Book Review: The Coming Chinese Church

There’s no question about the importance of China. It is a nuclear power, it has one of the world’s biggest armies and the biggest economy, and one that could get considerably bigger. It is likely to be superpower of the 21st century. It is the world’s most populous nation, it’s 1.4 billion citizens are roughly one fifth of the total. As a result it has the world’s largest number of atheists (or religiously unaffiliated), but also Buddhists, Muslims and also Christians. The story of the Chinese church is quite remarkable…

Read More

The Curiosity Index (24.02.2015)

We’ve been without the internet for the last 12 days (I’m coping remarkably well, thanks for asking) as a result of a fire in our neighbourhood. Anyway, that’s the reason that things have slowed up considerably on the blog over the last week or so. I’m using the free library wi-fi (libraries are great). Anyway here are some links to keep you from your work 😉 Archbishop Cranmer skewers the opposition to the UK amendment to clarify the abortion law that abortion on the grounds of gender is illegal. London has seen…

Read More
Christian Living 

Life can be hard

At the start of this year a number of people in our church found life pretty tough going: battles with immigration, unemployment, temporary homelessness, illness, stress and uncertainty all hit hard. It’s at points like those that the challenge to be a genuine family is tested. How will you love those who need a place to sleep if not by finding them room in your house? How will you love those who have no money other than by sharing what you have so that you can help them pay the…

Read More
Articles 

The Swedish origins of ‘How Great Thou Art’

It’s one of the most beloved hymns of the last hundred years and in many polls it ranks just behind Amazing Grace; yet the origins of O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder (or as it’s perhaps better known How Great Thou Art) can trace its roots back to Sweden. The hymn is the work of British missionary and evangelist Stuart K Hine and was popularised (like many hymns) during the Billy Graham crusades of the 1950s. However Hine took his inspiration from a poem by written by Swede, Carl Boberg. Carl Boberg was…

Read More

The Curiosity Index (12.02.2015)

Derek Rishmawy has a good piece on about being careful about being too careful about what you read (in other words discernment in your reading). Andrew Wilson offers a good rejoinder to Scot McKnight about the nature of courage in the public sphere Pew Research has a fascinating article about the concentration of religions. Some obvious take-homes only Christianity can truly claim to be a global faith and Hinduism and Judaism not at all. China (unsurprisingly) holds the key to a lot of the statistics and as 63% of the religiously…

Read More
Church 

The Coming New Normal

Carl Trueman recently took up the theme of the bi-vocational church leader in a post called The Coming New Normal and as usual makes some excellent points. He believes that, Bi-vocational pastoring will become more common, if not standard, in the next decade Now it’s not the first time that Prof Trueman has jumped (unwittingly) on my bandwagon but he has.  So if you’re someone who thinks ‘by golly he’s right’ about the new standard for church leaders then look no further, here are some posts which might help: The Bi-vocational leader Five…

Read More

The Curiosity Index (11.02.2015)

Ian Paul has a moving article about the faith of Kenji Goto who was recently murdered by ISIS The BBC carried an interesting article about the growing number of people who realise that they have too much stuff. Here are some tweetable comments from the article: [Tweet “People gather stuff to protect themselves. It’s an illusion though. It doesn’t make them happy – it’s a cover-up.”] [Tweet “”Stuff is much more than stuff. Stuff touches on our emotional and spiritual state”] Related to that and much more helpful is to cultivate…

Read More
Church 

Let history decide

If you’re planting a church, what’s your strategy? I’m not talking about your vision for a church that makes disciples or changes your city or plants other churches. I’m talking about do you know how you are going to live, act, work and organise so that as the best you can – you work towards that vision? There are a lot of books about church planting, leadership and strategy none of which are much use in post-Christian, secular Europe. I find using those sorts of books akin to the man who tried…

Read More