Marion Mackay from St Peter’s Stornoway shared a link this morning which provides considerable food for thought. Diocesan ‘Facebookers’ will have come across it but it’s worth relaying here.
The historian A.N. Wilson writes in the Telegraph about the state of Christianity in the world today. He asks how we can interpret phenomena such as millions greeting the Pope, the persecution of Christians in some parts of the world and the ‘post -Christian’ discourse we encounter in the West. He concludes:
The paradox is that growing or shrinking numbers do not tell you anything. The Gospel would still be true even if no one believed it. The hopeful thing is that, where it is tried – where it is imperfectly and hesitantly followed – as it was in Northern Ireland during the peace process, as it is in many a Salvation Army hostel this Christmas, as it flickers in countless unseen Christian lives, it works.
But what is the ‘Gospel truth’? The examples Wilson gives above would suggest forgiveness and compassion, qualities which both other faiths and non-believers would espouse. So what is distinctive about Christianity? What keeps you following Jesus? (I’ll offer you my thoughts towards an answer next week!)