News and Events
Thank you to all those who attended, supported, and contributed their time and talents to our 2015 Desiring the Kingdom Conference. We offer thanks to God for such bountiful blessings!
Miss the conference? Not to worry, audio lectures given by our keynote speaker, Dr. James. K.A. Smith are now available. Just click below to begin listening!
"You Are What You Love: Worship as the Heart of Discipleship"
"You Might Not Love What You Think: Learning to Read 'Secular' Liturgies"
"The Spirit Meets You Where You Are: Historic Worship for a Postmodern Age"
"What Story Are You In? Why Form Matters"
Honor Your Inner Monk: An Update for the St. Meinrad Archabbey Prayer App
The Chuck Colson Centre for Christian Worldview | Breakpoint
A Time for War? Isis and the Attack on Paris | Eric Metaxas
November 18, 2015
It’s been a dark few days. In the wake of historic bloodshed, we need to pray ceaselessly. And then we need to ask ourselves whether being a peacemaker might mean taking up arms.
Thank You, Toronto Star, For Ignoring My Work |Dr. Miriam Grossman miriamgrossmanmd.com
The full article below was taken from Dr. Grossman's blog, found here.
Thank you, Toronto Star, for ignoring my work.
A few weeks ago, at the invitation of several parent organizations, I traveled from New York to Toronto and addressed a crowd of almost one thousand people. It was dinner time and mid-week, but we ran out of chairs. When the topic is graphic sex education for children, people show up.
The sex ed portion of the curriculum imposed by liberal premier Kathleen Wynne, I explained, is not about health, but about molding the attitudes of children. The goal is to produce students who respect and affirm nearly any type of sexual lifestyle. Teachers will promote an ideology which has nothing to do with disease prevention and everything to do with sexual license.
My talk (watch it here) and accompanying PowerPoint included lots of hard science: the immature cervix, the physiology of the vagina and rectum, the differentiation of the embryonic brain, and the prefrontal cortex of the adolescent.
You see, Premier Wynne’s curriculum omits all that. It fails to provide students with the science they must know, especially the biology that explains the dangers of sexual activity in adolescence.
Instead, it instructs students: there are three types of intercourse. Wait until you’re older, and always use a condom.
There are lots of problems with that, but I focused on the “wait til you’re older” portion.
For a seventh grader, “older” can mean eighth grade. In seventh grade he didn’t have sex. In eighth grade he did. He waited til he was older, right? Just like his teacher said.
We can’t just tell kids “wait til you’re older”, I explained. We must say “the urge is healthy and wonderful, but sex is a very serious matter and even with protection, carries high risks for a teenager. One encounter can change your life forever. Sex is for adults.”
I stated that the curriculum first and foremost fails to protect boys who are attracted to other boys. Because of the high risk of transmitting HIV through anal intercourse (even with a condom) and because gay males on average have a higher number of partners and therefore more exposure to infected individuals, boys must be warned.
It was clear to the audience: these are facts that cannot be denied. This is science that students must know. It could save their lives.
Why, then, is it missing from the curriculum? Because, I explained, they undermine the notion of sexual freedom upon which it is based. When science contradicts the dreams of social activists, they’re ignored. They don’t exist.
The audience, the most diverse I have ever addressed, appreciated my words. They gave me a standing ovation.
While the event was certainly newsworthy, it was covered only by conservative media. So I was surprised when I got this email:
I am a reporter with the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation daily paper. Working on a story about sex-ed protests here in Ontario over the new curriculum, and I understand you have been speaking to groups here about your concerns about it. I will need to speak with you today 416 xxx xxxx. Many thanks KR
A journalist from Canada’s equivalent of The New York Times! Could some balanced reporting come from her? I doubted it. If she acknowledged my biology-based arguments, it would be a first.
I called KR and gave her an abridged version of my lecture, including a good amount of hard science. She asked, “Are you anti-gay?” I said, “To the contrary – I’m trying to save their lives. The curriculum fails to warn them of risks, that’s one reason I oppose it.”
She thanked me and agreed to send a link to her article in the morning, but there was no email the following day, so I went to the Toronto Star website. Maybe it didn’t run yet? I wrote KR and got this:
It ran today — the quotes from you were trimmed because of space — but thank you so much, I will keep them on file for future stories. I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me.
Here is her article. As expected, not a word about the inaccuracies of the curriculum, or the omissions that place young lives at risk. No mention of my lecture, my professional credentials, the huge audience. Poof! None of it happened.
