When is a person a “Convert”?

Trying to define conversion in a meaningful way is not easy, so I will go to two major scholars of conversion theory. In doing this, let me emphasize that the scholarly discussion of conversion avoids specific theological terms, so sometimes this can sound a bit clinical and artificial — but I want to emphasize that [Read More…]

Walk Away Renee (by Michelle Van Loon)

Michelle is not new to the Jesus Creed blog (or @nseminary, where she is one of our students), but for those of you who don’t know… she writes a wonderful blog and I hope you put her on your favorites list. And if you are keen on this topic, check out Finding Faith, Losing Faith (in [Read More…]

An Exciting Opportunity! (RJS)

Are you interested in questions of science and Christian faith? Perhaps not quite sure what to think? Want to enter into a conversation and learn some more? On this blog we’ve been carrying on a conversation about the relationship between science and Christian  faith for many years. The conversation has wandered over a wide range [Read More…]

“Personal” Relationship with Jesus?

Joel Miller, fine author, probes into the expression “personal relationship” and, rather alarmingly, discovers this is largely unknown until the 1970s. But when we speak of personal faith, or resort to labeling our faith as such in the face of a disagreement over what is or is not true, we run the risk of reducing our creed [Read More…]

Conversion: A Moment, a Process, or…?

Do you think folks convert at a single moment or do you think it happens (for some) over time? Do you think it happens different for different people — some all at once and others over time? Let me give a big sociological sketch first. Studies reveal that folks, in a general sense, “convert” to [Read More…]

Was Paul Converted? NT Wright on the “Conversion” of Paul

The standard reading of the apostle Paul’s life is the story of conversion, and at work in that story is religion and hence of Paul “finding religion” or “leaving religion for faith.” In the altogether exciting 15th chp of NT Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God, Wright pitches his tent in a way that he gets [Read More…]

Leaving Mormonism: A Story

I saw this story by Lynn Wilder and it triggered for me, of course, my studies in conversion theory (Turning to Jesus and, with Hauna Ondrey, Finding Faith, Losing Faith). The summer of 2006, my husband and I mustered the courage to drive two hours away from our largely Mormon community in Utah to attend a [Read More…]

Reasons for Atheism

From Larry Alex Taunton, at The Atlantic (HT: TG): Someone with plenty of experience conversing with those who have left the faith for atheism, Taunton lists the results of some research on why folks walk away. Worth your read and response. It has been my privilege to address college students all over the world, usually [Read More…]

Conversion as Influencing, an Infograph

I found this infograph at Pardot.com, and it opens up some windows (some worrisome ones too) on evangelism, the evangelist and conversion. As some of you know, I have written about conversion in two publications — Turning to Jesus and with Hauna Ondrey Finding Faith, Losing Faith. In the first book especially I dealt with the psychology [Read More…]

Finding Faith, Losing Faith

Some of you know of my interest in patterns in stories of conversion, about which I have written in Turning to Jesus and Finding Faith, Losing Faith (with Hauna Ondrey). One of the elements of conversion is that each conversion entails an apostasy, that is, to come to one thing one leaves another thing. This led to [Read More…]