Vol. VIII No. 25
Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:
Colleagues List Web Site:
Canadian Anglicans Google Groups Web Site:
"Quicklinks" are included with many items.
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in the body of the blog.
It's Easter and time for a fresh take on
life after months of Northern winter
This week, my special book notice is one
announcing a recent publication by a good
friend and colleague Douglas John Hall.
He writes "Waiting for Gospel" as a strong
challenge to many of us in the declining
Protestant Christian mainline churches.
He is not talking about better structures
or hype, but a renewed personal experience
of what the gospel means.
Colleague Comment - this week is from
Doug Shantz who writes of the appearance
of his new book on the emergence of
late-medieval German Pietism as a major
influence on modern Christianity.
- and John Horman - who picks up on last
week's book notice "Did Jesus Exist?" and
shares some of his own biblical-historical
Thanks to both of you for good work.
John Stackhouse Jr. - writes on the
meaning of Good Friday.
Marjorie Gibson - continues her story
of learning that life is what happens when
we are trying to live something else.
Jim Taylor - helps us understand our
quest for meaning.
Art Bauer and Gretchen Janssen - share
an uplifting story that will speak to many
Ron Rolheiser - picks up on a Holy Week and
Easter theme about the meaning of resurrection.
"The Meaning of Easter" - N.T. Wright
offers a brief but substantial video
presentation on the meaning of Easter
(Englewood Review of Books)
"The Scholar and His Cat" - an ancient
but still intriguing poem on an academic
and his feline friend (Sightings)
"Robert Frost Reads Two Poems" - its
always great to hear Frost reading
his own poetry, seasonally related.
(Englswood Review of Books)
"Silence - A Christian History" -
Diarmaid MacCulloch, the author of
the acclaimed "Christianity: The
First Three Thousand Years" now
appears with a sequel that portends
to be every bit as gripping
(The Guardian, UK)
"US is Shifting Marriage Stance" -
a major change is taking place in the
attitude of Americans to gays as two
current Supreme Court tests suggest
"On Good Friday - Love Heals Hate" -
another Holy Week reflection that offers
helpful guidance to our devotional life
(National Catholic Reporter)
"Francis and Benedict - A Continuity" -
much has been written about the difference
between the current pope and his predecessor
but this video clip suggests otherwise
"Christians are the Butt of Bad Jokes" -
from England, a complaint that Christians
are being unfairly vilified in the media
(The Telegraph, UK)
"What Canada's Top Earners are Making" -
along with head offices, Canadian money is
also shifting westward, for better or worse
(Huffington Post Canada)
"'The Bible' - History Channel Series a Hit"
- the TV special has been getting a lot of
attention from viewers - believers and others
(The Guardian, UK) http://tinyurl.com/bqtzgyz
"How Long Will Pope Francis' Honeymoon Last?"
- the adulation accorded Francis I is bound to
ware thin as he aggravates observers from
both left and right (Religious News Service)
Wisdom of the Week:
Sojourners offers us advice from -
Mortimer Arias, Malala Yousafzai,
Anne Lamott and C.S. Lewis
On this Day:
Valdez Spills Oil on Alaska Coast
Last US Troops Leave Vietnam
Isabel Gibson shares the eleventh of twelve
"The Gift of Faith"
Easter Blessings to all!
Wayne's Study Programs:
ST. DAVID'S AND UNIVERSITY ACTIVITIES
As the Season Draws to a Close:
St. David's and ACTS Ministry -
Our Spiritual Travelers Tour for 2013
TURKEY AND THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH
THIS TOUR HAS 26 MEMBERS AND WILL
DEPART APRIL 23rd, 2013 (17 days)
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 REMAINING SPRING 2013 STUDY PROGRAMS
AT ST.DAVID'S UNITED CHURCH
THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
"Wisdom in the Books of Song of Solomon
Thursday, January 17th - April 11th, 2013
THIS SERIES HAS TWO MORE SESSIONS!!.
All welcome. No cost.
THIS COURSE IS CONCLUDING!!
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 12th
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: email@example.com (or) firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
WAITING FOR GOSPEL:
An Appeal to the Dispirited Remnants
of the Protestant "Establishment"
by Douglas John Hall, 2012
Wipf and Stock Publishers,
Eugene, OR. 195 pages. $21.56 CAD.
Kindle Edition: $9.99 CAD.
Douglas John Hall is Emeritus Professor of
Christian Theology in the Faculty of Religious
Studies of McGill University in Montreal. He
is the author of more than twenty-five books,
including Lighten Our Darkness (1976, 2001);
The Future of the Church: Where Are We Headed?
(1989) Why Christian? (1998); God and Human
Suffering (1986); The Steward (1990; 2004);
and The Messenger (2011).
