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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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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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Links 

The Curiosity Index (17.05.2017)

Has the UK hit peak secular? This article in the Guardian wonders if the decline of religion in the UK has hit its nadir. Its findings tally with this study that cognitive biases don’t explain religion, after all. In fact the most important thing Christians can do in Western Europe is to show their children what being a Christian looks like. In this work of renewal it’s important that we know how to plant a church and not just start a service. Or you could just spend your whole building…

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Links 

The Curiosity Index (22.03.2017)

Who shares the story, not who reports the news, is what counts for casual readers Because you’re reading it here, you know it’s true right? How to Learn New Things as an Adult For all my friends who love to highlight their books, I have one thing to tell you – it’s pointless. Just getting that off my chest. When I was in Syria I had a home and possessions, now I have nothing – but I have Jesus This gives a good reason to keep praying for the Middle…

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