Thursday, 12 August 2010

Tracking Theological Trajectories



In July I attended my first ever large scale Newfrontiers conference - Together on a Mission. Since I'm doing FP next year I know that it won't be my last. The various seminars and meetings I attended were brilliant but I missed out on the excellent series called "Tracking Theological Trajectories" that the Leadership part of TOAM (I was on mobilise). I love theology and believe that it's essential for worship leaders to be seeking to be theologically sound especially when writing songs and choosing song lists.

The "Tracking Theological Trajectories" covered 3 books - Tim Keller's Reason for God (need to read), Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis (need to re-read) and N T Wright's Surprised by Hope (need to finish reading!). The 3 books are extremely popular, especially in my age category and so it was very interesting seeing what the Newfrontiers theology big wigs had to say about them. On my gap year I was positively recommended Velvet Elvis and Surprised by Hope by the church I was attending, and my housemate is a big fan of Keller. I've worked my way through the talks on Bell and Wright, and listening about the one on Keller.

It's been challenging listening to the talks as it's made me rethink what I thought about some of what I've read (esp Bell's Velvet Elvis). Perhaps it's due to me maturing in my faith but I would have to agree with a fair bit of the criticism aimed at Bell. It has been a bit of a journey for me as when I was about 18, the people I was with only talked about how amazing they thought Bell and Velvet Elvis/Nooma/anything he touched was, and so the new shift as I've spent time with a more conservative/less liberal (?) crowd which seems to have an almost entirely negative view of him. As always I'm quite against people simply criticising someone's work if they haven't even had the time to read the book (which is why I can't comment on what they said about Tim Keller), but being given a very different perspective on the books by people who have got to grips with the books has certainly been stimulating.

The talks have also been great at being balanced and not attempting to simply point out what is wrong, which I think is brilliant. I'm hoping that next year they run something similar on some other books. If you're a big fan of the 3 authors/books or enjoy theology/debates definitely check them out. I've managed to get through them on my way to work so I'm sure others can do the same.

You can find the talks on the link below -
http://www.newfrontierstogether.org/Groups/131508/Newfrontiers/Resources/Talks_and_Preaches/Select_Event/Leadership_International_10/Training_Tracks.aspx

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