Friday, August 31, 2007

An Important Photograph from Kenya

I want to focus on Oxford matters. But I can’t let the first photograph from here go without comment.

Here you have most (all?) the major Global South primates with U. S. worthies, most notably Bishop Duncan, together consecrating Bill Atwood and Bill Murdoch as bishops of the Anglican Church of Kenya.

This photo makes a strong statement that what we are seeing in orthodox North American Anglicanism is not more balkanization, but a determined effort to bring about a unified orthodox North American Anglican province.

Let us pray this effort succeeds.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pontifical Latin Mass at Merton College, Oxford

Today, I went to this Tridentine Pontifical Mass, which climaxed a Latin Mass Conference here in Oxford.

I didn’t find out about it until late yesterday. But I’m glad I did. It was better than I expected with excellent music (from Catholics?) and a good sermon (from a Catholic bishop?).

By the way, the celebrant was the Bishop of Tulsa. Kinda funny that this Texan comes to Oxford to attend a service led by a bishop from Oklahoma.

And, oh yes, I did like that big golden mitre he wore.

No, I didn’t receive as that wouldn’t have been right. Sad, but that’s the R. C. rules. Yes, I can definitely make some Protestant criticisms of the service. But I’ll leave those for another day. It was an excellent service in many respects.

There was even some strong bell-ringing before and after the service.

In fact, I was eagerly walking to the service after some fruitful studies at the Bodleian Library, enjoying the bell ringing as I went. And I thought, I like Oxford; I can live like this for a good while.

I’m a bit beat at the moment from a very interesting day. But I’ll pass on to you this that I read in the Times with amusement over a nice breakfast at the Queen Street Coffeehouse:

Forgotten to recycle any newspapers or tin cans recently? Feeling guilty because you neglected to carbon offset your flight to somewhere, anywhere, outside England this summer?

The Roman Catholic Church is at hand with a new line in “green confessions” to help eco-sinners to find forgiveness.

Dom Anthony Sutch, the Benedictine monk who resigned as head of Downside School to become a parish priest in Suffolk, will be at the county’s Waveney Greenpeace festival this weekend to hear eco-confessions in what is thought to be the first dedicated confessional booth of its kind.

Do read the rest here.

I wonder if Dom Sutch is any relation to Screaming Lord Sutch, the late leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I’ve got my library card!

I know what some of you are thinking: Mark has lost it; he’s all excited about getting a library card.

Well, I didn’t get just any library card today. I got a reader’s card for the Bodleian Library and other Oxford University libraries. And I started using it right away.

The Oxford U libraries are amazing. I thought all the good stuff was going to be hidden back in the stacks where they have to be requested. I had no idea how much is out there on open access shelves. And a lot of it is really old. Just one example was a huge set of English statues going back into medieval times commissioned by George III and printed in the early 19th century. I almost felt like I was doing something wrong taking one off the shelf and looking through it. You know I handled that book carefully.

I looked around and studied in different reading rooms until I konked.

After a deep nap, the sunny afternoon made me want to go outside. So I walked down some nature trails to North Hinksey to look at the 12th century St. Lawrence parish church and to eat at Fishes.

Something I very much like about the layout of Oxford is that even in the middle of it, you’re only a short walk away from pleasant nature trails well away from the cars.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Walk to Iffley

Predictably, I did actually succumb to a deep nap after I walked about and ate. But afterward, I shook the sleep off and walked along the Thames to Iffley. And it was a pleasant and rewarding walk, even though the Isis Tavern was closed for the day for some unknown reason.

There was a lot of rowing on the Thames. It was clear some of it was serious training. And on the path there were a lot of joggers and bikers as well as a sullen 14ish boy not pleased to help his mum with shopping.

But the highlight of my walk, again predictably, was a visit to the parish church of Iffley. It is an impressive and relatively well preserved example of a Norman parish church. Yes, we’re talking 12th century.

I took photos, of course. They include a representation of a king thought to be Henry II on the south doorway and a representation of St. Mark staring down at you as you had better pay attention to his gospel.

Norman churches can be scary. Some of the carving on Iffley Church certainly is.

