Media-star Vicar unearths some interfaith answers in Eastbourne

Last night I had the privilege and pleasure of sharing a place  on a (long) table with BBC author and television presenter Peter Owen Jones.  The individualistic Anglican clergyman chaired an interfaith panel based on the BBC’s “Question Time” that drew an impressively full audience to Eastbourne’s Congress Suite, Winter Garden.

The event was hosted by the local Faiths Forum.  The six faith representatives – including me – had to answer questions pre-submitted by the audience, but not pre-seen by any of us, except the Chair.  It was a lively discussion with good questions and thoughtful answers!

Participating wasn’t so much a case of thinking on your feet as praying on your feet!  With the resulting touch of divine steadying this was a helpful occasion in which to offer the public a more accurate idea of the healing practice of Christian Science and to share some idea of the way that Mary Baker Eddy explains the nature of God in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

Peter Owen Jones did an excellent job of chairing the panel, keeping things moving and sprinkling in humour among the thoughtful questions and answers.  My fellow panelists (from left to right in the picture above) were: Glen Scrivener (Evangelical Christian); James Smith (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints); Rev Malcolm Weisman OBE (Judaism); Lynda Lindfield (Pagan); Abdel Rahim (Islam).

Questions continued well after the 1.5 hour panel had ended.

The Lost Gospels, authored and presented by the panel’s Chair takes a scholarly but entertaining dive into the Gospels that didn’t make it into the accepted New Testament canon.  It is currently available in nine separate parts on YouTube.  Here is part 1 of this 2010 documentary discussing how the contents of the pre-Nicene Gospels of Thomas, Peter and Mary Magdalene – among others – might have altered Christian theology if they had not been suppressed.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L7cQ3BrD5U]

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Categories: Media

Author:Tony Lobl

I write on spirituality and health for a diversity of online media outlets, from my perspective as a Christian Science practitioner. I have been published by the Independent, the Washington Post, the Guardian, E-Hospice, MindBodyGreen and The Christian Science Monitor and I post regularly on the Huffington Post UK and BuzzFeed. In addition to writing and broadcast appearances I enjoy engaging with journalists, academics, health professionals and government officials about the possibilities for improving health outcomes through a greater emphasis on spirituality in healthcare and social care. I've also greatly valued the many opportunities I have had to travel globally for my church and to meet people around the world. My wife Jenny and I spent 10 years in Boston, USA, before returning to London in 2002, to take on a role as the media and legislative liaison for Christian Science in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. I studied at the University of Surrey earning a BSc Hons Degree in Modern Mathematics before the impact of spirituality on health caught my attention and re-shaped my career.

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3 Comments on “Media-star Vicar unearths some interfaith answers in Eastbourne”

  1. November 29, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

    How open-minded — Faith Forums is promoted on a .gov.uk site.

    In the video, your panel Chair, Peter, met Bart Erhman at Nag Hammadi. I encountered Bart as a highly rated professor at teach12.net. For those inspired to learn more after watching the video, Bart teaches:
    Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication “…early Christians read and fervently followed a wide variety of Scriptures …Relying on these writings, Christians held beliefs that today would be considered bizarre.”

    Tony, was Adam a part of your conversation with Abdel Rahim? Once at a multi-faith gathering, I made a casual comment about Adam and inadvertently stepped on someone’s belief toes. Now I am more circumspect. Knowing more about one another’s faith is definitely important for a peaceful society.

  2. November 29, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    Thanks, Carolyn. No, Adam didn’t come up. And in fact the tenor of the meeting was not truly a discussion…we each had a minute or so to answer each question that was submitted, but we didn’t go back and forth among ourselves, although the Chair would occasionally come up with a follow-up question….

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Video of Eastbourne Faith Forum “Question of Faith” with Peter Owen Jones…and me! | "Oh, Lord, Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"- what Christian Science is, and what it isn't! - November 30, 2010

    [...] previously reported, I recently had the pleasure of appearing on a panel with Anglican priest, author and BBC [...]

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