Dear <<First Name>>,

I hope the reflections last week from, mainly, the young people who went to Palestine and Israel earlier in the Summer have been thought provoking.  They were written long before the conflict that has erupted over the last few weeks but give, I think, more of a context for what’s going on.

We turn now to Heaven!

Over the next four weeks we’re going to start Advent a little early by looking at the four traditional Advent themes of Heaven, Hell, Death and Judgement – who said the URC lacks joy?!  I am grateful to Professor Paul Nimmo who has written this week’s reflections on Heaven.  Paul is the King’s Chair of Systematic Theology at the University of Aberdeen. His own studies were undertaken in Cambridge, Edinburgh, Princeton, and Tübingen.. Paul received the John Templeton Award in 2009 for his book Being in Action: The Theological Shape of Barth’s Ethical Vision (2007), and is also the author of Barth: A Guide for the Perplexed (2016), co-Editor of The Cambridge Companion to Reformed Theology (2016), The Oxford Handbook of Karl Barth (2019), Kenosis: The Self-Emptying of Christ in Scripture and Theology (2022), and Editor of the congregational resource Learn: Understanding our Faith (2017). His current projects include works on the Lord’s Supper in the theology of Karl Barth and on the doctrine of sanctification.

Paul serves the Council of Protestant Churches in Europe in ecumenical dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church where he works closely with our own John Bradbury.  He is active in the Church of Scotland where he serves as an ordained elder and is a member of Kemnay Kirk, and a lay preacher in local churches.  He is the Vice-Convenor of the Theological Forum of the Church of Scotland. 

I am very grateful Paul has taken time in his busy life to write these reflections for us.

With every good wish


The Rev’d Andy Braunston
Minister for Digital Worship

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