It was early in 2012 that I became aware of the writings of Diana Butler Bass and her then latest book Christianity after Religion. After what for me had been an intense period of study, I sensed that I had a faith that I thought I could hold on to ‘loosely’.
I really did think that I had gone about as far as I could go – that I had a story to tell – that I could share with others who were on a similar journey.
I had a picture of the journey of life as a series of stepping stones.
I had by this time shared something of the stories of at least 2,000 people who were moving away from traditional Christian teachings.
Little did I realise how much this was all going to change over the next 7 years!
Later in 2012 I watched the BBC TV series A History of the World by Andrew Marr. This was when I first came across the idea that civilisation as we know it is no more than about 12,500 years old. This was a real eye-opener and generated for me several more of those awkward questions to which there are no easy answers – such as “What is religion – is it man’s attempt to explain the inexplicable?”
My formal education ended when I was 17. I have been involved in the world of computer programming and business analysis for over 50 years. I was discussing this with my grandson about 3 years ago when I realised that two separate worlds – Christianity and Information Technology came together in 2000 at a time when I no longer had a full time job – and I had the freedom to explore my chosen interests!
Initially we had dial-up connections to the internet and YouTube presentations were limited to 10 minutes. How things have changed!
It was in 2013 that I joined the local branch of U3A (University of the Third Age) and in that first year attended classes for Philosophy, Psychology and Counselling. In subsequent years I have also attended Mindfulness; History of Christianity; History of Religion; Buddhism and Islam – just 2-3 hours a week – almost all of which was new to me!
The number of questions just grew!
I’ve spent a lot of my life involved with the Christian Religion (or Christendom) with its conflicting beliefs based on differing interpretations of the Bible, and its many different traditions. I often think of myself as someone who has been an outside observer of Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism, especially in America for over 20 years. This has been especially true since Donald Trump announced that he intended running for the American Presidency.
I’ve learned so much in the last 8 years, but I still haven’t lost a belief in ‘God’, but my understanding of that word has changed dramatically over the last few years.
I have written extensively about my story before 2012, but I think this is enough initially.
In “Stepping Stones” you will find links to some of my more recent material.