A Few More Canadian Christian Blogs

Julianfreeman.ca Julian is doing an M.Div at Toronto Baptist Seminary and is a member of Grace Fellowship Church in Rexdale, unhealthy Ontario.

Love in Truth by Trevor Peck. Trevor lives in Sault St. Marie, Ontario.

Good News For Toronto by Paul McDonald.

The full list of Canadian Christian Blogs can be found here.

College and the Entitlement Generation

From the Globe and Mail:

But don’t take his word for it. Many students openly admit their goal is to succeed with the least amount of effort. And many universities make this easy for them. It isn’t hard to find courses where you can get good marks even if you don’t show up. Professors say it’s not uncommon for 30 per cent or 40 per cent of their students to skip any given class. And students strenuously object if they don’t get the marks they feel entitled to. “They got 80 per cent in high school and, diagnosis when they get 62 per cent, they’re mad,” says Prof. Coates. “They bring assignments in late and think we’ll mark them without penalty.”

Just thought I’d post this BEFORE the mid-terms and papers start rolling in for all my professor friends.

Another Adventure in Anglicanism

I don’t pretend to know or understand all that is going on in the Anglican church of Canada. But as I settle in and become more comfortable with the liturgy and the language of the church, viagra and as I begin to put down roots in this local church, cialis I find myself finally being able to lift my head and take a look at what is happening more broadly in the denomination here in Canada and globally.

What I’ve read suggests there are some pretty wonky things going on. Supposedly there are some churches within the denomination who do not believe in a literal resurrection, treat or that Jesus is the only way to God. (Which I don’t get how that practically works, given that the liturgy in the BAS is so extremely Christ-centered that we proclaim Christ’s death and resurrection weekly be it through the act of communion, confession, or the recitation of the Apostles’ Creed). And of course there is the ongoing discussion of sexuality and marriage. Some people suggest that those who have left the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) to be a part of the new Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) are breaking communion. On the other hand, there are people who say that the ACoC (and the U.S. equivalent, the Episcopal Church) are the ones who are breaking communion by denying/reinterpreting the tenets and beliefs held by the global Communion.

As an outsider trying to peer in, it’s hard to navigate through the bluster and the spin and the hurt. For example, this article about the installation of the new priest at St. Matthew’s in Abbotsford seems way too propaganda-ish. It tries too hard to show how all the “cool” people came out for the special service. On the other hand, some of the commentary and blog posts coming from those who have left the ACoC to be a part of the ANiC are full of snark, and hurt, and as a result, sometimes lack charity and grace.

I grew up in a church that went through this twenty plus years ago. I grew up in a church where my pastor had to make the tough decision to leave the United Church of Canada because of the changing theological convictions of the denomination. I saw the hurt and the confusion and the struggle that the congregation and the pastor went through during that time. And the cynic (realist? grump? pessimist?) in me looks back at that experience and wants to say in this current situation that while unity is a noble goal, it is just not possible. On the other hand, I also find myself praying and reading and hoping that whatever is going to happen in this denomination in the next decade or so, will be done with all parties seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and that there is healing, reconciliation, exhortation and corrective teaching (whatever that would look like) that will bring glory not to ourselves but to Christ.

Speaking of reconciliation, Fr. Allen Doerksen has started a blog that will chronicle his journey of Congregational Development, as he seeks to minister at St. Matthew’s in Abbotsford.

Here are some of the different sources I have been reading as I try to get a handle on what is happening within the denomination:
Anglican Essentials
Anglican Mainstream
The Anglican Journal
Diocesan websites (e.g., New Westminster, Qu’Appelle, Ottawa, and the ANiC)
Anglicans Online
Thinking Anglicans
Episcopal News Service
The Anglican Communion
Virtue Online

Random Blog Posts and Stuff

John Stackhouse talks about his contribution in the new book, case The Spectrum of Evangelicalism:

Immediately, cialis of course, buy the problem surfaces that we four can’t possibly represent the wide, wide range of evangelical varieties, even if you narrow the field to middle-aged, white, North American, baptistic, male, middle-class, Anglophone theological professionals. (You noticed that that does narrow the field a bit, did you?) It doesn’t even begin to represent the variety of theological approaches, let alone the varieties of evangelicalism along other axes (e.g., liturgy, social action, ecclesiology, ad infinitum).

