Meaning, identity and security in an uncertain world

A new series of videos and articles makes ideal viewing and reading for anyone thinking through the biggest questions about science, faith, and the meaning of life. The series is authored by Alister McGrath, a former atheist who is now a theologian, Anglican priest, scientist, and author.

McGrath tells his own story in the first episode, explaining how his atheism was overturned when he went to study chemistry at Oxford University, and encountered for the first time ‘an intellectually serious form of Christianity, which captured my mind and my imagination.’ His discovery that the Christian faith has philosophical credibility, as well as offering an emotionally coherent way of life, informs the whole series, which has been published on the Christianity website.

Alister McGrath
Alister McGrath

The episodes – find the complete series here – explore the following questions of faith and life:

Is faith a leap in the dark? One of the questions that many people ask about Christianity concerns faith. Why commit yourself to a way of thinking and living that can’t be proved to be true? Shouldn’t we limit ourselves to what can be proved, preferably by the natural sciences?

Is there more to life than this? How do Christians see their faith as helping us to make sense of the enigmas and riddles of our experience? Can the Christian faith light up the shadowy landscape of reality, allowing us to see things as they really are?

Do I matter? The desire for meaning in life has become increasingly important because of the many uncertainties we face as a result of wars, financial crises, and a growing realisation that changing climate patterns threaten the existence of many forms of life, including our own.

How can we make sense of Jesus? How can we locate Jesus on a conceptual map? How does his story relate to our stories? How can an event which took place at a specific time and place be relevant for all people and all times?

Christ is our Saviour, but what does that mean? The New Testament has a powerful focus on the significance of Jesus’ crucifixion. So why is Good Friday (the day marking his death on a cross) and Easter Day (marking his resurrection) so important for Christians?

How does Jesus set us free? In the New Testament’s rich imagery of salvation, human beings are trapped, wounded, ill and guilty. Yet God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves, asking that we accept healing, forgiveness and transformation.

Alister McGrath recently retired as Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford. His latest book is What’s the Point of Theology? Wisdom, Wellbeing and Wonder, published recently by SPCK.

Christianity is the website of the Christian Enquiry Agency, which responds to email enquiries by the public about the Christian faith. The agency also offers prayer, through a team of pray-ers, plus free gospels and help with finding a local church or Christian course.

Image by Sammie Chaffin on Unsplash