My blogs are designed to be thought provoking. I cannot pretend to be an authority on the subjects I will discuss so why am I blogging?
Firstly I have to say I am not religious and probably most accurately described as a ‘nominal’ Christian. I usually describe myself as a “lapsed Christian and a lapsed atheist in that order”.
What do I mean?
I was brought up in a Christian Methodist tradition. I even aspired to become a lay preacher when I was in my mid teens. It never happened. I began to question the whole Christian concept. It started not to make sense. God didn’t cross my path at university. I had no inclination to join a faith community when I left home.
I declared myself to be an atheist but I guess I never fully abandoned faith. One day I bought a book called “Born in Blood” and this introduced me to the mysteries of ancient history. Another book “A History of God” inspired me to start looking into the ancient history of religion.
My enthusiasm for interfaith work follows an “awakening” and a realisation that Christianity and Islam are not exclusive religions but on the contrary have shared roots. My schooling left me an impression that Christianity and Islam were alien to each other. Crusade teaching tends to lead one to think of Muslims as enemies.
I now know this is not so. You could say I am now enlightened. I now see that the three Abrahamic religions may the better be understood if treated as strands of a single religion. For sure Islam (and Judaism) is better understood when one studies their similarities and not their differences.
Hopefully that shows my direction of travel.