Monday, January 4, 2016

APOLOGETICS CONVERSION STORIES: Resources

Some people say that you can't argue anyone into the kingdom and that apologetics is a waste of time. Below are dozens of stories that say otherwise and relate the very practical importance of apologetics. Apologetics strengthens the faith of believers and persuades unbelievers.

I came to Christ as a young child (so apologetics did not play a role in my conversion), but apologetics has kept me strong in my faith when life has been hard. But for many, apologetics has played a key role. And in fact, that is how many of the best apologists have come to faith.

One thing that you will see if you read enough stories is that different kinds of evidence persuade different kinds of people. For some, scientific evidence (such as related to the cosmological argument or the fine-tuning of the universe) was most important in opening their minds to Christ. For others, it was philosophical arguments--such as the moral argument. For still others, it was the evidence for the resurrection....or something else.

Most of the links below relate to how apologetics played an instrumental role in people coming to Christ--and most of them are of former atheists. A few highlight how apologetics strengthens believers, which has been my own story. At the very bottom, there are collections of very diverse testimonies of conversion. But they all tell people's stories of how Christ drew them to himself, and I think you will enjoy all of them.


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"Atheists Who Convert: A Case Study" by Joel Furches. Wow!

A whole month of conversion stories by my friend Joel Furches. This fantastic series of articles at Examiner.com features "stories of noted atheists who experienced dramatic shifts in their views, eventually becoming Christians. The stories...highlight the reasons why they held their atheistic views to begin with, and the reasons they became convinced of the truth of Christianity."

"Atheist Homicide Detective Finds Evidence for God" (6-minute video). Famous L.A. Cold-Case Detective J. Warner Wallace tells his story. You can find his website here.

Why Three Brilliant Atheists Became Christians: The conversion stories of astronomer Allan Sandage, geneticist Francis Collins and award-winning journalist Lee Strobel. An excellent but FREE 35-page booklet by my friend Ronald Cram.

Skeptics Who Demanded a Verdict by Josh McDowell. The conversion stories of Charles W. Colson (lawyer and Special Counsel to President Nixon), C.S. Lewis (Oxford professor and prolific author) and Josh McDowell (internationally famous author and Christian apologist). A FREE 106-page book.

The Most Reluctant Convert: C.S. Lewis' Journey to Faith by David C. Downing (available in hardcover, paperback, Audible and MP3 CD). Or you can borrow it for FREE! through OverDrive (through coordination with local libraries) in audiobook.

"Why Muslim Dr. Nabeel Qureshi Converted to Christianity" (38-minute video). Dr. Qureshi also tells his story of how his friend David Wood used apologetics to lead him to Christ in his bestselling book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (328 pages). Available in paperback, Kindle, Audible & Audio CD. Or you can borrow it for FREE! through OverDrive (through coordination with local libraries) in ebook audiobook. It is an easy and enjoyable read. This book received the 2015 Christian Book Award for "Best Non-Fiction" and "Best New Author." I highly recommend it. You can find out more about Qureshi here.

"My Search For Messiah" (2-Part Series produced by Day of Discovery). Dr. Michael Rydelnik shares his story of how he grew up as a Jew and came to know that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Torah, by looking closely at several key messianic prophecies. *Part I (26 min); *Part II (26 min)

"Atheist Doctor Converts to Christianity" (7 1/2 minute video). In his book The God DiagnosisDr. Viehman bxplains how he went through the process of examining the evidence of Christianity and God changing his life (which is available in paperback, cheap on Kindle and also available on Audible).

Master Illusionist Andre Kole (inventor of over 1000 illusions including about 100 of David Copperfield's illusions) approached Jesus' Miracles as a skeptic before becoming a believer (6-minute video)

"Why I Am a Christian (David Woods, Former Atheist)". A powerful testimony of how God turned a hardened pscychopath into a believer (34-minute video).

*Atheist and Cincinatti Reds baseball player Frank Pastore shares why he now believes. His book Shattered that retells his story (in Kindle, paperback, Audible or Audio CD). A 2-minute video of the beginning of the audio version of the book. You can borrow the ebook or the audiobook for FREE! through OverDrive if your local library uses this service.

*Not God's Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms by Holly Ordway (in Kindle or Hardcover). "As a well-educated college English professor, she saw no need for just-so stories about God. Secure in her fortress of atheism, she was safe (or so she thought) from any assault by irrational faith." You can borrow the ebook for FREE! through OverDrive if your local library uses this service.

*The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield (in Kindle, paperback, Audible or Audio CD). "Rosaria, by the standards of many, was living a very good life. She had a tenured position at a large university in a field for which she cared deeply. She owned two homes with her partner, in which they provided hospitality to students and activists that were looking to make a difference in the world. There, her partner rehabilitated abandoned and abused dogs. In the community, Rosaria was involved in volunteer work. At the university, she was a respected advisor of students and her department's curriculum. And then, in her late 30s, Rosaria encountered something that turned her world upside down-the idea that Christianity, a religion that she had regarded as problematic and sometimes downright damaging, might be right about who God was, an idea that flew in the face of the people and causes that she most loved. What follows is a story of what she describes as a "train wreck" at the hand of the supernatural. These are her secret thoughts about those events, written as only a reflective English professor could." You can borrow the audiobook for FREE! through OverDrive if your local library uses this service.