By the way, I’ll be posting photos from this stay in England in this album. There are additional photos of Iffley Church there.

Well, I’m here in Oxford. And in very good shape, all things considered.

It seemed a quick journey really. Getting a couple of good sleeps in on the plane helped.

By the way, it’s sunny and spectacular weather here. Forget a nap. I’m going outside.

(And, yes, the media is paying a lot of attention to the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. The flight attendants handed out Daily Mails. Those are somewhere between the Times and the Weekly World News. That was a treat.)

Well, I’m hungry. ‘Bye.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Almost Out the Door

Well, this is it! Today and overnight, I travel to Oxford.

My parish gave me a really nice send-off. My two priests prayed an excellent prayer for travelers for me – from the REC BCP, of course – during Holy Communion. Afterwards, everyone threw a pot-luck lunch to say good-bye.

I love my church.

I didn’t do much the rest of the day, except last minute prep and rest. Speaking of which, keep praying for me. My health is better, as I posted last week. But it’s not 100%. My energy especially isn’t 100%. I was so tired yesterday.

I wonder how much I’m going to miss home, especially my friends.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Taking the Last Wave In

I caught some of the last waves from Dean this morning. I had three excellent rides amongst other fun out there. It was great.

Hmm, didn’t I predict this? Yep. I’m good.

And obviously my health is much improved. Thanks for the prayers.

As I walked in from the surf, I thought this was probably my last session until next February or March. So it was kinda bittersweet. But I’m so glad it was really good waves.

While I was out there in the waves, the local head of the Surfriders Foundation suggested I surf Scotland. But that’s too cold for me. Brrrrrrr!

Well, I need to go find a new trunk. I discovered last night that the one I just bought has flimsy latches. Oh, well.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Satan Closes Weekly World News

I’m greatly saddened to hear that the Weekly World News, “the world’s only reliable newspaper” is discontinuing its print edition.

What am I going to use for Sunday School material now? One edition I bought earlier this month had a cover article on “How to Avoid Damnation.” These are the things I want my youth to know.

The reputable news source will still be online. But it won’t be the same. There’s nothing quite like going into the grocery check-out line and being greeted with ground-breaking news coverage like this.

I really think the Evil One himself is behind this. Weekly World News must have blown his cover one too many times.

More true stories on this here and here.

This is a sad day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Politicization of Science

I haven’t written much about it here. But I often shake my head at how politicized science has gotten in sensitive areas.

Those familiar with debates involving Neo-Darwinism know well how the Neo-Darwinists tend to attack those who disagree with their dogma with blackballing and vilification more than with honest discussion and debate.

Now we’re seeing similar behavior among global warming advocates. Personally, I think both sides of the debate have good points to make that should be considered seriously. And if there are feasible ways to reduce harmful pollutants, governments should facilitate that. I don’t have ill feelings towards scientists on either side engaging in honest research and debate.

But I’m appalled at how certain global warming shills, Al Gore included, are vilifying those who differ. The latest effort at vilification is the disgusting recent Newsweek cover.

When I saw that cover in the grocery check-out line, I shook my head but was not surprised. That’s the sort of propaganda masquerading as news I’ve long come to expect from that glorified prop mag.

But sometimes the depths the advocates of politically correct science are willing to dive in order to destroy the reputations of opponents is indeed shocking. Read about the “holy hell” Dr. J. Michael Bailey was put through for daring to write a book about transgendered men that transgendered activists didn’t appreciate.

What adds to such outrage is that governments join in and aid the politicization of science, particularly the exclusion of the politically incorrect:

. . . two researchers said they were advised by a government grant officer that they should distance themselves from Dr. Bailey to improve their chances of receiving financing.

Heck, if that’s the way we’re going to do things, let’s just abolish real science – since it can be so (politically) incorrect and evil, don’t you know – and replace it with the Ministry of Correct Knowledge and of the Destruction of Incorrect Lies. That’s the direction Western society is going anyway. Let’s just be done with the myth of academic freedom and get on with indoctrination and with the destruction of those who refuse to be indoctrinated.
No Communist President-for-Life Here. Nope.

