TO: UNC-Wilmington Students
FR: Mike Adams
Welcome back! I am so glad to start another semester here at UNC by the Sea. I just got back from teaching at Summit Ministries in Manitou Springs, Colorado. I also had some time off last week, which I spent considering some new policies for the new semester. There will be several minor as well as two major changes this semester. The purpose of this email is to explain the first of the two major changes in class policy.
On my day off last week, I pulled up a chair on the front porch of the old hotel, which serves as Ground Zero for Summit Ministries. I got a cup of coffee and opened a book knowing full well that I would not finish either before being interrupted by Summit students. They love to ask questions of the various speakers they hear during the two-week program.
The first student that came by shared his conversion experience. He said that experience took place in two steps. First, he had a “heart” conversion brought about by his mother’s death. Next, he had a “head” conversion brought about by his intensive study of theology. I told him my story was similar. We talked about whether conversions just as often happen in the opposite way – “head” before “heart.” We also talked about whether one was “better” than the other in terms of enhancing one’s likelihood of maintaining a belief in God. We talked for almost an hour.
The next student came by to compare notes on some recent books he read – books by authors like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. We talked about the reasons why Christians often read the works of atheists and why atheists are often afraid to read the works of Christians. I argued that, historically speaking, that hasn’t always been the case. It’s just that the new generation of atheists is less confident than previous generations of atheists. It was an awesome conversation that took up another hour.
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