Posts Tagged ‘alpha’

Tough questions

Thursday, October 29th, 2009 | Religion & Politics

On Wednesday I headed down to give Kat some company at Alpha at South Parade Baptist Church. The theme of the night was tough questions and so our group discussions looked at a number of questions, namely why does god allow suffering, what about other religions and are science and religion incompatible.

The general answers where because Jesus took our sins, because Christianity has Jesus who was unique and no because Jesus said so 😀 . Actually those weren’t quite the answers but that was the general theme. I found this session much more engaging to be honest and enjoyed it far more though I did find some real cliched points.

I had to hold myself back at least twice, first when people commented that what really sets Christianity apart was that it had Jesus and his story was unique. Of course his story isn’t unique, it fits brilliantly into the hero pattern and is very, very derivative of previous gods. Secondly the girl opposite me, Charlotte, was no doubt a very nice girl and very friendly – but did bring up the “bad, mad or god” argument and I had to bite my tongue from saying “I dealt with this last time I was here, it doesn’t hold any water.”

All in all though I found the discussions much more engaging than the previous visit so thumbs up.


Thursday, October 8th, 2009 | Religion & Politics

Headed down to Alpha at South Parade Baptist Church last night.

I was expecting a fairly young audience given South Parade is reasonably heavy with students but that certainly wasn’t the case. It was very much a whole of church thing and it was nice to have a bit more of a classy atmosphere for the evening 😉 .

You could tell students weren’t involved from the standard of the food to be honest, which was excellent.

The event itself though was reasonably disappointing, it was a live speaker and the turn out was reasonably good which are both plus points but the standard of table leaders provided was somewhat lacking. Answers like, “yes, that is a tough question” aren’t really what we were looking for.

Still a fairly enjoyable evening and we got an Alpha book out of it so far from wasted time.

Citywide Alpha launch

Monday, October 5th, 2009 | Religion & Politics

Last Friday saw the citywide Alpha launch event in Leeds which saw churches from across the city come together for a big launch event for the 36 Alpha courses which are apparently launching across Leeds this week.

The event began with a speech from Nicky Gumbel, the man behind Alpha who was a good speaker as ever though also, it turns out, a massively repressed homosexual. I wouldn’t know myself but Rich who was sitting next to me assures me he is gay, not only in spite of how much he mentioned his wife, but because of it.

Rich enjoyed much of Nicky’s speech too – or at least he did the first time he saw the material when performed by Jasper Carrott. Apparently the jokes aren’t as good the second time around.

After this we got onto the “celebrity guests” which were Cameron Stout the winner of Big Brother 4 and an apparently famous fitness video instructor. She did have some good advice though – the way to loose weight is to actually do some exercise. So at least she has some common sense when it comes to wellbeing, if not in the field of religion.

The show finished off with a few personal testimonies talking about Alpha, all carefully selected to hit each demographic. Flawless all the way.

Citywide Alpha launch Jonni, Kat and Chris Steven, Kate and Rich


Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 | Events, Friends, Life

Having been invited down to Fonze’s church to do Alpha, myself, Norm, Paul and John went down this evening to check out a session. We arrived at the second week which was all about why Jesus died.

Having met Simon, the head guy, who was a nice guy as you would expect, we enjoyed a meal of rather higher standards than we are used to expect – I love it when the CU provide free food but they simply don’t have the resources to add the fancy touches such as a place mat full array of cutlery.

The session then took the form of a video lasting around 40 minutes which was reasonably interesting then we had a group discussion afterwards. It was good although it was no replacement for the speakers offered at Christianity Explored, it’s just not the same as an interactive speaker you can question on their talk afterwards.

We ended up heading back to The Terrace and got to know John a bit more who seems to be a really sound guy. He is doing joint honours artificial intelligence so we have some common ground and he also has excellent slogans on his t-shirts so it’s win win.