Sweden 

Was Sweden ever a Christian country?

It’s reasonably well-known that Sweden is one of the most agnostic or atheistic countries on the planet. Their lack of interest in all things related to the church is famous. Couple that with their generally ordered, well-run, democratic and prosperous society and Sweden has become the poster-country for secular people everywhere. But was Sweden ever really Christian? If we mean did Sweden have an official state religion then the answer is yes – Sweden had a state religion and a state church for centuries right up until 2000. If by…

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The Curiosity Index (06.09.2018)

After an unexplained absence (well, laziness) we’re back. Our strange and incoherent stance towards the unborn Powerful stuff from Andrew Haslam: It made no sense to me that if a woman wants her baby, it’s a child, but if she doesn’t then it’s a foetus. If the child dies, it’s a tragic miscarriage, but if the pregnancy is brought to a medically induced end, it’s a routine termination. If a couple is longing to have a family the loss of a child is a grief too hard to bear, but…

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The Curiosity Index (01.08.2018)

Welcome to August everybody – five months of 2018 left to invest. 4 Big Challenges Facing the Church in the West Today Trevin Wax is on the money here. The biggest challenges we face today are not from tyrannical regimes or oppressive governments. They are more subtle—proclivities and inclinations smuggled into our churches alongside the cultural sensibilities we’ve inherited. Why It’s So Hard to Stop Reading Books You Don’t Even Like This is definitely me. Local Church Offers ‘Introvert Service’ Where Nobody Has To Talk To Anyone Else This would…

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The Curiosity Index (26.07.2018)

Why A Classical Historian Changed His Mind About Christianity In conversation with a Nigerian Pastor Another encouraging video. Read the context by clicking on the title above. Wise Parenting Dos and Don’ts From 1886 I particularly liked these two: Teach your children to confide in you by conference together. Tell them your plans, and sometimes ask their advice; they will thus open their hearts to you and will ask your advice. Give your children your confidence in the affairs of your business. They will thus take interest, and become co-workers with you.…

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The Curiosity Index (24.07.2018)

The always slightly sporadic CI is back after a family holiday that took us through Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and France. Is church (literally) good for you? It turns out the answer is probably yes. Post-millennial generation ‘more tolerant’ of Christianity More tolerant of fun-less Christians. Why a historic African peace deal is good news for Europe Forget Trump & Korea this is the most genuinely positive development for peace in a long time and the Nobel committee should be paying attention. Sweden Will Meet Its 2030 Green Energy Target…

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Articles 

Courage Conference

The reason I was in London was to be at our Relational Mission leadership conference. the theme was courage. It represented a step change for us as a family of churches. It was a move away from the provincial heartland in East Anglia to the heart of London. This I think indicates in a powerful way that we are committed to reaching the whole nation and the nations, London being one of the most diverse cities on the planet. Practically, it made getting there and being there, so much easier. It…

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Church 

The death of the church

Todd Dildine recently did a four-part series on you guessed it, ‘the death of the church’. It’s an analysis of the American scene but I think has much wider implications. In Part 1 he assesses the landscape and sees that in America it’s not only the church that is declining but in fact community organisations of almost every conceivable sort. The collapse of the American church and the breakdown of the American community are tied together. When you take a critical look at our society you will discover that America…

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The Curiosity Index (17.05.2018)

This Isn’t Bigotry. It’s a Religious Disagreement. My point is rather that I can’t, and shouldn’t, feel offended by someone telling me that I won’t be saved because I don’t have the right religious beliefs. Most religions in the monotheistic tradition think they are right and others are wrong. That’s normal. It isn’t a reason to consider those who hold other beliefs to be bigots. What’s more, someone who believes I am going to hell because I am not a Christian or the right kind of Christian doesn’t think I…

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