Friday, June 29, 2012

Richard Hooker on 2 Corinthians 5:21

2 Corinthians 5:21 -- God man him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Richard Hooker:  Let it be counted folly or frenzy or whatsoever.  It is our wisdom and our comfort; we care for no knowledge in the world but this, that man has sinned and God has suffered; that God has made himself the sin of men and that men are made the righteousness of God.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In the Colorado Wilderness

I just returned from seven days with other bishops in the wilderness of the Colorado Rockies.  In an effort to build deeper relationships and enhance unity in the Anglican movement in North America, we rock-climbed, rappelled, white-water rafted on the Arkansas River, back-packed and camped at 12,000 feet, fished, worshipped, studied some aspects of Biblical leadership, and were challenged and encouraged with personal coaching.

It was a physically challenging time.  It was a spiritually nurturing time.  And it was wonderful to share time with such godly men who love Jesus and desire to make a difference in our world for Him!  Below are some pics of our time in Colorado.

Bishop Frank Lyons on rappel

Bishop Philip Jones rappelling down rock face


Bishop Eric Menees just before a rock climb

Bishop TJ Johnston after rappelling

Getting ready to go white-water rafting on the Arkansas River: (from left to right:) Bishops Frank Lyons, Eric Menees,  John Miller, Philip Jones, Sandy Miller, TJ Johnston, Allen Hughes (Fr.), Trevor Walters, Foley Beach, Derek Jones, and Silas Ng

Bishop John Miller with his lama on the trail

Moi with Oblama our lama preparing to backpack up to 12,000 ft.

Bishop Silas Ng with Oblama the lama
Bishop Trevor Walters

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dear Name

From God Calling....

JESUS.  Say My Name often. It was in My Name that Peter bade the lame man walk. "In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth arise and walk."

JESUS.  The very sound of My Name in Love and tenderness, drives away all evil.  It is the word before which all the hosts of evil flee.

JESUS.  My Name is the call for a lifeline to rescue you from temptation.

JESUS.  The Name banishes loneliness -- dispels gloom.

JESUS.  Summons help to conquer your faults.

I will set you on high because you have known My Name.

Yes!  My Name -- JESUS.  Use it more.  Use it tenderly.  Use it prayerfully.  Use it powerfully.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

More Dietrich

He taught us that the Bible goes directly into your life, to where your problems are -- Inge Karding

He said that when you read the Bible, you must think that the here and now God is speaking with me... He wasn't as abstract as the Greek teachers and all the others.  Rather, from the very beginning, he taught us that we had to read the Bible as it was directed at us, as the word of God directly to us.  Not something general, not something generally applicable, but rather with a personal relationship to us.  He repeated this to us very early on, that the whole thing comes from that. -- Inge Karding

Bonhoeffer in a sermon after Hitler came to power:  The church has only one altar, the altar of the Almighty.... before which all creatures must kneel... Whoever seeks something other that this must keep away, he cannot join us in the house of God.  The church has only one pulpit, and from that pulpit, faith in God will be preached, and no other faith, and not other will than the will of God, however well intentioned.

D.B.  Do not try to make the Bible relevant.  Its relevance is axiomatic...  Do not defend God's Word, but testify to it... Trust to the Word.

D.B.  Theological work and real pastoral fellowship can only grow in a life which is governed by gathering around the Word morning and evening and by fixed times of prayers.

D.B. Who stands fast?  Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God -- the responsible man, who tries to make his while life an answer to the question and call of God.

D.B. The proclamation of grace has its limits.  Grace may not be proclaimed to anyone who does not recognize or distinguish or desire it... The world upon whom grace is thrust is a bargain will grow tired of it, and it will not only trample upon the Holy, but also will tear apart those who force it on them.

D.B. Only he who cries out for the Jews may sing Gregorian chants.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I have been reading Bonhoeffer - Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas.  He has done a brilliant job of bringing together various aspects of Bonhoeffer's history to give the most complete picture of this man, his walk with God, his theology, his family, his relationships, his sacrifices, and his fight with the Nazis.

I must confess that I had not studied the Nazis since high school and was quite stunned at the prevalent evil they not only practiced, but inflicted on humanity.  I also knew very little about Bonhoeffer and did not know that he was actually killed because of his participation in an assassination attempt on Hitler.  I had not seen or read much of his work, although I had read the The Cost of Discipleship twenty years ago.  I also found it quite amazing that the Anglican Bishop of Chichester, George Bell, organized and led his memorial service at Holy Trinity Church, Brompton (home of ALPHA) in London for this German Lutheran pastor and theologian.  It was by listening to the service on the radio in Germany that his parents found out he was dead.

For the next several blogs, I am going to list some of Dietrich's words which stood out in the book.  The time frame is the 1930's and early 1940's.

The theological atmosphere of Union Theological Seminary is accelerating the process of secularization of Christianity in America.  Its criticism is directed essentially against the fundamentalists and to a certain extent also against against the radical humanists in Chicago; it is healthy and necessary.  But there is no sound basis on which one can build after the demolition.  It is carried away with the general collapse.

In New York they preach about virtually everything; only one thing is not addressed, or is addressed so rarely that I have as yet been unable to hear it, namely the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross, sin and forgiveness, death and life.

The one, notable exception, Bonhoeffer again observed, was the "negro churches."  If his year in New York had value, it was mainly because of his experiences in the "negro churches."

In Washington I lived completely among the negroes and through the students was able to become acquainted with all the leading figures of the negro movement, was in their homes, and had extraordinary interesting discussions with them.... The conditions are really rather unbelievable.  Not just separate railway cars, tramways, and buses south of Washington, but also, for example, when I wanted to eat at a small restaurant with a Negro, I was refused service.

I still believe that the spiritual songs of the southern negroes represent some of the greatest artistic achievements in America. (this from a man from high society culture in Germany).

I plunged into my work in an unChristian way... Then something happened, something that has changed and transformed my life to the present day.  For the first time I discovered the Bible.... I had often preached.  I had seen a great deal of the Church, and talked and preached about it -- but I had not yet become a Christian......  Then the Bible, particularly the Sermon on the Mount, freed me from that.  Since then I everything has changed.

The Church exists and God exists, and we are asked whether we are willing to be of service, for God needs us.

When you read the Bible, you must think that here and now God is speaking with me...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

One of the Joys

One of the joys of being Anglican is the close interaction with Christians from around the world.  Here at the College of Bishops meeting and the Provincial Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America at Ridgecrest, NC, we have been blessed and inspired to hear from these Anglican leaders from around the world.  All had a similar message:  Jesus Christ!!

The Most Rev. Hector (Tito) Zavaia, Primate of the Southern Cone, and Bishop of Chile

Suffragan Bishops from Recife, Brazil:  Evilasio Tenorio and Flavio Adair

Archbishop and Primate Henri Isingoma of the Anglican Church of the Congo

Archbishop and Primate Bolly Lapok of the Anglican Church of Southeast Asia

Archbishop and Primate Stephen Than Myint Oo of Myanmar (Burma)

Archbishop and Primate Onesphore Rwaje of Rwanda

Bishop Davies of Sydney, Australia

Anglican Bishop from Germany

Bishop Frank Lyons of Bolivia and soon to be Assisting Bishop of Pittsburgh
Archbishop and Primate Justice Akrofi of West Africa and Bishop of Ghana
Bishop Abraham Niahl of Sudan