As you walk through a University campus you will realise there are lots of activities taking place. Or at least it appears so. It doesn’t take long till we find a madly, deeply in love Christian. He is a Law student who has just proposed to his fiancee and everything is looking good. Before he tells me how much he loves his soul mate and how they complete each others sentences, we will place a mask over his head. He will be anonymised during this interview as we pick his brains a bit. So, enter prosecution to greet our defenceless suspect 😉
ATCT [A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®] : Sorry you are masked from your audience today. What is a typical week in your life like?
CHRISTIAN: Basically, I study, work with the clubs at my school, go to the gym, church, and spend time with my fiancee. If there’s anytime left, Disneyland works its way in.
ATCT: Did you have any Christian influence in your youth or childhood?
CHRISTIAN: I did. There was a man in my Southern Baptist Church who I looked up to greatly. To this day we keep in touch. I was friends with his daughter growing up. He shaped a lot of my thinking and values.
ATCT: What is the gospel in one sentence?
CHRISTIAN: You are a sinner who is guilty before God, but He sent His son to be the substitute for all believers 2,000 years ago, to die and rise from the dead, so you can have eternal life and not suffer His wrath to come.
ATCT: If you woke up this morning and found your self transported back in time, which preacher in the last 500 years would you like to listen to? Why?
CHRISTIAN: Spurgeon. He had a way of getting right to the heart of any matter, but he also did it with approachability, gentleness, and meekness while still remaining firm.
ATCT: How would you like to be remembered by your wife and closest family?
CHRISTIAN: Faithful and honest.
ATCT: How easy (do you think) is parenting?
I have no idea, but my parents can tell you I was a handful!
ATCT: Your teenage daughter comes weeping to you and tells you she is pregnant. She doesn’t know who the dad is. (Yup, it’s that bad). She feels she has let you down and feels disillusioned about her walk with God. She got a phone number from a friend who can arrange to “sort out” this inconvenient unplanned pregnancy. It’s all a big shock to you. What do you do?
A) Pretend you didn’t hear her and continue reading your news paper.
B) Tell her to dial the number REAL QUICK!
C) Let her know in no uncertain terms she has brought shame to you and your testimony. And she has therefore left you with no option but to disown her.
CHRISTIAN: D) Other. Try to explain to her that she has done wrong and help her seek true repentance and grace from God. At that point, under no circumstances would abortion ever be an issue considered. We would discuss the plans for the child. Finally, I would remind her how much I love her.
ATCT: What major theological shifts have happened in your life as a Christian?
CHRISTIAN: I started out my first 20 years as a nominal pious Southern Baptist. In my early 20’s, I got a little wild then I started being drawn back in by the Spirit in my mid twenties. I had a melting pot of theology, though, and would probably have ended up Pelagian if it weren’t for God’s grace. I would say that’s the biggest shift for me was going from a nominal Southern Baptist to a 5 point Calvinist. The process did take a while, though.
ATCT: We are sending you to a desert island. You can only take one book aside from the Bible. Which book would you take and why?
CHRISTIAN: “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein because my Mom used to read it to me as a child.
ATCT: What are the words of your favourite Hymn?
CHRISTIAN: “You Ask Me How I Know He Lives, He Lives Within My Heart” Just kidding. (That’s the old Southern Baptist alter call memories coming into play.) “Love Constraining to Obedience” by Cowper.
To see the law by Christ fulfilled
And hear His pardoning voice,
Changes a slave into a child,
And duty into choice.
No strength of nature can suffice
To serve the Lord aright:
And what she has she misapplies,
For want of clearer light.
How long beneath the law I lay
In bondage and distress;
I toll’d the precept to obey,
But toil’d without success.
Then, to abstain from outward sin
Was more than I could do;
Now, if I feel its power within,
I feel I hate it too.
Then all my servile works were done
A righteousness to raise;
Now, freely chosen in the Son,
I freely choose His ways.
“What shall I do,” was then the word,
“That I may worthier grow?”
“What shall I render to the Lord?”
Is my inquiry now.
I know you have time constraints so I will allow you to trudge on to see your fiancee. Hope I get an invite to the big day. Thank you indeed for your insightful thoughts.
Court dismissed! [More Anonymised Interviews here]