It’s become accepted wisdom that the origins of the Christianity are quite dodgy. Having dismissed virgin birth, miracles and resurrection, experts insist that the traditional story of Christianity and the Bible are unreliable and that the rise of the church was based largely upon myth or deliberate fibs.
Not everyone agrees and there are reputable historians who take a different view (though not a ‘fundamentalist’ view – N T Wright, for instance – see his book on the resurrection of Jesus).
There’s a book in the Bible called Acts and it is full of stories about how a previously-disillusioned bunch of Jesus-followers travelled around the Roman Empire with disruptively good news, enough to upset a lot of powerful people (nobody disputes that). It’s an exciting read, with riots, arrests, prison escapes, big speeches, healings, miracles, murders, shipwreck, acts of love and heroism and ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things.
At Colchester Vineyard we’re currently reading this book together, letting the stories speak to us today. If you’d like to join us doing this let us know!