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The Curiosity Index (14.08.2018)

How Antebellum Christians Justified Slavery I always wondered and now I know. Another instance of the church abusing amongst other things power.  How Christianity created rock-n-roll On a more positive note Christianity this to add to its legacy: The bulk of mainstream music writers and critics betray their discomfort with Christian rock by ignoring it. I suspect that, like Elaine, most music journalists think of Christianity and rock as incompatible, the former less acceptable than dumbness and laziness, the latter, however musically dumb and lazy, still perceived as cool. In…

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The Curiosity Index (24.05.2018)

China’s five-year plan for adapting Christianity to Chinese socialism This is fascinating and it will be really interesting to see how the Chinese church and missions organisations respond – and the Chinese governments responses to those responses! What was also interesting was to imagine swapping out say ‘sinicize’ for ‘progressive’ or ‘American’ or ‘Western’. Let’s not be naive and think China is the only such place where powers are trying to co-opt the Christian faith. How Did Liberalism Become So Illiberal? From a while back but John Stevens ponders the…

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The Curiosity Index (22.02.2018)

Billy Graham (1918-2018) The great evangelist of the 20th century has graduated to glory. You probably won’t find better or more comprehensive coverage than at Christianity Today. I loved When Billy Took Britain By Storm. A lot has been written and more of course to come just don’t expect all of it to be glowing he was human after all. Syria conflict: Will powers end up in direct war? I think the chances of this conflict escalating are increasing all the time. 75 Years Ago Today: The Incredible Story of Hans and Sophie…

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Clement on musical styles

I’m reading Henry Chadwick’s history The Early Church and there are some absolute gems which I’ll post for your reflection, edification and application. This one is for my friend Tim Simmonds who likes to bang on about music and worship in the church. “Clement of Alexandria is the earliest Christian writer to discuss what kind of music is appropriate for Christian use. He directs that it should not be the kind associated with erotic dance music; the melodies should avoid chromatic intervals and should be austere.” There you have it…

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My thirsty soul

I use the Daily Telegraph Book of Hymns as part of my regular devotions and it’s a real treasure trove. I came across this version of Psalm 42 and a few of the 12 verses really stood out for me: As pants the hart for cooling streams/ When heated in the chase;/ S0 longs my soul, O God for thee/And thy refreshing grace For thee, my God, the living God,/ My thirsty soul doth pine;/ O when shall I behold thy face,/ Thou Majesty divine? My thirsty soul doth pine.…

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Kingdom of Comfort

Here’s a song for Saturday. Every now and then the lyrics of a song really grab you. If you know of any other songs that deal with consumerism let me know. This one is from Delirious? The lyrics are beneath the two videos. This 3 minute video gives the motivation This one gives you the song Save me save me From the kingdom of comfort where I am king From my unhealthy lust of material things I built myself a happy home In my palace on my own My castle…

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Bodies

I did an assembly to a group of Year 10 students this morning & I played them this: It’s a spiritual song of searching and longing. It’s also one of confusion and at the end of the day hopelessness. You get the feeling from the song that they think, ‘it would be nice if Jesus did die for me but I just can’t believe it’. There are a lot of obstacles to faith. I talked of the search for significance and meaning, the quest for hope and love and I…

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