The Big Six is a course my church is about to run – and I’m going to be involved in speaking at it (on the panel, rather than solo, thank everything going). It’s six weeks of talking about some big questions: like is there evidence for God; is faith subjective, feeling or opinion; is the bible reliable; what about science; and what oh what do we do with suffering?
I don’t think I will ever not be nervous about the idea about speaking in public, especially about something that matters to me. A bit of me doesn’t want to lose those nerves entirely – I have no desire to become blasé and end up failing to prepare (I’ve seen plenty of speakers like that in my time) – but I would like to not get red in the face and have my legs shake. I get less nervous the more sure I am of what I’m saying, especially if I have a script or bullet points to hand (how do people know what they think if they don’t work it out by writing it down?) However, I’m not going to have the latter, and as for the former… Well I don’t think that I’ll ever be sure of what I’m saying on these subjects – partly because I don’t think we talking about questions I think you can be absolutely sure of. I’ll be talking about how I understand the world, what I *believe* about it. If I were absolutely certain, I wouldn’t need to read another book. I also don’t think that even if I were absolutely certain, that it would be a good idea to jump up and down on that certainty in a discussion exploring these questions.
And yet despite all of this… I’m also really looking forward to it. I’m going to get to talk about things like the nature of truth and whether you can have objective knowledge, and how we understand the world, and whether God has a place in that. To think and talk and get to know some new people while I do those things. Big, scary, fun.
So, if you’re in the area (S-W London) and you’re interested… you should come along. And then you can tease me for going pink.