Solas has the privilege of being asked to write eight columns a year for The Scotsman. For those outside the country, The Scotsman is one of Scotland’s leading broadsheet style newspapers, which has been published from Edinburgh for over two centuries. They have an opinion column they call “Friends of the Scotman” in which public bodies write short articles about their area of interest. Solas’s articles which are always topical takes on the Christian gospel, can be found aliongside those from Trades Unions, environmental charities or transport pressure groups.
For us it is wonderful opportunity to get some of our work out beyond our usual networks into the public sqaure where we are aware that many people (who probably wouldn’t come to our website) read and engage with what we write. It’s been interesting, and encouraging to hear stories of the ways in which Christians have been able to use them to have gospel-flavoured conversations with friends and colleagues too.
Over the last year or two we have looked at a variety of topics.
The theme of tolerance and disagreement was picked up on by Andy Bannister and Gavin Matthews., while Gareth Black has written about topics as diverse as Adele’s misplaced longing on her new album, and the tragedy of Grenfell Tower. New writer Anne Witton recently asked readers to consider what happens when we die!
In the political arena we have written about the Scottish Hate Crimes Bill, about the persecution of the church around the world and what Jesus might say to Boris, what Jesus tells us about true leadership, and how we respond to scandals in public life.
In the Covid-era we looked at lockdown and family life, as well as the shocks of pandemics, recessions and suspension of liberties to western expectations of sucess and achieving a good life. The quest for happiness and the search for true love were connected themes.
Andy Bannister didn’t particulalry like the latest Bond film, but in his review found plenty of gospel angles! And in other pieces we looked at The Beauty of the Highlands, the re-opening of churches, Christmas, grief and loss, and repentance.
If you’ve clicked through and read any of these articles you’ll notice that Solas writers all share a particular ethos, which is to share the Christian gospel through the issues of the day. That means that we are deliberately trying to avoid two things. The first is getting embroiled in co-called ‘culture-wars’ in which we seek to win arguments about topical issues as end in itself. Instead every article seeks to use the issue at hand as a way of exploring an aspect of Jesus’ life and message. The second thing we’re trying to avoid is presenting Christian truth in a stale or unimaginaive way that won’t engage secular readers, but instead will show the relevence of the Christian gospel to life.
Thankyou to all those of you who support Solas, and make the writing and publishing of these articles possible. They take a lot of time and effort to produce. We pray that they would influence many people with the transforming message of Jesus. If you would like to help us to continue with this work, please click here.