Wednesday, 30 December 2009

In the beginning

I have had an year of mis-starts and false beginnings. I have been up to my eyes in work and a social whirlwind, but have found it difficult to to concentrate on those things that direct my life: faith, reason, family, friends.

This January I will, like many, begin again. To continue my studies I am about to undertake a teaching job at a public school in Dorset. I will be away from my University term in Oxford, but will try to continue with my studies independently. During that time I hope to make much progress with my work.

But, all this is not the point. In January there is a need to return to the beginning.

It is with this in mind, and with a hint from my childhood friend, Luke, that I will start again, this year, to read the Bible. It is the book that forms the foundation of much of Christian ethics, and, if I dare say so, much of the law of this country and of Europe. There is a lot to learn there: about God, and about life.

The Bible has boring bits. Believe me, I have read them. But, there are lots of interesting bits too, and each part, the boring and the interesting, has something to say that is relevant to the way people live today: religious or non - religious. There was no such thing as a temporal 'Christian state' in the New Testament, nor a 'Jewish state' in the Old. Religious diversity and differences of opinion are part of the story of God in the Judeo Christian Scripture. I imagine that differences of opinion would form part of the discussion of scripture today. Difference is certainly is part of reading it: there are violent parts, injustice, sexism, patriarchalism, wars, debates, differences and dialogues. In it all, God plays a part.

So, I begin to read again. At the beginning. And from the Beginning I hope to see the reasons, the wherefores and the whys of conflicts, disagreements and debates. I do not hope to find answers, but only clearer questions.

Here is the plan: Bible Reading

It begins with the first chapters of Genesis, Ezra, Matthew and Acts.


Daniel Hutton said...

bible reading? too much like mixing work and pleasure. How about something like; watch at least 3 movies every week. It's only possible when you're a student.

Oh but if you do open the book, keep sending name suggestions. Your the best source we have so far.

lots of love, Daniel

Cloister said...

I would love to watch three movies a week. But,sadly, I have no tv, and no internet connection at home at the moment. I am in Canford, Dorset. Technology has not reached here!