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The Curiosity Index (22.09.2017)

What About the Pigs? We’re working through the Gospel of Mark at Grace Church and this week we’re at Mark 5. I’m expecting to use this answer from Richard Hays. Do you know the 7 differences between Galilee and Judea in the time of Jesus? There’s more to Jesus being from Nazareth than meets the eye. Gospel Parenting This is a good reminder Children are a divine stewardship. They are not for us to own but for us to love, carefully guide, and then release to God’s providential care. We cannot pressure,…

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The Curiosity Index (20.09.2017)

Bible Contradictions Explained: 4 Reasons the Gospels “Disagree” It can be an easy target to say that the Gospels are ‘full of contradictions’ and this article gives you four reasons to take the sting out of that attack. An Experiment Gives Cash Aid To The Poor. Is That Ethical? It’s an experiment to watch, GiveDirectly are pushing a form of aid called cash aid. “But with cash aid, instead of making the decision of what form the intervention should take on behalf of poor people, you are at least allowing…

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The Curiosity Index (03.02.2015)

If you’re in the UK you may be aware of an important debate happening today in parliament with the headline grabbing three-parent babies. Peter Saunders asks five good questions. I think in an age of austerity where benefits are cut for the poorest it’s reasonable to ask how a company, Apple, can accumulate a $178 billion cash pile. It seems the answer is through strenuous efforts to avoid paying tax (anywhere). To try and visualise that enormous sum of money here is what $1 billion looks like This is an…

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Book Review: What crucified Jesus?

I picked up this book by Jewish scholar Ellis Rivkin (who died earlier this year) for just 75 pence. I bought it for two reasons, primarily the preface by EP Sanders who said he thought, ‘the overall argument, is in my judgement, completely convincing.’ and second to that, the bargain price. I can’t resist highly recommended books on the historical Jesus for less than a quid. It’s not a long book (79 pages) and asks an interesting question, ‘what crucified Jesus?’ as opposed to the more natural, ‘who crucified Jesus?’…

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Book Review: Total Church

Total Church is a provocative book and there’s much to commend it. There is much in common with the values of Newfrontiers the church family I belong to. This is a gospel centred book from The Crowded House church in Sheffield. They believe in extending the kingdom through church planting. They believe in caring for the poor and including them into the gospel community and in multi generational churches. They believe in the sufficiency of the gospel to bring people to maturity. Interestingly they believe in reshaping the life of…

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Let's Go – Day Four

Flipping heck, it’s taken me nearly a week to complete this, where does the time go? I’m too busy posting comments on other people’s blogs, that’s my problem. Anyway Day Four was a great finale. We had John Cardinal and his family, from Bristol, with us and he preached the Gospel and prayed for the sick with real authority (I learnt a lot) and it was such an encouraging morning. However it was a real battle to keep believing in God all the way through that He was going to…

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Book Review: They Like Jesus But Not the Church

I’ve just read They Like Jesus But Not The Church and I’m going to have do some experiments. Kimball’s theory based on a number of out-of-church experiences and conversations is that people are open to knowing more about Jesus but that more often than not the church gets in the way. Hard to argue with that really. What is more questionable is how well this crosses the Atlantic and how easily his observations fit the UK. For a start our evangelicals are far milder, and our fundamentalists are tame by…

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Eco-Consumerism

I just read this news piece from the BBC that explains much of the reason for China building 2 new power plants a week is to satisfy the demands of western consumers. Everybody’s aim is to try and have their cake and eat it. To keep standards of living as they are, to keep ways of living as they are but just to achieve that without further damage to the environment. This is ‘green consumerism’ or maybe ‘eco-consumerism’.  But it all still plays to a materialist concept of ‘standard of…

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