Wednesday, August 16, 2006

An Amazing Story

As a one-time atheist, I found myself peculiarly drawn to this person's tale of coming to faith in Christ.

Toby, also a former atheist and student of Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard, describes something of his conversion and what it has thus far meant:
After a lifetime of atheism, almost entirely devoid of any exposure whatsoever to religious practices; after cofounding a secular humanist club in undergrad; after spending way too much time picking apart really bad arguments for the existence of God; after declaring a few times (before witnesses) that I was an "incorrigible" atheist, probably the last atheist who would ever, ever convert to Christianity--after all that, I've converted to Christianity...

I can't explain why, because there is no explanation. I converted, and there was no reason for my conversion. None. Really, none...

...I received no visions, heard no voices, had no hallucinations of any sort (a pity, since I'm rather fond of hallucinations, though I doubt they're any sort of basis for faith). I was not convinced of God's existence by some amazingly clever philosophical argument I'd never considered before. I did not feel that I was at the end of my rope and needed some supernatural force to get my life back on track. I didn't feel a deep psychological need that only religion could fill. I felt no deep sadness, no sense of lack, no sense of despair. No arguments, no needs, no wants, no motivations were responsible for my conversion.

I found myself in a position where I faced an incomprehensible choice to either commit to God, or not, with no basis whatsoever for choosing one over the other--and I chose to commit. It was that simple (that difficult, that bizarre). I know next to nothing about existentialism, but I get the feeling this was some hardcore kinda existentialist moment...
If you're a Christian and Toby's nascent theology doesn't look like yours, I wouldn't worry about it. We're all in the process of becoming and you and I could well be wrong on every point at which we might disagree with him. But for me, it's enough to know that someone has changed the sun (the Son?) around which he orbits.

And one other thing: Few people are ever intellectually argued into faith in Jesus Christ. Christ woos us through the Holy Spirit and the Spirit-empowered witness of His people. An amazing story like this one is all the inspiration I need to keep wooing for Christ for a long time to come!

[Thanks to Ambivablog for leading me to Toby's site.]

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