Monday, April 16, 2007

picking up the baton

As a subsequent posting from Gary's Blog - I concur with all he said.

Ali and myself are really looking forward to next years College Fellowship, and I also felt that Tuesday night set a tone which need to be built upon - enouraging each other in prayer.

More details and thoughts later on fellowship.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Preaching and Prayer

One of the major things any ordinand will have to do is sooner or later get up into the pulpit and preach the word of God. Above all the stuff we have to do in college this is one of the most awesome responsibilities associated with this vocation.

I write this post in order to get get it right in my own mind as much as to do anything else.

Central to any preaching is the centrality of prayer the logic is

If preaching is God speaking when we speak in his name, on his behalf , by his authority, and for the good of the people to whom he has sent us then we must speak his message. Of course that will mean that the message will be biblica, but the Bible is a big book and is easily misinterpreted. Thefore how do we know from all the possible thoughts available in the Bible, what he wants to communicate to his people he knows will be gathered to hear his word ?

We ask him

We wait quietly in his presence inviting him to speak to us as preachers through his word so that we can faithfully convey his message to our hearers.

THis has to be the core of our / my preaching

Monday, April 09, 2007




Yes ...

It has been a long time since rome and I havent got the picts up yet but that will stop now

We had an absolutely Brilliant time with everybody

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday This Year

One of the things that will mak this years good friday which is usually spent in the side chapel is that I won't be there ! I am staying in dublin today - something which I hadn't really planned but some of the other studneents are heading gover to and planning a prayer service atthe american embessey protesting about the human rights issues in american establishements w.

I was totally amazed by the petition which I signed yesterday but only read this morning


“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40)

1. Introduction: From a Christian perspective, every human life is sacred. As Christians, recognition of this transcendent moral dignity is non-negotiable in every area of life, including our assessment of public policies. This commitment has been tested in the war on terror, as a public debate has occurred over the moral legitimacy of torture and of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees held by the United States in the current conflict. We write this declaration to affirm our support for detainee human rights and our opposition to any resort to torture.

2. Sanctity of Life: We ground our commitment to human rights in the core Christian theological conviction that each and every human life is sacred. This theme wends its way throughout the Scriptures: in Creation, Law, the Incarnation, Jesus’ teaching and ministry, the Cross, and his Resurrection. Concern for the sanctity of life leads us to vigilant sensitivity to how human beings are treated and whether their God-given rights are being respected.

3. Human Rights: Human rights, which function to protect human dignity and the sanctity of life, cannot be cancelled and should not be overridden. Recognition of human rights creates obligations to act on behalf of others whose rights are being violated. Human rights place a shield around people who otherwise would find themselves at the mercy of those who are angry, aggrieved, or frightened. While human rights language can be misused, this demands its clarification rather than abandonment. Among the most significant human rights is the right to security of person, which includes the right not to be tortured.

4. Christian History and Human Rights: The concept of human rights is not a “secular” notion but instead finds expression in Christian sources long before the Enlightenment. More secularised versions of the human rights ethic which came to occupy such a large place in Western thought should be seen as derivative of earlier religious arguments. Twentieth century assaults on human rights by totalitarian states led to a renewal of “rights talk” after World War II. Most branches of the Christian tradition, now embrace a human rights ethic.

5. Ethical Implications: Everyone bears an obligation to act in ways that recognise human rights. This responsibility takes different forms at different levels. Churches must teach their members to think biblically about morally difficult and emotionally intense public issues such as this one. Our own government must honour its constitutional and moral responsibilities to respect and protect human rights. The Irish government historically has been a leader in supporting the international human rights effort, but its continued assistance in allowing US military and alleged US ‘rendition flights’ to land in Shannon Airport is morally and ethically wrong.

6. Legal Structures: International law contains numerous clear and unequivocal bans on torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. These bans are wise and right and must be embraced without reservation. Likewise, United States law and military doctrine has banned the resort to torture and cruel and degrading treatment. Tragically, documented acts of torture and of inhumane and cruel behaviour have occurred at various sites in the U.S. war on terror, and current law opens procedural loopholes for more to continue. We commend the Pentagon’s revised Army Field Manual for clearly banning such acts, and urge that this ban extend to every sector of the United States government without exception, including intelligence agencies.

7. Concluding Recommendations: The abominable acts of 9/11, along with the continuing threat of terrorist attacks, create profound security challenges. However, these challenges must be met within a moral and legal framework consistent with Christian values and laws, among which is a commitment to human rights that we as Christians share with many others. In this light, we renounce the resort to torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees, call for the extension of procedural protections and human rights to all detainees, seek clear government-wide embrace of the Geneva Conventions, including those articles banning torture and cruel treatment of prisoners. We call for an immediate end to ‘rendition flights’ and the closure of the Guantánamo detention camp which has become an icon of injustice committed in the “war on terror”, undermining security and respect for the rule of law. The closure of this detention facility must not lead to the transfer of human rights violations elsewhere. All those in US custody, wherever they are held, must have their human rights fully respected. Secret and indefinite detention must end. Those who are not to be charged with criminal offences and brought to a full and fair trial should be released. The case of each detainee to be released must be individually assessed to ensure that he is not transferred to a country where he will face further human rights violations.

We recall President Bush’s repeated assertions that the USA remains committed to the “non-negotiable demands of human dignity”, including the rule of law. We urge you to relay our concern to the US administration and to do all in your influence to make respect for human rights and the rule of law a reality for all those in US custody and their families.