Friday, March 12, 2010

Diary of a Conversion

I came across a wonderful and powerful testimony of a woman (Jennifer Fulwiler) who describes herself as having been a life-long atheist who had "never once believed in God, not even as a child." This is somewhat unusual, as I have seen studies which have shown that belief in the supernatural is almost universal among children across all cultures. It's striking that she also describes herself as having been "vocally anti-Christian" before her conversion.

The story of Jennifer's conversion to Christianity (particularly Catholicism) is simply beautiful, and well worth reading. It's a story of what happens when someone decides to give God a chance. While I can relate to some aspects of her testimony (such as how the world and her life made so much more sense after her conversion compared with prior to it), I can't relate to never having believed in God. I'm one of those for whom the existence of God seemed obvious, although I didn't know who He was and didn't live my life for Him until my conversion at the age of 19.

Sometimes it can be discouraging in trying to share the Gospel with atheists and skeptics, presenting the arguments and evidence, and often seeing nothing as a result. But those arguments can and do work to break down the intellectual barriers to faith that many people have. Jennifer writes, "When I first started reading works by Christian apologists I was quite surprised at how reasonable they were, that their arguments in favor of God and Christ his Son were more involved than the one's I'd always heard (mainly "Shut up," and the old standby "You're going to hell"). I decided to take Pascal up on his wager, to follow St. Augustine on his advice to believe so that you might understand, and to just live my life for a while as if God did exist."

Jennifer listed some of the books that helped influence her in coming to faith, a list that included The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, books which I have used in teaching apologetics in Hungary. It was a blessing to me to see these books included in Jennifer's list!

About me

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My ministry in Hungary involved teaching theology and training Hungarian church planters. I have a great interest in apologetics as well as missions.