Who Am I?
For those who don't know
me, it seems appropriate to introduce the author of this site briefly.
My name is Charles Soper, I was born and raised in a family of atheist
or agnostic convictions, and as a teenager was thoroughly persuaded of
the truth of neo-Darwinism,
to the extent that I also scoffed at those who believed in a Creator
My family has some religious roots on both sides, and as a token of
respect to these I was christened as a baby in a high Anglo-Catholic
but in practice the church seemed utterly dead to us and we dead to
When we attended a service occasionally it wholly confirmed my
impression of an irrelevant and outmoded institution with nothing of
value to say to a ceaselessly changing society.
In retrospect I realise
that all these churches were indeed dead spiritually, dry fountains,
empty clouds -
places where the Bible is not preached and where wisdom itself has died.
During teenage years, I began to realise the immense futility and
uncleanness of a selfish and self-serving life.
It became abundantly clear, that if one attained all one's best
ambitions and desires, a good home, family, reputation and excelled in
various fields of science and endeavour, yet at the end, all must return to dust, and
ultimately there was no purpose or glory at all. This so profoundly
struck me that I lost all motivation to work or study and for several
months started missing school to avoid accounting for the ever mounting
debt of work that I owed.
As a matter of course, like many of my friends, I entered Anglican
confirmation classes at school. The old language of the prayer book and
its rigorous exposure of sin and the power of the world intrigued me,
yet the clergyman who explained the texts, himself frequently
undermined their sense. When after a few months instruction I was
confirmed by the laying on of hands by the bishop of Oxford, I had been
so deeply convinced of the vanity of life and the unreality of
spiritual experience that for the first time I would have claimed to be
The situation at school worsened considerably. My godly aunt, the only
believer in Christ in my family, invited me to join her in a
I was very reluctant to go but she was insistent and I was in
Before I left however, to escape the anger of a number of teachers,
I took a trip with the army as a cadet on a skiing trip to
Scotland for a week.
It was the most miserable week in my life.
Not only was I surrounded by filthy language and behaviour, I sensed my
own deep guiltiness and folly. At one stage whilst ascending a skilift
in a blizzard, I slipped off and was separated from my company. The
blizzard was so strong my glasses frosted up and I could see very
little with or without them. My ski boots were heavy and clumsy, and
being half way up the mountain I could make very little progress in
either direction towards safety. It was obvious I could easily die. In
my humiliation, I prayed for help, and in God's mercy, I was enabled to
descend slowly and painfully to a warm resting place below.
Shortly afterwards, when travelling with my aunt to the conference in
Skegness, I was deeply struck by the character and behaviour of the
Christians we travelled with. During the trip the car had a tire
blowout and the vehicle veered across the road. Yet the believers
though shaken, were calm, patient, gracious, their language and
behaviour so utterly different from other people I had met in my family
or at school. My impressions were magnified as I stayed at the
conference, what simple joy, what humble purity and gentleness of
character, what sweet words of wisdom and strength!
After returning home, at first there was no change. A few weeks later,
whilst reading a biography of an American missionary and how the Lord
dealt with him, my heart was strangely affected and melted. I began to
see just how sinful, selfish and wretched I had been, especially
to my mother. I began to appreciate the Bible as a book more and more
love letter from Heaven, which gripped my conscience and heart. It was
a guide and a light to the simple, not a
collection of disparate and disjointed narratives, as I had previously
viewed it. I began to pray genuinely for the first time in life, not as
of mechanical formality, but with a wonderful sense of adoption and
kinship in the family of Heaven. My family, and especially my mother,
saw something of a change in my previously bitter and angry character.
How deeply motivation to work was
transformed. now the sciences were not just avenues of intellectual
pursuit, I was pursuing and exploring my Heavenly Father's handiwork,
and examining His glory! It was like a Divine game of hide and seek!
All this was founded in being brought to see the indescribable love and
kindness of the Lord Jesus in dying for a sinful wretch like me, in
paying the debt of my sin, and purchasing for an undeserving moral
bankrupt the right to enter the presence and pleasure of the Most Holy
One. Although there were many strong struggles with many doubts and
fierce temptations, by His helping goodness, I began to grow in desire
and understanding in godliness,
a sense of the ever present power and deceitfulness of my own pride,
and the wonderful grace and provision of God in the dual gift of His
Word and His Spirit to reveal Himself in Jesus Christ, His dear Son.
If you are a stranger to these things or surprised and bemused by them,
please let me urge you to consider and reflect upon them carefully and
There is no need to leap in the dark, true faith comes as a result of
conviction and persuasion. Yet by nature we foolishly hate this light
away from it, till His Holy Spirit sweetly draws us.
What infinite and glorious treasures there are in the love of God,
Go, examine His claims and character, test and taste His wealth and
power - if you seek Him seriously, you will never be disappointed in Him.
For me now, to live is Christ, to reflect by His indwelling Spirit,
albeit in a still defiled and unworthy manner, His great love and
purity, and to die is gain
- absence from the body brings His children into His immediate presence.
To Almighty God alone belongs all honour, wisdom, worship, blessing and
Here is one place you may wish to start.