I attended a clergy study morning on Thursday and was disappointed that most of the material covered was a straightforward summary of the basics of theological reflection with some case studies. Having spent the last ten years teaching ordinands and lay ministers how to engage in theological reflection I was beginning to despair of a wasted morning. However, in amongst the familiar there is usually some gold and it came in the form of a comment that resonated with me and I think several other participants. The speaker related an insight drawn from a particular experience about the use of the Christian tradition in theological reflection. She spoke about the need to move away from using the tradition as a fig leaf to using it as a bay leaf. In other words we should not use the tradition, in particular the Bible, to legitimise or justify our predetermined reflections but allow the tradition to infuse and flavour our reflections. An important reminder and an effective image, so the morning was not entirely wasted. The session ended with an excellent Shepherd's Pie for lunch, though I'm not sure if it was flavoured with a bay leaf.
Living in Essex with a very understanding family (understanding of my mood swings relative to Man Utd's fortunes), a dog named Branoc, rabbits and chickens (when the fox doesn't eat them). Team Rector of the Great Baddow Team Ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford. I'm also a non-residentiary Canon of Chelmsford Cathedral and I enjoy hitting and kicking things, which I call drumming. The picture in the header is by Nathan Brisk.