Articles 

Regulating demons

Perhaps it’s because I’m listening to CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters (deliciously read by Joss Ackland) but I’ve been thinking about demons. I’m wondering about the debates that will happen first in newspapers and then in parliaments around secular, progressive Europe as the issue of exorcism comes up, as it inevitably will. Last year The Economist noted the rise in exorcisms in France and just last month the Guardian reported on the rise of exorcisms in Europe. It’s going to cause everyone a headache. There will be secular clamouring for the end to such ‘medieval’ practices.…

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The Curiosity Index (26.04.2018)

Stop Making Hospitality Complicated Habits of hospitality, on the other hand, are downright subversive in our culture of independence and calculation. They demonstrate that it is not only possible but fruitful and beautiful to share life in a substantive way outside the confines of the nuclear family. And, in so doing, they point to the reality of the common good, not just as a theoretical concept but as a practical one that can animate an authentic Christian community. Also this Why Read Philemon? Ten Reasons Scott McKnight gives you ten…

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Gender 

The defects of believers

I try to make it a habit of reading several websites that have no love for religion in general or Christianity in particular. They love scientific studies because you know science is good, religion is bad. They really love studies that take a shot at religion. As Alex Fradera explains, The number of people who claim to have “No religious belief” is fast-growing in America and Europe, but the number expressing religious belief is growing faster. What’s more, the irreligious category includes fans of astrology, tarot reading or the paranormal. The tenacity of…

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The Curiosity Index (25.04.2018)

A little bit late to the gate with this one. My excuse is that it’s Monday. Only I never pressed publish and now it’s Wednesday. Hey ho. Does God discipline those whom God loves? Ian Paul engages with Andrew Wilson’s doctoral thesis on Paul’s combination of warnings and assurance for his readers. Should a pastor ever own a private jet or a luxury yacht? I would say, no. Mike Frost digs a little deeper. How much more concerning is it when ministers of religion who already wield male power, ecclesial…

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Articles 

Living with startling abundance

This blog started with a fairly simple premise and topic that I’ve long since wandered from. I saw (and still see) consumerism as a massive problem in our societies and churches because of the way it forms and shapes people. I was going to write, think about the problem and the rich resources that the Bible offers us in learning to live differently: against the tide. Lives marked by simplicity, generosity, hospitality. I still believe that. But because I find staying focused an incredibly hard thing to do I started writing…

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The Curiosity Index (20.04.2018)

Too many men I find these demographic insights and their implications for the future fascinating. But it’s also going to be tragic for millions. In India and China alone there are 70 million more men than women. 70 million, that’s like imagining a country the size of the UK with just men (Chinese and Indian men)! Finland’s two-year universal basic income experiment is coming to an end  It will be interesting to hear what lessons they’ve learned but 2 years is not a long time for this sort of experiment.…

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Articles 

Beaten to the punch on Pinker

Months ago now I heard of Steven Pinker’s latest book Enlightenment Now. His thesis is that the world is a great place to live and getting better to which he credits the values of the Enlightenment. Here’s an article in the WSJ by Pinker if you don’t want to read the book. I subsequently bookmarked this review by John Gray, this review by Nick Spencer, and this opinion piece by Ross Douthat. I saved them to write an article where I combined quotes from these clever pieces and form it all into one helpful,…

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Articles 

The Curiosity Index (19.04.2018)

Perspectives on Islam in Europe In 2016, the Pew Research Centre estimated [the] total Muslim population in Europe to be just under 26 million. This is a significant increase over the 2010 population that Pew reported at 19.5 million…Their research shows that 53% of migrants entering Europe between 2010-2016 were Muslim. In addition to the increase in the Muslim population in the EU through immigration between 2010 and 2016 (3.5 million), there was an increase through 2.9 million children born to Muslim parents. Importantly, the Pew research also estimated that over the…

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