Armidale is a different place in the holidays. It’s quiet. Until uni goes back it will maintain that laidback air. I like.

One of the treats of hanging around during January is the Bishop’s Summer School which he’s run each year now for 4 or 5 years. The title for this year’s school was “Four Attitudes that can Transform Your Life”. Peter’s gift is as an encourager but he doesn’t neglect truth in order to make you feel good.

Here is the introduction. I intend to post a summary of the talks over the next couple of days. (the audio and notes are available on the St Pete’s website)

It has often been said that ‘all truth is God’s truth’, and this should not surprise us, since God has given us two books by which we can discover the best ways to live. The books of Creation and Scripture, whilst not being equal, are complementary. The Bible will always be the final authority and arbiter for Christians, since it is the revelation of God’s mind (Deut 29:29; Psalm 19, 119; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Yet, the creation around us bears eloquent testimony to God’s ordered handiwork (Psalm 19; Romans 1:18-20) and commends (in fact commands – Genesis 1:26) the exercise of our minds in understanding the creation. This will, of course, include how we tick as men and women both physically and psychologically. How we rejoice in the discovery of penicillin and antibiotics, surgery, optometry, palliative care etc. These discoveries are not found from the special revelation of the Bible, but from the general revelation of creation (in the discovery of antibiotics) and the human body (in the development of surgical treatments).

In the matter of the mind the same is true. During the past decade, the ‘positive psychology’ movement, emanating from Dr. Martin Seligmann in the USA, attitudes once neglected and sometimes denigrated, that had their roots in a Biblical world view, have not only been rediscovered, but taught and encouraged in the field of psychology and public mental health and well-being.

Four of these are thanksgiving, forgiveness, contentment and perseverance – the focus of our Summer School during this week.

Part 1: Thankfulness

Part 2: Forgiveness

Part 3: Contentment

Part 4: Perseverance