Dean's Blog

Five Days at Katafiyio

Katafiyio 1 Katafiyio 2Katafiyio the Diocesan Retreat House is aptly named – a place of refuge- and I slipped away there on Gulf Air to Cyprus for five peaceful and refreshing days; reading reflecting, walking, praying- it is set in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains so there are some lovely walks in the immediate surrounds.

Katafiyio 3I’ll allow the photos to tell their story but the two books I took to read were How God became King by Tom Wright, the very prolific New Testament scholar and formerly Bishop of Durham. His concern is to restore what he sees as the central theme of the gospels that, in Jesus’ life and ministry, God became KingGod’s kingdom was coming then and there on earth as in heaven. I noticed that there is a youtube film of a lecture by Tom Wright on the same theme I realized that some of the themes that emerged in the book impacted on my preaching this weekend, so the book had had its effect on my thinking already.

Evangelical UniversalistThe other book which I’d been given some time ago, but hadn’t yet read was The Evangelical Universalist by Gregory MacDonald, which wrestles with the doctrine of hell while aiming to be faithful to the Bible and to  Katafiyio 4orthodox Christian teaching as expressed in the creeds of the Church. This picture of goats wasn’t meant to link in with the theme of this book – I just happened to meet them on one of my walks in the hills – but I was less satisfied with his resolution of the problem than JAT Robinson’s book In the end God.  And in the end I’m happy to leave the resolution of this ‘hell of a problem’ to God.