This is a fascinating story of one Atheist’s journey to Faith (Marilyn Adamson). She highlights the role that her friend played in that decision and this interaction provides another good case study of what was done right. Here are a few observations I hope you’ll keep in mind as you read it.
- Notice the natural interplay between the various facets of human nature – intellect, spirit, emotions, will. Some of her questions were intellectual, some existential, some emotional, and eventually her decision was an act of will. For instance, “I knew that just intellectually concluding God was there, was way too light.” In the end, all these facets of human nature worked together for a holistic decision. In our discussions with others we must remember that the really big life issues will, inevitably, touch all these areas of life and we must present our perspectives in that light.
- Her friend certainly addressed her challenges to the faith, and did her best to live out the faith as best she could. As Marilyn puts it, “I watched her life through a myriad of circumstances. She was convinced that God did exist.” Again, faith issues are holistic in nature and therefore must be lived out in a holistic manner.
- Her friend, “was caring, kind, and very intelligent.” When we meet somebody who challenges our most precious beliefs I hope every one of them will walk away saying that about us! Even on non-religious subjects this should be how others describe us.
- Marilyn did not check her brains at the door like many people think Christians do. Rather, for “the first few months or year … I would methodically review five objective reasons why I believed God existed. So my “faith” in God did not rest on feelings, but on facts, on reasons.”
- Her faith matured. She is a disciple, not a follower. She has continued to study, continued to read the Bible, continued to trust in God, continued to follow his direction in life, learned to listen to his voice, and so on. That’s all covered in Part 2, half way down.
Her’s is an excellent story that I would love to hear more of. I’m sure her friend was not perfect, and if the same story were written from her friends experience there would have been many comments to the effect, “I wish I would have said …” or “Boy did I mess up that conversation.” However, whatever mistakes her friend made, Marilyn’s general impression of the journey is far more positive than negative.
What about you? If you have a great, or awful, story about your own personal conversations with others, let me know. We like to learn from both kinds.
This article was originally posted at Arguing with Friends.