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Learning From An Atheist

Atheist Gina Welch was interviewed in the April 5th issue of TIME magazine. She decided to do a study of evangelicalism by totally immersing herself in church life for two years. She participated in worship, made Christian friends and even went on a mission trip.

Ms. Welch had some positive observations about Jesus followers. She said that she thought of Christians as imperialistic, but her feelings changed. “I came to see evangelism instead as a kind of empathy. That made me feel like there was something in it I could respect.”

In fact, Ms. Welch admired Christians for desiring to do what was right. “They wanted to do as Jesus would do in this life,” she said.

However, not all of her impressions were positive. She said, “I think there’s [also] a lot of bigotry there that did not strike me as being synonymous with Jesus’ attitude…Their prejudice needs confrontation.”

Ms. Welch’s experiences caused her to be introspective. “I had to re-examine every part of what I believed to make sure I believed it for a reason,” she said.

Followers of Jesus can learn from Ms. Welch’s observations. We are doing some things right; but, there are clearly some things that we can strive to improve.

Her book is In the Land of Believers: An Outsider’s Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church.


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