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Happy 65th Birthday Paul Fiddes!

Hopefully he will be receiving lots of cake decorated with FiddesPayne dragees or some such as he celebrates his 65th birthday.

Various more erudite Baptists than I are posting their greetings, for example here, here and here.

It's my day off, I'm at home, my theology books are at church, so I can't fulfil the challenge to quote Paul verbatim, but here are paraphrases (inevitably with a bit of interpretation) of two things that have stuck with me...


On atonement:

How far down the chasm will the good shepherd go to rescue the lost sheep?  As far as hell?  Yes.


On church meetings:

Sometimes it is the minority voice that expresses the mind of Christ.


Paul's writing is not always easy, but it is always worth working with.  From him I learned my understanding of trinitarian perichoresis as divine dance.  From him I learned how to root complex doctrine in pastoral concern.


I have marvelled at Paul's ability to (in his words) slide a fag-paper between someone's view and his own in a way that affirms each.  And I still cherish the day that Paul said, as he opted to leave a presentation I was doing saying "I've just realised, I heard this in Prague and it's very good".


Too often we save praise for eulogies... instead of speaking a 'good word' during someone's life time.

I'm not going to be one of the academic Baptist theologians now or ever, but I value Paul's work immensely and wish him a very Happy Birthday with lots of scrummy cake and a bottle of his favourite tipple!

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