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« From Atheism to Christianity | Main | ’Eats, Shoots & Leaves’ was right »

May 08, 2009

A. N. Wilson’s Return

Following up on Kim's post, Dr. Benjamin Wiker has a wonderful article on Wilson's recent re-conversion to Christianity. He quotes Wilson's description of the cultural conditions that first led him away from Christianity, conditions we recognize all around us: 

Like most educated people in Britain and Northern Europe..., I have grown up in a culture that is overwhelmingly secular and anti-religious. The universities, broadcasters and media generally are not merely non-religious, they are positively anti. 

To my shame, I believe it was this that made me lose faith and heart in my youth. It felt so uncool to be religious. With the mentality of a child in the playground, I felt at some visceral level that being religious was unsexy, like having spots or wearing specs.

This playground attitude accounts for much of the attitude towards Christianity that you pick up, say, from the alternative comedians, and the casual light blasphemy of jokes on TV or radio.

It also lends weight to the fervour of the anti-God fanatics, such as the writer Christopher Hitchens and the geneticist Richard Dawkins, who think all the evil in the world is actually caused by religion.

I celebrate Wilson's return to Christ, but I wonder how many of us -- even those who have never turned away from our Savior -- are affected by that same negative culture. How much do I allow this subtle and not-so-subtle prejudice against Christianity to lead me to be less trusting in God, less bold in my witness, and less likely to see the need to think Christianly about all of life? To what degree am I more concerned with what the world thinks of Christians (and me) than I am of what Christ thinks of me? Food for thought...

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Jason Taylor

Less then many, largely because I respect said negative culture less then many. Is cussedness a legitimate defense against apostasy?

Rachel Coleman

Diane, the hesitance creeps in quietly. I think it's one of those cumulative things that you *think* you're resisting or dismissing, but does eventually take a toll on your mind.

I notice it most when I write a newspaper column that's overtly Christian and find myself more on the nervous side than is usual. Is it that I want so much to get the gospel right? Or is it that I have to (once again) get over my discomfort about being publicly "Jesus-y?"

I have to sort through that small internal quandry a few times a year. Thus far, deadlines have always meant I don't have time to blunt the clarity of the truth with rewrites.

Maybe Jason Taylor could send me some Cussedness Pills to take the edge off the overall experience?

Diane Singer

Rachel, Lovely line: "the hesitance creeps in quietly." I think you have identified a common problem. Thank you.

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