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Hello from Herefordshire, UK

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Hello, Folks. I'm Robert Crompton. I've been hovering around these pages for quite a long time now so I thought that it is about time I introduced myself.  I've spent a lifetime dabbling around the Scriptures from all sorts of different perspectives - beginning with the Jehovah's Witnesses in which movement I was brought up, then quitting in my early twenties and setting out on the exciting but not always easy journey from extreme fundamentalism to liberal and non-theist Christian. I am now a retired Methodist minister and a writer and novelist. At heart I am a storyteller and it is from that perspective that my most recent book, Stories in the Scriptures, looks at the ancient narratives.  You can find me on Facebook or at my website robcrompton.org 

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Hi Robert,

Welcome to 'outing' yourself here :) .  If you don't mind me asking, just out of curiosity, roughly how long have you hovering around the TCPC Forum for?  I hope you don't mind answering - it's just that I see we have a lot of 'visiting' traffic but quite a limited number of visitors usual progress to introducing themselves and actively participating in the Forum.  I'm very pleased that many people utilize the Forum, and even more pleased when people want to actually participate discussions.

Thanks for introducing yourself and I hope you enjoy participating here.



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Welcome Rob

I like Herefordshire. My summer holidays in my childhood were often spent in/near Almeley and the wife's sister now lives near Lyons Hall. 

Edited by romansh
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Thanks, Paul and Romansh for your responses. It's been quite a long time actually, Paul, that I have identified as a liberal/progressive Christian. When I retired from ministry about 12 years ago I said that I was going to take a year's break from preaching and leading worship. That year is still running. Until quite recently most of my religious/biblical activity has focussed upon the problems associate with leaving high-control authoritarian movements like the Jehovah's Witnesses  and I've been fairly active with the International Cultic Studies Association for a few years, doing a couple of conference presentations and writing a spin-off book arising from that work. But now my focus has to be upon my Biblical and storytelling interests because I do believe that I have an approach which perhaps some may find interesting. So that's what has brought me here.



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Concerning cults, I've often wondered what differentiates Christianity as a whole from being considered the ultimate cult - a 'Jesus Cult'.  It seems though, because it's generally 'popular' around the western world, it doesn't get called a cult per se.

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On 10/24/2022 at 11:11 AM, RobCrompton said:

 But now my focus has to be upon my Biblical and storytelling interests because I do believe that I have an approach which perhaps some may find interesting. So that's what has brought me here.



Hi Robert, always interesting to hear various stories. I'm not really sure what you exactly mean by your "storytelling" interests. Fiction? Non-fiction? For what purpose?

I think that we all have stories to tell. I remember some testimony given by an old resident in a nursing home, responding to the need to be heard.

Heard......if they only understood how important it is that we be heard! I can take being in a nursing home. It's really all right, with a positive attitude. My daughter has her hands full, three kids and a job. She visits regularly. I understand.

But most people here......they just want to tell their story. That's all they have to give, don't you see? And it's a precious thing to them. It's their life they want to give. You'd think.people would understand what it means to us.....to give our lives in a story.

So we listen to each other. Most of what goes on here is people listening to each other's stories. People who work here consider that to be.......filling time. If they only knew. If they'd just take a minute to listen!

Yes, very important to listen to each other. We live in the "age of communication" yet actual communication is at a premium, between individuals and countries. 

Strangely, I don't seem to have a "story" of my own. I think I'm falling into that "Krapp's Last Tape" moment, of losing connection with all my ancient narratives that held my "self" together. 

But whatever, pleased to meet you, if only in cyberspace.



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Hello, Derek. Thanks for responding. By describing myself as a storyteller I mean that as a writer I am first and foremost a novelist and I it is from that kind of perspective that I approach my other writing. Certainly this is my approach in my latest book, Stories in the Scriptures, which I have sub-titled, A novelist's approach to the Bible.



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Hello again, just took a look at a sample of your book. I certainly like the idea of the creation of stories from any scripture, especially if deeply personalised. This rather than the creation of doctrines. 

In a way it reminds me of the Jewish approach to scripture, extracting new realities, finding ever fresh meanings relevant to their own time and place. The living word. 


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