Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Did you see this? AN Wilson is a believer

posted by Scot McKnight

ANWilson.jpgAN Wilson, known to many as a religious skeptic and critic of the Christian faith, tells his story of faith in public. I hadn’t heard this before, and maybe I’m woefully outdated, but here it is.

A week ago, there were Palm Sunday processions all over the world.
Near my house in North London is a parish with two churches. About 70
or 80 of us gathered at one of these buildings to collect our palms.

We were told by the priest: ‘Where we are
standing in Kentish Town does not look much like a Judaean hillside,
and the other church to which we are walking does not look much like
Jerusalem. But as we go, holding our palms, let us try to imagine the
first Palm Sunday.’

Here’s a second account from about two weeks back.



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Comments read comments(14)
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Derek Leman

posted April 15, 2009 at 6:57 pm


Scot:
What a great article. I hope many will read it.
Derek



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Ranger

posted April 15, 2009 at 9:26 pm


This is great news. He knows the arguments from both sides, and knows that only by faith can he experience a truly abundant life.



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Clay Knick

posted April 15, 2009 at 9:41 pm


Thanks for this. I have a feeling it will end up in my
sermon Sunday on John 20:19-31. :) Good timing.



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ZwCephas

posted April 15, 2009 at 9:55 pm


Beautiful. So natural it is delightfully spiritual. How good to share a foundation for faith that proceeds just from what is, from how God made us to be, not religious dogma. Thank you for linking us with this testimony. I will be applying it to my own faith-walk as well as applying it in sermons for the flock of God.



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AHH

posted April 15, 2009 at 9:57 pm


This is a better story than the recent case of formerly atheist philosopher Anthony Flew, for at least two reasons:
1) Wilson actually came to Christian faith as opposed to Flew who came to some generic theism.
2) There is not the question of senility as there apparently is with Flew.
The story of Flew has been promoted by some of the Intelligent-Design culture-war crowd; one wonders what the same crowd will do with someone who found God not in biological design but in the person of Jesus and the Body of Christ.



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phil_style

posted April 16, 2009 at 3:59 am


bobxxxx, thanks for updating both the dictionary and medical knowledge for us all.



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Michelle Van Loon

posted April 16, 2009 at 7:35 am


Wilson’s s-l-o-w realization that the atheist’s sparkling intellectual argument was not wholly fulfilling to him is an encouragement both for those of us who have to look our doubts in the mirror each morning and those of us who are engaged in conversations with friends who have or are in the process of walking away from their faith.
Thank you so much for posting this.



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Karl

posted April 16, 2009 at 9:07 am


I wonder if he’ll want to revise his biography of C.S. Lewis. In some ways that biography, being written by a Brit, gives more insight in some areas of Lewis’s life than a lot of the CSL biographies written by Americans. But IMO it is too often colored by the contempt that he then held for believing Christians.



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RJS

posted April 16, 2009 at 12:41 pm


Fascinating.
I read AN Wilson’s “God’s Funeral” this last summer – a rather disturbing read although he was somewhat ambivalent at times. These articles are interesting and there are points worth discussion.



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Helen

posted April 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm


Interesting.
I wonder if he would pass the oft-used Evangelical test of having accepted Jesus as his personal savior or be dismissed by people who use that test as not a True Christian.
It seems to me that his reasons for returning to Christianity mostly amount to “I didn’t like the arrogant person I was when I was an atheist”
“I didn’t like the arrogance of the atheists I spent time with”
“The atheists I knew had something missing in their lives”
“Everyone I admired was a Christian”
I don’t question his experience with atheists and Christians; on the other hand it certainly has not been my experience that all atheists are arrogant or unable to appreciate the poetry and beauty of life.



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RJS

posted April 16, 2009 at 5:33 pm


Helen,
I actually found the last part of the Mail article most interesting.

Materialist atheism says we are just a collection of chemicals. It has no answer whatsoever to the question of how we should be capable of love or heroism or poetry if we are simply animated pieces of meat.

The Resurrection, which proclaims that matter and spirit are mysteriously conjoined, is the ultimate key to who we are. It confronts us with an extraordinarily haunting story.

J. S. Bach believed the story, and set it to music. Most of the greatest writers and thinkers of the past 1,500 years have believed it.

But an even stronger argument is the way that Christian faith transforms individual lives – the lives of the men and women with whom you mingle on a daily basis, the man, woman or child next to you in church tomorrow morning.

I don’t give a rip about the “Jesus as personal savior” decision jargon. The key is buying into the story and choosing to follow Jesus and God. For some of us raised in the church it becomes more a decision not to turn away.



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phil_style

posted April 17, 2009 at 5:35 am


Does anybody besides me sense a strong current of “god of the gaps” type reasoning in the Wilson article(s). The comments on the development of human language in particular seem to be a bit that way. I wonder if this is just the Daily Mail (notoriously conservative) trying to beef the story up with ‘rational backing’ rather than just running with the faith elements of the story.



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RJS

posted April 17, 2009 at 6:50 am


phil_style,
I don’t see a God of the gaps argument – except in the idea that there is something deeply missing in life if all we are is “animated pieces of meat.” Comments on language could be taken that way in the absence of anything else – but I don’t think that the argument is “We can’t explain language so we must invoke a divine being,” which would be a real God of the gaps argument.
It is deeper than this and gets to the reality of things like beauty and morality and purpose and such. Cognition is more than just reductionist materialism if the concepts contemplated have any “real” meaning.



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Helen

posted April 17, 2009 at 12:32 pm


RJS, thanks for your response. I realize that “Jesus as personal savior” is not the criterion everyone uses and I don’t place particular value on it myself.
My main problem with what AN Wilson wrote is that he implies either you’re a Christian or you can’t appreciate the beauty and poetry and music of life. I don’t agree with that. You can appreciate things you don’t have reasons for. Not everyone needs reasons.



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