Hard Talk

Pointless Praying

Is there any point in praying? ‘Of course there is’ most will answer – and to doubt it would lead to calls of ‘heretic’ – at least in most evangelical and charismatic circles! But I am not so sure. Not sure in this sense – that the relevance of prayer, never mind its effectiveness in not unconditional. Hold on to that for a moment and we will come back to it.

Some years ago a revivalist from another culture visited a village on the Isle of Skye where I live. He whipped up the local christians to meet in the early hours of the morning for revival prayer meetings. Most of those attending went to work after these early morning vigils – while the revivalist returned to his bed. Eventually the man moved on with no visibly change having taken place. I remember asking a close christian friend and working man who had attended, what the meetings had done for him. He replied – “Made me very tired”. Continue Reading

Life

Renouncing Despair

Many people live on the edge of despair and some beyond it. Despair is caused the absence of hope. And on both a political and cultural level it is sometimes difficult to find hope and very easy to find reasons for despair.

It is sobering to note that, such is their level of despair, almost 6000 people in our nation take their own lives every year. Continue Reading

Church Life

False Shepherds

Some years ago now I was out walking with a friend who was a presbyterian minister, author and highly regarded theologian. At that time I was researching the history of the church and was very troubled by the fact that one of his heroes, Luther (1483-1546), consented to and even encouraged the persecution and execution of fellow christians who did not agree with him – primarily Baptists. Continue Reading

Danger Zone

Integrity

The world integrity seems to be missing from the recently released “Encyclopaedia of Christian Words”. The authors apparently considered that it had fallen into disuse in recent years, so much so that it no longer deserved a place in their publication. Continue Reading