THE WATERBOYS – Fisherman’s Box


For God and His Glory

I have always thought that my wee country of Northern Ireland should be in the shop window, across the world, revealing how Jesus works. In a wee piece of sod, only there to keep our feet from getting wet on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, that is deeply divided those who follow Jesus have the perfect opportunity to showcase how his life, death and resurrection works in bringing transformed lives and communities. Love, forgiveness, peace, reconciliation and justice are at the heart of what Jesus was all about and we have the space to make it work. Sadly, that has been far from the case and instead I have heard it said from more than one missionary that we are actually one of the biggest obstacles for the spread of Christianity; “look what Christianity has done in Northern Ireland, now way I am getting involved in that!” Who needs Dawkins!!!!

Northern Ireland has a high ratio of Christians per capita. God is part of the fabric. Both sides of the religious/political divide have claimed God is on their side. In the territory that lies between the violent paramilitaries, the ordinary person on the street also has opinions that even in passive ways have contributed to a dysfunctional society. There might be few little plots of land in history with more people worshipping and praying at a time of such division. Praying and attending Church services perhaps but living out the radical example of Jesus? Sadly not!

In our context, the Bible has been quoted, misquoted, used and abused by every side. Back in 1988 a group of Christians decided to take on the confusion. Evangelical Contribution On Northern Ireland was birthed as a group of passionate Jesus followers, with theological acumen, discussed the failure of faith to impact their community. Out of that came a document that spoke Biblical truth to a Christian community that had used the Bible to pastor and defend their own side rather than prophetically challenge how it was into how it could be.

For God and His Glory Alone, a subversive play on the idolatrous and heretical Protestant slogan For God and Ulster, has contributed to many positive changes among many Christians and Churches over the last 25 years. Indeed, the thought shifts that rippled across the surface of evangelicalism as a result had a huge contribution to the progress made in Northern Ireland since the ceasefires of 1994.  

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary, For God and His Glory Alone has been relaunched. In a new 2013 introduction it says, “The unfinished business of our past still holds our future captive.” As Richard Haas has arrived to help us deal with our past this publication is a crucial contribution to the conversation. For anyone claiming to follow Jesus into the future of our country here is robust Biblical engagement. The booklet takes 10 principles of Biblical Christian faith, love, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, citizenship, truth, servanthood, justice & righteousness, hope and repentance and lays them out succinctly. There is a little Biblical study for each one and a myriad of Bible quotations to back up the teaching.

Right at the start there is a quote from Martin Luther King about “the urgency of now.” There is indeed an urgency in the now here in Northern Ireland and, as well as praying, it is time to get up off our knees and bring radical Christian living into that urgency. Here is a booklet that can nourish such living. Read, let it marinate and get out there far and wide!  


Tim Higgins

Must get a copy of that, Stocki. Sounds like a far more constructive read than a 'great' book I've been reading recently! Is it readily available anywhere in particular?

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