Brandt Jean Carries His Brothers Legacy On – Well

(Finally, a heartwarming humanity story! Especially after watching this — SMH) BTW, for a young man that lost his brother… to have the coherence to forgive, speak as nicely and lovingly as this man did in speaking to the woman who murdered his brother… is a testimony to God in HIS life.

After former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Jean, his brother embraced her and said he forgives her. Brandt Jean went over to Guyger and the two hugged. Jean told her he doesn’t want her to go to prison. “I love you as a person and I don’t want to wish anything bad on you,” Jean said before they hugged for nearly 30 seconds. Jurors on Tuesday had found Guyger, 31, guilty of murder for fatally shooting Jean in his Dallas apartment in 2018. She had faced between five years and 99 years for the shooting.

Has Jim Carrey Come To Know Jesus Christ As Savior? (No)

Carrey has struggled with depression, and in the past has said (among other things),

  • “I’m a Buddhist, I’m a Christian, I’m a Muslim, I’m whatever you want me to be. It all comes down to the same thing. You’re in a loving place or you’re in an unloving place, if you’re with me right now you cannot be unhappy, it’s not possible.”

But what about this more recent video? Has he encountered Christ? Or is he speaking from a Buddhist perspective? (I say he is speaking as a Buddhist.) His claim about suffering leading to salvation (grace) is very Biblical (see here). Here is Jim discussing the issue at HOMEBOY INDUSTRIES:

BTW, Father Gregory Boyle could be a fan of THOMAS MERTON… another “taboo” in my mind’s eye.

Here is more of Jim Carry trying to convince one mind through his mind that no mind’s exist”

Jim Carrey explains to the tee the Buddhist philosophy as proposed by ALAN WATTS in this following explanation of the above:

A Satanic Church Leader (and his family) Saved and Baptized!

In the video, you see this Church of Satan founder (Texas), baptize his wife in the name of the “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” and then is baptized in front of his young sister and daughter. God Is Good! The video is a bit drawn out, but a wonder call to those involved in the occult to come to a Savior that IS Love and first loved us. Here is CBN’S article on this:

The founder of a satanic church in Texas has converted to Christianity.

We love Him because He first loved us. The only reason we love at all is because He first loved us. The Ten Commandments require that a man should love his God and neighbor, but the law could not produce this love. How then could God obtain this love which His righteousness required? He solved the problem by sending His Son to die for us. Such wonderful love draws out our hearts to Him in return. We say, “You have bled and died for me; from now on I will live for You.”

  • William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995).

Jacob McKelvy, formerly known as Jacob No, was instrumental in bringing together a group of “Luciferians” to form a Luciferian church.

But on February 5, 2017, McKelvy and his wife renounced their ties with the Luciferian church, after becoming born-again Christians.

[….]

McKelvy now speaks in churches to prove the power of prayer and the love of God.

“The power and peace and wholeness I feel today is far greater than anything that I’ve ever felt before,” he said.

“I created a church to destroy dogmatic religion and he still loved me. So if he could still love me for me to be here today talking to you than there are no excuses anymore.”

Pastor Hogan said he is working very closely with McKelvy to make sure that he has a solid foundation and that he becomes rooted and grounded in the word of God.

Meanwhile, the Greater Church of Lucifer has closed its doors.

LOVE did this… and only a Holy Love! (1 JOHN 4:7-21)

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Iron-Sharpening-Iron… At Toyota

As one is reading this, keep in mind that a few things are weighing in on this person spoken of below. First, he is an immigrant from Columbia, so being “culturally passionate” about issues is common place. Second, the person is a newer Christian and so has the natural zeal of such a fresh believer. Third, with cultural barriers comes a frustration to express oneself well… so shorter statements are often preferred (bumper sticker mantras). The person this post is about actually has a VERY powerful background to speak on his faith, his love for his country, and the like — if only he could reign it in and hone his thoughts.

While sitting at Toyota waiting for the 40,000 mile tune-up on my car, Fox News was on in the waiting room (always is at this dealer). As the waiting area began to fill, an immigrant guy sits down next to an Asian gal who has headphones on and is — from what I can gather with books and binders by her side — studying something for a child development class of some sort. Another woman is sitting catty corner to them.

