This week the General Assembly of the Irish Presbyterian Church passed a report from its Doctrine Committee clarifying a phrase from its Code relating to what constituted “a credible profession” (the main basis for church membership).  Pretty much an internal matter to which, you would think, no-one outside the church would pay much attention.  However, […]

Is Voluntary Childlessness a Christian Option? Intro:  Many conversations over the years have reminded me of an article I wrote 21 years ago and found again recently.  I occasionally bump into people who read it in the Irish journal where it first appeared.  I’m unleashing it into the digital sphere for a different audience in the […]

When a religious news site carried an interview with Eugene Peterson in which he was pushed on his views on homosexuality and during which he said that under some circumstances he might officiate at a same-sex wedding, Christian cyberspace went into overdrive. I stayed quiet because, as a friend, I wanted to process the implications […]

Conferences, conversations, posts and phone calls. I attended a major international evangelical conference a couple of years ago at which there was a Q &A panel session with three of the leading speakers. The questions generally were on what constitutes an evangelical. I asked the panel to comment on why some bodies were making a […]

No you didn’t misread that – and there’s no punch line.  On Wednesday night when Manchester United face Sunderland hoping to overturn a 2-1 first-leg defeat in order to reach the League Cup final, I will be cheering for them as loud as any of my ‘usually-extremely-vocal-but-recently-very-quiet’ United-supporting friends. Just last weekend Man United played […]

Here is the second quiz in aid of the team going to work with an amazing project in the slums of Delhi ( As with Quiz 1, please give a donation of £/€ 1 or more at   One word added to each set of three makes a new word or phrase.  Example:   Eye, Ache, […]

Gwen is leading a team to work with Asha in the slums of Delhi (   Here is an opportunity for you to help the team We have composed a couple of Fireside Quizzes to shorten the holidays.  Please give a donation of £/€ 1 or more at   FIRESIDE QUIZ NUMBER ONE The […]

Due to the complex and troubled history of Ireland, denominational labels can carry negative connotations, so that any move by the PCI to become truly missional and break new ground in terms of planting is not only going to have to deal with issues of self-identity, but also issues of perception from within the majority […]

The PCI, like all denominations, was originally a plant. Irish Presbyterian church historian Finlay Holmes notes that the PCI is essentially an immigrant church, albeit one that is 370 years old. Its first Presbytery and fledgling congregations in the early 1640s were organized to minister to immigrant Scots. This continued into the early eighteenth century, […]

A number of writers (Mannoia, Murray, Stetzer, Roxburgh, van Gelder) have recognized that denominations have a role to play in church renewal and planting, but that the challenges faced are different and often more complex than those faced in independent planting movements. Yet Stuart Murray reminds his readers: “Most denominations started as church-planting movements, even […]


Irish theologian, Kevin Hargaden

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musing more than ranting these days

John 20:21

"As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you."

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moving toward a deeper theology of worship

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Random thoughts of an Ulster Scot in Coventry


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