The Atheist’s Bible Delight

                   Blessed is the man . . . . . . . . . .

                whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.

               He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season.’

                                                            Psalm 1:1-3

 

Last year I posted an article with the title ‘The Day the Atheist Asked for Prayer’. This was the story of an Atheist we will continue to call ‘Don’ who joined a Missional Community called ‘Coffee with Spirit’, and clearly an example of the work of the Holy Spirit.

To quote some of that post-

In the last few weeks the we have seen perhaps the most exciting thing. One week as the group met there was a man (we’ll call him ’Don’) sitting on a nearby table. Towards the end of our time one of the group members engaged him in conversation (It is part of our missional purpose to intentionally seek to talk to people sitting nearby). Don observed to our group member that he’d noticed the Bible on our table and asked what we were doing. That conversation didn’t go very far, but afterwards another member stayed behind and talked to the man for quite a while. It emerged that he was an atheist and had a lot of objections to, and problems with, Christianity.”

To cut that long story short, a few weeks later Don joined the group and only a few meetings after that was the occasion when he asked the group to pray for a sick friend of his! Not too often an atheist asks for prayer! Again, clearly a work of the Holy Spirit! But the story moves on.

Two weeks ago, at the time of writing, Don the ‘Atheist’ asked how he could get a Bible. So, one of the group offered to get him one which he gave to Don the following week.

As the Bible was handed over, and as he took it into his hands, the expression on Don’s face was wonderful to see! It was one of sheer pleasure, delight and excitement, as though, in this relatively inexpensive ‘book’, he had received some priceless gift (As indeed in a sense he had). This delight was again clearly a work of the Holy Spirit, and a great inspiration to the rest of the group.

This is the next stage in Don’s spiritual journey. However, it is important to note that it is a journey that would not have even started if a bunch of Christians had been meeting inside the ‘walls’ of a church building or someone’s lounge room, rather than in a public place where a ‘Connection’ with Don could actually take place. Here is an essential lesson for contemporary mission to today’s western society – Christians must meet, and regularly, where those without Christ regularly meet, and that is not in church buildings!

Praise God for the sheer joy the work of God’s Spirit has brought to ‘Don the Atheist’s’ life for-

Blessed is the man . . . . . . . . . .

whose delight is in the law of the Lord’

3 thoughts on “The Atheist’s Bible Delight

  1. “Two weeks ago, at the time of writing, Don the ‘Atheist’ asked how he could get a Bible. So, one of the group offered to get him one which he gave to Don the following week.”

    You seem to think someone would believe that “Don” had no idea where to buy books or what a library is. That’s rather silly.

    As for the “law of the Lord”, does this mean the commandments/laws given in the Old Testament?

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    1. Hi,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      I think we live in different worlds. According to WordPress you are from the USA which is still a far more Christianized society than Australia, where someone like ‘Don’ even if an atheist would probably have at least some biblical literacy and maybe even have easy access to a Bible (even in the house).

      Not so Australian which is now a very de- Christianised, even Christian-hostile society, in which now two generations are biblically illiterate and in which for large numbers of children the words Jesus and Christ are only swear words adults use.

      For ‘Don’, yes he probably could have worked out how to get a Bible but I just recorded what he said. Incidentally, the group ‘Don’ is in meets just outside a pubic library which has not even one bible on its shelves. This is a reflection of today’s Australian culture which makes ‘Don’s’ unlooked for experience even more remarkable.

      Australia is a society where it is very difficult, often bringing negative social consequences, to become a Christian,

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

      Warm regards

      Like

      1. Sorry forgot the ‘Law of the Lord’ bit.

        Yes for the writer of that psalm the ‘Law’ would have been the Torah -i.e. the first five books of the Old Testament. However, for Christians the meditation on the ‘Law’ and its ensuing blessing is taken to refer to the whole bible, something not available to the psalmist.

        As a former strongly anti-Christian atheist myself I have experience that blessing and hope you might too someday.

        Like

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