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‘Musings on Mystery’: Andrew’s New Blog


I want to recommend to you the hoped-for outpourings of a new Christian, whom I have come to know through Facebook. He says this about himself:

Hello! I’m Andrew. History teacher, Christian, identical twin, London-dweller and countryside-lover (among other things). This blog is my attempt to share my experience of the mystery of God, and to create a space for generous conversations.

I do not think any potential followers will be disappointed.


Against all my better instincts, however, I have decided to start a blog. Why?

Longstanding friends of mine will know that, over the last three years of my life, I have changed in one particularly obvious and atypical way: after a pretty secular upbringing (which fared me well for 19 years), at university I came to embrace the Christian faith and started attending church. This process was sudden and intense, like an all-consuming love affair. My parents were alarmed, mystified and embarrassed at my sudden desire to devour theological books in my spare time and throw myself enthusiastically into as many church-related activities as my university life allowed. Although willing to tolerate occasional, discrete Sunday morning churchgoing, they admitted to being baffled by my new-found piety. After realising that it wasn’t “just a phase”, they openly enquired as to whether I was going through an emotional crisis, in which religion was adopted as a ‘crutch’ to aid my self-delusion. Amongst my existing friends meanwhile, my apparently-intense conversion aroused either brief, polite curiosity or embarrassed silence and indifference.

In many respects, these reactions are perfectly understandable. As one fantastic book which I recently read underlined starkly, the gulf between faith and unbelief in modern British society is wider than ever before, particularly in my generation. Only 5% of British people in my age bracket (16-25), for instance, identify as Anglican. In less than 50 years, British culture has rapidly lost its familiarity with Christian language and rituals; faith and unbelief have become mutually unintelligible, and responses to Christianity generally range from ignorance and indifference to scorn and vocal hostility (much of which, incidentally, I consider to be fully understandable). This gulf is one which I feel particularly sharply: I often feel as though my life is torn between two separate cultures (church and non-church), with separate languages and sharply deviating priorities.

So why have I started blogging? At heart, my motivation is pretty selfish: I am dissatisfied with being torn in two! In my blog, I am seeking to generate constructive and honest dialogue between faith and unbelief, in part so that my friends and family can understand me better. With as much honesty, humility and humour as I can muster, I hope to invite engagement with the mystery of Christian faith as I have received it, by sharing my own experiences and inviting critical comment. Although now a Christian, I empathise hugely with my agnostic/atheist friends and family; whilst my blog posts might not change anyone’s views, they might in some small way help us to understand each other better.

Over the next few weeks, my plan is to write around six or seven short blog posts exploring my experiences. They will cover themes such as ‘what on earth is Christian “faith” and what is it grounded in?’, ‘what is Christian morality?’ and ‘what is the point of going to church?’. These are all designed to engage with common assumptions held by friends and family. Before I start though, I want to make some things really clear, to avoid misconceptions:

  • This is not an attempt to persuade or ‘convert’ people to Christianity. There is no ulterior motive here. I sincerely believe that I have undergone an experience which is in some small way interesting, and I would like to share it in order to generate interesting dialogue. I hope that the comments/responses will be at least as interesting (and probably more so!) than the blog posts themselves.
  • I do not consider myself or my experiences to be ‘special’ or necessarily typical. I am not writing on behalf of anyone beyond myself. I do not presume any inherent right to be listened to. I am entirely dependent on your generosity as readers! There is a risk that no one will read it – a risk which I’ll just have to accept!
  • I will attempt to avoid theological language as much as possible, in order to be accessible to all. I do not have a degree in theology, and count myself as an ‘amateur theologian’ at best. I will only quote from the Bible occasionally and if absolutely necessary. I do hope however to say nothing heretical…!



You can read the whole post here. Do visit the blog and offer Andrew some encouragement on his first post.

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