Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmat

The Blah day at CMS yesterday was a great occasion. Great environment, good food, interesting company and some awesome input from Sylvia Keesmat and Brian Walsh as they re-examined Colossians, both in it’s orginal context to it’s hearers and therefore what contextually it has to say to us!
Amusingly it was a bit of a I spy Bloggers occasion and Matt Rees, Richard Passmore, Mark Berry, Ian Adams and Jonny Baker were among the gathered throng who I recognised.
subvert.jpgI really recommend the book that the day was based on, Colossians re-mixed: Subverting the Empire! Although I described it as a radical commentary, Walsh describes it as an anti commentary.
We spent the day re-visiting the OT narrative and the context of the all pervading Roman Empire, exploring the OT layers (with emphasis on the restoration of all of creation) and understanding Paul’s pointer to sovereignty to a Kingdom (Empire) beyond the one that was seen and experienced Everywhere. Walsh and Keesmat then examined the Empire in which we find ourselves, The Globalised brand-led economic system (and resultant slavery) that is the Empire we find ourselves in ………….. and therefore what is the message of Colossians for us?
It was fun to listen to Pete Ward and Brian discussing orientations in terms of being either missiologically immersed in culture or having a separatist view that saw the reality of an Empire that holds us captive. What emerged from that discussion for me was that we need to be able to think and exist in both of these orientations. To understand the danger of the pervading Empire and be able to be a subversive Christ centered influence but also to be able to live within the culture and have the relationality of the gospel as central to who we are. (This was a really helpful discussion as one of the critiques of Walsh and Keesmat is that it might lead to a kind of seperatism (to be fair though the book is not saying or advocating this in any way).
Great day though, I’m not sure my ramblings will make much sense, so read the book. And for Youth Ministers there is a really useful idea to puruse in the form of Jewish Targums ………….. a translation of scripture into the language and CONTEXT of the hearers.
Other bloggers who have written about the day:
James Henley
My sales skills are slipping though as I pushed the day BIG TIME to all 42 employed youth workers in the Diocese and only 1 was there, All credit to Pat for representing the Network 🙂

7 Replies to “Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmat”

  1. Phil,
    *laughing* …. I wish. No it’s 42 youth workers employed by individual parishes or deaneries in the Diocese. Hence “Network”
    42 Churches out of 623, is still quite an exciting stat though eh
    Shalom

  2. thats what i meant, all church of england parishes or deaneries. not other denominations.
    ur right, 42 is loads.

  3. Interesting thought, separatist or missionary. As much as I know I am probably more and more of a separatist as things change and become even less Kingdom like than they have been in the past, I guess the title, although reluctant to go for titles’s, of missioner, probably sits better, thinking that one thorugh though.
    But hey, wow, 42 anglican youthworkers, now who wants to come up with one of those group titles for 42 anglican youthworkers, all suggestions to youthblog.
    Either you work in a huge area, or your local area have huge vision, I’m praying and hoping for the latter.

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