Scot McKnight – Why Anglican? – 1

More than twice a month I am asked “Why did you become Anglican?” The answer to the question is complex, and I want to answer that question in part by saying up front that I don’t believe in ecclesiastical superiority. I don’t think any single church or denomination is the one true church. I’ve heard more than a whiff of this from folks as varied as Plymouth Brethren, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic (in spades, frankly), Baptist, Evangelical Covenant, and United Methodists. So in this series I’m not saying that the Anglican Communion is the one-true-and-always-faithful church in the world.

I became Anglican because of the church calendar. (Not only because of the church calendar but it was part of the process.) Non-calendar Christians usually observe Christmas (not always Advent, though it is growing) and Good Friday and Easter. That’s about it. The rest of the year is up to the preacher, the pastor, the elders and deacons, and up to the congregation. Many pastors wisely organize their churches to be formed over time through a series of themes — or books of the Bible (Martyn Lloyd-Jones and John Piper preached through Romans for almost two decades) — but none can improve on the centrality of Christ in the church calendar. Continue reading “Scot McKnight – Why Anglican? – 1”

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Random Thoughts on My Canadian Friend Don Posterski – May God Rest Him in Peace!

Don Posterski

UPDATE: On Wednesday, June 13th, at 2pm, Toronto time, my dear friend Don Posterski went to be in glory with Christ and the saints. May he rest in peace!

I met Don for the first time in early 2000, just a few months after I joined World Vision, to work in the Middle East and Eastern Europe Region (MEER), as Director for Faith & Development (F&D – the sector of which Don was in charge in WVI, earlier called Christian Impact – CI, and then Christian Commitments – CC)). Soon after that, he invited me to join him in the WVI Commission on the Church, which, due to Don’s wisdom and his ability to lead a team of very diverse and hard headed members, was the most significant initiative in which I was involved in my 20 years in WV. I wish I had a picture from any of those significant meetings, but I do not. Therefore, I will try to compensate (over)illustrating other events.

Later that year, in October, I invited Don to join my team in Sinaia, Romania, for the first regional event of our sector, called the Christian Life Conference. There, the main speaker was Jim Houston, who taught on Christian Discipleship, while Don taught on building church partnerships, Tim Dearborn taught on witness to Jesus Christ and I taught on spiritual formation. It was a great event, which participants remember fondly, almost 18 years later. Again, Don gave the measure of his unique leadership style, by keeping himself in the background and encouraging others to serve with their gifts. (Again, sadly, I lost all pictures from that event.) Continue reading “Random Thoughts on My Canadian Friend Don Posterski – May God Rest Him in Peace!”

Fourth Sunday of Advent 2017 – Light the Candle of Love

AdventWreath

Today we relight the first three candles of the Advent Wreath — the candles of HOPE, PEACE and JOY.

Now we light the fourth candle of Advent. This is the candle of LOVE.

Jesus demonstrated self-giving love in his ministry as the Good Shepherd. Advent is a time for kindness, thinking of others, and sharing with others. It is a time to love as God loved us by giving us his most precious gift. As God is love, let us be love also.

In the Book of Deuteronomy we find these words:

“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
— Deuteronomy 10:17-19a
From the Gospel of John we hear:
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
— John 13:34-35
Let us pray:
Teach us to love, O Lord. May we always remember to put you first as we follow Christ’s footsteps, that we may know your love and show it in our lives. As we prepare for our celebration of Jesus’ birth, also fill our hearts with love for the world, that all may know your love and the one whom you have sent, your son, our Savior. Amen.

(Source, HERE)

Third Sunday of Advent 2017 – Light the Candle of Joy

Third Advent Candle

Today we relight the first two candles of the Advent wreath. The candle of HOPE and the candle of PEACE.

Now we light the third candle of Advent.

This is the candle of JOY. As the coming of Jesus, our Savior, draws nearer, our joy builds with our anticipation of his birth.

