Dublin region CU Staff Worker, Catrin, writes:

Bible and culture 2“Everyone has two sets of beliefs, the one they say they believe and the one they act on. What they act on is what they really believe.” – Francis Schaeffer

In the midst of the World Cup frenzy Len and I headed to Germany for the IFES run residential summer school, Bible & Culture.  We were 25 people from 15 different countries in Eurasia from Kazakhstan to Finland, Latvia to Italy.  The aim of the course? To answer these 3 questions: Where is God in the world today?  If His word is alive and relevant how does it speak to His world?  If we proclaim Christ as Lord – so what? What does it mean when the rubber hits the road for us to talk of Jesus as ‘Lord”?

In our world of suspicion and cynicism, we were challenged to test everything – and to look for the good as Paul invites us in 1 Thessalonians 5:21. Each week was given to various aspects of studying the Bible and culture. The first week tackled issues of identity, worldviews, and Genesis.  The second week we studied the book of Hosea and had a choice between 3 elective modules; engaging with politics, art, or business. We asked what is truth, faith, freedom, spirituality, reality, what is our authority, what is absolute and what is relative. We learnt how to follow Jesus’ example of asking good questions and listening to the answers, we went out onto the streets of Berlin to listen, to its shopping malls to observe, we dug deep into Bible passages and grappled with seeing what was there and how to interpret it.

We learnt how to prepare Bible talks, execute them and give and receive feedback in small groups.  We watched films and critiqued them according to our worldview. We ate in the sun. We played volleyball and kayaked in lakes. We learnt much about God. That He alone is God, and that God is never alone. That we were made to love God and love others. That no other god has wounds but Christ who was wounded for us to be healed.

What a worthwhile investment for anyone with a free two weeks to one month in July next year. Start planning ahead now!