Swimming against the tide is…
… to do or say things which are different from what most people do or say, because you do not mind being different
From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
For as long as I can remember, I have always questioned everything. Simply being told that ‘X equals Y‘ never satisfied my lifelong curiosity. Why does it? How does that happen? Are there ever any exceptions? Where’s the evidence? What if…?
Very often this felt like swimming against the tide of public opinion, but all I was doing was wanting to know the reasons, the science, and the logic behind what I and others believe or know to be true. Some of that curiosity will, I hope, be apparent in this blog, and I invite anyone who reads it to join my quest for knowledge by joining in with the conversation.
My personal history in brief: I was born in 1944 in Leicester, England. After grammar school I gained a degree in medicine from the University of London. Seven years of service as a medical officer in the Royal Air Force was followed by general practice in the Midlands until a slipped disk and consequent spinal fusion forced me to retire on medical grounds. During this time I came to faith in Jesus Christ, and was eventually ordained as a priest in the Church of England where I was in charge of a couple of parishes until finally and fully retiring just a few years ago.
During my ordination training, and subsequently as a non-stipendiary priest in Yorkshire and in Northamptonshire, a question came to my contrarian mind: why does the Church of England constantly bang on about Mission & Growth when for the most part it is in fact mostly inward looking?
I began gathering evidence in a file which I labelled On Mission & Growth, or OMG for short, fully recognising that the abbreviation is commonly used to mean Oh My God! I intended to write a book on the matter, but I never settled down to the long and laborious task of collating all the facts, putting them into some sort of order, and actually writing the book: I have too much of a grasshopper mind.
Coincidentally, over the years, I had toyed with the idea of starting a blog, but never really got down to the nuts and bolts of doing that either. In practice, the book and the blog were no more than vague yearnings, and they were quite separate projects. Then I thought: I could start a blog in which I set out some of my thinking behind the book, and even invite comment. Then I could use all that material to write the book… Any comments I received would go a long way towards validating – or, of course, invalidating – anything I have to say: and this blog was born.
Church & Religion