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Archive for the tag “separation”

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.

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.

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.

More Christian Clergy Are Saying “I Don’t” to Civil Marriage

Last week I posted an exploratory paper called Civil Marriage, Uncivil Times by The Reverend Canon Mark Rudolph, about whom you can learn here, who the rector of Saint John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Abington, Pennsylvania.  You can see the aforesaid post here.  The basic thrust of the paper is the movement of Christian clergy away from issuing civil marriage licenses and merely conducting Christian (i.e.: religious) marriages.

Fr. Rudolph drafted this paper as its proposition gains steam in American Christendom.  Indeed, just recently Philadelphia Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput suggested that the Church get out of the civil marriage business (see here).

Apparently Fr. Rudolph and Arbp. Chaput are onto something as the idea that Christian clergy discontinue issuing civil marriage licenses has gained traction in other Christian circles.  Jonathan Meritt in On Faith & Culture reports here that this idea is becoming more than just a merely theoretical action to be taken.  Indeed, First Things has now issued a so-called “marriage pledge” calling and challenging Christian clergy to withdraw from issuing civil marriages.  You can see the pledge here.  Of course, there are also Christian clergy who wish to slow down this movement a little in order to allow for more time for discernment, and you can read about that here.

So, needless to say, this is a very interesting development and I will be following it and reporting on it here so please stay tuned!

Civil Marriage, Uncivil Times: An Exploratory Paper

The Reverend Canon Mark Rudolph, about whom you can learn here, is the rector of Saint John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Abington, Pennsylvania.  As it happens, St. John’s is my home parish and Fr. Rudolph is my priest.  St. John’s, like every other church which remains steadfast in supporting the traditional, historic, biblical, and Christian teaching about marriage, is struggling to find its place in a cultural, legal, and governmental environment where Christian marriage is in steep decline and battling back things like divorce, adultery, unmarried cohabitation, and homosexual relationships, among many other things.

Christians are finding various ways to address the various social ills described above, and one way, though certainly not the only way, to do so, is described by Fr. Rudolph in his exploratory paper entitled Civil Marriage, Uncivil Times.  In the paper, Fr. Rudolph surveys the status of civil marriage in the United States, takes account of where it is going at this point, and suggests a way for churches to deal with their involvement in civil marriage in the near and foreseeable future.

His paper is rather thought provoking and appears to reflect the direction many churches are going right now.  I have attached his paper to this blog to spark a conversation and invite comments and questions about it.  It can be reviewed by clicking on the images below or, at the bottom of this blog, by clicking the link to the .pdf file.

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Here is a downloadable .pdf of the paper: civil marriage uncivil times.11-17-14

Money for Injuries During Marriage Are Divisible After Marriage

The recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court case of Focht v. Focht, 613 Pa. 48, has clarified Pennsylvania case law regarding the status of a court and/or litigation settlement and/or verdict in the context of equitable distribution in a divorce. The obvious question for divorce litigants is this: if one has a potential settlement/verdict, when, if at all, is it divisible in equitable distribution?

23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 3501(a)(8) specifically states that a “cause of action or claim which accrued prior to the marriage or after the date of final separation” is not divisible in equitable distribution. The courts, in the cases of Drake v. Drake, 555 Pa. 481, and Pudlish v. Pudlish, 2002 PA Super 95, made attempts to address actions and claims during the marriage (before separation), with the question at issue being “when does an action or claim accrue exactly?”

In Drake, one of the spouses had a worker´s compensation claim which included an injury and litigation settlement for the same, occurring during the marriage. The issue for the Drake Court was to determine whether the spouse´s claim for lost future wages, which extended to a time period beyond the dissolution of the marriage, would be subject to equitable distribution. The Court ruled that as the injury and its settlement both occurred during the marriage, any funds to be paid out in that settlement were to be included in equitable distribution. In other words, the entire settlement was considered to have accrued during the marriage.

In Pudlish, the Court ruled that a claim or action does not accrue until a verdict and/or settlement is entered. Practically speaking, then, an injury and its entire litigation could take place during a marriage, but if the verdict/settlement just happened to take place after marital separation, it would be considered separate property not subject to equitable distribution.

With the Drake and Pudlish cases in full view, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in Focht took the opportunity to clarify the issue of exactly when an action/claim accrues by laying out what is now the definitive rule in Pennsylvania. In Focht, the husband was injured during the marriage and brought an action for his injury which was not settled until after an action in divorce was filed.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended Drake, and specifically overruled Pudlish, by ruling that a settlement and/or verdict and/or any proceeds from litigation accrues under 23 Pa.C.S.A. 3501(a)(8) as soon as the party has the right to file suit. Therefore, if an injury (or similar legally actionable issue) occurs during the marriage, regardless of when it settles or reaches a verdict, any funds flowing from any said action will be subject to equitable distribution.

Originally published on April 3, 2013 in Upon Further Review and can be seen here.

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