When the Coronavirus was perhaps at its peak, Alpha Scotland put on an online Q&A webinar to respond to people’s questions. Our old friend Dez Johnson from Alpha chaired the event, and brought together a panel of six guests from a variety of churches and missions from around the country. Solas’s Andy Bannister (who Dez introduced as “The Dundee Tornado”!), was joined by Lynne Paterson from TearFUNDF, Ian Birch and Lina Toth from the Scottish Baptist College, Charlie Maasz from Glasgow City Mission and Brodie McGregor from Queen Park Baptist.
Questions came on a whole range of topics from suffering, to church to the presence or absence of God, and how Jesus relates to a world like ours in which things like pandemics occur. Someone asked if God caused the virus, or was responsible for it, or is it the result of the work of evil. Others asked more practical questions about how we should respond to the crisis.
Andy Bannister said, “It was a privilege to work our friends at Alpha again, we love them and the work that they do. It was also really heartening to see that people in our society are really asking big, searching questions. We are often told that in our secular world, that people are no longer concerned with questions of God, ultimate destiny, meaning and truth – but what we find again and again is that when given the opportunity, many people are longing to have a place in which to ask just these sorts of things. These online Q&A’s have been really helpful for some people too. There are many people who wouldn’t come to a church meeting, let alone stick up a hand and ask their question in front of others. Yet they have important questions, which they are willing to put into an online forum. It’s important that we meet them there, where they are wiling to engage.”
Dez Johnson, who leads Alpha’a work in Scotland said, “It was truly special to be a part of a group of people wrestling with relevant and current questions. I especially appreciated Andy very balanced and informative response to the specific question around “Why is God letting Covid happen?”