Offensive Grace

Watching grandchildren growing up is fascinating! One of our granddaughters is just learning to speak and assert herself in life. Some of her first words were “I do it” – as she attempted to undertake some task that hitherto someone else had helped her achieve! It reminded me of just how early in life we all strive for independence. And of course it is a trait that becomes stronger as we grow to adulthood – captured perfectly in the popular song of my generation – “I did it my way!” Continue Reading

Church Life

Fit For Purpose?

One of the questions that has troubled me much in recent years is whether or not the church, as we know it, is, to coin a phrase, “Fit for purpose”. By that I mean – does it genuinely reflect the vision of the One it claims is its founder?

I recently heard a challenge, put to a group of students, that went something like this. Choose a century, any century between, say, AD200 and AD1800. Then study the history of the church during your chosen time frame. After that read again the gospels and, after having done so, ask the question – “Did the church in your chosen period of time reflect the basic tenets of Jesus teaching?” Interesting exercise! Continue Reading


The Spirit of Wisdom

All of us, I suspect, have known people we have respected, admired and considered as living on a much higher spiritual level than us. I can recall several – men and women who appeared to have great spiritual gifts – who were perhaps great preachers, leaders or charismatic personalities. Continue Reading

Hard Talk


Can a true Christian be a member of the Church of Scotland – given that, in recently years, droves of evangelicals have left a denomination they no longer consider to stand for biblical truth? Continue Reading


Friends or Acquaintances?

When I was a teenager, a few years ago now, I worked with an older Irishman who had a habit of making contentious comments. On one occasion I remember talking about the fact that I had a lot of friends. He immediately butted in and said – “no – you have a lot of acquaintances!”. Of course I disagreed strongly with him. However, many years down the road I am forced to agree with his assertion. Continue Reading