From Atheist to Christian At Harvard

Are atheists ever swayed to become Christians through rational discourse and intellectual persuasion? In Jordan Monge’s case, that’s exactly what happened. Monge describes her early life as follows,

“I don’t know when I first became a skeptic. It must have been around age 4, when my mother found me arguing with another child at a birthday party: ‘But how do you know what the Bible says is true?’ By age 11, my atheism was so widely known in my middle school that a Christian boy threatened to come to my house and ‘shoot all the atheists.’ My Christian friends in high school avoided talking to me about religion because they anticipated that I would tear down their poorly constructed arguments. And I did.”

When Monge was older and studying at Harvard University, she met a Christian who, for the first time in her life, could rationally explain to her why Christianity made sense. She describes the friendship she developed as follows,

“It was a brisk November when I met John Joseph Porter. Our conversations initially revolved around conservative politics, but soon gravitated toward religion. He wrote an essay for the Ichthus, Harvard’s Christian journal, defending God’s existence. I critiqued it. On campus, we’d argue into the wee hours; when apart, we’d take our arguments to e-mail. Never before had I met a Christian who could respond to my most basic philosophical questions: How does one understand the Bible’s contradictions? Could an omnipotent God make a stone he could not lift? What about the Euthyphro dilemma: Is something good because God declared it so, or does God merely identify the good? To someone like me, with no Christian background, resorting to an answer like ‘It takes faith’ could only be intellectual cowardice. Joseph didn’t do that.”

After a period of searching, questioning and thinking Monge’s journey finally ended. She states, “I committed my life to Christ by being baptized on Easter Sunday, 2009.”

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