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, progressive Christian blogger Greg Garrett shares why he’s a Christian. (Read more responses to the question here.)
I was raised in one branch of the Christian tradition that proved to be toxic for me. So after I fled that, I tried to be a Buddhist, a Jew, a nature worshipper, an agnostic, and none of those things worked for me. At the end of the day, when my back was against the wall, I needed a story of grace and forgiveness, a story of life emerging out of certain death. I returned to Christianity not because I am stupid or naïve, not because I didn’t explore any other option, but because, as the Dalai Lama said, it is a mistake for most of us to try and switch traditions from those in which we are culturally located and in which we are raised. The story of the creator God who loves without reservation, the story of the Jesus who offers himself as a willing sacrifice to overthrow sin and death, the story of the Spirit who comforts and brings the lonely and isolated into community proved to be the only story that could save me when I faced my own death and destruction, and it is the story I hold onto today.