Spirit of Union

Union Theological College, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Practical Theology

Friday

15

August 2014

3

COMMENTS

Learning to talk

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  I was involved in an online conversation in a secular public forum last week and, after a bit of chat with a few folks, received a pretty vitriolic response from a new poster. He accused me of being deliberately provocative and (to paraphrase) too smarmy for my own good. I hadn’t realised that my posts were open to that interpretation and I apologised. To be fair to him, he also […]

Tuesday

5

August 2014

1

COMMENTS

C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre: c’est de la folie

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  Quite by accident, I attended part of the ‘Sung Eucharist to Commemorate the Hundredth Anniversary of the Outbreak of World War 1.’ The invited guests filled perhaps a quarter of St Paul’s Cathedral in London with interested spectators taking up perhaps another quarter. Passers-by, like myself, came in and out, most paying little attention to what was happening at the front. I arrived perhaps ten minutes into the service […]

Thursday

31

July 2014

1

COMMENTS

The most persecuted people in the world?

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The Belfast Telegraph carried an article on Monday, which had first appeared in the Independent on Sunday, claiming that recently published research has shown that Christians are the most persecuted people in the world. The debate surrounding this claim has been very interesting with arguments about statistics, suggestions that ‘you reap what you sow’ and arguing about the definition of persecution taking up much space.The picture (left) with the article […]

Saturday

26

July 2014

0

COMMENTS

Coming onto our turf?

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I’ve recently come across two innovations in which secular society is ‘trespassing’ on ‘our turf’. Sunday Assembly ( http://sundayassembly.com/  Mystery worshipper report at http://www.ship-of-fools.com/mystery/2014/2666.html ) describes itself as, ‘all the best bits of church but with no religion, and awesome pop songs.’ It claims to be what Christians do on a Sunday but with all the definitively Christian aspects removed. In some places it seems to be popular but it’s […]

Wednesday

9

July 2014

6

COMMENTS

Ashers Baking Company: ‘Gay cake’ row could end up in court

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Three quick, off the top of the head, questions that, I recognise, need to be thought through in more detail. 1. This picture promotes ‘Gay marriage’. The important word is ‘promotes’. While, legally, we are obliged to recognise that the UK accepts gay marriage, are we under obligation to promote it? We accept the right of Muslims to worship without being oppressed but we are not obliged to promote Islam. […]

Tuesday

24

June 2014

0

COMMENTS

A tragedy but not a lottery

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What a tragedy that Nicola Russell and others who live with cancer must also live with the knowledge that, in Northern Ireland, they cannot have access to drugs that could improve and extend their lives. Their pain is increased by knowing that, in other parts of the UK, the NHS would pay for this treatment. The Belfast Telegraph (24th June), along with many others, call this situation a ‘postcode lottery.’ […]

Wednesday

18

June 2014

0

COMMENTS

Bible Fantasy Football Team

Written by , Posted in Practical Theology

Christians tread a fine line as we try to be fully in touch with contemporary culture while retaining our distinctively Christian stance. We are part of our broader community, sharing very much in common with other members, but we are different and our faith makes us see things differently. Christians have always tried to bridge the gap between the church and ‘secular’ society. One way of doing this is to use […]