The man tried to engage in conversation with the Asian gal, he had a very heavy accent. Because Fox News was on his mind was political and he blurted out his dislike for Democrats. Very boisterously mind you. I could tell she wanted to study, but was going to engage a bit with him, but shied away after the many statements about Democrats that went something like this:

  • “Trump will be the best president ever. Democrats are low-class. Trash. They are all communists. They are homosexual. They hate God…”

One has to be in my mind while I was thinking that the most immigrant guy here is SUPER pro-Trump and the “raised in America her whole life college student” probably learning about multicultural studies was not computing.

Just then a press conference of some sort with Trump starts up on Fox as a couple more people enter in to watch the TV. Just as Trump starts speaking, ANOTHER immigrant gentleman comes in and mentions in a similar “south of the border accent” that Trump is a mess.

The first guy — in a very thick accent — says:

  • “Trump will be the best president ever. Democrats are low-class. Trash. They are all communists. They are homosexual. They hate God…” [or some combination of that

Again, inwardly I was laughing. Because you had two immigrants with accents (the pro-Trump guy’s was thicker… giving him more authority using a leftist scale of classes — this could also be due to one was more educated in the English language from a younger age) in front of a student probably steeped in the idea that those South of the border are all anti-Trump… being privy with the others to a forceful rejection of Democrats — rightly or wrongly.

Too forceful, but hilarious to me nonetheless. I noted to myself the example we [conservatives] usually use of Democrats and their adherence to their emotional state being represented in bumper sticker responses. THIS guy was an example of the opposite. (I recalled a post of mine where some Trump supporters tried to discuss issues with Ted Cruz. I think many people voted for Trump because he speaks like they do — and wears his emotions on his sleeve as well as in general discussion. >>> Rightly or Wrongly.)

He eventually got up to go handle some business about his car, the waiting room settled down, and I got back to my reading of Michael Reeves, The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation. The previous interactions were fading into my memory and was reading the following…

Underpinning the whole system and mentality of medieval Roman Catholicism was an understanding of salvation that went back to Augustine (AD 354-430); Augustine’s theology of love, to be precise (how ironic that this theology of love would come to inspire great fear). Augustine taught that we exist in order to love God. However, we cannot naturally do so, but must pray for God to help us. This he does by justifying’ us, which, Augustine said, is the act in which God pours his love into our hearts (Romans 5:5). This is the effect of the grace that God was said to channel through the sacraments: by making us more and more loving, more and more just, God ‘justifies’ us. God’s grace, on this model, was the fuel needed to become a better, more just, righteous and loving person. And this was the sort of person who finally merited salvation, according to Augustine. This was what Augustine had meant when he spoke of salvation by grace.

Talk of God pouring out his grace so that we become loving and so merit salvation might have sounded lovely on Augustine’s lips; over the centuries, however, such thoughts took on a darker hue.

Michael Reeves (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009), 19-20.

As I was finishing the paragraph this person walks back in to the waiting room, repeats his mantra above [see above], and then turns my way to walk past where I was sitting. I caught his gave and asked him if he wanted to sit down and talk. He said yes and gladly sat down next to me.

Carlos is his name. He is from Columbia.

He opened up immediately about his political and religious affiliation. I had him pause and said “as conservatives and as Christians we are suppose to change minds with speaking truth in love to people.” I continued, “by merely stating ‘x-y-z’ you are playing into a stereotype that will chase people away from your positions rather than endear them to these truths.” I then gave an example[s]:

Carlos, I asked quite a few Democrat friends I know to give me the best example of why they think Trump is a ‘bigot, racist, or xenophobe’ (or any combination thereof).” I mentioned I got three recurring themes from them. “I will explain one of them,” I said. “I usually ask a Democrat in conversation who has stated his dislike for if they agree that Trump’s statement about ‘Mexico sending their rapists and drug dealers across the border is an evidence of Trump’s bigotry, or xenophobia, or racism.'”?

“Typically,” I continued, “I get a yes. I then ask if I can share how I view this statement to share with them a perspective they probably have not heard.” Continuing in the conversation…

“Almost always they say yes. I then share that while I think Trump generalized this to Mexico he and we know that many from Honduras and El Salvador and other countries make this trip… even from Columbia.” He agreed. I continued on, “The Left-leaning human rights organization and other organizations that help these people have said that during their travels, 80% of the women and girls are raped. Eighty-Percent. I explain that by controlling our border we will stop this mass raping of those coming to get across our porous border, thus protecting these women by making it more likely they will stay with their families. NOT only that, but many of these rapists ARE crossing over the border… and by controlling our border we will protect women of all nationalities in our country from being subjected to this heinous crime.”

