A whole month later, I'm back. What with the Olympics and preparing for Sri Lanka, there has been no time for blogging. But the Olympics are triumphantly concluded and I have prepared material for two weeks teaching in Colombo and Peredeniya - I have also sent copious quantities of notes and papers for my students to get stuck into ahead of classes starting (yes, I hear the sound of laughter at the back!)
My chief dilemma now is finding a format to transport the notes and papers. The favourite option is an iPad. I am trying it out on a friends unit at the moment before I actually take the plunge and buy one (though the readies are squirrelled away for that purpose).
The aim then will be to travel with just an iPad and a Kindle and not a sheet of paper in sight which will free a huge amount of baggage allowance. Well, that's my excuse; actually what I want is to be one of those travellers constantly updating his cyber profile in every departure lounge he passes through (I'm sure it will pall on the second airport I visit!)
I am teaching the social history of the New Testament for the third time - though I have tweaked the notes for every day and substantially re-written for five or six sessions. The course on NT theology is new - though compiled from existing resources. We'll spend a week looking at narrative theology and the gospel of Mark (day 1), four NT themes, viz Christology, atonement, the Holy Spirit and Church (day 2), 1 Peter and James (day 3) apocalyptic ideas and Revelation (day 4). This will leave day 5 for revision and an exam. Hopefully it will work, given the constraints of the system I am slotting into!
I have also had an opportunity to think through the autumn and spring programme for church and have created something that I think will work well, focusing on 1 Thessalonians and Colossians in the mornings and Matthew's gospel in the evenings. Advent will be given over to Isaiah. We'll be exploring issues such as identity, community, work, sex, hope, grief, the spirit of the age and the power of the gospel. It should keep us on our toes theologically and spiritually.
There'll be a report on cool new music along in a little while.