Paula Gooder will be leading the Bible teaching at Minehead Two in 2017. She is the Theologian in Residence for the Bible Society with the task of thinking of creative ways to help people read the Bible more. She has studied and taught the Bible for over 20 years and never ceases to be inspired by it. Her research areas are the writings of Paul the apostle (with a particular focus on 2 Corinthians) and has written a wide range of books on various different aspects of the Bible. She is canon theologian of Birmingham Cathedral and visiting lecturer at King’s College, London and St Andrew’s University, Scotland.
We asked Paula a few questions so you can get to know
You spoke at Spring Harvest in 2015. What did you enjoy about being involved with SH?
What I loved most about Spring Harvest was the people, all of them! I felt that there was a profound openness to learning from God and an excitement about seeing where God was leading. It was wonderful to be a part of that and to talk and listen to so many wonderful people!
Given everything that is happening in the UK at the moment, unity is a relevant topic to be looking at. What do you think the role of the church is in providing unity?
All the way through the New Testament, from Jesus to Paul, there is a strong emphasis on unity. The role of the church must, surely, be to model unity in a Christ-like way. The repeated emphasis on the importance of unity throughout the New Testament suggests that the early church found unity as difficult as we do. The vision that is held up for us, and them, is to model a courageous, loving unity that takes conflict seriously but refuses to remain there but journeys forwards into a resurrection of unity and hope.
What are you looking forward to bringing to Spring Harvest in 2017?
Talking about unity! Both how hard unity is to achieve but also why it is so rewarding to persevere through the conflict and difficulty into being the Spirit filled, unified people of God we are called to be.