Articles 

A diabolical democracy

I’ve just finished listening to The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis (read wonderfully by Joss Ackland). Some years later Lewis added a sort of postscript known as Screwtape Proposes a Toast. In it through the voice of Screwtape Lewis skewers democracy with prophetic power.   What I want to fix your attention on is the vast, overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence – moral, cultural, social, or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how “democracy” (in the incantatory sense) is now…

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Gender 

The pay gap

Most people will be aware of the pay gap – the difference between the median pay of men and that of women. In the UK it seems like a significant gap. The ONS preferred headline figure is the difference in income between the median man (that is, the man who is exactly halfway between the highest earning man and the lowest earning) and the median woman. The reveals a gender pay gap of 9.1%. The big question is why is there a gap? Is it because of discrimination or some…

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Links 

The Curiosity Index (23.03.2018)

Bill Hybels Accused of Sexual Misconduct by Former Willow Creek Leaders Whichever way this turns out, it’s a really sad story. Darwinian differences: How the theory of evolution viewed women as inferior Darwin claimed that equality was scientifically impossible. In line with his own ingrained assumptions, the standard ones of Victorian England, Darwin maintained that female inferiority is an inescapable consequence of nature. Awkward. So Christianity is no longer the norm? Going underground will do it good Peter Ormerod has a good response to the news that Europe is non-Christian…

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Links 

The Curiosity Index (22.04.2015)

Who can be against us? “You can’t threaten to kick a man out of his family whose Father is God and whose brothers and sisters number in the millions.” Tim Keller on the book of Judges and violence in the Old Testament “In short, if you believe the rest of the things the Bible teaches, the period of holy war makes sense. Holy war is not, therefore, a reason to reject what the rest of the Bible says about God.” Peter Leithart has some interesting things to say on The Failure of…

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Articles 

Odd allies

One of the interesting things that is happening in today’s religious landscape are the various odd-looking alliances that take place. One I wasn’t expecting was with an atheist over Biblical exegesis. In her interview with Francesca Stavrakopoulou who is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion at the University of Exeter, Vicky Beeching asks her, ‘Is there any way of being a feminist and following one of the Abrahamic faiths?’ The professors response is fascinating: “The only way devotees of these religions can serve the cause for equality is by renouncing…

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Gender 

Celebrating difference

We had an interesting discussion at church on Sunday, seated round our kitchen table, sparked off by Colossians 3:18-4:1. One of the women related how, on the child minding course she is studying, she received lower marks for not agreeing to the idea that boys and girls are the same and by this they mean no different at all. In order, it is thought, to have true equality you cannot say there are differences. It’s a peculiarly Swedish approach. The instinctive reaction around the table, from men and women from…

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Book Review: The Spirit Level

The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett is an absolutely fascinating book. It’s been at the centre of heated political debate for over a year and it continues to influence our national politics. In essence the argument is that for the richest nations on earth getting richer does nothing for their citizens quality of life. And if that getting richer increases inequality it makes life worse. The more equal a society is the better off everyone is. Taking ten indicators of social wellbeing (life expectancy, teenage births, obesity,…

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