"The paradox of our time"

This was sent to me by a friend; I cannot vouch for it's authorship so I'll just post the body of the text here...

"The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but
less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We've added years to life not life to years.
We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.
We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe,
because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind. AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

EV-500 Evangelism, Church Growth, and World Missions. session one notes

-Goal of this course-

1) Learn the Biblical/Patristic Gospel message.
2) To reaffirm in your heart the vision of the ICCEC.
3) To develop Evangelism skills.

We live in a ‘post-Christian society’ where Christianity no longer affects every person in their daily lives, it no longer fully permeates our society, our language is unaffected by Christian theology. The average person in our society does not understand even the basic tenets of our faith, they assume how Christianity should be from outside Christian sources, terms such as Eucharist, Nicene Creed, Constantine, and are lost on today’s western populace. Society is steadily disenchanted with Christianity-

Yet a ‘Post-Christian Society’ is more like the early church-

Commonalities between Rome and Today’s society are:

Intolerance for a ’set way’ of belief,
In Rome was the practice of Deity Worship; this would be Authoritarianism today; many, many people look to the governments of the world for their salvation, rescue, and provender.
We ‘amuse ourselves to death’ with instant gratification, sporting events, and war.

Commonality of language,
Ease of travel- no or few restrictions on travel.
Pax Romana and the relative world peace that exists today thru might or right.

3 reasons that people are converted thru the Gospel message.

1)Rational Questions-
Are the gospels reliable?
Why is Jesus (Yashua) the only way?

2) Emotional Issues-Need to develop relationships
Angry at God (YHWH)
-More than ever people are coming to Christ thru relationships as ‘Paul Planted, Apollos watered’.
Depression is prevalent and is medicated instead of dealt with.

3) Spiritual Need-
‘a hole in our hearts that is God shaped’- St. Augustine
We long for:
to be healed,

Biblical Soteriology:

Evangelism: Is the Good News of Christ, He came to earth to pay the debt of my sin and pay the price of my sin; freeing me from my sin.
To tell the story of Jesus’ (Yashua) life death and resurrection.
It is my job as a Christian to tell the message and the job of the Holy Spirit to call them to come to Him.

Church Growth: God (YHWH) does not concern Himself with numbers; He concerns himself with the character of the person’s heart.

The concept of “Church Growth” was first bridged by Donald McGavin in his books ‘Bridge of God’-1955 and ‘Understanding Church Growth’ Where he divers cash flow to the places where growth is the most. Defined as people movement, or homogenous unit principle, target audience.

A positive definition might be- insight from the Holy Spirit concerning the health, expansion, of the church catholic in fulfilling the Great Commission(an evaluation process)
There is no formula for church growth it is dependant upon the Holy Spirit.

World Missions: Taking the Gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit to those who have never been reached before. We must adapt the Gospel to their culture; and not adapt their culture to our perception of civilization. (the Argentinean model used by Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet)

‘Silence’- Shusaku Endo on the persecution of the early church in Japan.

The “10-40 window” is the largest unreached area in the world where the Gospel has not been spread.

There are two church approaches to seeking the lost.

Seeker Sensitive
Prefer less symbols
Less relgious talk
Focus on the visual arts
Small groups
No theological sermons
Preach to felt needs
Heart for the lost

We will fill your needs. Changing message to a changing culture.

Anchiet Future, Anchient Evangelical, Catholic, Anchient faith church
Goal to develop mature belivers
People hungry for stability
The need for a foundation in the truth of 200 years
Architecture designed to point to Christ
Service is based around Christ and the Cross
The Table
Theological Content

Seeker does not know what he wants (that is why he is here) they are lost so through the power of the Holy Spirit we will provide the need. Unchanging message to a changing culture.

Anglican Church in Australia appoints woman bishop.

Australia's Anglican Church has consecrated the country's first female bishop in a ceremony attended by hundreds but opposed by at least one prominent church leader.

Archdeacon Kay Goldsworthy became The Most Rev Kay Goldsworthy, an assistant bishop in Western Australian state, in the evening ceremony at St. George's Cathedral in the west coast city of Perth.

