Moving an atheism blog

Leah Libresco has been running one of the atheism blogs at the pan-religion site Patheos, hers being entitled Unequally Yoked:  A Geeky Atheist Picks Fights in Good Faith.  Well, now the subtitle has changed to A Geeky Convert Picks Fights in Good Faith.  And Patheos switched her to the Catholicism category, even though she is still taking instruction.  She offers a charming account of her conversion to Christianity:  This is my last post for the Patheos Atheist Portal.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Praise be to God.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Praise be to God.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    It’s interesting to read, but to be honest is sounds more like a move into Deism than Christianity. I saw no gospel in what she posted; only a move into absolute truth and morality. Add to that the fact that she’s joining Roman Catholicism (which has the gospel dead wrong) and the words “conversion to Christianity” seem to fall short.

    Now, she has said that she will be posting follow-ups about this. If she starts talking about seeing herself as a sinner unable to save herself and relying completely on the finished work of Christ for salvation, I’ll be the first to stand up and applaud her and give glory to God. But until then, this initially smacks of an Anne Rice “conversion.”

    I’m not so sure I’d call her a Christian just yet…

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    It’s interesting to read, but to be honest is sounds more like a move into Deism than Christianity. I saw no gospel in what she posted; only a move into absolute truth and morality. Add to that the fact that she’s joining Roman Catholicism (which has the gospel dead wrong) and the words “conversion to Christianity” seem to fall short.

    Now, she has said that she will be posting follow-ups about this. If she starts talking about seeing herself as a sinner unable to save herself and relying completely on the finished work of Christ for salvation, I’ll be the first to stand up and applaud her and give glory to God. But until then, this initially smacks of an Anne Rice “conversion.”

    I’m not so sure I’d call her a Christian just yet…

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    J Dean – don’t nitpick :Remember, CS Lewis moved from atheism into Deism into Christianity, and then it took him a long time to reach the stage where he went to Church, received the Sacraments etc. – to quote one famous conversion story.

    In cases like this, I think we should be more generous…

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    J Dean – don’t nitpick :Remember, CS Lewis moved from atheism into Deism into Christianity, and then it took him a long time to reach the stage where he went to Church, received the Sacraments etc. – to quote one famous conversion story.

    In cases like this, I think we should be more generous…

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Anyway, we are not saved by works. If she says she believes, we should believe her, unless there is strong, continuous evidence to the contrary – and not “works” evidence, mind you. If we were defined as Christians based on our works and all that, we would all be in BIG trouble…

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Anyway, we are not saved by works. If she says she believes, we should believe her, unless there is strong, continuous evidence to the contrary – and not “works” evidence, mind you. If we were defined as Christians based on our works and all that, we would all be in BIG trouble…

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    KK@3,

    I’m just saying that just because one believes in God does not mean one is a Christian. She may very well move into saving faith. Again, praise God for it if she does! For that matter, she may become a bona fide Lutheran!

    But my point is that, at this point in time I’m just making the observation that 1.) she sounds in her blog like a moralistic deist at this point, and 2.) deism is not necessarily equal to Christianity.

    All I’m saying is “wait and see,”

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    KK@3,

    I’m just saying that just because one believes in God does not mean one is a Christian. She may very well move into saving faith. Again, praise God for it if she does! For that matter, she may become a bona fide Lutheran!

    But my point is that, at this point in time I’m just making the observation that 1.) she sounds in her blog like a moralistic deist at this point, and 2.) deism is not necessarily equal to Christianity.

    All I’m saying is “wait and see,”

  • fws

    J Dean is right here.

    I waded through all the comments. There was one that had any Gospel and that was a contributor here Pastor Spomer. He encouraged her to continue. That was a very Lutheran Response. She is under the care of a christian pastor. He is Roman Catholic and so we assume christian.

    There was also some gospel in maybe one or two other contributors who identified as Lutheran. Even then not as strong as I would have liked to see, but that sort of modesty is probably appropriate. It was there.

    There were a couple of Evangelicals who responded. They didn’t identify that there was ZERO Christ in what she said, and also zero christ in any response from the very very pleased Roman Catholics welcoming her home.

    I hope that her Roman Catholic catechesis brings her a conversion to Christianity. So far she is an unbaptized Deist.

    J Dean is right on spot here.