I explained that by having such a conversation we are not forcing a change on the person, but merely offering information that they may not heard of before, giving them a different perspective OTHER THAN this is merely a bigoted, racist, xenophobic position.

I explained as well that in the past I have met with fellow conservative/libertarian gay men and women who vote Republican. Many of whom are against gay marriage saying that the States have the AUTHORITY to set the meaning of marriage, NOT the Federal government or the Courts (like the Constitution enumerates). Others are against it because they believe heterosexual marriages have an inherent quality that under-girds society that same-sex relationships do not.

So, I explained, “homosexuals” know and love freedom and voted for Trump along a line of thinking that his (Carlos’) adamant statement does not fairly reflect — THUS building walls in people’s hearts rather than knocking them down.

We shared testimonies, he is a newer Christian of three years… he shared that his wife has mentioned to him his “exuberance.” Sometimes men need to hear it from men for it to register. We talked about iron-sharpening-iron and his obvious passion that he displays that is very cultural, and that I felt moved to talk to him out of love. He goes to a wonderful local church. He brought up Islam and his travels and speaking to Arab Muslims in other countries. Relaying their hatred for Christians and especially Jews. I shared how I approach persons of the Muslim faith… getting them to agree that the followers of Jesus and the followers Muhammad are fallen and not always the best representation of their faith. I always get an agreement with this. I then compare Jesus’ life to Muhammad’s life.

JESUS — when Peter struck off the ear of the soldier, healed it. Christ said if his followers were of any other kingdom, they would fight to get him off the cross. He also told Peter if he lived by the sword he would die by it.; Christ invited and used children as examples of how Jewish adults should view their faith… something culturally radical – inviting children into an inner-circle of a group of status oriented men such as the Pharisees was unheard of. Especially saying to them their faith must be similar; Jesus, and thusly us, can access true love because the Triune God has eternally loved (The Father loves the Son, etc. ~ unlike the Unitarian God of Islam). Love between us then: (1) my wife and I for instance, as well as family, (2) the love in community/Body of Christ, (3) love for our enemies, etc., has eternal foundations in God; This love from God towards us has caused a Sacrifice to ensure our salvation. Jesus said as well that he has “spoken openly to the world…  always teaching in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. ‘I said nothing in secret.’” The Bible also states that God cannot lie… and Jesus is God in orthodoxy. The love of Christ and the relationship he offers is bar-none the center piece of our faith… something the Muslim does not have. Which is why the Church evolved because they have a point of reference in Christ to come back to.

MUHAMMAD — (a) ordered his followers, and (b) and participated in both digging their graves and cutting the throats of between 600-to-900 men, women, and children. Some of the women and boy and girl children were taken as property. He was a military tactician that lied and told others to use deception that ultimately led to the death of many people (taqiyya): The word “Taqiyya” literally means: “Concealing, precaution, guarding.” Lying and cheating in the Arab world is not really a moral matter but a method of safeguarding honor and status, avoiding shame, and at all times exploiting possibilities, for those with the wits for it, deftly and expeditiously to convert shame into honor on their own account and vice versa for their opponents. If honor so demands, lies and cheating may become absolute imperatives.” [David PryceJones, “The Closed Circle” An interpretation of the Arabs, p4] We never see any depictions of Muhammad with children, we just know that he most likely acquired a child bride at age 6 and consummated that “marriage” when she was nine — he was a pedophile in other words; While the Qu’ran states that a follower of this book should have no more than 4 wives, we know of course that he had many more. Many more; Even the most ardent/obedient Muslim still leaves his or her entrance into “heaven” is an arbitrary choice of “Allah” … no story of love and sacrifice.

I told Carlos if this encounter looks uneasy for the Muslim person I am speaking with, I will end with:

  • “I pray you try to model your life more-and-more like Jesus’ rather than Muhammad’s.”

You see, knowing your worldview, being ready to give an antithesis that points to Christ and the Gospel message when witnessing, should be honed. The same applies for speaking about other important issues as well, LIKE POLITICS. If one shows a grace in interactions face-to-face with people on a political level, they are more readily apt to give you time when speaking about your faith.

