Just when you thought it was safe to go back to spying… Charles Cumming’s A Colder War

It hardly needs saying, but spying did not stop with the collapse of Communism. But if spying continued, it naturally follows that so did betrayal. The haunting question provoked by every betrayal is, “Why?” Perhaps it was easier to understand during the Cold War. The globe’s ideological map was drawn all too clearly. However flawed the enemy might be, believing in their ideological stance always made it forgiving those flaws much easier. But what about today? (more…)

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I Am The MOST IMPORTANT Person I’ve Ever Met

Which is a title sufficiently conceited to put anyone off reading this post. But let’s face it – it’sa not uncommon attitude. It lies at the heart of individualism, that pervasiveness western sickness that lies at the root of so many of our ills. It was the title I had in our current series, Great Lies of Our Time (I’m assured that the talks were not allotted because of some particular problem that needed addressing in each speaker – but who can say for sure?).

You can now download the talk here.

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The Loser Letters: impish wit and a satirical dissection of atheism

Mary Eberstadt has a wonderful turn of phrase and an impish wit, which are used to devastating effect in her 2010 book The Loser Letters. She boldly takes on the mantle of C S Lewis’ Screwtape, but instead of infiltrating the murky world of Wormwood’s diabolical apprenticeship, she joins the New Atheists in their quest to crush theism. So she writes 10 open letters, in the persona of A.F.Christian (i.e. ‘a former Christian’), to some of the leading lights of the movement like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. With great relish she writes to advise ‘The Brights’ (atheists) on how better to defeat ‘The Dulls’ (Christians), and above all to undermine belief in ‘The Loser’ (God). At times, the result is laugh-out-loud funny. (more…)

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A N Wilson changes his Easter tune!

I was a green and callow undergraduate in 1992 - present at a debate between A N Wilson (who'd recently produced his iconoclastic hatchet job, Jesus) and Anthony Harvey, who'd given the Bampton Lectures and subsequently written Jesus & The…

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Templeton Prize for Mathematical Pointers to God

His unique position as a creatively working scientist and reflective man of religion has brought to science a sense of transcendent mystery andto religion a view of the universe through the broadly open eyes of science. He has introduced a…

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Dawkins vs Lennox 4 – reflections on the debate

Have now managed to listen to the debate - you can too on Richard Dawkins' official site. I enjoyed it, especially because both were gracious to each other and it was done in a professional and good-natured manner. Here are…

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the New New Atheism – another riposte

While one might have a few quibbles about the depiction of God in the Wall Street Journal (left) but the riposte to the new breed of militant (and lucrative prolific) atheists is all quite jolly and worth a read. Peter…

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contempt is nothing new – Bunyan’s atheist

As a staff, we've all been reading Bunyan's epic, Pilgrim's Progress. Lots of things jumped out at me and will perhaps appear here in due course. But one small theme is that of the atheist objections to the very foundations…

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Will the REAL Enlightenment please stand up

Very interesting article in the Spectator: Please Can We Have Our Enlightenment Back? by Hywel Williams - appealing against the aggressive fundamentalist atheists. There are some great lines: This is an episode in the history of the English intelligentsia —…

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