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Wishing you a terrified Halloween: mediums and the occult

The title comes from my annoyance at the local Sainsbury’s, which wishes its customers a happy Halloween. If you’re happy, it misses the point.

Someone I know well has just told me that he’s into becoming a medium. This post describes my response. It’s not quite a Halloween theme, but a bit occult – at least, more appropriate than Brexit.

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Is there any point in praying?

I actually believe in praying, but not for the reasons many people give. The Christian tradition offers different, and often conflicting, accounts of how to do it and what to expect from it.

This post offers my way of trying to make sense of it.

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Bishops, Brexit and Bullshit

The Church Times is usually pretty deferential to the leadership of the Church of England, but this time its leader article excoriates all 118 of its bishops for their joint statement about Brexit.

At my local Philosophy in Pubs group we were recently discussing the difference between lying and bullshit. Lying, we thought, is when the speaker knows his or her statements are not true. Bullshit is when the speaker is expected to say something, and is more concerned to perform as expected than to speak accurately. This post asks: is the bishops’ statement bullshit? I would prefer to think not, as I know and respect some of them. But I think it is.

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Faith, belief and climate justice

As a living faith, Christianity centres on two areas of teaching and understanding – what we conventionally call the interrelated doctrines of Creation and Incarnation

The Christian view of the Creation (described in more than 20 differing biblical stories) emphasises that a Creator God initiates a process of life brought about through physics, chemistry, evolution and more, leading to an ongoing Universe which includes, amongst billions of others a planet that we call the Earth. In traditional terms, the Church names this as a creation continua, in which the glory of the divine is to be found and experienced.

This insight has to be at the core of the Christian attitude towards the environment – the whole Creation is godly (“very good”) and is the place where we encounter the holy. Or in other words the Earth is sacred and it is only by living in this world that God is revealed to us. As Tertullian put it, “we know grace through our bodies”.

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