Big Ideas in Little Pictures - The End before the Beginning

Here is the first of our series of ‘Big Ideas in Little Pictures’.  My aim was to take some of the more profound ideas in the talks with David Hart and package them in accessible sketches.  

This first sketch concentrates on the counter intuitive idea that God (since He is eternal and not bound by time) created from the End not the Beginning.  I explain that - no matter how strange this may seem - this is a cognitive experience that we humans share in our experience of life and planning. My aim is to make these critical ideas come alive and give us all vocabulary and a conceptual map to revel in them and explain them.  The world needs this ‘creation ex nihilo’ story and we need to be able to tell it.

Finally apologies that this is later than I promised in getting published.  My dear wife and I moved house late last year after 25 years and it has taken up most of my time and energy.

Tony Golsby-Smith

Tony has been the original architect of Gospel Conversations—rather like the conductor of an orchestra—in which his role as the conductor is to attract musicians who are better than he is. In many ways, Gospel Conversations is a journey of exploration shared by Tony and his good friends.

Tony’s professional life explains a lot about the paths of inquiry that Gospel Conversations takes. He is trained originally in English Literature—and poetry in particular—before his first career as a secondary school teacher.  This made him comfortable with mystery and ambiguity as necessary roads to the knowledge of God. He has always been fascinated by the mystery of how human beings create and think, and this led him into a long and influential career in Strategy consulting where his firm, Second Road, helps organisations think together more effectively so they can design the future they desire. All of this gave him a high view of humanity, and the faculties by which we design our worlds—and it also gave him a front-row seat watching how humans collaborate to alter realities and shape worlds. His deep grasp of poetics gave him a Romantic theology—with a view of language that TS Eliot called a ‘raid on the inarticulate’ rather than as a scientific exercise towards precision and definition.

Behind this set of intellectual perspectives—which predispose him to exploring horizons of faith—lies his sense of being enveloped by the lifelong love of the God-man, Jesus of Nazareth, and a predilection for radical grace as the defining feature of God’s work with the cosmos—a legacy he first received from his wondrous mother, Patricia. She prayed every day that Tony would articulate to the world the love of Christ that she experienced but felt lost for words in expressing.

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