The input at the mission conference is being provided by Professor Paul Weston who is both cool and learnéd in equally copious amounts. He's using the work/writings of Bishop Leslie Newbiggin to frame our musing and learning, and an apt basis it is too.
The last time I went to a conference anything like this was when I took myself off to the Evangelists conference in 1996 despite having neither a marquee, a soapbox or a megaphone. I went solely to hear Leslie Newbiggin and will be forever grateful that I did.
Bishop Leslie, having returned from years in India, had a different cultural perspective (as well as practice at cross-cultural mission and contextual theology) to unpack both the culture of England (particularly Post modernity) and the culture of the church.
He opened my eyes to cross cultural understanding, changes in our own culture regarding Post-modernity ... and why I found it so hard to 'fit' within Christianity as it was being taught and understood in evangelicalism at that time. He introduced me to the idea of worldview, ministry in a pluralistic context .... and that theology was a journey not a fixed entity. All of which began to change and shape the way I saw Youth ministry and in fact myself as a Christian.
Paul Weston refers to people who have been an important part of the conversation on the way to who and where we are, Leslie Newbiggin would be one of the key 'conversations' for me.
Anyway, Paul layed out his stall this morning and we will be exploring three strands of Newbiggins work to allow us to explore and reflect on our context, these being:
1. Reading Culture
3. Local congregation as the hermeneutic of the gospel
We've had session 1. but I need more time to condense the session into something bloggable.