Hi Jordan, you have described the situation here so well and I chuckled in agreement to your comment and Steve McAlpine’s blog. Growing up here in such comfort and beautiful surrounds, what was it that turned your heart towards God? Can you share a bit on that? Thank you.
For me personally there was a number of stages. I think Aristotle rightly points out that there are intellectual, social and personal reasons people have for holding the world views they do. I know looking back that these three factors played a big part in my coming to know and trust in Jesus.
Personally I was attracted to Jesus’ offer for forgiveness. I was aware of my own sinfulness and the sinfulness of others around me and knew what Jesus offered was not only unique but crucial to both live, and die, well.
Intillectually I couldn’t make sense of life if both God and eternity didn’t exist. If God does not exist and we are just accidental by products of the universe then everything becomes meaningless over a long enough time line. Being here by God’s created will meant that my life wasn’t just about the here and now but that there is a larger and more beautiful reality behind our world, which not only gave me hope for justice (I suppose I desired “God’s kingdom”) and peace but also gave meaning to the present. Eternity seemed quite obviously necessary for me to find meaning in the present because without it everything would ultimately come to nothing (I suppose I lent towards nihilism when considering the naturalistic world view). Furthermore as I studied the natural world around me (I used to strangely read encyclopaedias for fun as a kid…I loved biology and the engineering design behind skyscrapers and reservoirs) the idea of a designer seemed both intuitively and experentially the most plausible explanation for our world (i’m not postulating a particular view of creation by this point as I think Christians are philosophically allowed the most positions regarding the mechanics of creation, just pointing out that there are fingerprints of intentionality all over our world).
And socially I recognised my need to belong and be in real, authentic relationships with a community of people. The Christian community I had experienced not only modelled this but also had the best foundation for living this way because God is by nature Trinity. So God being a relational being meant our desire for relationships wasnt a happy accident of the universe but grounded in our being God’s image bearers. I suppose you could say the more I dug earnestly for answers the more the Christian world view made sense. (That isn’t to say everyone who rejects Christ is disingenuous in their search, as there are many factors, but my experience was that Christianity was both intillectually credible and liveable).
For me the cumulative case for Christianity was compelling and the more I got to know myself and my own proud and sinful heart the more I was thankful that God would still be willing to persevere with us and send Jesus to bring peace, justice and salvation to our world.
I could go on but I hope that helps you understand a bit of the process for me.
How about yourself? What attracted you to the gospel initially?
P.S. My apologies for the delayed reply, I checked for messages earlier today but did not see yours. I’m still learning the format. Thanks for your patience!
Thanks, Jordan, for sharing your story. In my case, I was brought to church when I was 9 and by God’s grace, something within me knew that this was real. That, however, did not keep me in church. I left for many years, pursuing my career and felt no need for God, but knew in my heart that I would return to Him one day. That day came when my son was born premature and spent the first 40 days of his life in the neo-natal ward in the hospital. That drove me back to God and from there, I sought to truly know Him. In my darkest time, He came through for me and things have never been the same since. And this is where I am at the moment - a believer learning to think at RZIM.
Wow thanks for sharing. Your story made me think of C.S.Lewis’ line that “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
I will pray for you now as you deepen your relationship with Christ (our lifelong goal and joy) and share his grace and truth with your friends and family.
Also, in regards to our last conversation this latest blog by Steve on the issue in Australia is brilliant, https://stephenmcalpine.com/2017/07/05/christian-restivism-part-2-the-practice-in-the-church/