Not God’s Type: A Biola interview with Holly Ordway

Before we talk about the book and how it was developed, let’s first talk about how you were an atheist?

I was not raised in any religious faith, and from a very young age I had a skeptical outlook. Religion seemed like a story that people told themselves, and I had no evidence to the contrary. The experience of going to college at a secular, liberal university just strengthened that tendency to assume that Christianity was a fairy tale, while naturalism and the secular worldview were what all serious thinkers believed.

What did you discover to be the most compelling feature about the Christian worldview and way of life?

I was startled to find that Christian theism had significantly better explanatory power than atheistic naturalism, in terms of explaining why the world is the way it is, and in accounting for my own experiences within it. Learning more about the Incarnation and about God, the most holy Trinity, has further reinforced my confidence that Christianity really does make sense of the world in a way no other worldview does.

So, how did your book, Not God’s Type, get developed? Can you walk us through the rationale and motivations for writing?

I never expected to write about my journey, but every time I talked to someone, I would get such a positive reaction that I started to realize that God wanted me to share this with others. At the prompting of a magazine editor whom I knew slightly, I wrote a magazine article about my journey. About six months later, out of the blue I got an email from an editor at Moody Publishers, asking me if I would consider writing a book for them. He had found the magazine on his desk, read my article, and tracked me down on the internet. At the time, I’d never even heard of Moody! We spent about a year working on getting a solid proposal together, and then in fall of 2008, they accepted the proposal and I got a contract to write the book. And here we are!

What was it like for you to write this book?

This is my first published book, but I have been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. (My first story was about squirrels.) I have written all sorts of things: a master’s thesis and a doctoral dissertation, newsletters, essays on personal finance, various half-baked attempts at fiction and poetry, and a great many DVD reviews. By the time I had the book contract, I also had been writing for my blog, Hieropraxis, for about a year and a half, exploring various aspects of the Christian journey. So in one sense, although this is my first book, I am a very experienced writer, and I have confidence in my own facility with language and my ability to revise my work.

Several things were different about writing this book, though! I struggled with the question of why I was writing it. Why should I write about my life? Was that being prideful? I realized, though, that in truth this is not my story, but the story of God’s grace. He is at the center of the book, not me…

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