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The Curiosity Index (25.04.2018)

A little bit late to the gate with this one. My excuse is that it’s Monday. Only I never pressed publish and now it’s Wednesday. Hey ho. Does God discipline those whom God loves? Ian Paul engages with Andrew Wilson’s doctoral thesis on Paul’s combination of warnings and assurance for his readers. Should a pastor ever own a private jet or a luxury yacht? I would say, no. Mike Frost digs a little deeper. How much more concerning is it when ministers of religion who already wield male power, ecclesial…

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The Curiosity Index (21.09.2017)

There Can Be Only One Priority I struggle with many ‘priorities’ which as Keith Webb points out: “The reality is, multiple priorities means no priority at all.” John Calvin: the religious reformer who influenced capitalism Love capitalism? Perhaps you believe, like Donald Trump and his coterie, that capitalism is a locus of creativity, genius, and creating wealth. Or perhaps you believe, like many Bernie Sanders supporters, that unbridled capitalism exploits the poor and the powerless. Wherever you stand, John Calvin can be quoted on both sides. But it’s worth considering why…

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Christian Living 

Money: 4 questions, 4 principles & 5 lessons

There are few more powerful forces in the world than money, the wanting it, the having it, the losing it, the using it causes great upheaval in the hearts of men and women all over the world. As Ian Paul notes, It is Jesus who characterises Mammon as a rival to God in Matt 6.24 (‘You cannot serve both God and Mammon’) as well as Luke 16.9, 11 and 13. It is the ‘deceitfulness of wealth’ which is one of the three causes of the unfruitfulness of the seed in…

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Inequality: insights from the blogosphere

I’ve been posting a mini-series on inequality and as always there are others around who are posting on similar themes. Here they are all in one place. Martin Charlesworth has been thinking through a critique of capitalism. First the background and then this first beginnings. Keep an eye on this as more look forthcoming The Why Nations Fail blog examines the facts behind the top 1%. Truth is they now own and control more than ever! Freakonomics examines the wealth effect and concludes, ‘it ain’t pretty’. The richer you get, the more…

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Christian Living 

Funding Equality

I’ve recently engaged in a series of articles about inequality. WYTM has kindly let me repost Matt Hosier’s responses as well as my own articles. This is the fourth post in the series – click here for the first, here for the second, here for the third. Last week the Socialist favourite in France’s presidential election, Francois Hollande, said that top earners should pay 75% of their income in tax: “Above 1m euros [£847,000; $1.3m], the tax rate should be 75% because it’s not possible to have that level of income.” (I’m sure he meant “it’s not fair to…

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How much do you need to be rich?

Are you rich? If you answered ‘no’, how much money and assets would you need to consider yourself rich? Mint conducted a survey of Americans and found the following. The thought provoking element is if you add up the percentages from $1 million upwards. That means fully 50% of Americans think you need at least $1 million before you could be called rich. That’s staggering and shows an unbelievable conflation of need and want. I’m sure it would be similar in the UK.

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Christmas, consumers, gifts and gratitude

For a blog that is supposed to have a focus on consumerism and generosity it’s been a while since I posted on the subject. However, I have been stacking up a substantial backlog of posts that I’ve noticed but not quite managed to write about it. This post both clears the decks and gives plenty of food for thought. If you hadn’t noticed it’s nearly Christmas, that time of year where we go slightly loco with money and stuff, and it’s a unique event. Rampant consumerism and the celebration of…

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Doug Wilson, the apostle Paul and bad economics

He’s done it again, with a sharp pen and elbow, Doug Wilson has wound me up. Fortunately for me, I’m right and he’s wrong. I think. In this post (HT: Andrew Wilson) Wilson poses a thought experiment where you can double the incomes and welfare of the least but in doing do increase the wealth of the richest tenfold at the push of a button. He ends with this, “This is your ethical “dilemma,” and part of your test is whether or not you even think of it as a dilemma.…

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