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From Way of Life Literature, David Cloud has presented a three-part series of testimonies of men who set out shred Christianity but instead came out believers.

Here are some excerpts. I have selected one testimony from each part.

 

Above all other books, the Bible has been hated, vilified, ridiculed, criticized, restricted, banned, and destroyed, but it has been to no avail. As one rightly said, “We might as well put our shoulder to the burning wheel of the sun, and try to stop it on its flaming course, as attempt to stop the circulation of the Bible” (Sidney Collett, All about the Bible, p. 63).

In A.D. 303, the Roman Emperor Diocletian issued an edict to stop Christians from worshipping Jesus Christ and to destroy their Scriptures. Every official in the empire was ordered to raze the churches to the ground and burn every Bible found in their districts (Stanley Greenslade,
Cambridge History of the Bible). Twenty-five years later Diocletian’s successor, Constantine, issued another edict ordering fifty Bibles to be published at government expense (Eusebius).

In 1778 the French infidel Voltaire boasted that in 100 years Christianity would cease to exist, but within 50 years the Geneva Bible Society used his press and house to publish Bibles (Geisler and Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible, 1986, pp. 123, 124).

Robert Ingersoll once boasted, “Within 15 years I’ll have the Bible lodged in a morgue.” But Ingersoll is dead, and the Bible is alive and well.

In fact, many who set out to disprove the Bible have been converted, instead. The following are a few examples:

Simon Greenleaf (1783-1853)

Simon Greenleaf, Royall Professor of Law at Harvard University, was one of the most celebrated legal minds in American history. His
Treatise on the Law of Evidence “is still considered the greatest single authority on evidence in the entire literature of legal procedure.”

As a law professor, he determined to expose the “myth” of the resurrection of Christ once and for all, but his thorough examination forced him to conclude, instead, that Jesus did rise from the dead. In 1846 he published An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice.

Thus, one of the most celebrated minds in the legal profession of the past two centuries took the resurrection of Christ to trial, diligently examined the evidence, and judged it to be an established fact of history! And this was in spite of the fact that he began his investigation as a skeptic.

One of Greenleaf’s points is that nothing but the resurrection itself can explain the dramatic change in Christ’s disciples and their willingness to suffer and die for their testimony.

Consider an excerpt:

“Their master had recently perished as a malefactor, by the sentence of a public tribunal. His religion sought to overthrow the religions of the whole world. The laws of every country were against the teachings of His disciples. The interests and passions of all the rulers and great men in the world were against them. The fashion of the world was against them. Propagating this new faith, even in the most inoffensive and peaceful manner, they could expect nothing but contempt, opposition, revilings, bitter persecutions, stripes, imprisonments, torments, and cruel deaths.

Yet this faith they zealously did propagate; and all these miseries they endured undismayed, nay, rejoicing. As one after another was put to a miserable death, the survivors only prosecuted their work with increased vigor and resolution. The annals of military warfare afford scarcely an example of the like heroic constancy, patience, and unblenching courage. They had every possible motive to review carefully the grounds of their faith, and the evidences of the great facts and truths which they asserted; and these motives were pressed upon their attention with the most melancholy and terrific frequency. It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact. … If then their testimony was not true, there was no possible motive for its fabrication” (Greenleaf, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence).

Finish Part One at this link.

http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/men_who_were_converted_trying_to_disprove_1.html

*******

JOSH MCDOWELL

Josh McDowell, the author of
Evidence That Demands a Verdict, was a skeptic when he entered university to pursue a law degree. There he met some Christians who challenged him to examine the evidence for the Bible and Jesus Christ. Following is his testimony:

As a teenager, I wanted the answers to three basic questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? … So as a young student, I started looking for answers.

I thought that education might have the answer to my quest for happiness and meaning. So I enrolled in the university. What a disappointment! I have probably been on more university campuses in my lifetime than anyone else in history. You can find a lot of things in the university, but enrolling there to find truth and meaning in life is virtually a lost cause.

I used to buttonhole professors in their offices, seeking the answers to my questions. When they saw me coming they would turn out the lights, pull down the shades, and lock the door so they wouldn’t have to talk to me. I soon realized that the university didn’t have the answers I was seeking. Faculty members and my fellow students had just as many problems, frustrations, and unanswered questions about life as I had. A few years ago I saw a student walking around a campus with a sign on his back: ‘Don’t follow me, I’m lost.’ That’s how everyone in the university seemed to me. Education was not the answer!

