How do Christians fit into the world in a way that is not judgemental but dynamic and life-giving? That is my concern at this stage in my life. My faith matters more than I can describe. I can’t imagine how life would be without God but that doesn’t mean I always find faith easy or comfortable. But equally faith means very little if it doesn’t mean something in the world I live in with all its mess and murk and confusion. I need to work out, day after day, what it means to be a Christian in North Belfast, in a changing Northern Ireland, in the context of these Islands and this world. I have to admit that mostly it is local politics that take my interest. Theology and politics brew together for me into something that is both life-giving and meaningful.
All my thinking is brewed in the North Belfast context so it may be somewhat skewed by that and it may also be enlivened by that context and have something to offer to others. So here it is. Brewed in Belfast – the city I have come to love as if it was my own. Tyrone is my own, I was born there, but so now is Belfast. I have lived here long enough to see it move from a City with armed soldiers, overturned burning buses and security checks on the streets to being a City with magnificent new buildings and spacious squares where people meet and laugh together as if nothing had ever been bad here. And it is a City like any other with all the usual urban problems and joys. If you haven’t guessed by now it is a City I love.