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Online worship: Palm Sunday

Well the strangeness of the world around us is soon going to mingle with the strangeness that is Easter. Today was a challenging day for me as for a variety of reasons I struggled mightily against technology. I’m generally pretty competent with technology and having been learning video tips and tricks virtually every day as well the various new software programs needed to make things work. However, one tiny mistake in the settings plus a few other bugs, delays and good old fashioned human error meant that things did not…

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Will a pandemic turn Europe back to God?

Europe is currently the worst affected region of the world during this current pandemic. Although I’d be surprised if it remained that when all is said and done. Europe is also the most secular of continents 1 and has significantly moved away from faith in the last half-century or so. So will this massive shutdown of commerce, movement, association (all fairly key fundamental freedoms) and the constant and relentless coverage of death be enough to make Europe think, even for a moment, about more eternal questions? 2 It is of…

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Over or under represented?

Representation is important. If you see someone like you doing something you didn’t think was possible for someone like you then you start to think, ‘why not me?’ And more of that kind of thing begets more of that kind of thing. That’s been the case for gender, race and now sexuality. When a group is (or even just feels) disadvantaged there is something very powerful in seeing someone who represents you break new ground. I’m a white, western, male so I’ve always had role models in almost every conceivable…

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The thinking person’s checklist

I’ve just finished reading Alan Jacob’s excellent How to Think: A guide for the perplexed1. At the end of the book he gives a little checklist. His book is much more about being a certain sort of person than doing a certain set of tasks, and some of what is below will only really make sense if you read the book but here you go anyway. A condensed guide on how to think. When faced with a provocation to respond to what someone has said, give it five minutes. Take…

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Thoughts & resources on the online church

A couple of weeks ago you may have been suspicious about being an online church but now that’s what you are whether you like it or not. My dad at 74 years old preached his most recent message through Zoom. He is one of the most technologically incompetent people I’ve ever met but someone (my Mum I think) set him up and so preached he did. In this post, I want to share a whole host of resources about the practicalities of the online church but also remind us that…

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Nothing but…

I subscribe to a number of email newsletters which provides a good overview of the news. I get links to great pieces and can see at a glance what’s happening in the world. I find they give me the best articles (mostly US & UK) and news in a digest form. One of those emails was today a really interesting insight into why the news is FULL of just three stories all interconnected. You should subscribe too. This is from John Ellis. “A number of subscribers have emailed to say…

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The next generation

In Alfonso Cuarón’s brilliant 2006 film Children of Men humanity is infertile. It is a grey, hopeless world of decay as the last generation of humanity struggles to figure out what to do in a world that quite literally has no hope. The world of 2020 is not infertile but it definitely has a problem with babies. Ethical issues such as abortion, surrogacy and sperm donors add to the picture. But throughout the northern hemisphere and certain parts of the south, the world is ageing and birth rates are declining.…

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Not my ways

You may see an uptick in posting over the next few days as I’m in self-imposed quarantine. I have over the last few days developed most of the symptoms of COVID-19. It feels like a mild case of flu but the most noticeable symptom is an intensely tight chest that feels constricted and ‘hot’. But I’m fine and so is my family. I won’t know for sure whether it is this virus or not because Stockholm health authorities are only testing those sick enough to go to the hospital. So…

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