Insights from a Former Atheist – Lee Strobel

For most of my life I was an atheist. I thought the idea of an all-loving, all-powerful creator of the universe, I thought was stupid. I mean my backgrounds in journalism and law, I tend to be a skeptical person. I was a legal editor of the Chicago Tribune so I needed evidence before I believe anything. One day my wife came up to me, she been agnostic and she said after a period of spiritual investigation she decided to become a follower of Jesus Christ. And I thought you know this is the worst possible news I could get. I thought she was gonna turn into some sexually repressed prude who’s gonna spend all of her time serving the poor and Skid Row somewhere. I thought this was the end of our marriage. 

But in the ensuing months I saw positive changes in her values, in her character and the way she related to me and the children. It was winsome and it was attractive and it made me want to check things out. So I went to church one day, mainly tried to see if I could get her out of this cult that she’s gotten involved in. But I heard the message of Jesus articulated for the first time in a way that I could understand it. The forgiveness is a free gift and that Jesus Christ died for our sins that we might spend eternity with him and I walked out saying I was still an atheist but also saying if this is true, this has huge implications for my life. 

So I used my journalism training and legal training to begin an investigation into whether there was any credibility to Christianity or to any other world faith system for that matter. I did that for a year and nine months until November the eighth of 1981 and on that day I realized that in light of the torrent of evidence flowing in the direction of the truth of Christianity it would require more faith for me to maintain my atheism than to become a Christian. Because to be an atheist I would have to swim upstream against this torrent of evidence pointing toward the truth of Jesus Christ and I couldn’t do that. I was trained in journalism and law, to respond to truth and so on that day I received Jesus Christ as my forgiver and as my leader and just like with my wife, my life began to change over time. My values, my character, the purpose of my life began to be transformed over time in a way that as I look back I can’t imagine staying in the path I was on compared to the adventure and the fulfillment and the joy of following Jesus Christ.