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The Curiosity Index (24.12.2018)

Dutch round-the-clock church service keeps hopes alive for asylum family This is a remarkable effort being made by this church With nowhere to go, the Tamrazyans put their fate in the hands of the Bethel church community in The Hague’s Segbroek district. It was quick to respond. By Christmas Eve, a service in the chapel will have run continuously for 60 days and nights, or for more than 1,400 hours. It is thought to be the longest “asylum service” in Dutch history. Through day and night, pastors hold services for…

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The Curiosity Index (30.05.2018)

Today I’m off to London for the Relational Mission Courage Conference, if you’re also there come and say hello. Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs Terry Virgo: As you sing through a hymn you are often introduced to, or reminded of, truths that were not in your consciousness as you began to sing. I find this so helpful. My rather narrow, predictable pattern of thought is enlarged, stimulated and provided with fresh motivation for worship, praise and devotion. More thoughts of Christ, his beauty, steadfastness, love, sacrifice, triumph, eternal reign are opened up…

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The Curiosity Index (14.12.2017)

The fire and the fury Forget Donald Trump (and I know many would like to) but here’s the real fire and fury. Few things remind us of the force and power of mother earth like a volcano. The Best Global News You (Probably) Haven’t Heard There’s been a lot of bad news this year, but this remains something worth celebrating. Japan Is Quietly Leading an Energy Revolution as Towns Move Off-Grid File this one under good news too. After the tragedy of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Japan is finding…

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Technology 

The future & coming religion

Christians often make the apologetic case that humanity is ‘hardwired’ to believe. That faith in a Creator is absolutely natural for those created. It’s one of the fundamental points of tension between a materialistic understanding of nature and evolution and Christianity. But what if the object of our ‘worship’ really was hardwired and instead of the creation worshipping the creator it was the other way around? Well that’s the scenario that Anthony Levandowski thinks is not only possible but inevitable. Mr Levandowski believes that at some point in the near future…

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Articles 

The Swedish origins of ‘How Great Thou Art’

It’s one of the most beloved hymns of the last hundred years and in many polls it ranks just behind Amazing Grace; yet the origins of O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder (or as it’s perhaps better known How Great Thou Art) can trace its roots back to Sweden. The hymn is the work of British missionary and evangelist Stuart K Hine and was popularised (like many hymns) during the Billy Graham crusades of the 1950s. However Hine took his inspiration from a poem by written by Swede, Carl Boberg. Carl Boberg was…

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Church 

Communion: Personal reflections

My own experiences of breaking bread, communion, The Lord’s Supper, whatever you choose to call it; within a public worship context has often been underwhelming. That includes many of the times I’ve led it myself. Growing up in a small evangelical free church, we had communion on a monthly basis towards the end of the service. We remained in our seats while a plate with small diced pieces of white bread were passed around, followed by a wooden tray with lots of little glasses full of blackcurrant juice. We all…

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Church 

Devoted to the breaking of bread

For a while now I’ve reflected on the four characteristics of the early church recorded in Acts 2:42. The thought occurred to me that I’m not sure what a church devoted to the breaking of bread looks like. You can make a fair case that the Catholics are because mass is at the heart of their worship, but for a whole variety of theological reasons I’m not going in that direction. So I’m asking for help. I’m working on the assumption that the reference doesn’t simply refer to common meals together…

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