Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thought for the Day
Good Morning Scotland
BBC Radio Scotland
Tuesday, August 24th

The Australians have had an election a bit like our last UK election. With results too close to call, a handful of independents now find themselves with an awful lot of power. Add to this the claim in the news yesterday that the SNP and Scottish Labour – also neck and neck in opinion polls - are having quiet talks about a coalition next time around.

Minority governments and coalitions are given a generally negative slant in the British media. Wouldn’t it be better to have had a clear opinion one way or another – to be able to say that the people had spoken?

Haven’t they? They have, of course. The populace is simply of more than one opinion. And while it may drive the purist in either party nuts, that divided opinion is the raw material of the next election.

Given all that faces any western democracy today in terms of finance, civil society, security and commerce it’s not surprising that there is more than one opinion floating around and that countries will be governed from time to time by a series of unlikely and initially unwilling partnerships.

The Christian tradition has had its share of lessons in the demise of certainty. Consensus was clearer, once, about our role in the larger society. We were even more certain about our own history and about the documents which accounted for Christianity’s emergence. We may try to recreate the circumstances wherein everything was clear but life is different now for many of us.

Working clergy will be ministering in their towns and villages cheek to jowl with people who are different from them – who have a different conception of God - even no conception of God.

We take it for granted, now, that faith works alongside doubt. Certainty is tempered by the experience of difference around us and forced by that experience to be more inclusive of the whole of reality.

What it produces as a result is more and not less.

Risked and hammered by what we thought it was not, it ends up being much more than we started with.

An audio link is available for a limited time HERE. TFTD begins at 1:22.11 - halfway along the audio bar.