What is the motivation for this website?

The Author of this website is unashamedly a Christian.
Should that worry you?
Should that affect the credibility you extend to what is written in these pages?
I believe the answer to both of these questions is 'no', and the purpose of this section of the website is to offer you some additional assurance that this is the case, and to provide some insight into why this website has been written, and why so much material has been made freely available in support of it.
My perspective is that the main reason it might worry you, are questions concerning the judgement and emotional maturity of someone who espouses what might seem from the modern perspective to be a antiquated superstition. Some years ago that was very much my own perspective, together with a few more less charitable judgements I am sorry to admit.
Since then, it will probably be obvious to the reader that I have changed my mind, and this website is part of the outworking of that, for reasons that will become clear later on.
Despite my life choices, I would dearly like to retain your respect for two main reasons: the first is that I am affected by what people think of me; and the second, and more important reason, is that the value you get out of this website will in large part be determined by the confidence you place in what it says.

Why would a sane and rational person believe in profane and irrational things?
It is true that many people come to Christianity during periods of emotional and psychological weakness, and often in a state of some desperation, but that does not mean that faith itself is only for the weak and desperate, it just means that faith provides answers which support people through times of weakness and desperation. It does not mean that is all there is to it, and it does not mean that those are the only people you will find within it.
My own journey has been somewhat different. And as I look back over it I see that there were three crucial questions that I had to work through, both academically and psychologically, which were:

Does our grasp on science, technology and logic describe everything in the world, or are there things that are still beyond our understanding, and maybe even beyond our awareness?

If there are things beyond our awareness, could they really be a factor in the creation of our universe, and thereby in forming me and who I am? And if that is so, what should be my response to that?

Amongst such a plethora of possible answers to the above question, how can I even begin to identify the right answer?

The fact that I personally was unable to answer unequivocally the first two questions, led me to wrestle with the third. And in addition, there is a fourth question which I continue to wrestle with today:

If I am right in my conclusions to the above three questions, why is there so much around me that appears to point to them being wrong?

Perhaps the above questions are enough to convince you that I have not stumbled into Christianity blindly, but for those of you who would like to understand a little more, please feel free to click on the highlighted text of the questions to see my personal conclusions to those questions. But before you read them I would like to make the following point clear: They are only my own personal conclusions, and should not be taken in any way as the answer.

Why has this website been written, and supporting material been made freely available?
I do believe that the above questions are good for anybody to engage with, but if they do, it is important that they identify their own answers for themselves.
I believe that people grow when they honestly and earnestly wrestle with questions bigger than themselves, and as they grow, they add value to the world - not necessarily in the form of answers, but in the form of empathy, understanding, forgiveness, support and encouragement; the very things that combat greed, resentment, intolerance, hate and all the things that make our world a worse place. As we wrestle with the big questions we learn to build relationships rather than to destroy them; we equip ourselves to embrace and repair them, rather than to escape by rejecting them.
But all too often, we hide from the big questions. We are frightened by the implications of their conclusions and we feel ill-equipped to address them, so we push them to the back of our minds and we busy ourselves with smaller details which distract us from the big questions. And as a result we don't learn techniques to tackle the big questions, and we don't build up experience in them, and so the situation continues.
Sometimes of course, we have big questions thrust upon us, such as: 'What is friendship?' or 'What is parenthood?' or 'What do I become when the person who loves me is no longer there?' and through working our way appropriately through these questions, we grow. But sometimes, faced with such questions and being so unfamiliar with them, we still hide from them when they are thrust upon us - and at this point we can be in danger of retreating further inside ourselves, further away from growth and relationships and the things that fulfil us as human beings.
It should be clear to anybody reading this, that I believe that people benefit from actively engaging with questions like: 'Why?'
I believe, and have demonstrated, that organisations benefit from engaging with such questions too, and in some small way, this website is intended to support and build on this process within your organisation, but in doing so, my fervent hope is that it will achieve four things:

Firstly, it will give those who work with it practice in wrestling with such questions, and build their confidence in doing so

Secondly, through the practical benefits that result, it will demonstrate the value of asking such questions and build a commitment to doing so

Thirdly, that the result of using these approaches will remove some of the clutter of the small detail questions that distract us from the big questions

Fourthly, that having gained confidence in the relatively safe environment of work, people will begin to extend such challenges to their personal and spiritual lives

If this website at least does something toward achieving that, then I will have achieved riches beyond that which money can buy. I will have built a new relationship, and that new relationship will do something to add value to the world.
I am sorry it sounds trite and naïve, but as Richard discovered in the book that accompanies this website - sometimes the Devil owns all the sophistication.
Yours, with God's love
Michael

 

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