Tag: conversion

From Atheism to Christianity: Lewis’s Winding Path

C. S. Lewis’s winding path from atheism to Christian faith is a fascinating journey. We can take that journey with him in Surprised by Joy, his step-by-step account of how God led this proud young intellectual to the point of surrender—to becoming, in his own words, “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.” Lewis, the avidly voracious reader, found, at a certain point in his life, all of his books beginning to turn against him. They kept leading… Read more »

A Baptized Imagination

The first book to analyze C. S. Lewis and his popularity was written by an American, Chad Walsh, an English professor at Beloit College in Wisconsin. It came out in 1949 with the title C. S. Lewis: Apostle to the Skeptics. Walsh had Lewis to thank for his own conversion. “In my case there was no childhood faith,” Walsh wrote in an account of how he eventually found the Christian path. “If I ever believed in God as a small… Read more »

Celebrity “Conversions”: The Trump Report

In my decades as a Christian believer, I’ve witnessed a number of claims about celebrities who recently became Christians. In my early years, each claim was very exciting, as it seemed to show how God’s mercy reaches to everyone no matter how morally depraved they have been. Then I would expectantly wait for their lives to be changed and their testimony to be life-changing for others. Most of the time, I have been disappointed; they seemed to continue on their… Read more »

Lewis & Humility

Sheldon Vanauken was an American studying in Oxford in the early 1950s. He was supremely pagan in worldview and lifestyle. Then he started reading C. S. Lewis. As a student of literature, he immediately was drawn to Lewis’s Space Trilogy, then began digesting his apologetic works. He decided, since Lewis was at Oxford also, to contact him, and a correspondence between them developed. Lewis dealt with all of Vanauken’s major questions: the uniqueness of Christianity with respect to all other… Read more »

Finney & God’s Providence

Charles Finney relates a very unusual story in his Autobiography, one that has stayed with me ever since I first read it back in the mid-1970s. He was carrying out his ministry as a traveling evangelist when he was approached by an elderly man who asked him to come preach at his village, a place that had never had any religious services. Finney went with the man and, as was his custom, simply relied on the Lord for guidance as… Read more »

Noah Webster & the Wisdom of Earlier Ages

I spent a number of years researching Noah Webster, who became the subject of my doctoral dissertation. He’s known primarily for two things: his Speller, which taught Americans to read and write correctly; his dictionary, a monumental effort of about twenty years of his life, and which defined terms in the context of his Biblical worldview. Webster started out his career as a devotee of the Enlightenment, that movement of the eighteenth century that gave far more credit to human… Read more »

Waves & Waves of Liquid Love: Charles Finney’s Conversion Experience

Probably my favorite conversion account is that of Charles Finney’s. A lawyer with little knowledge of the Christian faith, Finney decided he needed to read the Bible since so much of the law was based on it. The more he read, the more convicted he was over his sinfulness. One day he determined to get right with God, so he went into the woods to pray. Yet every time he started to pray, he thought he heard someone in the… Read more »