Unce, Tice, Fee Times the reading speed., May 23, 2001
|Reviewer:||"mr_bits" (Chicago, IL) - See all my reviews|
now, you just have to decide if this review was helpful or not?
The theological and philosophical musings of one who treasures Christ, hoping to create a beautiful blend of love and knowledge that produces a perfect passion for the glory of God.
|Reviewer:||"mr_bits" (Chicago, IL) - See all my reviews|
Circumcise Your Heart
(Deuteronomy 10:12-22; ESV)
12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? 14 Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. 16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. 18 He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. 19 Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 20 You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear. 21 He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.
10 Questions For Katharine Jefferts Schori
By JEFF CHU
Rough waters aren't new to Katharine Jefferts Schori, 52, a former oceanographer who is the Presiding Bishop-elect of the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. Bishop Katharine, as she's known, takes over a denomination rocked by controversy at home and abroad for its liberal stance on gay clergy. She talked with TIME's Jeff Chu about her mission of social justice, the relationship between science and religion and whether faith in Jesus is the only path to heaven.
What will be your focus as head of the U.S. church?
Our focus needs to be on feeding people who go to bed hungry, on providing primary education to girls and boys, on healing people with AIDS, on addressing tuberculosis and malaria, on sustainable development. That ought to be the primary focus.
The issue of gay bishops has been so divisive. The diocese of Newark, N.J., has named a gay man as one of its candidates for bishop. Is now the time to elect another gay bishop?
Dioceses, when they are faithful, call the person who is best suited to lead them. I believe every diocese does the best job it's capable of in discerning who it is calling to leadership.
Many Anglicans in the developing world say such choices in the U.S. church have hurt their work.
That's been important for the church here to hear. We've heard in ways we hadn't heard before the problematic nature of our decisions. Especially in places where Christians are functioning in the face of Islamic culture and mores, evangelism is a real challenge. [But] these decisions were made because we believe that's where the Gospel has been calling us. The Episcopal Church in the U.S. has come to a reasonable conclusion and consensus that gay and lesbian Christians are full members of this church and that our ministry to and with gay and lesbian Christians should be part of the fullness of our life.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, who leads the Anglican Communion, wrote recently that a two-tier Communion may be a solution. What did you read in his message?
The pieces that I saw as most important had to do with the complexity of the situation and the length of time that this process will continue. He's very clear that we're not going to see an instant solution. He's also clear about his role: it is to call people to conversation, not to intervene in diocesan or provincial life--which some people have been asking for.
There's much debate about whether science and religion can comfortably coexist. You're a scientist and a pastor. What do you think?
Oh, they absolutely can. In the Middle Ages, theology was called the queen of the sciences. It asks a set of questions about human existence, about why we're here and how we should be in relationship with our neighbors and with the divine. And science, in this more traditional understanding, is about looking at creation and trying to understand how it functions.
What is your view on intelligent design?
I firmly believe that evolution ought to be taught in the schools as the best witness of what modern science has taught us. To try to read the Bible literalistically about such issues disinvites us from using the best of recent scholarship.
Is belief in Jesus the only way to get to heaven?
We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box.
Pastoral work can be all-consuming. How do you relax?
I run regularly. I like to hike, and I take one long backpacking trip a year. Flying is also a focusing activity. I come from a family of pilots, and it's always been part of my experience. It takes one's full attention, and that's restful in an odd kind of way. It takes your mind away from other concerns, not unlike meditation.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Chapter 61 of Isaiah is an icon for me of what Christian work should be about. That's what Jesus reads in his first public act. In Luke, he walks into the synagogue and reads from Isaiah. It talks about a vision of the reign of God where those who are mourning are comforted, where the hungry are fed, where the poor hear good news.
What is your prayer for the church today?
That we remember the centrality of our mission is to love each other. That means caring for our neighbors. And it does not mean bickering about fine points of doctrine.
(this article originally appeared in the July, 17 2006 issue of Time on pg. 6. The electronic format appears here. The colors of the original electronic article were changed by me to represent the hardcopy version and to make the interview easier to read.)
Zeal in religion is a burning desire to please God, to do His will, and to advance His glory in the world in every possible way. It is a desire which no man feels by nature, - which the Spirit puts in the heart of every believer when he is converted, - but which some believers feel so much more strongly than others that they alone deserve to be called "zealous" men.
This desire is so strong, when it really reigns in a man, that it impels him to make any sacrifice, - to go through any trouble, - to deny himself to any amount, - to suffer, to work, to labour, to toil, - to spend himself and be spent, and even to die, - if only he can please God and honour Christ.
A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit. He only sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed up in one thing; and that one thing is to please God. Whether he lives, or whether he dies, - whether he has health, or whether he has sickness, - whether he is rich, or whether he is poor, - whether he pleases man, or whether he gives offence, - whether he is thought wise, or whether he is thought foolish, - whether he gets blame, or whether he gets praise, - whether he gets honour, or whether he gets shame, - for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all. He burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God's glory. If he is consumed in the very burning, he cares not for it, - he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he has but done the work for which Bod appointed him. Such an one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannont preach, and work, and give money, he will cry, and sigh, and pray. Yes: if he is only a pauper, on aperpetual bed of sickness, he will make the wheels of sin around him drive heavily, by continually interceding against it. If he cannon fight in the valley with Joshua, he will do the work of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, on the hill. (Exod. xvii. 9-13) If he is cut off from working himself, he will give the Lord no rest till help is raised up from another quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of "zeal" in religion.
(Ryle, John Charles. Practical Religion. Banner of Truth, 1998. Pages 184-185)