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Gathered here are thoughts on literature, technology, education, religion, culture and anything else that interests me. I hope you enjoy your stay.

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If you don’t die to self, then Heaven will be Hell

I’ve just finished reading Rob Bell’s book Love Wins – and will be reviewing it for Third Way magazine (ie, buy that too, it’s not this post, I promise). It’s a really great book; I highly recommend it. It’s very very readable – which, for some, may be read as a euphemism for ‘dumbed down’ [...]

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Free Will | Determinism | Heaven | Hell

Very good episode of In Our Time this week, which looked at free will. 50 mins or so – and very well worthwhile listening to, especially in the context of the debate on heaven and hell which is still rumbling around the publication of Rob Bell’s new book, Love Wins. There are serious problems on [...]

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‘Heaven Is for Real’… or is Heaven ‘The Real’? | A Psychoanalytical view of Paradise and Hell

Thanks to KV for putting me on to a book that has been quietly notching up huge sales in the US. ‘Heaven is for Real‘ is the true story of a 4 year old boy, who ‘died’ and went to heaven, and then came back: Just two months shy of his fourth birthday, Colton Burpo, [...]

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The Empathetic Civilisation | Dirty Heaven [4]

Rumbling in the background of these posts has, of course, been the debate about Rob Bell’s views on hell – which have been picked apart by everyone despite the fact that his book has yet to be released. What is so interesting is that the reaction to the press releases about the book go a [...]

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The Empathetic Civilisation | Dirty Heaven [3]

I’ve been thinking about Jeremy Rifkin’s talk on ‘The Empathetic Civilisation’ which he gave at the RSA last year. It sparked my interest because of this quote: “There is no empathy in heaven, because there is no mortality. There is no empathy in utopia, because there is no suffering.” This made think a little about [...]

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The Empathetic Civilisation | Dirty Heaven [2]

Jeremy Rifkin’s talk about empathy leads us to some interesting conclusions about heaven. Because empathy is about engaging with those who are other, and experiencing some of their pain, heaven – as traditionally seen – must be a place where there is no empathy, because pain cannot be experienced. The typically Christian view of heaven [...]

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The Empathetic Civilisation | Dirty Heaven [1]

Thanks to my friend Tom for putting me on to this RSA Animation: Bestselling author, political adviser and social and ethical prophet Jeremy Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society. Empathy is something I explore in some depth in Other, and it is, [...]

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A Letter to the Church in North America

Last weekend saw a really innovative gathering in Toronto called ‘Eighth Letter.’ It asked the simple question: if the writer of revelation had written ‘A Letter to the Church in North America’ what would they have said? A number of people were asked to present their letters – some in person, some virtually. Mine’s now [...]

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Christiania | The Violence of Heaven [ 4 ]

Violence of Heaven [ 1 ] |  Violence of Heaven [ 2 ] | Violence of Heaven [ 3 ] According to Revelation – the apocalypic birth narrative of our future utopia – “when heaven is established, it will be a bloody business.” I have been trying to argue that any attempt to establish utopia [...]

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Christiania | The Violence of Heaven [ 3 ]

Violence of Heaven [ 1 ] |  Violence of Heaven [ 2 ] In the previous post I ended with some thoughts about the options that utopian communities have when they have established a new purified space: they can either defend their space to stop dirt getting in, or move out from that space to [...]

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