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What would Jesus hack?:

“The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,” Jesus said of little children. But computer hackers might give the kids some competition, according to Antonio Spadaro, an Italian Jesuit priest. In an article published earlier this year in La Civiltà Cattolica, a fortnightly magazine backed by the Vatican, entitled “Hacker ethics and Christian vision”, he did not merely praise hackers, but held up their approach to life as in some ways divine. Mr Spadaro argued that hacking is a form of participation in God’s work of creation.

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Roger Olson clarifies what he means by “against Calvinism”:

Tenth, and finally, I am “against Calvinism” that is unreflective which is the case with many of the “young, restless, Reformed” young people. They are being swept up in a movement without seeing its weaknesses or flaws and without knowing there are good reasons equally committed Christians don’t adopt Calvinism and without knowing there are other theological options that are biblically sound, traditional (in terms of the ancient churches before Augustine), reasonable and that are consistent with evangelical spirituality (e.g., petitionary prayer).

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Is there less religious tolerance in Canada post 9/11?

A majority of Canadians say society has become less tolerant of various ethnicities and faiths since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a new study shows.
Over half of Canadians surveyed in an Ipsos Reid poll for Postmedia News and Global TV said that Muslims are discriminated against more now than they were 10 years ago. However, Canadian Muslim groups say the impact of 9/11 was good and bad on the Muslim community.

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Guess what? Technology in the classroom isn’t an absolute success.

And whatever you do, don’t just throw up all your notes and lectures online, because students won’t bother showing up, he said. In fact, the students in the survey said they were more likely to skip class if the materials were posted on the Internet.

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The Future of Canadian Christianity

Sociologist Reginald Bibby has an article summarizing his latest findings about the state of Christianity in Canada. He finds:

…the restructuring of religion in the country is seeing Roman Catholics and evangelicals emerge as the dominant Christian players, patient with mainline Protestants experiencing a diminishing role in Canadian religious life.

Bibby lists three implications of this finding:

The first is the need for a mindset change. For too long, patient Canadian Christians have been intimidated by proclamations of religion’s demise. Polarization is far different from eradication. The time has come to discard ideas like “post-Christian,” “faithful remnants” and even “secular societies.”

Faith continues to have a significant place in the lives of millions of people, led by Catholics. That solid core is not going to disappear.

Second, a fascinating element in the ongoing vitality of religion in Canada is immigration. Globally, the fastest growing groups are Christians — led by Roman Catholics and Pentecostals — along with Muslims.

The heightened racial and ethnic diversification that you have been seeing in many of your parishes, particularly in urban areas, is only going to accelerate.

Third, it might be radical but it needs to be considered. If Canada is increasingly divided between people who are religious and those who are not, those who value faith need to find ways of working more closely with each other. More specifically, Catholics and evangelicals in particular need to explore and tap into commonalities that can contribute to a more effective Christian presence in Canada. This is a time for bridges, not chasms.

Read the whole thing here.

Random Blog Posts and Stuff

Eric Ortlund has had a short piece of fiction published over at Mindflights. Check out: I Am Your Son That Was.

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Statistics Canada has announced that they will no longer be tracking marriage and divorce rates:

Marriage data has been collected in Canada since 1921 and divorce data has been on the books since 1972.
Moving forward, buy viagra StatsCan said it will still be able to collect information on marriage through the census and it will gather data about families through a general survey conducted every five years.

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Mark White asks: Are Captain America’s Ethics Too Old-Fashioned for the 21st Century?

