In leading small group Bible study, 9 times out of 10 we will come to some agreement about the meaning of something that isn’t clear. Of the 1 time in 10 we don’t come to clarity, 9 out of 10 times, we see that the available explanations are acceptable to us even if we might not agree. But once in a while, we do hit an issue where there is strong disagreement. In this reblogged post, the writer takes us to that place when he played “Nestorius” in an educational dramatic retelling of that bit of church history. Take a look and see what you think.
Hopefully, if we encounter such situations we can as the author says: I want to stop. I want to learn how to really listen, and if possible sit across from people over a good meal or beverage and find out what they really say. If they are no longer on this earth, then hopefully be able to read their writings and try and understand. Imagining them sitting across from me, and as I state their position, they smile and say, “Indeed that is what I believe!” I may still disagree with what they believe, but I have done my best to understand before I call in the guards to exile them from my life and context. Being Nestorius. You should try it sometime. It was certainly good for my soul.
Last week I got to be the former Bishop of Constantinople, Nestorius, who died in 450 A.D. Really. Yes, it was only for a little while, as part of a “friends of the past” presentation at a Masters program I’m helping with in Switzerland. To play the part of this man, condemned as a heretic in 431 at the Council of Ephesus, was an experience that led me to reflect again on these questions: What would it feel like to be looked at as a heretic? To have your writings burned, to have your ideas ignored or considered rubbish?
In my last few blog posts I have reflected on these questions. In the case of Nestorius, there has been a re-evaluation of his writings and thought, and some further consideration given as to whether he was really a heretic. As I played him last week, and brought out some of…
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