I came from a Christian home and attended church services and went to youth group. As I grew older I became increasingly sceptical that Christianity was true. I began to think that Christianity was a bit like Father Christmas – you grow out of it.
There were too many ifs and buts and I began to question everything I’d been told. For example, I questioned the idea of a loving God sending people to hell. An all-powerful God can stop that right? Before even going to university I felt Christianity wasn’t relevant so I pushed it to one side to stop thinking about it.
That’s when I met Jonno – a Christian on my course who talked about his faith and what he believed. I thought, ‘he’s just like me and in a year or two, once he figures it out, he’s not going to believe any more. However, I soon realised that he had really investigated Christianity, understood where my questions were coming from and really wanted to listen to me. He introduced me to other Christians who were really inclusive and loving.
I was invited to an Uncover Bible study. I had lots of long chats with Jonno as I had many intellectual questions: surely there isn’t enough evidence for the resurrection? If God is all loving and powerful and Christians use the argument that suffering is in the world because humans have free will – why can’t we have free will and there not be suffering? We met in my room in college and I enjoyed the chats. I found it interesting to look at the gospel in depth with someone who knew more about it. The more I read the more I wondered if it were true. Jesus was always able to answer people’s questions and loved them. He was an incredible character to make up.
In the end I felt I’d exhausted all of my questions and didn’t feel I had anymore to ask. I came to a point of questioning my life. What’s the point of point of my life? How do I know that I’m more than just a brain in a bucket? Jonno said, ‘you don’t actually believe you’re a brain in a bucket because you don’t live your life that way’. I borrowed a copy of Mere Christianity by CS Lewis and read it over the Christmas holidays. I discovered that Christianity wasn’t a set of rules. That wasn’t the purpose. The purpose was knowing God. I’ve been a Christian now for 7-8 months. I’m stuck into a church and the small group and people help me in my relationship with God.
Last term I agreed to run an Uncover group for the Christian Union. We have 6-7 people signed up so far. Uncover is great because it gives you something to structure a conversation around. The book facilitates discussion rather than have someone tell you what to believe. It’s a great way to read the Bible with people who don’t normally read it.
Ed is a student at Oxford University