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A Bad Christian’s Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment

Rev. Dave Tomlinson

Rev. Dave Tomlinson

For many years, Dave was a leading figure in the House Church movement. In many ways he was a round peg in a square hole.

So he departed that world and in 1990, he set up Holy Joes, a group that met in a south London pub that provided a forum for people who find regular Church unappealing. Alongside doing that, he wrote The Post-Evangelical. After conversations with the Bishop of London, he was ordained in the Church of England,

He is now the vicar of St Luke’s, which he describes as “a glorious mishmash community of north London urbanites, sharing friendship, and groping after God”. He says, “it’s the best job in the world! “.

This conference was based on his latest book The Bad Christian’s Manifesto of which the subtitle of the book is “reinventing God and other modest proposals”.

Put another way it is important for us to reinvent our image of how we see God and in doing so we will blosom in our faith. Dave gave three talks which give the flavour of the conference which were:-

  • God has to be better than this – why God needs reinventing. How to dump the misery of trying to please God, and discover God’s pleasure
  • Discover your spiritual nous – losing religion to find God. How to journey with faith and befriend your doubts
  • God of dirt and passion. How to find the grace of carnality – and the carnality of grace.

It was particularly interesting to EF members as Dave spoke movingly of the Civil Partnership of Karen and Hannah. Dave comments:

“I have a lot of very satisfying days in my job, but this was definitely one of my favourites – conducting the civil partnership ceremony of two beautiful lovebirds on Valentine’s Day. It’s frsutrating and stupid that I still can’t conduct such a ceremony in a church, as a vicar. But nothing could detract from that day. And in the end, love will conquer discrimination and samll-mindedness”.

This says it all really.

 Conference Speakers and Themes