The Rector Writes - July 2019

There was once a university chaplain and all the students going up to university had to meet with him soon after arrival.

Inevitably, at some point in that discussion, many of the students would come out with something like, "I don't actually believe in God."

Some would do so half-apologetically, almost embarrassed (perhaps having bought into the odd idea going around that to disagree with someone is automatically to offend them).

Others would do so more boldly, almost as if expecting the chaplain to collapse in response.

His answer was always the same and always unexpected:

"Describe Him to me. Tell me about the god you don't believe in."

What might you have said?

It is a fair enough question. After all, there are all sorts of 'gods' on offer in the marketplace of ideas.

What is the god you don't believe in like?

When the student described the god in whom they did not believe (usually a cross between a stern headmaster, eager to apply the cane should anyone give him the excuse, and disinterested watchmaker, winding up the universe and then wandering off once it is going), the chaplain would answer, "Oh, good, we agree - I don't believe in that god either!"

When they looked confused, he would explain, "I believe in Jesus, and God, His loving Father."

You see, it turns out that many of the people at one of the world's top universities were rejecting the God of the Bible, based on a complete misapprehension of what the Bible actually says about Him.

Could that be true of you?