Venezuela: Where “reform” means mucho mas Hugo Chavez!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The European Union Lectures Texas on the Death Penalty. :snicker:

Now I should let you know I’m not as big a fan of the death penalty as many Texans. When Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst backed expanding the death penalty to child predators, I e-mailed him saying he need not bother asking for my support ever again. And I think Texas overdoes it with executions in general.

But I suspect my reaction when the EU decided to lecture us about the death penalty was the same as many Texans. I just smiled. And apparently so did Governor Perry:

230 years ago, our forefathers fought a war to throw off the yoke of a European monarch and gain the freedom of self-determination. Texans long ago decided that the death penalty is a just and appropriate punishment for the most horrible crimes committed against our citizens. While we respect our friends in Europe, welcome their investment in our state and appreciate their interest in our laws, Texans are doing just fine governing Texas.

Meddling, condescending, and insufferable – very EU.
Clear, brief, to the point, and with a smile – very Texan.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Distressing Discussion

One of the things I love about – and that attracted me to – Anglicanism was that orthodox people of varying churchmanship could have communion in the same church. Far more so than I, at least, have seen elsewhere.

One of the most amazing services I’ve ever attended was a Holy Communion service at the last Reformed Episcopal General Council with our APA friends joining us as well. While we were receiving the sacrament, some were swaying back and forth to gospel songs, while a few of the priests were making crosses every chance they got like the Anglo-Caths they are. The only thing missing was incense. Worship styles ran the gamut yet fit into a whole.

That’s the closest I’ve come to seeing a service that looks like what Christ’s church looks like. I shed a tear or two it was so beautiful.

That’s what orthodox Anglicanism at its best looks like.

So this discussion at Stand Firm distresses me. When I hear people I respect suggest not only that evangelical and Anglo-Catholic orthodox Anglicans won’t be able to stick together, but even venture that perhaps they shouldn’t try too hard to stick together – well, I just pray they are proven wrong.

I revere J. I. Packer and I love my Anglo-Catholic friends (and prefer their style of worship). And I want to be in the same church and have communion with them.

And that’s the way it should be! Christ’s church includes all these. Why shouldn’t orthodox Anglicanism?

UPDATE: Dr. Packer has disavowed the article. It was mistakenly attributed to him.
Pre-Dean, Post-Erin 2

It now appears (and all the major models agree) that Hurricane Dean will land well to the south of the border. And for that I’m thankful.

Normally, I’d be rooting for a hurricane to come close. Heck, I’d like to ride out a hurricane one day. But with my health being well below 100% and with this being my last week before Oxford, I really don’t want Dean too close, thank you. Not to mention that many people in South Texas have been dealing with floods most of the summer already.

As for Erin, she is a strange creature. Quite mild and pleasant when she landed to the north of here at dawn last Thursday, she decided she wasn’t getting enough respect and flooded areas west of San Antonio, went through West Texas and looped around and is even now hitting Oklahoma with severe flooding.

Anyway, please pray for people dealing with Dean and Erin, especially Jamaica, which is being hit hard by Dean as I type this.

And, if you’d pray for my health, I’d appreciate it. I really don’t want to struggle with it in Oxford (or until then for that matter).

Friday, August 17, 2007

Pre-Dean, Post-Erin

Well, Tropical Storm Erin came through to the north very quietly. The wind was actually less than normal most of the time. It was quite peaceful really.

My first hint that Erin was past was when I woke up before daybreak yesterday, went out on my deck, and noticed a gentle wind heading off shore.

I got only an inch of rain. As is typical of tropical storms the bulk of the rain was to the “right” of the center. And we were to the “left.”

The waves yesterday were excellent. (Before Erin hit, it was practically flat – kinda backwards.) And even though I wasn’t feeling 100%, I went out and caught a couple of them. One ride was excellent. Later, the sunset was spectacular. I’ve noticed tropical weather can be beautiful.

Today, I saw my first sign of Dean, literally. A TxDoT sign said something like:


Good thing I filled up (not storm related) the past couple days. With signs like that, there will be gas lines and shortages in no time.

