Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Christ and the credit crunch

Just out of a gruelling faculty meeting. We are concerned at the credit crunch. And how then we should live as Christians in times like these? So at Laidlaw College, we’re offering a seminar:

Christ and the credit crunch, Thursday 26 March, 7-9 pm, 70 Condell Ave.

We want it to be a conversation between the biblical and theological faculty of Laidlaw College and business and community leaders. What is happening with the global economic crisis at the level of our local community? Do the Bible and theology have anything to say? How then should we live in times like this?

We’re all as nervous as kittens. We do have a theoretical confidence that the Christian gospel should be able to speak to our times. We also know that very few people do seem to have answers at the moment. We all know the perception that academics and theologians know nothing about real life! We’re the hosts and we don’t want to talk to ourselves. Nor do we want to deny voice, our voice, or that of the wider community.

So how to set up a conversation? And so began the gruelling back and forth, trying to nail a process. A guiding slogan has been “Not the last word, but perhaps a start.” (A twist on Groove booklets).

Here’s the result. We’re going to try a model of reflection which starts with concrete experience, invites reflection on that experience, offers theoretical frameworks, which might start active experimentation.

So we’ve invited a business person to share their experience of the credit crunch (concrete experience). Then a panel (retail business person, public research company, grassroots community budgetry advisor) will reflect on what for them are the key questions and concerns that emerge from the concrete experience). Three of our faculty staff will then offer ‘ancient wisdom’, wondering what the stories of Jesus, the people of Israel and the economic saints of the New Testament might say if they were here today (theoretical frameworks). Back to the panel for their thoughts on “active experimentation” and how we might live, followed by time in table groups, brainstorming potential connections and ways forward. And timings to ensure equal voice between theology and business/community.

So what do you think of the process? And what would you want to say if you were me? I have 10 minutes to address the questions: Do the Bible and theology have anything to say in the credit crunch? How then should we live in times like this?

Posted by steve at 02:53 PM

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