Christian Living 

A Conversation with Ronald J. Sider

Ronald Sider through his writings and particularly Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger has been one of the most formative authors for me. I think, that after the Bible, that’s the one book I’ve given away almost more than any other. Reading Sider and Jim Wallis (although Wallis has moved further on some scriptural issues since then) convinced me that caring for the poor was an integral part of what it meant to be an evangelical Christian. It was integral because of the high commitment to follow Jesus and…

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Sweden 

Notable Swedish pioneers: Gustavus Schroeder

Some years ago I came by the 2-volume Dictionary of Evangelical Biography (1730-1860) which I admit is a bit obscure. But I thought I’d trawl its pages for entries on Swedish Christians to learn more about its notable figures and history.  Gustavus Schroeder or Gustaf Schröder (1821-1914) was another significant figure in the history of the Swedish Baptists. Born in Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden, Schroder became a seaman at the age of 16. He remained a sailor for the next 30 years, including around 20 years as captain of…

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Sweden 

Notable Swedish pioneers: Gustaf Palmquist

Some years ago I came by the 2-volume Dictionary of Evangelical Biography (1730-1860) which I admit is a bit obscure. But I thought I’d trawl its pages for entries on Swedish Christians to learn more about its notable figures and history.  Gustaf Palmquist (1812-1867) was a Baptist leader and a key figure among Swedish Baptists particularly in America. Between 1851 and 1910 around one million Swedes emigrated to America (and in that time only around 100,000 returned). This significant minority began to form its own denominations and structures and Palmquist was instrumental…

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Church 

Dead Brits and Living Americans

This is something that I’ve wondered about for a while in a “I should be thinking about something else” kind of way. It seems to me that American Christians and pastors are fascinated by dead British Christians while British Christians/pastors are fascinated by American pastors. What’s with that? I read this morning that Josh Harris is a fan of JC Ryle, which in itself is hardly something to get upset about but it did spark this mini-rant. Good for Josh, Ryle is a worthy hero of the faith. But it…

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Consumerism is idolatry

It’s encouraging to me, to see more and more influential Christian groups name consumerism as a spiritual danger, especially in the US (arguably the most Christian and most consumerist nation on earth). Just recently a group called The Gospel Coalition met (involves leaders like Tim Keller, DA Carson, Mark Driscoll, CJ Mahaney and others) and this is from their preamble. “We have become deeply concerned about some movements within traditional evangelicalism that seem to be diminishing the church’s life and leading us away from our historic beliefs and practices. On…

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God v Country

I’m a politico and have taken a great interest in following the presidential nomination process in the US. Whoever wins in November will have a profound effect (positive or negative) on the rest of the world, just as George W Bush has done over the past 8 years. I’ve tried to read Republican and Democratic posts, especially from Christian bloggers and understand how faith informs politics and vice versa. I’m learning why abortion still remains the most important single issue for Republican Christians (in the UK we’ve not had the…

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