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So I mentioned that we're changing churches. This week, we're going to meet with the pastor of the Presbyterian church about membership. I have a feeling that he's going to ask about my testimony, albeit maybe not in so many words.

"Testimony" is a very Evangelical thing. From the time you walk down the aisle and are baptized in an Evangelical church, it is pounded into you that you need to be able to give your "testimony", i.e. "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." (1 Peter 3:15). We never wanted to be unprepared. We were like Boy Scouts.

I'm 52 years old, though, and I have a pretty sketchy testimony. I know what I believe, it's just that my history is a bit of a roller coaster. When I was 10 years old, I asked Jesus into my heart and was baptized. When I was 17, I asked Jesus into my heart again and was baptized because I was afraid that the first time didn't take.

Since then, I've been in and out of church (mostly in). The churches I've been in range from Reformed to Charismatic, but I've been generally Evangelical, so I've held to a penal substitutionary view of the atonement. Nowadays, though, I think the atonement is more mystery than most of us are willing to admit. And, I often lurch alarmingly toward universalism. Jesus and I have had our ups and downs over the last 35 years, but we're hanging in there.

If I had to tell you the core of what I believed, though, I think I'd agree with the old seminary professor who answered this way: "Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so."


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