We did pub theology again last night in Wetherspoons and started with a great question from Jim. It went something like:
‘taking on board Ecclesiastes saying there is a time or season for everything, we could interpret that to say there is a time to turn to God and a time to turn away; and taking the incident of Peter denying Jesus 3 times before the cock crowed while realising that an admission of being a disciple could have resulted in him being crucified along with Jesus whereas the denial meant he kept his life and God was able to use him to build the church … is there ever a time when it is right to deny Christ?’
It was a good question and I don’t think my writing has done it the justice is deserves. We chatted and batted this around a fair bit, taking in pre-destination along with those awkward moments in the bible (such as when Joshua’s spies ‘spend the night’ with Rahab the prostitute). We came up with very mixed views with some saying it is always right to stand up for what you believe in while others saying sometimes it would be important to keep the bigger picture in mind with a denial allowing other great things to happen.
It’s an interesting question which I have continued to dwell on over the last few hours – it is easy to say immediately say ‘no, of course not!’ Sometimes, though, I wonder if we don’t need to consider things just a little longer – which I find quite difficult here as my massive gut reaction is to say I need to stand up for Jesus.
Pub theology, as an event, is a good time. We have fun, we drink, some eat … and we even get a bit of theology thinking in there as well.