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.