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Author Topic:   Christian conversion experience: descriptions/analysis/links: input invited
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005

Message 196 of 199 (221929)
07-05-2005 3:52 PM
Reply to: Message 171 by Gilgamesh
06-27-2005 8:11 PM

Re: A conversion experience analysis
gilgamesh writes:

Disagree. I have muddied the waters be reiterating my thesis that there is no intellectual path to God, for an informed sceptical intellectual, but I'll save that debate for another thread. It is relevant though because it emphaises why the emotive conversion experience (which I have defined in this thread previously) is a brilliant tool for transcending intellectual obstacles to faith. I have witnesses many conversions of non-believers via the conversion process, believers who then are incapable of intellectually rationalising their beliefs without reference to the conversion (or personal experience of God as they call it) or emotional appeals.

I grant there may be some exceptions; probably those who actually find Christian apologetics convincing. If someone here has identified a genuine intellectual path to God that could convince an informed sceptical intellectual, without the need of references to personal subjective experiences/conversion processes or emotive appeals, by all means open a thread and post the good news.

I've provided a link to an interview with Francis Collins who has a graduate degree in QM, a MD and PHD in physical sciences. He is also the director of the Human Genome Project and has come to the Christian faith via an intellectual path and without subjective experience. He actually provides exactly what it is you are asking for.

I started another thread on Francis Collins but I remembered the discussion here and it fit exactly with what you were asking so this link is also in the other thread. (Apologies to admin.) :)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 171 by Gilgamesh, posted 06-27-2005 8:11 PM Gilgamesh has not yet responded

Suspended Member (Idle past 104 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001

Message 197 of 199 (224139)
07-16-2005 6:30 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Gilgamesh
06-02-2005 11:15 PM

Some history
I happen to be doing a little research of my own into charismatic phenomena and thought I'd post some references here, since what you are describing as normal Christian "conversion" is not that at all, as I and others have tried to tell you. Most of it derives from the recent (19th to early 20th century) Pentecostal and (1960s) Charismatic movements. What you call "touch" conversion in your opening post is a Pentecostal/Charismatic phenomenon. Speaking in tongues also derives from this movement, and faith healing, and the movement is highly controversial despite its huge number of followers.

Here's some historical background and criticism from a Christian point of view which you certainly need if you are going to say anything relevant at all:

The first link takes a neutral stance and aims to give a complete historical outline of the theological developments from John Wesley through today's charismatics:

The Origins of the Pentecostal Movement

Next, an article that denounces ALL Pentecostalism and Charismaticism as false doctrine, in rather strong language:

Azusa Street: Birth of a Lie

Last, a Biblical critique of faith healing:

The False Doctrine that Healing is in the Atonement

This message has been edited by Faith, 07-16-2005 06:31 PM

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 Message 1 by Gilgamesh, posted 06-02-2005 11:15 PM Gilgamesh has not yet responded

Posts: 14668
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1

Message 198 of 199 (825171)
12-09-2017 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 91 by ringo
06-16-2005 12:15 PM

Re: conversion
ringo writes:

I was raised in evangelical churches, literally from birth. When I was about eight, at a church-sponsored summer day-camp, we were all invited to tell how we had been "saved". I was the only one who had no story to tell. There had been no "conversion" because I had always been there, so to speak.

The teacher didn't see it that way. I was told, in so many words, that I had better get saved (with an implied "or else"). That was the extent of my being "led to the Lord".

As an eight-year-old, I was left alone to "get saved". Some time later, I mumbled a prayer which would supposedly do the trick.

In that church, baptism by immersion was done when the person decided he/she was "ready", typically in the early teens. I was never baptised because I was never "ready". Quite frankly, I always thought that being "dipped" was a little silly.

I've seen lots and lots of "speaking in tongues", etc., often by people that I know well. I am sure it isn't "faked", but I am equally sure it isn't real. I have no clear explanation for it.

As a teenager, I drifted away from the church. I tried to feel guilty about it, but I was never a really "bad" kid, so I compared pretty favourably with the kids who were "saved".

My real "conversion" has come over time, with the realization that God is everywhere, but He tends to avoid the buildings. He also tends to avoid the people who talk the loudest about Him.

What is your opinion on prayer? We have talked lately about how evil the God of Calvinism is, but if you have ever seen the Jimmy Stewart movie, It's A Wonderful Life you know the scenes where George Bailey talks to God in prayer. Is it so silly to believe that a Deity could hear our prayers? In my opinion, talking/praying is therapeutic.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by ringo, posted 06-16-2005 12:15 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 199 by ringo, posted 12-09-2017 12:16 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

Posts: 18799
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1

Message 199 of 199 (825175)
12-09-2017 12:16 PM
Reply to: Message 198 by Phat
12-09-2017 11:53 AM

Re: conversion
Phat writes:

Is it so silly to believe that a Deity could hear our prayers?

If there was a deity, it's silly to think prayers would be necessary.

Phat writes:

In my opinion, talking/praying is therapeutic.

So is watching the ducks.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 198 by Phat, posted 12-09-2017 11:53 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

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