The Apostle Paul was trained his whole life… and God used and transformed that training for His glory. We should all continually do the same… train as ambassadors for Christ. Carlos has a powerful story…

Carlos has a great testimony and story of his family

coming to America in the 1870’s, then leaving

for Colombia after being established for a generation here.

coming back and loving our freedoms.

…if only he would reign in the VERY obvious passion he has and redirect it a more constructive communication. Paul had a passion and zeal as well.

This takes practice by the way.
Patience.
Grace.
As well as care.

We all fall short in these and other areas of life. BUT (I shared), like a sail ship going to a point, it has to tack… as it approaches it’s destination those lines of crossing get tighter-and-tighter. We are ALL in a learning mode and ALL look forward in our race to glorify Christ and our ultimate glory. As we learn more about God, our faith, how the church interacts with one-another and the world… our “tacking” gets tighter. (He mentioned he likes to sail.)

I was told my car was ready

I ended with a quick reading of Roman’s 5:5 (which I had just read… God is good!):

“And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

And then we said a quick prayer for God’s grace and love to always wash over us, building us up in His truth.

That was it. Hopefully Carlos contacts me, I would love to fellowship with him more.

Improvised Baptisms

I just had to share what this wonderful picture of the faith is with our military people. This first example is a picture of an old freezer used for a baptismal on Easter morning in Iraq many years ago, the second example is a video of a front-loader used as a baptismal. God bless His Church and especially the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.

Freezer Baptism

Jennifer Garner’s Return to “Faith”

May I say, not only is the movie about a miracle, but the miracle continued on in Jennifer Garner’s life and kids life. I just hope it is a church that can guard their walk in their faith by teaching them the completeness of God’s Word and our worldview.

Raising one’s self-consciousness [awareness] about worldviews is an essential part of intellectual maturity…. The right eyeglasses can put the world into clearer focus, and the correct worldview can function in much the same way. When someone looks at the world from the perspective of the wrong worldview, the world won’t make much sense to him. Or what he thinks makes sense will, in fact, be wrong in important respects. Putting on the right conceptual scheme, that is, viewing the world through the correct worldview, can have important repercussions for the rest of the person’s understanding of events and ideas…. Instead of thinking of Christianity as a collection of theological bits and pieces to be believed or debated, we should approach our faith as a conceptual system, as a total world-and-life view.

Ronald H. Nash, Worldviews in Conflict: Choosing Christianity in a World of Ideas (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992), 9, 17-18, 19.

THAT BEING SAID, if that is T.D. Jakes sitting next to her (in the below video)… and that is the church she is going to… well, good luck. There are some well founded concerns about his teachingsto say the least.

This comes by way of NewsBusters:

….During a Q&A, Garner admitted that Los Angeles, her current home, is a difficult place to openly discuss faith.

“[Faith] has become very political,” she said. “If you’re a person of faith, you are so on the outside, that there’s no way to bridge to somebody that’s ‘normal.’”

But, she stressed, this movie was different: people would discuss faith on set constantly. Besides that, the film itself normalizes faith.

“[I]t’s a normal, wonderful family who happened to have leaned on their faith, to guide them through the hardest thing in their lives,” Garner pressed.

Those aspects of the film led her and her family back to church.

I will say that being around this community, and while I’ve always gone to church back home in West Virginia, when we got back to Los Angeles… I was talking to my kids about the movie and they said, ‘Mom, you don’t take us to church,’ and we went that Sunday, and we – they went today without me. I mean, they – that, that decision – and that was a direct gift from this movie and so, for that, I’m very grateful.

[….]

Garner wanted a part in the film as soon as she read Beam’s best-selling memoir, the movie’s inspiration.

“I stayed awake all night after reading Miracles from Heaven,” Garner told People magazine last year. “There was something about this family, this mother and daughter, and this telling of the story that I felt I just had to be a part of.” …

Josh McDowell Shares His Struggle With Circumstances and Coming to Faith

We have had some great commencement and convocation speeches these past few weeks, and some really horrible ones. But Liberty University — I don’t think — was ready for this honest, and at times, raw, testimony. Josh McDowell’s struggle against the odds and his hatred/blame of God creating seemingly insurmountable hurdles in his life that made coming to faith in Jesus Christ impossible to the natural mind. But we deal with a miraculous God:

Matthew 19:26

  • But Jesus looked at them and said, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
  • Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.” (The Message)

Josh McDowell is a prolific apologetic writer who has written classics in the defense of the Christian faith, based on his own skepticism. But only recently has he talked about his childhood and expanded on what drove him to this skepticism. The movie of this is called Undaunted (2012), and it is a must watch.

