“I did genuinely think about why the Christian Union named the event, ‘Wonder’, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a really good name for the event. For the newcomers, the ‘uninitiated’, it’s an invitation to wonder, to think about faith, and God’s place in one’s own life. But for those who have come to the decision of accepting Christianity, it serves as an opportunity to wonder at the community surrounding Christianity, and the Good News that they spread.”
The quote above comes from a friend of mine, an agnostic, who regularly comes to the Christian Union events with me. Throughout the week, I will be talking with him about his thoughts related to the events that we are going to. I am doing this because as a Christian Union, we want to emphasise that the Wonder week is indeed for you. We want to reach out to you with our take on science, relationship, freedom and destiny and in turn, to hear your questions, your objections, your thoughts, whatever they may be. We believe that wondering is really important, and that sometimes we don’t get the opportunity to do this.
Why is Wonder something worth considering?
“I am by no means a Christian. Philosophically, I think that while there isn’t a reason for God to exist, more and more I realise that there are inadequacies in the alternatives. Although scientific study has always been about modelling our world; it simply doesn’t attempt to explain why. Am I to believe that sheer chance and time created what appears to be conscious people and that the rules of the world are simple enough for our minds to understand? It is here that I think there may be a place for God.”
Yesterday we had our international dinner, where we ate together and heard the testimony and teaching from Shelly, a former Brahman Hindu, who converted to Christianity after many years of praying to multiple Gods and living a life of strict ritual. We heard about one of her favourite passages in the New Testament of the Bible where she emphasised the complete willingness of God to meet people exactly in the state that they are in. Shelly confessed that she originally believed that Christianity was a half-heartedly practised faith of the western people, but came to see Christianity as something where many people of different nationalities and ethnicities commit whole-heartedly to God and find hope.
What did you make of Shelly’s Hindu to Christian conversion?
“I feel that a theist in general would have an easier time converting, as opposed to somebody who can’t make it over the hill and believe in any God or Gods… But I certainly was taken aback by the fascination with God that Shelly had, and that was persuasive. From hearing about Christianity to fully accepting it, she certainly found something, and I would have to admit that it makes me curious.”
We will be running the international dinner every night at 18:00. Come along if you would like some food and a chance to hear more stories like this.
Later on in the evening we heard from Andy Kind, an established comedian and Christian. It was a hilarious evening including coffee, tea and a chance to hear a fresh take on the gospel from somebody who has even lived the lively student days as an atheist. Andy spoke to us about humanism and nihilism, and shared his opinion on the unsustainable nature of such world views, as well as the western focused nature of them. Andy emphasised that the ‘good news’ of Jesus isn’t like advice as it’s not telling one what to do to get the good ‘stuff’, but rather that the good stuff has already happened! Namely, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
How did you enjoy the Comedy?
“He was a fun guy! He was remarkably up front, and in no way pushy, but you tell that his faith meant a lot to him.”
Andy mentioned that Christianity is the only religion where God ‘reaches out’. What do you think about this?
“Although I’m not sold on his views on humanism, I hadn’t thought about the ‘reaching out’ nature of the Christian God before and it was interesting to consider. Where other religions encourage a pure, holy life, Christianity simply asks you to accept Jesus. It seems to be a smaller, more reasonable leap of faith and in this sense, Christianity feels less fabricated.”
We will be having an evening event every night in the Wonder tent at 19:30. Check out the Wonder website for more details.