Twenty-one Anglican bishops from Australia and New Zealand were among a congregation of more than 800 who showed their support for the controversial appointment.

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, Australia's Anglican prelate, conducted the ceremony.

Among those who did not attend was The Most Rev. Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, and the Bishop of Northwest Australia, David Mulready, who oppose the ordination of female ministers. Sydney is Australia's largest diocese.

A meeting last month of Australian Anglican bishops that set protocols for the consecration of female bishops paved the way for Goldsworthy's appointment.

Under the protocols, parishes which do not want a female bishop would be offered a male bishop.

Goldsworthy, 51, who is married with two sons, was among the first female priests to be ordained in 1992.

The Anglican Church is the second largest religious denomination in predominantly Christian Australia after the Roman Catholic Church.

The ordination of women remains controversial among many Anglicans, although female bishops have been ordained elsewhere including in the US and Canada.

Keeping LDS from Catholic records irks genealogists.

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Vatican's recent ban on Mormon microfilming and digitizing of Catholic parish records out of concern they will be used for the LDS practice of baptizing the dead may have a wide-ranging and chilling effect on the whole family history enterprise, some professional genealogists say.

"It's going to close off a great many countries and even Catholic dioceses in America whose records haven't been microfilmed," said Jim Petty, past president of Utah's chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. "This makes it difficult for genealogists of any religion."

A letter from the Vatican called LDS baptisms for the dead a "detrimental practice" and directed each Catholic diocesan bishop "not to cooperate with the erroneous practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

"The problem is not about making historical records available for research," said Monsignor Terrence Fitzgerald of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City. "The problem is with baptism for the dead. I wouldn't want my mom and dad who were lifelong Catholics to be baptized LDS."

The Salt Lake diocese has not allowed the LDS Church to copy its records for years, Fitzgerald said. "Here we are very much aware of the baptism issue."

The LDS Church began seeking ancestral records in the 19th century as a way to baptize posthumously, by proxy, all who have died without an LDS baptism. Mormons believe it gives their deceased relatives an opportunity to accept the faith in an afterlife. These rituals are performed in LDS temples worldwide.

To this end, the church has microfilmed millions of birth, death, christening, marriage and other related information of deceased people, from archives and registers of churches and denominations, when access is permitted.

But Kathy Kirkpatrick, another past president of Utah's professional genealogist association, said the irony is that the prohibition will be felt most by Catholics who want to pursue their family history back beyond civil records.

"Most parishes can't or don't answer letters because they are understaffed and their highest priority is the living (as it should be)," Kirkpatrick said in an e-mail.

The LDS Church declined to comment on the situation, said spokesman Rob Howell, saying it was an "internal letter sent only within the Catholic Church."

Protestant or Catholic: Anglicans must choose says Crd. Kasper.

From The Times: Hard words for Anglicans from the head of the Council for Christian Unity in Rome. Cardinal Walter Kasper has told the Catholic Herald that now, with Lambeth approaching, is the time for Anglicans to decide whether they are Catholic or Protestant. 'Ultimately, it is a question of the identity of the Anglican Church. Where does it belong?' he said. 'Does it belong more to the churches of the first millennium -Catholic and Orthodox - or does it belong more to the Protestant churches of the 16th century? The Times goes on to say: At the moment it is somewhere in between, but it must clarify its identity now and that will not be possible without certain difficult decisions.' The genius of Anglicanism has always been its ability to straddle the divide, but maybe the Cardinal is right and the Communion's present difficulties reflect the impossibility of continuing to do this. His comments coincided with the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams' 'friendly' meeting with Pope Benedict XVI. This is the Pope who, as Cardinal Ratzinger, delivered a strong message of support to an early meeting of a group of conservative Anglicans in Plano. I wonder how much the Catholics understand, however, that the Anglo-Catholics who might be the ones most naturally tempted towards Catholicism are not really where the present dissent stems from. Most of those who were going to go over have already gone, over women priests. The 'orthodox' or 'traditionalists' now are from the opposite end of the spectrum, in Anglican terms. They are from Kasper's Protestant wing. The irony is that if the Anglican Communion does what Kasper is asking and decides it is in fact a 'Catholic' Church, it will emerge as a Church in the mould of the liberal Catholic provinces of TEC, Scotland and the Catholic wing in England. This would not fit at all with the present mold of conservative catholicism in Rome. If on the other hand it decides it is Protestant body, the resultant church would be more like the evangelical independents that the Catholic Church is going head-to-head with for proselytes in Latin America and parts of Africa.
But of course simply to ask the Anglicans to make a decision of this nature is to illustrate a lack of understanding of the nature of Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw said that England and the US were two countries divided by the same language. Catholics and Anglicans are the same, two denominations divided by the same religion.

