Recently, I picked up Not God’s Type (Holly Ordway).
Ordway is a self-described academic and atheist who begins exploring the idea that God and Christianity are true things. As she researches and delves into these concepts, their implications and the feelings they provoke in her, she describes an excitement and clarity that I related to quite strongly.
I have had an awareness of and personal connection to God from the time I was 11 years old. Most of the time, I think writing is a fantastic way to communicate. However, words simply don’t do some things justice. Or at any rate, my words don’t! They can make an experience that felt powerful and electric seem… benign or cliché or boring… in short, like less than it was. Therefore, I won’t relate that extremely personal memory here. Anyway, for a few years after discovering this connection, I approached life differently. I was, it seems to me now, constantly in prayer and I thought deeply and ceaselessly about life’s mysteries. Apart from these few months that I’ve been a mother, that was the most fulfilling period in my life. I seldom make the effort to consider things deeply anymore, and I’m a little ashamed of that.
I’ve always been intensely interested in theology, but have never studied it with any consistency or discipline. Particularly now that I have a daughter, I feel the need to be able to state my beliefs concisely and, as much as possible, back them up with objective arguments. I know myself well enough to know that independent study would not be the best way to achieve this, so my first step is finding a guide.
I haven’t been to church in years, and I know that going back will be difficult, but I feel like it’s time. My biggest mental road block when it comes to church is inflexible doctrine. The challenge for me now is going to be approaching those tenets from an objective standpoint. In other words – whether I like a specific tenet isn’t important. The question I should be asking is – “Is there truth in this?” I know that by choosing to study led by a specific church, I won’t get an unbiased education, but I’m okay with that. I already believe in God, I just need some help sorting out the details.
Now to find the right guide…