Tuesday begins with a bacon sandwich before we gather again to praise God and hear Wallace Benn preach God's word. We're challenged to evaluate our situation, to have clear vision. Above all we must have a concern for the honour of God's name andthe good of God's people. In closing Wallace quotes Richard Baxter - "When we are enjoying God, our people will enjoy him too".
After coffee my training track begins. One track is on being Christian persuaders, an excellent track I did last year. One on Christian Worldviews, one on Bible Study,.... and one on DIY Theology, with Mike Reeves which is the one I'm on.
Mike is a giant of a man, a theological brain in a warm and passionate person with a great sense of humour. The kind of man you can listen to for hours and who wants theology to be done with a pint in the pub, not up some ivory tower. Theology is the evolution. Everyone does theology, either its good or bad theology. Its not for monks and dusty tomes, its about smashing up the minds idols and those of the world, and building proper altars to Jesus Christ! Its a rebellion against the worlds order.
Many do pragmatic theology, a "just do it" mindset looking for what works. We need Biblical theology - God's revelation about himself to us. And that's possible! We can do it! The Bible tells us that God wants to be understood. I was very struck as Mike outlined why theology doesn't work. Jesus said to people who didn't get stuff that the problem was their unbelief not the difficulty of the theology. Jesus says "you should get it, the problem if you don't understand it is that you've not really read it!" The problem is not that its incomprehensible but that we're sinfully slow to belief in Jesus.
Join the revolution! Do theology - prioritise re-searching reality in God's word. Shock, disturb and confront the world. Not rudeness but confronting the world with salvation. Dig deep, and not just for stuff to use but just to grow in God. Hold back from instant application til you get it. And laugh! And enjoy it! Joy in theology, Mike reminds us, pops arrogance.
Later on Tuesday I spend half an hour with Wallace Benn asking him questions about Anglican ministry. My recent doubts about ministry in the Church of England are answered somewhat... On Tuesday evening we look at our future vision for UCCF - Very exciting! We'll stand together against pragmatism, confesssing the gospel of Christ! We'll raise the bar rather than dumb down! We'll work to see the work grow under God, to reach a missionfield rising to 3.5 million students over the coming years. Bring it on!