  • fws

    J Dean is right here.

    I waded through all the comments. There was one that had any Gospel and that was a contributor here Pastor Spomer. He encouraged her to continue. That was a very Lutheran Response. She is under the care of a christian pastor. He is Roman Catholic and so we assume christian.

    There was also some gospel in maybe one or two other contributors who identified as Lutheran. Even then not as strong as I would have liked to see, but that sort of modesty is probably appropriate. It was there.

    There were a couple of Evangelicals who responded. They didn’t identify that there was ZERO Christ in what she said, and also zero christ in any response from the very very pleased Roman Catholics welcoming her home.

    I hope that her Roman Catholic catechesis brings her a conversion to Christianity. So far she is an unbaptized Deist.

    J Dean is right on spot here.

  • fws

    Paul Mc Cain @1

    One of the things that I LOVED about your site cyberbrethren was when you had your essay on “why I am a Lutheran”. It was all and most radically about Jesus Christ. I sent many persons to your site when you prominently had that essay posted.

    There is still alot more Gospel in the ELCA than in anything that woman wrote or in the 200+ responses she got from Roman Catholics welcoming here. The silence was deafening.

    She was persuaded by Thomist Natural Law to become Deist is what I read. “praise God!” you say. Why?

    It sounds like she was just as moral as before, except maybe her still heretical views on homosexuality. as she stated…… Surely you didn’t miss that part did you. So she is on par with the ELCA still…. but now we have a synodical resolution declaring the ELCA apostate.

    Praise God? Why are you saying that Pastor McCain?

  • fws

    Paul Mc Cain @1

    One of the things that I LOVED about your site cyberbrethren was when you had your essay on “why I am a Lutheran”. It was all and most radically about Jesus Christ. I sent many persons to your site when you prominently had that essay posted.

    There is still alot more Gospel in the ELCA than in anything that woman wrote or in the 200+ responses she got from Roman Catholics welcoming here. The silence was deafening.

    She was persuaded by Thomist Natural Law to become Deist is what I read. “praise God!” you say. Why?

    It sounds like she was just as moral as before, except maybe her still heretical views on homosexuality. as she stated…… Surely you didn’t miss that part did you. So she is on par with the ELCA still…. but now we have a synodical resolution declaring the ELCA apostate.

    Praise God? Why are you saying that Pastor McCain?

  • Jonathan

    After reading all her followups and a very small bit of her older stuff (and got a taste of the kinds of comments she gets), all I can say is that J. Dean is completely right. Just wait and see. I could see this situation going in all sorts of different directions. Nothing at this point is predictable.

    It IS neat though.

  • Jonathan

    After reading all her followups and a very small bit of her older stuff (and got a taste of the kinds of comments she gets), all I can say is that J. Dean is completely right. Just wait and see. I could see this situation going in all sorts of different directions. Nothing at this point is predictable.

    It IS neat though.

  • fws

    Old Adam thinks he does the Law.

    New Man knows that it is the Law that does Old Adam. To death.

    Original sin is to separate God from his Word.
    It is God the HS who is the Active Agent in the Law.
    Old Adam disconnects God as the Doer who Drives with the Law, from his own Law.
    This is to separate God from being the power behind his own Word.
    Old Adam thinks that it is he who is driving things with the Law.

    If any Good Work is done here on earth it is because the HS is driving that Old Adam doing it by his Law written in the Reason of this gal, and all other Old Adam.

    This woman will come to Christ when she hears the Law this way:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious.

    and this way:

    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe.

    And finally acquires this kind of Faith that comes alone, not by the Law, but alone by hearing the Holy Gospel:

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    May her catechesis in the Roman Church bring her there, even if the Roman Catholics who commented seem so far from that.

  • fws

    Old Adam thinks he does the Law.

    New Man knows that it is the Law that does Old Adam. To death.

    Original sin is to separate God from his Word.
    It is God the HS who is the Active Agent in the Law.
    Old Adam disconnects God as the Doer who Drives with the Law, from his own Law.
    This is to separate God from being the power behind his own Word.
    Old Adam thinks that it is he who is driving things with the Law.

    If any Good Work is done here on earth it is because the HS is driving that Old Adam doing it by his Law written in the Reason of this gal, and all other Old Adam.

