Weekly Buzz: 10/27/14

Jesus Power Atheist Christian Apologist

Learn about how an atheist English professor became a Christian apologist. Get a sneak peek at a new book about miracles, coming out tomorrow. And find out why Ken Ham, the Answers in Genesis leader, wrote a blog post about me.

It’s the weekly buzz. 

An Academic’s Journey from Atheism to Christianity

Dr. Holly Ordway used to be an atheist. Now, the former English professor’s story has reached a new chapter: she directs the Master of Arts in Apologetics program at Houston Baptist University. But why did she become a Christian?

Check out an interview she did with Fox News. Among other factors, she cites the influence of poetry. You should also read a recent interview she did with Strange Notions. She explains how her love of literature led her to contemplate Christianity:

I found that my favorite authors were men and women of deep Christian faith. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien above all; and then the poets: Gerard Manley Hopkins, George Herbert, John Donne, and others. Their work was unsettling to my atheist convictions, in part because I couldn’t sort their poetry into neat ‘religious’ and ‘non-religious’ categories; their faith infused all their work, and the poems that most moved me, from Hopkins’ “The Windhover” to Donne’s Holy Sonnets, were explicitly Christian. I tried to view their faith as a something I could separate from the aesthetic power of their writing, but that kind of compartmentalization didn’t work well, especially not with a work of literature as rich and complex as The Lord of the Rings.

Dr. Ordway just published a new book about her conversion, Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms.

What do you think of her story? What parts of it do you identify with?

Ken Ham Blogged about Me!

Last month, I wrote a guest post for NonProphet Status about the Bill Nye/Ken Ham creationism debate: “4 Things Bill Nye Should Have Said to Ken Ham.”

Well, Ken Ham responded to my blog post yesterday morning: “Four Misconceptions About Biblical Creation.” I’ll post a response to him Wednesday morning.

What do you think of Ham’s reaction to me?

Eric Metaxas’s New Book about Miracles Comes out Tomorrow

For more info about this new book, check out a brief article Metaxas wrote for BreakPoint. (Fun fact: you can also listen to him read the article.) He explains how he defines a miracle:

For me, a miracle is when something outside time and space—which is to say outside the material, natural world—enters time and space, whether just to wink at us or to poke at us briefly, or to come in and dwell among us for three decades.

Metaxas is a smart and funny guy worth knowing. And I’m not just saying that because he’s a Yalie. OK, maybe I’m a little biased.

Oh, and speaking of him, make sure you check out Socrates in the City. He hosts this fantastic NYC forum about “Life, God, and other small topics.”

The “Friendly Atheist” Interviews a Friendly Christian

Hemant Mehta, the prolific “Friendly Atheist” blogger, interviewed a frequent Christian commenter on his site. Mehta’s conversation with this Christian, Robert Wilson, is fantastic. It’s a reminder that Christian/atheist dialogue can be very heavy and very respectful.

“Science, Religion and the Assumptions We Make”

Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ, wrote a great piece about science and religion for HuffPost. (He’s the president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.) He reminds us that the assumptions we make go a long way toward determining our conclusions. Brother Guy also mentions a new book that he co-wrote with Father Paul Mueller, Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?

What do you think of the buzz?

12 thoughts on “Weekly Buzz: 10/27/14

  1. Can’t wait to see your response. I just hope Ken actually considers what you say and doesn’t just refute you and classify your comments with the “Christians and church leaders who have chosen to accept man’s teaching on Earth’s history over God’s Word”. Bring the boom baby!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And his point on non-Christians believing in young-earth creationism is invalid – he provides a counter-example by citing a list on his website of PhD’s who agree with his theology, which means they are Christians. This is totally misdirection and does not refute your point in any way whatsoever

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike, great post. I really enjoy reading your stuff. I like that we disagree on theology a bit, pushes me to understand my belief a bit. As a fan of Ken Ham, I literally read everything, I was more disapointed in him that night (and last week on your Weekly Buzz post) than I was Bill Nye.


  4. I’m a fan of Brother Guy Consolmagno. Not just because his name is “Brother Guy,” but also because his book I found his book “God’s Mechanics” to be very influential in my thinking.

    I highly recommend “God’s Mechanics,” even just the first 2 chapters, because it mirrors the theme of this blog. He explains his beliefs while openly acknowledging his own biases, and he communicates with a warm, civil, and humble tone, which I also feel compelled to describe as “avuncular.”

    It’s also fascinating to read that Dr. Holly Ordway’s love of literature led her to Christianity. Here’s a quick quote from Consolmagno’s book “God’s Mechanics,” on the topic of religious scientists: “For what it’s worth, in my experience astronomers are more likely than biologists to be believers. But several surveys, more scientific than my anecdotal experiences, have confirmed that in academic settings, the real atheists are to be found in English Literature departments.”

    Liked by 1 person

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