Christian Living

From Emergent to Evangelical, through Apologetics

Author Amy K. Hall Published on 01/03/2015

I pray that my friends who drifted out of Christianity by way of the Emergent Church movement would discover what Matt Rawlings discovered:

I became a Christian at 24 after a cancer diagnosis. I had been an atheist for 10 years but came to God on my knees in desperation. I left Capitol Hill (and politics altogether) to learn about Christianity. I attended what many believed was a conservative seminary but had slowly slipped into liberalism by the time I arrived in 1999. I was sold on “higher criticism” (or a skeptical approach to the historicity and inerrancy of Scripture) and joined the then growing “Emergent Church” movement. Within a few years, I was where Rob Bell is now—a soft universalist with a condescending attitude toward conservatives. Yet, I was also spiritually dead and was struggling with depression. I was quickly sliding back into the atheism I had thought I had left behind when I went to my knees to pray for my life in 1997....

I opened [The Case for a Creator] with a bad attitude. After all, my seminary professors had told me that “apologetics is dead!” and that “Generation-X and- desired experience not ‘answers.’” I was even more resistant when I saw the first few chapters take on evolution. I was convinced Genesis 1–11 was all myth, Darwin had been proven correct and that only nutters questioned it. But after reading Strobel’s interaction with Dr. Jonathan Wells and Dr. Stephen C. Meyer of the Discovery Institute, I realized I had no real counter argument to intelligent design....

I was introduced to evangelical Christians who, contrary to the depiction of my then fellow liberal emergents, were not “knuckle dragging, mouth breathers enslaved to a narrow, reactionary faith” but brilliant, loving people engaging the culture with grace and truth. I dove headlong into evangelical theology and conservative Biblical scholarship. I found my faith growing strong and a strong desire to learn more and serve God with more zeal than I ever could have imagined.

Read the whole thing.