Saturday, January 21, 2017

While we wait (Updated)

Apt for this morning when we Kiwis wake to news that You Know Who is POTUS are these words from a daily office book I follow:

What we are waiting for is what he promised: the new heavens and the new earth, the place where righteousness will be at home. So then, my friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live lives without spot or stain so that he will find you at peace. Think of the Lord's patience as your opportunity to be saved. 2 Peter 3:13-14

And from the prayers in this book is a prayer I have prayed and appreciated many times, not least because it reminds us of the "local" which we ourselves have most control over, our own homes:

Let our striving for your kingdom not fall short through selfishness or fear - may the universe be alive with the Spirit, and our homes be the pledge of a world redeemed.
Right, I am off to the consecration at Onuku! Comments may not be posted till, well, much later in the day ...

Update: This article by Conor English expresses a core issue re Trumpism which will trouble NZ's economy


Andrei said...

Funnily enough more space was given to religious observance in Donald Trump's inauguration than any president who has gone before - starting with Cardinal Dolan followed by an Hispanic evangelical, The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez

Then a televangelist- Pastor Paula White, a Rabbi - Rabbi Marvin Hier, Billy Graham's son - The Rev. Franklin Graham and finishing with an African American preacher from Detroit - Bishop Wayne T. Jackson

Anonymous said...

Happy Trump Day all! :)

He gave a truly outstanding address. He told some necessary truths about the Washington and global elites, but he also laid out a positive vision for the future.

Parts of this address should worry the Left (and parts will worry the "orthodox" Right). I have never heard a President talk so passionately about the plight of the poor and working class, and the economic devastation spreading across middle America. He did not sound like a standard brand Republican. He sounded like FDR. If he delivers on his promises, he will truly upend politics as usual, and wrest the working class from the Dems. He made the point, rightly, that his victory was not a party victory, but a victory for the people Sam Harris identified as "middle American radicals", those forgotten people who do not fit the current orthodoxies of either party.

The Dems, if they are to survive, will have to seriously re-think their abandonment of the working class and embrace of boutique identity politics. The Republicans will have to deal with the reality that a candidate who threw out most of their cherished orthodoxies was able to take over the party and lead it to victory on a very different platform than the one they wanted.

For me, it was a deeply inspiring address, and for the first time since 9/11, I have real hope for the USA.

"We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people. Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come. We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done. we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people. For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have bore the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes starting right here and right now, because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country. What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now."

Father Ron said...

Interesting summation, Bryden, to say the least. While robbing the poor of America of their state-assisted health programme, here we have an acknowledged corporate adventurer talking about giving back the country's wealth to 'The People'. Who are these people that will be advantaged but those whom he, himself, represents? I guess if you make your money out of those poor people who frequent the casinos, while providing top level jobs for members of your own family, perhaps one could imagine that one is on the side of the poor and disadvantqged. The mega-rich of America (and New Zealanders who see The Donald's presidency as a triumph for Republican expansionism) must be over the moon at this extraordinary bit of self-protectionism.

Father Ron said...

Oh, dear. I've just realised I attributed Shawn's latest Trumpian accolade to Bryden. Sorry Bryden, I should have realised that you would not have given so effusive a welcome to Mr Trump's triumphalistic entry onto the world stage. I think you might see the incongruity of a Trumper Call for the American poor.

Anonymous said...


Trump's trade policies, his "buy American-hire American" policy, and his trillion dollar infrastructure investment program, not to mention a slew of other policies, will indeed help the poor and working classes. Talking about you imagine he made his own wealth is an attempt at distraction. It is his policies that matter, and they are the first truly pro-American worker policies in decades.

"While robbing the poor of America of their state-assisted health programme,"

Obamacare did nothing to help the poor. It hurt them. It raised premiums, which meant thousands already struggling with debt had to pay more. It became a costly bureaucratic nightmare, with insurance companies pulling out of the system, and leaving many with no insurance at all. In the end, only the upper middle classes and the rich could afford it. Far from "robbing the poor" Trump is saving them.

You can read all about it here:

'Why Obamacare failed'

"Come November, the grim trudge across the increasingly barren Obamacare landscape begins anew. Illinois consumers likely face staggering price hikes for individual insurance policies. Some types of plans could cost an average of 43 percent to 55 percent more. Ditto across the country: A first tranche of states approved 2017 rates with similarly cardiac-arrest-inducing premium increases."

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn and Ron
Isn't the point of arguing about Trump(ism) that we now need to wait and see what will happen, whether his policies will help America (his aim) and the rest of the world (our hope)? In other words, the argument is now on hold until some evidence emerges following his policy changes and Congress's decisions.

The point of my post is that whatever we think about Trump(ism) and whether we are fearful or hopeful, the Lord through his Word has given us some responsibilities for what we will do with our lives

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,

"e now need to wait and see what will happen, whether his policies will help America"

Not for me. I am totally confident they will.

