In 1965, my parents needed more space for their steadily growing number of children. They found an old house in a suburb called Stabekk, just outside of Oslo. I was seven years old at that time, and this move turned out to have a huge influence on the trajectory of my life through childhood and adolescence. There was an Evangelical church in the neighbourhood, and I was soon enrolled in its Sunday school. There we were told stories of Jesus and His disciples, and God’s love for all humans was frequently emphasised. I showed up pretty much every Sunday and have only fond memories from my years there.
During my teenage years, I faithfully attended the weekly meetings of the church’s youth group. The religious discourse was now different, to a large degree focusing on typical Evangelical doctrine, including the infallibility of the Bible. This made a very strong impression on me, and by the time I was seventeen years old, I was a full-fledged Bible fundamentalist. So, when I became a youth leader at the age of twenty, I continued – in a radical and uncompromising way – in this tradition.
Although I continued down my fundamentalist path until the early 1990s, my position on certain issues softened a bit over the years. For example, somewhere along the way I concluded that Young Earth Creationism was an untenable position, so for some years I considered myself an Old Earth Creationist instead.
In hindsight it seems unavoidable that this whole edifice had to come crashing down at some point. Being a fundamentalist tends to be challenging, since one must immunise oneself against important parts of reality. Being a fundamentalist with an inquisitive mind is harder still. In my case it proved to be impossible; especially after I finished my education with a PhD in computer science from University of Oslo.