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A House Group for the Global Village? (Join Lay Anglicana for Lent)

We are social animals

It is a truism to say that we live in a global village – my twitterverse and blogosphere (and I  imagine yours as well) include residents of Australia, Canada, Guatemala, New Zealand and the USA. These ‘groups’ are permeable, transitory and fluid.  Because my major interest is in Christianity, and I am guessing that if you read this website yours is too, it seems likely that many of the people in our separate groups overlap. This is truly a ‘Big Society’!

‘Genesis…tells us of the provenance of human society in a world in which it is not good to be alone. Adam and Eve’s togetherness is fundamental to who they are; it is the state in which they exist, not chosen but given…our social state is just as real and …there is no way of escaping it; we are social creatures whether we like it or not…Hooker…reasoned that…rich forms of being together were necessary if people were to be true to their human nature. ..Four centuries later William Temple said much the same thing…[they] contend that alone none of us can live the life we aspire to: we need other people to make up for what we lack. A life lived in profound relationship with others is a successful life.’

So say Malcolm Turnbull and Donald McFadyen in ‘The state of the Church and the Church of the State‘.


A house group for Lent

If you accept this, it is understandable that when we study the Bible, many of us like to exchange ideas with others about the interpretation of texts that are nearly two thousand years old, and almost no one is reading in the original language. Hence, in part, the Big Bible Project and the Big Read 2012.

This year, we at Lay Anglicana thought that we would try to form a permeable, transitory and fluid house group on our forum to join the Big Read 2012 in studying Mark’s gospel and Tom Wright’s book. There is something rather special about joining in with people from all over the world to discuss the same gospel extract on the same day: we will really set the ether buzzing!

The idea is to use the existing Lay Anglicana Forum. One or two people have suggested possibly more exciting ideas such as Skype, MSN and Google+. It is true that forums (OK, fora!) are “so five years ago” as someone said, but they have the advantage of offering the time for considered assessment and still seem to work well for the Ship of Fools, who have been discussing John’s gospel since 2006 and have only just reached Chapter 6 they have so much to say to each other! Their discussion is on the Kerygmania  board, and is extremely erudite. I hope that we will take our ‘Goldilocks theology’ line from Tom Wright so that any erudite theologians amongst us will temper their exegetic wind to the shorn lambs in the group!


Please join us

If you would like to join us, I am afraid you will need to register as a member of the forum here. I am sorry that it is necessary to ask you to do this, but spam members and comments have made it necessary. (This is not an ulterior way of recruiting you as permanent members – I will cheerfully cancel your membership after Lent if you would like me to do so!). You may find it helpful to get a copy of Tom Wright’s book on Mark, but it is not essential as we will be putting up the relevant extract for each day, together with Professor Wright’s translation of the relevant verses.


How it works

I am hoping the mechanics need not be too complicated. We will ask you to begin by reading the chosen extract from Mark each day, either from your own Bibles or from Professor Wright’s translation.  The relevant Wright text for the day will be posted on the forum (in maroon typeface to distinguish it from our comments) There will be podcasts. We will then discuss. Let’s hope it works!


The illustration is ‘The Word’ by Tim Coleman via 12Baskets. He says:

The image is about the Bible. It rests on the earth; Scroll = old testament; pages = new testament; dove = inspiration of the Holy Spirit; Tree = root of Jesse; Pathway = Highway of holiness; Signpost = John the Baptist; path way leads to the cross the tomb and the Heavenly city; God the creator speaks (top RH corner)


This post was originally written for the Big Bible Project, for whom I write as a digidisciple.


I wish to record our thanks to SPCK, the publishers, and 12Baskets for enabling us to post the extracts from Tom Wright’s book on the forum.

7 comments on this post:

Kathryn de Belle said...

I’d like to join, I think.I tried to buy the book yesterday but sold out.It’s good that you want to keep it simple by using your site, which I will join.

Lay Anglicana said...

You will be very welcome. It is essentially discussing the gospel, so Tom Wright’s book is an extra really. You will be able to watch his podcasts if you want to, and that will give us a steer so we have some idea of what to discuss. Should be interesting!

11 February 2012 21:37
11 February 2012 21:31
UKViewer said...

I need to actually get around to reading the book. Another thing, I’m doing some blogs for the #digidisciple so, probably busy Lent this year.

Lay Anglicana said...

I realise that – and you’ve still got interviews and so on ahead as well. Any time you can give will be great, but please don’t feel under any pressure.

11 February 2012 21:52
11 February 2012 21:45
Joyce said...

Anything but Skype please. Skype’s font is far too tiny. Everything else can be done on other IMs anyway. I have a tendency to take things literally and so at first I thought a house group was going to be ‘live’with us all on cameras in our various homes.Forums/fora makes better sense,epecially considering time differences.However,I am happy to chat online with any member who would like to, so long as it’s not on Skype.

12 February 2012 04:26
Lindy said...

Skype doesn’t work well where I live (PRC) nor does any kind of real-time encounter. I appreciate this forum. I’ve been following along for two days just by clicking over from Facebook. All I can say is BRAVA! I am doing some other things for Lent, but I’ve really enjoyed this and I am recommending it to friends. Thanks!

Lay Anglicana said...

Hi Lindy, and thanks for your ‘Brava’! We do need as many people as possible to comment on the forum to get everyone else’s brain going, but I equally welcome ‘lurkers’ – sometimes it is nice just to hover above a forum discussion and enjoy the exchanges. Either way, it is great to talk to you. Especially if PRC means the People’s Republic of China? Wow!

23 February 2012 11:16
23 February 2012 11:09

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