"and the rest of the world (our hope)?"

His responsibility is solely to American citizens and American workers. The rest of the world need to take care of themselves.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
I admire your optimism!
I am more than happy for the rest of the world to take responsibility for itself, as I believe NZ does (save on military self-arming) but an "America First" policy on trade may be initially good for America and in the long-term bad for America.
There was a very thoughtful article in yesterday's Press, by Conor English, which more or less made that point about a little known action of the States along "America First" trading lines at the beginning of the Great Depression.
If I find a link I will post it on ADU.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,

You may not be assuming this, but keep in mind that America First does not mean aurtarky or isolationism. The US will still trade with other nations, and the Trump admin has signaled that it is very interested in a trade deal with post-Brexit Britain. Trump is against multilateral trade deals, especially when they impact badly on American workers, but does favour direct nation to nation deals. The possibility of a trade deal with the US for NZ may be better than it was under Obama.

Regarding the Press article, I looked but could not find it. However, in looking I was reminded of why I generally avoid NZ news media. The wall to wall Liberal-Left bias is, to me, nauseating.

Father Ron said...

"Aurtarky" ? Is this some new religion, occasioned by the last trumpet?
It sounds a bits like a crossbreed between the 'oughts and shoulds' of classical protestantism and the an ad. for a hearing aid! Never heard of it.

Anonymous said...

Autarky is 100% economic self-reliance and isolatianism. No trade with other countries at all. North Korea practices it. They call it Juche.

It's just as unrealistic as the idea of a single, borderless, global market.

BrianR said...

"It sounds a bits like a crossbreed between the 'oughts and shoulds' of classical protestantism and the an ad. for a hearing aid! Never heard of it."

That's cos you haven't got one. D'Oh! :)

(autarcheia is a classical concept and Christian virtue mentioned by Paul as one of his acquired apostolic qualities. It's in the Bible, Ron. Y'know, that dusty book on your shelf....)

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to figure out what the "oughts and shoulds" of classical Protestantism are, but nothing is coming to mind.

BrianR said...

δυνατεῖ δὲ ὁ Θεὸς πᾶσαν χάριν περισσεῦσαι εἰς ὑμᾶς, ἵνα ἐν παντὶ πάντοτε πᾶσαν αὐτάρκειαν ἔχοντες περισσεύητε εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν

- 2 Cor 9.8; also Paul's self-description in Phil. 4.11.

I've heard a lot of bad things about Paul but he's never been called a Norker before ...

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
The Press article by Conor English is here:

Father Ron said...

Brian, re your reference to 'the dusty book on my shelf'. In case you have no experience of the phenomenon of Daily Mass... you need to understand the reality of not just one, but three portions of Scripture being read at every Celebration - in the Real Presence of Christ - affording a better than average interaction with the Biblical tradition. Perhaps it is that very exposure to the Bible, in the context of the gathered Body of Chrisdt on a daily basis, that gives Anglo-Catholics a lead on the bibilical perspective. Kalo Epiphania!

Anonymous said...

Peter, these sound plausible--

Bowman Walton

BrianR said...

A lead? Aw come on, Ron - I bet you never spent three months studying the genealogies in Chronicles! Bet you don't even have them in your lectionary. Or great swathes of Leviticus and Numbers. Or Ezekiel 40-48.

OK, that was a while ago - but I must say I don't have "interaction with the Biblical tradition" - I just read the Bible. Occasionally in English.

I can't say I know of any leading Anglo-Catholic Bible expositors today. The late Barnabas Lindars - Don Carson's Doktorvater in Cambridge - is the last to come to mind but his work was as liberal Protestant as it comes. I'm afraid most "Anglo-Catholics" today are decidedly rationalistic-liberal in their exegesis - not at all like the big names of the 19th century (Pusey, Liddon et al) - still too much under Bultmann's spell.

Peter Carrell said...

They do, Bowman, from the few lines I could read (have reached my 10/10 free NYT articles for the month limit!)

Bryden Black said...

No worries Ron! But this might assist ... One of the more enlightening books on America I have read these past couple of years is:

George Packer, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (Faber & Faber, 2013/Reprinted Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014). Its new subtitle says it all: Thirty Years of American Decline.

FYI see

It truly sets the scene in a most intelligent way, explaining what we’ve witnessed last year and why. And of course, the ‘reaction’ over the w/e is just so predictable - by “self-positing, autonomous personal subjects”, whose only ‘god’ is “self-determination”. Sadly, though again, the new FLOTUS’ dance to Sinatra’s “My Way” is also predictable ...

Then there’s another perspective all together: Isa 45 ... It’ll surely be an ‘interesting’ year ... Yet Jer 23:18 might just be an imperative ...

Andrei said...

