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The Curiosity Index (28.08.2018)

Do We Really Want Our Christian Prime Minister Making Christian Decisions? Stephen McAlpine:  The self-confessed Christian politician is called upon to release asylum seekers on the basis of their Christianity, but required to ignore or privatise their Christian faith’s conviction in the public square when it comes to other human rights matters related to Imago-Dei, such as abortion or euthanasia. Politics and Religion in India This article is a few years old now but it still gives a helpful background to the complex relationship between religion and politics. Indian secularism, by…

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The Curiosity Index (27.08.2018)

The Water Crises Aren’t Coming—They’re Here This is something I expect to hear a lot more of over the next few decades – our use, misuse and lack of our most precious resource – water. What makes the situation weirder is that floods such as the ones in Kerala (see below) are likely to become more common at the same time as increasing scarcity of drinking water.  In Acts, did Luke incorrectly date Theudas? Had he misread Josephus? This is another long read but it’s the sort of historical investigation…

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The Curiosity Index (India edition)

Today I’m flying to Hyderabad, India for a second visit. I was there last year and it’s a privilege to be invited back. So here are a few India related items for you to expand your horizons: Cracking India’s mystifying nod-code One thing all travellers to India talk about – apart from the dreaded Delhi Belly, of course – is the great Indian head nod. It’s not exactly a nod (up and down from the neck, meant to indicate ‘yes’) – or a shake (straight side to side to convey…

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Articles 

The odd case of the atheists and the historical Jesus

When it comes to the discussion of religion among atheists (if they’re not being massively condescending) it is clear that they operate on the clear conviction that they work on the basis of evidence and if believers did too then, well they probably wouldn’t be believers. Except it seems when it comes to the question of whether there actually was a person called Jesus. Then it seems a whole bunch of atheists disappear down the internet black hole of conspiracies. I first became aware of the atheists who focus on…

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The Curiosity Index (14.08.2018)

How Antebellum Christians Justified Slavery I always wondered and now I know. Another instance of the church abusing amongst other things power.  How Christianity created rock-n-roll On a more positive note Christianity this to add to its legacy: The bulk of mainstream music writers and critics betray their discomfort with Christian rock by ignoring it. I suspect that, like Elaine, most music journalists think of Christianity and rock as incompatible, the former less acceptable than dumbness and laziness, the latter, however musically dumb and lazy, still perceived as cool. In…

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Articles 

Global reading: a failed test

Adam Roberts conducted an exercise to see how globally read he was in terms of fiction. I started this exercise curious to see, really, how large is the gap in my knowledge of world literature. It turns out: it’s pretty huge. The majority of nation-states listed below are followed by I have never read any fiction from that country. I am, of course, limiting myself to novels written by citizens of the countries concerned (which is to say, I am not counting fiction merely set in that country, or by people born elsewhere…

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The Curiosity Index (13.08.2018)

The Willow Creek Crisis – Time of Reckoning for All Leaders I really don’t know if it actually is a time of reckoning for all leaders – or all male leaders of large churches in America but this last point is good. Only Jesus Christ is the hope of the world (Col. 1:27, 1 Pet. 1:3-6, etc.). Always, only, ever. Jesus Christ. Get that wrong, and we are perpetually at risk of the chaos of presumption. We should be excited that the local church can proclaim the hope, embody the hope,…

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JB Phillips on commentaries

We aim simply to help people to lead a Christian life in this puzzling and anxiety-torn modern world. Thus if we believe in the unique inspiration of the New Testament documents, the commentator is, so to speak, taking the reader by the hand and pointing out (a) the meaning and significance of each particular passage in its historic setting, and (b) what the passage means to the disciple of Christ today. …I cannot believe that the average intelligent modern reader is much concerned about the continually changing battle-ground of ascribing…

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