Thursday, 25 December 2014

Ryan Bell story in the LA Times

Ryan Bell isn't your average Seventh-day Adventist minister with a mid-life crisis. The December 22 issue of the LA Times features his year-long project to take "time out" from God and religion. In fact it made the front page.

Apparently Bell is planning to go public shortly on "where to from here" once the year is over. The SDAs, one suspects, won't want him back and, if Bell has any sense at all, he wouldn't want to anyway. Some form of re-commitment to a broader form of Christianity perhaps? Or will Bell out himself as a born again atheist?

Actually I don't much care what Ryan Bell has decided. Life is often more about struggling with the questions than reaching an end point. Too many times we hide from the uncertainties and whistle bravely to ourselves in the dark. If arch-apologist William Lane Craig is able to pontificate that "This is madness, spiritually speaking", then I'm pretty sure that Bell has done the right thing and need have no regrets. In the end it's about integrity, and there's a certain wisdom in simply respecting another person's journey, regardless of whether they end up in the same place you are.

My only questions: will there be a book? (98% probability) and when will it come out?

1 comment:

  1. The L.A. Times article was quite intriguing, and had more than a vague aura of familiarity about it. It is almost as if perhaps the name had changed and Ryan had actually been amongst us on the post-WCG blogs and forums, as he made amazingly similar remarks to ones I've seen made by people openly processing the aftermath of the Armstrong experience.

    There is a time when, had I been an insider and had I been invited to Penn Jillette's bash, I probably would have felt at home and fairly comfortable. If his reaction to Penn's bash is an indicator of things to come, Ryan may end up with a seeker mentality, which involves seeing and understanding various conflicting points of view simultaneously, an emerging predominant view, but always accompanied by crises in faith in that view, and constant testing and retesting.

    I used to have a saying to the effect that we become gnostic at death........or not.