Sweden 

Christianity has a problem with science in Sweden

Sweden is a secular country. That’s not news. The more interesting question is why? There is of course no one single answer – there are lots of answers and each one is a part of the puzzle. But one big piece of the puzzle seems to be that secular Swedes seem to have concluded en masse that science has disproved religion. Which is charmingly naive but they seem to have swallowed that so thoroughly that it’s going to be really hard to shift. So why do I say that? Consider…

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The struggles of church without God

In general in western nations a loss of faith has been matched by a rise in loneliness. People noticed the loss of faith first and mostly weren’t in the slightest bit bothered by it. The implications of loneliness on the other hand has people, rightly, very concerned. In discussing this last year I mentioned the rise of secular congregations that had, in part, a desire to build community for the faithless. I’ve never been to a Sunday Assembly but I’m generally positive about them. Why do I quite like what…

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The Curiosity Index (14.06.2019)

The Internet Mob: nowhere to run, nowhere to hide This is a brilliant article from Jennie Pollock. We have arrived at this position by our own volition. We sought the freedom to live according to our own, permissive, moral code, and are discovering that violating – or being perceived as having violated – the ever-shifting rules carries consequences as harsh as any we may read about in history. And what those ancient societies had, that we threw out with the bathwater, was the opportunity for redemption. Treasures of darkness Plus…

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The ebb and flow

Just recently, I was out for a walk in the forest with my family and we came across a giant anthill. From around 10 metres away it just looked like a hill of brown earth and pine needles, but as you approached you could see that the whole top of this hill was moving as millions of ants went about doing whatever it is millions of ants do (I wasn’t going to get too close). People are like ants in lots of ways, we swarm about bumping into each other…

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The demons who never left are back

That’s a happy headline isn’t it? I wrote this before Christmas but it’s a bit of a mood killer and much more suited to January! Mike Bird reflecting on a new book about the death of Satan in modern thought says However, as belief in Satan diminished, it coincided with belief in moral relativism, evil became ephemeral, and we lost any yardstick to measure evil… In other words, unless you believe in demons, you will begin to demonize whatever political apparatus you find yourself opposing. You will treat your political and cultural…

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On religion (bumper links edition)

I’ve been releasing posts with just a whole bunch of links to various articles. The last few are connected together. Here’s a reminder. On Atheism On Secularism On Religion Not endorsing anything – you know the score. On the endurance of religion The humbling of the atheists: How religion survived the progress of science Religion: why faith is becoming more and more popular America’s New Religions Huge Study Shows How a Major Religion Spread Around The World, And Some Things Never Change Is religion a universal in human culture or…

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On Secularism (bumper links edition)

I’ve collected a huge number of articles and posts on a variety of topics that have caught my eye over the past year. I had at one point intended to write some thoughtful essay or comment on each one but as time passed and the number of links grew that became unrealistic. Yet I’m loathe just to delete them all so for my benefit and possibly yours I’m storing them here on my blog for future reference. Today’s collection is all about secularism – the idea that that societies are…

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Sweden 

Was Sweden ever a Christian country?

It’s reasonably well-known that Sweden is one of the most agnostic or atheistic countries on the planet. Their lack of interest in all things related to the church is famous. Couple that with their generally ordered, well-run, democratic and prosperous society and Sweden has become the poster-country for secular people everywhere. But was Sweden ever really Christian? If we mean did Sweden have an official state religion then the answer is yes – Sweden had a state religion and a state church for centuries right up until 2000. If by…

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