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April 24 2020 By virtueonline Coronavirus: The Story for Africa

Partners include, among others, ten Anglican provinces, five theological institutions, GAFCON, Anglican International Development and EFAC (the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion).

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April 20 2020 By virtueonline Orthodox Church condemns Christian nationalism: "There could be no greater contradiction of the Gospel"

The document was prepared by a special commission of theologians appointed by worldwide head of the Orthodox Church, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, and supplemented by material from Orthodox hierarchs around the world.

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April 17 2020 By virtueonline The Good, Bad and Citizens Arrest: Reflections, Questions and Answers

As secular idols become increasingly unmasked questions abound. I should think Christians most of all would see innumerable opportunities in the hopeful and redemptive witness of the Christian Gospel.

Admittedly Christianity struggles with negative stereotyping from the secular world, but this is not new. Forty years ago, Walker Percy's "The Second Coming" observed that Christians are generally regarded as lukewarm nominalist or if fervent, generally offensive.

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April 17 2020 By virtueonline Churches in Africa and South Asia respond to the Coronavirus pandemic

In Nigeria, the Government has extended the lockdown for a further two weeks. The country has 338 cases, and over the last four weeks new cases have tripled from 5 a day to 15 a day. Rev Fred George, a senior pastor in Lagos reports that the government lockdown prevented their church distributing further food parcels in three different locations for households in need.

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April 16 2020 By virtueonline Panic and Pandemic: Fear is the Greater Enemy

What I am now understanding (and am sharing here) is not going to be popular in some quarters, especially among those who are gaining some benefit or political traction due to the fear. There are indeed a number of powerful ambulance-chasing, crisis-loving parasites who love it when very bad things happen. Some media types fall into that category-- the bigger the crisis, the bigger the story.

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April 16 2020 By virtueonline A statement from the EFAC Executive Committee and the Theological Resource Network

Ongoing concerns about the transmission of the virus may well mean that international travel and hospitality, funded by the economically well-off churches, will become a less dominant factor in the meeting and discussion of Anglican bishops for the foreseeable
future. Thus the agendas of those churches will take their place on a more level playing-field in such international discussions.

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April 13 2020 By virtueonline Pandemic makes for strange bedfellows -- temporarily

In late March, FEMA, Homeland Security and the White House reached out to Samaritan's Purse's President Franklin Graham, seeking his organization's assistance in setting up a field hospital as a much-needed overflow field hospital for the 1,134-bed Mount Sinai Hospital.

During this worldwide pandemic, Samaritan's Purse has set up two completely self-contained M*A*S*H-like field hospitals. One is in New York City; the other is currently deployed to Italy.

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April 12 2020 By virtueonline Interview with John Polkinghorne: Christ's resurrection -- and ours

JP: Yes. This is a puzzle. It's well rehearsed in theological circles. I mean, "paradise" is a sort of garden -- it's a Persian word meaning "garden"; so I don't know what the best translation for it would be. I think essentially what Christ is saying is that what is good in you -- and your repentance shows there is a seed of that -- will not be thrown away.

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April 12 2020 By virtueonline Death Before Touching Evangelicals

Samaritan's Purse is led by the Rev. Franklin Graham, who has been criticized for anti-Muslim and anti-L.G.B.T.Q. rhetoric and whose organization is based on a statement of faith that includes a belief that "marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female."

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April 12 2020 By virtueonline Open the churches for Easter -- and give people hope

In all the discussions about the medical, economic and social implications of this crisis, however, I have missed any discussion of its spiritual effects. The lockdown itself will have profound psychological consequences: being unable to work doesn't just hit the pocket, it injures the soul. We are intrinsically social beings and not being able to gather for work or play will have short- and long-term effects on relationships for most of us who are not inclined to be hermits.

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