Vol. VIII No. 17
Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:
Colleagues List Web Site:
Canadian Anglicans Google Groups:
Now "Quicklinks" are included with many items.
Otherwise, scroll down to find your selection
in the body of the blog, as in the past.
I have now begun a normal term with six hours
of prep time for classes each week. A few
months ago, my body would not have allowed
it, but thankfully I am returning to health.
This week I introduce to you a new book by
colleague Brian Arthur Brown of St. Catherines,
It is entitled "The Three Testaments" and it
includes - with good introductions from reputable
scholars - the sacred Scriptures of Judaism,
Christianity and Islam so readers can compare
the texts together in one volume. Thanks for
all the work you have put into this, Arthur,
and for sending me a copy to introduce to
all of you.
This week we hear from -
Mary Jo Leddy of Toronto
- who writes about torture
Marjorie Gibson of Vancouver
- who shares a personal Manifesto
Martin Marty of Chicago
- who discusses the toll of divorce
Ron Rolheiser of San Antonio
- who speaks of aging and intelligence
Jim Taylor of the Okanagan
- who reflects on a home for religious
refugees - his own congregation
Thanks , friends, for quality work!
"Rich Man, Poor Man" - here is
an interesting reflection on
St. Francis (The New Yorker)
"Vatican Threatened Irish Priest" -
a humble Irish pastor who favors women
priests and clergy marriage breaks his
silence (National Catholic Reporter)
"Is Honesty Always the Best Policy" -
this week's confession to Oprah about
drug-taking by Lance Armstrong is
assessed in (Relevant Magazine)
"Gun Lobby No Match for Cross Lobby" -
Some US churches are moving to support
Obama in his efforts at gun control
legislation (Anglican Journal)
"Nouwen- A Spirituality of Homcoming" -
here is an interesting review of a book
on the theme of Nouwen and returning
(Englewood Review of Books)
"Publishers Happy With 'Near Death' Surge" -
currently a number of best-selling books
focus on the theme of near death experiences.
Here is an assessment (Religious News Service)
"Has Jason Kenny Found the Right Balancce?" -
Jeffrey Simpson writes supportively of the new
immigrant legislation of Canada's government
(Globe and Mail) http://tinyurl.com/acczave
"Obama Inaugural - Gay Equality Centre Stage"
- the President was sworn in for a second term
this week and here are some of his key goals
"Indian Panel Says No Death Penalty for Rape"
- an advisory group to the Indian judicary
who will rule in the famous case nixes the
death penalty (Uca News)
"Tyndale Lsunches Indigenous Studies Program"
- this evangelical university, located in
Toronto, has established an important First
Nations study program designed by Native
People themselves (Christian Week Online)
Wisdom of the Week:
Is provided by Sojurners online and includes
the thought of: Thomas Merton, John Muir,
Mark L. Taylor and Bono. (see below)
On this Day:
The following significant stories of
events in history taking place during
the last seven days of January include:
Iran releases 52 Americans held hostage
Russian revolutionary Lenin dies at 54
Nixon Announces End of Vietnam War
Winston Churchill Dies in London
India Proclaimed Itself a Republic
Closing Thought -
We continue with a third reflection
by colleague Isabel Gibson of Ottawa.
Blessings on your week!
ST. DAVID'S AND UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS
St. David's and ACTS Ministry Announce -
Our Spiritual Travelers Tour for 2013
TURKEY AND THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH
DEADLINE FOR SIGN-UP HAS ARRIVED -
26 people have paid for the tour.
April 23rd - May 9th, 2013
Our major tour themes are: Classic Greek and Roman,
Early Christian, Muslim-Christian and the beautiful
scenery of the Mediterranean coast of SW Turkey.
*Enjoy Istanbul (Constantinople) - long a link
between East and West.
*Classical cities like Troy will be visited and
intriguing ancient sites will be revealed.
