Until I was 15, I was a convinced agnostic. Religious classes at school were a joke, and I enjoyed annoying the teacher with questions such as 'How do you know anyone lives after death as no one has come back to say so?', 'Why don't dogs go to Heaven' and 'As the Bible was written by men, why do you say it is God's Word?' But I had a deep wonder at the Universe and at the mystery of consciousness. At 13 I was sent to a boarding school where we were subjected to a heavy diet of Christian propaganda. Eventually I cracked and confused my wonderful-Universe feelings with religion, and at 15 I got myself confirmed. The following year we were emotionally blitzed by a Billy-Graham-style friar, Father Michael Fisher (I think it really irresponsible for a school to allow such pressure on fragile adolescents). I became convinced it was my vocation to be a priest. But being me, I couldn't leave it at that, and I read more and more about the history of the Christian churches. I saw that Protestants reject part of Catholicism but retain the beliefs of the early centuries. I decided you must either be a Catholic or an agnostic, and so I reverted to my true nature after only two years.
I retain my interest in Jesus. When I was 19 I read Schweitzer's Quest for the Historical Jesus, and I have since tried to keep up with New Testament studies. I have compiled a couple of documents in which I try to sort out what is more reliable, and these I attach.
P J Stewart,
12 Feb 2010, 02:30
P J Stewart,
12 Feb 2010, 01:45