Captain America, order with his “outmoded” moral code based on virtues like honor, integrity, and courage—or, if you prefer, following duty despite all costs—ended up being just what the Marvel Universe needed all along, and this is just as true in the real world of 2011. The importance of virtue and duty never changed, though the world itself changed around them.

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Internet Monk announces a new advocacy group that is calling for the book of Genesis to be banned:

“This book [Genesis] is a classic case of the devil’s bait and switch. It opens with an outstanding scientific depiction of how God created the universe, but then you turn the page and you have two people running around naked in a garden! That’s Satan’s way. He draws you in with something that sounds good, and before you know it, you are looking at pornography. ‘They were naked and not ashamed’? That is so disturbing and it’s all you need to know about this book. No shame! I wouldn’t want my boys reading that for anything.”

The name of the group — People Involved in Saving, Securing, and Defending the Old-Fashioned Family (PISSDOFF). You’ve got to read the whole thing; the satire is brilliant!

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Random Blog Posts and Stuff

Peggy Orenstein takes a look at female characters in the various Pixar movies (Toy Story, seek Cars, cheap etc). The movie that comes out the best in terms of female characters: The Incredibles.

In Pixar’s films, maleness has consistently been presented as “universal” as neutral. while femaleness is singular, and–even when a character is “strong”–she is inevitably imbued with those particular stereotypically female characteristics: she is a love interest or a helper. She is caring. She checks out her butt in the mirror. It has never once been HER experience, HER feelings, HER complexity or crisis that drives the narrative. If it were the opposite and Pixar had NEVER made a film in which a male character’s quest drove the story wouldn’t you find that a smidge odd?

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J.R. Daniel Kirk gets into a discussion about what is the purpose of prayer, in light of a quote that has been floating around Twitter.

If I may put it provocatively: the quote is a cop out. It transforms prayer from a dangerous act in which we summon the God of all the earth to act now upon the earth over which God is sovereign into something that’s just for shaping our little hearts. This is the worst sort of existentialism working itself out in a theology of prayer. The real thing isn’t that God would be intimately involved in the real world, acting on behalf of those upon whom God has set God’s name. No, the real thing would be getting ourselves aligned with some transhistorical God who won’t be bothered to engage the lives of God’s people.

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A refugee claimant from China was denied status in Canada because of how he answered the board’s question: What was Jesus like as a person?

In assessing Mr. Wang’s refugee claim, board adjudicator Daniel McSweeney asked Mr. Wang: “So tell me about Jesus as a person. What was he like?
“Jesus is son of God,” Mr. Wang said.
“I am not asking who he was or what he did. I am asking what is he like as a person,” Mr. McSweeney said.
“Jesus was conceived through the holy ghost and was born in this world,” Mr. Wang replied.
The answer did not satisfy the board member. “Anybody could memorize a creed and recite the creed. I want to know what you believe and what you know of Jesus as a person.”
“In my heart he is my saviour,” Mr. Wang answered.
“That is not . . . again, tell me what Jesus is as a person and this is the last time I am going to ask you.”
“I am sorry I really do not know how to answer.”

I guess the guy should have read some JD Crossan before his interview. Maybe that’s what the board was looking for?

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Derek Ouellette points us to a new Blog with Integrity website.

Though it is not a Christian pledge specifically, the principles are adequate. Here is the Blog with Integrity pledge:

By displaying the Blog with Integrity badge or signing the pledge, I assert that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is important to me.

I treat others respectfully, attacking ideas and not people. I also welcome respectful disagreement with my own ideas.

I believe in intellectual property rights, providing links, citing sources, and crediting inspiration where appropriate.

I disclose my material relationships, policies and business practices. My readers will know the difference between editorial, advertorial, and advertising, should I choose to have it. If I do sponsored or paid posts, they are clearly marked.

When collaborating with marketers and PR professionals, I handle myself professionally and abide by basic journalistic standards.

I always present my honest opinions to the best of my ability.

I own my words. Even if I occasionally have to eat them.