English Church history and the wrong end of the stick

Not so long ago, the story runs, a visitor at an English Vicarage Garden Party won a day trip to heaven. When he arrived, St Peter gave him a guided tour of what turned out to be a beautiful garden. Under some shade trees, he saw people laughing, joking, playing cards, and gambling on horse . . . → Read More: English Church history and the wrong end of the stick

History is what it is—so suck it up and live with it

The plumber who fixed the leak in St Stephen’s utility closet vacationed in Ireland recently. And the thing that particularly struck him about Dublin, the capital of the Irish republic, was that its venerable buildings were largely of a similar vintage to those in Philadelphia and Baltimore.

Actually that goes for much of Europe north . . . → Read More: History is what it is—so suck it up and live with it

The 10th anniversary of the rationalization of a miracle

Fr Hawtin

Ten years ago (on January 15th, 2009, to be precise) a spectacular miracle took place—on live television, in real time, before the eyes of the entire world.

“Miracle on the Hudson” blared the newspaper headlines. And the same sentiments were echoed by television and radio anchors and reporters, not just in this country but all . . . → Read More: The 10th anniversary of the rationalization of a miracle

We wish you a very Merry Christmas & a Happy 2019

Fr Hawtin

Every parish has its own character—an ethos or atmosphere which reflects the nature of its members. People who visit various parishes undergo a winnowing process. Either they are attracted by the character of the parish or repelled by it.

Saint Stephen’s is no exception, of course. Undoubtedly, we are just a tad more formal than . . . → Read More: We wish you a very Merry Christmas & a Happy 2019

There is nothing natural about loving one another

Fr Hawtin

Doubtless inspired by the rapid approach of the “Season of Good Will,” a radio talk show caller recently opined that all would be right with American society if only people would love each other a bit more.

It’s hard to quarrel with that. Clearly, if drug dealers loved addicts a bit more they wouldn’t enslave . . . → Read More: There is nothing natural about loving one another

It’s caveat emptor when it comes to commentaries

Fr Hawtin

Laity, and many clergy for that matter, would be well advised to bring a skeptical eye to bear when studying many of the books on religious subjects currently on sale. This applies to histories, books on archaeology, and, well, the many commentaries on the scriptures.

The reason for this arises from an intractable fact of . . . → Read More: It’s caveat emptor when it comes to commentaries

You simply can’t redefine sin by the discernment process

Fr Hawtin

For the past half a century or so, America’s mainline churches have shown an increasing enthusiasm for embracing ideas that are unequivocally condemned in the Bible—an inclination that has seriously undermined their standing as arbiters of morality among much of the population.

The curious thing about the controversies embroiling America’s mainline churches—partly, but by no . . . → Read More: You simply can’t redefine sin by the discernment process

Today a policeman’s lot is not a very happy one

Fr Hawtin

Policemen were among our greatest heroes when I was a boy—not just the cops on the silver screen and radio (TV service was quite rudimentary back then), but those who patrolled the highways and byways of England’s villages and cities.

Like their American counterparts, they were tough guys—that goes without saying. But, except on embassy . . . → Read More: Today a policeman’s lot is not a very happy one

Barbarism and decadence: In praise of the bon mot

Political discourse in America, it is fervently to be hoped, reached its nadir in Brooklyn recently when a gathering of witches solemnly cursed the newly installed justice of the Supreme Court, expressing the ugliest of sentiments in language that encompassed both the vile and the banal.

This isn’t a complaint about the fact that these . . . → Read More: Barbarism and decadence: In praise of the bon mot

Prayer Book’s history goes back beyond 16th century

Fr Hawtin

Casual students of Church history are probably under the impression that the first English Prayer Book is the First Prayer Book of King Edward VI, which was authorized for use in 1549. Indeed, this wonderful book is the ancestor of all the Books of Common Prayer in use today.

The English Church played a major . . . → Read More: Prayer Book’s history goes back beyond 16th century