Why I Am a Christian

This month, Patheos has invited its many, faith-diverse writers to contribute to a new series called “Why I Am A… in 200 words or less.” Here is my response. Read more responses to the question here.

While there is a sense in which our faith is an accident of birth, it is also the gift of providence and choice. As a teenager, I traveled to the far country of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Native American spiritualities. I still travel as a spiritual pilgrim to that far country as a global Christian, for whom Christ is the way that embraces all life-transforming pathways.

Raised a small town Baptist, I found my way back to Christ through practicing Hindu Transcendental Meditation and discovering a church that where I learned to join contemplation, action, and reflection. I claim Jesus Christ as my guide, teacher, healer, savior, and companion in healing the Earth. I find the stories of incarnation and resurrection invitations to abundant life. I embrace a God who is embodied, loving the world enough to suffer with it and transform the world through loving companionship, and who saves the world by bringing forth life out of death each moment and at the end of our earthly days.

To be a follower of Jesus opens me to truth, wisdom, and healing everywhere, and wherever I find truth and healing, it is shaped by the life and teaching of Jesus the Christ.  The God revealed in Jesus of Nazareth loves us into life, constantly awakens us to new possibilities, and invites us to experience life in the midst of death. In the God revealed in Christ, I experience this world as holy and discover divinity in every moment of experience.

Everlasting life is the hope we have for ourselves and for our loved ones, and it is also the present reality of God whose wisdom is revealed in every event and whose heart beats in our hearts luring us toward love, beauty, and justice. I am grateful for my birth in a Christian home, my journeys through the Great Wisdom Traditions, ancient and modern, and the faith of Jesus that is new every morning as the source of life, adventure, and possibility.

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About Bruce Epperly

Bruce Epperly is a theologian, spiritual guide, and Pastor of South Congregational United Church of Christ, Centerville (Cape Cod), Massachusetts. He is the author of twenty five books, including Process Theology: A Guide to the Perplexed, Philippians: An Interactive Bible Study,The Center is Everywhere: Celtic Spirituality for the Postmodern Age, and Emerging Process: Adventurous Theology for a Missional Church. He also writes regularly for the Process and Faith lectionary. He has served as chaplain, professor, and administrator at Georgetown University, Lancaster Theological Seminary, Wesley School of Theology, and Claremont School of Theology. He may be reached at drbruceepperly@aol.com for lectures, workshops, and retreats. His latest book is Healing Marks: Healing and Spirituality in Mark’s Gospel (Energion).