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Theology in Scotland Journal

Theology in Scotland logo (normal)Theology in Scotland is sponsored by the School of Divinity, University of St Andrews (St Mary's College) and appears twice yearly, in spring and autumn. It was first published in 1994 at the request of a large group of ministers of the Church of Scotland.

With a mix of academic and practical articles and stimulating reviews, it is an ideal tool to help keep up-to-date with current theological thinking.

Current issue

Theology in Scotland 24 no. 2 (Autumn 2017)

This issue of the journal comprises the edited text of dialogues and seminar papers presented at a day conference entitled ‘Exploring Mission in Scotland Today’, held in Stirling in March 2017. The conference was organised by Theology in Scotland in collaboration with the Scottish School of Christian Mission, the University of Edinburgh School of Divinity and the Drummond Trust.

Dialogue I – Creative mission: today’s challenges

Wes White (Scottish School of Christian Mission) and Ian Galloway (Parish Minister of Glasgow: Gorbals)

Two dialogues between Wes White and Ian Galloway bookended the presentations at the “Exploring Mission in Scotland Today” day conference. The first of their discussions takes a close look at mission from the perspectives of the communities they work in: a revitalised church in an urban area, and a newly established church reaching out to refugees. They cover topics such as openness and hospitality, biblical theological robustness in mission, cross-community and interfaith work, and risk-taking leadership.

Connecting people to change lives

Albert Bogle (Minister of Sanctuary First, Church of Scotland Pioneer Ministry)

This paper sets out to explore the opportunities, challenges and dilemmas that arise when the church is willing to enter into partnership with a variety of secular institutions and agencies to help fulfil its mission. Can the church be faithful to the gospel and work alongside partners who don’t share its faith? Will secular money and values dilute the gospel message? What is more important – living out the gospel or speaking out the gospel? The paper is followed by a response contributed by Ian Maxwell.

A ‘missionary impulse’ for Scotland today

Catriona Fletcher (Outreach Coordinator, Ignatian Spirituality Centre, Glasgow)

Catriona Fletcher’s paper opens by reflecting on Pope Francis’ dream of ‘a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelisation of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation’. She then asks how the church can centre itself on pastoral mission, and what might that look like in Scotland today? The paper is followed by a response contributed by Tom Shields.

A long obedience in the same direction

Malcolm Round (Rector of St Mungo’s, Balerno & Livingston)

This paper sets out to consider how to sustain long-term church growth in a Scottish suburban context and to consider what is a workable strategy for a mission-minded church today. Based on the experience of one minister’s ministry in one local church over 30 years, the paper sets out a number of principles that enabled the church to sustain significant growth over that period, and considers some basics that are all too easily overlooked. The paper is followed by a response contributed by Jim Purves.

Mission in three metaphors

Dave Close (Executive Director, Hot Chocolate Trust, Dundee)

In this paper Dave Close offers three metaphors to help us understand the purposes, practices and experience of Christian mission, much of which is based on his work with of Hot Chocolate Trust, a missional youth work organization based in a city-centre church. Key themes explored include how to work with provisionality, complexity and inclusiveness. The paper is followed by a response contributed by Ian Maxwell.

Are we doing young people a service or disservice? And does local church youth ministry work?

Pam Mellstrom (Youth and Community Work Programme Manager, Scottish School of Christian Mission)

This paper asks some pertinent questions about the purpose of Christian youth work and ministry and the role of the Christian youth worker in the context of declining participation by 18–30s in church activities. It also examines issues of adolescent rites of passage, behaviour management and social control, and considers what some of the implications might be for the mission and discipleship of young people. The paper is followed by a response contributed by Ian Maxwell.

Dialogue II – Creative mission: today’s challenges

Wes White and Ian Galloway

In this second conversation between the pair, Wes White and Ian Galloway reflect on some themes to have come out of the day conference, including creativity and innovation in mission, reconsidering the goal of youth work, and the importance in having confidence in the working of the Holy Spirit. The transcript of the dialogue is followed by a response contributed by Alison Jack.

Theology in Scotland cover (new)


How to subscribe


The Rev. Dr Ian D. Maxwell
Uphall South Parish Church,
8 Fernlea,
Broxburn EH52 6DF
Tel. (01506) 239 840

Reviews Editor
Dr Sarah Lane Ritchie
St Mary's College
University of St Andrews
St Andrews, Fife
KY16 9JU

Production Manager
Colin Bovaird
University Library
North Street
St Andrews, Fife
KY16 9TR
Tel: (01334) 462306
Fax: (01334) 462852

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