4th-Generation Atheist Becomes A Christian After 2 Years of Weekly Investigative Studies

by B Tyler Ellis

Prepare to be encouraged, because I have a great story to share. In the fall of 2012, our College Ministry kicked off a new semester at the University of Delaware, with an activity at The Campus House. The game was Texas Hold’em, which is always attended by a handful of guys. Nick Costanza – a sophomore who went on to become our student president the following year and who will serve in the same role this coming year – invited his roommate, Pieter.

I try to follow up with new students within 48 hours, so I was happy when Pieter agreed to meet up for coffee. In fact, he even agreed to allow me to do what I call a Coffee Shop Interview, wherein I ask about 20 questions, draw a picture, and post the notes on my blog. The last question of the interview is, “Would you like to meet up again to start an Investigative Faith Study at your own pace?”

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Over the years, I’ve interviewed about 50 people so far. While some of those include a homeless man, a five-year old, a rabbi, and a few professors, the majority of interviews are with students, both American and international. What was unique about Pieter is that he grew up as a fourth-generation atheist on both sides of his family, which is rare to find in our country.

For a small glimpse at the kind of person Pieter is, read his response to my question, “Hypothetically, if all your questions had answers that pointed to God as the Creator and Jesus as God’s Son, what would you do about it?” Pieter said, “Well, I’d probably believe.  I’d be a fool not to.  {laugh}  I mean, to deny what’s in front of you is closed-minded and ignorant.  If it all pointed to that, I’d say let’s go for it.  {laugh} I feel that’s a problem a lot of people have with atheists and agnostics.  Just this complete unwillingness to believe anything else.  And it makes me sad that that’s the sort of stigmatism I get.  When I tell people I don’t believe in anything, that’s how they treat me sometimes.  I don’t like that, because we’re not all militant.” Click here to read the full interview.

Beginning that day, Pieter and I met at Starbucks every single week for TWO YEARS (with the exception of the summertime when he would read books I’d recommend)! In fact, I kept a list of material we covered and it’s quite extensive…


4th-Generation Atheist Becomes A Christian After 2 Years of Weekly Investigative Studies | B TYLER ELLIS