Birthday Blues

 

At the beginning of its 70th year the NHS has hardly got off to the happiest of birthdays what with 12 hour waits to be seen at A&E departments, patients yet again lying on trolleys in corridors, cancelled elective surgery and staff leaving their jobs in alarming numbers because of low morale. And to that add the news also that we have pretty mediocre cancer survival rates compared with other western countries. Continue reading

Wednesday: Surveying the Landscape

Evangelicalism is my family – it always has been. Along the way I’ve been part of a couple of Brethren churches, I’ve spent seventeen years leading a non-denominational, evangelical international church in Switzerland, and I pastored a Northern Irish Baptist Church for four years. These days, Sundays see me in a range of evangelical pulpits and I’ve been doing teaching at Belfast Bible College (interdenominational) and the Irish Baptist College. Continue reading

Reformation 500 – A Week of Reflections

As 2017 draws to an end it will be remembered for many reasons. It has been a rollercoaster year; with turbulence in current affairs of a level that many of us feel has been unprecedented in our life times. Passions run deep as arguments bounce back and forth, wafting and weaving through issues such as Trump’s rise, Brexit’s shape, Corbyn’s surge, and Weinstein’s breaking of a dam. Continue reading

“We Didn’t Know”

In a recent interview with a national newspaper the Israeli writer and journalist Gideon Levy said that the reason he tries to tell the truth about how bad things are for those living in Palestine is to prevent a situation in which people in Israel could say “we didn’t know”. Too often “we didn’t know” becomes an excuse for a failure to speak up for the plight of others. Tom Paxton, the American folk singer, wrote a song about people in different situations who claimed not to have known . . . the burgomeister in World War 2 Germany who didn’t know about the concentration camp on the edge of town, the congregation in Southern USA, singing a hymn in a church of white: “. . . we didn’t see a thing, you can’t hold us to blame we didn’t know.” Continue reading