I’m Olivia, and thinking through the idea of God with clarity and conviction changed my life. My apologetics story begins in 2013. I was a freshman in college and a long-committed Christian. As a part of an honors program, I was required to take a class titled “The Self and the Cosmos.” Required reading: Bertrand Russell’s Religion and Science, and from the first class it was obvious that my professor wasn’t a Christian.
I found myself facing a false dilemma (religion v. thinking), though I didn’t know it was false at the time. I could use my intellect to think about the god question, risking losing what I believed was a real and powerful relationship with God. Or, I could continue to ground my faith in lasting personal convictions, accepting my lingering doubts and questions about faith as perpetually irresolvable.
I decided that if my religion — the Jesus Christ was the son of God, that he was born of a virgin, that he died under the Romans by crucifixion, and was resurrected three days later — wasn’t true, I wanted to know. “Whatever I would lose in departing from my faith,” I wrote in an essay for the class, “if it’s shown to be false, would only be an illusion anyway.” I didn’t want to believe in something that wasn’t real. I believed in Christianity because I thought it was true, and if it wasn’t, I wanted to know. With fear and trembling, I found myself convinced that there was some truth that I could apprehend about the idea of God that would inform my decision to believe or not.
My professor — who I had initially perceived as staunchly opposed to thinking critically about the idea of God — ended up helping me by asking me questions about the god I said I believed in. Many time I couldn’t answer his questions immediately, so I would take them before my God, studying, reading, and searching the Internet for ideas. And as I thought critically and laid before God the toughest of my questions, I found out that he was ready for me, as if he’d been waiting for me to come to him with complete honesty. I found out that there were answers that made sense, and that, perhaps more importantly, God and the Bible could be trusted.
My relationship with God changed when I began to think through the idea of God with clarity and conviction. It brought me to my knees; it brings me to my knees. It changed my life, my future plans, the things that I think about.
Saved as a young child, I began to really discover the riches and freedom of truth once I began to seek it in college. College was a falling away of a faith for me — a faith that wasn’t sure how to respond to questions (and more questions, and more questions…) — and a falling in love with God, who is so much more interesting, amazing, fascinating, and good than we really know until our beliefs are put up to the test and we bring everything before him.
Thinking through the idea of God with clarity and conviction changed my life and continues to change my life. It will change yours, whatever your beliefs are, too. This is my apologetics story!
© Olivia Davis 2018, all rights reserved