Updated: 8:50AM, 11/4/13
A few weeks ago, in a small-group I lead for non-Christians interested in Jesus, I heard one of the more terrifying stories I’ve heard since starting ministry (for the sake of privacy, details have been altered). It was a story of an older gentleman, a wonderful older gentleman named Theo.
Theo wasn’t a Christian (until recently). He knew of Jesus but, self-admittedly, he didn’t “follow” Jesus. Nonetheless, he had lived a full life, raised great kids, with healthy grandkids, and had been married to the same woman for twenty-five years.
From the first day I met Theo, I liked him. He had this soft smile that lit up the room, and a dignified manner that made me think he was secretly British royalty. He dressed nice, talked nice, and always had thoughtful questions for the group. Everyone in the group loved Theo, and that’s because they sensed Theo genuinely loved everyone in the group.
Then a few weeks back Theo shared his horror story. About six months ago, his wife of twenty-five years left him. Theo said she decided, “She doesn’t love me anymore.” For the seventh time, Theo caught her having an affair, and despite his best efforts to reconcile the relationship… again… she left him. Kicking and screaming the entire way. Blaming Theo for her years of infidelity. Leaving him standing there cold and alone.
To be honest, the success of Jesus’ church is absolutely unfathomable.
You don’t have to be a Christian, you don’t have to be nice, you don’t have to be easily amused, you don’t even have to like history to be dumbfounded at its success, then and now. In terms of organizational growth, there’s been no business, no corporation, no organization, that has exploded like this. Against all odds, this movement, 2,000 years later, has influenced and permeated all aspects of history in unimaginable ways. Morality, ethics, education, government, economics, art, music, architecture, philanthropy. Heck man, their book has been a bestseller since they started printing it.
I would venture to say that The growth of the church is one of great mysteries of history. It is absolutely undeniable but absolutely unexplainable (outside of dumb luck or divine intervention – though books like this help). In fact, the circumstances surrounding the birth of the early church stand against the reality of its explosive growth.
Q: What’s your story?
Dr. Francis Collins has been the longtime head of the Human Genome Project and was appointed by the POTUS as the Director of the National Institutes of Health. He is one of America’s most accomplished and visible scientists. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Yale University as well as an M.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And he’s known in the realms of science as a “gene hunter” being one of the leaders in the world-wide project to map out human DNA, or what Collins calls “The Language of God.”
Dr. Collins is now an outspoken evangelical Christian and proclaims Jesus as Lord… but it wasn’t always that way.