Articles 

The refugee crisis & Christian hope: A response

Recently Reformation 21 posted an article by Alistair Roberts on the refugee crisis and while it contained many good things, there were a few things that I thought needed further discussion. In a similar vein, a recent post by Ian Paul also expressed unease about the general naive response of the general public. This is in some sense a response to both posts but primarily to Alistair’s article. Areas of disagreement. I should begin with taking issue with the title of Alistair’s article and of course the general approach in the media which calls…

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Articles 

The rise and decline of faith

Much has been made recently of research that shows the world becoming both more secular and more religious. The growth of the secular or rise of the nones is expected to continue in Western Europe, America and Australia. The growth of the faithful is expected pretty much everywhere else. What are we to make of such developments and where are the promising lines of enquiry for the church?

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Articles 

Has God forgotten Europe?

It’s an interesting time to be a Christian and a person of faith; we live in tumultuous times. Faith is declining but also resurgent. Disappearing yet also bursting into life. Some non-believers are sufficiently emboldened to ask the question, ‘what comes after religion?’ Although not every atheist is convinced that the current crop of evangelical atheists are on the right track. So is it true that religion is disappearing? Well, it does very much depend on where you look. John Gray writes, There is no sign anywhere of religion fading away, but by…

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Articles 

Case study: Sweden

Following last week’s posts on Europe, I’ve decided to follow that up with a series on my adopted country Sweden. Before we get to more weighty issues, today is an overview of Sweden for those that don’t know very much about this country. Geography Sweden is surprisingly big. It is the 55th largest in the world but the 4th biggest in Europe. It’s near 450,000 sq km makes it bigger than Germany. It’s a long country, sharing the longest uninterrupted border in Europe with Norway. As a northern nation it…

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Articles 

Praying for Europe

It’s my personal conviction that Europe is seriously lacking in missional investment and church planting resources. The road to dealing with that begins in prayer. Here are some prayer points taken from Operation World. Biblical illiteracy is shockingly common considering the high levels of education and historic influence of Scripture in European history. A new generation of leaders must be raised and trained. The need remains urgent – committed, culturally aware and biblically sound leaders who can pastor, teach, evangelize, speak prophetically into Church and society and plant churches where…

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Articles 

Why Europe matters

Europe has a significant Christian heritage but it no longer has a Christian present. The open question is what place will Christianity have in its future? There are many great gospel centred churches and movements hard at work all over the continent but is it enough? Here are some facts as to why Europe still matters: 730-750 million people. That’s a lot of people. 11% of the world’s population live on 6% of it’s surface. It’s wealth gives it considerable influence. The EU is the biggest economic market in the…

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Articles 

Europe: the challenges

I’m not talking about the parliament or the euro but, instead, about the church in Europe which faces challenges that are unique to this continent. The context is that of an overwhelmingly Christian shaped past but in a rapidly secularizing and pluralistic present that has rejected much of Christianity. Cultural religion exists as an empty shell. There are churches but there is little faith. Patrick Johnstone in The Future of the Global Church writes of Europe (p98), “Most of the population claim to be Christian, but generally this does not…

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Church 

The decline of Christian Europe

The idea that Europe is no longer Christian is no surprise to anyone. Secularists have long been telling us that we no longer believe and church attendance would seem to bear that out. So how bad is it? Patrick Johnstone in The Future of the Global Church writes, “A ‘Christian’ continent in 1900. Are we witnessing the death of Europe’s civilization? A high degree of nominalism, increasing secularization and growing influence of liberal theology, and disillusion and cynicism following two world wars led to massive decline in church attendance. Increasing…

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