Losing the Truth again

It doesn't take a lot of research to discover that some subtle shifts are taking place in our society with regard to Truth. Having lived through the moral and political interregnum of postmodernism during the past twenty years, it appears that there is an increasing appetite for certainty, for verifiable facts, for bedrock ideas on…

Misunderstanding the Church Pt.2

Living in the last dim rays of gospel light in Western culture can give the church a strong sense of isolation and marginalisation. The vestiges of public sympathy and visibility which may have been enjoyed in previous generations has diminished to the point where most of our work is undertaken in a context of obscurity…

An uncertain sound

There is a famous anecdote about a church producing some signage for the gable wall of their building, with the proud boast, 'God is the answer'. An overnight graffiti artist, with a strong instinct for philosophy and irony, corresponded with the statement by spraying the words 'What is the question?' This story, be it true…

Why we still need nuance

One of the unfortunate things about words is how readily weaponised they are. Language, by its very essence, is in constant flux, embodying the tension that will always exist between tight definition and everyday use. This is something which is irreducible, a simple fact that bears no resistance. With the advent of a new textual…

Neither male nor female?

Overreach and unintended consequence are dangers that all of us face, risks that all of us run. When the Apostle Paul instructed Titus about the elders who should minister on the island of Crete, the self-control he urged was one of moderation, of knowing how to avoid extremes. That virtue should be the aspiration of…

The cessation of virtue

With the now ubiquitous use of social media, we have come to democratise our ethics and publicise our convictions on at least a daily basis. The intrusion of a news event, the appearance of a public figure, the rise and ruin of a zeitgeist, the policies and politics of our current era, are all up…

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,…

Barbed wire boy

I went to an all boys high school (comprehensive) in 1980s/90s Northern Ireland, a place where a friend's mother bluntly informed me that she would struggle to send her dog, and where an adult once told me that the pupils 'played tig with hatchets'. The teaching standards in the school were superb, the behavioural and…

Preaching to the Extinction Rebellion

Our world is shuddering awake to the alarm bell of climate change, to the potential for an uninhabitable earth, to the prospect of mass climate migration, and to the heartache and hardship that awaits the human race in the next century. This is no lightly held opinion, but deep and dogmatic belief which has science…