Second Festival of Theology: Wed 17th October 2018

Following the success of our first Festival of Theology in January, I will be hosting a second Festival of Theology on Wednesday 17th October 2018, once again at Christ Church, Chilwell. Come and listen to great speakers address some vital questions for Christian living, mission and discipleship in TED-style talks, with the opportunity to ask questions and interact.

The formal programme will start at 10.30 am and end at 3.30 pm, but there will be coffee from 10 am, and you will be very welcome to stay on for further conversation and engagement. The format will be fast moving, with presentations of 15 minutes and time for questions at the end of each one. There will be tea and coffee on arrival and at the close, and a light buffet lunch included. Tickets can be booked through this page on Eventzilla or by clicking below; the ticket price of £18 is designed to cover costs but nothing more; anyone in licensed ministry can claim the cost back as part of their CME allowance. Parking is in the nearby streets, and there are disabled parking spaces outside the back door of the church building in College Road.


Introduction and reflection on learning and growth (Ian Paul)

Does the Spirit need liturgy? Graham Hunter, Vicar of St John’s Hoxton, London

We are often told that liturgy is about form, shape and stability—but the Spirit wants to lead us in new and spontaneous ways. After all, the wind blows where it will—and some even suggest that this is the authentic sign of true worship, in contrast to the dull predictability of much church worship. But are these caricatures true, and might there be a closer relationship between the work of the Spirit and the role of liturgy than we have realised?

Should we be ashamed of shame? Dr Sally Nash, Director of the Midlands Institute for Children, Youth and Mission and Associate Minister Hodge Hill Church

It is widely agreed that while guilt relates to what we do, shame relates to who we are so is much more difficult to process personally and pastorally—and our experiences of being shamed often stay with us through the whole of our lives. Sometimes we can shame people inadvertently, and a sense of shame is one of the reasons why people no longer engage with the church and faith. How can we be alert to this—and how can we minister to people who have experienced shame?

Everyone is talking, but is anyone listening? Theology and the practice of mission Eddie Arthur, Wycliffe Bible Translators

There has been some significant agreement about mission theology in recent years, including a focus on the idea of Missio Dei, the idea that the mission is God’s and we are participating in his work. But recent studies have shown that mission agencies make little use of this consensus in their planning and strategies—and where they do, they often end up diametrically opposed in practice! What does this tell us about the relation between theology and practice, and what impact does this have on the mission of the local church?

Rethinking the ‘testimony’ Mike Starkey, Church Army, Sheffield and author of the Faith Pictures course.

The simplest way for a Christian believer to talk to friends and colleagues about faith is by telling the story of their own faith journey—in other words, by sharing their ‘testimony’. But the classic testimony comes with some major built-in problems, as well as advantages. Is there a better, easier and more effective way of sharing our story using ‘faith pictures’? Mike shows us how!

Embracing the Priestly Charismatic Tim Sudworth, Minister in Charge, Oak Tree, Acton.

Many churches and church leaders say that they believe in the ‘priesthood of all believers’. But leaders mostly talk about this when they need to fill up the coffee rota! So what does ‘priesthood’ really mean in this context? What is the true meaning of ‘priesthood’ in the Old Testament, and what does it look like as exemplified by Jesus? And how would our churches look different if we took this ‘priesthood of all believers’ seriously?

Are people ‘without excuse’ (Rom 1.20) when looking at the natural world? Dr Will Jones

What does scripture say about knowing of God by unaided reason? How that has been understood by Christians historically and what does it means for Christians today as we engage in an increasingly secular and post-Christian context? There have been big changes in the role that ‘natural theology’ has played in Christian public engagement—and society’s changing response to natural theology explains key changes in its response to religion in general and Christianity in particular.

Can we believe in the violent God of the Old Testament? Dr Isabelle Hamley, Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury

The violence of the Old Testament is one of the aspects that both Christian and non-Christian readers struggle with most. And God’s involvement in and apparent commissioning of that violence creates the greatest problems in connecting the depiction of God here with the God and Father of Jesus. How do we make sense of this picture—and can we believe in this one God of the two Testaments?

Concluding reflection

Do make this known to others who might be interested. Book your tickets now!


Tram: The College tram stop, on the Toton Lane line, is five minutes walk from Christ Church.

Car: The venue is only five minutes from junction 25 on the M1. You will need to park in streets near the church, which could be a few minutes’ walk away.

Train: Come to Beeston Station, which is 15 minutes walk or 3 minutes by car from the venue.

Plane: It is a 15 minute drive or 30 minute bus ride (Skylink) from East Midlands airport.

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12 thoughts on “Second Festival of Theology: Wed 17th October 2018”

  1. sadly clashes with the New Wine Urban conference being hosted at St Saviour’s in the Meadows, to which I have already booked in, hope it goes well!

  2. Ah, that’s annoying. I have a clash and can’t make this. I was really looking forward to this as well. Hope it goes well!

  3. Nice one, Ian. A veritable smorgasbord of theology.

    In contrast with the last one, is it worth recording this event?

  4. I am intrigued by Sally’s definition:
    “It is widely agreed that while guilt relates to what we do, shame relates to who we are”
    Is this just 21st century semantics which have moved away from the bible definition as seen in Romans?
    Guilt is a legal position irrespective of whether we know we have done wrong or not – Romans 3:19
    Shame is our emotional response to the knowledge that we are guilty – Romans 6:21. Without shame we can never discover repentance and know the joy of forgiveness. Without shame we can sin ignorantly – Romans 1:27
    Don’t we lose something by just accepting modern interpretations of key biblical words?


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