Let me start by thanking you all for expressing interest in Going Deeper.
It has been absolutely wonderful seeing this project spring to life.
Some of you have been able to attend one of our first two sessions.
I know that a few more of you are keen to come along, but haven't managed to do so just yet.
Everyone is welcome!
In the first session, we launched this new space with a conversation about what it means to love God with all your heart, soul, mindand strength.
What does it look like to love God with your mind (Luke 10:27)?
'Theology' is a word to describe the human task of thinking and speaking about God.
How do we begin to put into limited human words the uncontainable reality of almighty God, maker of heaven and earth?
What does it look like to reflect and meditate and wrestle with and ponder the mystery of this God who is beyond us and yet draws near to us?
There is an important distinction between wanting to know things 'about' God ... and longing to know God for oneself.
Theology can be a spiritual discipline, a pattern of discipleship, a path by which we can encounter the very presence of God in humility and wonder.
In the second session, we talked about how the early Christians came to think and speak about the God revealed in the person of Jesus.
We did that by exploring the ancient words of the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed.
Both of these sessions were laying some of the groundwork for what Going Deeper is all about and for the sort of topics we'll be looking at in the coming months.
Thus far there has been a bit more of an emphasis on teaching input from the front.
Going forward, however, our sessions will increasingly centre around discussion, conversations, and the open sharing of your questions, perspectives, insight and experience.
Each month we'll take a deep dive into a broad topic.
In advance, I'll circulate a range of different resources to enrich our reflection and deepen our learning (podcasts, videos, images, quotes, articles, etc).
Please note that you are NOT at all required to use these resources in order to come along and be part of the sessions.
These tools are not there to be a burden or an extra expectation.
I offer them simply as a resource for you to browse and enjoy as you find helpful.
Of course, our conversations will be richer and deeper if some of us are able to invest a bit of time thinking about the ideas in advance.
But do what works for you, knowing that you can always just turn up on the night and enjoy.
In light of all this, allow me to table a handful of resources that you might find helpful to explore in your own time as we wade into the deeper waters of the Creeds.
For starters, I've attached a copy of my slides.
See below for a several resources you might find useful if you are keen to explore these ideas any further:
The Church of England on the Creeds
Michael F. Bird: 'What is the Apostles' Creed?' (5 mins)
Michael F. Bird: 'Christian Creeds for Beginners' (21 mins)
Stephen Croft (Bishop of Oxford): 'I Believe in God' (8 mins)
Pete Greig sermon series at Emmaus Rd: 'Credo'
Ben Myers (wonderful theologian) on the Apostles' Creed: 'I Believe' (24 mins)
Robert Barron (Roman Catholic bishop and a brilliant theologian) on the Nicene Creed: 'I Believe' (45 mins)
GodPod: 'Creeds: Why Do We Have Creeds?'
In Our Time: 'The Nicene Creed'
OnScript: ‘The Apostles’ Creed’ (with Ben Myers & Natasha Kennedy)
A Few Wonderful Books
Barron, Robert. Light from Light: A Theological Reflection on the Nicene Creed (Park Ridge, IL: Word on Fire Academic, 2021).
Bird, Michael F. What Christians Ought to Believe: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine Through the Apostles’ Creed (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016).
Hart, Trevor. Confessing and Believing: The Apostles’ Creed as Script for the Christian Life (Fortress Press, 2022).
Kochanski, Martin. The Creed in Slow Motion: An Exploration of Faith, Phrase by Phrase, Word by Word (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2022).
Lash, Nicholas. Believing Three Ways in One God: A Reading of the Apostles’ Creed (London: SCM, 1992).
McGrath, Alister E. Christian Belief for Everyone: Faith and the Creeds (London: SPCK, 2013).
Myers, Ben. The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2018).
Williams, Rowan D. Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2007).
I hope that's of some help!
Looking forward to carrying on the conversation at our next Going Deeper session on Thursday 11 August.