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Paul is in prison, like a caged lion, and is being driven to distraction by the stories he is hearing from the great city of Ephesus. In a city of such vigorous, often louche, cultural and religious variety, the newly-founded church is arguing with itself rather than living out the gospel of love and the love of Jesus.
We are living in times which are at least as vigorously various as Ephesus was two millennia ago, culturally, religiously and, especially, non-religiously. We can do louche too. And what do we see? The Church arguing with itself.
College - Chaplain - Breadth - Interest - Questions
In the college which I serve as chaplain, there is a real breadth of genuine interest in questions of meaning, value, and personal worth. But in my experience many, if not most, students are not especially interested in what the Church might have to say, whether it presents a united face or not. Not that they are hostile; there is very little of that Dawkins angry atheism here. Most of the time there is simply indifference to the stuff of mainstream church life and conversation.
For some, that indifference might be marbled, so to speak, by a vague awareness of what happens here in our chapel (usually as a cultural phenomenon that can be nice to experience now and then); or by the determined proselytizing of a certain brand of bright-eyed but hard-nosed evangelism; or by stories on social media about the church’s tortuous fights over the role of women in leadership or matters of sexuality and gender identity.
None - Marbling - Student - Light - Beauty
None of that “marbling” is likely to lead an otherwise indifferent student, or even a potentially interested one, towards the life-giving light and beauty of the love of God — the love which we know best from the stories of Jesus, the God-made-man, the love which animates all that...
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