*Pilgrims from many of the regions we will visit
were present in Jerusalem at Pentecost - people
from "Mesopotamia, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia" -
*Saint Paul founded churches in many of the centers
of central and western Turkey and we will spend
quality time in places like Ephesus.
*We will come to know cities mentioned in the
Book of Revelation (chapters 1-3) by Jobn.
Cities like Pergamon, Thyatira, Philadelphia,
Sardis and Smyrna
The tour book will include reflection pages
with the itinerary as well as answers to many
Your tour hosts:
Marlene and Wayne Holst
OUR WINTER AND SPRING 2013 PROGRAMS
With more to be announced -
AT ST.DAVID'S UNITED CHURCH
"WELCOMING THE STRANGER" WEEKEND AT ST. DAVID'S
Friday March 1st - Sunday, March 3rd (confirmed)
Mary Jo Leddy, Romero House, Toronto.
Mary Jo's presentations will take place
at St. David's church.
Other guests are presently being secured for
panels, workshop and as seminar leaders. These
activities will be held on the university
Watch for new information on this
special weekend focused on Canada's
policy for welcoming new Canadians
and how Christians might respond.
MONDAY NIGHT STUDY
THIS SERIES HAS BEGUN!!
From Monday, January 14th
thru Monday, March 26th.
7:00 -9:00 PM TM Room.
"Radical Gratitude" by Mary Jo Leddy
Review of book links:
(Western Catholic Reporter)
(Gospel and our Culture)
Cost of the course: $50.00
Buy only the book: $20.00
The course and books are now
on sale at the church lobby.
THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
Thursday, January 17th - March 28th, 2013
THIS SERIES HAS BEGUN!!
"'Wisdom' in the Biblical Literature"
A six week series running through
the winter. 10-11 AM
All welcome. No cost.
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY
THIS COURSE HAS BEGUN!!
Tuesday Night University Study sponsored
by the Faculty of Continuing Education:
HERESIES AND HERETICS - The Real Story of
Early Christianity. Cont Ed Course 198-001
Ten Sessions - Jan. 22nd - Mar. 26th, 2013
Click this link for books, costs and details:
Faith and Spirituality Centre Winter Study
Sponsored by the Christian chaplains of
the University of Calgary
TWELVE STEPS TO A COMPASSIONATE LIFE
A Study of Karen Armstrong's latest book.
Fridays - March 1st - April 5th
12 noon - 1:00 PM
Six Weeks - Native Centre Board Room,
McEwan Student Centre, University of Calgary.
12 noon to 1:00 PM: Cost of the book: $15.
SPECIAL ST. DAVID'S LINKS
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (or) email@example.com
St. David's Web Address - http://sduc.ca/
Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -
An accumulation of thirty-five books studied
since 2000 can quickly be found at:
This collection of study resources represents
more than a decade of Monday Night Studies at
St. David's, plus extra courses too!
You are welcome to use our course outlines,
class notes and resource pages in your personal
and group reflections.
Book Notice -
Torah, Gospel, and Quran,
by Brian Arthur Brown,
with Six Contributors.
Rowman and Littlefield,
Toronto, ON. 2012.
635 pages. $40.00 CAD.
From disagreement over an Islamic Center
in New York to clashes between Christians
and Muslims in Egypt, tension between the
three Abrahamic faiths often runs high.
Yet for all their differences, these three
traditions-Judaism, Islam, and Christianity
- share much in common. Three Testaments
brings together for the first time the text
of the Torah, the New Testament, and the
Quran, so that readers can explore for
themselves the connections, as well as
the points of departure, between the three
faiths. Notable religion scholars provide
accessible introductions to each tradition,
and commentary from editor Brian Arthur
Brown explores how the three faiths may
draw similarities from the ancient
This powerful book provides a much-needed
interfaith perspective on key sacred texts.
These books are revolutionary. As Torah,
Gospels and Quran presented together,
they invite the reader to examine the
interdependence of the three scriptures
of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim people.
