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TOP people: Brenton Reading

TOP people: Brenton Reading

Brenton Reading

"My family and I will attend the One project in Seattle this year. Wherever you are in your spiritual growth, I hope you will join us to reflect on Jesus’s final week and the deep connection which roots our diverse community together in Christ."

"In my early 20s, science eviscerated my faith. Back then it seemed an unbearable tragedy. So, when I matriculated to medical school, I plastered over the mortal wound by becoming a fiery-eyed Christian leader with verbose passion to conceal my doubts. In the process, I formed some lifelong, transformative relationships with friends in church, small groups, and a praise and worship band.

"Those relationships gave me the courage during radiology residency to peel back the skin of my faith and face the damage of buried doubts. Since my wife and I had a growing family, I hoped to find a healthy faith to pass on to my children. Instead, the wound was fatal. The core of my faith was decomposing.

"After moving on to a pediatric radiology fellowship, I described this perceived tragedy to a wise acquaintance, who asked, 'Are you sure that was a bad thing?' The question refocused my perspective from decomposition of old faith to compost for new faith.

"As I start my 40s, I can better appreciate the ongoing cycle of new stages of faith grounded in the compost of previous stages—all rooted in Christ. After beginning a career in pediatric interventional radiology, I have taken the time to dig deep into my Adventist tradition to discover the underlying aquifer that feeds all traditions. My interests have branched well beyond the religion of my youth and I have discovered a living faith to share with my children.

"However, growth and transition have resulted in strained relationships with family and friends in church. So, it was refreshing to gather with Adventist friends at the One project in San Diego last year to focus on the Sermon on the Mount and our common connection in Jesus. Sure, we talked about our differences and explored the ways we have outgrown different traditions and beliefs. However, all of that became dimly peripheral in the shared centrality of Jesus."

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