If you Google Nicky Gumbel and the Alpha Course, articles that castigate him pop up. Maybe his theology is flawed, and maybe Google’s skewed algorithms have a lot to do with it. . . but here’s what I experienced.
As a kid I went to Sunday school and endured goofy flannel graphed stories narrated by wrinkly ladies. (Back off! I’m a wrinkly lady, now.) I quit going to Sunday school and church at age 12.
Decades and decades passed.
Then, after deciphering a subtext in one of my emails, a dear friend suggested I go to the Alpha Course at church.
September 28, 2010 I went to the first class.
Nicky Gumbel was a barrister (Brit for lawyer). One day his buddy told Nicky he’d accepted Jesus as his savior. Nicky was appalled. So, in barrister fashion Nicky studied the Bible and other sources to prove his friend wrong. He would cite the lack of evidence.
Nicky found evidence and corroboration. He became a believer. And an ordained priest.
He is the presenter on the DVD Alpha Course series.
Nicky is the first person able to explain that Bible stuff in a way that made sense to me. Plus he cited other sources. It doesn’t hurt that he’s cute, funny and smart.
A day after that first Alpha class I wrote in my journal:
“I believe Jesus was more than a man. I accept he is the son of God. This acknowledgment has lifted my heavy, dark, judgmental cloud. The weight that lifted was the futile effort to ignore and poo poo the 2 million or so Christians, to refute 2000 years of tradition, to disregard the belief of other smart people who are Christians.”
(Stage directions: Turn on sunbeams and angelic choir.)
Nicky brought me back to Jesus and the church.