Roger is Senior Research Associate in Natural Disasters at the Faraday Institute. He holds a PhD in the practical theology of disaster response in the UK, which he gained from the University of Wales, following over thirty years in church pastoral ministry. He runs a consultancy in pastoral care of trauma, and he teaches modules in the pastoral response to trauma at the Wales Evangelical School of Theology.
In keeping with the Valentine's mood, we will explore a biblical love story. It has all the necessary ingredients to be a modern day soap-opera. You have sexual chemistry, a love triangle, betrayal and of course, inner emptiness. Fortunately in the Christian walk, romance is not the ultimate source of happiness, however, we learn from this biblical love story that when romance occupies its proper place, it can go from soap opera to becoming something quite beautiful.
We may live in a secular, progressive, post-christian world where the pursuit of individual authenticity trumps all. But Jesus still haunts this culture and undermines it in creative ways. Most importantly, He offers meaning to a disenchanted world. In this talk we engage secularism with the relevance of the Gospel.
Whether you are listening to a song in your car or to a sermon in your church, chances are that you'll hear a lot about two types of relationships. (1) Romantic relationships will dominate the songs you listen to and the movies you watch, whilst (2) family relationships will dominate your church experience. As a matter of fact, most churches go out of their way to promote themselves as 'family churches' and most romantic propositions promote themselves as being 'more than friends'. But where does that leave friendship?
Stanley Hauerwas once claimed that Saints cannot exist without a community, as they require, like all of us, nurturance by a people who, while often unfaithful, preserve the habits necessary to learn the story of God.”
This challenges our individualistic culture, but the reality is that Jesus does not only save you from your sins, but weaves you into a new community. Hence, following Jesus is something you cannot do alone.