I wish to thank Pastor Matt in bringing this speech to my attention. And I ask you settle in and enjoy the huge dose of God’s hand working in one man’s life:

Dr. Holly Ordway Speaks About How God Challenged Her Intellect Through Apologetics

This is an excerpt from Holly’s book, linked below, and you can access her thinking on matters of faith more-so at her blog, Hieropraxis, which is the continuing thoughts of someone Christ went back for. I will also include (below) an interview about her journey from atheism to belief. (Her presentation on “academic faith” was also posted as a Serious Saturday lecture.) Enjoy… and for the curious, one should read about how God called Kirsten Powers through apologetics as well. One should keep in mind it isn’t the Christian using his or her intellect to “best” someone in argument, but God meeting people where they are at, and the Holy Spirit quickens people’s hearts to the knowledge of God in different way, Holly is an example of this.

“I suspect that most of the individuals who have religious faith are content with blind faith. They feel no obligation to understand what they believe. They may even wish not to have their beliefs disturbed by thought. But if God in whom they believe created them with intellectual and rational powers, that imposes upon them the duty to try to understand the creed of their religion. Not to do so is to verge on superstition.”

Morimer J. Adler, “A Philosopher’s Religious Faith,” in, Kelly James Clark, ed., Philosophers Who Believe: The Spiritual Journeys of 11 Leading Thinkers (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 207.

(Take note as well that God invigorated her mind towards Christ via Christian poems/literature [like John Donne] — her degree is in literature, so she has a passion for this beauty in word and really a need in all of us for objective meaning and beauty in life.)

Here is the excerpt:

IMPORTANT THINGS CAN START in odd places and at seemingly inauspicious times. It was early March, and I was in Reno for a Division II North American Cup fencing tournament—a big event for  me. 

I started the day in great confidence, feeling ready for a breakthrough performance. I was sure I’d make it to the semifinals at least, and not-so-secretly I anticipated winning the whole thing. Let us just say things did not go as planned. I fenced abysmally in the first round of pools (as my coach succinctly, and factually, put it, “You did everything wrong”). Then, instead of making a spectacular comeback in the direct-elimination round, I fenced horribly and lost the very first bout. It was the end of the line for me; an ignominious end to my high hopes. My coach studiously ignored me until I stopped crying; when I had pulled myself together, we had our debriefing conversation, analyzing what had gone wrong and why. I was glum but I realized that if Josh was talking about what we would address in the next series of lessons, at least it meant he wasn’t going to kick me to the curb for one bad performance.

Still, I felt deflated. Debrief completed, I slunk off to my hotel room, tail between my legs.

An hour or so later I wandered back down to the venue and watched the women’s sabre finals (where I’d hoped to have been! sob). I ran into Josh and Heidi, and they invited me to dinner. Their company was a welcome distraction from brooding over my lousy performance, and the conversation was sufficiently interesting to continue past our meal, so we found a place to chat in the casino coffee shop. Slot machines stood in ranks on either side, flashing and jingling; the casino traffic ebbed and flowed around us. This was Reno, where people gamble 24/7: late as it became, the lights stayed on and no tired barista came to shoo us out. And that was a good thing, because the three of us stayed there, in conversation, for hours—talking about God.

Its a curious thing, how God works. If we’d been in a normal cafe that had to close up at nine or ten p.m., we might never have gotten where we did in our conversation. If I had done well in the tournament, we’d probably just have talked about fencing. But con­sidering how disconsolate I was about my performance that day, I was glad to talk about anything but fencing. Movies we’d seen. Fa­vorite books. As it turned out, we were all fans of C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.

“I’ve read a little bit of Lewis’s other stuff,” I said. “I’m really an­noyed with him. He says Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. But he’s leaving out that we can respect Jesus’ teachings, without the re­ligion part.”

“Well,” Josh said, “actually . . .”

And the conversation went on from there.

