Tuesday, 21 February 2012

#BigRead12 - Q&A with Professor Tom Wright

It's not every day that you get to join in a live question and answer session with NT Wright, but today 25 of us did just that thanks to the wonder that is the internet. 

Many questions were asked; from those about the #BigRead12 itself to Mark's Gospel and the purpose of Lent.  I didn't take notes on everything, just those questions that particularly interested me for the #BigRead12 itself, here are those questions and my notes on the answers.

Why is lent important?
- It's about getting into the right frame of mind for Easter in heart, mind and soul. Lent is grest for a special course of study to reflect on the lectionary readings upto and including Easter.

How can we use the big read to help and engage with those who are exploring the Christian faith for the first time after the course has finished?
- the #bigread12 is designed to get people to the destination of Easter, it's not necessarily designed for those outside although obviously the bible is open for everyone to read.
- its great to share the #bigread12 though to help people see what this old book "Bible" is all about

Mark raises the issue of identity, how do you hope people will grow in their identities as sons and daughters of God as they participate in #BigRead12?
- you can't grow in an identity. Once you are baptised as a son or daughter of Christ then you have a God given identity
- our task is to grow into your given identity, like growing into a set of clothes. God wants us to grow into the 'us' He knows us to be
- its about discovering ourselves and God's love for us

Is mark accessible for people at any stage of their journey with Jesus?
- if we can't work out what Mark is saying to us then we are blessed with our predecessors and their writings and reflections on it
- Tom feels that it's like a pool that is shallow enough got a child to paddle in And an elephant to swim in
- if you think about how kids engage with bible stories they don't have a problem, it's about accepting where you are and what you hear
- Tom has been reading the bible for 60 years and still learns from the reading of it

Do you think the use of technology for the #bigread is important as a priest?
- the reformation needed the new technology of printing, we use the Internet
- we need to use every aspect of the technogy which is available to use
- our mission as disciples is to get the message out to as many different people as possible

Many non Christians find it hard to take the bible seriously because it's been interpreted in so many different way? How do you respond to that?
- every good symphony is interpreted by many different conductors but it's doesn't make the music score any less brilliant and true
- part of being a Christian is knowing that the Bible isn't a series of easy answers and that we have to think a out the word of God

How does Mark think about Holiness?
- its more than just keeping an ethical code, it's the complete God given life
- to be like Jesus - being set aside for God

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