Gospel Conversations
David Bentley Hart in conversation with Tony Golsby-Smith - Part 3, Why did the wrong guy win?

David Bentley Hart in conversation with Tony Golsby-Smith - Part 3, Why did the wrong guy win?

September 17, 2021

Why did the wrong guy win? The Disastrous results of the rivalry between two visions of God

Gospel Conversations welcomes you to the third talk on Gregory of Nyssa between Tony Golsby-Smith and David Bentley Hart. The towering genius of Augustine casts a long and too often dark shadow over western Christianity. What would Christianity have looked like if the equal genius of Gregory had achieved such dominance? Why did the wrong guy win? Tony and David rove over these questions in a riveting conversation.

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David Bentley Hart in conversation with Tony Golsby-Smith - Part 2, on Gregory & his Sister Macrina

David Bentley Hart in conversation with Tony Golsby-Smith - Part 2, on Gregory & his Sister Macrina

August 7, 2021

Welcome to the second conversation between David and Tony on Gregory of Nyssa. ‘Gregory and his Sister on the Resurrection of all Humanity’ How a woman’s mind framed the gospel around the resurrection. In a sense that is the topic of David and Tony’s second conversation on Gregory of Nyssa. In this chat they discuss Gregory’s epic “On the Soul and the Resurrection’ which is structured as a dialogue between Gregory and his influential sister Macrina. In this dialogue Macrina is the teacher and Gregory is the dull and doubting learner. The context is poignant and personal as it is set in the immediate shadows of the death of their brother Basil, and in the imminent death of Macrina herself. Gregory is despondent in the face of this shadow of death. But Macrina leads him on a grand sweep from the beginning of all things in the mind of God to the end of all things in the ‘feast of the tabernacles’ when all mankind will be welcomed into the holy of holies. David explains why this is his favourite work on Gregory’s and how it builds an eschatological framework around the gospel unlike any others have since achieved.

David Bentley Hart in Conversation with Tony Golsby-Smith - Part 1, on Gregory of Nyssa

David Bentley Hart in Conversation with Tony Golsby-Smith - Part 1, on Gregory of Nyssa

June 11, 2021

People all over the world are rediscovering the great 4th century theologian, Gregory of Nyssa.  David Bentley Hart is an unabashed admirer of the great Cappadocian Father calling him the most innovative theologian of the early church. In this first of three interviews on Gregory’s thought and influence, David introduces us to Gregory and explains why he was the so-called ‘pillar of orthodoxy’ and yet was also a thinker who took the gospel into the widest realm of any of the church fathers.  Along the way, Tony and David compare Gregory with Coleridge, and explore the poetic eloquence which distinguished Gregory. They dive in some detail into Gregory’s masterpiece, “On the Making of Humanity” and David explains just how Gregory did nothing more profound than invent a new Christ centred anthropology – and cosmology – that rocked the ancient world.

Talk 4. Knowledge at Work: Practical stories of Faith, Hope and Love from the world of work and big change.
Knowledge is not facts, it’s a Person: Faith, hope and love in 1 Corinthians

Knowledge is not facts, it’s a Person: Faith, hope and love in 1 Corinthians

March 9, 2021

In this third talk Mark and Tony continue to explore the theme that true knowledge must be framed by faith, hope and love.  In this talk, Mark applies the new framework to 1 Corinthians, and explains how the topic of ‘knowledge’ shapes the whole book – and how the incarnation reframed knowledge around the transcendent qualities of ‘faith, hope and love’.  But this reframing challenged both the Jews and the Greeks and was in fact offensive to them both (although in different ways). Furthermore, applying this framework to practical situations, (which Paul does throughout the book) demands innovative thinking – innovative thinking that does not look for cookie-cutter answers but rather looks to Christ and the new gospel to supply the code that unlocks wisdom.

Faith, Hope and Love as ‘ways of knowing’.

Faith, Hope and Love as ‘ways of knowing’.

December 8, 2020

Here is the second conversation with Mark Strom on Faith, Hope and Love as ‘ways of knowing’. Mark is on fire in this conversation.  He takes on a roller coaster ride beginning with the famous Pauline talk to the Romans on Mars Hill right through to the ‘mount Everest’ of Christ centred thinking in the hymn of Philippians 2.  Throughout this journey Mark develops a grand theme; that every human made in God’s image is grasping towards higher meaning or ‘hope’ and this includes the idol worshipping Greeks and Romans on Mars Hill but we need the story to make sense of this ‘knowledge instinct’.  The story needs an ending – because endings make sense of stories – and the incarnation of Jesus, which climaxes in his resurrection, is the ending which makes sense for everybody. True wisdom, in fact ‘all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ are hidden in that story. Never has that verse in Colossians been more real for me than as I listened to Mark talking here.

