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Why An Atheist's Conversion 83 Years Ago Still Matters

An Oxford academic with a brilliant mind was searching for answers. He was an atheist but talking with a friend who was Christian he had gradually come to see that life didn’t make sense without a God. Only God could provide a foundation for the moral values he believed in, and explain his own search for meaning and purpose.

He was considering Christianity, but as a brilliant scholar of history he had a question… isn’t the story of Jesus just another myth, like so many other stories of dying and rising gods from antiquity?

His friend showed him how in fact the story of Jesus was the “true myth” – all those other stories were just partial reflections and fore-shadowings of what would be fully realised in the real life, real death and real resurrection of Christ. It was a breakthrough moment for that young atheist. He became a Christian.

The year was 1930. The atheist who converted to Christianity was CS Lewis, probably the most gifted and influential Christian thinker of the 20th Century. And the friend who led him to Christ was JRR Tolkien – the write of the famous Lord of The Rings trilogy.

Fifty years on from his death, the way CS Lewis explained and gave evidence for the Christian faith remains almost unparalleled. His gift to us was showing - in imaginative ways - how Christianity makes sense to us and makes sense of the world around us. As he put it “I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sun, not just because I see it, but because by it I see everything else”

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Unbelievable? presenter Justin Brierley blogs on all things theology, apologetics and ethics.

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