The Cross, the Trinity and Greek debt: salvation and economics

Jul 7, 2015 by

By Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream. When I became a Christian, central to my understanding of salvation was the Cross: a symbol of the Saviour who stood in my place and took the punishment I deserved. It made perfect sense to me that as well as being made in God’s image with gifts, friends and family, I was a sinner who had no right to be in the presence of a holy God; it was life-changing to realise that God himself, rather than waiting for me to reach a standard which was impossible, came to earth to die as a criminal for me, so I could be set free. “No condemnation now I dread”; what I owed he paid; amazing grace. But when I began to travel outside my familiar circle and read some theology, I realized that this account was for some Christians not central, and even completely denied....

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Bishops were wrong about poverty last time… this time they’re irrelevant

Jan 16, 2015 by

By Damian Thompson, Mailonline: The quickest way to ruin a dinner party is to talk about the Christian belief in an after-life. ‘Heaven? It’s just a fantasy cooked up by clergy to keep themselves in a job,’ a typical metropolitan hostess might say, her lip curling as she spoons out the asparagus soufflé. To which I can only reply: in 20 years of covering religious affairs as a journalist, I have almost never heard vicars or priests talk about heaven – except from the narrow confines of the pulpit, and even then not very often. But I certainly hear clergy talk incessantly about another fantasy world. It’s a Britain in which they talk about the ‘gulf between rich and poor’. This always seems to be a nicely flexible concept that they never precisely define. Above all, it is always ‘widening’ and they argue that society’s ills can be miraculously...

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Connecting Religious and Economic Liberty

Nov 24, 2014 by

By Dylan Pahman, Public Discourse: New data suggest that countries that value and protect religious liberty offer fertile soil for economic liberty to flourish. In a recent article in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, Brian Grim, Greg Clark, and Robert Edward Snyder published their findings that “religious freedom contributes to better economic and business outcomes and that advances in religious freedom are in the self-interest of businesses, government, and societies by contributing to successful and sustainable enterprises that benefit societies and individuals.” Grim et al. demonstrate a strong connection between religious freedom and economic growth. This raises another question: does religious freedom also correlate with economicliberty? In this essay, I compare data from the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal’s 2014 Index of Economic Freedom with the Pew 2012 Government Restrictions on Religion Index and the 2012 Social Hostilities Toward Religion Index, which can be found in Appendix 2 and 3 of the report “Religious Hostilities Reach Six-Year High.”...

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Financial advice to be available in church

May 28, 2014 by

The Church of England has launched a new scheme to promote responsible lending, which will see people being given financial advice in church. The Church Credit Champions Network (CCCN) will promote the use of credit unions rather than payday lenders. It follows the Archbishop of Canterbury’s criticism of payday lenders in July last year. Justin Welby said he was trying to put such lenders “out of business” by giving them greater competition. Adrian Newman, the Bishop of Stepney, told the BBC: “You can either whinge about the Wongas of this world, or you can provide an attractive alternative.” Last year, the Church said it would try to force payday lender Wonga out of business, but later admitted it invested in funds that provided money for the firm. The Church has not yet completely severed links with the firm. The CCCN scheme is launching in three pilot areas: the dioceses...

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74 Anglican bishops don't castigate Cameron

Feb 20, 2014 by

From Cranmer The mainstream media are running prominently today with a letter to the Daily Mirror on the subject of food-banks, which has been signed by 27 bishops of the Church of England (along with sundry Methodists, and a couple of Quakers thrown in for good measure). The letter reads: Sir, Britain is the world’s seventh largest economy and yet people are going hungry. Half a million people have visited foodbanks in the UK since last Easter and 5,500 people were admitted to hospital in the UK for malnutrition last year. One in five mothers report regularly skipping meals to better feed their children, and even more families are just one unexpected bill away from waking up with empty cupboards. We often hear talk of hard choices. Surely few can be harder than that faced by the tens of thousands of older people who must “heat or eat” each...

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How a country’s economy is determined by the quality of its marriages

Dec 3, 2013 by

Tamara Rajakariar, MercatorNet A mother at home is of more use to the economy than her husband at work.   Don’t believe me? Watch this clip of Pat Fagan of the Family Research Council speaking at the recent World Congress of Families, and I’m sure you’ll agree! I’ll run through his main points though, to summarise for you.   Fagan starts by saying that the quality of children, and so our future society, depends directly on the quality of the marriage of their parents – which affects the quality of their upbringing.   Fagan notes that society is made up of five facets: the family, church, school, the marketplace and government. The first three mentioned are the places that “grow the people” so to speak, and are closely interrelated. The last two areas of society are those into which people are set loose, once they’ve grown up: but the...

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