Reviews Sweden 

Book Review: A Utopia like any other

A Utopia Like Any Other: Inside the Swedish Model by Dominic Hinde My rating: 4 of 5 stars Sweden, for a relatively small country, occupies a rather large role in global discussions. It is held up as either an example of statist groupthink or an ecological utopia. Swedes themselves would never call it a utopia but they would also unquestionably say the world would be a better place if everywhere else was more like Sweden (just with better weather). In this highly readable book, journalist Dominic Hinde takes you on…

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Book Review: The Resurrection by Geza Vermes

The Resurrection by Géza Vermes My rating: 3 of 5 stars The late Geza Vermes was a hugely respected New Testament scholar and this is his short take on the key to the Christian faith, the resurrection of Jesus. Vermes surveys the evolving views on post-mortem existence in the Old Testament from a peaceful burial, to the shadows of Sheol and the developing idea of resurrection, final judgement and heaven. He clearly has a deep respect for the ‘healthy realism of the ancient Hebrews’ that the supreme goal was ‘to…

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Book Review: The Gospel According to Ruth

The Gospel According to Ruth by Iain D. Campbell My rating: 3 of 5 stars I decided to read this short book as part of my regular Bile study and took a chapter a day approach. The first thing to note is this is essentially a book of sermons and is all too evident all too often that this is material primarily to be listened to rather than read. If you can read it with a Scottish accent in your head you’ll probably imagine what it would have been like…

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Book Review: Boomerang

Boomerang by Michael Lewis My rating: 4 of 5 stars The financial crisis of 2008 was a shocking event. But I’m willing to bet you have no idea how shocking it really was. That happens when you truly realise the scale of the greed, duplicity & stupidity of the staggeringly small number of people involved who managed to bankrupt entire nations. Here Lewis tours Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany & the US to discover how whole nations got themselves into a massive mess. No one comes out looking good. In Boomerang,…

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Book review: Apostolic Church Planting

Apostolic Church Planting: Birthing New Churches from New Believers by J.D. Payne My rating: 3 of 5 stars This short book on church planting is a contribution to the conversation around disciple-making movements (DMM) and Church Planting Movements (CPM). It offers a clear model, a clear pathway and a clear theology for the methods it outlines. The strongest conviction that the book outlines is that new churches should come from new believers and that where you see groups of new believers come to faith in Jesus they should constitute a…

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Book Review: Foundation and Earth

Foundation and Earth by Isaac Asimov My rating: 2 of 5 stars The final book in the Foundation series isn’t really about the Foundation at all. As I’ve re-read this series the more I’ve become convinced that Asimov really ran out of ideas with the series. It started on the idea of a Foundation designed in the final days of a Galactic Empire to overcome 30,000 years of ruin in just 1000 years. The Foundation overcomes a series of crises as it progresses – that’s the first book. Then Asimov…

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Book Review: Engaging with Hindus

Engaging with Hindus: Understanding their world; sharing good news by Robin Thomson My rating: 4 of 5 stars Encountering Hindus and Hindu beliefs can sometimes be overwhelming to some Christians because it all seems so different. Yet the basic principles of respectful listening, genuine love, faithful prayer and presenting Christ not Christianity are fundamental to living well in a pluralistic culture. In this simple and easy to read book Robin Thomson gives a very good primer to engaging with Hindus in a respectful & genuine way. He introduces basic concepts…

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Book Review: Prelude to Foundation

Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov My rating: 3 of 5 stars Set in a multi-planetary future some 20,000 years the Galactic Empire is in technological decay. Too vast, too unwieldy and racked by power games – innovation has ceased, sciences and skills are being forgotten (like weather forecasting)and populations are shrinking. Into this comes mathematician Hari Seldon with a new proposal, how to quantify and calculate the various probabilities of the future of civilisations. He has only shown that his theory is possible but he has no idea how…

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