Ask a Former Atheist
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Christians are commanded to have faith but not “blind faith”. We are convinced that Christianity should invite hard questions and provide good answers to those who are humbly seeking Truth. We invite you to explore our website and engage with us in meaningful dialogue.
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“We are sinners.” Romans 3:10
“Our sin separates us from God.” Isaiah 59:2
“the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23
“God’s Law exposes sin” Exodus 20: 1-17
“We will face judgement.” Hebrews 9:27
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“ He was pierces for our transgressions and crushed for our inequities. We all like sheep have gone astray and turned our own way.” Isaiah 53: 5-6
“ God shows his love for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
“ Christ suffered to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. “ 1 Peter 3:18
“ You are stained with sin as red as crimson, but they will be washed white as snow.” Isaiah 1: 18
“ It’s by grace you have been saved through faith, not works and this is not from your works, it is a gift from God, not by works so that no man can boast” Ephesians 2: 8-9
“God’s law is a tutor to bring us to Christ.” Galatians 3:24
“Turn from sin and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sins.” Acts 2: 38
“ If you declare with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him form the dead, you will be saved. “ Romans 10: 9-10
“Very truly , I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged, has crossed from death to life.” John 5: 24
“The light shines in the darkness.” John 1:5
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.” 2 Corinthians 5: 17
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A Brief History of a Former Atheist Professor
Becoming a “New Atheist”
Universities have a well-deserved reputation for making religious skeptics. Only a small percentage of those who enter the academy believing the Bible will cross the stage on graduation day with an intact faith. I was no exception to this rule.
When I enrolled as an undergraduate at West Virginia University in 1995, I believed the Bible was true from cover to cover. I aspired to become either a youth minister or a foreign missionary.
By the time I received my Ph.D. from the University of Georgia (UGA) a decade later, I had aligned myself with the “new atheism”. As I assumed a teaching position at UGA, a key focus of my life was to undermine the type of Christian faith I had grown up with.
I didn’t believe in God. And I couldn’t stand Him.
A Change of Mind but Not of Heart
But it soon became evident that the atheism I turned to in order to become a “freethinker” was incoherent. The atheistic worldview wrote ideological checks that it could not cash.
I renounced atheism in 2011 only to become something that is more common and more absurd. I would spend the next three and a half years as a “cultural Christian”. I lived with one foot in the church and the other in the world. On one hand, I came to believe in my head the claims of Jesus, but on the other hand, that knowledge failed to make it from my head to my heart. I was living to fulfill my desires, not His.
The LORD Disciplines Those He Loves
Thankfully, God loved me too much to leave me there. He loved me too much to allow me to find fulfillment in cozy, comfortable, costless, cultural Christianity. He loved me enough to turn my world upside down in a most agonizing, grievous, and glorious way in late 2014. He loved me enough to bring me to my knees in complete surrender.
I left UGA in 2015 and assumed full-time study towards a master’s degree in Christian apologetics. That same year, I began four semesters of being intensely disciplined in evangelism and Christian apologetics under Tom Short—a senior leader in Great Commission Churches and a veteran university evangelist and apologist for more than forty years.
I married my best friend, Mary Kathryn, on July 29, 2017. The following year, God surprised us both by calling us back to Athens, Georgia to serve as Christian leaders in the community and at UGA. Together, we help lead the UGA chapter of Ratio Christi—an apologetics and evangelism alliance. We are also increasingly active in apologetics and Bible teaching and discipling of international graduate students, visiting scholars, and young professionals.
We launched the Ask a Former Atheist, Inc. non-profit, and website in 2020 to further the educational and evangelistic reach of our ministry. Our goal is to glorify Christ in all things by declaring Him as Creator, Sustainer, and Savior and leading others into a deeper knowledge of the One, True, Living God.
“They only heard the report: ‘The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.’ And they praised God because of me.” (Galatians 1:23-24, NIV).
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