Advice to a Reluctant Agnostic

The following is from the Biologos website. A reader posted  a poignant question about a month ago, which I (and others) answered. My answer seemed to be well liked by many of the Biologos Forum participants, and I thought I would repost it here. You can find the original (along with some other answers to the question posed) at the site.

The following is unedited from the original, except for correction of a few typos.


Are there any former militant atheists on this forum? If so, how and why did you convert to Christianity? I’m a reluctant agnostic. I long to believe in God and to follow Christ, but I’m plagued with relentless doubt. I’m always worried that materialism is right and that nothing beyond the norm exists. If that is correct then there is no point in anything at all and I find that thought bleak and depressing. The idea of the Christian God comforts me deeply and I really want to let go and believe but I dont know how to.

Wow, that sounds exactly like me about 20 years ago. I grew up as a militant atheist, and gradually decided that what I was learning in science (I am a biologist) wasn’t consistent with a purely philosophical naturalistic view point. I began to see that even science, (the observer effect in QM, and other facts of physics, as well as some of the immense complexities of biology) was suggesting something more than a perfectly rational, logical world. I was also curious about beauty, love, art, and all the human essentials, that seemed to be outside of pure naturalism.

And like you I longed for some kind of spirituality (which I had been deprived of growing up). I investigated some religions, including some new-agey stuff. Nothing satisfied me. I had had such negative training about Christianity that I never considered it.

But then a friend brought me to a Church. I was amazed at the love and kindness I found there. I felt myself moved, but still couldn’t bring myself to believe. I was “plagued with relentless doubt”.

How Christ finally found me is a long story, but it involved some personal experiences that convinced me that Jesus was real, and was trying to reach me. It was like a building pressure, which I finally surrendered to, and the dam burst. When that happened, when I could actually say to myself “I believe” my whole life changed.

I still have doubts. Sometimes when I first enter my Church, I think “What am I doing here?” But that goes away pretty quickly. Now my faith is a central part of my life, even though I still do science and will never lose my scientific worldview, which now includes the knowledge that everything I study is part of God’s creation.

I found this Biologos Web site when it first began, and it has been an enormous help to me over the years. I even wrote a blog post back in 2010 called Stochastic Grace that talked about my journey (I think you can find it if you search for it). My suggestions are to look around and read some of the blogs. Here you will find people who have no doubt that naturalism is the best way to understand the world as God created it, and who also deeply believe in God, and in Jesus as their personal savior.

I also suggest you not worry about finding God, because if you let him, he will find you. The key is to be open and to listen closely for his call. It could come in a dream, or in a coincidence, or in the touch of a loved one, a smile from a stranger. And when it does come, and you recognize it for what it is, allow yourself to accept it. You will know it when it happens, and you will pray your thanks for the gift of faith you have been given. Until then, love the world and the people in it, and know that even if you don’t know God yet, he knows and loves you. Peace.

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5 Responses to Advice to a Reluctant Agnostic

  1. SheilaDeeth says:

    Wow, worth bookmarking for all my doubting and believing friends

  2. An excellent testimony and wise advice here to new believers in Christ. Have shared with friend who’s finishing a paper on why Richard Dawkins is mistaken, as well as inserting into my blog’s Scripture & Science hub.

  3. Reblogged this on Richard's Watch and commented:
    An excellent testimony and wise advice here to new believers in Christ.

  4. Thank you Richard. Blessings

    • Phil View says:

      Spotted this on the Richard’s Watch site and has relevance to me. A long story and crisis of faith that has led me to watch the you tube presentations of Nicky Gumbel, Amy Orr Ewing, Science Mike McHargue and Roy Godwin and this led me to the Biologos site as well. I also found Richard’s Watch a month ago, my mother in law Nina was admitted to hospital with a suspected stroke and I some how that same evening stumbled on the “Nina Miracle’ by complete accident which was on Richard’s site. (That was very comforting) My mother in law is hopefully fine but cannot drive for 2 months.

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