    This woman will come to Christ when she hears the Law this way:

    [When we go to the Supper] we …remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. [We] should we remember and proclaim His death … so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious.

    and this way:

    what more forcible, more terrible declaration and preaching of God’s wrath against sin is there than just the suffering and death of Christ, His Son? the preaching of the suffering and death of Christ, the Son of God, is an earnest and terrible proclamation and declaration of God’s wrath, whereby men are first led into the Law aright, after the veil of Moses has been removed from them, so that they first know aright how great things God in His Law requires of us, none of which we can observe.

    And finally acquires this kind of Faith that comes alone, not by the Law, but alone by hearing the Holy Gospel:

    the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    May her catechesis in the Roman Church bring her there, even if the Roman Catholics who commented seem so far from that.

  • fws

    Jonathan @ 8

    this happens every day multiple times when persons convert to Mormonism, Buddhism, Islam, or whatever.

    It is the Law that drives them there.
    Only a fool says there is no God. Natural man knows that there is a God. Like this gal they know also that he is Good and that he is Merciful. So what is it that they cannot know about from Christ and the HS?

    They cannot be DEAD CERTAIN that he is merciful to them. Baptismal regeneration alone can give this certainty. One must have trust in the Name of that Trinity placed upon them to have this certainty. And the fact that Salvation is about faith in having a Name place upon us by a Baptism that is not our doing proves that it is passive trust alone that is not even the kind of faith that we can do that saves us.

    For Roman Catholics and also for Predestinarian Reformed, it is heresy to have this absolute certainty of Divine Election.

    The Lutheran and Pauline proof that we were predestined to be saved is that God sent us a Preacher who baptized us. We are told that was no random happenstance. It was planned from eternity to be so.

    Calvinist to Lutheran: “How can you be so very certain you were predestined and are saved? Isn’t that presumptuous? ”
    Lutheran to Calvinist: “God sent me a Preacher told me the Gospel and who baptised me. I am baptized! This is exactly how he made me his. And St Paul has told me that that that did not happen by chance! It was predestined from eternity!”

    For Arminian believers, it is heresy to think that faith is passive. fais is only saving faith when perfected by love, by doing something, first of all by making a decision. and when certainty hangs in even the smallest way upon some drop of our doing, there can be no certainty.

  • fws

    Jonathan @ 8

    this happens every day multiple times when persons convert to Mormonism, Buddhism, Islam, or whatever.

    It is the Law that drives them there.
    Only a fool says there is no God. Natural man knows that there is a God. Like this gal they know also that he is Good and that he is Merciful. So what is it that they cannot know about from Christ and the HS?

    They cannot be DEAD CERTAIN that he is merciful to them. Baptismal regeneration alone can give this certainty. One must have trust in the Name of that Trinity placed upon them to have this certainty. And the fact that Salvation is about faith in having a Name place upon us by a Baptism that is not our doing proves that it is passive trust alone that is not even the kind of faith that we can do that saves us.

    For Roman Catholics and also for Predestinarian Reformed, it is heresy to have this absolute certainty of Divine Election.

    The Lutheran and Pauline proof that we were predestined to be saved is that God sent us a Preacher who baptized us. We are told that was no random happenstance. It was planned from eternity to be so.

    Calvinist to Lutheran: “How can you be so very certain you were predestined and are saved? Isn’t that presumptuous? ”
    Lutheran to Calvinist: “God sent me a Preacher told me the Gospel and who baptised me. I am baptized! This is exactly how he made me his. And St Paul has told me that that that did not happen by chance! It was predestined from eternity!”

    For Arminian believers, it is heresy to think that faith is passive. fais is only saving faith when perfected by love, by doing something, first of all by making a decision. and when certainty hangs in even the smallest way upon some drop of our doing, there can be no certainty.

  • Michael B.

    Unless she switches to the right religion, shouldn’t she just as well have remained an atheist? She would still end up going to hell.

  • Michael B.

    Unless she switches to the right religion, shouldn’t she just as well have remained an atheist? She would still end up going to hell.

  • fws

    Michael B @11

    Roman Catholicism is christianity. That is the right religion. God has sent her a pastor who will catechise her. She will recite the creeds every sunday. Let’s hope that in all that she hears the Holy Gospel. It IS there. And it is alone the Gospel that will bring any of us back to God.

