Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back to Normal

It's been a long time so hello and thank you to all who are still reading.

The Summer heat here goes on forever. It is still in the 30s and probably will be for some time to come. It was rather good then returning to the UK for a couple of weeks to enjoy temperatures of around 20! Although the heat goes on, Summer itself, of course, does not everything is now settling down after the Summer break. Schools have started, the various organisations are back to normal, and we are planning the run up to Christmas (hooray!)

There is much to do before then, of course, and the next major event is Harvest. Here it is in two stages: first, we have the mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong, which is a public holiday, and then the Church's own harvest festival. Usually, we involve the schools in the celebrations, this year, however, there is some doubt as to whether we are going to be able to as human swine flu has taken quite a hold in our school communities. We are fast coming to the conclusion that the sooner we all get it the sooner we can get back to normal.

Swine flu or not, I am just thankful that my shoulder injury has now healed. Last term was challenging to put it mildly, but apart from the odd twinge now and again, I am largely over it. Thank you to all who sent good wishes!

I am also back this term at Ming Hua, our theological college, teaching Christian Ethics. I am doing this against the background of the ongoing crisis in the Anglican Church over the issue of homosexuality. I find it both distressing and incredible that we Anglicans are prepared to tear ourselves apart over this. St Paul writes:

For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. (Galatians 5:14-15)

Well there is a lot of biting and devouring going on at the moment, and I doubt that anyone will win except, of course, the Devil.

This ongoing dispute, however, has encouraged me to focus more on how we use the Bible in ethics and apply Biblical teaching to issues today. The Reverend Dr Richard Burridge has written on this, and his book, Imitating Jesus, gives food for thought. I intend to blog on this issue as I get back into the swing of blogging!

Yesterday, I recorded 5 talks for a series of radio broadcasts on RTHK in October. They are for the Minutes that Matter slot on Radio 4. This year is the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin and this is my own small contribution to it. I will post them here beginning next week.

As I say in the talks, I am not sure I would have liked Calvin if I had met him and I am sure he would not have liked or even approved of me, but to allow such concerns to influence one's opinion of someone's theology would be to reduce Christian theology to the level of celebrity and personality. What matters surely is truth and there is I think much in Calvin's writing that can help us understand God's truth more.

See what you think of my take on Calvin anyway!

No comments: