Becoming a New Christian :: 7 August, 2012

I found this journal entry a couple days ago. Though I’m not as confident as I was then, I think much of the content is still pretty accurate.

For context, this happened the summer after My 15 Minutes of Atheism, and the summer of Chick-fil-A-gate – that time when Christianity was looking particularly ugly.

Dear God,

Tonight I think I became a Christian. At least on the emotional level. I finally let my heart follow a mind that was convinced. For a long time, I stayed away because the whole thing was just so goddamn ugly. But Greg Boyd showed me that Jesus is more than just an ellipsis between mean god of the past and mean god of the future. Rob Bell cracked my cynicism. Philip Yancey made me want to believe. N.T. Wright blazed something beautiful. Brian McClaren made me not sick. Morgan Guyton was the vehicle of conviction, and Jonathan Martin, with all the rest, showed me beauty.

I don’t have most of the answers yet, but the sketches I have I feel safe with. You’re not a moral monster. Jesus = you. Jesus still makes me a tad nervous… but I think, at least today, I believe.

I’m not sure of all I believe, but…

In my heart I believe God exists.

God is only good, and stories that say otherwise are fabrications. or misunderstandings.

God’s heart for all is revealed in the crucified Christ.

God is love.

God does not need defended or stood up for.

God can take care of himself.

God is a loving Father. My understanding of those words is broken.

There will be some continuity and some discontinuity between my faith as it was and my faith as it is now coming. I’ve discarded a lot, picked up some new stuff, and kept… a little.

I was in the shower tonight and realized that I believed in God. I was “agnostic” last night, but tonight I distinctly sensed that I believed God existed. No arguments, just the beauty of the crucified Christ.

I’m not sure I wholeheartedly agree with anyone… even Jesus… but I have SOMETHING. A set of beliefs, I guess. I don’t feel a need to argue with people to prove them. They’re mine. But this is different. God is real. And my fears have been laid to rest. Let love arise.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

David M Schell About David M Schell

David M. Schell is a doubter, a believer, and a skeptic. He writes about God and stuff. He is happily married to Kristen, and that’s why his posts don’t come out as often or as angry.

  • How nice that you have that journal entry. We are all on a journey, and it is good to remember important mile posts.

  • I love your list at the beginning! I’m slowly familiarizing myself with these great men and women of faith. I think one thing I’ve learned from Jonathan Martin’s sermons – and which is also reflected in your journal entry – is that faith is not a static, steadily inclining push toward some distant goal. It ebbs and flows with your life, and sometimes it is strong and steady, and other times it is frail and flagging. This isn’t a sign of a weak faith, it is simply a sign of humanity.