‘The theory produces a good deal but hardly brings us closer to the secret of the Old One,’ wrote Albert Einstein in December 1926. ‘I am at all events convinced that He does not play dice.
It was 2005 when my life was irrevocably changed by an encounter with what I understood to be God. I spent countless hours reading the Bible as well as other books about the Bible and Christianity because of that experience.
For centuries in the West, the idea of a morally good atheist struck people as contradictory. Moral goodness was understood primarily in terms of possessing a good conscience, and good conscience was understood in terms of Christian theology.
Do we have the right to believe whatever we want to believe? This supposed right is often claimed as the last resort of the wilfully ignorant, the person who is cornered by evidence and mounting opinion: ‘I believe climate change is a hoax whatever anyone else says, and I have a right to believe it!
I love the book of Genesis. Since my conversion to Christianity I have appreciated aspects of the image of God portrayed there. The Christian creation stories display the magnificence of a god that I enthusiastically claimed; It’s quite the feeling to recognize that god as “my God”, as if you are now on the winning team.
Religious belief is often thought to evince a precarious kind of commitment, in which the degree of conviction is inversely proportional to correspondence with the facts. Exhibit A for this common characterisation of religious belief is the maxim of the third-century Christian writer Tertullian, who is credited with the saying ‘I believe because it is absurd.