“My college science classes presented Christians as illiterate anti-intellectuals” – Dr Holly Ordway
An atheist professor has revealed that she has now turned to God.
Dr Holly Ordway has published a book ‘Not God’s Type’, telling her personal story of going from fervent disbelief to faith in Jesus.
She said: “I had never in my life said a prayer, never been to a church service. Christmas meant presents and Easter meant chocolate bunnies – nothing more.
“In college, I absorbed the idea that Christianity was historical curiosity, or a blemish on modern civilisation, or perhaps both.
“My college science classes presented Christians as illiterate anti-intellectuals who, because they didn’t embrace Darwinism, threatened the advancement of knowledge. My history classes either omitted or downplayed references to historical figures’ faith.”
Dr Ordway continued her career and moved into the education sector her convictions were further hardened.
She added: “At 31 years old, I was an atheist college professor – and I delighted in thinking of myself that way.
“I got a kick out of being an unbeliever; it was fun to consider myself superior to the unenlightened, super- stitious masses, and to make snide comments about Christians.
“There was something about the idea of faith that made it stick with me. I didn’t have faith, I didn’t want faith, but I felt compelled to have a good reason why not.
“Easier by far to read only books by atheists that told me what I wanted to hear: that I was smarter and more intellectually honest and morally superior than the poor, deluded Christians. I had built myself a fortress of atheism, secure against any attack by irrational faith.”
Ordway had strategically built up her defence and case against Christianity, including reading the works of CS Lewis and biblical scholar NT Wright who both have faith in Christ, before knowledge simply could not deliver the answers.
She added: “I read through the Gospel narratives again, trying to take in what they said.
“I had to admit that – even apart from everything else I had learned – I recognised that they were fact, not story.
“I’d been steeped in folklore, fantasy, legend and myth ever since I was a child, and I had studied these literary genres as an adult; I knew their cadences, their flavour, their rhythm.
“None of these stylistic fingerprints appeared in the New Testament books that I was reading.
“The Gospels had the ineffable texture of history, with all the odd clarity of detail that comes when the author is recounting something so huge that even as he tells it, he doesn’t see all the implications.”
Like CS Lewis, who was a professor of literature at Oxford and Cambridge, Ordway made the conclusion of an expert in literature, that the New Testament has all the signs of an eyewitness account.
She said: “It is a hard thing to look at the truth when it runs contrary to what you’ve always believed.
“The experience is like pulling back the curtains in a dimly lit room and looking out the window to see what’s really inside.
“When your eyes are used to artificial light, the bright sunlight is almost blinding; your eyes may sting, and the temptation is to turn away to the more comfortable dimness.”