Friday, November 07, 2008


On Monday 10th November I will be taking part in a conference on equality, human rights, religion and belief in London. This is an area where new and creative thought is much needed, especially from the institutional churches. They have been far too defensive and negative.

I won't be involved in the HealthServe HIV-AIDS gathering on 1 December 2008, though I know a few people who will and wish it well. I cringe somewhat at the title 'Christians leading the way', however, which seems crass and insensitive given the ambiguous reality. Bold humility would be more helpful, perhaps.

Meanwhile, Teachers' TV has done a survey which purports to demonstrate that many science teachers are unhappy with government guidelines on the teaching of creationism, namely that they shouldn't. What it seems to show, however, is that if you conduct a self-selecting survey and ask imprecise questions you will most likely get an unreliable picture, which nevertheless will get into the papers because people like a good row about something they haven't quite grasped. Oh dear. Must try harder.

The week after next, incidentally, I'm talking about the changing demography of faith at a theology conference in Manchester and Sheffield organised by the Europe Region of the World Student Christian Federation. Then I'm speaking alongside Professor Bernard Crick and others about "Living with difference" at a Sea of Faith event in London (22 November). I'm also preaching twice in the Parish of Central Exeter (St Stephen's and St Mary Arches) and doing a day seminar around the themes from my upcoming book, Threatened with Resurrection, at the London Mennonite Centre (26 November).

In early '09 I'm conversing with humanist groups in Durham and London and some progressive evangelicals in the Midlands, then doing a Lent talk on the Gospel and money in Birmingham. All go. But it's an honour to be involved in such wide-ranging exchanges. [Image courtesy of the International Society for Science & Religion] Link

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