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ss nucleus - spring 1999,  Wide Open

Wide Open

Caroline Ashby, Nucleus Editor, reports on an excellent new summer course.

Are you struggling to respond to today's pluralistic society as a faithful witness for Christ? Then you may be interested in Wide Open, an intensive four week course at the Institute of Contemporary Christianity in London.

Last summer I joined 50 other Christians in their twenties from around the world to tackle issues as diverse as: 'Should Christians back the euro?', 'How can we respond to postmodernism?' and 'How green is the gospel?' .

The teaching was split between lectures and discussion groups. Roy McCloughry gave six thought provoking talks covering economics, consumer society, politics and democracy. These are subjects that I had barely thought about, much less studied from a Christian point of view. In contrast to the immorality of capitalism it was humbling to realise our responsibility as Christians to express the same grace, mercy and love to others, in all our dealings with them, as we have been shown by God.

David Prior used Ephesians 2:1-10 to help us develop a theology of work. The necessity of genuine integrity in the workplace particularly struck me. If Christ is not integrated into all areas of our lives we will disintegrate as Christians. We also considered the biblical basis of mission. I was confronted with our need to know the people to whom we are trying to witness, and understand where they are coming from. I was also challenged to make myself more vulnerable and allow my friends to know who I really am, so they can understand what it means to be a Christian, and see both the incredible joy and struggles it brings.

The social side of things included educating the Americans in the finer points of football during France '98, relaxing in Regents Park and sightseeing in London. It was wonderful to study and enjoy fellowship with an international group of committed Christians. I cannot recommend this course highly enough to anyone who has a desire to apply their mind, develop a contemporary biblical Christian worldview, and transform it into a way of life.

Wide Open '99: 28 June to 23 July 1999. Write for details to: The Institute of Contemporary Christianity, St Peter's Church, Vere Street, London W1M 9HP or pick up a leaflet at the CMF National Students' Conference.

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