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Making Sure Children Actually Hear the Gospel and Not Just a Bunch of Bible Stories

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

We must not only teach children the stories of Scripture. We must teach them the Story of Scripture.

Children have a faith that is ready to go. Let’s not waste that opportunity by delivering a humanistic Gospel.

We talk a lot about contextualization Gospel communication. How do we share the eternal truth of God in specific locations for specific people who have a specific shared experience?

The Gospel does not change. So the message should remain the same, even as the methods are adjusted for effectiveness.

But how well do we proclaim the Gospel to children? I’m not asking how well we teach children Bible stories, or how well we have taught the moral truths of Scripture.

Are we contextualizing our Gospel communication for children as well as we are for the hipsters in Brooklyn or the tribes in Tanzania? ”

You can learn more about this issue here.

Abby Johnson testifies before Texas Senate on Planned Parenthood’s profiting from sale of fetal remains

The videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing dismembering human beings and harvesting (and possibly selling) their organs have been assailed as unfairly edited and, therefore, misrepresentative of what goes on there. Perhaps a far better representation of what is going on in Planned Parenthood was presented by Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director, when she testified before the Texas State Senate. Her testimony is not getting nearly the attention it deserves so I am posting it here. Thanks so much to Ryan Phunter who posted it on his blog, “Orthodox in the District,” which made it easily available to me to reblog here. After reading this testimony I cannot imagine how anyone can defend Planned Parenthood anymore. I hate to say that I am not surprised by any of these developments as they are all logical conclusions from the dehumanization that pervades our culture and as especially expressed in Planned Parenthood, an organization founded by a eugenicist, racist, and Nazi sympathizer (see here and here and here and here and here). Now, more than ever, the scourge of abortion needs to be stopped. God have mercy on us all.

Orthodox in the District

Warning: The following testimony deals with the graphic issue of abortions, the dismemberment of fetal tissue after abortions, and the harvesting and disposal of fetal remains. Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director, testified before the Texas State Senate.

If you are reading this and have had an abortion, I am not judging you at all. I love you and pray for you, as does the whole Orthodox Church every day. My fervent hope is that you will not despair of your decision, but will unite yourself all the more deeply to the Church who loves you. If you are not an Orthodox Christian, Google “Orthodox Christian parish” and find the one closest to you. Stop by for a service sometime and revel in the peace. You are always welcome in the Lord’s temple. The Lord still loves you and always will, and He wants to offer…

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The Incarnation: Its Relevance

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

“To call the incarnation “relevant” almost sounds patronizing. But we need to recognize the intimate connection between this important doctrine and personal piety.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

In This Great Service: A Theological and Political Defense of Monarchy

I just discovered this blog and I thought this post was really thought provoking as it made me look again at the founding of America but through a different perspective.  It also has made me rethink my view of monarchy and take another, but this time more skeptical, look at what is essentially my perhaps ungrounded assumption that the republican/democracy system is obviously superior to the alternatives.

Orthodox in the District

Laurits Tuxen's 1898 Coronation of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna. Laurits Tuxen’s 1898 Coronation Portrait of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna.

“Lord God of our fathers, and King of Kings, Who created all things by Thy word, and by Thy wisdom has made man, that he should walk uprightly and rule righteously over Thy world; Thou hast chosen me as . . . judge over Thy people. I acknowledge Thy unsearchable purpose towards me, and bow in thankfulness before Thy Majesty. Do Thou, my Lord and Governor, fit me for the work to which Thou hast sent me; teach me and guide me in this great service. May there be with me the wisdom which belongs to Thy throne; send it from Thy Holy Heaven, that I may know what is well-pleasing in Thy sight, and what is right according to Thy commandment. May my heart be in Thy hand, to accomplish all that is to the profit of the…

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Three Questions, Three Fault Lines in America’s Churches

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

“If the goal was to map the evolving landscape of American religion, the late George Gallup Jr. once told me, it was crucial to keep asking two kinds of questions.

The first kind attempted to document things that never seemed to change, or that were changing very, very slowly. Thus, Gallup urged his team to keep using the old questions his father and others in the family business began asking in the 1940s and ’50s, such as how often people attended worship services, how often they prayed and whether they believed in God.

The second kind of question, he said, tested whether these alleged beliefs and practices affected daily life.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

 

American theology in disarray, survey shows

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

“A recent survey by Ligonier Ministries shows how inexact the label “Christian” can be. Among Americans, 77 percent say they are Christian. But what does that mean?

To try to answer that question, Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of popular theologian R.C. Sproul, conducted a benchmark study to try to discern “The State of Theology” in the United States.

