Interview With A Former Skeptic: 3 Important Lessons
by Sean Mcdowell
A few years ago my family befriended another young family in our neighborhood. Our kids were the same ages, and we all had a lot in common, so it was a natural and enjoyable friendship. There was one big difference though—we were Christians and they were skeptics. While I had many friendly apologetics conversations with Gavin, the father, he seemed to always have some good reason for doubt. When they finally moved away from our neighborhood in southern California, I remember thinking that he would never come to belief.
Well, I could not have been more wrong! Gavin ended up becoming a believer, and I had the amazing privilege of baptizing him last summer (this brief video has the story and baptism). He is now a National Certified Counselor and lives with his wife and three kids in Bend, Oregon.
When I wrote the book A New Kind of Apologist, I included interviews with apologists, atheists, and some others who have important insights for how to do evangelism and apologetics today. My friend Gavin was kind enough to answer some of my questions. As a former skeptic, his experience and insights are unique and very important for Christians today. Enjoy his brief interview from the book!
SEAN MCDOWELL: What role did apologetics play in your conversion to Christianity?
GAVIN MACFARLAND: There was a time a few years ago when I told my wife that I didn’t think the God of the Bible existed. In fact, I was 99.9% sure that I could not be convinced otherwise. I spent a lot of time reading books, discussing theology with friends, and even allowing a group of high school students to ask me questions about my beliefs. I was confident that I had been intellectually honest with my dismissal of Christianity.
Looking back, I think that I always knew, deep down, that my belief system stood on shaky ground. I had attended a debate between Christopher Hitchens and William Lane Craig, and came away certain the Craig had the stronger argument(s). Yet I was still unwilling to fully accept the implications of what he had said.
I started to revisit old “debates” with some longtime friends, and their arguments took on a new sense of clarity…
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