My journey into Christ's Cosmic Redemption

There are two ways to explain a controversial doctrine like ‘Cosmic Redemption’—logical and personal. In this talk, Tony takes the second approach. He explains how his spiritual journey of over fifty years led him to gradually change his mind. Importantly, this journey was largely a positive trajectory—in other words, as he framed the landscape of the creation story in more and more depth and colour, ‘hell’ fitted less and less. In particular, it did not fit in with grace, nor some of the epic passages of the Bible. But any journey like this is deeply personal so he opens up about his past as a child in Fiji, the role of his mother, and his life experiences of strategy consulting. His slow journey makes him empathise with how difficult it is for Christians to change their minds about things—but how precarious and lonely this culture of ‘conservatism’ can make the Christian experience feel.



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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