Ligonier notes that, while more than two-thirds of Americans agree on a few biblical truths, often more than half of Americans disagree with many statements expressing orthodox Christian doctrine. One such statement is the scriptural belief that humans are, by nature, sinful and under the judgment of God for sin. Read more

From a historic Anglican viewpoint as well as an Anglican Reformed perspective the theology of the Anglican Church in North America is also in disarray–at odds with the Scriptures and the Anglican confessional formularies in a number of key areas.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

 

 

Unchurched America

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

They pray, own Bibles and are ‘spiritual’ but nearly half still see no value in attending church

New research by the Barna group paints an interesting picture of those who are aware of the church and even think positively of the Christian faith, but who, for whatever reason, feel that actively being a part of church is not for them.

‘Churchless’ is the title of Barna’s latest research into understanding today’s unchurched and how to connect with them.

The research reveals that the number of churchless Americans has risen sharply since the early 1990s, when only around two out of 10 adults were churchless.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

Ministers Can Continue Using the Housing Allowance Per Court Ruling

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

“A federal appeals court has upheld the tax provision that allows ministers of all faiths to continue receiving housing allowances. As many had predicted, the court rejected an atheist group’s lawsuit seeking to strike down the law that had been in effect for 60 years.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said the atheist group lacked standing, the legal right to sue, because they were not seeking an allowance for themselves. The court panel did not address the constitutionality of the housing allowance since the plaintiffs did not legally qualify to bring the suit.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

A Supreme Court Case to Watch

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

New York mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned on the promise of letting churches rent school space. Now he’s asking the Supreme Court to prohibit it.

When Bill de Blasio campaigned against Michael Bloomberg in 2013 to become mayor of New York City, he promised to reverse a highly contested city policy that prohibited churches from renting public schools for worship services. In response, religious voters helped de Blasio trounce his opposition with 73 percent of the vote.

But after de Blasio took office in January 2014, he didn’t make the change, even though it could be done executively. Keep reading

A Supreme Court ruling banning churches from renting school space would be a major setback for new church plants. It could be interpreted to include fire station community rooms, community centers, park shelters, and other public buildings that church plants use as meeting places.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

Aggrieved Parties and Their Right to Appeal

The Rules of Civil Procedure are designed to facilitate litigation so it can be performed smoothly and predictably. Unfortunately, one simply cannot predict and write a rule for every possible contingency that could happen in the life of a case. There will always be circumstances that seem to fall into the cracks between the rules.

Pa.R.C.P. 1028(a)(1) requires a complaint be dismissed when the court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter and/or the parties to a claim. Pa.R.C.P. 1028(5) requires a complaint be dismissed when a plaintiff lacks standing to file one on the issues contained therein. What if a plaintiff sues two defendants in municipal court, wins a judgment for jurisdictional limits against only one defendant but files an appeal to the court of common pleas against both parties despite having won as much as legally permitted against one of the defendants?

Although, pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S.A. §5105, a party may file an appeal from a final order, it could be argued that only an aggrieved party may file an appeal, as in Pierro v. Pierro, 434 Pa. 131 (1969). Pennsylvania case law has something to say on this subject: “Standing [to file an appeal] requires an aggrieved party, and one ‘who is not adversely affected in any way by the matter which he seeks to challenge is not ‘aggrieved’ thereby and has no standing to obtain a judicial resolution of his challenge,’” as the court held in Lisa H v. State Board of Education 67 Pa.Cmwlth. 350 (1982), quoting William Penn Parking Garage v. City of Pittsburgh, 464 Pa. 168 (1975).

If our hypothetical plaintiff above won a judgment against one of the defendants for full jurisdictional limits in municipal court, it could be argued, per the above case law, that the plaintiff is not an aggrieved party, as he won his case against the defendant as completely as possible according to his own complaint and the municipal court rules. As he is not aggrieved, it could be argued, he has no standing to file an appeal of that judgment to the court of common pleas against that defendant. If the plaintiff had no standing and, therefore, could not file an appeal of the judgment, the court of common pleas, theoretically, has no jurisdiction over the person or subject matter at issue as it pertains to that one defendant.

The statute and cases seem to point in the direction that only a truly aggrieved party can file an appeal. Unfortunately, there seems to be a conspicuous absence among the relevant cases and statutes as to precisely whether a party that completely wins its case against a party, particularly in municipal court, is actually an aggrieved party with the right to appeal. It would seem that this issue is ripe for testing in the courts as soon as the opportunity arises.

Originally published in The Legal Intelligener Blog on May 21, 2013 which you can see here.

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