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The Curiosity Index (30.05.2018)

Today I’m off to London for the Relational Mission Courage Conference, if you’re also there come and say hello. Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs Terry Virgo: As you sing through a hymn you are often introduced to, or reminded of, truths that were not in your consciousness as you began to sing. I find this so helpful. My rather narrow, predictable pattern of thought is enlarged, stimulated and provided with fresh motivation for worship, praise and devotion. More thoughts of Christ, his beauty, steadfastness, love, sacrifice, triumph, eternal reign are opened up…

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The Curiosity Index (28.05.2018)

Women in the Storyline of Redemptive History 21 important observations The Flood in the Ancient Near East Scot McKnight interacts with the book by John Walton and Tremper Longman. Hold Fast to the Gospel Exactly How To Spend The Last Hour Of Your Workday Some creative and productive ideas here 9 Times The World Almost Had Nuclear War Without Us Knowing Lucky, lucky, lucky.

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The Curiosity Index (25.05.2018)

The Irish Exception As Ireland votes on changing its laws on abortion, the achievements of Ireland is perhaps more remarkable than you might think as Ross Douthat explains. The Lava Meets the Sea It’s quite the contest. I’ve been posting pictures of this volcanic eruption because they are all spectacular. See some more here from The Boston Globe. A famine of prayer Jeremy Bailey, rightly, thinks many western churches are experiencing a famine of prayer. And here are Seven Reasons Prayer Meetings Fail. Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy? Buddhism…

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The Curiosity Index (24.05.2018)

China’s five-year plan for adapting Christianity to Chinese socialism This is fascinating and it will be really interesting to see how the Chinese church and missions organisations respond – and the Chinese governments responses to those responses! What was also interesting was to imagine swapping out say ‘sinicize’ for ‘progressive’ or ‘American’ or ‘Western’. Let’s not be naive and think China is the only such place where powers are trying to co-opt the Christian faith. How Did Liberalism Become So Illiberal? From a while back but John Stevens ponders the…

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The Curiosity Index (23.05.2018)

When a Pastor is a Growth Barrier From Ed Stetzer: Sin can certainly lead us to be workaholics, and we burn ourselves or our people out. But it can also lead to the opposite, a poor work ethic. As a church leader you often do a lot of the work outside of the view of your people, and that can be a temptation toward doing less and just trying to look busy. Ministry is hard, but God empowers us for it. Leading churches that grow takes sacrifice, focus, and hard…

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How Many Christians?

Philip Jenkins asks, ‘how many Christians were there in the year 200?‘ and the answer is not very many. At least not when you consider the population of the Roman Empire. For the sake of argument, let us suggest a global Christian population of perhaps 250,000. That represents a stunning expansion from the small groups we glimpse in apostolic times, but the number is tiny when we think of the vast geographical extent of the large world, from Mesopotamia to Britain. It is also a tiny fraction of that world…

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The Curiosity Index (18.05.2018)

21 reasons to church plant Personally I’d replace church planting in 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,11,12,13,14,18,19,20,21 with Make/making disciples but I’m still all for it. Theology majors marry each other a lot, but business majors don’t I’m not pretending to have read the data or understood it but the headline is a grabber. The gospel according to Eric It is a curious irony of modern Western life that, as fewer and fewer people describe themselves as religious, the number of those seeking solace in music associated with religion rises. After the Lava Stops So…

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The death of the church

Todd Dildine recently did a four-part series on you guessed it, ‘the death of the church’. It’s an analysis of the American scene but I think has much wider implications. In Part 1 he assesses the landscape and sees that in America it’s not only the church that is declining but in fact community organisations of almost every conceivable sort. The collapse of the American church and the breakdown of the American community are tied together. When you take a critical look at our society you will discover that America…

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