Theological education: some autobiographical reflections (ii): Revolting students

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…

One comment on “Theological education: some autobiographical reflections (ii): Revolting students

  1. Heather

    “God had his claws in me”. That has so been my experience! But it makes me wonder, what about people for whom that is not their experience? Are the predestination people right? I don’t want to think so, but sometimes I wonder. I had an experience once of swimming in a tropical lagoon and loving all the beauties I was seeing, then being loaned a diving mask and being *stunned* at the contrast (I still have a scar on my thumb from a coral cut I got that day nearly 15 years ago, I was that surprised!). It feels to me like faith is like that: most people are swimming around thinking that what they see is all there is, and I don’t know how to give them a dive mask….