Talk - Dr Wilf Wilde

I meet the stockbroker-turned-theologian and political economist Dr Wilf Wilde on Willey’s bridge. He walks me to his house in Malling and, from a spot in his living room overlooking the garden, tells me a nutshell version of his book, Crossing the River of Fire. It goes like this. Mark’s gospel is the story of a revolutionary who dared to cross an Empire and was executed for it. The word gospel is a translation of the Greek word ‘euangelion’ which the Romans used to describe announcements of imperial military victories to the provinces. The fact it was used in this case to describe the story of a commoner who was executed like a criminal was radical in the extreme - the world turned upside down.

A common maxim throughout the New Testament is ‘you can be for Jesus or for Caesar, but you can’t be for both.’ The situation in Iraq today has many parallels with the situation in Galilee in the first century. Tony Blair is part of an imperial invasion: he has entered the conflict in order to further Britain’s economic interests. Blair, representing the Labour Party, is certainly ‘on the side of Caesar’. So where does that leave Christian socialists nowadays? He speaks with the conviction of a man who has thought things through and is sure of his conclusions. He is speaking at more length about the subject in St Anne’s tonight. I can tell it will be a fascinating and thought-provoking talk. In the meantime I will read his book. AL

Wilf Wilde: render unto Caesar exactly what he deserves

St Anne’s Church, Western Road, Lewes
When? 7.45pm
How Much? Donations for Church roof appeal welcome
Crossing The River of Fire
(w) Website