Rethinking Christianity

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confessional-1399097_1920My Confession / Why I Am Still A Christian
I have been a Christian all my life. As a youngster I went to Sunday school, and as a teenager my church youth group was pretty much the centre of my world. Christian youth camps were the highlight of my year and I helped run the Christian Unions in my school, sixth form college and eventually university. It all suited me just fine – for me the Christian Bubble was a very happy place to be, and to this day I have never not been part of some form of church. Read more >

stone-938730_19820Rethinking Christianity: Deconstruction
Over the last ten years my Christian faith has undergone a dramatic transformation. The beliefs that were once absolutely fundamental to my understanding of the universe and my own existence have been gradually deconstructed. It has been a confusing, unsettling and sometimes painful process, but I now feel I have in some way emerged from that confusion, and am feeling a sense of clarity, hope and excitement about my faith that I have never felt before. Read more >

walkers-486583_1920Faith in the Fog: Surviving as a Skeptical Christian
How do I trust God when I’m no longer convinced he even exists? How do I stop myself from being swallowed whole by the fear and despair that can come from seriously rethinking my beliefs? How do I pray when it seems like there’s probably no-one listening? Can my faith survive this? Read more >

Faith in the Fog: Science, Atheism and the Search for Proof
One of the biggest steps towards learning to deal with my own crippling skepticism has been to convince myself that Christianity is not irrational. Deep down I had always feared that if I thought too deeply or learned too much about science, this faith that brought hope and meaning to my life would eventually be exposed as wishful thinking, no more credible than an ancient myth or fairy tale. Read more >

fire-717504_16920Rethinking Christianity: Hell (How My Faith Evolved From A Story Of Fear To A Story Of Hope)
Growing up in church I knew the Christian message back to front. It was my reality, my Truth, my reason for living. It went like this: God created me in my mother’s womb, and loved me so much that he wanted me to have eternal life with Him in Heaven. Tragically, all of humanity had fallen and was deeply sinful and bad, and God hated sin so much He couldn’t stand to look at me. In His amazing love He sent His only Son to take my punishment by dying on a cross, so that I wouldn’t have to be punished and could spend eternity in paradise. Read more >

the-beatles-509069_11920.jpgLove, Love, Love: the painfully misunderstood, profoundly simple, earth-shattering message of Jesus
If someone was to ask me to sum up the message of Jesus in a few words, I would probably quote the Beatles. All you need is love. Not just shallow, gooey, fluffy, romantic love. The kind of love that sets people free. Read more >

girl-926084_19201.jpgConfessions of a Doubting Christian
Some days I find it really hard to believe in God.I sit in church surrounded by the familiar, friendly faces, perusing the notice sheet as the worship band finish their sound check with a chorus of ‘10,000 Reasons’, and I’m convinced we’ve made it all up.We’re kidding ourselves, aren’t we? It’s obviously just wishful thinking. A fairy story. A diversion from reality, far too good to be true. Read more >

portrait-1082310_19120Dear God, Help Me To Believe In You
Dear God, Today I am not sure you exist, but I’m praying anyway. It seems as though the older I get and the more I learn, the less sure I am about anything. I never used to doubt you, not really. I was taught that I could have absolute confidence and certainty in my beliefs, and I did. I was taught that there were clear explanations for everything if I was just clever enough to understand. Read more >

angry-151332_1280Why Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory makes me want to throw up a little bit in my mouth
Sorry about the title…I had to get your attention somehow. Seriously – if you go to church and you’re not sure what I’m talking about, listen up. This is the ‘good news’ I suspect you were taught at church: Read more >

nerd-155841_1280 copyA Thoroughly Biblical Argument Against Penal Substitutionary Atonement
A common criticism of people like me who openly oppose Penal Substitutionary Atonement theory is that we are picking and choosing the bits of the Bible we like, whilst ignoring some of the trickier bits. I intend now to try and make it super clear that this is not what we are doing. Read more >

