I’ve never really done a listicle before. It certainly isn’t a way I would want to ‘do’ theology. But I also want to persuade you (Especially if you are part of a Vineyard Church, leading in a Vineyard Church, studying theology in any form whilst being part of a Vineyard Church, or just care about the conversation between theology and justice) to come to Just Theology? The VCUKI 2017 Theology Symposium. So I’ve written ten short reasons why you should come:
1) Safe place to have a vital conversation. This has been a brilliant, carefully planned and welcoming space to ask hard questions. Seriously.
2) Krish Kandiah will be there and he’s great. Krish is a true theologian-activist, knowing what he’s talking about as well as being a genuinely lovely, Christ-like man. I’m biased, because I worked with him for a bit, but I don’t any more, and I’m delighted that he’ll be there to have his brains picked and share his heart with us.
3) Rob Pickersgill is doing a paper. Humble, intelligent and slow to speak, Rob is one of my favourite people that lots of other people haven’t heard of. He’ll be drawing on his unique blend of wisdom, ministry experience, and (Genuinely) interesting MA studies in Global Development at Manchester University.
4) You aren’t disembodied brains. The conference is taking place in a nice place. If you are a frazzled student, leader or pastor, this is a brilliant opportunity for a retreat. You can of course learn and engage by not coming – but it will be worth coming.
5) Worship. Worship in the Vineyard is our highest priority – and this conference takes place in the context of an atmosphere of genuine, simple, Jesus-focused worship. There won’t be (unless they’ve extended the venue, changed the organizers, and so on [and they haven’t]) any hype or smoke or lights – just Jesus, some of his followers, and simple songs. And that is a great compliment to thinking theologically.
6) I’m talking but you don’t have to listen to me. This is a mixed option. You can read my abstract here, or on the app (See below).
7) Vital Conversation – Justice is core to the Mission of God, but we often do it without thinking about it. This conversation is vital for the life and health of the Church.
8) Continued conversation – The Vineyard in the UK specifically has been talking about theology internally for a while. We’ve done it formally in 2013 and 2015. What could be next?
9) There is a brilliant App (linked to on the VCUKI Website) so you can be clued up ahead of the weekend and maximise your time! Download it for Apple or Android.
10) It is accessible – all the info, including the papers, will be available online ahead of time, there are bursaries for students, and it is in a great venue. This isn’t theology locked away, this is theology for the heart and mind of the church.
I’m looking forward to this time with some of the thinkers who occupy the bit of the Church we call the Vineyard in the UK. I’m delighted we’ve got friends from outside the Vineyard coming. I’ll probably blog about it afterwards, too.