I attended an excellent theological reflection day on
Tuesday. Organised by Northern Baptist Learning Community and others it was
great to have an opportunity to listen and talk together, something that we
need to encourage among ministers.
For me the highlight was a paper delivered by Richard Kidd
developing the theme ‘the silence of God’; both in the sense of silence as a
grace-filled experience and silence as the absence of God. (see here for a
sermon Richard preached on this theme). It has left me wondering what the
notion of silence says about the nature of God. When we debate the mission of
God we draw a distinction between the mission of God and a missionary God
recognising that mission is an expression of God’s character but is not
necessary for God. So what about silence, what about the nature of relatedness
in which one both speaks and listens?
I really hope that Richard finds opportunity to publish his
thoughts as a paper and also to develop them in ways that enable others to
reflect on this theme; it would make an excellent retreat theme.
Do you know Rachel Muers’s book, Neil, ‘Keeping God’s Silence’ (Blackwell)? Rachel is a Quaker, teaching theology in Leeds currently. The book is her PhD, well worth a read.
Neil, sounds good. I’d be interested in hearing more.