11/15/12 Ian (again) 11/15/12
A young man on the sidewalk agreed to answer an interesting question, but when he found out that I was asking about what he thinks will happen after this life he just smiled and walked away, saying over his shoulder, “I’ll find out when I get there!”. Just behind him was another young man dressed in the garb of a college professor, minus the pipe. When he heard my question, he too smiled, but he didn’t walk away. “Jeff!” he said, “you talked to me about half a year ago!” I was excited for the chance to find out what had happened after our conversion, thinking it must have meant a lot to him since he remembered my name so easily. He reminded me of his name – Ian- and gradually I remembered the conversation, that he is an atheist but loves to talk religion and philosophy. And that, I found out, is where he is still stuck – just doing a lot of talking. He quoted the theories of both famous and obscure philosophers, relating them to Christianity, loving the exchange of ideas but never committing to any. Half an hour into the conversation I realized, again, that all this was empty talk, cloaked with intellectualism. He reminded me of those whom Paul had warned Timothy about – “Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith”. Ian had a Catholic background and had spent some months involved with a friend in a Pentecostal church, but has turned away from the faith he has been exposed to in favor of the pride of intellectualism. Is he any better off than the first man I met, who said “I’ll find out when I get there”? Was my ten seconds of conversation with the first man any less important in God’s eyes than the forty minutes spent with Ian? Please pray for both of them, for they both need the change of heart that only the Holy Spirit can bring.