Est. May 2008

05 November, 2013

The 'Powers' of Enlightenment

There’s lots of buzz out there over Kirsten Powers’ conversion from atheist to evangelical Christian, isn’t there?  She even wrote about it for, of all outlets, Christianity Today.

The thing I found most interesting was her reaction to her ‘Damascus-road moment’:
Then one night in 2006, on a trip to Taiwan, I woke up in what felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality. Jesus came to me and said, "Here I am." It felt so real. I didn't know what to make of it. I called my boyfriend, but before I had time to tell him about it, he told me he had been praying the night before and felt we were supposed to break up. So we did. Honestly, while I was upset, I was more traumatized by Jesus visiting me. (emphasis mine)
That’s understandable.  I mean, you spend a goodly portion of your life thinking (more convincing yourself) that this Jesus guy, well, even if he existed, he sure wasn’t God, and then being confronted by Him?  I’d probably end up like John or Daniel – flat on my face on the ground.

Her other reactions are also understandable:
I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying. More important, it was unwelcome. It felt like an invasion.


I spent the next few months doing my best to wrestle away from God. It was pointless. Everywhere I turned, there he was.


The Hound of Heaven had pursued me and caught me—whether I liked it or not. (emphases mine again)
I’ve been reading A. W. Pink’s works, and I’m currently in the middle (or so ) of The Sovereignty of God. In Chapter 4, Mr. Pink compares the Parable of the Marriage Feasts found in Luke 14 and Matthew 22.  The shortest version of Mr. Pink’s ideas is that in the Matthew Passage, ‘servants’ (plural) describes ministers of the word, who offer Scripture without trying to force it onto people.  The Luke passage, where ‘servant’ is in the singular, Mr. Pink believes reflects the work of the Holy Spirit. 

Look at the commanding words used in the Luke passage:
In Luke 14 the Servant is also sent forth to do three things: first, He is to say to them that were bidden, Come: for all things are now ready” (v. 17); second, He is to “bring in the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind” (v. 21); third, He is to “compel them to come in” (v. 23), and the last two of these the Holy Spirit alone can do!(enter) In the above Scripture we see that “the servant,” the Holy Spirit, compels certain ones to come in to the “supper” and herein is seen His sovereignty, His omnipotency, His divine sufficiency. The clear implication from this word “compel” is, that those whom the Holy Spirit does “bring in” are not willing of themselves to come.* (emphases in original)
Was Ms. Powers ‘not willing of [herself] to come’ to Christ?  Seems pretty obvious from what she wrote, doesn’t it?  Did she feel as if she were being compelled – dragged, pushed, whatever – to believe?  Sure sounds like it.

And if the Holy Spirit sets His focus on you, it is hopeless – you won’t get away from Him (Jonah learned that one the hard way, didn’t he?).

At the suggestion of Eric Metaxis, Ms Powers attended a Bible study:
I remember walking into the Bible study. I had a knot in my stomach. In my mind, only weirdoes and zealots went to Bible studies. I don't remember what was said that day.
The results?
All I know is that when I left, everything had changed. I'll never forget standing outside that apartment on the Upper East Side and saying to myself, "It's true. It's completely true." The world looked entirely different, like a veil had been lifted off it. I had not an iota of doubt. I was filled with indescribable joy.
May she continue in that joy.

Welcome, Kirsten Powers.

*Pink, Arthur W. (2013-04-01). The Sovereignty of God (Kindle Locations 1170-1175).  . Kindle Edition.  

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