  • fws

    Michael B @11

    Roman Catholicism is christianity. That is the right religion. God has sent her a pastor who will catechise her. She will recite the creeds every sunday. Let’s hope that in all that she hears the Holy Gospel. It IS there. And it is alone the Gospel that will bring any of us back to God.

  • HisAlone

    fws

    Am most grateful to you for acknowledging that RC is Christianity.

    Atleast that one thing you got right. Although I cannot really guess where you get all your other perceptions about RC from? Since you obviously have never been in the Church, you cannot know for certain, can you now?

    Again, i am guessing your opinions are derived from all that you’ve gleaned from the mass information archives and from the oft derogatory remarks passed by the Christian sects with a ‘holier than thou’ attitude…

    But i am here to testify that i am a convert to RC (i was born a hindu) and in all of my 16 years in the Church i have never been taught anything but the Holy Gospels, about the Salavation in the name of Jesus Christ, about the Oneness of the Holy Trinity, about being a Chirstian (which means emulating Christ) but not relying on my works to earn brownie points for Salvation and above all about Love and abandonement to Christ alone.

    The RC has its traditions and its belief system, but its wholly Christ-centric and nothing can shake that foundation.

    I would be very thankful to God the day you stop RC-bashing and rather focus on ‘the sheep that was lost but now is found’… I believe that as long as a non-believer who never knew Christ has now the knowledge of Him and accepts Him as the Soverign Lord, all is well.

  • HisAlone

    fws

    Am most grateful to you for acknowledging that RC is Christianity.

    Atleast that one thing you got right. Although I cannot really guess where you get all your other perceptions about RC from? Since you obviously have never been in the Church, you cannot know for certain, can you now?

    Again, i am guessing your opinions are derived from all that you’ve gleaned from the mass information archives and from the oft derogatory remarks passed by the Christian sects with a ‘holier than thou’ attitude…

    But i am here to testify that i am a convert to RC (i was born a hindu) and in all of my 16 years in the Church i have never been taught anything but the Holy Gospels, about the Salavation in the name of Jesus Christ, about the Oneness of the Holy Trinity, about being a Chirstian (which means emulating Christ) but not relying on my works to earn brownie points for Salvation and above all about Love and abandonement to Christ alone.

    The RC has its traditions and its belief system, but its wholly Christ-centric and nothing can shake that foundation.

    I would be very thankful to God the day you stop RC-bashing and rather focus on ‘the sheep that was lost but now is found’… I believe that as long as a non-believer who never knew Christ has now the knowledge of Him and accepts Him as the Soverign Lord, all is well.

  • fws

    Hisalone @ 13

    I am grateful to read your post here! I am so happy you have found your Savior in our church. Our church. We are in the same church Hisalone. One Lord. One Baptism.

    I live in Brasil. This is supposed to be the largest RC country in the world, yet the RC church lacks priests and is losing track if it’s flock. So penticostals are rapidly stealing it’s sheep.

    It really annoys me to hear “before I was a christian” only to hear that that “before” was Roman Catholic. I give them a little lecture about that, and I invite them to always return to that baptism they received as an infant, trusting in Jesus.

    We Lutherans suffer from ALL the same problems and errors you suffer from in your church Hisstory. We are all human and sinners after all. But you are so right, the Church is founded alone on Jesus Christ and this is true whether one is baptist, lutheran, presbyterian, roman catholic or whatever. And we should recognize any baptized person as christian and address them as such. If we should find they have lost that first love, we are to merely invite them back into their baptism, whereever that baptism was done.

  • fws

    Hisalone @ 13

    I am grateful to read your post here! I am so happy you have found your Savior in our church. Our church. We are in the same church Hisalone. One Lord. One Baptism.

    I live in Brasil. This is supposed to be the largest RC country in the world, yet the RC church lacks priests and is losing track if it’s flock. So penticostals are rapidly stealing it’s sheep.

    It really annoys me to hear “before I was a christian” only to hear that that “before” was Roman Catholic. I give them a little lecture about that, and I invite them to always return to that baptism they received as an infant, trusting in Jesus.

