For Good Self-Control, Try Getting Religious About It

That’s the headline of a NY Times article about the connection between self-control and religion. The religious tend to do better in school, live longer, have more satisfying marriages and be generally happier. The article reckons the results are ‘ascribed to the rules imposed on believers and to the social support they receive from fellow worshippers.’ Of course, self control is a fruit of the spirit according to Gal 5:22-25, something that is put within us by God and encouraged and developed in the church. So for a better life…

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An exercise in missing the point

While most churches are currently challenging the idol of shopping and consumerism these guys in Italy are blessing it by putting a chapel in a shopping centre. So while it may “accommodate faith and everyday life” it also endorses and blesses the leisure pursuit known as shopping. It’s a “if you can’t beat ’em, join them” mentality. Not that it makes any difference but I can’t say I approve.

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Bible Reading Plans

This is the time of year when we pledge ourselves to reading more of the Bible. Me included. I’m going for Cover to Cover Complete: One Year Chronological Reading Plan as I’ve never read the Bible chronologically. So we’ll see how I get on. For other Bible reading plans try these links Tim Chester has a new weekly plan for groupsJustin Taylor links to several plans you could tryTSK links to this online versionMatt Hosier encourages you to try this year too

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New Year Snippets

Not really an article this one, I’ll get back to full posting in the New Year but a few blogs I’ve read have started to reflect on all things economic. Will Willimon reflects at Christmas that we find Jesus amongst those in need Dave Bish wonders about the credit crunch and I joined in the debate Make Wealth History continues to think about the steady state economy movement (ie not one driven by the need for growth) The BBC tries to answer the growth question too… Owen Strachan links to…

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Economic crisis a 'reality check'

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called the current financial crisis a reality check to a society driven by unsustainable consumption. Which would be nice if we did wake up to that. At the moment though our solutions are turning a blind eye to greed and overconsumption and the only way out it seems is to dig a deeper hole. Anyway all credit to the Archbishop for hitting the nail squarely on the head on this one. Among his good quotes is this one: “It is a sort of reality check,…

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Top Ten Books of 2008

It’s that time of year when we make lists, and I’m joining a few others in ranking the best 10 books I’ve read this year. For the record I’ve reviewed 21 books on this blog this year, so I’m reading one a fortnight. I think I need to read a few more next year. So fully half make the top ten!! The links take you to my reviews. 10. Rob Bell’s Jesus wants to save Christians (His best book, explaining well why it is so important that we remember the…

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Is our government immoral?

According to five bishops in the Church of England it is. Which really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. All governments are immoral at something. Paying heed to the rich, ignoring the poor. Covering up over here, vested interests over there, foreign misadventures here, scandal there. Two mistakes are easily made. One is to think the other lot will somehow be by nature, different. That’s what people thought in 1997 as Tony Blair strode into Downing Street amidst scenes of euphoria. It’s what Americans did with Obama in November 2008.…

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