An Atheist on the Alpha Course – by Simon Clare


When: Thursday, October 16th, 2014, 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Vines, 81 Lime St, Liverpool

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The Alpha Course runs in 162 countries and has been attended, according to their website, by 25 Million people. Over a 9 week period, students are guided through Christian theology ostensibly to “Explore the meaning of Life”.

Simon Clare, an unabashed atheist, signed up to his local course in Brighton, wondering if his faithlessness would be challenged. Spoiler: He wasn’t converted but he was surprised at what he learnt about faith.

The new Archbishop Of Canterbury, Justin Welby, found his faith at the home of the Alpha Course and his election suggests that the Alpha model of spreading the word is now at the heart of Christianity’s struggle for survival. As well as giving an overview of the course from biblical history to singing in tongues, Simon will discuss what atheists can learn from the Alpha Course.

Simon Clare runs Horsham Skeptics in the Pub and is a founder member of the South East Skeptics Society.

  1. #1 by Phil on September 27, 2014 - 10:17

  2. #2 by Steve on October 12, 2014 - 13:09

    I am very proud to know someone who was asked to leave the Alpha Course in Coventry many years ago as his questioning was even making the vicar question his beliefs.

    The David Frost narrated programme on ITV was also very interesting and showed the various sneaky methods they use like Barnum letters etc to get to people.

  3. #3 by Jon on October 25, 2014 - 19:21

    Really annoyed I missed this one. I went on an Alpha Course in 2005, started as an agnostic and it really pushed me further towards atheism with all the BS that was spouted. The tsunami in Indonesia had recently happened and a pivotal moment for me was when it was said by one of the leaders that the quarter of a million (presumably innocent) people who died had done so as punishment because of sin in the world committed by other people. If I was a “loving god,” I would have saved them . But what do I know? I’m a mere human.

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