Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Revisiting the past

In three week's time, the first exams will already have been finished and I'll be well on my way to the summer holidays! But before then, some work has to be done. So I'm back in Dublin now and the revision has begun.

It's always nice to vaguely remember things as you read them again from notes made up to seven or eight months ago. Slowly, they will again fill my head and be (hopefully quickly) issued forth under exam conditions with the requirement of four essays in three hours.

The first topic I revised this evening was part of the Church History Course. I was looking at the issues around the Church Temporalities Act (1833). What's that, I hear you say. Good question, is my response! But anyway, I was reading of John George Beresford who was Archbishop of Armagh at the time and of the efforts of his contemporaries to regulate the church and make the Church of Ireland more efficient by reducing the number of dioceses from 22 to 12. I'm sure they didn't think that over 170 years later, students would be reading about them and writing essays on them. Yet, their efforts affected the way the Church of Ireland is today.

So the question is: how can we ensure that in our day, we have the same courage to reform the church's structures and government as our forebears? Does the church today ensure the best conditions for advancing the kingdom by preaching the gospel?

How will history view our generation?

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