Thank God for BBC’s i-player. Ironically I am on a lent course with the church I attend when these talks are broadcast each Wednesday evening, but the magic of the web means I don’t miss out.
The one I heard tonight was called “No God’s Land” and was given by former MP and broadcaster Martin Bellwho describes himself as “an anglican with doubts”. His talk explores the nature of godforsakeness- in war zones -places where God may not be present at all , or if he is his presence is invisible
Bell says Lent is now an unfavoured season, out of kilter with the times but calls it a seasonal reality check in a world so full of chatter and computer based activity (including this blog) that we have trouble distinguishing the real from the virtual. He says that there are so many conflicting versions of truth that it’s even tough for the non-believers to know what not to believe! There are too many barriers to block the light and hinder understanding. Bell suggests that our hold on reality is shaky enough as it is and we need to switch our various devices off for a while so we can being to separate virtual from the real. he advocates going on holiday to recent war zones as a way of getting truly grounded in some of the scenes from hell written on darkest pages of human history which will stop us in our tracks and make us think. After all, says Bell, isn’t that the point of lent?
I won’t be able to visit Bosnia or Croatia but in the spirit of what Martin Bell suggests I will cease blogging each Wednesday in Lent and let the BBC broadcasts do the talking for me.
You only have a couple of days to check this out so listen now at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00htwhj/Lent_Talks_In_No_Gods_Land/