college travels

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Cambridge (again)

For long term followers of this blog you may recall posts from January 2007 from me at the international conference of the iasym (international association for the study of youth ministry) in Cambridge in the UK. Being a biennial conference here I am back in chilly England (where it was snowing this morning - quite beautiful, very cold).

perhaps there'll be some longer reflections on the conference from me in the future, but for now I'll just say that it has been an experience for me, and one that I've heard expressed by others, of Proverbs 27:17, 'as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens the wits of another'.

This is a truly international conference - with delegates from the UK, USA, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, India, Singapore and Australia among others. Truly amazing is the ability of those with English as their second language to engage in academic discussion in English! Their English is much better than my Norwegian.

The delegates are also from a whole range of Christian confessional and denominational backgrounds. It's a challenge to listen carefully and to understand how one persons understanding is shaped by their context and how my response is shaped by my own context.

The danger of course is to decend into relativism - where we all have a valid experience to share but that's all.

My paper in part was making a bid for calling us all to a clearer place for the ministries of the Word in our youth ministry so that it would be clear that we're being directed by God. The challenge is to hear others in a way that helps me read the Scriptures and hear the voice of God more clearly.

There's also great value in being face to face with people, particularly with the people we disagree with. And so it's a privilege to be able to travel across the other side of the world to have this time together.

Still half a day to go of the conference - I'm praying that our time together will continue to be effective and that God would guide the thinking and reflection of those who are here.

1 Comments:

  • Look forward to hearing some more reflections on the trip, Deano :)

    Did you write a new paper, or was it based on a previously written one?

    Relativism is particularly difficult to deal with when others subscribe to it and are so adamant at promoting it. Ah the struggles of holding onto truth in a post modern world...

    By Blogger Luke, at 1:17 pm  

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