I probably will need to get stuff done Monday. The way governments like to panic post-Katrina, everything is liable to be evacuated and shut down later in the week.

No, I won’t evacuate unless it’s level 4 or 5 and heading toward me. That’s my policy. Evacuations scare me more than hurricanes.
I don't trust the liberal religious news media.

The more observant among my wise readers may notice that I often hedge myself in giving credence to news reports from religion reporters, particularly when they are unconfirmed. Get Religion illustrates very well why you, too, should be careful about being a believer in religion news reports.

Remember when *ahem* Stephen Bates of *ahem* The Guardian reported that Dr. Turnbull, principal of Wycliffe Hall suggested “that 95% per cent of the population were going to hell unless they converted to conservative evangelicalism”?

Well, here’s what Dr. Turnbull actually said:

Evangelism is another one of those words that has been broadened to — well, or submerged maybe more than broadened — under this overall title of “mission” and you wonder what it really means when that is debated. We are committed, are we not, to bringing the gospel message of Jesus Christ to those who do not know Jesus. And in this land that is 95% of the people, and 95% of the people in this country facing hell unless the message of the gospel is brought to bear. So those are my four points about evangelical identity: the priority of scripture, substitutionary atonement at the heart of our doctrinal beliefs, the need for personal relationship with Jesus and our commitment to evangelism.

If Mr. Bates finds that offensive, it’s certainly his right to be offended. Even St. Paul said the gospel is offensive to many. But to twist Dr. Turnbull’s words and pass that off as reporting is another matter.

Aside: Yes. The title is a take-off on an old favorite bumper sticker.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Denial Can Be Deadly

In discussing the current troubles in the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Armagh takes up where his predecessor left off in pushing blarney:

I have yet to meet any "leader" who does not treat with the utmost respect and indeed reverence the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. I have heard no one in this crisis deny the fundamental tenets of the faith as Anglicans have received them.

This is a bad joke. It’s tempting to laugh and mock and think no more of it. More blarney from those Irish!

But statements of denial from prominent archbishops, even from relatively orthodox ones such as ++York, reveal what may be the greatest danger to the Anglican Communion – an unwillingness to effectively deal with apostasy in its midst, even to the point of denial.

The Anglican Communion, at least in the West, is like a man with gangrene in denial. (And since St. Paul compares false teaching with gangrene in 2 Timothy 2:17, that’s a very fair analogy.) And the man (or his doctors) not only doesn’t take precautions to isolate the problem and keep it from spreading, he denies that there is a problem in the first place!

“Oh that? Ah, it’s just a bruise. Eh, it’s gotten a little bigger. It’s no big deal.”

That’s what we have in the Anglican Communion. We have leaders who not only don’t discipline apostate bishops, who not only don’t seek to at least quarantine and isolate their false teaching and practices, we have leaders like ++Armagh and ++York who deny there is apostasy in the first place.

Even a cursory examination of the New Testament and of recent church history reveals that denial about apostasy can have the same results as denial about gangrene – death.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Favorite Surf Cam (and the best one for the coming tropical storm)

If you want to see what the surf is like at Corpus Christi as a tropical storm is on the way, this is the cam to check out.

But even though a storm is coming, the gulf is remarkably flat as I type this. We’re not known for big surf, but the gulf being that flat is strange.

By the way, that’s a favorite surf spot for me. If you see an orange bodyboard later, that’s me.

You can watch the progress of the waves on that cam as the storm moves in. But be aware it sometimes goes down in bad weather.
Sometimes, I’m Good!

I was watching the Weather Channel yesterday afternoon (O. K. I’m NOT an old man before my time. I’m a bodyboarder who watches tropical weather with great interest. Because of the waves. Yeah.). And even though the National Weather Service wasn’t saying much, I thought that wave in the Gulf of Mexico was too strong to remain a just wave. So I fired off the following e-mail to my dad and to a local friend:

Hi. The National Weather Service isn't saying it but I am:

South Texas will be dealing with a tropical storm (but not a hurricane) later this week.

That wave in the gulf is looking strong.