From the Book of Isaiah we read the words of our Lord:

“But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight.”
— Isaiah 65:18

From the New Testament, the words of Paul to the people of the church at Galatia:

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.”
— Galatians 5:22-25

Let us pray:
We joyfully praise you, O Lord, for the fulfillment of your promise of a Savior and what that means in our lives. Thank you for the gift of salvation through the birth of your son, Jesus. Create us anew as we wait, and help us to see your glory as you fill our lives with your living Spirit. Amen.

(Source, HERE).

An Interview with Caitlin Curtice – A Native American Christian

(RNS) — Kaitlin Curtice grew up Southern Baptist and now attends an Anglican church. She doesn’t necessarily identify herself with either denomination, she said, but she does call herself a Native American Christian.

Then she watches a look of confusion cross people’s faces. “They don’t understand what that means,” Curtice said.

The popular 29-year-old worship leader has been working that meaning out in her writing — including a blog, titled “Stories,” and a well-reviewed book published this month by Paraclete Press, “Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places.”

Kaitlin Curtice, Native American Author, Speaker & Worship Leader

When she isn’t traveling around the country to speaking engagements, Curtice is in Atlanta with her husband, two young sons and two dogs. She home-schools the boys, she said, and with them, she is learning their Potawatomi language and culture.

This first book of Curtice’s is full of stories about everyday moments infused with meaning, the books that “opened something up” in her and reconnecting with her Native American heritage. She talked about all these things earlier with RNS.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

* * *

Early in the book, you mention your journey to learn more about your Potawatomi heritage. What set you on that path, and what has that journey looked like for you?

We live in Georgia, and there are a lot of Native historic sites here. It’s Muscogee Creek land and Cherokee land — there are areas you can go hiking, and there will be a plaque that tells you who lived there. We went hiking at one of our favorite places, Sweetwater Creek, and my youngest son was 1, and he was hungry, and I had to breastfeed him. I was like, well, I’ll just try and feed him while we walk because there’s no place to sit down.
It was just this moment where God stopped me and time stood still and God was like, “This is what your ancestors did on the Trail of Death. This is what your great-great-great-grandmother did.”
It was that moment where somebody points at you and says, “This is who you are, and this is who your children are, and this is what you’re called to be.” It was just really beautiful, and it just switched on this light for me. From then on, it was just constantly reading and writing and processing and trying to learn as much as I could and having these memories of childhood come back to me that I had forgotten.

Read HERE the entire interview.

The Record meets with acclaimed academic Mark Noll – The Wheaton Record – The Wheaton Record

Source: The Record meets with acclaimed academic Mark Noll – The Wheaton Record – The Wheaton Record

A very good interview. Here is a small quote on evangelicalism:
‘If when people hear “evangelical” they think of something political first, then the serious meaning of the word is gone. ‘

And another one, on the Reformation:
‘I myself, I don’t think it’s appropriate either to be completely celebratory about the Reformation or completely negative about the breakup of western Christianity. But there were critical issues having to do with religious authority, location of the nature of divine revelation, the means by which God reconciles people to himself, critical issues having to do with the nature of religion in society, the authority of temporal rulers over spiritual rulers. All of those really important matters were adjusted, shaken up, reformed and revised in about a forty year period. So whether people realize it or not, certainly the Christian churches in the West — and to some extent where the churches have spread in the world — were the heirs of what happened then.

Scot McKnight – Why Be Anglican: The Collects

churchcalendar

Dr. McKnight continues his efforts of explaining why has he joined Anglicanism. As many friends are asking me the same question, I have decided to share here Professor McKnight’s responses. I will not be able to do it better than him, anyway. So, here is a new epidoee in this series. Today, about the Collects.

* * *

The collects of the church reveal the church’s practices and beliefs about prayer; a collect is a set prayer for a set time in the church calendar.

In them we see the church’s theology of prayer come to expression. I posted about the collects here and included a reference to a fine book “collecting” the collects: C. Frederick Barbee and Paul F.M. Zahl,The Collects of Thomas Cranmer.

There are five basic elements of a collect, and each of these expresses the Christian theology of prayer:

1. Address to God
2. Naming a context in which God has been active and therefore why God can be addressed now.
3. The petition.
4. Hoped for outcome.
5. Shaping the prayer in a Trinitarian context. Continue reading “Scot McKnight – Why Be Anglican: The Collects”