We were delighted to host Ched Myers at EBM yesterday. I met him at a conference a few years ago and have been keen since to get him to Northern Ireland. He led a challenging and inspiring workshop on ‘Full Spectrum Peace Building’ to a group of social activists in Belfast.
I particularly enjoyed his commitment to serious engagement with the scripture text in response to what is often embarrassed silence among so-called left-wing Christians. Allied to that was his desire to bring the need for conversion back to the table, so long as we are aware of what we are being converted from and to.
Ched carefully exegeted Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians chapter 5 for what it means to be an ambassador of reconciliation, both in terms of what it means for our view of the atonement, but also for our activism on the ground. From here he built a theology of restorative justice before examining it as a practical approach to conflicted situations in the world.
He ended the session in a benediction, closing it with an acknowledgement that what we are aiming for is worth dying for. The image he left us with was of the plaque marking the site in Memphis where Martin Luther King was shot, which features the haunting words of Joseph’s brothers in Genesis, spoken in their jealousy.
“Behold here comes the dreamer. Let’s kill him and see what becomes of his dreams.”