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Going Deeper - with William Carey

My Own Story

William Carey grew up in a tiny, rural village where most people lived simple, quiet, unexciting lives working as weavers or farmers, and had little or no ambition.  The opportunity for education opened his eyes to new ideas, and the stories told by his uncle who had travelled to Canada ignited his desire to discover more of the world in which he lived.

  • Are there people I recall from my childhood whose stories or actions significantly shaped my thinking?
  • How much are we defined by the circumstances of our birth, and how much is ‘social mobility’ possible or desirable?
  • William was clearly a curious and intelligent boy, with a real gift for languages, but his practical skills as a shoemaker proved invaluable when he had to manage an indigo plant in India. Which different aspects of my own early experience contribute to my life now, perhaps in surprising ways?  

More Light and Truth

Taking the Bible seriously has always been a (self-defined) quality of Baptist life.  The assertion ‘the Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from his word’ is one we hold to be true, yet we can be guilty of Biblicism (placing the Bible above Christ/God) and unquestioning literalism, liberalism or indeed, any other way of reading the Bible.  William Carey challenged the unthinking acceptance of ‘received wisdom’ on the interpretation of Matthew 28: 16 – 20, which ultimately led to the formation of what is now known as BMS World Mission.

  • The Bible is a complex library of texts with internal contradictions, which Christians believe is divinely inspired. When I come to read it, what presuppositions and expectations do I bring?
  • Have I ever had a new insight into a familiar story, passage, or text? How did that feel?  How has it effected my faith and practice and/or my attitude to scripture?
  • If asked to define what the Bible is, what would I say?

Work Life Balance

Like so many of the heroes we’ve met, William Carey was totally dedicated to his work to such an extent that his own physical health and the wellbeing of his family suffered.  In our time we hear a lot about work life balance, and of families being stretched to breaking point by the pressures of modern life.  

  • How do I find a healthy balance (assuming I do) that allows me to enjoy family life (whatever that looks like) flourish in my career (as appropriate) and enjoy leisure activities?

Hobbies and Interests

From childhood, William Carey loved horticulture, and in India enjoyed discovering new plants, some of which he sent to botanical societies, including Glasgow!   

  • Do I have any interests or activities I participate in for the pure joy they bring, or do I fall into the trap of only doing things that are ‘worthy’? Do I need a hobby; if so, what will it be?

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