December 2, 2021

Many of my posts challenge the assumptions of Evangelicalism, but in this series, I’ll be examining Progressive Christianity, exploring its tenets and principles, and whether it is a step towards or away from Jesus. The heart of Progressive Christianity is not a commonly-held set of beliefs; it is a shared process – the deconstruction and reconstruction of faith. For me, this journey was embarked upon as a necessity, because the faith of my youth no longer provided me with satisfying… Read more

November 26, 2021

I was brought up in the faith, and as a very young boy, used to read the Bible each night with my Dad, before bed. On one such occasion, Dad presented me with the idea that everyone was equally important in God’s eyes. At the age of five, I was struck by a compelling conclusion:   “Does that mean I’m as important as the Queen?” I asked.   “Yes, but it also means you’re as important as the nearest tramp,”… Read more

November 25, 2021

A personal reflection: I often write about the church of my upbringing, highlighting the messages I needed to unlearn later in life. This is unavoidable if I’m to tell my authentic story, and share the lessons I hope will bless others. Unlearning is often the first part of learning, just as removing shackles is the first part of freedom, so I can’t apologise for detailing the spiritual starting point in my journey. My best hope is that others will read… Read more

November 23, 2021

In the church of my upbringing, it was commonly understood that if we prayed for something, the outcome would be God’s will, whether the specific request is answered or not. In particular, this was the approach when praying for the sick. James 5:14-15,   ‘Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will… Read more

November 19, 2021

In this, final instalment of the series, I’ll be looking at the fifth point of Calvinism, Perseverance of the Saints, and explaining why I think any of this matters. But first, a comment on my approach:   A reader commented on part four of this series, observing (without criticism) that I do not quote Calvin or Calvinists in any of these posts. There are good reasons for that. First of all, Calvin himself did not define the TUPIL mnemonic. Distilling… Read more

November 15, 2021

In this instalment, I’ll be looking at the fourth point of Calvinism – Irresistible Grace. Calvin believed first of all that human beings are corrupted by sin in every part, lacking any innate goodness, and therefore unable to respond to God at all. Therefore, he concluded that God alone chooses who is to be saved, and who is destined for eternal damnation in Hell, and that you and I have no part or choice in our response. In addition, as… Read more

November 11, 2021

In the first post in this series, I established a baseline argument – that Calvinism is fundamentally harmful in all five of its tenets. I’ve already looked at Total Depravity and Unconditional Election, so today’s topic is the third point of Calvinism – Limited Atonement.   Even among Calvinists, this point is controversial. A sub-group has attempted to circumnavigate the difficulties it poses by holding to Four Point Calvinism, which has rather conveniently left Limited Atonement behind, but for me,… Read more

November 9, 2021

In part one, I established a baseline argument – that Calvinism is fundamentally harmful in all five of its tenets – and spent time looking at the T in Calvinism’s mnemonic, TULIP; Total Depravity. I argued that Calvinism focuses on original sin and fails to notice original goodness, which came before the Fall and is fundamentally who we are. We are made in God’s image, and that image is beautiful.   Sin derailed and derails us, but our fundamental nature… Read more

November 6, 2021

At the age of nineteen I was keenly aware that my spirituality lacked vitality. I wanted something deeper and better, but didn’t know how to get there. I’ve written before of how that changed, but that’s not the topic of this post. Before I found the answers that changed my life for the better, I explored a few dead ends, one of which was Calvinism.   The church I attended at that age was a large, reformist, Evangelical kind of… Read more

November 2, 2021

It’s easy to sneer at those who’ve reached opposite conclusions to the ones we hold dear. From both sides of the atheist/theist fence, missiles are regularly thrown, but progress can only be made on the basis of mutual respect, and seeking to learn from one another.   Atheists are courageous people. It takes guts to resist the draw of theism, with all its promises of comfort, and the glowing beacon of a promised afterlife. It takes conviction to hold to… Read more

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