Queen's counsel XI

July 2002

During the first two terms at Queen's, we studied the Bible and explored our roots through a module called "Christian Thought and Christian History". This was a breathtaking tour that started necessarily with the situation in the early Church with its inheritance of pre-Christian thought and Greek philosophy. We didn't dwell at all on the thousand years between the formative thinking in the first few centuries and the Reformation but it seemed fairly seamless because of the way in which the early wisdom informed later development.

It has always seemed to me rather unwise to prescribe how someone else might like to focus their beliefs but this is precisely how the Creeds came about in the early Church. They declare the revelation of the three-fold nature of God as Father, Creator of the world, as Son, Redeemer of the world and as Holy Spirit, Sustainer of the world. This understanding of the Trinity has come down to us, along with Holy Scripture and the Lord's Prayer, as a tradition that is continually informing and reforming us.

It is recorded in St. Matthew's Gospel that Jesus asked his disciples: "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" (Matt.16:13ff) and when a variety of answers came back, he challenged them directly: "Who do you say I am?" Peter replied: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." and Jesus blessed Peter, declaring that "on this rock I will build my Church". He may have had it in mind already, but the challenge and the response had to precede the commission for it to make sense. Now Peter had no choice but to go into the world with this authority.

Having started building a good foundation in the Gospels and understanding our heritage, we are now proceeding into practical application of our faith and considering how we ourselves may minister to society today in what is sometimes called the "post-modern" age. Like Jesus and his disciples, we need to explore what the world thinks, challenge it to make sense of life and support it in seeking wholeness, physically in what we do, mentally in what we think and spiritually in what we believe. In this three-fold approach to life, we follow the command of Jesus, who is recorded by St. John (14:15-16), saying:

If you love me, you will obey what I command.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you
another Counsellor to be with you for ever,
the Spirit of Truth.

This site was developed to contain work by Mike Fox relating to the WMMTC course
This page was last updated on 2002-05-21

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