Nicky Gumbel’s Confessions
Giles sits down with the Anglican priest and pioneer of the Alpha course to talk family, faith and doubt
Giles sits down with Anglican priest and pioneer of the Alpha Course Nicky Gumbel to talk about the moment he changed from atheist to a Christian, why his father never talked about his being Jewish and doubting God after tragically losing his best friend.
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some christians regard gumbel as a heretic because of the the alpha course but also for he allegedly embraces the TORONTO BLESSING well worth watching if you want a laugh.
I didn’t expect to like Nicky Gumbell who is five years younger than me. I hadn’t heard him speak before let alone at this length, but as a churchgoer I’d heard of Alpha. The little research I had done – they seem to sell not tell so the way to find out about it is to sign up for a course – had suggested to me that it was an evangelical movement propagating what to me was a sub-Christian gospel. I borrowed a book about Alpha from a clergyman friend from which it appeared that Alpha devoted one half of one session out of eleven, to the teachings of Jesus. The rest seemed to be teaching about a Jesus and God and Christianity in evangelical terms which I always thought was MeMeMe centred. And I thought I detected an iron and authoritarian centre.
Perhaps it was cowardly but I recoiled from joining up just to be a grumpy nay-sayer in the midst of a movement that was at least bringing new people into the church. Even though I didn’t like the actual message I thought they were being given.
Well it’s much too late in the day for me to try Alpha or anything else new. But I have to say that Nicky came over as one of the loveliest of men. Yet I still feel that the loveliness is in the moss that he has marvellously cultivated on a stone that is not for me.
It seems to be too simple to say, never mind who Jesus is, just take what you can from his life, teaching and the story of his crucifixion and – I know of no reason why not – his resurrection, and the wonderful story of Peter, John, Paul, James and all those amazing first generation Christians. And without asking you to sign up to a historically produced creed, just to commit to following the Lord, whoever He is in the eternal mystery, as honestly as you can. For me that would be a better stone on which to cultivate all that loving and beautiful moss.
Fascinating discussion. I’ve been bringing friends to Alpha myself and have managed to bring them along to church as well. A lot of people ARE interested even if they don’t say it.
A terrific interview with a wonderful person and an inspiring man, Nicky Gumbel!
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