Could the Church of the Future Be Constituted by the Atheists of Today?
by Pastor Brian Chilton
One of the amazing things about God is how God is able to transform a person from one pathway to a completely different pathway…a better pathway. I recently spoke to an individual who told me of an inspirational pastor. This pastor was originally from California and was actively involved in gangs. However, the one-day pastor would have an experience with God through Jesus Christ and would experience a complete turn-around. The individual now ministers in West Virginia and has adopted children born in tough circumstances to give them a better life. This should not be surprising, because God has an amazing capacity of turning something good out of something bad.
It should not be surprising to hear when someone is transformed to a different mind-set either. There are in fact many individuals who are now Christians who once were agnostic or of an atheist mind-set. There are three examples that we offer to show how God can transform the mind, as well as the heart.
Modern Examples of Great Transformations
Many more individuals could be listed when speaking of individuals who have made an amazing turnaround from skepticism to faith. But, to keep from writing a novel, we will limit this article to three individuals who have been transformed.
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One of the most impressive new apologists to surface in recent years is an apologist who is also a homicide detective. J. Warner Wallace is that apologist/detective. Wallace has been featured on Dateline especially for his cold-case detective skills. Wallace, interestingly enough, was a former atheist. Wallace writes in his book Cold-Case Christianity, “My friends knew me as an angry atheist, a skeptic who thoughtfully dissected Christians and the Christian worldview, yet I suddenly found myself reading the Gospels to hear what Jesus had to say. Something about the Gospels caught my attention, more as an investigator than as someone interested in the ancient philosophy of an imaginary sage” (Wallace 2013, 16). It would be Wallace’s use of his cold-case detective skills applied to the Gospels that led him to the understanding that the Gospels were based upon genuine eyewitness accounts. Eventually, this led him to the possibilities that the Gospels were true and allowed him to open his heart to an experience with God.
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