The apostle Paul was actively opposing the church when Jesus stopped him dead in his tracks and turned him around. He was on a war against Christianity. He was not seeking after the truth. He was convinced that he knew the truth. But Jesus met him on the road to Damascus. Paul described his conversion in Acts 26 as a radical transformation.
Dr. Rosaria Butterfield is another unlikely convert.
“I tried to toss the Bible and all of its teachings in the trash — I really tried,” she says. “But I kept reading it, reading it not just for pleasure, but reading it because I was engaged in a research program trying to refute the religious right from a lesbian feminist perspective. . . . After my second or third, maybe fourth, pass through the entire Bible something started to happen. The Bible got to be bigger inside me than I. And it absolutely overflowed into my world. I really fought against it. And then one Sunday morning, no different from any other Sunday morning, I rose from the bed of my lesbian lover, and an hour later I sat in a pew at the Syracuse Reformed Presbyterian Church. I went there very conspicuous of the fact that I didn’t fit in. But I really had to confront this God.”
And she did.
In embracing the biblical Jesus, she found herself “a single ex-lesbian with a now defunct PhD,” the words she uses in her book The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into Christian Faith (26).
Her conversion landed her into “a complicated and comprehensive chaos” (27). “This was my conversion in a nutshell: I lost everything but the dog” (63).
But in return she found life in Christ.