What is This?
Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
'Tis the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur, — you're straightaway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.
I'm sure that some people who read this web site's content will judge its author as presumptuous. Clever people could indeed rip apart at least some of my reasoning in the What is Truth? article. All I can say is that my IQ is a confirmed average, and I've tried to do my best with the mental capacity that I've been given. Greater minds, such as CS Lewis, John Stott, and Lee Strobel, go much deeper in reasoning, apologetics, and evidence — and if the content of this site interests you, I recommend reading some of these authors' books e.g. Mere Christianity, Basic Christianity, and The Case for a Creator.
By selfish choice I'd rather not create and maintain a site like this — I'm quite a reserved and cautious person, and hate sticking my head above the parapet. The theme of truth, however, is too important to me now. I lived too long in deception — the first 20 years of my life — and despite a few attempts in that time to find something of God, could not. Many people today are searching for the point and purpose of life. Although my account is not the most dramatic or the most convincing Christian conversion that has ever happened, I do believe that it is out of the ordinary, and combined with pointers to God's truth, worth sharing. One amazing testimony that continually inspires me is that of Ian McCormack.
A little about me — my name is and my interests include history, art, German, and annoying my wife Alison. Long ago I graduated in Ecology. Now I work as a programmer.
If becoming a Christian was relatively straightforward to me after a life-changing mountainside accident, then remaining a Christian over the next few years would prove not to be. In late-1993, a year after the mountain accident, I suffered a prolapsed, or 'slipped', disc in my lower back — perhaps from a weakness emanating from the fall, or perhaps from premature aging in my spine. A prolapsed disc is possibly one of the nastiest injuries you can suffer away from extreme sports injuries or bullet wounds. Many people in their 30's and onwards suffer prolapsed discs simply through accumulative attrition to their spines. I had been a reasonably fit and active person for all of my life — now I couldn't run, swim, cycle... or lift a small box of books. I endured constant 'deep' pain, primarily from the prolapsed disc and its pressing on the sciatic nerve (running from the lower spine down to the feet). As my muscle groups wasted through lack of exercise and mobility (I lost over two stone (13kg) of body mass within six months), I struggled to walk or even open some doors. Soft seats, such as those of buses or cheap sofas, made my spine feel as if it were collapsing through my backside, with accompanying pain from the sciatic nerve shooting down my legs. Perhaps after a lifetime of physical attrition and disease this would be more understandable, but at the age of 21 this experience felt calamitous. Indeed it was a calamitously humbling experience. For a year I consumed a lot of Ibuprofen and other pain killers and spent much time lying on the floor or trying to focus my mind from the pain onto my studies. There was plenty of time for me to reconsider where my life was going.
In mid-1996, despite my still slow physical activity, and with no apparent reason, a disc in my upper spine prolapsed. I certainly felt like giving up. Some doctors mocked the disc inflammation and some dismissed that I even had sciatica. A chiropractor mobilised my lower back, which had become very stiff through the formation of scar tissue. Later, after many months of no exercise other than slow walking, an exercise bike considerably restored my wasted back and leg muscles. Regular visits to an osteopath corrected the scoliosis (side-to-side twisting) of my spine, and on at least one occasion, prevented a spinal disc from prolapsing. Through all this, the awareness of God and a relationship with Him helped me greatly to keep going and to see some purpose in the suffering.
Currently, I still can't run without pain, I have to swim carefully, and I go out of my way not to trip over a raised paving slab or miss the presence of a kerb. However, I consider myself amazingly blessed by God, not only to be still alive after a 50 foot fall, but also to still be able to walk. I know that God has carried me through the worst times and used a grim experience to test me and change my character. The experience has helped me to distinguish what is important in life and what is not, and that many people in this world suffer much more than I ever have. It's given me more empathy for others who suffer physically, mentally, and spiritually through afflictions. I still have a long way to go — much of me, such as attitudes and thoughts, still needs to change, but I thank God that He is there and helping me to develop in Him.
I'd particularly like to thank Christopher Mason, Dave and Corina Redmore, Ewan Cameron, Marcus Mosey, Felix Gillett, Linda Cundy, Mark, Ruth, Sandra, and Pauli for the grace, kindness, and inspirational example you showed me in 1992 and 1993. Thanks Maureen for all your effort in creating the excellent 'Pilate', 'Thief', and 'Moses-Pharaoh' illustrations for this web site. And Alison — you are so understanding, forgiving, and wonderful.