While I was living and working in Malaysia two years ago, I wrote quite extensively. Not fiction, but a fair bit of poetry and a lot of what I call “devotions”: reflections on Bible passages or aspects of the Christian life that struck me. I am offering a few of them here, for what they are worth:
Working for Joy
Accept This Foreigner (Luke 17:15-19)
Spiritual Comedown (1 Kings 19:3-4)
One day, in the throes of some crushing doubt about the historical accuracy of the Bible, I wrote this reflection. It helped me a lot in clarifying my thinking on the topic.
Gospel and History
Here is an essay that I wrote a year or so ago about intellectual doubt in faith and the problems it presents. Having struggled significantly with doubt over the years, this is a topic I have spent a lot of time thinking about. It may benefit other doubters and others who wish they did not doubt.
Doubt and its Discontents
An anthology of my poems written from 2006-2012 is now available from the Kindle store at this link:
Petalshower and Windfall: Poems by Matthew Pullar
If you do not have a Kindle reader, the free Kindle app can be downloaded to iPhones, Android devices or iPads to allow you to read it. Hope you enjoy it!
Over the past few years I have written a number of poems which have taken the form of prayers – or perhaps I should say prayers that have taken the form of poems. I’m not sure what the difference is. Perhaps you can decide for yourselves as you read them. Here they are as a brief anthology.
Poems of Prayer 2008-2011
Religious doubts can come in various forms. Sometimes mine are intellectual, but more often than not they are emotional. One thing I find, however, is that, when I am in the throes of some spiritual malaise or disconnectedness from God, my mind can play tricks on me and can bring back to the surface intellectual doubts which I quelled a long time ago. One of the best ways to counter this, I find, is to document the answers that I came to regarding those more intellectual doubts. Then, at least, I can remind myself that the intellectual questions have been answered and that what remains is, however powerful, at the very least not particularly rational.
Here is an essay I wrote last year when I was struggling with what is often called “redaction criticism” – an approach to Biblical history which views the Bible as a hodge-podge of different accounts that have been poorly and unreliably cobbled together. My knowledge of these topics is not great but it is something I have had to wrestle with. I hope that my recorded thoughts and answers can benefit those who have struggled with similar questions.
This WordPress page is something of a trial-run. It is not intended to be an independent blog, but has been created to complement my existing blog, Ideas From the North. So why create a new blog? In short, because there are ideas that I have which do not fit easily into the form of a blog post. For a long time, I have also tried to express my thoughts through essays, stories, poems and assorted “reflections” (or rambles!). This page is designed to be a space for those other writings to be contained and accessed by anyone who is interested. I will regularly post links to this page from Ideas From the North and intend to create something of an index of my available writings on that site, to make access as simple as possible.
I hope that this site can be beneficial to those who find it and are interested. I make no pretence of being an expert on any of the topics that I write about. I am trained in Literature and Education and have a very small amount of formal theological education. On all other topics I am either self-taught or presumptuous. But sometimes an amateur perspective on topics that baffle us all might be helpful. All I am doing here is seeking to articulate my thinking processes, in the hope that others might benefit from this when they find themselves thinking through, or sorting through, similar thoughts or issues.