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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Sweden 

Sweden is in the red

It’s fairly well known that Sweden is a pretty secular place. If you’ll click through here you’ll see that four years ago I wrote about a map that showed the countries where the evangelical church is growing. All over the world. There were also a handful of countries where the evangelical church was growing but not quite as fast as the host population (the UK being one of those) and then there were about 4 countries where the evangelical church is declining (and Sweden is one of those). So I…

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Articles Featured Posts 

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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Articles 

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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Links 

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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Articles 

Regulating demons

Perhaps it’s because I’m listening to CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters (deliciously read by Joss Ackland) but I’ve been thinking about demons. I’m wondering about the debates that will happen first in newspapers and then in parliaments around secular, progressive Europe as the issue of exorcism comes up, as it inevitably will. Last year The Economist noted the rise in exorcisms in France and just last month the Guardian reported on the rise of exorcisms in Europe. It’s going to cause everyone a headache. There will be secular clamouring for the end to such ‘medieval’ practices.…

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Articles 

Understanding secular people

Nations that are collectively included in the term, ‘the West’ are increasingly secular. Western Europe, New Zealand, Canada are dominated by secular people and the US is increasingly so. In this part of the world, the narrative is that religion is on the decline and enlightened secular people are on the rise. Zoom out, of course, to a global level and that’s simply not true. Yet secular people remain convinced that it is they who are on the right side of history. Currently the majority of Christian apologetics in the…

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