Friday curiosities

I continue to rummage through my ever growing collection of articles that have been saved for a rainy day, here is an eclectic mix for a Friday. You all know about Amazon because that’s where we shop, but that’s arguably not the most important thing they do. If the servers at Amazon Web Services were to go down then no more Netflix. Spotify. Instagram. Airbnb. Gulp. The Book Thing may be the biggest free book shop in the world. This is from way back in April but still, the genius of clockmaker John Harrison is…

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Articles 

‘The spirit of killing is in my country’

At a recent evening gathering of our missional community in Stockholm, we were joined by two young Muslims from Syria. We spent some time getting their views on what was happening in their country – it was quite informative. The young man with us had lived in Damascus and worked fixing computers. Life was manageable but life was getting harder. The prices of everything was rising all the time. It was dangerous to leave Damascus, there were curfews and the suburbs were very dangerous at night. So why did he leave Syria?

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Gender 

Men are stronger

Over the last couple of days I’ve stated something that shouldn’t be controversial but is: that men and women at a fundamental biological level are different – our chromosomes, our bone structure, our hormones, our differing responses to disease and yes our genitals mean that we are not the same. My case today is to draw out some of the implications of this because it does have implications, positive and negative for both men and women. Here is one fact that has profound implications: Men are stronger than women. There are…

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Gender 

The same but different (part 2)

Yesterday I posted a longer article about the challenges contemporary society has in even being able to answer the questions ‘what is a man?’ and ‘what is a woman?’ I also found a very similar article I had in draft form, but had never published. It is similar but offers different examples and links. Here it is: In our secular age the church mostly makes the news when it is out of step with the dominant progressive agenda in the West. This has played out in a number of obvious…

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Gender 

Men and women are different but it’s complicated

Just recently, Germaine Greer made the news by saying that transgendered women are not real women. When you need the obvious stating, it’s always good to get an Australian to do it. Yet the question, ‘what is a woman?’, gets to the root of many modern issues and to the foundations of building a biblical view of men and women. The dispute ranges across all the disciplines (it would be a mistake to single out theology as necessarily any worse or better than other subject) including the sciences. Despite the growing awareness of…

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Links 

Friday curiosities

A building theme this week to distract you before the weekend. From tree churches in New Zealand to AT-AT shaped Saunas in Sweden we have nowhere near, it all. Talking of saunas – the world’s largest sauna has just moved from Norway to Greenland. That may sound crazy but nowhere near as crazy as the guys who wanted to build Minas Tirith in Worcestershire. They fell only slightly short of their $1.8 billion crowdfunding target. But unlikely buildings do pop up in unlikely places. Like the King Chulalongkorn Memorial for example. It is an ornate…

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Articles 

The death of the book has been greatly exaggerated

Not so long ago bookshops were closing almost as fast as churches. It seemed like the Kindle was going to kill the book and the internet or the X-box was going to kill reading. That might still happen but as it turns out paper technology is far more resilient and reading is as vital as ever. As Alexandra Alter writes in the New York Times, “the digital apocalypse never arrived, or at least not on schedule. While analysts once predicted that e-books would overtake print by 2015, digital sales have…

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Articles 

Don’t shut the door: receive the refugee

View image | gettyimages.com The flow of refugees into Europe continues, partly as a result of the ongoing war, the fear that more doors into Europe will shut and the oncoming winter which will make the journey much harder and the sea journey nearly impossible. As a result, some are finding increasingly inventive ways of entering Europe in search of a normal life, which as one man from Kabul put it is a place without “bomb explosions.” Which sounds reasonable enough.

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