimei carti a lui Vasile Ernu, pe care am savurat-o impreuna cu o bere scotiana neagra, numita The March of the Pinguins. V-o recomand cu placere (nu puteam spune cu ‘caldura’, ca e bere, nu vin fiert), alaturi de carte, pe care abia astept s-o ingurgitez. Sa fiti sanatosi! Si sa ne traiasca Vasea, ca pre multi ii enerveaza, si la stinga si la dreapta; asa cum se si cuvine.

@ntonesei's blog

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Este vorba, desigur, despre volumul Bandiții, al doilea din Mica trilogie a marginalilor, recent apărut la editura Polirom. Volumul a fost lansat în această seară, începînd cu ora 18,  la pub-ul Beer Zone de pe Lăpușneanu. Sînt și bandiții, însă în carte, în culori și în mărime naturală, așa de bine îi pictează Vasile în cartea sa. După Sectanții, volum apărut anul trecut, acum Bandiții. Poate pe la anul pe vremea asta citim și al treilea volum! Invitații lui Ernu au fost Iulian Bănilă și Pavel Lucescu. Actorul și regizorul Ion Sapdaru a citit din carte. Atmosfera caldă spre electrizantă, lume atît de multă că nu aveai loc să arunci un ac, deși pub-ul nu e deloc mic! Plăcut, foarte plăcut… Vasile Ernu este, alături de Costi Rogozanu, Victoria Stoiciu, Alex Cistelecan, Alex Matei ș.a, unul dintre cei cîțiva tineri autori de stînga pe care îi citesc…

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22 December – Blessed Clive Staple Lewis Celebrated by Anglicans

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According to the Anglican lectionary, the Episcopal Church in the US celebrates on 22 December the life of the blessed CS Lewis (see HERE).

Here is an Anglican prayer for this special day:

O God of searing truth and surpassing beauty, we give you thanks for Clive Staples Lewis whose sanctified imagination lights fires of faith in young and old alike; Surprise us also with your joy and draw us into that new and abundant life which is ours in Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Clive Staples Lewis (“Jack” Lewis to his friends) was a tutor and lecturer at Oxford University, and later Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English Literature at Cambridge University. In the judgment of many, he is the most popular and most effective explainer and defender of the Christian faith writing in English in this century. He tried to make a point of avoiding disputes on matters where Christians disagree, and defending those beliefs which they hold in common. His work was valued by many Christians of widely differing backgrounds: Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, etc. (Source, HERE)

Serata Onesimos – Biserica in fapt. Antropologia Bisericii vs Antropologia in biserica

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Asociația Culturală ”Onesimos” din Iași vă invită la prima serată din anul universitar 2016-2017:

”BISERICA ÎN FAPT. ANTROPOLOGIA BISERICII VS. ANTROPOLOGIA ÎN BISERICĂ”

Data: 27 noiembrie, duminică, ora 18.00
Locul: Str. Vânători nr. 7 (Tătărași, în spatele spitalului de Neurologie)

Participanți: Dănut Mănăstireanu (dr. în teologie, specialist în eclesiologie) și Mircea Păduraru (dr. în filologie, specialist în etnologie și folclor)

Subiectul pe care îl propunem spre dezbatere pune în tensiune două categorii de discursuri care pretind a oferi răspuns la întrebarea ”ce este Biserica?”. Pe de o parte, este vorba de preoți/ pastori ori teologi care rostesc predici ori scriu cărți în care interpretează texte de autoritate din istoria textuală a creștinismului și afirmă – pe socoteala lor – ce este/ar trebui să fie Biserica. Pe de altă parte, în calitatea ei de trup social (comunitate contextuală, culturală și dinamică) care aspiră să realizeze un anume tip de experiență sacră, Biserica este reflectată și de viața ei concretă – gesturi, practici, inerții, limbaje, ritualuri, sărbători etc., adică de fapte de viață care fac obiectul de cercetare al etno-antropologiei. În această diferență de abordare și de acces a același domeniu (Biserica) se află coordonatele cele mai generale ale dialogului, promisiunea conflictului, dar și a colaborării.

Intrarea este liberă.

Va așteptăm cu interes la discuții!