Resources My Dad Recommended That Changed My Life
I started as a pastor’s son in a Christian home. My parents were sincere, faithful followers of Jesus, but because sin entered into my life at a very young age, guilt and shame isolated me from them and from God. When I went to college, the professors taught me that there was no God, and I believed them and walked away from any form of a spiritual life.
Throughout this period of my life, my parents never gave up praying for me. And in a large part due to their persistence and unconditional love, God began to draw me back. My father sent me books that were written by scientists that believed in God. In college, I had come to believe that being educated meant you did not believe in the supernatural – that was only for uneducated simple people. Reading these books by scientists that actually did believe in God was really a pivotal point for me. These people were of the educated, scientific realm that I had come to believe were the ultimate authority – and they held a different view. They actually believed science itself had proven that the world had to be made by design – by an ultimate designer.
I studied countless quotes such as these:
“It is my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It was only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence. —Allen Rex Sandage, Cosmologist and Scientist
“The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the first five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole.” —Arno Penzias, a Nobel Prize winning scientist
At this point I became open to the possibility that there may be ‘a god’. That did not mean I believed in the “Christian God’.
Next, my father sent me books from noted historians claiming the only religion that could be proved historically was Christianity. I really scoffed at this, once again believing it was a belief grounded in tradition and the superstition of uneducated people, not fact. During this time I was getting my degree to become a History teacher – and I knew quite well everything that went into proving a writing is historically accurate. I believed that the story of the Bible had been changed over time, and could not be proven historically. My father challenged me to look into the books he had sent me and see why these historians claimed the Bible was true. So I began my own journey into this, and it became a journey that both surprised me and changed my life.
Jim Putman, author of this blog, is writing a new book called The Death of Discipleship about the dynamics of pride and humility in the discipleship process. Download the free primer for this book here.
One of the things I had heard about the writers of the New Testament was that they lied about what happened so they could become famous and rich. As I researched and studied that, however, I found it to be far from the truth according to historical data. Every one of the New Testament writers suffered for their faith. They lost their possessions, their reputations, and in many cases, they watched those they loved die for their beliefs. This led me to ask a very powerful question. “What would cause someone to passionately promote something with nothing in return except misery and even death?” I found that the writers of other religions did become wealthy, prominent, powerful – but not the first followers of Jesus.
The more I studied history, the more evidence emerged. I found the truth – or rather the truth found me. If you know someone like me, someone that is not sure they believe in the existence of God, or that his Word is true, I encourage you to become familiar with some of the available evidences that are out there. If my Dad had not steered me towards these resources, I don’t know if I would have the testimony I do today.
Below is a link to a booklet I put together specifically for parents listing several Christian evidences that you can make use of – get to know them yourselves and you will be better equipped to refer them or share them with others that may be searching.
Written by Jim Putman
This was originally posted on Jim Putman’s blog here. Used with permission.