This is likely the first Bible to include all
three scriptures, and there are obvious links
The contributors from the various traditions
have exercised considerable influence on my own
work. As among the most senior editors of their
own traditions they also took the lead in the
selection of the three Jewish, Christian and
Muslim scholars who have contributed substantial
introductions to the three Scriptural texts...
The Three Testaments does articulate the view
that the Torah is basic or fundamental, that
the Gospel is a unique and special revelation,
and that the Quran is final and complete,
confirming both and other revelations as well.
The ways in which these traditions can inform
and assist each other is part of the essence
of this project...
We believe that our work will be helpful to
both liberal and conservative scholars in all
of the traditions even though co-operative
work between Christians and Jews has been
more extensive in the past. Now, the work
has been expanded to include Islam...
Our response in this book is for Christians
and Jews to go beyond mere "tolerance" toward
the Muslim community. This now a key element
in Western society must be recognized and
embraced as family in both religious and
community life. This does not mean that we
agree on everything (what family does) but
nothing less than full embrace can overcome
the sense of trauma and break the impasse that
threatens to permanently divide our cultures.
- edited from a much longer Prologue.
Author's Bio - Brian Arthur Brown is an
independent scholar and a United Church
of Canada minister. He is the author of
several books, including Noah's Other Son,
and lives in Niagara Falls, Canada. Amir
Hussain, professor of theological studies
at Loyola Marymount University, presents
the foreword. He is the author of several
books, including Oil and Water: Two Faiths,
One God, and is the editor of the Journal
of the American Academy of Religion.
Several years ago, the Evangelical Fellowship
of Canada website posted my review of
"Noah's Other Son," the first book I had
encountered from author and colleague Brian
This review had previously appeared in
The Anglican Journal, March, 2009.
The focal point of the book was on
how three traditions have treated
"Noah's Other Son" in their scriptural
This was obviously groundbreaking work
and I have continued my interest in it.
Jews and Christians have collaborated
in comparative biblical studies for a
long time, but adding the Islamic dimension
is indeed new to our time.
Since then, I have been following Brian's
work and his extensive efforts to bring
together the work of Jewish, Christian
and Muslim scholars of the Western world
in collaborative scholarly efforts. He
has been most generous in telling me
about his work, and the arrival of
"The Three Testaments" last fall was
both challenging and interesting. I
have finally been able to develop the
courage to take on this significant
volume. It represents considerable
time and energy on Brown's part.
Because Jews and Christians share a common
Hebrew Bible set of scriptures, the Islamic
material is new and different. I think
that this is the main challenge to any
who pay lip service to interfaith dialogue
but who may hesitate a bit when it comes
to actually read the material together.
Expanding biblical studies beyond the
Christian groups is still a stretch for
many. This book encourages us to read
the scriptures with Jews and Muslims
Even though this may be currently
a revolutionary challenge, I suspect
that note too far down the road it
will be a common occurrence.
Would that it will be so, and that
people like Brian Arthur Brown and
his fellow scholars will continue to
provide helpful interfaith substance
like this to enlighten us all!
Buy the book from Amazon.ca:
MARY JO LEDDY
THOU SHALT NOT TORTURE
Comment on "Zero Dark Thirty"
Globe and Mail
January 22nd, 2013
Jan. 21st, 2013
San Antonio TX
THE INTELLIGENCE INSIDE
OF THE AGING PROCESS
Jan. 20th, 2013
HOME FOR RELIGIOUS REFUGEES
Church Accepts Diverse Members
Jan. 21st, 2013
RICH MAN, POOR MAN
Radical Visions of St. Francis
The New Yorker
Jan. 14th, 2013
VATICAN THREATENED IRISH PRIEST
Claims Teachings are Heretical
National Catholic Reporter
January 23rd, 2013
IS HONESTY ALWAYS THE BEST POLICY?
What Learning From Lance Armstrong?
