Happy New Year! 2011 dawn with a heat wave - well it's above freezing for the first time in a couple of weeks - and a rush of opportunities. We had a great Christmas, catching up with family, celebrating with friends and generally chilling.
I shall be spending the first month of the year tidying up my dissertation for submission by the end of the month and then pondering life out of the first century for a while. My Lion book - on the same topic as my research - will be hitting the shops in March. It will be interesting to see how that is received. I've done a couple of presentations using material from the book in churches and they have gone really well, suggesting an appetite for a bit of ancient history/New Testament context among ordinary church goers which is very encouraging.
Anyway here's the cover to look out for in your local Wesley Owen or Waterstones.
2011 promises to be a year of challenges on many fronts. On one front, it'll be the year when we see whether the Big Society is just hollow rhetoric or can rise to be a cushion to those dashed on the rocks of austerity. So, here's a thought from Basil of Caesarea to sustain you through the year's ups and downs: 'when someone steals a person's clothes, we call him a thief. Should we not give the same name to the one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to those who need it; the shoes rotting in your closet to the one who has no shoes. The money which you hoard up belongs to the poor.'