• Outlook Features 13 hours ago

    Rethinking the origins of the Gospel of Luke: The Vetus Latina

    Rethinking the origins of the Gospel of Luke: The Vetus Latina

    by Annette Weissenrieder What happens here is not simply a great scholarly enterprise with subscribers on all continents and in dozens of countries. It is the most fascinating excavation that can be imagined. The information that comes to light reflects the time of its origin more clearly and truly than anything that could otherwise be excavated. What a time it was! These were the centuries in which the West took root,” writes Peter Härlin in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Härlin describes an ecumenical project belonging to the Vetus… continue reading...
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  • Outpost Blog 2 days ago

    Closing a church

    Closing a church

    by Emma Nickel
    In the ninth season of the ABC show Grey’s Anatomy, Dr. Mark Sloan is on life support due to injuries sustained in a plane crash. Just before the deadline arrives to remove his life support, Dr. Sloan wakes, sits up in bed and starts cracking jokes. His superior, Dr. Webber, identifies his sudden good health as “the surge.” Dr. Webber says, “In many terminally ill patients, they have a final surge of energy; they get better before they get worse.” His energy and good humor are real, but he is… continue reading...
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  • Outlook Features 3 days ago

    “Sir, we wish to see Jesus” – Christ in a pluralistic age

    “Sir, we wish to see Jesus” – Christ in a pluralistic age

    by Edwin Chr. Van Driel There’s a remarkable passage in one of the upcoming lectionary readings. “Some Greeks,” John writes, came to Jesus’ disciple Philip and said: “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” When Philip told Jesus about this, he responded: The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit (John 12:23-24). It’s easy to miss the significance… continue reading...
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The long, hard battle against human trafficking

WASHINGTON, DC (PNS) It has been called modern-day slavery and has not only deprived people of their human rights, but is increasing health risks and fueling the growth of organized crime, according to church leaders. One of the issues to take center stage at the upcoming CPJ/ Ecumenical Advocacy Days Conference in April will be human trafficking. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has long fought the battle to end trafficking across the globe. Its work within the church as well as with international partners has brought the issue to the forefront over the years. “Federal laws were passed against human trafficking in 2001. However, we have continued to see an increase in the last 10 years,” says Ryan Smith, Presbyterian representative at the U.N. “Despite this, churches have more information and are more engaged than before.” The total number of trafficked persons totals in the millions worldwide, according to national and international studies. Human trafficking can take on … [Read more...]

Rethinking the origins of the Gospel of Luke: The Vetus Latina

Old Latin Codex Veronensis, fol. 99v.

by Annette Weissenrieder What happens here is not simply a great scholarly enterprise with subscribers on all continents and in dozens of countries. It is the most fascinating excavation that can be imagined. The information that comes to light reflects the time of its origin more clearly and truly than anything that could otherwise be excavated. What a time it was! These were the centuries in which the West took root,” writes Peter Härlin in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Härlin describes an ecumenical project belonging to the Vetus Latina Institute, founded in the abbey of Beuron in 1945. Scholars from Germany, the Vatican City and Great Britain are working together to collect and create a critical edition of all remnants of Old Latin translations, including manuscripts and citations in Church Fathers. Currently, scholars are working on the gospels, Acts and the Pauline Letters. During recent years, growing interest has been shown in New Testament textual … [Read more...]

Historian and theologian tapped to lead Presbyterian Historical Society

PHILADELPHIA (PNS) The Reverend Beth Hessel has been named the new executive director of the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) and director for church records and history for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “Beth Hessel brings a wonderful combination of a historian and a theologian,” said the Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA). “She has an engaging enthusiasm that helps people hear what God has done in our past and what God is calling us to in our future.” Hessel will be responsible for all operations and programs of the Presbyterian Historical Society, which is based in Philadelphia and tasked with collecting, preserving, interpreting, and sharing the story of American Presbyterianism with mid councils, congregations, and individuals. PHS functions within the PC(USA)’s Office of the General Assembly, led by the Stated Clerk. A member of Grace Presbytery, Hessel has served in pastoral positions in Texas, Virginia, Kansas, and … [Read more...]

Stated Clerk writes letter opposing the Protection of Children Act and the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act

gradyeparsons

LOUISVILLE (PNS) Today (March 4), the House Judiciary Committee is holding a mark-up session on two bills that, if passed, would take away crucial protections to unaccompanied children arriving in the United States. The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), wrote this letter to the House in opposition of these dangerous bills. March 2, 2015 Dear Members of the House of Representatives, I write to you today on behalf of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to express concern about the Protection of Children Act and the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act. Just as Christ welcomed the children[1], so strives the church. Presbyterian congregations across the United States gathered together to support the needs of unaccompanied children arriving from Central America in the summer of 2014. Their stories and their faces are forever etched on our hearts and in our minds. The notion that our government could have kept any … [Read more...]

Closing a church

Emma Nickel headshot

In the ninth season of the ABC show Grey’s Anatomy, Dr. Mark Sloan is on life support due to injuries sustained in a plane crash. Just before the deadline arrives to remove his life support, Dr. Sloan wakes, sits up in bed and starts cracking jokes. His superior, Dr. Webber, identifies his sudden good health as “the surge.” Dr. Webber says, “In many terminally ill patients, they have a final surge of energy; they get better before they get worse.” His energy and good humor are real, but he is still dying. Despite their medical training, Dr. Sloan’s friends also hold on to hope that he’s on the road to recovery. And they continue to enjoy his jokes and his smiles. It doesn’t take long to discover, however, that Dr. Webber was right about the surge. Hospice teaches us that “the surge” can be a real thing. A few days or a few hours before death, a dying person may become alert, ask to eat their favorite foods and enjoy conversation with loved ones, even when they’ve been unresponsive … [Read more...]

Joseph Lawrence Roberts Jr., pastor and preacher dies

Photo courtesy of Dr. Ralph Basui Watkins, Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth

The Rev. Dr. Joseph L. Roberts, well known pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, died on Sunday, February 15 at his home. Dr. Roberts was also the Wade Huie Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Center for Preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary from 2009 to 2012. “As the first person to hold the Huie Chair in Homiletics, Rev. Dr. Joseph Roberts exemplified everything we hope our students will grow to be,” said Dr. Anna Carter Florence, Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching. “What Joe brought to our campus, what he offered to us of his storehouse of wisdom and experience, will remain. I think particularly of his deep conviction that theological education must be available and accessible to all who minister, whatever their level of education, and his determination that Columbia can be a place of hospitality and mutual learning.” He was born Joseph Lawrence Roberts, Jr. to Reverend Joseph L. Roberts, Sr. and Marguerite Reed Roberts on February 17, 1935 in Chicago, … [Read more...]