Two Christian artists have filed a pre-enforcement lawsuit against Phoenix City in Arizona, asking the court to declare its anti-discrimination law as unconstitutional and violative of their religious beliefs on marriage.
CHR Comment: Yet another type of business affected by the changes to marriage laws and the existing non-discrimination laws.
Source: Christian artists act pre-emptively to protect their religious beliefs by asking court to nix state’s anti-discrimination law | Christian News on Christian Today
I enjoy paging through a great book, The Art of National Geographic: A Century of Illustration.
On pp. 121-122, there are illustrations by Ned M. Seidler, “Unseen Life of a Mountain Stream” and “Teeming Life of a Pond.” I love these “cut-away” views of life below the surface with diving frogs, wriggling invertebrates, and swaying weeds.
There’s a cut-away in the Christian life, too. When we confess our sins, we also reveal a cut-away: many of our sins of thought, word, and deed are unseen or unheard. We reveal the complex: complications of what it is to be a human being and a Christian struggling against sin like nature struggling against tin cans, worn out tires, and heavy metals.
Again, when we confess our faith in Christ to others, we show a cut-away of life below the surface. People can’t see our faith and how it changes us unless we let them in. When we confess Christ, we show how He takes away our sins and brings forth new life in all its diving, wriggling, swaying splendor. People see us as we are: a sinner who is yet a saint, what theologians call simul justus et peccator (“Righteous and sinner at the same time”).
“Articles of faith are derivatives, namely, conclusions taken from the Scriptures. Therefore not they but Scripture itself is the only and proper principle of theology.” Gerhard, Theological Commonplaces: Exegesis I, p. 25.
What I write and teach is derived from Scripture and must remain subject to the Scripture—the principle of knowing about God, who is Himself the principle of being and the first cause of theology.
When I’m writing for God, I’m connecting people to the Scripture, which connects them to the greatest writer—God Himself—who composes a word and brings things into being through it (Gn 1:3). Now that’s creative writing!
Remarkably, God chooses to work through me and through you.
CHR Comment: Phil Zuckerman, Professor of Sociology and Secular Studies, Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, provides an interesting look at the secularization trend described by a variety of polls. However, as I read the article, I wonder whether the polling fully accounts for persons who might described themselves as spiritual but are unaffiliated with a particular religion. He also oddly connects secularization with internet access as though internet use might dispose someone toward secularism. In any event, the anticipated number of church closings he describes in places like Holland are important cultural developments and sure indicators of change. Christians need to view countries with state churches as important mission fields.
Source: Religion Declining, Secularism Surging
Pope Francis said he wants to study the possibility of ordaining women as deacons, a step that could for the first time open the ranks of the Catholic Church’s all-male clergy to women.
CHR Comment: The word “deacon” literally means “servant,” and was variously used in the Scriptures and in church history. The article explains that currently ordained Roman Catholic deacons are allowed to preach at Mass but cannot consecrate the Sacrament. Whether women deacons would have the same office and service as the male deacons would be part of the study. In any case, “deacon” has meant many things over the centuries.
Source: Pope Francis: Let’s study possibility of ordaining women deacons
Christians in Myanmar—the Southeast Asian country formerly known as Burma—are methodically being pushed out of their own church by a powerful Buddhist monk and his followers.
CHR Comment: The Karen people converted to Christianity after World War II. Political changes are creating an awkward moment for these Anglicans in Myanmar where the majority of the country is Buddhist. They have lost three properties but are responding peacefully.
Source: Christians being pushed out of their own church by Buddhist monks in Myanmar | Christian News on Christian Today
When Daniel Berrigan died recently at the age of 94, obituaries throughout the world described the . . . .
CHR Comment: The essay describes a peaceful poetry reading delivered by the once fiery priest as well as his carrier as a theologian, poet, and activist. The second link is to an obituary from the New York Times.
Source: Father Berrigan Remembered | William Doino Jr. | First Things