Winter School for 2015 has focused on the movement of Christianity towards the centre of Roman life in the 4th century AD.* Andrew Barry helped us engage with how the early church operated when it was on the outside and even at times under state-sponsored persecutions. Something not unfathomable for the church here in Australia in the 21st Century! The year 313 AD was a momentous year when in the Edict of Milan, the emperor ended the official persecution of Christianity within the Roman Empire even aligning himself with the Christians.
The thing I want to focus briefly on here is why do we bother thinking about this and what value is there in doing some hard thinking?
In our culture of sound bites and 140 characters, thoughtful and in-depth consideration seems so unnecessary. However, thinking is important to Christianity. It always has been and it always will be. Not that Christianity is a faith only for the intellectually elite, [far from it!], but thinking about who God is, what he has done and what he has revealed in his word by his Spirit are vital to our Christian walk.
“To think or not to think, that is the question?” — an unthinking church is susceptible to every wind of teaching and every falsity (Eph 4:14; 1 Tim 3:1-17)! The power of inquiry and questions can certainly be undervalued in our modern media saturated world. A thinking church that in faith seeks understanding is a church that will stand the test of the times and remain firmly grounded in the truth about God, his world and his word. May we continue to give ourselves again to contemplation and thinking about the things of God!