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The Curiosity Index (22.12.2018)

Did Luke get his nativity history wrong? From Ian Paul: I think this is how a lot of people feel about the Christmas stories. They might be profound, they might be of great cultural significance, they might even point to religious truth—but are they really plausible? Perhaps the greatest culprit in raising this question is Luke’s comment about the timing of Jesus’ birth. He appears to claim that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because Joseph had to travel there to take part in the census, which was taken during the time when…

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The Curiosity Index (02.08.2018)

The Wise Do Not Always Weigh In “When one has too many answers,” Merton wrote, “and when one joins a chorus of others chanting the same slogans, there is, it seems to me, a danger that one is trying to evade the loneliness of a conscience that realizes itself to be in an inescapably evil situation. We are all under judgment. . . Our choice is not that of being pure and whole at the mere cost of formulating a just and honest opinion.” Again, before Twitter. By decades. A…

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The Curiosity Index (13.06.2018)

How breastfeeding changed my view of God Rebecca McLaughlin reflecting on Isaiah 49:15 gives an important insight into God, that no man could give. God’s love for us is no Hallmark sentiment. This image is not primarily a celebration of our newborn cuteness: “God could never reject such lovable little creatures as us!” Rather, this verse reveals God’s hard-won, self-giving, dogged commitment to our good, a refusal to let us go—however frustrating we become, an insistence on seeing his image in us—and a painful provision for our most desperate need.…

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The Curiosity Index (09.03.2018)

You Don’t Have to Give Your Kid a Phone Someone, somewhere will probably call that parenting choice an infringement of human rights. At the same time adults everywhere are trying to figure out How To Power Down In A Wired World.  God answers prayer for Burundi A really lovely story from one of the poorest nations on earth. In Sweden, Noor went straight to school; in Britain, Ammar waited six months I recently read some prayer requests from 10 different nations in Europe and the majority of them mentioned migration. The Economist…

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The Curiosity Index (19.01.2018)

The heart of a heartless world In an interesting editorial, The Guardian talks about prayer. The bleak universe that science appears to reveal, initially random and ultimately purposeless, is not one that anyone can feel at home in. Most people do want to feel at home. Even if religion, as Marx said, is only the heart of a heartless world, those who pray are acknowledging that the world needs a heart. Some might even be led to try to help give it one. Cape Town Is Set to Run Out of Water…

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Why you should care about Burundi

Sixteen years ago I was desperate to work overseas amongst some of the world’s poorest people. So after one interview where I exaggerated my ability to speak French (almost none, to be honest) I found myself being posted to Burundi. As I had no real skills – a theology degree being of little use when it comes to providing people with schools, water and sanitation – I was made logistics officer. I was responsible for maintaining vehicles, running offices, looking after communications, buying supplies and monitoring security. I loved it…

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The Curiosity Index (24.03.2015)

This is a frankly an amazing story from Simon Guillebaud in Burundi, and if you haven’t given money this week, give it to help Freddy. I appreciated this post on Martin Luther King on the Two Types of Laws and the Four Steps to Successful Nonviolent Resistance If you have an iPhone (I don’t) you may appreciate NeuBible a new Bible app. Get it here. I’m glad I don’t live here. However for some stunning architecture, here’s the shortlist for Design of the Year.

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The Curiosity Index (11.03.2015)

My friend Simon Guillebaud paid for two Burundian prostitutes recently. Here’s what happened. Yesterday I wrote about Europe, and this article offers another symptom of Europe’s malaise. A depressed and lethargic young generation There has been dramatic economic improvements for millions of people but development is coming with a high ecological price tag, as Jeremy Williams explains. I recently reviewed Feral by George Monbiot which argued for the reintroduction of key species. It turns out Britain may soon get the Lynx back. Images from the Sony 2015 World Photography competition This one is…

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