In November 2019, WordPress informed me that I had surpassed 10,000 views on my blog Life Under Investigation. It always touches me seeing how many people read my writing, and watched my talks, and so I thought I’d take a moment to thank everyone who has checked out my blog, and also to take a little look back at things I’ve learned through 5 years of blogging.
My First Article
In September 2014, I was invited to teach a 3-part series on the historical evidence for Christian faith at my local village church youth group. I had never taught anything of this sort before, so I semi-coherently regurgitated Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ. By a small miracle, the teenagers really engaged with the content. After one of the sessions, a teenager called Ryan approached me and asked if I could write him something on the bible’s stance on homosexuality. I went away and wrote him an article, and then had the whacky idea of publishing it on the internet. And thus, with my first article Is God Anti-Gay? my blog began. I’m pretty certain that Ryan does not remember the conversation he had with me that night, and I’m not entirely sure if he even read the article! But it is because of him that I have this blog now. Be careful what ideas you plant in people’s heads!
My Most Read Article: Depression and Christianity
One of the fun things about WordPress is that it gives me a detailed breakdown of how many views each article gets per day (as well as which countries the views come from). And there is one article that has received more than double the number of views than any other: Depression and Christianity.
In December 2014, I was diagnosed with moderate depression and was started on antidepressant medication. It was without doubt the darkest and hardest period of my life, and a suffering that I still find difficult to describe today.
1 year after I was diagnosed with depression, I wrote my article Depression and Christianity, and I could have never predicted the response. After I published the article, I was immediately inundated with messages from friends, religious and not, offering support and kindness. However, even more movingly, I received several messages from people telling me that reading my story helped them in their own struggle with mental illness.
In my article Suffering: A Good God? I argue that suffering is never meaningless, but rather, God works through our suffering for our good. I can now look to my own struggle with depression, and the response I got to my article on the topic, as a personal testimony of this. Depression has made me a better doctor, better friend to those struggling with mental health issues, and better teacher in the church. I can genuinely say I believe that God, in my darkest hour, and was working powerfully and mysteriously through my suffering for my good and the good of those around me.
Evidence for the Existence of God
In 2014-15, I ran the events for UCL Christian Union. I was both a really challenging and really rewarding role, and I learned a lot about how to (and how not to) talk to people about faith and Christianity. As we ran talks and went around campus answering people’s questions, there was one question that kept coming up over all others- is there evidence for the existence of God? And so, I went on the hunt for a resource we could give away en masse during events to address this question. However, we seemed to have two options: little gospel tracts with around 5 pages of gospel verses and 1 sentence answers to difficult questions, or big intimidating volumes such as Tim Keller’s Reason for God. But what I wanted was something long enough to be convincing, but short enough to be unintimidating.
Then, during one Christian Union planning meeting, my friend Izzy suggested in passing the idea of me writing a book for the events. It was very much a passing comment and fun suggestion. However, the idea stuck, and within 2 months I had written Evidence for the Existence of God.
I never intended Evidence for the Existence of God to be my route into the Christian literature scene. It was only ever meant to be a little personal project for my local Christian Union. But since publication, just under 1000 copies have been bought, and copies have gone as far as the Netherlands, Zambia and Singapore.
I have also begun to receive the most amazing and mind-boggling stories that have come from the book. I received a Facebook message quite recently from an old school friend who became a Christian through getting interested in Christianity through a friend, seeing my book on Facebook, reading it, and then doing an Alpha course. I have another friend who was reading the book in hospital and then gave it to his nurse. It then transpired that that nurse read it and started excitedly telling all the members of staff about the evidence he’d discovered about God!
The thing I find most incredible about these stories it that my book is simply a concise summary of works by authors far more qualified and intelligent than me. None of the content is original; it is simply a summary of arguments from Willian Lane Craig, John Lennox, Ravi Zacharias, C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel, Gary Habermas and Michael Licona. And yet, through a power beyond anything I could achieve, it seems to be able to convince people of the truth-claims of Christianity.
And so, I want to say a huge thank you again to everyone who has checked-out my blog. I also want to say thank you to people who have suggested and requested different articles. Nowadays, I mostly write articles based on questions and requests from friends and colleagues. So if you’d like me to write something on a particular topic, please do contact me.
However, ultimately, I write because I genuinely believe Christian faith is true and good, and in God we can find answers to our deepest and most challenging questions, whether they be about science, philosophy, history, sociology, theology or personal experience.
To quote C. S. Lewis: “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true is of infinite importance. The only this it cannot be is moderately important”
God bless, and thank you for reading my blog!