    We Lutherans suffer from ALL the same problems and errors you suffer from in your church Hisstory. We are all human and sinners after all. But you are so right, the Church is founded alone on Jesus Christ and this is true whether one is baptist, lutheran, presbyterian, roman catholic or whatever. And we should recognize any baptized person as christian and address them as such. If we should find they have lost that first love, we are to merely invite them back into their baptism, whereever that baptism was done.

  • HisAlone

    I came across Leah’s post from one of the subscription mails i receive from Beliefnet. Read a few of her posts including the one where she announced her conversion.

    However, i was unable to fathom what the whole controversy / excitement was about. I thought USA was a free CHRISTIAN country and someone receiving Christ there wouldnt be such a big deal as against that happening in my country India.

    Be that as it may, i did like her blogs, its structure, the crispness and clarity of its content and not to mention the fact that she found Christ.

    I digress. Well, i was Google-ing for one of her posts and came across this blog here on Veith’s. Read the posts and your vehemently ‘anti’-catholic views and couldnt stop myself from writing what i did.

  • HisAlone

    I came across Leah’s post from one of the subscription mails i receive from Beliefnet. Read a few of her posts including the one where she announced her conversion.

    However, i was unable to fathom what the whole controversy / excitement was about. I thought USA was a free CHRISTIAN country and someone receiving Christ there wouldnt be such a big deal as against that happening in my country India.

    Be that as it may, i did like her blogs, its structure, the crispness and clarity of its content and not to mention the fact that she found Christ.

    I digress. Well, i was Google-ing for one of her posts and came across this blog here on Veith’s. Read the posts and your vehemently ‘anti’-catholic views and couldnt stop myself from writing what i did.

  • fws

    hisAlone @ 15

    Ouch!

    For a Lutheran to be “anti”.. Roman Catholic or anti any other christian group is hard to hear.
    And to hear the word “vehement” put in front of that really hurts me HisAlone.
    I hope you don’ t have that impression from the Lutherans here on this site.

  • fws

    hisAlone @ 15

    Ouch!

    For a Lutheran to be “anti”.. Roman Catholic or anti any other christian group is hard to hear.
    And to hear the word “vehement” put in front of that really hurts me HisAlone.
    I hope you don’ t have that impression from the Lutherans here on this site.

  • HisAlone

    Its not just this site fws… i have seen this ‘anti’ attitude of most christian groups against RC all around me in the physical and cyber world…

    Its like RC is a whole different religion, cult if you will.

    My apologies for the comments that hurt you… :)

  • HisAlone

    Its not just this site fws… i have seen this ‘anti’ attitude of most christian groups against RC all around me in the physical and cyber world…

    Its like RC is a whole different religion, cult if you will.

    My apologies for the comments that hurt you… :)

  • fws

    Yes. I have seen that sort of prejudice alot.
    It is simply that. prejudice.

    Do some more searches on the internet though. Roman Catholics give hate as good as they get it don’t they? The distort what other christians believe, and talk about them also, as though somehow they are lesser christians or whatever.

    So all , Roman catholics and the Roman Catholic Church as well, have alot to repent of too eh?

  • fws

    Yes. I have seen that sort of prejudice alot.
    It is simply that. prejudice.

    Do some more searches on the internet though. Roman Catholics give hate as good as they get it don’t they? The distort what other christians believe, and talk about them also, as though somehow they are lesser christians or whatever.

    So all , Roman catholics and the Roman Catholic Church as well, have alot to repent of too eh?

  • HisAlone

    Oh for sure… we all do…

    Speaking for myself, i echo with certitude St.Paul’s words that i am the worst of the sinners… and i struggle everyday, literally, to live the life we are called for…

    I want to hear the Lord say one day that this is My daughter in whom I am well pleased… but right now that seems like a distant dream :)

    Sigh… well, there is no point in trying to establish supremacy of a particular group, is there? Christ is the One who should be extolled, and i wish to do just that with my life…

  • HisAlone

    Oh for sure… we all do…

    Speaking for myself, i echo with certitude St.Paul’s words that i am the worst of the sinners… and i struggle everyday, literally, to live the life we are called for…

    I want to hear the Lord say one day that this is My daughter in whom I am well pleased… but right now that seems like a distant dream :)

    Sigh… well, there is no point in trying to establish supremacy of a particular group, is there? Christ is the One who should be extolled, and i wish to do just that with my life…


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