I’ve been on a search for truth all my adult life. I believe that the truth will set you free. This search has taken me down a lot of dead-end roads but I have travelled them because sometimes to get to where you need to go you have to be able to eliminate the roads that are not right.
For a while, I was an atheist (a couple of years as a teenager). I explored the arguments, and whilst I enjoyed the perceived freedom of not being responsible to anyone else, I felt that there was something missing. I discovered that, for myself, the arguments were intellectually hollow, I was hiding in definitions and false assumptions about religion. For me, it lacked honesty and truth. Like many atheists I encounter today it is more to do with personal anger than with truth.
I returned to my parents faith and went back to church. In truth I was tempted back by the prospect of girls and strangely thought that being an atheist would not be a problem for joining a church group. They put up with me and led me to the person who said the truth will set you free.
As I explored this faith I felt called to full-time ministry and was accepted. I left College and decided to explore a more liberal view of the bible and theology. I read widely and found that there were good reasons to be a liberal in my views. However, liberal theology took me back to where I had been as an atheist. Indeed, at its most sceptical there is not much distance between liberal theology and atheism. I perhaps ought to note here that there is no relationship between political liberal views and liberal theology – they are different things. Liberal theology is dominated by scepticism. After a few years of this, I decided as a Christian Minister I perhaps ought to read the bible. So I started to read it and also read widely about the bible.
My search for truth has always included the need for intellectual rigour. I need there to be good scholarship behind a view and I desire logic and a coherant view. This is when I discovered that I did not have to be a liberal sceptic. I discovered that scepticism is not more intellectually vigorous – in fact, I discovered quite the opposite. It turned out that there are plenty of reasons to have faith in scripture and I could choose to believe as opposed to doubt. It turned out that doubt was just a state of mind and not a road to the truth at all.
I appreciate others will have a very different story about their own search for truth and whilst I accept that it doesn’t make my journey any less valid.
So, I discovered that for me the truth I was seeking was found in trusting Jesus Christ. I found it in believing that God has spoken through the bible and that with a little effort the truth can be found there.
I am still a seeker after truth and I can say with confidence that the truth has indeed set me free.