Prominent neo-Pagan becomes a Christian

Teo Bishop, a prominent neo-Pagan–a celebrity among Druids and Witches–has announced his conversion to Christianity.  He now says, “I’m overwhelmed with thoughts of Jesus. . . Jesus and God and Christianity and the Lord’s Prayer and compassion and forgiveness and hope. … I don’t know what to do with all of this.” [Read more...]

Pop sociologist embaces Christianity

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of Outliers and The Tipping Point, works of what has been called “pop sociology” that turn social science research into bestselling books of personal and business motivation. His latest book is David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.  In the course of studying underdogs and how they are often victorious, Mr. Gladwell returned to the Christian faith.  He tells why in an interview with Sarah Pulliam Bailey. [Read more...]

Pastor Strawberry

Remember Darryl Strawberry, the baseball superstar whose life came apart because of alcohol and drugs?  Well, he turned to Christianity, which really did put his life back together, and now he is a pastor, with a special outreach to alcohol and drug addicts.

And for all of you pastors who daydream about a more glamorous career, such as being a professional athlete, Rev. Strawberry says,  “I’ve never been happier in my life. It’s so much fun being a pastor.”  His story after the jump. [Read more...]

Whether a criminal converts to Islam or Christianity

James Holmes, who dressed up like the Joker and killed 12 people at the Batman movie (and who faces the death penalty if he is convicted), has converted to Islam.  Robert Spencer explores what that means as opposed to a conversion to Christianity:

The debate over James Holmes’s sanity has raged hotly ever since he murdered twelve people and wounded 58 in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, in July 2012. But now the controversy can be laid to rest: Holmes is sane. The clearest indication of his sanity came last week, when the Daily Mail reported that he had converted to Islam.

The Mail reported that Holmes is apparently quite devout: he has grown a lavish beard, eats only halal food, prays the obligatory five daily prayers, and studies the Qur’an for hours every day.

Holmes’s conversion reveals that instead of being unaware of what he did, or utterly remorseless, as one might expect of a psychotic or a sociopath, the murders must trouble him a great deal. For it is souls that are troubled — intellectually, morally, spiritually, psychologically — who cast about for some solution to what troubles them, and often find it in religious conversion.

But it is what Holmes converted to that is significant. [Read more...]

Contemporary poet embraces Christianity

One of the most important publication in the contemporary literary world is Poetry Magazine.  Its editor is usually a distinguished poet.  Lately, the editor of that periodical, Christian Wiman, stepped down from that position.  What is, perhaps, less known is that several years ago Wiman embraced Christianity.  He writes about that in a new book that will be released April 2, My Bright Abyss:  Meditation of a Modern Believer.  In his book of poetry Every Riven Thing, Wiman writes about his struggle with cancer that led to his discovery of God.  After the jump, read his poem by that name and an excerpt from a fascinating interview in Christianity Today. [Read more...]

Stop watching my filthy show

Angus T. Jones, the teenager who is the “half man” on the popular sit-com “Two and a Half Men,” has had a conversion experience and is now telling people to stop watching his show, which has been paying him $8 million a year:

Less than two years after Charlie Sheen was booted from “Two and a Half Men,” his co-star, Angus T. Jones, 19, has blasted the series as “filth” and suggested people should stop watching.

“If you watch ‘Two and a Half Men,’ please stop watching ‘Two and a Half Men.’ I’m on ‘Two and a Half Men,’ and I don’t want to be on it,” said Jones in a videotaped testimonial for the Forerunner Chronicles.

The group is linked to the Voice of Prophecy Seventh-Day Adventist church in Los Angeles, where Jones worships.

“Please stop watching it and filling your head with filth,” Jones pleaded.

Jones has played Jake, a sarcastic kid who lives with his single dad (Jon Cryer), since the hugely successful series launched in 2003. As one of the highest-paid teens, he takes home around $8 million annually, about $350,000 per episode.

And until last year, Jones shared the screen with Charlie Sheen — one of Hollywood’s most notorious hedonists.

After he suffered a public meltdown in 2011, Sheen’s character was killed off, and he was replaced by Ashton Kutcher.

In the video, Jones says the show is part of the plan of “the enemy”— presumably Satan.

“If I am doing any harm, I don’t want to be here,” he said.

“I don’t want to be contributing to the enemy’s plan. … You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can’t. I’m not OK with what I’m learning, what the Bible says and being on that television show.”

Alas, he said, his hands are tied. “I am under contract for another year so it is not too much of a decision on my part. I know God has me there for a reason for another year.”

Jones says that he went to a Christian school but wasn’t really religious. His parents’ marriage broke up a couple of years ago, he said, and he fell into temptation.

“At the time, I also started dating this girl, and when I look back now, I see that as a time when the enemy was trying to push me in that direction. But God knew he was going to pull me out at the last second,” Jones said.

via Angus T. Jones blasts ‘Two and a Half Men,’ calls the hit series ‘filth’ – NY Daily News.

This makes him sound rather fanatical, but see this thoughtful interview.

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.

Has Castro become a Christian?

George Conger reports stories in the Italian press that Fidel Castro, the communist dictator of Cuba, may have “rediscovered Jesus” and will be reconciled with the church from which he was excommunicated:

Fidel Castro will be received back into the communion of the Roman Catholic Church during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the island in March, the Italian press is reporting. If true, this is a remarkable story — and one that has yet to catch the attention of editors this side of the Atlantic.

On 1 Feb 2012, La Republicca — [Italy’s second largest circulation daily newspaper, La Republicca follows a center-left political line and is strongly anti-clerical; not anti-Catholic per se but a critic of the institutional church] — reported that as death approaches, the octogenarian communist has turned to God for solace.

ABC’s Global Note news blog is the only U.S. general interest publication I have found that has reported this story. It referenced the La Republicca story and said that Castro’s daughter Alina is quoted as saying “During this last period, Fidel has come closer to religion: he has rediscovered Jesus at the end of his life. It doesn’t surprise me because dad was raised by Jesuits.” The article quotes an unidentified high prelate in the Vatican who is working on the Pope’s Cuba trip: “Fidel is at the end of his strength. Nearly at the end of his life. His exhortations in the party paper Granma, are increasingly less frequent. We know that in this last period he has come closer to religion and God.”

via GetReligion » “The press . . . just doesn’t get religion.” — William Schneider.

If this turns out to be true, it would be arguably a greater miracle than the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union:  the collapse of communism in the heart of one of its most bloodthirsty adherents.  It would also be one of the most dramatic conversions of an atheist in recent memory.  The man put untold numbers of Christians in front of firing squads.  How amazing is a grace that would accept him, forgive him, and accept him as one of those Christians as he faced his own death.