"Josh McDowell - Catastrophic Love" (16-minute video)

"Atheist Journalist Turns to Christ After Investigating Evidence - Lee Strobel" (42 minutes). Award-winning legal journalist for the Chicago Tribune.

"Atheist Scientist Becomes Christian After Researching Evidence for God": Astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross (41 minutes)

"Atheist Gets Her PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics and Finds Evidence for God": Dr. Sarah Salvander

19th Century Darwinist Intellectual Finds Evidence That Leads Him Back to Christ
*George Romanes (1848-1894) was a close friend of Charles Darwin.

Another 19th Century Intellectual Finds Evidence That Leads Him Back to Christ
*Thomas Cooper (1805-92), a prolific lecturer on historical subjects, became a passionate skeptic, writing and speaking vigorously against Christianity, but later in life he became an even more passionate defender of the faith.

A Collection of stories of Victorian Atheists Who Came to Christ: Crisis of Doubt by Timothy Larsen. Larsen says about his book (in an interview recorded in an Amazon review): "Scholarship on the Victorian age has been obsessed with the loss of faith and with unbelievers – atheists, agnostics, and secularists. Numerous books have been written which tell such life stories as if they are the story of what it means to be a thinking person in the modern world. I found in my research, however, that there was a major trend of atheist leaders coming to faith. Far, far more of the top leaders of the secularist movement became Christians than Christian leaders lost their faith. Yet no scholars had ever carried about this huge phenomenon! My book tells their stories and analyzes this historical pattern. Most of the chapters are details sketches which tell a life from beginning to end, including how they became a leading voice for unbelief, how famous they were in the freethinking movement, how they came to faith in Christ, and how they answered the skeptical arguments that they once found so compelling."

My friend Mark McGee had considered many different kinds of evidence, but it was the loads of archaeological evidence for the Bible that caused him to become serious in his investigation of who Christ is. See his series of 29 articles on the subject (in reverse order of publication).

*"Confessions of a Former Skeptic: Ex-atheist Conversion Stories" (53-minute video recording of a webinar). "Five ex-atheists talk to the Apologetics Academy about their journeys of following the evidence to faith in Christ. Ex-atheists featured include Dr. Gunter Bechly, Daniel Rodger, Elizabeth Mooney, Chris Claus and Mark McGee."

*"How An Atheist Found God" by Marilyn Adamson, directory of EveryStudent.com


"Former Atheist Richard Morgan Interview"A former fan of Richard Dawkins tells his story.

"An Atheist Changes His Mind About God": "Engineer Nick Berryman was an atheist, who enjoyed reading Richard Dawkins' 'The God Delusion.' He changed his mind about God when a friend introduced him to books by CS Lewis, John Lennox and Alister McGrath."

"My Apologetics Testimony - A Mormon Friend" by Paul Buller


My friend Maryann Spikes' Testimony

"Confessions of Former Atheists: Daniel Rodger, Peter Byrom and Hugh Ross (65 minutes)

"How God Turns a French Atheist into a Christian Theologian - My Conversion Story" by Guillame Bignon. His testimony is also available in a 20-minute video.

The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ: The memoir of Andrew Klavan, author and screenplay writer

"Conversion of a Cynic": The conversion of Malcolm Muggeridge

"Another Atheist Who Became a Christian": Nichole Cliff, Harvard educated writer

"Testimony from a Ratio Christi Member" at Think Apologetics

"Apologetics Stories"A collection of testimonies by my friend Carson Weitnauer

"Atheists Who Became Christians" a collection of articles by my friend Jay Wile, who is a former atheist himself.

"Testimonials": People have written of how God has used the Reasonable Faith apologetics ministry founded and led by Dr. William Lane Craig in their lives. 

"Having Answers for Skeptics Can Lead to Faith" by my friend Carson Weitnauer. Carson explains how he has seen God use apologetics in his many years as a campus minister.

"Why Apologetics?" by Mary Jo Sharp (1 1/2 minute video)



MISC. CONVERSION STORIES

"The Top 5 Testimonies of 2015" at Christianity Today.

Dozens of Conversion Stories at Christianity Today.

The Legacy Project: Conversion stories and other testimonies

I Am Second

Crisis of Doubt: Honest Faith in Nineteenth Century England by Timothy Larsen



STILL LOOKING?.....
*Check out this article: Does Apologetics Convert People? by Clint Roberts at Credo House....
OR....this list of links to testimonies at Christian CADRE.


Atheist Homicide Detective Finds Evidence for God" 
(6-minute video)

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