Book Review: The Secular City

How should Christians view the city? It’s been a much discussed question in recent years, particularly with the rise of the metro-evangelicals and a fresh focus on reaching the cities of the world. Leading figures such as Tim Keller have given a great deal of thought to the gospel and the city. Yet long before the reformed crowd spoke of cities, contextualisation and the urban context of the gospel, there was The Secular City  by Harvard professor, Harvey Cox. First published in 1965 it has become something of a classic…

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The books of 2013

2013 has been a mixed year for reading. I’ve read hundreds of blogs, websites, magazines and journals. I read everyday and throughout the day. I’ve just not finished many books and reviewed even less. I’m working on the blog and am not prepared to let it go, plus I find book reviewing so helpful in determining what I think about a book. I’ve also started and not finished more books this year than probably in the past 6 years combined. When I finish the half a dozen books I’ve currently…

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Church 

The church in Sweden

Christianity has been a presence in Sweden since Ansgar arrived more than 1200 years ago, yet today it is one of the most secular countries on earth. This fact alone doesn’t look good for the church. So what is the state of the church in Sweden? For around 400 years Sweden was officially a Lutheran country until 2000 when State and church were separated. Before 2000 all Swedes were born into the Church of Sweden and unless they opted out would pay a church tax all through their adult life.…

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Swedish society: some challenges

Sweden enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world and is one of the nearest things to a utopia in the minds of many progressive minded liberal folk. The truth is, of course, that while having many things to it’s credit, Swedish society is not perfect. Which shouldn’t be surprising (although it may be to some Swedes). Here are some challenges contemporary Sweden faces: It has a very high divorce rate. Around half of all marriages end in divorce and 1 in 3 17 year olds have…

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Sweden 

Religion in Sweden

What to say about faith in Sweden? How do you read the numbers?  Is God dead in Europe or not? Is the news of the demise of Christianity in Sweden premature? Well, depends where you look. Wherever you look though most reckon on around 3-5% of Swedes regularly attend church; it’s considerably lower in Stockholm (maybe 1-2%). Right now Sweden is a very secular nation. However the religious outlook for Sweden is not necessarily one of increasing secularism. The number of Muslims as a share of the population is likely to increase,…

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Articles 

Case study: Sweden

Following last week’s posts on Europe, I’ve decided to follow that up with a series on my adopted country Sweden. Before we get to more weighty issues, today is an overview of Sweden for those that don’t know very much about this country. Geography Sweden is surprisingly big. It is the 55th largest in the world but the 4th biggest in Europe. It’s near 450,000 sq km makes it bigger than Germany. It’s a long country, sharing the longest uninterrupted border in Europe with Norway. As a northern nation it…

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Articles 

Praying for Europe

It’s my personal conviction that Europe is seriously lacking in missional investment and church planting resources. The road to dealing with that begins in prayer. Here are some prayer points taken from Operation World. Biblical illiteracy is shockingly common considering the high levels of education and historic influence of Scripture in European history. A new generation of leaders must be raised and trained. The need remains urgent – committed, culturally aware and biblically sound leaders who can pastor, teach, evangelize, speak prophetically into Church and society and plant churches where…

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Articles 

Why Europe matters

Europe has a significant Christian heritage but it no longer has a Christian present. The open question is what place will Christianity have in its future? There are many great gospel centred churches and movements hard at work all over the continent but is it enough? Here are some facts as to why Europe still matters: 730-750 million people. That’s a lot of people. 11% of the world’s population live on 6% of it’s surface. It’s wealth gives it considerable influence. The EU is the biggest economic market in the…

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