PS is an email and web-based blog format issued regularly by Contemporary Christianity. The format provides an online space for writers toexplore issues relating to church, culture and life in Northern Ireland, seeking to understand the times through insights from Scripture, theology, reason and the observations that flow from lived experience.
PS will never claim to have all the answers, but we hope to prompt questions that leave our readers a little closer to the answer at the end of the piece than they were at the beginning.
Our writers range from well-known names in academia and full-time ministry, to professionals with particular subject matter expertise, to lay people with passion for a subject and a gift for writing.
You can get involved in conversations by posting comments in the threads below the blogs, and if you’re interested in writing for us, you can get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The gospel injunction to “love our enemies” and “pray for those who persecute us” sits uneasily with modern sensibilities.
Ask most people what the most significant technical innovation has been in the history of Christendom, and I would confidently guess that most would say it is the printing press… Another technical innovation that is shaping God’s people, is much more recent: podcasting.
It is now more than a year and a half since I retired from full time ministry in First Armagh Presbyterian Church.
Maybe I am just more conscious of it than before, but I sense that there is an increasing amount of pain and distress in people’s lives – both for younger people as well as for those of us who are older. This is causing me to think a lot more deeply about some of the issues around building and maintaining good friendships.
The Christmas story is a story set in the context of a census. Luke locates the birth narrative of Jesus in familiar words: ‘In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.’
I am right handed. I use my right hand to write, occasionally to play tennis, golf or cricket, but most especially to drink coffee. Until recently, I assumed I only used my left hand to lean on. Then on 1st May, I had a stroke.
It was just like any other dark, miserable January night for the soldiers on patrol.
I realise that this is an emotional minefield: a very complex subject of great theological, societal and political significance.
In a recent article in The Irish Independent the retired Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin remarked that he was never prepared for celibacy or singleness; his comment caught my attention causing me to think about my own experience.
A number of weeks ago I went to a prayer meeting that began, as almost all such gatherings do, with a time of praise and adoration of God. How we pray spontaneously – the language and the ‘personal liturgy’ that we use – tells us a great deal about who we are, as both individual followers of Jesus, and the collective people of God.
Every summer in our church, we host Meet the Neighbours, a community engagement festival offering free hospitality and welcome to our local community. As this year’s event approached, we found ourselves facing one particular quandary.
I have been on a learning curve in many ways, not least in trying to practice what I preach, that every challenge also brings opportunity. It could be an occasion for despair or another chance to exercise faith, courage and determination.