Anglicans in the Midwest Search for Unity

Upper Midwest Anglican is a website set up by Anglicans looking for a way forward as a result of the AMiA meltdown. The stated aim is:

In light of the Anglican Mission’s (AM) restructuring and the Anglican Church in North America’s (ACNA) movement toward a midwest diocese, the leadership of both the AM Midwest Network and the ACNA’s Wisconsin and Greenhouse Deaneries calls all interested parishes and parishioners to enter into a discernment process.

The goal of this process is to seek greater clarity and unity regarding the purpose of the Lord for Angli- can work in the Upper Midwest (Chicago/Northern Illinois,Wisconsin, Minnesota).

The values and guidance for this process stem from the accounts of the Church in Antioch in Acts 11 and 13. Here, under the apostolic authority of Jerusalem (11.22), the people of Antioch gathered to study Holy Scripture (11.26), to hear prophetic words (11.27, 13.1), and to pray, fast, and worship (13.2)—all for the sake of new churches and converts.

We in the AM Midwest and the Wisconsin and Greenhouse ACNA deaneries desire to reflect these same values for the sake of greater unity that leads to multiplied mission. We invite our parishes and parishioners into this season of prayer, fasting, worship, and partnership building with the blessing of our respective bishops (Bishop Sandy Greene and Archbishop Bob Duncan).

How Many Parishes are Leaving AMiA?

The latest Anglican Unscripted says that the number of parishes who may leave AMiA for PEAR or ACNA could tally anywhere from 60 – 100. This is a bit different from the numbers we’ve heard before like “About 20 have decided to leave the group already, said the Rev. Cynthia Brust” and “I only know of 4-5 congregations. I suspect by the end of the day, it could be 20-25 congregations” from Chuck Murphy.

Stop the Spread of Islam in Africa

You can donate to the East Africa Revival Network here. A bit of background:

The East Africa Revival Network is an initiative to prevent the people of East Africa from falling behind an Islamic Curtain. And we need your help.

After World War II an Iron Curtain of Atheistic Communism fell over the peoples of Europe. Churches were closed, Christian leaders were imprisoned, practicing Christians were persecuted in innumerable ways and there could be no open proclamation of the Gospel. Two generations of young Europeans were effectively ‘lost’ to the Kingdom of God.

Islam is growing fast in Africa. Already more than 50% of the inhabitants of Africa are Muslim. It has been stated and echoed again and again by Muslim leaders that Africa will become the first “Islamic Continent”. They are very serious about this. The Iranians, Libyans, the Saudis,and many other members of the 57 nation Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) are pouring many millions of dollars into African nations to build mosques, Islamic schools, clinics and to support a literal army of Islamic teachers and preachers. East Africa (Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and the Eastern Congo) is a priority target for Islamic takeover because of it’s poverty and the ancient roots of Arab businessmen here Tanzania is alreaddy more than 30% Muslim, the tipping point for domination is about 40%.

At a Jerusalem Conference of church leaders Bishop Alexis Bilindabagabo was approached by two Tanzanian leaders who said, “You there in Eastern Rwanda still have revival. The churches in the path of the Islamic takeover in Tanzania are weak, worldly, or fractured. Can’t you come over and help us before the Muslims takeover? Otherwise Christians wll become a persecuted minority.”

Bishop Alexis had experienced cruel ethnic persecution in Rwanda and had been forced to be a refugee from his own country three times. He heard their cry and prayed. Then he invited these two Tanzanian leaders to the East Africa Revival Convention held in his Gahini Diocese each year and by faith announced God had raised up 18 laymen who were experience and committed evangelists to send to Tanzania to work with the churches there that are directly confronted by the Islamic Invasion. Out of this was born the Vision for an inter-denominational, international ministry of partners that would enlarge and accelerate the Mission to confront the Islamic Challenge with a revival of an evangelistic, missionary, church planting spirit.

Cultus into Culture from the Prayer Book Society

A reminder to me to listen to these lectures from last year’s Prayer Book Society conference. The summary says:

It is a common criticism today: contemporary approaches to evangelism have too often produced piety that is “a mile wide and an inch deep.” If evangelizing churches are to change the culture, they will have to rediscover the ancient insight that culture begins in cultus (worship) and catechesis. Anglicans do not have to re-invent the wheel: the solutions lie near at hand, in the liturgy and catechesis of historic Anglicanism.