GUN LOBBY NO MATCH FOR CROSS LOBBY
Church Supports Move to Control Guns
Janury 25th, 2013
NOUWEN - A SPIRITUALITY OF HOMECOMING
Review of Recent Author's Writing on Theme
Englewood Review of Books
January 25th, 2013
PUBLISHERS HAPPY WITH NEAR DEATH SURGE
Books on Near Death Experiences Popular
Religious News Service
January 24th, 2013
HAS KENNY FOUND THE RIGHT BALANCE?
In Theory, New System Looks Better
The Globe and Mail
January 20th, 2012
OBAMA PUTS GAY EQUALITY CENTER STAGE
Second Inaugural Focus on Rights
The Guardian, UK
Jan. 22nd, 2013
KEY THEMES IN OBAMA SPEECH
January 24th, 2013
PANEL SAYS NO DEATH SENTENCE FOR RAPE
Judiciary Advised Against Death Penalty
Jan. 24th, 2013
TYNDALE LAUNCHES INDIGENOUS STUDIES PROGRAM
Program Designed by First Nations People
Christian Week Online
January 23rd, 203
WISDOM OF THE WEEK
Provided by Sojourners Online -
We are already one. We
just think we are separate.
- Thomas Merton
When you try to select any one
thing out, you find it is hitched
to everything else in the universe.
- John Muir
Jesus died the victim of executioners with
imperial power. There is an inescapable
opposition between the life and death of
Jesus, and imperial power. To embrace and
love the executed God is to be in resistance
to empire. To be a follower of the executed
Jesus of Nazareth is to venture down a road
without having a place in the system of
- Mark L. Taylor
Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts,
if you like, the consequences of your actions,
which in my case is very good news indeed, because
I've done a lot of stupid stuff.
ON THIS DAY
Provided by the New York Times
January 20th - 27th
Iran released 52 Americans held hostage for
444 days, minutes after the presidency had
passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.
Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
died at age 54.
Nixon Announces End of Vietnam War
Winston Churchill Dies in London
India Proclaimed Itself a Republic
CLOSING THOUGHT by Isabel Gibson
The Gift of Wonder
We have some things in common, my next-seat
neighbour and I: we are both female, we are
bored. She, however, is about 7 years old;
I am more like 57. Although she’s perfectly
well behaved, her slump tells me that she’s
about exhausted the delights of this passport
office waiting room.
I engage gingerly—not every kid is OK talking
to strangers and not every parent is OK with
strangers (even grandmotherly strangers)
talking to their kids—gauging the reaction
at every stage to know when it’s time to
knock it off. You know the sort of thing.
Mumble mumble in response.
My name’s Isabel. What’s yours?
Something almost inaudible in response.
Have you been here a long time?
Yes! OK, that’s clear enough.
And there I stop. She’s squirming on
her plastic chair — I’m glad to know it’s
not just my aging butt that doesn’t appreciate
them. As ‘240’ comes up on the overhead display,
she looks at the ticket she’s been entrusted
with and says in a discouraged tone, Not yet.
I glance over: her ticket is ‘242’.
That’s an interesting number, I offer.
She looks at her ticket, and then up at me,
Huh? written on her face, if not quite voiced.
Look, I say, it’s the same frontwards as backwards.
Oh yeah — she sees it all right, and perks up a
little bit. In this entertainment wasteland,
it’s no small distinction to be the holder of
an Interesting Number. With uncharacteristic
restraint, I let it lie. There is a processing
pause, and then she speaks. I don’t think I
imagine a slight reticence: after all, if my
answer is negative she does not want me to feel
Do you have an interesting number, too?
I show her my ticket: 246.
I think so. Each number is two more than the
one before it: it’s like counting by twos.
As she digests that notion, I try not to grin
too broadly. The meme may have jumped. There
is just the chance that this kidlet will never
look at numbers the same way again.
As the display reaches 242, she and her
accommodating mother move on to the next
stage in this trial by endurance. We say
goodbye, and I am left to give thanks for
the gift of wonder: there is so much to
marvel at in this world, from interesting
numbers to moments of completely unexpected