Shh... don't tell anyone but... I'm about to do something I hope will bear fruit in a big way, hopefully sooner rather than later but... I'll settle for later if I must.
A loved one needs to take a week long study trip as part of his job. He was told to bring an iPad or a tablet if available as it would make things simpler for him. He doesn't have one so... here's where my plan gets unhatched (rubs hands gleefully while grinning).
I'm going to let him borrow my iPad, on which is the Kindle app, on which is the newly downloaded book by Jennifer Fulwiler titled Something Other Than God. I'm going to ask him to consider reading it as he should have some spare time on his hands and it's a great read from what I'm hearing.
First, from Brandon Vogt:
In Augustine’s Confessions, the first Western autobiography ever written, we discover the probing journey of a brilliant man, traveling through a maze of philosophies before emerging into the light of Christianity. The destination brought him to tears for though he sensed Christianity to be true, it was the last place he expected to turn.
Years later, when Oxford professor C.S. Lewis embarked on his own pursuit of truth, he too ended up at Christianity, converting with great hesitancy: “I gave in, and admitted that God was God … perhaps that night the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.”
And then there was Jennifer Fulwiler. When Jennifer stood in a Catholic Church on Easter 2007, preparing to become Catholic, there was hardly a more unlikely convert. Born and raised in a skeptical home, which valued Carl Sagan more than Jesus, Jennifer developed an ardent atheism. She rejected God, mocked religion, promoted abortion, and chased happiness above all through pleasure, work, money, and partying.
Mr. Vogt of course has more, including a Skyped interview with Jennifer well worth watching.
She tells the story of going to her grandparent’s place in the country as a young girl, and digging an ammonite fossil out of a bank by a stream. It was an exciting moment, and yet contemplating the fossil she was filled with existential despair. The ammonite had lived its day, and all that was left was this fossil. Her life would be the same: here today, gone tomorrow, fossilization if she was lucky, oblivion if not. Her chances for fossilization were not a comfort. Her description of that moment is chilling, and I’m glad I’ve never felt the same way.
Though she searched, she found nothing that would override that sense of dread and meaninglessness except an endless round of fun and excitement. By living in the moment, and keeping herself very busy, she could for a time forget the pointlessness of it all.
And this lasted until after her marriage with Joe. Those parties, and the fine dinners, and the wine tastings, they were all just ways of staving off despair.
And then something happened, and their lives took an abrupt left turn. The conversion process (a lengthy one, to be sure) had begun.
Will goes on and includes a reference to my confirmation Saint, Justin Martyr, that had me chuckling.
And then there's Simcha Fisher, from whom I stole the title of this post:
It's a thoroughly delightful read, with no slow passages. Even more remarkably, it has no insincere passages. Fulwiler sees with clear eyes and reports with honesty, humor, and hope. This book will speak to Catholics who have forgotten just how compelling our Faith really is, and to unbelievers who believe that thinking, research, and honesty have no part in religious conversions. Highly recommended!
I confess to not having it read it myself, except for portions of the first chapter prior to downloading it to the Kindle but plan on doing so... maybe even today as it does seem to be a quick, funny, and compelling read but... let's face it... the real reason for this post, these reviews and my taking the time to write a little about it myself is... so that he who shall remain nameless will read it... and will, as a result, ponder deeper things.
And hey, maybe you dear reader, would do the same.
You never know.