This post follows my Theological education: some autobiographical reflections: Childhood.
I arrived at University determined to use the opportunity of life away from home to explore existence without God or church. I was studying psychology, keen to see how the scientific method, with its empirical and experimental openness, could throw light on the mystery of human behaviour. However, despite my intentions, by a series of random events, or through divine providence (you decide), I ended up agreeing to attend the Baptist Students’ Group’s opening meeting. Well, at least there’d be free food, and more women than men :)
I found a bunch of late-sixties student radicals. They questioned things I’d never dreamed of examining, tested everything intending only to retain what stood the test. Within days I was reading the (then popular) “death of God theologians”. What nonsense, the divinity whose death they were gleefully if sadly admitting was not God, but merely a god. Those little convenient powers that humans invent, keep in their back pockets in case they will be useful on rainy days, and then discard when umbrellas are invented. This wasn’t God. Through reading deeply of the “death of God” I discovered I was a latent, if confused, theist. And worse, that God had his claws in me, and I could not escape in any of the (then) usual ways. I was hooked, and the shape of my future life (all unknowingly to me at the time) was foreordained.
But first I had to learn about sectarianism and about the church…