He has lectured widely in Canada, the United
States, Germany, and Japan, and is the recipient
of many honors, including the Distinguished
Alumnus Award of Union Theological Seminary,
the Joseph Sittler Award for Leadership in
Theology, and the Order of Canada.
“Douglas John Hall is a treasure, a man I have
known whose intellectual depth is matched only
by his spirit of kindness... So too is 'Waiting
for Gospel.' As people continue to discuss the
place of the church in North America leaning on
sociology and cultural studies, Doug Hall reminds
us that in the end it will be only theology, a
lived theology of existential depth, that will
help. All the contemporary talk of church in North
America has so often failed to provide truly unique
and insightful thoughts ... about how God’s
revelation in Jesus Christ is encountering people
in this context, at this time. 'Waiting for Gospel'
propels us in that direction and therefore shines
brightly, giving the reader value upon value.”
— Andrew Root (Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN)
“Christianity, as faith centered in Jesus as the
Christ came to be called, got a foothold in the
world, and for a vital and vocal minority changed
the world, because it proclaimed a message that
awakened men and women to possibilities for human
life that they had either lost or never entertained.
That message the first Christian evangelists (and
Jesus himself, according to the record) called
euangellion — good news, gospel. For its first two
or three hundred years, Christianity was largely
dependent for its existence upon the new zest for
life that was awakened in persons who heard and
were, as they felt, transformed, by that gospel;
and at various and sundry points in subsequent
history the Christian movement has found itself
revitalized by the spirit of that same ‘good news’
in ways that spoke to the specifics of their times
“The lesson of history is clear: the challenge to
all serious Christians and Christian bodies today
is not whether we can devise yet more novel and
promotionally impressive means for the transmission
of ‘the Christian religion’ (let alone this or that
denomination); it is whether we are able to hear
and to proclaim . .. gospel! We do not need
statisticians and sociologists to inform us
that religion — and specifically our religion,
as the dominant expression of the spiritual
impulse of homo sapiens in our geographic context
— is in decline. We do not need the sages of the
new atheism to announce in learned tomes (and on
buses!) that ‘God probably does not exist.’ The
‘sea of faith’ has been ebbing for a very long time.”
— from the Introduction
Wipf and Stock Website:
It is a good thing when emeritus theologians
continue to share their wisdom with us! That
point is well made when the current writings
of veteran Canadian Douglas John Hall keep
appearing from an octogenarian who continues
to have vital things to say.
"Waiting for Gospel" has the sound and meaning
to it as if it had been written by a man half
his age. There is a vibrancy and vitality to
his work that is both hopeful and inspiring!
"Waiting for Gospel" speaks to me becauze,
after many years of serving in the Canadian
mainline I am inclined to ask "Is that all
Hall suggests that we we fail to recognize
the failure of liberal and moderate forms
of Protestantism to address the human quest
for gospel and our tendency to substitute
moral or ethical counsel for gospel, and
our neglect of personal life in favor of
attention to the public sphere.
"The generally unsatisfying, sometimes
stultifying character of our poor old
churches, our much vaunted "major
denominations" is not to be laid at the
feet of inadequately educated clergy,
or seminaries that are out of touch with
the churches, or congregational apathy.
None of these can be accounted blameless,
yet such factors are consequences of a
much larger reality. What we are dealing
with is an historical condition, a sweeping
and far-embracing trend centuries in the
making... the fault is, in some real
sense, "in our stars," not "in ourselves."
Willy-nilly, we are part of the winding
down of the great cultic clock of Western
history called Christendom, i.e. the
power and majority status of the Christian
tradition in the Western world.
Soren Kirkegaard spoke of this as a
"fundamental disconnect between Christendom
and the gospel."
"What we need," says Hall, "is a profound
search for, and recovery of, the gospel.
People are 'waiting for gospel' and many
of us continue participating and serving
in the church today because we live in the
hope that that discovery can occur."
Though we may seldom be able to articulate
it, what the people in and around our churches
are seeking is not just friendliness, or
community or exhortation to moral improvement
or a little blessed quietness is the midst of
a world become ever noisier... We are searching
for something far more radical than novelty
and hype. We are waiting for gospel!
As I watch some of my fellow-congregants
trying out other congregations - from big-box
to more "relevant" liberal communities -
I truly desire to remain where I am and to
help my clergy and fellow-members discover
the gospel that Hall speaks of. I don't
blame people for being restless, but I want
to be part of the solution, not the problem.
The thirteen essays that Hall includes in
this volume help me discover what I am
after. The book is divided into three parts:
The Mystery and Meaning of the Gospel, The
Basics of Gospel, and The Law Within
Gospel. All these chapters have a single aim -
that is, they are intended to stimulate and
refine the courage to seize the present
metamorphosis of Christendom and let it
become, in truth, what its best representatives
have always striven for: the messenger of
Thanks Doug, for continuing to challenge us
to be more that we think we can be, and to
let the gospel speak to us anew and afresh!
