The other day I (Matthew) presented a paper at a little conference at Oxford University. It was hosted by the Society for Liturgical Studies, and held at Merton College, Oxford, part of which is pictured above. My paper was entitled: "Liturgy of Grace, Practice of Autonomy: Confusion in Corinth". I outlined my conception of Paul's message in 1 Corinthians, and used this as a basis to suggest that a liturgy of grace is honoured by a spirituality of dependent reception. Feel free to ask if you're interested in more detail. The talk seemed to be received well enough - and I was pleased that a number of people wanted to talk to me afterwards about my paper. Oxford is a beautiful place, although as an outsider, the university leaves you with a certain impression of its overall ethos... Perhaps it can best be encapsulated in the following picture:
Next week I will be giving a talk at Nottingham University, organised by the Christian Union as an evangelistic event for theology students. (Many people in the UK study theology for philosophical reasons or in order to have a well-rounded education, rather than because they have Christian convictions or ministry aspirations.) Again, as you might expect, I'll be working from 1 Corinthians, this time with the title "Theology With Your Eyes Shut." I'll be looking at the theme of Christ's present hiddenness - and the implications of this for living as a Christian.
Another talk I've been asked to give is at a Saturday men's breakfast at our church, in a couple of months. The theme will be "In Christ alone my hope is found"... I'm thinking of using 1 Corinthians!