-Ruth Gledhill is The Times Religion Correspondent.

Archbishop Cranmer (cognomen)writes in his blog the following response:

"Cardinal Kasper might also like to consider that it is the contention of the Church of England that it is both Catholic and Reformed, and his dissent from this assertion does not make it not so. It is not necessary to conform to Rome’s narrow capacity for definition, for there is little latitude in its dogma. And even the Church of Rome is divided between its conservatives and liberals - there are few who would assert that The Tablet articulates the same adherence to doctrine as The Catholic Herald - but no ultimatum has been issued demanding unity of voice, for that would require a meeting of minds between His Holiness and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. And Cranmer cannot quite envisage that. Indeed, most of the Roman Catholic bishops in England appear to be pathologically antipathetic to all that Pope Benedict XVI stands for, so Cardinal Kasper may care to lecture his own house before presuming to instruct the Anglicans."

"Roman Catholicism is literally a broad church, and the gulf between its disparate factions are tolerated because they can coexist in tension, in the imperfect communion that is exemplified in the suffering of the cross. And so it is with the Church of England."-Archbishop Cranmer has been ranked #1 in the 'Top 10 Religious Blogs' in the UK

-you can find this and other related articles of intrest here

The Shack

Dear Fellow Clergy:

The novel, *The Shack,* is getting tremendous amount of play nationally. The book is currently ranked number eight in sales on Amazon.com. The story is a fictionalized account of a man, Mack Phillips, who is emotionally dealing with the brutal murder of his young daughter. Mack is overwhelmed with questions about the suffering of the innocent, and as a result, has an unusual encounter with the Holy Trinity in a shack. Yes, I said a shack. In the novel, the Trinity is an African-American woman (the Father), a Middle Eastern man (the Son), and the Holy Spirit is an Asian songstress named Sarayu. The book has major theological problems: modalism, rejection of Biblical hierarchy, overemphasis on free-will to the neglect of God's sovereignty, and a misunderstanding of the concept of submission, feminism, etc. Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Church Seattle, addresses these concerns here ( seven minute YouTube video) and Tim Challies, a Reformed blogger/reviewer, writes here.

If your folks have gotten fascinated by this book, I would suggest addressing these theological problems on May 18, Trinity Sunday. Get a good simple systematic theology like Wayne Grudem's. For the everyday layperson, Grudem does an excellent job of explaining the key issues surrounding the doctrine of the Trinity. Read again the church's classic understanding of the Trinity. In the simplest manner possible, explain the main points concerning the Trinity using basic scripture texts. Your congregation will not be bored. Your folks will be excited about being equipped to defend the Historic Christian faith. You do not need to mention the book, *The Shack.* However, you may want to show the cultural relevance of your sermon by pointing to the current controversy.

As Article One of The Thirty-Nine Article states:

Faith in the Holy Trinity:
There is only one living and true God, who is eternal and without body, indivisible and invulnerable. He is of infinite power, wisdom and goodness. He is the maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisible. Within the unity of the Godhead there are three persons who are of one substance, power and eternity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Christus Victor,
Cn. Glenn

"Doctrine is useless if it is not accompanied by a holy life.It is worse than useless; it does positive harm.Something of 'the image of Christ' must be seenand observed by others in our private life, andhabits, and character, and doings." --J.C. Ryle