Today I attended an inter-church dialogue featuring N.T. Wright as the keynote speaker. I can't remember the title of it, but it was something long-winded that probably took a general synod months to formulate. There is a lot I could share from the day, but here is a little snippet that is something of a personal milestone - the moment I first felt like a theologian.
It was in a seminar on Hope and History. We talked about remembering rightly, about the need to learn from the past and to pursue an ethical vision for the future. We talked about lament and repentance and the general ignorance of history amongst young people today. We talked about upcoming commemoration services and what the response to them might be. But over all this discussion, one woman's question on the violence inherent to our national identity remained unanswered. We even came back to it having acknowledged our oversight, yet immediately we moved on. But just as the discussion was about to be wrapped up, I dropped my bombshell on the playground of Irish theologians [!]. It took the form of an honest question:
When did it become possible to be a Christian and to be violent?
This, I think, is a historical, ethical and theological question that needs to be answered if the church is ever to speak of "hope" in any meaningful, christian sense of the word.
And with that question, my 15 minutes ended and the feeling of absolute theologian-ness vapourised, remembered only on a blog that diminishes my chance of ever being considered a serious theologian with every passing post.
It was fun while it lasted, though.