Rahner on the Trinity

Peter Leithart quotes Karl Rahner on the Trinity:

Nowadays when we speak of God’s incarnation, the theological and religious emphasis lies on the fact that ‘God’ became man, that ‘one’ of the divine persons (of the Trinity) took on the flesh, and not on the fact that this person is precisely the person of the Logos. One has the feeling that, for the catechism of head and heart (as contrasted with the printed catechism), the Christian’s idea of the incarnation would still not have to change at all if there were no Trinity. For God would still, as (the one) person, have become man, which is in fact all the average Christian explicitly grasps when he confesses the incarnation.

How true this is! Do we reflect on God (unitive) becoming man, or on the Second Person of the Trinity (in unity) becoming man?

Remembering My Mom, on Her Birthday

My Mom died about a year and a half ago, today was her birthday. I have quite a few letters from her from over the years, and so I looked through some of them just now, and thought I would pass along a couple of her thoughts to me. In this case, they are from 1995:

I believe that as you make plans, God is directing your steps. He delights in our coming to Him and asking for His help and guidance. In fact God says in Job 36:13 that the godless do not cry for help. The same thought is in Hosea 7:7 “none of them calls on Me.” It pleases the Lord when we call upon Him, & it brings peace to us…

What an exciting God we serve! Do wish I had known Him as a young person and dedicated my life to Him then. I am thankful that He brought me to Himself when He did, and did not leave me in darkness…if we could catch a glimpse of eternity how excited we would be to be all the Lord wants us to be, and not be focused on our little world in this “time” and space.

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Holy War

Alastair has a good post up about Holy War in the Old Testament. A sampling:

This is a point that the biblical text continually underlines: the Canaanites were not innocent and mild-mannered nations minding their own business, but brutal and bloody oppressors of other peoples, nations who perverted and defiled the image of God through all forms of sexual immorality and unfaithfulness, nations steeped in injustice and involved in the enslaving and subjugation of others, worshippers of cruel gods who demanded child sacrifice. This is the rationale that the Bible gives for the complete eradication of their culture. The Canaanites were perceived in a manner that made them the Nazis of their day, a society so evil and depraved that it had to be completely uprooted, and no form of compromise made with it. No tears were to be shed over the death of anyone who fought to defend that culture and the wickedness that it represented and perpetrated.

Asa and the High Places

Here is another alleged discrepancy: in 2 Chronicles 14 we are told that King Asa removed the high places:

And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God. He took away the foreign altars and the high places and broke down the pillars and cut down the Asherim and commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment. He also took out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense altars. And the kingdom had rest under him. (2 Chronicles 14:2-5 ESV)

But in I Kings 15:14 we read:

But the high places were not taken away.

Haley writes:

Bahr, Thenius, Bertheau, and others say that the high places dedicated to idols were destroyed; while those dedicated to Jehovah were allowed to remain, since his true servants, having been long accustomed to them, might have been grieved by their removal. Keil thinks that the second text merely implies that the king did not succeed in carrying out thoroughly his reforms. Rawlinson suggests that the above texts refer to different times; Asa, in the early part of his reign, putting down idolatry with a strong hand, but in his later years, when his character had deteriorated, allowing idol-worship to creep in again.

Again, any of these things seems possible. In my mind, leaving the high places of Yaweh in place would make the most sense in this case, but that’s only a guess.

Abigail’s Father

Many years ago, I picked up Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible by John W. Haley. I haven’t looked at it much, but thought it might be helpful to post some of these online, since the Bible is always under attack from within and without the Church. So, without further ado, here is the first discrepancy:

II Samuel 17.25 : Now Absalom had set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Ishmaelite, who had married Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother.

In II Samuel Abigail’s father is Nahash, while in Chronicles it is Jesse:

1 Chronicles 2: 13,16: Jesse fathered Eliab his firstborn…And their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail.

Haley says: “The rabbis say that both names belonged to the same person; Ewald and Keil, that Abigail’s mother had a former husband, Nahash, previous to her marriage with Jesse.”

Either of these solutions is plausible. This is a fairly weak “discrepancy.”