*DING* Right again. A few hours later, the NWS agreed with me. We’re supposed to be hit with a tropical storm tomorrow.

It’s not the first time I’ve outpredicted the NWS on tropical weather. I’ve found common sense in following trends can sometimes trump the experts. (I’ve found that to be the case in finances as well.)

By the way, don’t be fearful for me. This is unlikely to become a hurricane. And really only a strong hurricane is a danger for me. I built my place with hurricanes in mind.

Do pray for those in danger of flooding as that is the main danger from tropical storms. And a lot of rain is predicted. But I’m not at risk from floods myself.

By the way, another prediction: I’ll be riding waves from Hurricane Dean shortly before going to Oxford.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

How to – and How Not to – Deal with False Teachers

When I read about Spong’s visit to Australia, I nearly went ballistic. So read at your own risk. But the linked news report illustrates very well how to, and how not to, deal with false teachers.

The Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen did the right thing and banned Spong from his churches. He then went beyond the call of duty and had the diocese’s newspaper attack Spong’s heresies.

But the Primate of Australia? --Phillip Aspinall has rolled out the red carpet for Spong. Among other things, he’s invited the heretic to preach two sermons at the Cathedral of Brisbane. And the wolf has been welcomed to help himself to the school girls as well.

The retired Episcopal bishop of Newark, New Jersey, Bishop Spong will also give a public lecture at St Aidan's Anglican Girls School in Brisbane.

This is an outrage. What part of 2 John 9-11 does --Aspinall not understand?

Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

And any number of NT passages confirm you don’t aid false teachers. As St. John teaches, you don’t even give them a greeting or a bed to sleep in! Much less give them the pulpit in the cathedral.

To me, this is a bigger issue than Gene Robinson as it goes more directly to the truth of the Gospel and the responsibility of the church to defend and teach it.

Unless he’s completely ignorant of the Bible (and I’ll be charitable and assume he’s not), --Aspinall is directly and willfully violating God’s word in an area that strikes to the heart of the gospel and the church’s responsibility to it. And he’s turning his flock over to a wolf. This is damnable.


And, yes, I’ve noticed that in his Lambeth invitations, the Archbishop of Canterbury is violating 2 John 9-11 as well. That you don’t invite stiff-necked apostates to Lambeth is a pretty simple application of St. John’s teaching methinks. You have to be quite an academic to dance one’s way around that.

How clear do God and his apostles have to be before Anglicans get it? You don’t aid or enable heretical teachers!

Hat tip to Stand Firm.

Monday, August 13, 2007

++Rowan’s Lambeth Tea Party Getting Snubbed?

This morning there is a very surprising report from the Telegraph that the vast majority of bishops in the Anglican Communion, perhaps three-fourths of them, did not respond to ++Rowan William’s invitations to Lambeth by the original July 31st deadline.

With the important caveat that Petre’s reporting has been less than reliable at times, this is encouraging news. Apparently, a majority of bishops don’t appreciate ++Canterbury placing the deadline before matters with the Episcopal Church and its (lack of) discipline are even close to resolved. And they are probably also signaling that they don’t appreciate that all the TEC bishops save one are invited after they have pretty much given the Communion and especially the Primates the finger.

And to not go to a tea party where just anyone is invited is very Anglican, don’t you know.

This story, if true, puts Canterbury’s pushing back of the deadline last week in perspective. They said it was a courtesy to the bishops of Sydney. In reality, Canterbury hardly had any choice but to scrap the deadline.

Maybe ++Rowan’s enabling of the Episcopal Church is costing more than I and others anticipated.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Past Response of +FitzSimons Allison to Dr. Radner

I’m slightly harried today due to craziness in the financial markets. But I want to point you to an excellent past response of the Rt. Rev. Dr. C. FitzSimons Allison to past exhortations of Dr. Radner to stay, stay, stay. Yes, that broken record still hasn’t stopped.