I Don’t Have The Luxury Of Despair
When faced with so much senseless suffering in our world, I – like many others – can struggle to see a deeper meaning or purpose behind it. Despair can sometimes seem like the only reasonable response. That is, until I notice all the other stuff. Read more >

train-tracks-10381672_1280Is Being A Christian Just About Being a Good Person?
Honestly? Yes, that’s pretty much the gist of it. But hear me out – there is a lot more to it than that. I’m not in anyway belittling the radical, vital and life-giving transformation that takes place when we become followers of Jesus.I am suggesting that it is more to do with transformation in this life and less to do with a transaction to secure our ticket to heaven in the next life. Read more >

christ-3631581_1920.jpgRethinking Christianity: The Message of Jesus
What if the message of Jesus that is widely understood by Christians is a distorted version of his original message? What if our understanding of Jesus’ message is actually a concoction of selected quotes from Jesus and Paul, Greek philosophy, and a post-enlightenment desire to reduce everything down into a neat, scientific formula? Read more >

lifesaver-933560_12810Rethinking Christianity: Sin and Salvation (What James Cameron, The European Migrant Crisis And Harry Potter Have Taught Me About God And The Human Condition)
‘Sin’ is one of those odd, stuffy-sounding Christian words that nowadays means very little outside of church. Even in church I often feel like it deserves to be tucked away, collecting dust on the shelf next to the 1950s hymn books and Bibles with missing front covers. Read more >

African_Lion_Panthera_leo_Mal8e_Pittsburgh_2800pxA Deeper Magic: Love Demands No Punishment
“Though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation.” Read more >

woman-1245817_19120‘The Idol of Feelings’?: Jesus, Mental Health and the Quest for Happiness
Feelings are our window to the world. They colour our experiences and shape our lives and our relationships. When I hear the word “happiness”, I don’t picture a constant state of uninterrupted bliss. I think of a healthy mental state in which I am able to be fully present in the moment, to feel the ups and downs of life. A state of inner peace and wellbeing in which I feel secure, grounded, centeredIn this state I respond emotionally to things as they happen – I laugh, sing, shout, sigh, weep… I can fully engage with the people around me… I don’t always feel happy and joyful but I do feel alive. Read more >

parasol-7144185_1920.jpgOde to Greenbelt: Heaven in a Muddy Field
Greenbelt is my happy place. It is an explosive celebration of humanity; a vibrant patchwork bursting at the seams with colour, creativity and culture. Where else do silent meditation, soaring harmonies, belly laughs, gravity-defying acrobatics, life drawing, ‘dad-dancing’, poetry, prayer, bhangra and breakdancing come together so naturally? Read more >

pride-828056_19260Christianity and Homosexuality: I Think God Makes People Gay

kaleidoscope-1697926_12380.jpgKaleidoscope Thinking
If I look through a kaleidoscope, I see all the colours of the rainbow arranged in whatever pattern the plastic of the contraption allows. Many of us had tremendous fun, as children, staring through the distortion at the myriad of colour and shapes displaying there. But how often do we take that into adult life? It seems as we grow up, our palette of colours becomes smaller and smaller. It feels like society wants us to see in shades of grey, with hints of black and white. How terrible. Read more>

light-1551386_1920A Light in the Darkness: The Reality of the Christmas Story
How you think of the Christmas story may not have changed much since you were a child. The beautiful image of a pregnant lady on a donkey and a cosy stable full of smiling people snuggled up in clean hay. The reality was quite different. Read more >

musicians-6905091_1280Music in Every Sound
The title of my blog comes from a song by the band Iona called ‘Wave after Wave’. It sums up beautifully what my faith means to me. Read more >

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One thought on “Rethinking Christianity

  1. Adrian Worsfold (Pluralist) says:

    As well as the problem of God, there is also the problem scientifically that dead bodies do not return to life regarding the brain damage that rapidly takes place. If a person is human, then the phenomenon of consciousness does not continue in some pre-existing body shape. Resurrection is a belief of the near-East, down from Iran, into rabbinical Judaism. The accounts of the ‘spiritual body’ are, it seems to me, views about authority, Eucharist ritual and the kingdom to come. If this is so, then the reasoning to be ‘Jesus-centred’ rather falls away, except from a moral or ethical argument that has other grounds and basis. The Christianity one is left with is then rather thin. I rather agree with both blog entries on this and on gay relationships and commitment not expressed in the Bible. But, also theologically informed, I would not call myself Christian and puzzle why Jesus ought to be ‘followed’ at all.


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