Ministering in Modern Britain

My friend, the modest, quiet, peaceable master of understatement, Rev David Robertson, has posted an interesting article on the dire situation of ministry in modern Scotland, particularly from a Free Church of Scotland pespective.  Not all will agree with every comment he makes, but it gives an insight into the tough road which British ministers now tread:  Next time, David, tell us what you really think.

I find it hard not to share his despair: as one who owes almost everything theologically and pastorally to the ministry of the Free Church, I find his his words extremely depressing.  And the Free Church should be the only real hope for orthodox presbyterianism (both theological and practical) in Scotland.  Those to the right have lost the catholic spirit and social concern of Free Church fathers such as Chalmers and Guthrie (and even James Begg -- appropriated by the right who tend to forget that he argued for state subsidies of secular entertainment so that men would go out with their wives on Saturday nights, rather than head to the pub).  And what can one say about the C of S?  Some great guys who have fine congregations; but at denominational level it's all smoke and mirrors -- apparent minor victories on ministerial training etc only ever won at the huge cost of compromise on issues such as women's ordination, keeping shtum in prebyteries as candidates go to the wall on the gay issue etc. etc. Sometimes it seems that the only thing C of S evangelicals are really prepared to get angry about is the Free Church of Scotland!!! 

Last year, I wrote that the Scottish glass really is half empty.  That might have been an upbeat assessment.