It is usually considered that there are two ways people come to Christ; revealed theology and natural theology. Revealed theology is where someone has a direct communication with Jesus or God. A good example of this is St. Paul. The Bible explains how he was persecuting Christians, beating them and throwing them in jail until one day he was traveling along the road to Damascus, on his way to beat up some more Christians, when a flash of light from heaven blinded him. Before him was Jesus, who told him to go to the nearest town where he would be given further instructions. Paul was blind for three days; he didn’t eat or drink anything either. Jesus sent one of his disciples to him who baptised him in Jesus’ name. He was cured of his blindness and in that moment turned to Christ as his saviour. He spent the rest of his life preaching the gospel of Jesus with the other disciples. Paul’s conversion is a great example because it shows how Jesus can reveal himself.
Natural theology is where someone deduces the existence of God through an examination of the world. For example, they might look at how the universe was created and decide that its design is too intricate to be an accident, there must be a Designer. This is where they start to believe there must be a God and then they turn to other sources to try and make sense of everything. Those sources may be, for example, the Bible, the Church, books, or even friends that may be Christian.
The classifications of revealed and natural theology don’t really take into account people who become Christian because they are questioning what others believe and why they believe it. It doesn’t take into account the people who question the existence of God not because they think there must be an intelligent designer or because Jesus has personally revealed himself to them, but more because they simply sense or believe there is more to life. They want to ask the big questions like ‘why am I here?’ or ‘what happens when I die?’ I fall into that group, no flashes of lightning, no clever understanding derived from the study of nature or the universe. Just personal questioning and inquiry… Let’s call it enlightened theology.
Six months ago I started to delve deeper into my spiritual side and ask the bigger questions. I joined my local Alpha Group and decided to start reading the Bible. Alpha is a worldwide Christian outreach organisation that started in UK but is now run in over one hundred and fifty countries and offers a series of sessions that explore the Christian Faith. I’d already concluded there was a God but I wasn’t a Christian. I didn’t really understand what Christianity meant. When I arrived everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming. We watched a video that gave an introduction to Christianity. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t enjoy Religious Studies as child, I didn’t know much about Jesus but I found this fascinating. Christianity wasn’t just believing in God as I once thought, it was a religion built on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Christianity is Jesus and you cannot be a Christian if you do not believe that Jesus was born the Son of God who died and was resurrected in order to cleanse our sins. This was something I didn’t understand at first and I will go into more detail in my next blog. For now, I will simply tell you what I have learned so far through my journey from nothingness to God. I’ve learned that Christianity all about love and kindness. If you follow the Word of Jesus you will treat others with respect and always give people a second chance. I think this is a good position to be in and since becoming a Christian I have found myself not getting as irritated by life’s daily hassles.
I never really understood Christianity or why people would want to go into a building and sing songs about God and his metaphorical son. Six months ago ignorance was bliss but now that I’ve started reading about, believing in and understanding Jesus as a real human manifestation of God; I’m starting to understand the relationships people have with him. In my blogs, my focus is to bring a little bit of my understanding of Christianity to you each month; research, the bible, my opinions, my journey! Maybe you already know everything I have to say, but maybe somewhere someone wants to know a bit more about, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the church, how the bible is the best-selling book of all time and just why Christianity is the biggest religion in the world. Or maybe just share my exploration…
Until next time, best wishes, Alpha Girl