Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Interview With Michael Minot: An Atheist Turned Christian

I am pleased today to present an interview with author and speaker Michael Minot.  I hope that this will be the first of many contributions by Mike to our humble blog.  Mike is a Twitter friend who has become a true friend in recent weeks.  I began following Mike because of his powerful story of turning from atheism to follow Christ.

Mike was a real estate attorney for more than a quarter century, before making the decision to turn in his briefcase and the courtroom to write and speak full time concerning the truth he has found in Christ.  Mike lives in Colorado Springs with his wife and three children.

Interview with Michael Minot: 
An Atheist Who Turned to Christ

Tim: Why were you an atheist?

Mike: A couple things started to occur with me when I was in junior high and high school. First, I began to think that the Christian claims of a resurrection were far-fetched. For anything to occur that would clearly violate the laws of nature didn't seem plausible to me. Secondly, with the help of my teachers, I began viewing life as a competition – one where the strongest thrive. This notion of how the world worked played right into my competitive nature. I began making plans to compete and be the best at whatever I was going to do. I wanted to be one of the strongest. And thirdly, I grew up in a household where neither of my parents believed in God. I never attended vacation Bible school, Sunday school, retreats, camps, or anything that many young people in churches attend. So the environment leading me into adulthood did not foster a belief that the God of the Bible was real.

Tim: What was the biggest hurdle in becoming a Christian?
Mike: I had many objections to Christianity. But when you ask me what was the biggest, I have to say that the hypocrisy I witnessed in some religious leaders became my largest prejudice. In 1979 the unimaginable horrors of what happened in Jonestown shocked me. The person who was responsible for this travesty had the designation "Rev.” in front of his name. I associated Rev. Jones with the church and its message. In the 1980s, Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Baker were well known TV personalities. The scandals they were involved in further hardened me.

Tim: What was the "final straw" that made you believe Christianity was true?
Mike: With me, there was not a final straw. Several years after graduating from law school I was challenged by someone I met while studying for the Florida bar exam. By this time, I was living the life. I had money in my pocket, the keys to a new convertible, and a more than healthy social life. Life was great and getting better all the time.

But my friend had a different view of the trajectory of my life. He challenged me to review the Scriptures and come to a fresh decision regarding the meaning of my life. He indicated that the Scriptures played a large part in his life. I was forced to recognize that my friend's invitation came at a unique period. The time pressures of law school were behind me, I was living alone, and not dating anyone specific. In other words, realistically I didn't have the excuse that I didn't have the time. I also decided that a thorough critique the Scriptures might assist me in gaining ammunition to support my views. I had a number of other questions I thought I could investigate such as what the Scriptures said about why there was so much pain in the world.

So with these things in mind, I called my friend back and agreed to his challenge. Each evening, and for longer periods during the weekend, I read the Scriptures as well as various books on science and philosophy. After a period of weeks, I sensed that I had misjudged the impact this investigation would have on my life. Somewhere between six and eight weeks after I started, against everything I thought true before, I came to the conclusion it was more likely than not I was a created being.

My investigation ran the gamut on so many different issues. So I can't say for me there was a "final straw" which caused me to reverse all my previous thinking. It was the sum and weight of an enormous amount of information, particularly that coming out of modern science, that I came to know as a result of my investigation.

Tim: Often I feel like atheists and Christians are speaking two different languages? Why is that? What would you say to both groups?
Mike: First, I would say it's not my experience that people from those groups speak a different language. Maybe it has to do with my once being so firm and indoctrinated as an atheist. I feel comfortable talking to people on in either group.

A second problem with the assertion that the two groups speak different languages is that I find it difficult to generalize about either group. Each group has people representing a large variety of views, motivations, and willingness to seek the truth at all costs.

The one factor I believe that causes discussions between the two groups to be the most vigorous, interesting, and fruitful is when those that are having the discussion are genuine truth seekers. Many atheists maintain the position that they will never become Christian because they don't want Christianity to be true. In other words, they will deny Christianity no matter the weight of the evidence. On the other hand, some Christians hold their beliefs solely as a matter of faith without a firm grasp of the facts that support its claims. They believe in Christianity, and will continue to do so in large part because they believe it's “the right thing to do.” But when true truth seekers in both groups engage in meaningful discussions, I believe the notion that they speak two different languages fades away.

I would encourage you to check out Mike's blog at: http://michaelminot.com/index.html

I would also encourage you to follow Mike on Twitter: @MichaelMinot 


  1. Tim, are you quitting? What's up with this?

  2. Quiting?!?!? Are you kidding?!?!? No way! Just thought it would be cool to hear from Mike Minot sometimes too. Just trying to bring in some fresh meat... :)