(have reached my 10/10 free NYT articles for the month limit!)

Delete the cookie and you will be back to zero for this month and can read the NYT to your hearts content, though why anyone would want to read that rag is beyond me

Anonymous said...


That sounds like an interesting book, which I will add to my wish list, which is getting rather long!

I would add, for an understanding of the current crisis that Trump highlighted in his speech, 'Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis', by J. D. Vance.

Anonymous said...

Brian, there is a great dearth of Biblical understanding in many churches, including those that have daily lectionary readings, which, contra Ron, I see little evidence as making a difference to the problem.

Not to mention a dearth of Biblical theology! That is starting to change though, with the interaction of Kingdom theology and the narrative way of reading Scripture coming more to the fore.

On that score, 'Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today' by N.T. Wright, 'The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story' by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen, 'The Biblical Metanarrative' by Bill Jackson, and Thomas Schreiner's 'The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments' are all books I have found helpful, and which suggest that the tide is hopefully turning.

The challenge now is to translate that to the lay level.

Anonymous said...

"though why anyone would want to read that rag is beyond me"

It's beyond me as well. The amount of fake news coming from the NYT could make a landfill dump all on it's own. Bias is one thing, but the NYT has set itself up as the Democrats version of Pravda, but with less humor.

Father Ron said...

"A lead? Aw come on, Ron - I bet you never spent three months studying the genealogies in Chronicles! Bet you don't even have them in your lectionary. Or great swathes of Leviticus and Numbers. Or Ezekiel 40-48." Brian Kelly -

I must confess, Brian, that I never did spend 3 valuable months of my life studying intimately a diet of solely O.T. legalistic codes. My main preoccupation - at theological College and later in my life - has been with the Chronicles of Jesus in the New Testament. This is called, admittedly unofficially, 'New Covenant' theology. Kalo Epiphania!

Anonymous said...

It's not possible to understand the New Covenant without fully understanding the Old Covenant. Fully immersing oneself in the Old Testament, all of it, because, as Jesus said, all of the Law and the Prophets speak of Him, is necessary for comprehending the New, and vice versa of course.

The Old Testament Law, and all the OT for that matter, when read through the lens Christ, is an important source of God's Wisdom. The Marcion tendency of Liberalism to dismiss much of the OT and the God reveled therein, is one of the reasons for it's diminished and shallow view of who God.

Bryden Black said...

Ah yes; that old chestnut - the role of the OT Scriptures in our New Covenant and the Christian Church.

Fascinatingly, there has emerged over the past few years among NT scholars a new appreciation of the role the Jewish Scriptures (and by that term, they mostly mean the Septuagint Greek translation, which has of course more books than the Hebrew language set) played in producing the New Testament writings. Only this month Peter, our host, and I were having coffee over the holiday period and he assuaged his conscience by bringing along his copy of Richard Hays’ Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels ( 2016), assuring me he was finally getting around to reading it. It is a much fuller version of his earlier Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness (2014), which first saw the light of day as the Hulsean Lectures at Cambridge in 2013-14. Already in 1993 Hays had written the ground breaking Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, and so his turning our attention to all four Gospels was perhaps inevitable. Thank you a thousandfold Richard!

The result is an absolute tour de force. Never again should anyone get away with anything approaching the likes of what we had to put up with at our last local synod, September 2016, from at least three speakers, who tried to jettison in one way or another the OT witness to Jesus, and its being the necessary precursor to the Coming of Israel’s Messiah. It is quite simply silly and profoundly heretical to think that the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ did not and does not reveal himself truly prior the Word’s becoming flesh. In fact, it is absolutely impossible to understand John’s Gospel (where that celebrated text, Jn 1:14, occurs) without a full appreciation of the institution of the Jewish Temple and all its festivals—all of which derive of course from the OT. Nor frankly should Ron have expressed it quite the way he has above ...

We simply cannot understand the NT without the Old, yet the OT itself only comes into its own in the light of the New. St Augustine’s famous saying is most apt: “The New Testament is hidden [Latin: latet] in the Old; the Old is made accessible [patet] by the New.” We may compare now this classic saying with Hays, Reading Backwards, page 93: “[I]n the first lecture, I proposed the twofold thesis that the OT teaches us how to read the Gospels and that—at the same time—the Gospels teach us how to read the OT. The hermeneutical key to this intertextual dialectic is the practice of figural reading” (emphasis original). Both the opening chapter of Reading Backwards and the Introduction of Echoes elaborate further what it means to interpret Israel’s Scriptures via such figural reading.

So, please folks—no more baloney!

BrianR said...

Well Ron, you have confirmed what I suspected. I determined long ago that I would devote "my" time - whether valuable or not - to studying the Scriptures that our Lord read, studied and expounded himself. In fact, it was the only Bible he had. If it was good enough for him etc.

No Marcionism here, please, we're Christians.