One of the things I hope to use this blog for is to keep people updated with what I am doing in my college course. Now 5 weeks in they are working us hard!
We’ve already finished the first module, “Preparing to learn” which is a half module looking at study skills such as essay writing, but also how we use sources, and particularly the nature of the Bible as a source for theology. My first assignment for that module is due in next Monday – of which perhaps more later.
Yesterday we started a brief overview of Church History. Brief being the key word, it’s another half module so we will be covering 2000 years in 4 weeks. Not as crazy as it sounds, the module really is designed just to give a framework into which we can fit other things we learn. The course approaches Theology from within a historical framework, seeing how the church’s teaching and practice has developed over time and the implications for us as we seek to go out and write the next chapter of the history of the church.
So, for example, in Mission and Evangelism we spent some time looking at Celtic Christianity. Over 1400 years ago they were the last Christians in the UK to be working in a situation where the state was not tied in with the church, people weren’t assumed to be Christian, and laws were not based on Christian teaching. As we have now come back into such a time again we can learn from how they approached their situation, to see how we can be fulfil God’s mission in our present day.
One of the fascinating things I learnt about those Celtic Christians was how they reacted to the invading Anglo Saxons. Yes, they fought back, yes they ran away. But alongside that they commissioned missionaries to go and take the gospel to the enemy soldiers, risking their lives. I compare that to our response to those who we perceive to be attacking the church today – we’re good at running away, we can be pretty good at fighting for our rights, but perhaps sometimes we could do more in our response to ensure our words and actions present the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ.