So much for the claims of the evangelical atheists, ‘Brights’, humanists and other God-dodgers. That fact demonstrated over the centuries, and still demonstrated today, is that it is Christians who are seen at the rock-face of social action.
Another quote from Utopian Dreams By Tobias Jones I enjoyed:
Tobias describes his experience of working on a voluntary basis for Emmaus in Bristol:
Emmaus had all types. There Were also businessmen and bank managers laid low by bereavement or booze or both. I remember once talking to one of the ‘companions’ I had known for a while…He was called Nick. He had been an accountant for years but had hit rock bottom. He reminded me of the Tim Robbins character in The Shawshank Redemption. He did the accounts for the community and under his guidance it was thriving: it had a turnover of about two or three grand a week.
We were chatting one day in the office of the warehouse and he mentioned other volunteers, all the guys who spent nights sleeping in the home, days driving the vans. There had been dozens already this year. The interesting thing was that almost all of them were Christians. Nick wasn’t overjoyed by the fact, and he and other companions often teased the earnest dogoodery of theological students: there was ‘Bible Dave’ and ‘Jabba the Hun’ and so on. But Nick had seen all the volunteers and was baffled: ‘I don’t get it. Where are the humanists and the Fabians and the Socialists?
I was once chairman of a non-religious charity and we decided to try and find out how many of our volunteers were Christians. The theory was that if we could work out the number of volunteer hours came from the churches we use that ‘value’ as part of a matched funding bid. It was not easy as all had been recruited under Equal Opportunity guidelines and we really did not know if we had many or very few. We assumed we had some.
We had to abandon the idea when we discovered that almost all the volunteers were Christians!
Tobias, I enjoyed your book. I appreciated your honesty about your search and your honesty about your discoveries about yourself as well as the experiences. I particularly liked the final chapter.