Yesterday was a great day spent in the company of Robert Beckford, clearly someone who loves to teach and has great insights to how theology should shape what we do.
There was probably nothing new to what he had to say, but there was profound impact that moved out and beyond his content.
Here we have someone who gets hate mail from Christians who resent him challenging their presuppositions. Here we have someone who refuses to accept a glib watery theology. Someone who engages with the text in such a way that raises awkward questions. A theologian who approaches faith as something to deconstruct in order to re-build an understanding of God that is fresh and strong. Not what you would expect from someone who is proudly pentecostal.
I can't think that there was anything but challenge for those content to engage with God through what could be seen as the cosmetics of church, without through doing the hard work within the text. I can't think that there was anything but challenge for those content with doing the hard work within the text, without what could be seen as the cosmetics of church. The strength of what he had to say comes from a place in theology that can't be labelled.
I asked him whether dealing with his presuppositions had been or is painful - "not at all ... when you are secure in your faith it is exciting to be open to what is new of God, for what he wants us to enjoy is abundance of life"