Prestige must be the way to go, I decided. It just seemed right to find a noble cause, give yourself to it, and become well known. The people with the most prestige in the university, and who also controlled the purse strings, were the student leaders. So I ran for various student offices and got elected. It was great to know everyone on campus, make important decisions, and spend the university’s money doing what I wanted to do. But the thrill soon wore off, as with everything else I had tried.

Every Monday morning I would wake up with a headache because of the way I had spent the previous night. My attitude was, Here we go again, another five boring days. Happiness for me revolved around those three party-nights: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then the whole boring cycle would start over again.

Around this time I noticed a small group of people on campus–eight students and two faculty–and there was something different about them. They seemed to know where they were going in life. And they had a quality I deeply admire in people: conviction. But there was something more about this group that caught my attention. It was love. These students and professors not only loved each other, they loved and cared for people outside their group.

About two weeks later, I was sitting around a table in the student union talking with some members of this group. … I turned to one of the girls in the group and said, ‘Tell me, what changed your lives? Why are you so different from the other students and faculty?’

She looked me straight in the eye and said two words I had never expected to hear in an intelligent discussion on a university campus: ‘Jesus Christ.’

‘Jesus Christ?’ I snapped. ‘Don’t give me that kind of garbage. I’m fed up with religion, the Bible, and the church.’

She quickly shot back, ‘Mister, I didn’t say ‘religion’; I said ‘Jesus Christ.’

Then my new friends issued me a challenge I couldn’t believe. They challenged me, a pre-law student, to examine intellectually the claim that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. I thought this was a joke. These Christians were so dumb. How could something as flimsy as Christianity stand up to an intellectual examination? I scoffed at their challenge.

I finally accepted their challenge, not to prove anything but to refute them. I decided to write a book that would make an intellectual joke of Christianity. I left the university and traveled throughout the United States and Europe to gather evidence to prove that Christianity is a sham.

One day while I was sitting in a library in London, England, I sensed a voice within me saying, ‘Josh, you don’t have a leg to stand on.’ I immediately suppressed it. But just about every day after that I heard the same inner voice. The more I researched, the more I heard this voice. I returned to the United States and to the university, but I couldn’t sleep at night. I would go to bed at ten o’clock and lie awake until four in the morning, trying to refute the overwhelming evidence I was accumulating that Jesus Christ was God’s Son.

I began to realize that I was being intellectually dishonest. My mind told me that the claims of Christ were indeed true, but my will was being pulled another direction. I had placed so much emphasis on finding the truth, but I wasn’t willing to follow it once I saw it. I began to sense Christ’s personal challenge to me in Revelation 3:20: ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.’ But becoming a Christian seemed so ego-shattering to me. I couldn’t think of a faster way to ruin all my good times.

I knew I had to resolve this inner conflict because it was driving me crazy. I had always considered myself an open-minded person, so I decided to put Christ’s claims to the supreme test. One night at my home in Union City, Michigan, at the end of my second year at the university, I became a Christian.

I said, ‘Lord Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross for me.’ I realized that if I were the only person on earth, Christ would have still died for me.’ … I said, ‘I confess that I am a sinner.’ No one had to tell me that. I knew there were things in my life that were incompatible with a holy, just, righteous God. … I said, ‘Right now, in the best way I know how, I open the door of my life and place my trust in You as Saviour and Lord. Take over the control of my life. Change me from the inside out. Make me the type of person You created me to be’ (Josh McDowell, “He Changed My Life,” The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Thomas Nelson, 1999, pp. xxv).

McDowell concludes:

After trying to shatter the historicity and validity of the Scripture, I came to the conclusion that it is historically trustworthy. If one discards the Bible as being unreliable, then one must discard almost all literature of antiquity.

“One problem I constantly face is the desire on the part of many to apply one standard or test to secular literature and another to the Bible. One must apply the same test, whether the literature under investigation is secular or religious.

“Having done this, I believe we can hold the Scriptures in our hands and say, ‘The Bible is trustworthy and historically reliable” (The New Evidence, p. 68).

Finish Part Two at this link.

http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/men_who_were_converted_trying_to_disprove_2.html

*****

Gary Parker

Gary Parker has an Ed.D. in biology/geology from Ball State University. Following is his testimony:

“I wasn’t just teaching evolution, I was preaching it. ‘It was millions of years of struggle and death that brought mankind and all the other animals and plants into being,’ I told my college students. I praised Darwin for being the first to understand how evolution worked. … I let students freely express their religious beliefs, but would not let them use their personal faith to challenge what I considered the rock-hard science of evolution. I thought it was part of my duty as a science teacher to deliver my students from silly old superstitions, like taking the Bible literally and trying to refute evolution with ‘creation science.’

