by Joan Martin, from Signs of the Times No. 42 - Jul 2011

The theme of the day was related to that of the forthcoming Annual Conference which is to be on 'Reading the Bible Today - Can These Dry Bones Live?'

Each speaker drew on personal experience and reflection and all the short talks provided stimulus and challenging observations. There were differences of opinion and vigorous and animated discussion throughout the day.

Here are some sample quotes:

'The more you read the Bible in the same way that you read all other ancient literature, the better sense you will make of it and the more useful will be the conclusions you come to.'
'Can the arts reflect back to the scriptures and help us in our reading of them?
... examples from modern prose, fine art and poetry followed ...
'Should we encourage local church Bible Study groups to be set up which do not ignore critical scholarship but have an atmosphere of mutual respect and openness.'
'The Eternal Word comes before the written Word ... the Holy Spirit and prayer leads us to life-giving truth.'

The answer to the question in our theme was positive, not spelled out but implicit in our searching together for truth.