About

Who am I and what is this blog all about?

I’m Dave, and I am a fairly ordinary person.

I have beliefs and I have questions. Often I have questions about those beliefs. I certainly have questions about how to put those beliefs into practice. So this blog is a place for me to explore those questions and those beliefs.

Things I blog about a lot tend to be church, theology, life and how all three intersect. I couldn’t believe more strongly that we need to live in light of what we believe. We don’t do things because it’s what other people do, but because it is the best way of representing and working out everything that Jesus is.

That means beliefs (doctrine, theology – whatever you want to call it) are deeply important, and a lot of posts will be about that.

But I also write about what we do with those beliefs, how we can and should engage with the world in light of that.

I also write about things that are going on in my life, and what’s up with me.

I am gratified that this blog also seems to have helped other people. I love being able to interact and grow and develop together. So please do comment, tell me I’m right, tell me I’m wrong – whatever. But be nice.


For a little bit more about me, head here. For a bit more on the blog and how it’s evolved, go here.

 

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  • Luke Rebbettes

    Hi Dave, thanks for your comment re: Ricky Gervais, nicely said!
    As we are just past christmas and some of your recent posts have discussed the matter, I wondered if you had come across this before? very interesting stuff. http://freethoughtblogs.com/reasonabledoubts/2012/12/24/rd-extra-the-nativity-debate-with-jonathan-pearce-and-randal-rauser/
    Also, what do you make of things like The Synoptic Problem and some of the scholarly criticism of the gospels? I expect you have come across Bart Erhman? Also the writings of Randel Helms and Burton L Mack?
    I am a non-christian from a christian family and upbringing, struggling to believe at the moment. Difficult to speak to your believing family about these topics, I find. What evidence convinces you of your faith?
    Thanks very much! Luke

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Hi Luke. I’ve not come across that before, no, but am vaguely familiar with some of the surrounding discussion.

      I studied theology at university, and focused in Biblical Studies. I want to be clear this does not IN ANY WAY make me an expert in these matters, but I have some exposure.

      I spent a while studying the Synoptic Problem and historical criticism of the gospels. I believe there is value in these approaches, and an understanding of the interrelationships between the gospels is so useful when it comes to understanding what the authors meant by what they wrote. I found this study very useful. However, there are limitations. In my experience, the historical critical claims to exercise a hermeneutic of suspicion (we won’t just believe something because the Bible says so) but in fact exercises a hermeneutic of paranoia (we will actively disbelieve the Bible unless we are forced not to).

      Since the Enlightenment, there has been a distrust toward the gospels of a nature that is not true of other contemporary texts. The assumption is that these are made up stories, and only if two or more independent sources agree on something will another theory be considered. This is not how most historical study takes place. It is often quoted that there is more evidence for the life of Jesus than there is for the life of Julius Caesar. There are a number of scholars who have set out to disprove things like the resurrection once and for all and have ended up convinced it is more likely that it did happen. One example is Frank Morrison who wrote ‘Who Moved the Stone?’

      Of course none of this is comprehensive evidence. No-one can prove or disprove the tenets of the Christian faith.

      Which makes my answer to your final question (“What evidence convinces you of your faith?”) probably a little underwhelming. I don’t have evidence that convinces me of my faith. I have my own convictions, I have my own experiences, and I believe that my faith makes a lot more sense of the world than anything else does. But none of that is the same as saying that my faith is based on reason or evidence. I suppose that’s why it’s called faith…

      I will be writing a whole post about that last question soon. I hope you read it, and I hope it helps. I can only imagine how hard it must be to be in your situation, unable to talk with your family about it. I hope you find avenues to be able to explore these things, and if this blog is one of them then I’m over the moon about it!

      • Luke Rebbettes

        Thanks Dave. I will check out Frank Morrison!

        I think we would agree than that the gospels can’t be considered a reliable source of historical fact. However, we equally have no reason to distrust them any more than we do other writings from antiquity. (I suppose this is all up for debate)

        The trouble is that the life of Julius Caesar does not have the sort of influence over the modern world as the bible does. The bible makes some extraordinary claims and as a result should be treated with an extraordinary amount of scepticism. Even scholars of Homer (for example) would only claim to tell us what they think ‘most probably’ happened in the past. Historians work with probabilities, and the biblical stories make some highly improbable claims.

        The historical critical method is the widest adopted method of historical enquiry by biblical scholars and has been for years. Most christian scholars use it and the method itself is not paranoid. However the public could be put in to the category you suggest – “we will actively disbelieve the Bible unless we are forced not to”. However, i don’t believe this is true. I think that people actively disbelieve the ‘miracle claims’ of the bible because it is built in to their common sense to do so, and quite right too, otherwise we would all be gullible fools and believe every ancient myth that exists.

        As an example, the life of Apollonius of Tyana can be read about in Flavius Philostratus’ ‘Life of Apollonius’. Here he claims that Apollonius was a religious leader promoting the belief of one true god. He was a miracle worker, healed the sick, raised the dead, preached charity and piety, shunned hatred, was arrested by the romans, died, was raised from the dead himself, appeared to his disciples and ascended to heaven… Are you equally inclined to believe this story? and if not, why?

        I will read your upcoming posts with interest Chris and would love it if you could elaborate a little on why you believe your convictions and experiences are good reasons to believe. In my experience, the few people I have spoken to about this issue always come back to ‘experience’.. they just ‘know god is there’. But I don’t understand why their experience is any more real than the Muslims experience of Allah… Religious people experience their own individual gods all around the world, every day in a very real way. Why is your experience true and theirs false?

        Thanks again for your response! I have an amazing family and love them all but most of them don’t think this deeply about the matter as their experience of god is convincing enough for them, which is fair and I respect. But, its great to bounce off of someone like you who has so far provided fantastic responses to my questions. Thank you!

  • mattcantstop

    Dave, I made a “Medium” topic called “Faith and Skepticism” on the Medium platform. I would love this post to be in there and would accept it into the conversation. It is a great platform for discussion. Could you post it there also? Medium.com

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      I’m sorry only just to reply to this, Matt. Since you posted this, I have written the post I said I would, and it is here: http://limpingintotruth.com/2014/01/24/believe-ridiculous/

      More than happy for you to post it somewhere, but if you do can you (a) let me know so I can interact with comments there and (b) make sure it contains a link back here to the original post?

      Apart from that, go for it!