We talked about whether it was possible to know that there was something beyond death. We talked about where morality comes from. We talked about the idea of a First Cause, a creator of the uni­verse. At midnight my roommate called to see if I was OK, since I’m not the type to stay out late. I assured her I was fine, wished her a good night, and went back to the conversation.

I’d had interesting discussions before, but this one was different right from the start. I felt completely awake, alert, and more than a little nervous, like I was handling dynamite. But then, I was, wasn’t I? All my adult life, if I discussed religion at all, it was to dismiss it as nonsense. Yet there I was, risking honesty about what I believed but had never questioned before—and genuinely listening to ideas that I’d never heard before. Why was this conversation different?

At the time, I just knew that I felt safe. I knew that I was re­spected, that neither Josh nor Heidi would try to convert me, so I could let my guard down like I’d never dared to before.

They offered no Bible quotes. No sharing of how ‘God had worked in their lives. No appeal to my happiness or peace of mind. What, then? Philosophy. Ideas. Dialogue.

The upshot was that, right there in that noisy, neon-glittering casino coffee shop, I experienced a radical turnaround from my previous perspective on all things God-related. As yet I didn’t know if the idea of God were true or false, but I discovered that “faith” wasn’t anything like I thought it was. It could be based on Reason.

I swiftly discovered that Josh knew what he was talking about: whenever I challenged a point, he had solid information and clear reasoning to back up what he’d said. What’s more, he respected my intellect by not letting me get away with vague generalizations or unchallenged assumptions. That was refreshing. It was, in fact, the same kind of give-and-take as in my fencing lessons: he knew what I was capable of, and so he wouldn’t permit lazy thinking any more than he’d permit sloppy technique.

But also—again, just as in my fencing lessons—he challenged me exactly at the limits of my comfort zone, where I had enough to work with that I wasn’t lost, yet was stretching myself past where I was really comfortable.

(A fencing lesson, working on practicing strong attacks. He’s making me repeat the attack over and over again, with corrections, till I get it right. My leg muscles are burning-I’m out of breath-he pauses. Him: “Tired?” Me: [gasp] “Yes” [gasp]. Him: “Good. Back to work. En garde.”)

As we wrestled with these ideas, Josh answered my questions-not the questions that an evangelist might think I ought to have, but the ones I actually did have.

Though a lot of Christians probably haven’t thought of it that way, talking about Jesus as Savior involves many assumptions—for instance, that you already believe in a Creator, not just an impersonal force but an actual Person, who is wholly good and who in­teracts with humanity. Miss one of those links, and the whole thing falls apart.

I needed to start at square one. For me, the term “God” was heavily loaded, so we used a safer term—the neutral, philosophical “First Cause”-and began with a basic question: can we even know, reasonably, that there is a First Cause of the universe? I’d always held to the belief that the universe just “happened.” I knew that I couldn’t back up that assertion, but I also thought that the religious take was simply to assert the opposite. I say no God; you say God; great, we’re done.

Except that it seemed like Josh had some actual reasons for his claim, some actual arguments to make. That was a totally new idea.

Sensing my interest, he laid out a few of the cosmological arguments for the existence of God. Here I can safely say that what’s helpful varies from person to person. The mere thought of philosophical apologetics might cause some people’s eyes to glaze over. On the other hand, for me it was like asking for a glass of water and getting champagne instead. I was stunned by the very concept that there were rational arguments for the existence of God. Never mind whether I agreed with the arguments or not, the simple fact that Josh said, “Let’s reason this out” rather than “You have to take it on faith” made me want to hear more.

What’s more I saw that these arguments made frighteningly good sense. I could see, even right there in that coffee shop in the casino in Reno, Nevada, that they made more sense than I wanted to admit.


Holly Ordway, Not God’s Type: A Rational Academic Finds Radical Faith (Chicago, IL: Moody, 2010), 43-47. (Emphasis Added)

 

(Via Apologetics 315) Today’s interview is with Holly Ordway, professor of English and literature and author of Not God’s Type: A Rational Academic Finds a Radical Faith. She talks about her background as an atheist, her encounters with Christians in the past, the influence of literature and poetry, personal influences from others, looking at arguments for the existence of God, counter-arguments against God, psychological explanations, her encounter with Christ, her advice to skeptics and her advice to Christian apologists.