Anyway, +Allison shoots down well the view that the faithful traditional thing to do is to stay with the Episcopal Church. This for me was the money paragraph:

. . . the early church knew orthodox teaching to be of such paramount importance, since it involved the salvation of souls (not mere academic differences), that the church must disobey and replace heretical bishops. This has been amply demonstrated by Professor Werner Elert in Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries (Concordia, 1966) in which he shows that, contrary to Radner's lesson, the early church demanded that heretical bishops be repudiated and replaced by orthodox teachers. Certainly we have reason to thank God that Athanasius did not acquiesce in the Arian establishment of his day.

Amen! And Athanasius explicitly rejected the authority of Arian bishops and appointed priests (and perhaps bishops as well) in their territories. Oooooo! Boundary crossings!

So this idea that we should stay bound together with apostate unbelievers indefinitely is crap. Didn’t Paul have some words about that? Hmmmm?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Catholics around the world breathe a sigh of relief.

Well. I bet you Cartholicks are glad this prophesy was wrong:

It was unveiled to us since 1985 that the collapse of the Roman Catholic Church will occur on August 7, 2007. . . . What will occur on August 7, 2007 will be the worst earthquake in the history of mankind. It will be an ultimate earthquake. Most likely this earthquake will also produce an ultimate tsunami.

Oh well. The Great Whore of Babylon will get hers one day. . . . Just not on this past Tuesday.
A Lavender Dictatorship

Lately, I’ve been pondering how Western societies are imposing a gay rights ideology that is becoming increasingly dictatorial. Or to be more exact, the dictatorial intolerance of gay rights ideology is coming out of the closet and gaining power.

For years the gay rights crowd insisted that all they wanted was to participate fully in society without fear of gay bashing and discrimination. Their watchword was “tolerance.”

But it has become clear that their “tolerance” does not include tolerance for those who disagree with their agenda, who disagree that homosexual acts are just fine. They are to be treated like Nazis and slaveowners and forced to get with the agenda – or else. And increasingly, governments and courts are acting accordingly.

Two recent stories illustrate this well. And they don’t come from Europe, though what the Socialists are doing to Spain also comes to mind, not to mention those in various European countries prosecuted for the “hate crime” of speaking against homosexuality. But, no, these stories are from the good old U.S.A.

First, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to run their businesses in line with their consciences. Say, if randy gay boys want some Viagra to become more randy, you better subscribe it for them, or you might find a lawsuit slapped on you. If a lesbian wants your help to become a mommy, you better not withhold it from her either.

And it’s not good enough that these can find their desired services elsewhere. You have to service them. (Pun intended.) Note the lesbian’s attitude, who got her unfortunate kids though artificial insemination elsewhere, but is still suing the doctor who wouldn’t do the deed:

Benitez, meanwhile, received treatment at another facility and has given birth to a son, now 5, and twin daughters, now 2.

“People ask me, ‘Why are you doing this? You have your kids,’” she says. “I want to make a difference. These doctors are not God. They cannot manipulate who can have children and who cannot.”

But she thinks the government should play God and force doctors to act against their conscience. (I’ll leave aside other rather ironic aspects of her statement.) And she’s certainly not alone.

Second was the story of San Diego firefighters directly ordered to participate in a gay rights parade. This reminds me of political rallies in certain dictatorial states. They are “voluntary” -- you voluntarily and joyously participate in them or else.

The real agenda of the gay rights crowd and their supporters in government is becoming unmasked. As Sarah Hey summarized so well:

Those who wish society to change its opinion about moral values and practices are willing to force other people to pretend to approve and promote such practices. Never doubt that gay activists will be satisfied if all public moral disapproval is stamped out, either through intimidation or threats or force.

I will go further. The gay activists won’t be satisfied until all public and much private moral disapproval is stamped out, either through intimidation or threats or force.

The fa├žade of “tolerance” is crumbling. The gay rights crowd and their backers in government aren’t interested in freedom and tolerance for those who disagree with them. A lavender dictatorship is coming and in many cases is already here. Get used to it – or else.

And for many Christians, that else will and should be civil disobedience.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Class and No Class in the Diocese of Ft. Worth

Bishop Pope, formerly Bishop of Ft. Worth, has swam the Tiber again.

But I don’t want to focus on that, but instead wish to point to wonderful examples of class . . . and no class.

