A Tale of Two Conversions: Hardened

I grew up in a small western Oklahoma rural community with little to no religious convictions. I suppose that’s not the norm for a lad raised smack dab in the middle of the bible belt, but nobody has ever accused me of being normal. Oh, I remember attending a Sunday School class as a 5-year-old at a local Baptist church. I recall lots of coloring – and growing bean sprouts in a cup. I remember nothing else about it at all. After that stimulating experience I did not darken a church door again (weddings and funerals excluded) until I was well into my teenage years.

I’ve always believed in God. I suppose my parents ingrained that in me, though I can’t recall any specific instruction. I conceived Him as the ever watchful eye in the sky, who loved and protected me. The first traumatic moment of my early years came one July 4th evening as we went to a stadium to watch a fireworks display. It was an impressive exhibition of pyrotechnics. The crowd oohed and aaahed at every burst of light and color. However, I wasn’t impressed; I fretted through the entire show. With brow furrowed I tugged at my mother’s hand and whispered, “Are those fireworks hurting God?” My 5-year-old brain couldn’t comprehend an omnipresent God that transcends the material creation. Obviously I didn’t grasp his omnipotence either, else I wouldn’t have been concerned for his well-being in the wake of a few heavenward explosions.

So there you have it, perhaps my one and only childhood contemplation of God. I have no other memory I can recall that invoked God into the forefront of my conscience. I simply assumed God’s love, protection and providence. I had other, more important stuff to think and daydream about – with a heavy emphasis on daydreaming. Continue reading

Classics from the Comment Section

I discovered this gem of a remark from an atheist buried in the middle of the comment section of the post referenced in my last article, entitled ‘Does God Send People to hell?’  It may well be the best comment I’ve ever received on this blog.

Here it is:

I was just randomly surfing the web and ran across this blog. I totally disagree with about everything you said, but thanks for saying it honestly. I get so fed up with the patronizing tone of Christians who say “God wouldn’t send people to hell, people choose to go to hell”. What complete and utterly patonizing BS. Christians believe God will send people to eternal and neverending torment. And God made the rules. I think it’s totally absurd and barbaric, and I don’t believe a word of it. But thanks, at least, for sparing me the BS.

-an atheist

My response:

You’re welcome.  We here at ‘A Peculiar Pilgrim’ strive to provide a 100% BS-free environment for all our visitors. Any BS you may encounter will quickly be scoured away by the glorious truth of God’s word.

I’m sorry that you think God’s decrees are barbaric and absurd, but I do understand your dismay.  I pray that God will reveal to you the depths of his love and mercy and that you would reconsider your position.

Thanks for your honest input.

A Peculiar Pilgrim

A Peculiar Anniversary

Tomorrow marks the 2nd anniversary of A Peculiar Pilgrim. I will be on the road to the Rockies so I’m putting this up early. If I never post again you can safely assume that we drove off a mountain somewhere.
Honestly, it has not been a good year for blogging. In 2007 I churned out about 120 posts. This year – less than 20. Ouch! Yeah, I know, ‘what a slouch.’ I even pondered the unthinkable; retiring from blogging altogether. But I just can’t. This pilgrim is poor and solitary with only a handful of loyal readers (I think), yet I still believe (perhaps vainly) that I can teach people from the scriptures and through my life experiences. So I press on. I will continue my pilgrimage down the road less traveled by for at least another year. I pray that some of you will carry on with me. I can always use the company.
Due to the dearth of quality posts this year I will simply link to my top five posts (in my humble opinion) of 2008:

My Conversion to the Doctrines of Grace Parts Four & Five – This series holds a special place in my heart.  It is both deeply personal and  somewhat humiliating – but it is the truth, in all its unvarnished glory.

The Dirty Word of Modern EvangelicalismBasically a primer on the importance of doctrine and theology in the life of every believer.

The Society of Satan and His GospelA couple of quotes from AW Pink and Michael Horton that has completely changed how I look at the work of Satan in the world today.  Memorable!

Book Review – The Bible – My first official book review tackles the most powerful and influential book of all time.  Do you think I liked it much?

Merry Christmas to all my readers!

Book Review: The Bible

I promised to deliver book reviews to my readers, so here’s my first venture.

After thirteen years as a Christian I have finally finished reading the bible cover-to-cover. I completed the book of Malachi last week, thus ending my long journey through the Old Testament. So what took me so long? In February, 1995 I picked up the holy scriptures for the first time with a burning heart. Within a few months I had read through the New Testament. I began reading the Old Testament starting with Genesis. I moved fairly quickly through it and Exodus too, but hit a brick wall in Leviticus. I just flat stopped reading the bible through at that point. I didn’t cease from studying the bible, just from reading it like a novel. I couldn’t get a firm grasp on Leviticus, nor did I see any profit in attempting to understand it. I moved on to topical studies until 2005. My regular readers will realize this is the time when I had my personal reformation of belief. A new fire and passion for God’s word blazed through my heart and the scriptures have consumed my thoughts ever since. I picked up where I left off in Leviticus and raced through the the remainder of the OT with great zeal. Now that I have finished this epic quest, I’m off to do it again! Continue reading