 

“The change began when Dr. Charles Signorino, a chemistry professor at the college where I was teaching biology, invited my wife and me to his home for Bible study. … I started studying the Bible, primarily to criticize it more effectively. …

 

“Make no mistake about it–creation/evolution is a salvation issue. I do not mean you have to have a detailed knowledge of creation science to be a Christian; I simply mean that belief in evolution can be for many, as it was for me, a powerful stumbling block to accepting (or even considering) the claims of Christ. Paul warned Timothy to avoid the oppositions of science falsely so-called, which some have erred concerning the faith (1 Tim. 6:20-21). Evolution is really ‘humanism dressed up in a lab coat,’ a man-centered worldview that uses scientific jargon to put man’s opinions far above God’s Word (as Eve did in the Garden).“My extensive knowledge of, and zeal for, evolution certainly prevented me from even considering that God might be real and the Bible true. So what happened? Well, Dr. Signorino, the colleague who invited me to the Bible study, was not only a superb Bible teacher, he was also a scientist respected internationally for his work in chemistry. He challenged me to look again at the science I thought I knew so well. Confident that science would support evolution and refute biblical literalism, I gladly accepted the challenge.“The battle began. For three years, we argued creation/evolution. For three years, I used all the evolutionary arguments I knew so well. For three years, I lost every scientific argument. In dismay, I watched the myth of evolution evaporate under the light of scientific scrutiny, while the scientific case for Creation-Corruption-Catastrophe-Christ just got better and better. It’s no wonder that the ACLU (actually the anti-Christian lawyers union) fights by any means to censor any scientific challenge to evolution! …“About that time, I got a copy in the mail of the first book I ever wrote, a programmed science instruction book calledDNA: The Key to Life.

 

Up until that time I thought people who wrote books, especially textbooks in science, knew what they were talking about. I had a nearly straight A average and earned numerous academic awards, and my book had been reviewed by experts on DNA, but I knew all the uncertainties that went into it. (Indeed, when I published the second edition five years later, I put the first edition aside and started fresh; so much additional knowledge about DNA had been gained.) It finally dawned on me: if experts in science can write books that have to be continually corrected, revised, and updated, perhaps God could write a Book in which He said what He meant and meant what He said: eternal and unchanging truth, an absolutely sure foundation for understanding life useful to all people at all times in all places!

“Looking now at the Bible as the truly true ‘History Book of the Universe,’ I was lifted out of the prison of time, space, and culture, and enabled to see past the shallow and ever-changing words of human experts to the deep and never-changing Word of the Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth! I experienced who Jesus is and what Jesus meant when He said, ‘You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free’ (John 8:32). …“I could now look at familiar facts in unfamiliar ways–ways that made more sense scientifically and helped me to solve some of the origins problems that had puzzled me as an evolutionist. As I looked at biology with the blinders of evolution finally removed, the biblical theme of Creation-Corruption-Catastrophe-Christ was reflected everywhere! …

“… some said that if I only knew more about fossils, I would give up this ‘creationist nonsense’ and accept the ‘fact of evolution.’ Then the Lord did something fabulous for me: a fellowship from the National Science Foundation for 15 months of full-time doctoral study. With fear and trembling, I added a doctoral minor in geology, emphasizing paleontology and origins, to check out the fossil evidence firsthand. I had excellent professors, including some Christians, but all assumed evolution without question. However, what they taught me about fossils made it hard to believe in evolution and easy to accept the biblical record of a perfect creation, ruined by man, destroyed by the Flood, restored to new life in Christ. …

“At the end of my geophysics unit on radiometric dating, the professor was going over the long list of assumptions that are required to convert any measurement of radioisotope amounts into some estimate of age. Midway through the list of unwarranted assumptions and inconsistent results, the professor paused to joke that if a Bible-believing Christian ever became aware of these problems, he would make havoc out of the radiometric dating system! Then he admonished us to ‘keep the faith.’


“Keep the faith. At bottom, that is all there is to radioactive decay dating: a faith the facts have failed. At bottom, that’s all there is to evolution: a faith the facts have failed. Evolution was only able to get a toe-hold on science because of 19th-century ignorance of molecular biology, cellular ultra structure, ecology, and systematics. Discoveries in these fields completely crushed evolution as a science, but it persists only too well as a secular religion protected from contrary evidence by the anti-American censorship lawyers united” (Persuaded by the Evidence, pp. 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 258, 260, 261).

Finish Part Three at this link.
http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/men_who_were_converted_trying_to_disprove_3.html
*****
David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org

Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc.’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service, an e-mail listing for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY IS NOT DEVOTIONAL BUT IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.Way of Life Literature –
http://www.wayoflife.org

copyright 2013 – Way of Life Literature
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