Why do people change their minds? In today’s readings the apostles are dumbfounded to realise that Jesus’ resurrection is right here, right now and not at some vague time ‘at the end of the age’. Matt Nelson writes about the reasons atheists change their minds about God and and more specifically, about Christ. An extract from his latest article:
The Word of God is living. It has power beyond human comprehension because it is “God-breathed.” God speaks to man in many ways; but especially through prayer and the reading of the inspired Scriptures. When curiosity (or even interest) of non-believers leads to experimentation with prayer or reading the Bible the results can be shocking, as many converts attest.
One former atheist who was profoundly affected by prayer and the Scriptures is author Devin Rose. On his blog, he describes the role that God’s Word played in his gradual conversion process from atheism to Christianity:
“I began praying, saying, “God, you know I do not believe in you, but I am in trouble and need help. If you are real, help me.” I started reading the Bible to learn about what Christianity said…”
Once Rose began to read the Scriptures and talk to God, even as a skeptic, he found himself overwhelmed by something very real:
“Still, I persevered. I kept reading the Bible, asking my roommate questions about what I was reading, and praying. Then, slowly, and amazingly, my faith grew and it eventually threatened to whelm my many doubts and unbelief.”
And the rest was history for the now rising Catholic apologist and author of The Protestant’s Dilemma.
Similarly, renowned sci-fi author John C. Wright distinctly recalls a prayer he said as an adamant atheist:
“I prayed. ‘Dear God, I know… that you do not exist. Nonetheless, as a scholar, I am forced to entertain the hypothetical possibility that I am mistaken. So just in case I am mistaken, please reveal yourself to me in some fashion that will prove your case. If you do not answer, I can safely assume that either you do not care whether I believe in you, or that you have no power to produce evidence to persuade me…If you do not exist, this prayer is merely words in the air, and I lose nothing but a bit of my dignity. Thanking you in advance for your kind cooperation in this matter, John Wright.’”
Wright soon received the answer (and effect) he did not expect:
“Something from beyond the reach of time and space, more fundamental than reality, reached across the universe and broke into my soul and changed me…I was altered down to the root of my being…It was like falling in love.”
Wright was welcomed into the Catholic Church at Easter in 2008.
Read more here.
Word format: Year B Easter 3rd Sunday 2015
Pdf format: Year B Easter 3rd Sunday 2015
And for a scripture study on today’s readings go to Dr Michael Barber’s commentary here.