Yesterday I went to Catalyst Live in Manchester, a new event put together by BMS world mission. The day aimed to help Christian leaders think about the ‘Mission of the Mind’, bringing together speakers with backgrounds in theology, apologetics, science and culture.
I’d been a bit wary of an event with so many different speakers but the format worked well; like a series of TED talks though some speakers got longer than 20 minutes . One of the speakers, Lucy Berry, is a poet who helped bring variety but also opened up questions from a different perspective.
The headline contributor was Jurgen Moltmann; now getting on in years but without doubt one of the most significant theologians of our age. He spoke about hope; the lines that particularly caught my attention were “sin is separation from the life God has given you” and “when hope for a common life dies, the killing begins”.
My favourite speaker was Yohanna Katanacho, from Bethlehem Bible College, who spoke about being a Palestinian Arab Israeli Christian and how God had transformed his life, enabling him to love those he previously hated.
Four of the twelve speakers were women and at least three of the twelve didn’t come from white, European backgrounds.
Overall an excellent day. If they do it again I'd encourage them to make all the speakers (with maybe the exception of one headline speaker) do TED style 20 minute talks, I'd also create more space for interaction and discussion. It's also interesting to note that BMS is slowly changing its relationship with churches and the UK Baptist Unions by doing things which help equip, encourage and support mission within the UK.
Video and other recordings of the event (and the one held in Reading) will appear on the Catalyst Live website early next week.