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Tom Stuckey
01425 270802

 

Tom Stuckey was President of the British Methodist Conference in 2005. This website has been set up with his wife Christine, to introduce you to our writings and encourage theological reflection both within the Methodist Church and beyond. Take a look and let us know what you think! 

Tom Stuckey   

CLICK PICTURE FOR TOM'S   PROFILE      

 


                        OCTOBER 2018 


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A special welcome to those of you who have just returned home from the SW area conference of METHODISTS FOR WORLD MISSION which met at Ammerdown over this weekend and are exploring our web-site for the first time.

Chris and I were delighted with how the Conference went and with your welcome, your conversations and your responses to our our presentations.

Have a look at our latest
Blogs  Those of you who wanted to know more about pilgrimage look below to Christine's reflections. If you wish to listen to my 2005 presidential address, which is the appendix of 'Singing the Lords Song in a Strange Land',  press Listen
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                                         MY NEW BOOK

                'SINGING THE LORD'S SONG IN A STRANGE LAND'

Can be obtained from:

Christian resources for Life (CRfl), Stoke on Trent.                           Sarum College, Salisbury.         The New Room, Bristol.                                                                Westminster Central Hall.                 Scroll Eaters, Stroud.                                          Keith Jones, Bournemouth.   

    Click HERE for reactions to the  book.     Click the picture to read a sample               

 The normal price of one book plus postage is now 10. 
                              Contact me on 
 mail1@tomstuckey.me.uk     
                                         

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                          CHRISTINE'S PAPERS
                                    
 (select below)             
                                                                         
     1. 
Pilgrimage to Lindisfarne      4.  Albanian Diary
 
       2.  MWiB District Celebration

     3.  A Pilgrimage at home        5. Pilgrimage poem
 

  

 

THIS MONTH'S REFLECTION   by Tom

            'God and Religion'   (from 'God in a world of violence')

Karl Barth says religion can be a form of unbelief. Using labels to explain God produces false gods. Thomas Aquinas, realizing this, defined God by what he is not. The result was 60 volumes of theology. The slogan There Is No God— which appeared on some London buses in 2009— was not as negative as some might suppose.

The first Christians were called “atheists” because they did not have the religious paraphernalia of temple, sacrifices, images and priests. The very word ‘God’ suggests an object, something which can be defined and examined. The Old Testament word for ‘God’ as far as grammar is concerned is not a noun but a verb which could translated as ‘I am’ or ‘I will be’, or ‘I am becoming.’

God is a dynamic, transcendent, unknowable mystery. Every attempt to find God is like trying to catch the waves of the sea with a fishing net.  Any claim to do things ‘in the name of God’ steers very close to idolatry.

Does this mean we can say nothing about God?  At the heart of the World’s Great Faiths is the idea of creation and revelation. We cannot find God but he can find us. This is an affirmation which lies at the root of the three great Abrahamic Faiths.

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 LAST MONTH'S REFLECTION by Tom 

                              The End of the Church?'   (See Von Balthazar's essay)

Although Peter is called to abandon his boat, Jesus returns to it for preaching, teaching and travel. For Matthew the boat is an important symbol of Church. The message of the Synoptic Gospels is clear; the little band of disciples will survive the storms and the tempests which assail the Church. However, at the end of John’s Gospel the boat image fades when Peter becomes a shepherd.

 Luke retains the boat image of Church and, from his knowledge of the Old Testament stories of Noah and Jonah, makes the most of it in the final chapters of Acts. The boat of the Gospels now becomes a large cargo ship carrying a motley crowd of passengers. He graphically describes how the ship, caught in a cross wind, is driven by the storm. Cargo is jettisoned and finally the ship’s tackle. ‘All hope of being saved is finally abandoned’ (Acts 27.20). Paul however disagrees. His hope springs from God’s promise. This hope is communicated to the passengers through a celebration of the Eucharist. No lives are lost even when the ship eventually splinters and breaks apart on a sandbank. Clinging to bits of maritime debris all the travellers make it safely to the shore.  For Balthasar this is the eschatological mystery of the Church. He concludes: 

'The Church herself, as the body of Christ, will not escape in her visibility and her institutional character….The risen Lord too is once more a visible form but one that has passed through the gulf of the abyss.'  

He makes this affirmation because the post-Easter Church ‘retains Good Friday and Holy Saturday at the centre, where the human form and visibility of God are swept away, extinguished and buried’.    

 
  Boards and President