Matrix Key note

Tony Campolo delivered the key note talk at the start of the conference and it was good to hear him again. He was a real inspiration to me over the years at Greenbelt and he’s lost none of his passion, energy and ability to hit the nail on the head!
The theme was “Imagination” and how we use it. Tony talked about the fact that we all use our imaginations to construct a Jesus but the danger of this is we create a Jesus in our image. So what are we then worshipping? We were challenged to look at images of Jesus and how they always reflect the culture in which they were formed.
“God made us in his image and we’ve returned the favour” G.B Shaw
Rom 1:23 “They don’t worship the glorious and eternal God. Instead, they worship idols that are made to look like humans who cannot live forever, and like birds, animals, and reptiles
Having established that we don’t need to physically make something to be idolatrous, our imaginations are quite capable of making the construct Tony went on to look at the way our imaginations should be used as a way of entering into the mind of Christ (there then followed a Tour de Force from Tony that I couldn’t make notes fast enough for but took in Psychology, Sociology, Philipians 2:5, Phenomonologists and big time theology).
When we enter into the mind of Christ, put ourselves in Christ, Tony showed that we see things in a different light, e.g not “What percentage should I give?” but I need to give! not “Should I be involved in social justice?” but wanting to be involved because we see the need as Jesus would. Seeing with the mind of Christ is the antedote to the legalism we all naturally tend to, the prescriptive Bible verses that we look for!
Tony looked at how using our imaginations to put ourselves into Christ helped us to have a vision of the Kingdom, of the way things could be (lloked at Isaiah 65:17-). Looking at Walter Brueggemann and his assertation that all the prophets did two things:
1. Weep
2. Present an alernative vision of the future
The talk concluded with a real call to use our imaginations in the right way, a way that leads to vision and passion, one that sees what the future could be not just bogged down with legalism and an end times view that depresses not envisions! Imagination, Passion, Vision in our work with young people, good call!