At a significant moment in Paradise Lost (actually … I struggle to think of any moments in that poem that aren’t significant), John Milton calls upon his ‘Muse’, Urania — code for the Holy Spirit — and expresses his hopes about the hearing his epic poem will receive (Book VII.30-31):
Still govern thou my song
Urania! and fit audience find, though few.
Clearly, Milton’s not all that optimistic about the number of people who will qualify as an audience ‘fit’ to hear — and respond rightly to — the story he’s telling.
Which brings me to you, Gentle Readers. I recently asked you to give me some feedback about what direction you’d like us to head off in. And the votes are in. With a landslide 50% of the vote — out of a grand total of 14 voters (count ’em!) — you, my own ‘fit audience’ of Conversation Partners, have decided upon the trajectory of the conversation over the next little while.
You’ve decided that we’re going to wrestle together with the issue of what shape pastoral care will have if it’s to be distinctively Christian.
So, strap yourselves in. Switch on your heads and hearts. And warm up your hands so you don’t get RSI typing your responses. Tomorrow we begin!