Irenic. That would be a good word to describe our first day together. Helped I think by a high proportion of delegates from the first Hui in 2007 returning. That meant it has felt more like a gathering of 'old friends' than anything else.
Powhiri. Eucharist. Lunch. The blessed trinity of hospitality and welcome helped ease us into the swing of things. Archbishop David Moxon led us through a recap of progress through the first hui. Then I delivered my paper on Jesus and the Word (see brief excerpt below). I felt this amazing freedom in the Spirit while delivering. Rob MacKay and Howard Pilgrim responded - disagreeing with me on various matters, some of which will certainly lead to me making a revision or two. All in a good spirit and we went into a time of group discussion which went along ... irenically!
In this afternoon's session on Jesus and the Word my own summing up of the key issue is this: what is the relationship between the book we call the Bible and the Word of God? My paper argued that the Bible was properly described by the English Reformers as 'the Word of God written'. The responses, which ranged over a number of matters I had mentioned, effectively made the point that other descriptions of the relationship take better account of the development of Anglican theology since the Reformation.
In other words, the challenge for our whole church (i.e. not just the delegates here at the hui), is to dig a little deeper on how we understand the Bible in relation to God. It's not an easy question to answer, but it is an important question in our quest for a common understanding on what Scripture has to say to human sexuality in the 21st century.
Well, enough of me, and enough from me! Hopefully more to post tomorrow evening.