I have to confess that I had never heard of Thun before my invitation the 5th Triennial Consultation of the Micah Network in Switzerland. But now I shall never forget. Switzerland is so consistently beautiful. Every visit I have made to this nation has left me with the impression that it would have to try very hard to look untidy. Somehow, its beauty seems to hover above all the condemnation it receives about Swiss bank accounts on a regular basis.
With the exception of a nice boat ride, this conference also managed to insulate me from the rest of the world for most of the week. But it managed to do so whilst giving me things to think about. Micah Network (one of Micah Challenge's two parenting bodies) is a network of Christian NGOs and specialists whose principle task it is to help churches understand the radical nature of the gospel which harmonises Bible talk and Bible deeds: integral mission. But this is one of the few global events which has really felt global. Usually 'global events' feel like an American or British template into which all other cultures and nationalities squeeze in order to become global. But this wasn't that. There was an organic cultural seamlessness about the event in which Africans, Asians and Europeans seemed to share the same space without silly pretensions. The phenomenon has everything to do with the fact that Micah Network has been DNA'd by Latin American theological reflection, which has been quietly shaping evangelical thinking for the past 3 decades.
The combination of workshops on subjects varying from corruption and persecution to theological training and families, all felt like global discussions. There were a lot of good things said and some real testimonies of changed attitudes and renewed vision. None of the content pretended to be radical, but there was one comment that kept coming through the presentations more persistently than I have heard in any conference for some time. C.B Samuel, the Indian Bible teacher summed it up on the final morning. "What we need", he said, "is not more learning, but more obedience." This event had a quiet nagging note which has left me more unsettled than I can remember in a long while.
I hope I wasn't the only one.
- 08/11/2012 10:03 - The Jesus Agenda and the American Manifesto
- 01/11/2012 09:54 - Superstorm Sandy
- 24/10/2012 09:20 - 'World days' and the 1.4 billion
- 02/10/2012 09:24 - Making Sense of a Good God
- 24/09/2012 14:50 - Give Us This Day 0.7%