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Tuesday
Mar222016

Easter and the Happiness of Penguins

(Photo: www.designpics.com)

By Gerry Bowler

The Devil is strolling through Hell one day, enjoying the screams of his victims when he comes across a group of people who don’t seem to having a bad time at all. They’re stretched out on the hot rocks just tanning themselves and chatting. The Devil asks them what the heck is going on, why aren’t they roasting in agony? They reply that they’re from Manitoba and this is just like a day in June to them. So the Devil goes down to the furnace room and really cranks up the thermostat. He walks back to them through the searing heat -- even he is sweating -- and discovers the Manitobans are sitting around

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Tuesday
Mar222016

An Illiberal Future

(Photo: Sue Careless)

WELL, I GUESS there has been some news in the Anglican Church of Canada. What a wake-up call in an otherwise sleepy Canadian winter! I am talking, of course, of the letter from the House of Bishops (HOB) to the Council of General Synod (COGS) in which they communicate that the motion to changing the Marriage Canon is unlikely to pass in the order of bishops at General Synod. While Sue has done her usual excellent job in reporting on the situation on our front page, allow me to offer some commentary as I think this development reveals a great deal about where we are and where we may be headed.

The first thing to note is how divided the House of Bishops is over this matter. The Primate in a recent interview in the Anglican Journal has suggested that, while no vote had taken place within the HOB, it was a pretty even three-way division of yes/no/maybe. This would suggest that it was not even a matter of not being quite able to cross the two-thirds line. From his account it would seem that even a simple majority may not have been achievable.

The division in the HOB became even clearer in the days following their Statement. It is hard to reconcile

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Tuesday
Mar222016

The Cross and the Crescent: The Gospel and the Challenge of Islam

 

Three conference speakers clockwise: Michael Nazir-Ali, Nabeel Qureshi and William Craig. Bishop Nazir-Ali claims that Muslims have some knowledge of a Supreme Being but “lack any assurance of God’s love.” Muslim-born Qureshi says that in Christianity “I met a God who loves me unconditionally.”    

(Photos: Sue Careless)


By Sue Careless

LEARNING HOW TO ENGAGE Muslims in considering Christianity was the thrust of this year’s Mere Anglicanism conference. The popular event had as its theme The Cross and the Crescent: the Gospel and the Challenge of Islam and attracted almost 870 participants to Charleston, South Carolina, Jan. 28-30.

Most of the speakers had been born or had served in a Muslim-majority country and spoke Arabic.

The most moving testimony was given by Dr Nabeel Qureshi, a young Muslim convert

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Sunday
Jan312016

(Guest) Editorial: A Renewed Sense of Possibility

Ephraim Radner

(Photo: Sue Careless)

THE RECENT PRIMATES’ gathering in Canterbury has reignited evangelical energies within the Communion. After several years of desultory news bites, pallid meetings and statements, and occasional outbursts, there was a sense among most Anglicans that Communion affairs and relationships were at best on hold, at worst winding down towards our churches’ disintegrating drift apart. Even The Episcopal Church (USA) and its summer canonical redefinition of marriage to include persons of the same sex didn’t really raise eyebrows. At this point, it surprised no one:  splits among Anglicans on matters of profound human and religious significance were now a done deal. Canada’s September report from the Marriage Commission recommending similar redefinitions, to be dealt with this summer, seemed as inevitable as melting glaciers in the midst of climate change: even if you didn’t like it, there was nothing to do about it.

The real titillation around January’s gathering of Primates, announced this past September by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was whether the meeting would finally put a period to the run-on sentence of disarray and dissolution. The main debate was in the secular press, with breathless announcements of the Communion’s planned obsolescence. Anglicans themselves were looking at their shoes. Yes, evangelical energy has been at a low ebb.

As it turned out, however, prayer blossomed

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Sunday
Jan312016

Time, Donne and Death

(Photo: www.shutterstock.com)

 

By David Widdicombe

DEATH IS AN inconvenience. It robs us of the time we thought we had to finish what we thought we ought to finish. And youth is no guarantee of exemption; it is a miracle so many of us survive it. As John Donne, the celebrated 17th century poet and Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, puts it:

Death is in an old man’s door, he appears and tells

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