Friday, December 28, 2007

This will teach me to diss the Pope

What's your theological worldview?
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You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox


Roman Catholic


Reformed Evangelical








Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal



I’m always reluctant to discuss pride, as I have a full portion of it myself, but that is what we are seeing in the determination by 815 that anyone other than Anglicans get the use of an abandoned church building.

They are failures. All of the talk about how ‘numbers don’t matter’ and ‘quality over quantity’ can not hide the dwindling of the church that is under their care. Every time a church closes, that truth gets hammered home to the bishop of the diocese as well as the national office. When a viable church votes with its feet, I think that stings them even more.

The fastest growing diocese in the US is South Carolina. If I were leading a shrinking diocese, I'd want to know what's going on in South Carolina. But South Carolina may be problematic. Their current bishop is known for being a troublemaker.

So, why not study Tennessee? They are the number two fastest growing diocese. Why not have a commission go and study what these dioceses are doing right? It's the logical, responsible thing to do.

The gutsy, bold move would be to admit that they don’t have a solution, that their processes have failed. And to step aside. But their pride gets in the way and they can not do that. They are prepared to ask for Divine assistance, but they are not yet ready to listen to God’s advice, much less His commandments.

I do not know what God’s plans are. I do know that if He intends to renew the Episcopal Church, He will break our pride and our hearts first. My prayer is that the time will be short and swift.

{This post was first posted in an abbreviated form, here}

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Picture of the Week

I have to see this movie

Warning: This movie trailer is not work safe. It is not family friendly. You have been warned.

What song is this?

You'll know about halfway through, if you haven't guessed it before then. This is wicked cool.

Proud to be an American

Every time something like this happens, I thank my lucky stars I live in a country where the concept of freedom of speech has meaning. If Canada does not reform its rules against hate speech then Canada will deserve everything that happens to it as a consequence.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I was browsing over at Terry Martin's blog. He and his commenters spend a great deal of time vilifying Bishop John-David Schofield, especially in reaction to Bishop Schofield's announcement that he will no longer fund the vicar of St. Nicholas Church.

There are two aspects to this story they seem to totally ignore. First, it seems undisputed that the attendance at the church has fallen into the twenties. This is unsupportable in any denomination under any circumstances.

Second, and most importantly, if the Episcopal Church is serious about maintaining a presence in the Diocese of San Joaquin, then they should have already announced a determination to financially support the congregation. This has not happened. It may happen in the future, but that it has not happened shows just how inept the 815 leadership is. They have thrown away a terrific PR opportunity.

I think I know the reason for the lack of support. The accounts over at Rev. Martin's put the attendees at around 90 for that service. A church in crisis, facing a confrontation with a bishop, can only muster 90 odd people? That's pretty pathetic. And it bears out my belief that the support for the policies and practises of the Episcopal church are there because of habit, rather than conviction. Were the opposition motivated by true belief rather than other motives, the church would have been standing room only, with attendees milling around on the lawn.

Our opposition has command of the official organs of the church, with all of it's money and offices. But they lack the skills to use them properly and they lack the conviction to motivate the masses.

Addendum: To put things in perspective: If I really wanted to draw a crowd, I am absolutely certain that I could get at least 200 people together for a one-shot. I would have to make a fair number of phone calls, and I'd need to get organized, but I could do it. I suspect many, many people could get 100 people together for a single occasion. For a church to not be able to draw 90 is sad.

Be Still My Heart

Now this is Christmas the way it ought to be celebrated. I think that's the best Christmas tree I've ever seen.

Protect Yourself!

Build your own tinfoil hat today!

Listen to it All- Not!

Several of my favourite blogs have fallen into the nasty habit of linking to audio files. On the surface this can be a good thing. But there are problems in that habit.

First, an amazing number of audio files are in Real Media (rm) format. I loathe Real Media. I loathe Real Player and I loathe everyone and everything associated with them. They simply will not play well with Firefox. Either you register with Real Media for official, approved version of their latest adware or you have to download a freeware cracked version. Neither option is especially appealing. Windows Media Files can also prove problematic for the non-Internet Explorer user. I will not change my browsing habits to suit someone who is too lazy to switch to a superior format. (If that's not flame war provocation, I don't know what is). Firefox is better than IE in so many different ways that it isn't funny (more fuel to the fire!).

Second, unlike text, audio files require sustained listening. If the good bit that you want your readers to appreciate occurs fifteen minutes into the speech, tell them that. Until I stopped doing it, I wasted untold hours of time waiting for the punchline. It never hurts to give your readers the option to cut to the chase. Better still, type out the bit that amused, offended, provoked or challenged you.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Meaning of Christmas

Read the first comment to the post.

A Lovely Gift

When I first moved to Atlanta I was lucky enough to see Tom Keys and the boys perform the "Cotton Patch Gospel" at the Alliance Theater. A truly wonderful, moving and thought-provoking performance. Over the years since, I think I've seen it three more times.

The play is drawn from Clarence Jordan's translations of the New Testament, rendering them into the modern Southern idiom. Clarence Jordan was also responsible for founding Koinonia Farm, which is where Habitat for Humanity got its start. The Cotton Patch versions don't travel well into regions outside the South and they are rapidly becoming outdated here, but I doubt either of those facts would upset Mr Jordan much.

Yesterday, we had a combined birthday present swap. My sister and brother-in-law gave me this.
Matthew is a very, very happy man today.

In Dulci Jubilo

The BBC is broadcasting 'A Service of Lessons and Carols" live starting at 10 am EST. The podcast may be found here. Many, many Public Radio stations will be broadcasting it as well.

Sunday, December 23, 2007