These may be found in abundance in the responses of Bishop Jack Iker and arch-liberal Katie Sherrod to the event.

The contrast between the responses of the two is striking, but hardly surprising to those familiar with past statements of both.
You might be going to an *interesting* church if . . .

. . . both priests have Ron Paul 2008 bumper stickers on their cars.

(You may post more examples of interesting churches here or see more examples here.)

Monday, August 06, 2007

“I zap you in the name of Jeeeeeezus!”

Does it seem when you lay hands on people, it just doesn’t have the . . . electricity it used to?

Can you use a little holy help in giving the Holy Ghost by the layin’ on o’ hands?

Then this godly gadget is for you!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Captain Yips Tells It Like It Is.

Captain Yips is on a roll lately.

This morning, he addresses head on the question of who is responsible for the schism that may be occurring in the Anglican Communion.

And he rightly places some of the blame at the feet of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

. . . the See of Canterbury seems to dither, hem and haw, and this apparent indecision understandably is seen as secret sympathy with the true American schismatics, the Presiding Bishop and all her ilk. The precarious unity of the Anglican Communion is a precious thing, but it can be lost not by the attempts of North Americans to shelter from the hurricane of nonsense that prevails in TEC, but from a failure of international leadership.

++Rowan Williams has indeed failed to lead. He has given comfort and cover to those who are provoking this schism. His foisting the infamous Sub-group Report giving TEC a pass upon the Tanzania Primates Meeting was particularly outrageous. (And it certainly opened my eyes about him.)

For what it’s worth, I think there will be (and probably should be) calls for his resignation from significant quarters before Advent. I don’t have any information. It’s just a gut feeling.
Reality Check

A few days ago, the Archbishop of York said, “…I haven’t found that in Ecusa or in Canada, where I was recently, they have any doubts in their understanding of God which is very different from anybody.”

To which my response here was two words: “Yeah. Right.”

David Anderson now has a slightly more detailed response to ++York, a helpful reminder and reality check on how far the Episcopal Church has indeed fallen away from the faith.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A History of Illuminated Manuscripts

I purchased A History of Illuminated Manuscripts by Christopher De Hamel towards the end of my Advent 2005 trip to England (at the British Library if memory serves me correct). But I didn’t thoroughly read it (as opposed to just looking at the excellent illustrations) until now.

I am thoroughly impressed with this book. Its scholarship is impressive and helpful in my preparations to study medieval history at Oxford. And the thoughtfully written bibliography and through indexing of the manuscripts illustrated assist further studies. Even though it’s not on my official reading list and is certainly not a light nor compact book, I’m packing it and taking it with me.

But, as scholarly as this work is, if one simply wants an attractive coffee table book on the subject, this can certainly be one. If one wants a very readable, engagingly written, well illustrated introduction to illuminated manuscripts, this is for you as well.

There is even some helpful guidance on collecting the more available manuscripts such as Books of Hours. And as the Fellow Librarian of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and with his 25 years experience in evaluating manuscripts for Sotheby’s, Dr. De Hamel’s knowledge is not just theoretical.

As if that is not enough to recommend purchase, I notice it’s on sale at Amazon at the above link at a very reasonable price as I write this.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The ACN Closing Press Conference

I’ve found the time to watch all of the press conference from yesterday at the close of the Network meeting. And it was well worth the time. There is so much I could comment on. But I’ll just say watch it. (It will probably be one of the little squares, and likely the second one.)

I do hope someone makes a transcript. I intend to highlight parts of it should that happen, particularly Archbishop Venables’ statements.
Housekeeping -- New Comment Interface

I was having increasing technical issues with Haloscan. It worked well for years, but not so well lately. For one thing, posting a comment caused my Safari browser to crash! So I'm switching to Blogspot's built in comments.

So from here on, please use the Blogspot comments. That's just to the right of the "posted by Mark" below each post.

I hate to erase old comments. So those remain up in the Haloscan format. But please use the Blogspot format by "posted by Mark" for all future comments. Thank you.

For practice, please ask any questions or make any suggestions for improving the comment format. Thanks.