Links 

The Curiosity Index (25.01.2018)

Spain surpasses 4,000 evangelical places of worship for the first time On the whole, there isn’t a lot of good news for evangelicals in Europe, but this would seem to be one of them. What the Hell do Bible Scholars do Anyway? Pronounce on whether public transportation is cursed or not apparently. The astounding growth of China’s subway system, 1990-2020 Impressive The Sad Demise of a Village Cheese-Rolling Competition A sign of the times I guess Who needs snow? Amazing skill. Also remarkable advertising. It’s a car advert with no…

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Sweden 

Notable Swedish pioneers: Gustaf Palmquist

Some years ago I came by the 2-volume Dictionary of Evangelical Biography (1730-1860) which I admit is a bit obscure. But I thought I’d trawl its pages for entries on Swedish Christians to learn more about its notable figures and history.  Gustaf Palmquist (1812-1867) was a Baptist leader and a key figure among Swedish Baptists particularly in America. Between 1851 and 1910 around one million Swedes emigrated to America (and in that time only around 100,000 returned). This significant minority began to form its own denominations and structures and Palmquist was instrumental…

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Links 

The Curiosity Index (24.01.2018)

How Alone We Really Are in one photo Told you so One of the Last Two Dead Sea Scrolls Has Been Decoded It provides illumination not exactly into the Bible but into the debates within Judaism around the time of Jesus. It’s also a good illustration How Archaeology Contributes to Biblical Studies Five reasons the homogeneous church is declining and dying So expect to see more churches that look like this How To Digest Books Above Your “Level” And Increase Your Intelligence This is for those of you who need to…

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Technology 

Rethinking my use of social media

At some point last autumn I did something, that was for me, quite radical. I deleted Twitter from my phone. I dislike Facebook and have never allowed it on my phone, I briefly had Instagram but quickly tired of people posing. Twitter though was, for me,  different. It’s been my favoured social media network for years. It was a source of news, interesting images, facts, articles, comedy and conversation. I’ve evaluated my use of social media before but if I’m being honest I didn’t follow through and make any substantial…

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Links 

The Curiosity Index (23.01.2018)

Bolivia’s President Revokes Evangelism Restrictions Last week I shared a story about religious freedom restrictions in Bolivia. Sounds like the government has changed its mind. Trump hasn’t just done a good job, he’s done a great job’  I think it can be quite hard for many people to understand the appeal of Trump. This article is as good and as balanced as any I’ve read. India has 600 million young people – and they’re set to change our world That’s almost equal to the entire continent of Europe or two USAs.…

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Articles 

A new famous Canadian: Jordan Peterson

I’m not sure how many famous Canadians I can think of but until last week Jordan Peterson wasn’t one of them. I’d been vaguely aware that few friends of mine knew of him and were reading him but that’s it. Then this happened. And then, in my blog feeds at least, he was everywhere. That video (a 30 minute interview on a news programme) has now been watched over 2.7 million times (at time of writing). That’s astonishing viewing figures for an interview with a Canadian academic over his latest…

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Links 

The Curiosity Index (22.01.2018)

Science Is Giving the Pro-Life Movement a Boost This article tracks an important development. Scientific progress is remaking the debate around abortion. When the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, the case that led the way to legal abortion, it pegged most fetuses’ chance of viable life outside the womb at 28 weeks; after that point, it ruled, states could reasonably restrict women’s access to the procedure. Now, with new medical techniques, doctors are debating whether that threshold should be closer to 22 weeks. A New Peace Effort Is Needed in East…

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Links 

The Curiosity Index (19.01.2018)

The heart of a heartless world In an interesting editorial, The Guardian talks about prayer. The bleak universe that science appears to reveal, initially random and ultimately purposeless, is not one that anyone can feel at home in. Most people do want to feel at home. Even if religion, as Marx said, is only the heart of a heartless world, those who pray are acknowledging that the world needs a heart. Some might even be led to try to help give it one. Cape Town Is Set to Run Out of Water…

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