Misunderstanding the Church

Thomas Mann's phrase that 'everything is politics' seems undeniably true in our society in the second decade of the twenty first century. Online platforms, initially created for socialising with (and snooping on) friends old and new have become charged spaces where affinities and antagonisms feed the insatiable beast of constant controversy. The era of having…

Some implications of an empty pulpit

Whether your cup is half empty or half full in the current global crisis, whether you credit or descry online ministry, the fact cannot be avoided that the era of vacant church buildings and silent pulpits is a significant and sad chapter in the history of the church. We are in the midst of a…

Brothers, shall we weep?

As Christian ministers we are vulnerable to the twin temptations of activism and stoicism, of deploying our energies or cutting our losses, of pursuing our goals with mere human fervour or accepting the state of things without hope of fundamental change. We can burn ourselves out in seeking to change things for ourselves, or quench…

Varied Apostasy

Proclaiming honest doubt and articulating unbelief are not as new as we may think they are. One of the notes being struck at present on Christian social media is that it might be one thing for a prominent exvangelical to privately dispose of their faith in Christ, but quite another to publish the fact. Josh…

Living in important times

I have lived in important places, times When great events were decided; who owned That half a rood of rock, a no-man’s land Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims. - Patrick Kavanagh There can be no doubt that ours is an age of tumult and upheaval, of movement, change, and discontentment. We are living lives which,…

No private matter – Pt.1

When we prize the interests of party above those of the whole community, when we make our perspective prescriptive, our personal preferences into binding principles, then we have lost a significant part of our apology for the Christian faith, and our voice within the Church. This is a truth which seems sadly lost on much…

You are the traffic

One of the best advertising slogans I have witnessed appeared in the very worst of places. In the furred arterial routes around Belfast city, one junction, one intersection, is particularly packed during rush hour. At traffic lights, where many have despaired of ever getting to work, our local public transport company erected a sign with…