Following are the stories of a number of former atheists who are now Christians. There are their stories. The testimony of an atheist who comes to faith in God is, perhaps, one of the most compelling testimonies of faith, at least to me.
Jordan Monge is the daughter of two atheist parents. She always thought she had to prove herself. As an atheist, her self-worth was wrapped up in her performance. For her, that meant being smarter than other people. She challenged classmates at the age of 11 on Bible contradictions, but she began to have questions herself, that she couldn’t answer as she got older.
She always thought of herself as a good person, but where does morality come from? Why is something right or wrong? Why do I believe in human rights? Where does morality come from? She wondered what made her valuable as a person? Her questions were heightened at Harvard, where she began to get some answers in surprising places.
In the following video that includes the testimony of Hugh Ross, we learn that he knew he wanted to be an astrophysicist as early as 8 years old. He read 100 creation myths from around the world and dismissed them all based on the scientific record by the time he was 11. growing up in Vancouver and going to a high populated mostly by Asians who were Buddhist or Hindu, he did not have a Christian friend until he was 27, but he had already determined based on the same scientific record that he used to dismiss 100 creation myths that the Bible is factual and more reliable than the law of thermodynamics. Your can hear his compelling journey here.
Richard Morgan called himself a “Richard Dawkins Atheist”. He was an active participant on the Richard Dawkins message board, and the message board was the unlikely place where he began to question the fruit of atheism and met a Pennsylvania Presbyterian minister. After 62 years, he became a Christian. The story is long, but worth the listen.
Alister McGrath was an atheist from an young age, and an aggressive one at that, in the style of Richard Dawkins. He discovered the case for atheism isn’t as strong as he thought, and Christianity was much more interesting than he thought, as a student studying science at Oxford. This led to an “intellectual conversion”. He gradually began to explore a different way of thinking, getting “inside it” and seeing how it works, and it made sense. Now he thinks that faith makes sense, and it makes sense of everything else.
Jennifer Fulwiler was always an atheist. Her father read her books by Carl Sagan on his lap as a young girl. This is her story of faith.
Ian McCormick was a young, womanizing, adventurer. He was also an atheist before he was attacked by a box jellyfish. He was dying when everything changed.
James Warner Wallace was an atheist and second generation cop. He became a cold case detective. He was happy to know there was no life after death. He mocked Christian belief. When he was challenged to consider the people, he tackled it like he would tackle a cold case homicide. This is his story.
Holly Ordway was an atheist until she was 31. Her family was “culturally Christian”, but she never went to church, never had a Bible and didn’t know anything about Christianity. She wasn’t hostile to the idea, but she had no exposure to it. She read a lot as a child, including the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings. When she found out the Chronicles of Narnia were about Christ, she was angry at CS Lewis for “ruining a good story”. When she went to college, she became “indoctrinated” in “staunch atheism”.
Michael concluded when he was 13 that God doesn’t exist. He didn’t get struck by lightning, and he found it was very freeing for him. He later got into philosophy, reading Descartes, Nietzsche, Freud and later, the New Atheists, like Dawkins and Dennet. He also got very depressed. Even though he didn’t have faith, he took a religion class and began to see something beneficial in religion, generally. Ironically, something Richard Dawkins said got him wondering if there might be something else beyond electrical signals and human capacities. Five days later, he was mocking some Christians on the college campus, when one of them approached and began to talk with him. There was something “different” and “real” about this person, and he began to wonder.
A college professor and former atheist gives his poignant testimony that involves a near death experience that changed his life and brought him to faith in Jesus Christ.
Dr. Donald Whitaker was a research doctor and an atheist. Lying on his deathbed, he came face to face with the stark reality of death without God. One man had spoken to him about Christ, and that is who he asked for when it appeared that death was imminent.
Dave Wood was an atheist. He didn’t share the emotions he saw in other people. He figured he had evolved further than other people. He felt a rush of freedom thinking that he didn’t need to be on a societal leash, constrained by common morality. As an atheist, he was convinced the universe didn’t care about us. When he thought he killed his own father, he didn’t feel anything. He was dancing to the tune of his own DNA. But doubts occasionally crept in. Existence seemed pointless. Then he was challenged by a Christian in a jail cell. He threw himself into studying the Bible to prove his new found friend wrong, but everything began to change.
Dave was an atheist, the most vocal atheist on his college campus. When he came to a crisis in his own life, he did the very thing he mocked Christians for doing. He prayed. It was a cynical prayer, “God, I don’t believe you exist, but on the off chance that I am wrong, today would be an outstanding day to show me. Amen.” Then things got interesting.
Guillaume Bignon was a French atheist who was on a prestigious math and science educational course. He became a software developer, pursuing his own happiness, playing in a rock band and playing volleyball in a French national league. He was living the dream, but things changed on vacation with his brother in St. Martin. Guillaume met an American girl and began a long distance dating relationship. She was a Christian, and his new goal in life became proving to her she was wrong. As he read the Bible, he became impressed with Jesus, and things began to change.
She mocked Christians until she developed a relationship with her husband’s aunt and began to read the Bible to look for ways to refute it. She ended up finding herself drawn to God, and it changed her life.
