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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
        Monday, April 12 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Conversion

C. S. Lewis wrote in Surprised by Joy that "When we [he and his brother, Warnie] set out [by motorcycle to the Whipsnade Zoo] I did not believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did." This simple confession of faith, of conversion at age 33 from a nebulous "theism" (belief in a vague God) to personal faith in Jesus Christ has made Lewis a hero to the evangelical Protestant subculture ever since. ("Evangelical Protestant" is subject to interpretation, but generally it refers to those denominations and sub-groups in almost all Protestant denominations in which sharing the Gospel with unconverted people and persuading them to believe in a personal way in Christ is a top priority. Conversion, to evangelicals, is the bottom line of what delineates sincere Christian belief from nominal Christianity or a lip-service to being Christian.)

The fact that Lewis had spent the evening before his momentous decision hearing and discussing the Christian faith and its apologetic by a devout Roman Catholic colleague at Oxford University, J. R. R. Tolkien, also makes Lewis a favorite among Catholics, especially those of a warm "evangelical" stripe. And his continued membership in the Anglican church in which he'd been baptized and reared makes him highly regarded among the less liberal factions of the Anglican (Episcopalian) communion. His own parish pastor described Lewis, who was never ordained to any ministry or church office, "the most radically converted person I ever knew."

And his personal history and the output of his pen bears this out. From that day to the end of life Lewis was a warrior for the faith he'd been apprehended by as well as a warrior, a cross-bearer, against the enemies of faith like doubt, pride, and all the other deadly sins. vices, and temptations that buffet believers. The evangelical preaches "simply believe" and holds out the hope, and the examples of many like Lewis, that a simple but sincere "hour of decision" (to appropriate the title of Billy Graham's radio program to the point) can change a life forever. Some say it's a once-and-for-all matter of resolving to believe and following through; others stress the "following through" by emphasizing resolving again and again, day-to-day, every day for the rest of life, and even moment by moment, continuing down the road hand in hand with Jesus.

I was led to these thoughts by reading numerous testimonies of lives touched and turned around by seeing The Passion of the Christ movie in the past two months. There can be little doubt that churches were packed more than usual yesterday, Easter 2004, largely because of the impact of that film on millions of people. Thousands have been converted; thousands of others have been "converted again" (the Psalmist David speaks of being converted repeatedly, so we shouldn't doubt its place in the life in God). Will the impact be sustained or will it fade quickly as the audiences turn away? Will the conversions "take," as evidenced by lives that keep on keeping on...or will the film version of The DaVinci Code which is being planned, and myriad other diversions, render today's "new thing" old news a year or even a few weeks from now?

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Country wisdom

Two can live as cheap as one if one doesn't eat.

—Sent by Mary Ann Losiewicz 

Thought for today

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.

—G. Gordon Liddy
Sent by Trudy Myers 

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