Posts Tagged “ICC”

International Christian College are running what looks like an interesting series of evening discussions/classes in the run up to the General Election:

Who Would Jesus Vote For?

In the near future, probably May 2010, we are expecting a General Election across the United Kingdom. Over the last 2000 years the relationship between Christianity and political power has been constantly changing, whether it be a very close relationship such as that in the Post-Constantine Roman Empire or whether it be in the very complex relationship in the United States of America. One of our key questions as Christians at this time must be whether it is appropriate for us to be involved in the political process and if so, on what basis and over what issues.

“I want to win this election but the reason you fight elections is not to change government; it is to change lives.”

Douglas Alexander

This 6 week series of evening classes is aimed at debating some of these issues from whether Christians should vote through to issues such as environmentalism, political parties or Scottish Nationalism. Whether you have a view or not on some of these issues, this will be an opportunity to explore the different avenues and prepare ourselves in advance of the media hype and the ballot papers.

The provisional programme is as follows:

Week 1 15 February Who Would Jesus Vote For?
Alistair Stevenson
(Public Policy Officer, Evangelical Alliance Scotland)
& Graeme McMeekin
Week 2 22 February Breaking up Britain: How to be a Christian Nationalist?
Graeme Brooks
(Director of Youth for Christ in Scotland and active member of the Scottish Conservative Party)
& Doug Gay
(Lecturer in Practical Theology, University of Glasgow and active member of the Scottish National Party)
Week 3 1 March How Should/Can Christians Engage with Politics?
Gordon Macdonald
(Parliamentary Officer, CARE for Scotland)
Week 4 8 March New Heaven and a New Earth – Why Care About the Environment?
Chad Rimmer
Week 5 15 March Are Christians Always Right(wing)?
Councillor Ewan Aitken (subject to confirmation for that date)
(Scottish Labour Party, Edinburgh City Council)
& Councillor Jeremy Balfour
(Scottish Conservative Party, Edinburgh City Council)
Week 6 22 March Jesus Manifesto: Living Counter-Culturally
Gordon Macdonald, Alistair Stevenson and Graeme McMeekin

There is no obligation to come to every class (classes can be paid for on an individual basis).  For further details contact Sandra McSporran (sandra [dot] mcsporran [at] icc [dot] ac [dot] uk).

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Tonight, for reasons I’m still not entirely sure of, I was invited to sit on a panel for a discussion of ‘The Emerging Church’ at International Christian College.  If you read yesterday’s post you’ll probably realise that i was pretty nervous about it for a number of reasons.

If you missed it, my article on Emerging Church is in the newly published OneKirk Journal (along with an interview with Scott Rennie and some amazing words written by Roddy Hamilton).

However, back to tonight.  It went pretty well I thought, despite me outing myself as never having been an ‘Evangelical’ which I guess was one of the inevitabilities of taking part.  Oh well.  Never mind.  I think my ‘outsider in terms of the evangelical church but maybe more insider in terms of emerging church’ position added a wider perspective to the debate.

I enjoyed the discussion but there were some things that I wanted to pick up on and perhaps save others having the same problems.

The first is that we always need to be pretty clear which emerging church we’re talking about.  This evening’s discussion grew out of the visit of Brian McLaren last year and the students wanted a forum to discuss some of their unanswered questions.  I saw the value of this but I’m not sure I see the point of only discussing what McLaren thinks the emerging church is, no matter how much fun that might be.

I don’t buy that McLaren is leading this emergence on his own.  I’m concerned that if we focus all of the discussion on what Brain thinks we miss the very real question about why stuff is emerging from ALL kinds of churches.  What is driving this experimentation?  What is it that people are dissatisfied with?  I think McLaren has a go at answering some of those questions, but he’s not the only voice in the discussion.

The second is that, believe it or not, this ain’t America.  The drivers for the Emerging Church in America are its particular political, social, cultural and spiritual context… none of which are the same here in Scotland, despite the very obvious homogenisation of western culture.  The evangelical context in America has a social and political dimension that is not replicated here in the UK where the ‘religious right’ doesn’t have the same influence in the political or social agenda.

I think we need to be more deliberate about finding out what’s happening here and who, if anyone, is writing about it.  That’s one of my hopes for Emerging Scotland, that people will share their stories and begin to chronicle the emerging church here in Scotland.

The third is that, even though it’s a crowd pleaser, cheap stereotypes about liberals sitting round candles isn’t an accurate representation of any of the Emerging Church.   Please don’t make fun of people who are trying honestly and earnestly to seek God’s will and to worship Him in ways that make more sense to them than whatever they have found in a denominational church setting.

So, overall, a good night I think.  It was filmed but I don’t know if or where that might appear…

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Today my youth work class at ICC unveiled their ‘mystery boxes’. The idea came from JJ Abrams’ amazing TED talk:

The task was to bring something which would intrigue the rest of the class but also enable them to learn something.

Mystery Box 1 contained 2 djembe drums and some ‘instructions’.



Mystery Box 2 was a geek paradise… Warhammer 40,000.  Ross got far too into the game!!!



The final mystery box contained some reflections helping people to think about ‘Where is God?’



The three ‘boxes’ were all very different and challenging in their own ways.  We all had a laugh and hopefully learned something new… even if it was that Sam never wants to play Warhammer again!

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I do a bit of guest teaching and supervise some placement students at ICC in Glasgow.  They are having an open day on Saturday.

International Christian College Open Day: Saturday 21st Feb 10am

For anyone who wants to discover a bit more about who we are and what we do. You may be a prospective student, you may be interested in seeing what opportunities we have for people who want to combine some study with their ongoing work, or you may simply want to have a chance to look round the college.  Whoever you are and whatever your interest you will be very welcome.

From 10am – 4pm there will be tours of the college, stories from students about life at ICC and about some of the ministries they are involved in, taster lectures delivered by some of the college’s staff, and music from some of our students. Staff will also be there to talk to people individually to answer any queries people may have.
For more information visit our website: or contact college [at] icc [dot] ac [dot] uk

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Today was the first of my new class at ICC on Communication.  It’s a first year class on the Youth Work and Theology course so Today was one of their first classes!  We talked about (well I talked most) the internet and some tools for keeping in touch with their young people like Bebo and Facebook but also about blogging, texting and Flickr.

We’ve started our own class blog at so feel free to pay us a wee visit as we try to work out what communication is and how it works.

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