You will notice that there is a welcome to what we hope will be a “Safe Haven”. This was to be a blog where my friend Dave Price and I were planning to share our thoughts, our writings and our very different journeys – we had both been writing for many years. Then in July I learned from Facebook that Dave had had a heart attack and died.
I first got to know Dave in November 2010. He was writing about ‘radical sheep’ and describing rebellion as intelligent resistance to the status quo. His definition of simple church was ‘everyone participates, contributes and learns’. He suggested that knowledge without experience does not translate into wisdom. He had strong views about our education systems, believing in the need to teach children according to their own unique character – that only parents would normally be able to do.
Dave was shaped by Scouts and the Marine Corps and used to put up a sign in a pub, “I talk to God daily – ask me anything“. He suggested that our message should be, “You are loved and forgiven – be healed”, and that it is religious people who need to repent. He suggested that too many evangelicals jump up and down, but wondered where the love is that draws others to Jesus.
It had become obvious that despite very different backgrounds; growing up on different continents;and having differing understandings of some aspects of the Christian faith, that we both had a vision of reaching out to those who have been negatively affected, or even manipulated by religion. For me there are two articles that Dave had written that sum up much of the common ground between us:
“The Church and the Genie in the bottle”
“My Favorite Objections to Christianity”
My immediate reaction to Dave’s death had been, “I’ve just lost my closest friend”, to which my wife responded immediately, “that you’ve never met”. I subsequently established that the last email I had from him, which had been lengthier than usual, had been written on the morning of his death. He had been in good spirits and had written, “Well, how’s that for conversation? I haven’t spouted off like that for awhile. You always have a way of drawing me out, of encouraging me to formulate in words ideas that float around in my head. Thank you for that“.
It was on 2nd June that Bob Greaves – The Unconventional Pastor – had a long post on his blog entitled, “What I actually believe“. I could relate to so much that Bob had written – but especially what he had written about the trinity and the story of Adam and Eve. But unlike Bob who describes himself as a people person, I would have to admit to being a bit of a hermit (who started programming computers in 1967).
With Bob’s permission I have re-posted his article here and highlighted some of his opinions that seem to me to be particularly significant – but like Bob I don’t expect others to agree with all of what are only my own opinions. When Dave saw Bob’s post he suggested that, “it’s almost as if Bob has crawled into your heart and communicated the essence of your faith”. But he also said, “It’s funny, there is an urgency that seems to have left us both, as if we’ve arrived at some place and we are still trying to process the idea that we have arrived at this place – a place of understanding the mystery of what I do not understand“.
We have all been on unique journeys and there is much we can learn from each other. Maybe, instead of concentrating on what we believe, we could explore how what we believe affects our understanding of the purpose of life – see ‘What is Life?‘. I’ve been using the internet since 1997 and shared stories with hundreds of people in that time, and my understanding of the Christian FAITH has changed enormously since then.
I think perhaps Dave was right. Welcome to my Safe Haven. Please feel free to share your thoughts here on the blog, by email or perhaps on Facebook.