What do I think of John Humphrys’s book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Let us continue looking at Humphry.
Humphrys is in England and talks about being raised going to church, except for his Dad. For Humphrys, there was no question that he would, but the problem of the father not going doesn’t surprise me. Humphrys admits that he was usually quite bored and had no idea what was meant by “The quick and the dead” or the Holy Ghost, or the Trinity. That is certainly a failure on the part of us to educate our youth.
He also said he read the Bible from cover to cover, but it might as well have been the phone book for all he got out of it. Again, there is this emphasis on experience. Could we not be overdelivering and not properly preparing people? I wonder about people who say “I get something new out of the Bible every day!”
He talks about the first time he took the Eucharist and how he expected something grand to happen since he was taking the body and blood of Christ. Well, it didn’t. I wonder how common this might be, and anyone in the Anglican or Catholic or Orthodox traditions can tell me. Again, could we be overdelivering? Is this not more a danger of putting the emphasis on experience. (That being said, he does say the words and the solemnity of the Eucharist still stays with him.)
He talks about being thirteen and the priest talking about the blood of Jesus and he’s sitting there and wanting to get between two of the girls in the church. What thirteen year-old boy doesn’t? I dare say he is not alone in this. Not condemning that either.
He also talks about how even after he left church, he still had prayer, but he doesn’t feel like he connected with anyone. Again, what does this mean? Do we gauge how well our prayer life is by how we feel as a result?
He does have what I think is a proper criticism of too many preachers. When trying to reach unbelievers, they will use the Bible as their authority for what the unbelievers should believe. The problem is that if they already believed the Bible, wouldn’t they agree? If they don’t believe it, then why share what they don’t believe?
If anything, Hanby at least shows that man does seem to have a spiritual desire of some kind wanting there to be something more, which is perhaps why it is really difficult to be an atheist. I daresay that I do not think anyone consistently lives out atheism. Someone like Nietzsche if he was here today would be stunned at the new atheists and tell them that they need to give up on these ideas of something being good if they get rid of Christianity and of God. Keep in mind, he also spent the last years of his life in a mental institution as he had gone insane.
We’ll continue next time.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)