Mark Strom: Knowledge as Faith, Hope and Love – not data & information

Mark Strom: Knowledge as Faith, Hope and Love – not data & information

November 24, 2020

We are excited to welcome back to Gospel Conversations one of our old friends, Mark Strom. Mark has blessed all of us over the years with his unique grasp of big picture holistic thinking coupled with his easy accessible way of explaining all of that: in particular Mark has been a leader in taking the gospel out of its religious box and putting it into the whole framework of reality – particularly in his work on Paul where he argues that Paul was not just a great theologian but a great philosopher who changed the way the world thinks whether they are Christians or not.

In continuing our COVID style of Zoom interviews, we have arranged this series as a dialogue between Mark and Tony – not as a presentation. Our topic continues the broad theme of ‘knowledge’ which we have been pursuing. Mark gives us a big idea – that the famous description of ‘faith, hope and love’ in 1 Corinthians 13 are aspects of true knowing not merely moral qualities. With that fresh perspective he does two revolutionary things: for Christians, he gives us a new take on discipleship and for the wider world, he gives us a new take on knowledge.  

The first talk sets the scene for this big idea – as Mark and Tony explore some of the limitations of the way we modern people/Christians think about knowledge, and then the reasons why ‘knowledge’ is so central to God’s purposes for the whole of humanity, including Christians.

The modern battleground for the soul: Mark Ridgeway on ai - talk 2

The modern battleground for the soul: Mark Ridgeway on ai - talk 2

October 14, 2020

The modern battleground for the soul is not in fact religion - it is the field of computer science. This is because we have created the aura of 'artificial intelligence' and the end of that road seems to be that machines can think better than humans can.... if that is true (and the computer Deep Blue' did in fact beat Garry Kasparov at chess) then that implies that our mind is a machine after all. So that leaves no room for the soul, or the spirit. And indeed for God. This is the background for our world today, and for any discussions we have about our faith.  One of our colleagues in Gospel Conversations, Mark Ridgway, worked in Information Technology for his entire life, and did so at senior levels. So he has a good viewpoint on this. This is the first of two talks he has done for us within our broad theme of 'knowledge'.  In the first talk, he gives us a great overview of the development of computing as an industry - including where it has hit a brick wall. In the second talk he dives into 'artificial intelligence' and the battle raging over 'Can machines think?'

Modern battleground for the soul: Mark Ridgeway - ai talk 1

Modern battleground for the soul: Mark Ridgeway - ai talk 1

October 8, 2020

The modern battleground for the soul is not in fact religion - it is the field of computer science. This is because we have created the aura of 'artificial intelligence' and the end of that road seems to be that machines can think better than humans can.... if that is true (and the computer Deep Blue' did in fact beat Garry Kasparov at chess) then that implies that our mind is a machine after all. So that leaves no room for the soul, or the spirit. And indeed for God. This is the background for our world today, and for any discussions we have about our faith.  One of our colleagues in Gospel Conversations, Mark Ridgway, worked in Information Technology for his entire life, and did so at senior levels. So he has a good viewpoint on this. This is the first of two talks he has done for us within our broad theme of 'knowledge'.  In the first talk, he gives us a great overview of the development of computing as an industry - including where it has hit a brick wall. In the second talk he dives into 'artificial intelligence' and the battle raging over 'Can machines think?'

My quest for reality- a dialogue with Esther Meek

My quest for reality- a dialogue with Esther Meek

August 28, 2020

Welcome to a special guest for Gospel Conversations – Dr Esther Meek. Esther will be front-lining our next conference in 2021 so we decided to give us all a foretaste of her wisdom and she did not disappoint!  She explains her lifelong story as to how she began a quest for truth and reality – as a 13 year old girl in a conservative Christian family. At first she thought her deep questions were sin, but eventually she found a bigger God at the end of them. Esther has pioneered an epistemology grounded in love not data. The great European scientist and thinker, Michael Polanyi, (a favourite of Mark Strom’s from many years ago) was her doorway to a human centred view of reality. Her message is full of passion and urgency – as she explains how everyone in the modern world are ‘babies of Descartes’ and thus have absorbed a lie about the nature of reality. This introductory talk will whet your appetite for more. So let’s pray that the borders relax next year and Esther can meet with us face to face.

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