“The quotes from you were trimmed because of space”? I think not.
First of all, “trimmed’ is the wrong word. KR, you are a journalist and should know about words. “Trimmed” means pared or edited. What I said was ignored.
Why? Because I exposed the curriculum as an ideologically-driven house of cards. Sadly, the Toronto Star is a mouthpiece for activists who sacrifice children on the altar of social agendas. Just like I stated at the event: if what’s seen under the microscope undermines their beliefs, it doesn’t exist.
KR, you had a chance to act with integrity and provide your audience with life-saving information. The readers of the Toronto Star may support the premier, but herpes, chlamydia and HIV infect their children too. These horrific bugs do not discriminate between conservative and liberal — you can trust me on that one.
Toronto Star, I wish your journalist had the courage to report the inconvenient truths I described. But in her failure to do so, I am validated. And for that, I thank you.
Aslan is on the Move: The Growth of Christianity in the Muslim World | Break Point
By Eric Metaxas
June 10, 2015
A Washington Post article tells the story of a tiny Baptist church near Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The congregation had dwindled to just fifteen members. With bills stacking up, Deacon Larry Montgomery told the congregation, “We’re just not going to make it.”
Montgomery then told the people of Scenic Drive Baptist that there was a congregation who might want to buy the church. This congregation had been meeting in homes and had a pastor whose business card quoted John 4:35: “Look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”
Six Ways Your Phone is Changing You | Desiring God
By Tony Reinke
Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone at Macworld Expo 2007, and I got my first one a year later. I can’t remember life without it. For seven years an iPhone has always been within my reach, there to wake me in the morning, there to play my music library, there to keep my calendar, there to capture my life in pics and video, there for me to enjoy sling-shooting wingless birds into enemy swine, there as my ever-present portal to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. My iPhone is such a part of my daily life, I rarely think self-reflectively about it. That’s precisely what concerns David Wells, 75, a careful thinker who has watched trends in the church for many decades.
Flash Mob in Beirut Mall Sings 'Christ is Risen!'
The Pope is a Christian! | The New York Review of Books
By Gary Wills
At a recent I talk I gave about Pope Francis, a man asked me, “Why do more non-Catholics like the pope than Catholics do?” He was wrong, of course. A Pew poll two months ago found that 90 percent of Catholics like what the pope is doing—and the number is even higher (95 percent) among the most observant, Mass attending Catholics. The percentage of non-Catholics who view the pope favorably does not get above the 70s.
Should Britain Become a Secular State? | The Big Questions
What ISIS Wants | The Atlantic
By Graeme Wood
"The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it."
Metaxas Article Elicits the Largest Response in the history of The Wall Street Journal (online).
"Eric Metaxas (born 1963) is an American author, speaker, and TV host. He is best known for two biographies, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery about William Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy about Dietrich Bonhoeffer." (Source: Wikipedia)
Find his Wall Street Journal online article here
Click here to watch a Fox Business interview with Eric Metaxas
Re: Physician-Assisted Deaths
On February 6 the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s laws banning physician-assisted deaths. Here is testimony concerning physician-assisted deaths practices given before the British Parliamentary committee last July by Dutch Professor Theo Boer who has been a Member of a Netherlands Regional Review Committee since 2005. In the past 9 years he has studied almost 4000 such cases. Click below to read the letter.
Dutch ethicist - 'Assisted Suicide - Don't Go There' - EPC 2015-01-29.pdf
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Archbishop on the Commission's Challenges and the Way Forward | Episcopal News Service
Photo: Church of England
November 17, 2014
[Lambeth Palace] In his presidential address to the General Synod on Nov. 17, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby spoke about the issues faced by the Anglican Communion and possible ways forward.
Christian Principles Hold Steady as the System Worsens, New York Times
By James K.A. Smith, June 25, 2014
Christianity isn't incompatible with free markets. But it may be incompatible with modern capitalism and its growing inequality and exploitation.
First Indigenous Diocese Celebrated, Anglican Journal
ByLeigh Anne Williams, June 6, 2014
On June 4, Bishop Lydia Mamakwa was installed as bishop of Mishamikoweesh, the new indigenous diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada. Photos: Anglican Video
It was a historic day for the Anglican Church of Canada as it celebrated the birth of the first indigenous diocese and the installation of its first bishop in Kingfisher Lake, Ont.
The Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh’s installation service for Bishop Lydia Mamakwa was held in a school gymnasium that had been transformed for the occasion with red and white banners, garlands and a profusion of flowers around the altar. Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, offered the homily. Archbishop David Ashdown, metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land, formally seated Mamakwa as bishop and blessed the episcopal chair. National Indigenous Bishop Mark MacDonald participated and offered a reflection. The service was in English and Oji-Cree. Bishops from across the country attended, along with many members of the 400-person Kingfisher Lake First Nation, which is located 350 km north of Sioux Lookout, Ont.
Andrew White: Being Jesus in the Kill Zone Christianity Today
May 6, 2014
Iraq is worse than ever. So says Andrew White, vicar of St. George's Anglican Church in Baghdad, where he pastors the only Anglican church in Iraq. Since March, 2,100 people have died in sectarian violence. With 260,000 Christians left in the country, where 1.5 million Christians used to live, White works for reconciliation between religious and political factions in one of the world's most volatile areas.
Staying Put | First Things
Peter J. Leithart, May 23, 2014
When tensions grow among us, many consider their church environment as less than ideal and ask themselves, "Should I go or stay?" Here is an article by a well-known Presbyterian clergyman, Peter Letihart, that will give you pause for thought.
Image: Rumlin/Wikimedia Commons
In recent days, the Crimean peninsula has been at the heart of what some have described as the greatest international crisis of the 21st century. But this is not the first time the region has been so critical to international affairs. Many educated people have at least heard of the great struggle known as the Crimean War (1853-56), although its causes and events remain mysterious to most non-specialists.
If the conflict is remembered today, it resonates through the heroic charitable efforts of Florence Nightingale and the foundation of modern nursing. Actually, that earlier war deserves to be far better known as a pivotal moment in European religious affairs. Without knowing that religious element, moreover—without a sense of its Christian background—we will miss major themes in modern global affairs, in the Middle East and beyond.
Marriage Canon Commission Members Announced - Anglican Journal
January 6, 2014
Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, today announced the appointment of the members of a commission that will carry out a broad consultation about changing the marriage canon (church law) to allow same-sex marriage.
"The 160-Year History Behind What's Happening in the Ukraine Today" - Philip Jenkins, Christianity Today
March 5, 2014
10 Things I like about Going to An Anglican Church
By Erin Ortlund
My family has been part of St. Aidan Anglican Church in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, for over 5 years now. I grew up Presbyterian, with a foray into the Vineyard Christian Fellowship during my college years, so I’m rather surprised to find myself here! I can’t say much about the wider Anglican Communion, or even other congregations in the Anglican Church of Canada, but here are 10 reasons I like worshipping with our specific body of believers:
The liturgy: Our church uses the Book of Alternative Services (BAS), which is similar to the Book of Common Prayer, but with more modern language. I have grown to love it, as the liturgical prayers have become familiar and soul-nourishing
The Eucharist: The Eucharist (communion) is the central part of the worship service, and it happens every week. It starts with one of several Eucharistic prayers, either spoken or sung.
The gospel focus: Our church focuses on the essentials of the Christian faith. Christ crucified, Christ risen, Christ working through us in the world. There is very little emphasis on secondary theological issues that, at least for me, can be more distracting than inspiring. I have never detected any arrogance or sense of superiority in relation to other Christian denominations. Of course, this may be due to general Canadian politeness!
The music: There’s a nice mix of hymns, contemporary worship choruses, Taize songs, and traditional Anglican music. Many parts of the liturgy are sung as well.
Emphasis on Scripture: Every week, we hear passages from the Old Testament, New Testament, Gospels, and the Psalms. The sermon always relates to one or more of these readings.
The children’s ministry: The preschool and elementary age children at our church use the Godly Play program for Sunday school. Every few months, St. Aidan has an intergenerational worship service, where the kids stay for the whole service, participating in music, prayer, skits, and Scripture reading. We also have an Advent Brunch every year.
Connection to history: I like being part of a church that’s been around for a very long time. Also, many of my favorite authors are/were Anglicans: C.S. Lewis, N.T. Wright, Madeleine L’Engle, and Alister McGrath.
Connection to the world: The Anglican Communion is worldwide. Our church has a special relationship with dioceses in Malaysia and England.
Outreach to the world: Our church has done a wide variety of outreaches, such as Operation Christmas Child, clothes drives, Vacation Bible School, outreach lunches after our church service, Habitat for Humanity projects, and ministry to immigrant high school students.
Diversity: We have college students, singles, families, and many elderly people. Some are lifelong Anglicans, and others have come from other faith traditions, or from none at all.