It’s been an interesting couple of days. One of the local papers has heard about Pub Theology and have been trying to arrange an interview for quite a while now. One reporter came to a pub theology session back in June and seemed to enjoy stuff but for some reason the story never happened.
Yesterday another reporter spent some time with me asking for information so that the paper could write a story about pub theology as ‘others may be interested’. Although I am always wary of the press (who is not?) the paper seems genuine and we decided the right thing to do would be to give an interview.
The reporters main interest seemed to be the fact that we were a bunch of people that met to discuss for the pure aim of speaking with and listening to each other, without anyone, whether they have a faith or no faith, trying to convert the other to their way of thinking. The reporter mentioned to me that in other societies he had seen dialogue as the norm but that in this country there were few places for open, agenda free, dialogue. Because of our ‘dialogue thing’ he was very interested in letting other people know so that they have the opportunity to join in.
I think that sums up pub theology quite well – a place for open, genuinely agenda free, dialogue. In fact I think that pretty much sums up what theology is aboutas well. If dialogue is not agenda free then it becomes debate and debate becomes competition and competition means it is all about being right. Dialogue means it is all about hearing each others views and taking those on board as you (re)form your own opinions.
My experience tells me that you never quote know how things will turn out in the newspaper after things have been edited (sometimes not even by the reporter themselves), but I really hope that genuine open dialogue thing will come through.