Ronald Dabdoub was an atheist. He didn’t believe in “the sky fairy”. He thought of religion as a mind control tool of the government. At one point in his life, he began to think about the possibility of God, and wondered, “If God is real, why would You not show yourself to me if you’re real.” And he followed by saying, “You know God why I don’t think you’re real? I’m going to tell you why! I see evil people who don’t care about anybody, and they have billions of dollars – money they can’t even spend. They just watch it stockpile while kids are not eating tonight. Where are You!” But then he asked, “If you are real, please show yourself to me…. and not only are You real, but tell me who the real God is.” He wanted “more than words”. And he asked these questions of God every day for 30 days. And then, he got his answers.
Leah Libresco grew up in Long Island, NY among mostly secular Jews. She knew nothing about Christianity. She learned about Christianity only when it came into conflict with politics. She didn’t know the language of Christianity. Her morality wasn’t embedded in religious views, but in philosophical positions. She believed in morality and saw beauty in morality. She was surprised in college to find smart, intellectual Christians, and it posed a challenge to her to address it. She began to read GK Chesterton, Dostoevsky and other Christian writers, and she realized she wasn’t fluent in the language of Christianity. Things began to change for her when she began to learn the language of Christianity, and God began to reach her through the language of mathematics and the virtue ethics of atheism that she understood. This is he story.
Kendall grew up in California where people didn’t go to church. People were more New Age and Universalist. The “religion” in her family was Free Masonry. She began as an atheist, growing up with a lot of inner hurt, which she masked with athletic and academic accomplishment. She went to U Cal Berkeley where she double majored with eyes on law school. Partying temporarily side-tracked her, and she got into modeling after college. She found no joy or fulfillment in partying with celebrities and their licentious lifestyle. She just got depressed. She ended up going to law school as she originally intended and also got into yoga and self help thinking that led her into a spiritual journey that took her through every possible alternative to Christianity. It was a long journey that finally led to Jesus. This is her story.
Andrew’s parents were both successful, and they were atheists. They taught Andrew that nothing was more important than success. Andrew Sobel was driven to success and became, a very successful businessman, climbing to the top of a global investment firm. Then he wrote a book, Clients for Life, that was also a success, selling all over the world. But Andrew’s son struggled. He partied and carried on with women. Then things changed. He stopped and changed in a matter of weeks. He had become a Christian. Andrew was so taken by the change, that Andrew began to read the Bible for the first time in his life, and he became captivated by the person of Jesus. This is his story:
Will Stone grew up an atheist. The few times he went to church he didn’t like it. He became a typical partier in college, but his life was coming unraveled. Then he had a firsthand encounter with Jesus. There was no question who he encountered. This is his story:
Two years after the video above, this is Will Stone a bit more grounded, and he continues to grow in his faith.
He was an atheist for 23 years, and he was furious with God. He blamed God for everything bad in his life, and then everything changed.
Kyle grew up in a non-religious home and considered himself an atheist. He used to make fun of Christians, but he had a nagging emptiness that nothing he tried could fill. From friends, to drugs, alcohol, girlfriends, business and self-help, nothing filled the void. A cousin introduced him to people she said changed her life. He drafted in their positive outlook on life and skated by, rejecting the “religious” aspects, until that nagging emptiness brought him to the point of making a personal challenge to God. He started that challenge smoking weed in front the television watching “Jesus shows”, and God met him where he was. This is his story.
Sy Garte grew up in an atheistic household in which his parents and ancestors for generations were atheists, and his lateral ancestors and most of the people knew where atheists. He didn’t question his atheistic materialism until he began to study science. In studying physics and biology, he began to see things that lead him to question his materialism. They didn’t make him a theist, but they did rule out the materialist foundation he grew up assuming. The challenge to those underlying foundations set him on a course of trying to make sense of what he was seeing. This interview explores his journey from atheism to agnosticism to theism to Christianity.
Lee Strobel believed that people were crazy to believe in God. He was a dyed in the wool atheist. He was a journalist with a law degree, making him a skeptic who gravitated toward cynicism. When his wife became a Christian, his first thought was to get a divorce. He couldn’t stomach the thought. As time went on, he noticed the positive changes in her life, and he decided to stick around and disprove for her what she believed. This is his story of his effort to disprove the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which he could see was the lynchpin of the Christian.
Rosalind Picard grew up in a family that did not practice any form of religion. She declared herself an atheist at a young age. The few examples of religious people she knew did not appeal to her. On family, though, was different. They were intelligent, hip and intriguing. They asked her to church, which she refused, but they also challenged her to read the Bible. She figured that she ought read it as an intelligent person, if only to debunk it. Taking up that challenge was the beginning of a long process that eventually led her to a new position.
Rosalind Picard goes into a little more detail in this short response to the question about how she came to faith, including her research into the “data” of the Bible and exploration of other religions before coming to a position on God.
Cardiologist Dan Degirolami shares how he came to faith in Jesus Christ from atheism at the age of 55. For the first 55 years of his life, religion and God didn’t make sense to him. He argued against religion and the idea of God. He was in control. He was his own god.