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‘This Was My Breakthrough’: extract from ‘Questions Are The Answer’ by David Hayward

naked pastor david hayward

David Hayward holding a copy of his new book, by kind permission of the author

David Hayward is not trying to afflict the comfortable. But he will encourage you to ask questions, even if only of yourself. And if you are ready, he will lead you to and nudge you into the next stage of your journey. Do you remember Jonathan Livingston Seagull? That. I am preparing a review, but to whet your appetite, I offer you the following extract, beginning on page 80.

This is difficult for me to talk about. Not emotionally, but intellectually. It’s an experience that defies articulation. There are no words. Nevertheless, I know I must try because it is so crucial to explain my life, how I changed and what I do now. This was my breakthrough!

It all started when I had a very simple dream on May 11, 2009. This is what I wrote in my journal:

“There is a huge waterfall. I am looking up at the oceans of water coming over the rim. The water explodes at the bottom, the impact of which creates all kinds of noise, mist and turbulence. The water spreads over the landscape, completely covering and consuming everything.

This waterfall is a picture of What Is. I cannot see over the rim. The Source is there but I cannot perceive it. It is infinite and therefore beyond my finite mind to grasp. Immeasurable! The water falling towards the earth is the Incarnation. The What-Is emptied itself and became One with all. The water spreading out over the earth and covering all is what we call Spirit, that has accomplished the purpose of what we call the incarnation, its application and assimilation, manifested in human rights and freedoms.”

This changed everything. As I said, up to the night I had this dream, my theological and intellectual life would be described as full of anguish. There was no peace of mind, and my thoughts were conflicting and confusing. My intellect was very dualistic. It was so distressing that I had finally reached the end of my rope. I was so frustrated that I was rapidly approaching the sad conclusion that I would never know the truth, that I would always feel this anguish, and that I would never enjoy peace of mind. I could feel my ministry coming to an end. Even my passion for theology, for spiritual wisdom, was drying up and dying inside. I was ready to completely give up altogether and walk away from it all forever.

Then came the dream. Suddenly!

Questions Are The Answer

nakedpastor and the search for understanding

David Hayward

978 0 232 53188 6
Paperback |160 pp |198 x 126 mm

Price: £9.99

‘As ever, today’s prophets are hardly ever preachers or theologians, but rather artists and poets who paint and play the truth past religious defences and into real faith journeys. They’re heterodox enough to get stoned and honest enough to warrant a healing. David Hayward is razor-sharp commentary through wry hilarity … Gary Larson meets Jeremiah.’

Brad Jersak, author of A More Christlike God

‘David Hayward’s engaging memoir, told in words and cartoons, traces a disjunction many people feel between church structures and personal spiritual integrity. He relates with disarming honesty how he faced difficult decisions when his gifts and calling did not fit within traditional boundaries. It is a memoir that will inspire readers to find a deeper and more fearless spiritual path. I couldn’t put it down.’

Maggi Dawn, Associate Professor of Theology and Literature, Yale Institute of Sacred Music

‘A compelling exploration of faith, doubt, vocational discernment, and self-discovery. Come for the laughs, stay for the brutal honesty about matters of religion.’

James McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis

David Hayward – the ‘Naked Pastor’ – is one of the most prolific Christian cartoonists of the online world. Describing himself as ‘a graffiti artist on the walls of religion’ with the aim of ‘helping people undress religion to the core essential of their own unique spirituality’, his immediately-recognisable images are shared by thousands across social media every day.

This book uses David’s cartoons and accompanying text to tell his own story from being a ‘Closed’ Christian, with a black and white, fundamentalist view of the world to the freedom of becoming an ‘Open’ Christian with the courage to ask questions and wrestle with some of the tougher challenges of faith.

David Hayward was a Christian pastor for over thirty years before leaving the paid clergy and setting up, an online community for spiritually-independent people, and

1 comment on this post:

nakedpastor said...

Thanks for sharing one of the most important “events” in my life that you extracted from my book. Can’t wait for your review.

01 August 2015 11:05

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