Are Christians in the West Really Being Persecuted?
Sep08

Are Christians in the West Really Being Persecuted?

The Christian religion is certainly the most persecuted worldwide. But some people feel that, despite growing hostility to Christian values, it is going too far to speak about persecution in the West. Others speak of an evangelical persecution complex. We tend to associate it with physical violence but persecution actually extends to thought control. If it is impossible to be in a particular job with certain biblical convictions (even...

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Is There a Meaning in the Total Eclipse?
Aug25

Is There a Meaning in the Total Eclipse?

A total eclipse event has lost none of its power to provoke wonder, fear, and reflection. Totality can have an unusual effect that some people call life-changing. “I’ve seen people get on their knees and pray,” one man says “I’ve seen scientists cry”. Weeping and embracing, people feel overwhelmed about being brought together in the same experience. Everyone wants to find some meaning in it, not just those with a leaning to...

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Challenging the Deceits of our Youth-Obsessed Culture
Aug04

Challenging the Deceits of our Youth-Obsessed Culture

It’s not just that our culture only seems to celebrate youth as successful – it makes it everything. Deep down there is a desperate fear of ageing, losing our material pleasures…and of death. We live in a culture that wants to keep us in a state of perpetual adolescence. That way we will be more impulsive and self-focussed and therefore buy more. Social media (misused) often seems to feed the desire to be the centre...

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Is the Church Going to Drown?
Apr28

Is the Church Going to Drown?

The recent facts of the Scottish Church Census are stark. Some call it a crisis. It observes steep decline in attendance. Mainly ageing congregations are mostly led by ageing ministers. Some may query the definition of church and make qualifications and caveats about statistics. Yet it still makes sombre reading and seems to measure a deluge of secularisation making further tidal advances. How far will it go? What will things look...

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Can We Still Speak of Truth in the Post-Truth Age?
Dec09

Can We Still Speak of Truth in the Post-Truth Age?

It’s the word on everyone’s lips all of a sudden. “Post-truth” is the word of the year, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. It means “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”.  It is not just an issue in politics; fake news is part of the problem too. No doubt gut feeling informs opinion more than many...

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Being Peaceably Principled in a Poisonous World
Nov11

Being Peaceably Principled in a Poisonous World

The words most commonly used for the US presidential election campaign have been “toxic”, “venomous” and “poisonous”. Insults seemed to be the sound-bites of choice. Some fear that similar strains  have blighted political discourse in the UK. It is not difficult to see that language can be not only divisive but degrading. In a polarised world, how should we respond to the invective directed against...

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