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Is it a sin to be rich?

The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is starting today in Davos, Switzerland, attended by the leaders of the the wealthiest economies and the biggest corporations. And, in what has become something of an annual ritual, Oxfam has expressed its objection to the gross inequalities between rich and poor in the world.

Eight billionaires have riches equivalent to the same wealth as half the world, campaigners have warned world leaders gathering for talks in Switzerland…

Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB chief executive, said: “This year’s snapshot of inequality is clearer, more accurate and more shocking than ever before. “It is beyond grotesque that a group of men who could easily fit in a single golf buggy own more than the poorest half of humanity. While one in nine people on the planet will go to bed hungry tonight a small handful of billionaires have so much wealth they would need several lifetimes to spend it. The fact that a super-rich elite are able to prosper at the expense of the rest of us at home and overseas shows how warped our economy has become.”

Goldring is here articulating the obvious and instinctive response that most of us feel in hearing these alarming statistics. But the response to the data has another interpretation, and whilst Oxfam’s statement appeals to the emotions, those on the other side seek to appeal to statistical reason.

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Evangelicals, Trump and theology

‘I am done with the label “evangelical”. It’s not the theological position I have a problem with, it is just the term. When 80% of white evangelicals vote for Trump…’ This was not a comment from Tony Campolo, but a conversation on Sunday morning at coffee after our early morning service with someone in the congregation […]

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How Social Justice Ideology gave us Donald Trump

I am reposting here an article by Alastair Roberts, who is a regularly reader and commentator on this blog. I don’t agree with everything Alastair says, but his views are always informing, stimulating and challenging not least because they are very well researched. If you want to understand what is happening in America at the moment (rather than […]

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Why did Trump win?

When Tomasz Schafernaker gave the weather forecast at 6.57 this morning on Radio 4, I fully expected him to read: ‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will be turned to blood; fire and hail will fall from heaven…’ There is a widespread sense of shock, and that this US election result has something of […]

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Why I won’t be watching the Olympics

For the next three weeks, our TV schedules are going to be dominated by ‘the greatest spectacle on earth’ that we call the Olympic Games. There is no doubt that there will be extraordinary feats of courage and endurance, and inspiring stories of individuals winning against the odds. Clergy will be on the lookout for […]

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The lost virtue of naiveté

‘Gosh, I never realised….X’. ‘Really? I knew that ages ago—it’s pretty common knowledge you know!’

I wonder if you’ve ever had that kind of conversation—at work, or church, or amongst friends or family. You have assumed that things are as they were claimed to be, or presented, but all the time ‘everybody’ ‘knew’ that that wasn’t really the truth, and you were naive to assume it was. As I reflect back, I realised that it has

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Brexit, hate crime, fear: what’s the Christian response?

Many people on both sides of the debate have been shocked and alarmed at the rise in abuse towards people from other countries since the result of the referendum. Tanya Marlow is a writer who often explores questions of disability and faith, and she offers here a framework for making sense of what is happening—and offers suggestions for practical action that Christians can take in response.

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What does the EU vote mean?

The first dust has settled from the EU Leave vote, but it feels as if the earthquake has only just begun, and there is no telling what foundations it has yet to disturb. David Cameron has resigned; George Osbourne is likely to follow soon. Jeremy Corbyn faces a vote of no confidence, and already Nicola […]

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So what do we do now?

We have woken up to the biggest decision in British politics for the last 40 years. Many will be gratified; many will be shocked or surprised; many will be bitterly disappointed. It has resulted immediately in the resignation of the Prime Minister; it will have repercussions across the EU, and might begin a process of […]

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Will leaving the EU lead to war?

David Cameron claimed yesterday that leaving the EU could threaten the peaceful co-existence of European nations. Can we be so sure that peace and stability on our continent are assured beyond any shadow of doubt? Is that a risk worth taking? I would never be so rash as to make that assumption. His comments were […]

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Making our mind up on the European Union

As with much of the wider population, many Christians remain unclear as to how they will vote in the June referendum on EU membership. Some are strongly committed to leave or to remain but most are probably still making their mind up. Sadly much of the campaign is focussed simply on claims and counter-claims about […]

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