Death

Turning off each other’s microphones, the home team hold the fort this week to discuss psychics, the paranormal and words of knowledge, the relationship between forgiveness and reconciliation, and unpack a question on death in the light of creation.

Which Creed best sums up the Christian faith? Graham, Mike, and Jane discuss the Nicene Creed and other ecumenical and confessional creeds of the church. And in the second part of the GodPod they address the sensitive issue of death: what happens to someone who dies who has not been baptised, or who has committed suicide?

Paul Woolley, Director of Christian think tank Theos, joins Graham and Mike to discuss the place of religion in secular society and matters of environmental and medical ethics. They consider the growth of the global church, as well as the privatisation of faith in the context of secular humanism and world religions. How should Christians be involved in the political sphere and the criminal justice system? And how does what we believe about life after death influence what we think about cremation or burial practices, the donation of organs to medical science, and our stewardship of the environment?

The regular team are joined by David Hillborn, Director of the North Thames Ministerial Training College, in considering a panoramic sweep of theological issues. The doctrine of God is high on the list, with subjects such as the nature of Jesus and the Trinity among the subjects discussed, as well as the death of Christ and life after death. And bringing this particular discussion to a conclusion, the team discuss our calling to worship God.

Following a relaxing break, Graham and Jane tell us about their summer reading: Harry Potter and Richard Dawkins. They’re later joined by Mike and Amy Orr-Ewing to discuss the place of our souls and memory after death.

Is God fair? Why does he seem to choose some people and not others? And if we can ‘just forgive’ each other, why can’t God just forgive us, without Jesus having had to die for our sins? Graham, Mike and Jane discuss the doctrines of election and atonement, and also talk about the Name of God. 

What was the nature of Jesus’ resurrection, and how does it relate to our own hope for life after death? In fact, is such hope just for our own lives or for the whole of creation? Graham, Mike, and Jane discuss the bodily resurrection of Jesus and its affirmation of the goodness of physical matter, drawing out its implications for the way we live our lives now as well as our hope for the future. They also address the question of whether there is a hierarchy in heaven. Do some people get better mansions than others?

Our three theologians grapple with the doctrine of the Trinity and its relation to the cross. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus cries out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). What does this cry of dereliction tell us about the relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Can God suffer? Can he change? Is God’s action sometimes ‘hidden’, as Pascal suggested? Graham, Mike, and Jane go on to consider the relationship between prayer and time and the nature of human participation in the work of God. Can we pray for things that have already happened? Can we pray for our loved ones who have died?

Where does evil come from? And what happens when we die? Graham Tomlin and Mike Lloyd dive straight in with two of life’s biggest questions on this, the first GodPod.

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