Buy the Book from Amazon.ca:
March 28th, 2013
I am happy to report that as of two weeks ago, I
have a new book out with Johns Hopkins University
Press: An Introduction to German Pietism,(490 pp.)
Here are links:
All the best,
March 26th, 2013
Re: Book Notice: Did Jesus Exist? (Ehrman)
The only really interesting argument that I
have seen for the non-existence of Jesus was
in Earl Doherty, "The Jesus Puzzle: Did
Christianity Begin with a Mystical Christ"
(Ottawa: Canadian humanist Publications, 1999).
Harpur has some good arguments and some really
bad arguments in "The Pagan Christ."
The good ones he has almost entirely from Doherty;
the bad ones were almost all from a theosophical
publication, Alvin Boyd Kuhn, "The Lost Light..."
I think that the real bite in Doherty's argument is
not that he has necessarily shown that there was no
historical Jesus, but that the line between the
sayings attributed to Jesus in the gospels and the
person who may have said them is so fragile that
it might not matter, since little if anything can
be said about him.
JOHN STACKHOUSE JR
WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT GOOD FRIDAY?
Globe and Mail
March 29th, 2013
March 28th, 2013
"Life is What Happens" (Part Two)
Personal Web Log
March 28th, 2013
"Our Truths Go Marching On"
ART BAUER AND GRETCHEN JANSSEN
Pompton Plains NJ and Denver CO
"Run to Base Shay!"
San Antonio TX
Personal Web Site
"March 24th, 2013
"The Resurrection Reveals
God as Redeemer, Not Rescuer"
THE MEANING OF EASTER
(An N.T. Video Presentation)
Englewood Reivew of Books
March 29th, 2013
THE SCHOLAR AND HIS CAT
An Irish Poem
March 28th, 2013
ROBERT FROST READS TWO POEMS
"Nothing Gold Can Stay"/ and
"Stopping by Woods" - video
Englewood Review of Books
March 29th, 2013
SILENCE - A CHRISTIAN HISTORY
by Diarmaid MacCulloch
Clerical abuse, the Holocaust …
the church has often stayed silent.
Stuart Kelly is impressed by a rich,
robust study of Christian quietness
March 29th, 1013
US SHIFTING MARRIAGE STANCE
Many SS Couples Coming Out
March 28th, 2013
ON GOOD FRIDAY, LOVE HEALS HATE
National Catholic Reporter
March 27th, 2013
FRANCIS AND BENEDICT - A CONTINUITY
Personalities Differ - Beliefs Don't
America Magazine (video comment)
March 27th, 2013
CHRISTIANS THE BUTT OF BAD JOKES
What Began as Humour is Now Abuse
Comment on "The Book of Mormon"
The Telegraph, UK
March 27th, 2013
WHAT CANADA'S TOP EARNERS ARE MAKING
Alberta Taking Over Exclusive Club
Huffington Post Canada
March 23rd, 2013
'THE BIBLE' TV SERIES IS A HIT
History Channel Show Attracts Millions
The Guardian, UK
March 23rd, 2013
HOW LONG WILL POPE'S HONEYMOON LAST?
Critics emerging on Left and Right
Religious News Service
March 22nd, 2013
WISDOM OF THE WEEK
Can we announce the Gospel in the
same way to the oppressor and to
the oppressed, to the torturer
and the tortured?
- Mortimer Arias
f we want each and every girl to be
educated, if we want peace all over
the world, for that reason we all have
to fight and we all should be united.
We should not wait for someone else to
come and speak up for us.
- Malala Yousafzai
You can safely assume that you've created
God in your own image when it turns out
that God hates all the same people you do.
- Anne Lamott
We do not want to merely “see” beauty.
We want to be united with it, to receive
it into ourselves, to become part of it.
- C.S Lewis
ON THIS DAY
Provided from the Archives
of the New York Times
April 24th - April 30th
VALDEZ SPILLS OIL ON ALASKA COAST
270,000 Barrels Lost in Huge Debacle
LAST US TROOPS LEAVE VIETNAM
Final Exchange of POWS
CLOSING THOUGHT - Isabel Gibson
The Gift of Faith
Whether we are Christian or not, this is an ideal
day to rejoice in the gift of faith: faith in a
god, in a belief system, in humanity, in science,
in art, in logic, in love. In another person.
In yourself. In the potential of that ultimate
in new beginnings: a baby.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Whatever we have faith in, may it allow us to
feel that thrill of hope from time to time.
To rejoice, even when we are weary.
Check out Isabel's Blog "Traditional Iconoclast"