Thanks to Sye Ten Bruggencate for pointing out this story.
Christianity Today has an article titled, “My Train Wreck Conversion” about Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, a former Lesbian Feminists who became a Christian and repented of her ways. It is a touching testimony of God’s Grace that she tells and you can read the whole thing if you click here. What intrigued me the most is her account of her interaction with a Conservative Presbyterian pastor that the Lord used to bring her to the faith. Seeing the mention of “Presbyterian” made me wonder if the guy might have employed Presuppositional apologetics or had any engagement in witnessing to her that is worldview conscious. Then I read this portion of her article:
While on the lookout for some Bible scholar to aid me in my research, I launched my first attack on the unholy trinity of Jesus, Republican politics, and patriarchy, in the form of an article in the local newspaper about Promise Keepers. It was 1997.
The article generated many rejoinders, so many that I kept a Xerox box on each side of my desk: one for hate mail, one for fan mail. But one letter I received defied my filing system. It was from the pastor of the Syracuse Reformed Presbyterian Church. It was a kind and inquiring letter. Ken Smith encouraged me to explore the kind of questions I admire: How did you arrive at your interpretations? How do you know you are right? Do you believe in God? Ken didn’t argue with my article; rather, he asked me to defend the presuppositions that undergirded it. I didn’t know how to respond to it, so I threw it away.
Later that night, I fished it out of the recycling bin and put it back on my desk, where it stared at me for a week, confronting me with the worldview divide that demanded a response. As a postmodern intellectual, I operated from a historical materialist worldview, but Christianity is a supernatural worldview. Ken’s letter punctured the integrity of my research project without him knowing it.
That was the beginning of what Rosaria Champagne Butterfield called being “friends with the enemy.”
I find it fascinating that the Pastor, Ken Smith asked her to defend her presuppositions and that it made her asked question of her own historical materialist worldview. Praise God that the Lord used this to begin a journey to bring her to know the Lord.
For the Christian, Presuppositional apologetics is warranted as the result of the implication of what Scripture says about the nature of man, God’s revelation, sin and salvation. In the past, I have seen some of it’s Christian critics dismiss Presuppositionalism on the basis that it does not lead people to Christ, because they can think of people who converted as the result of other schools of apologetics. While God can bring people to salvation any way He wants, we must also be faithful to the norms of Scripture and have the Word of God dictate our apologetics methodology. Our apologetics methdology must be shaped by Biblical truths and obedience to those truths regardless of the “results” that we see right now. However, it’s also good to see this testimony of Rosaria Champagne Butterfield become a Christian and the Lord using in certain significant moments in her life, the use of a Reformed Pastor pressing the antithesis.
For those that want to read her story in more details, she has also written a book titled The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert which is available on Kindle if you click here.