A somewhat belated happy new year from the NT Gateway blog. I have been away from the blogging machine for much of the Christmas period, either with visitors here in Birmingham, or away ourselves on visits. I've not been 100 per cent health-wise and my wife Viola has been ill almost the entire time and is still not better. I am now beginning to get back into catch-up mode, though, and find much of interest in all the blogs as well as in my correspondence.
As for everyone, the recent earthquake and Tsunami disaster in South East Asia has dominated my thinking. I wish I were able to say something profound, insightful or helpful, something that might in some small way make a difference, but I cannot. Although I sometimes take refuge in being more of an historian / Biblical scholar than a theologian, I cannot shy away from the fact that I do work for a living in a department of Theology and Religion and at present I am filled with a sense of the utter indadequacy of theology and theologians, and, for that matter, bishops, priests and religious leaders, to say anything that is able to help. To be honest, I find it pretty depressing even to see people trying. Speaking for myself, I wish more people would just say, "This is awful. I don't know what to say", allowing only the outpouring of compassion to speak so much more eloquently than anything else can.