The Journey of Conversion Made Up By Mini-Decisions, Part 1

We have to recognize that when someone becomes a Christians there is definitely something that happens.  Once we believed this and now we believe that.  Both Jesus and Paul show that a real transition must happen.

Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be  born again’. 

 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

But when and how does such a transition happen?  Some people (like myself) can testify to a seemingly sudden ‘conversion’ which can occur on a single day.  Others can’t quite place when they came to believe.  Perhaps there were a few weeks or months of slower transition and at the end the realization of ‘hey, I believe all this!’

In reality, most people (even those with seemingly sudden conversions) become believing Christians through a series of min-decisions.  These realizations or turning points are often very small but they are significant.  They often are a breakdown of a prejudice against faith, or a little bits of clarity about the nature of the Gospel .  Tim Keller, in his seminal volume Center Churchidentifies five different types of mini-decisions.  I’ll be looking at each kind over the next few days.

The first type of mini-decision Keller identifies is Awareness.  He describes it as follows:

Most people become Christian by taking small steps.

Most people become Christian by taking small steps.

1)  Awareness:  “I see it.”  They begin to clear the ground of stereotypes and learn to distinguish the gospel from legalism or liberalism, the core from the peripheral.  They may make mini-decisions like these:

“She’s religious but surprisingly open-minded.’

“You can be a Christian and be intelligent!”

“The Bible isn;t that hard to understand after all.”

“A lot of things the Bible says really fit me.”

“I see the difference between Christianity and just being moral”*

Looking back on my own conversion experience over a decade ago, this rings true.  As a young atheist I had never met an educated Christian before.  I remember a professor who was one – although certainly not a paragon of orthodoxy by any stretch!  Encountering someone who could speak of art, philosophy, and culture while still having kind of religious faith made me do a re-think.  I didn’t become a Christian the next day but it was a small step.

As we pray and labour to make Jesus known to the world we have to understand the value of mini-decisions.  As a Church, we can endeavour to make room for people who need to make a possibly long journey of such steps in order to come to Christ.

*  From page 281 of Center Church.

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3 thoughts on “The Journey of Conversion Made Up By Mini-Decisions, Part 1

  1. Pingback: The Journey of Conversion Made Up By Mini-Decisions, Part 2 | Words of Truth & Reason

  2. Pingback: The Journey of Conversion Made Up By Mini-Decisions, Part 3 | Words of Truth & Reason

  3. Pingback: The Journey of Conversion Made Up By Mini-Decisions, Part 4 | Words of Truth & Reason

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