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The Curiosity Index (08.03.2018)

Normal service hasn’t quite resumed as I battle my inbox and schedule. It’s taken me almost a full week to catch up after a week away. Hmmm. Anyway… A West African Damascus Road This story is absolutely amazing. I believe miracles happen and this one is astonishing. Stephen Hawking Explains What Existed Before The Big Bang Imaginary time with extra dimensions…which is not as easy to get your head around as ‘In the beginning God…’. Hugh Ross responds. The science behind Europe’s Siberian chill As I sit at my desk…

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The Curiosity Index (21.02.2018)

Does It Bother You That God Barred Moses from the Promised Land? From Trevin Wax: For a long time, I was bothered by the fact that God didn’t allow Moses into the Promised Land. I sympathized with Moses in his one moment of weakness, and I wondered if God judged him too harshly. I was also bothered by the fact I was bothered. A 5 minute theology of periods But more than that, periods are very much part of the way women experience the world as embodied creatures. God has…

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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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Christian Living 

Seeking to excel

Excellence in the church is a subject I have strong feelings about, but there are a couple of areas that we should strive to excel in. Paul encourages the church in Corinth to excel in building up the church (1 Cor 14:12). I think whether you seek the spiritual gifts (as Paul encouraged the Corinthians to do) or not, the goal of building up the church is a pretty good one. The second area Paul challenged the church in Corinth to excel in was giving (2 Cor 8:7).  It’s an…

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Christian Living 

Money: 4 questions, 4 principles & 5 lessons

There are few more powerful forces in the world than money, the wanting it, the having it, the losing it, the using it causes great upheaval in the hearts of men and women all over the world. As Ian Paul notes, It is Jesus who characterises Mammon as a rival to God in Matt 6.24 (‘You cannot serve both God and Mammon’) as well as Luke 16.9, 11 and 13. It is the ‘deceitfulness of wealth’ which is one of the three causes of the unfruitfulness of the seed in…

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Christian Living 

Overflowing Abundance

Abundance is a word that perhaps sits a little uneasily for a network devoted to simplicity – in fact abundance is part of the problem in a consumer society isn’t it? An abundance of choice, gadgets, food, credit and appetite for shopping has done significant damage to the fabric of communities, our moral vision and notion of what is valuable. As Jenny Flanagan said, “Everything is available to me right now if I have the money, but I don’t think it makes life better.” Too many of us have had…

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Christian Living 

God’s antidote to consumerism

It’s no longer a point of debate that, in the West at least, we live in a consumer culture. Yet this culture, where we are defined more by what we consume than by what we produce, has grown ever more powerful. So much so that this way of life is deemed to be ruining the entire planet. It has its own ‘ism’ – consumerism and this approach to life is generally deemed to be at odds with the gospel. There are of course places where Christianity has sought to co-opt…

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Christian Living 

The lost art of hospitality

It’s a relatively staple part of Christian testimony in the West, after a team has returned from a poorer nation to be genuinely moved at the hospitality and generosity of their hosts compared with their own attempts. You’ve probably heard people talk about hospitality and you probably agree that it is very important, but what is hospitality? There are, admittedly, lots of forms that hospitality can take. There is the open generous way we treat people in church, and the generous, warm-hearted way in which we engage with people as a gathered…

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