Saturday, June 7, 2008

Quote of the Day

On one occassion, these students asked me to give a special address on the subject 'The Bible and Science,' with particular reference to the issue of creation as opposed to evolution. The topic was a popular one, and a large number of students gathered in the assembly hall, not only Christians, but many from various other backgrounds as well.

My thesis was that the biblical account of the progressive steps in the creation narratives, when rightly understood, fitted in perfectly with the known facts of science, including biology, geology and the laws of physics. Following my address, some of the students asked questions which I endeavored to answer. Then one of the teachers I had not met before suddenly spoke up.

'I wish to say that I disagree with ninety percent of what the speaker has said!'

To support his case, he quoted from the writings of liberal and atheist philosophers. By then we were almost out of time, so I realized that I had to make my point quickly and unequivocally.

Afterwards, I had a chance to speak with this young teacher. His name was Ron Nugent. He was a graduate of the University of Western Australia and had come to Sarawak on a volunteer basis. His desire was to help students of developing countries improve their education and thus be better equipped to find their place in the modern world. He had high ideals, but despite a Christian upbringing, his views were decidedly atheistic. He told me, however, that he was seeking truth.

I was impressed by this young man's sincerity and commitment, and I invited him to come for dinner sometime. A fortnight after our first meeting, Ron visited us in the home we were renting. We had a good long chat, and I showed him some books by Christian thinkers and offered to lend him any of these books he might care to read.

Over the next year, Ron travelled among the people of the interior, including those in the upper Limbang and the upper Trusan. He met people in the longhouses, both those who were Christian and those who were still pagan, and he was impressed with the fact that Christian beliefs could be integrated positively into their native cultures. He also observed the lives of the Christian students at the College. This, along with his extensive reading, influenced his thinking, and the following year Ron began to slip into the Christian services which were held at the College on Sunday mornings. Towards the end of that year he made a life-changing decision to become a Christian, and at his baptism he gave a splendid address entitled 'My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Christ.'

C. Hudson Southwell
Uncharted Waters

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