A Tale of Two Women – of Faith

Faith and the mainstream media do not exactly mix. About the only time you see the two going together is when the latter is seeking to do a hatchet job on the former. The MSM is overwhelmingly comprised of secular leftists, so people of faith are seldom given a good ride.

Animosity towards conservatives and towards Christians is amplified greatly if a person happens to be both. So it is rare to find conservative Christians actually gainfully employed in the MSM. They are few and far between, and they have to be very brave indeed if they do hope to survive there.

Recently two interesting stories have appeared about two women of faith – both of whom are – or at least were – involved in the media’s big leagues. One was with the New York Times and one is with Fox News. Both are Christians and both have intriguing stories to tell.

So let me speak to each. The first is Kirsten Powers, who converted from atheism to Christianity. Since others have done a good job of telling her story, let me just use some of that here: “She is a political analyst, blogger, columnist and commentator. She is a Democrat who regularly contributes to USA Today, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal among other publications. She formerly served under the Clinton administration from 1993-1998 and was appointed Deputy Assistant U.S Trade Representative for Public Affairs.”

She tells of her conversion as follows: “I was not looking to be a Christian. The last thing in the world I wanted to be was a Christian. I had grown up as an Episcopalian, but not evangelical, born again, or any of those kinds of things. It was very high church, kind of mainline, protestant, episcopalian. I did believe in God, but it wasn’t anywhere near what would come to happen to me later in life.

“When I went away to college, whatever little faith I had, I lost. I ended up graduating from college. I worked in the Clinton administration. All my friends were secular liberals. At this point, I really got even more deeply into an incredibly secular world because now, all my friends were basically atheists, or if they had any kind of spirituality, they were very hostile towards religion, Christianity in particular. So, I really didn’t have any interest in it.

“I started dating someone who went to Tim Keller’s church, Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City. Out of curiosity, I went with him. But I told him upfront that I would never become a Christian; that it’s never going to happen. After about six or seven months, I began to think that the weight of history is more on the side of what [I was hearing at this church] than not. Tim Keller had made such a strong case, that I began to think it’s not even smart to reject this. It just doesn’t seem like a good intellectual decision. Really, it was like God sort of invaded my life.”

He sure did, and she is to be praised for her willingness to speak out about her faith when so many others would not dare to do so. By speaking out she may well encourage others to do the same.

And then there is the story of former New York Times technology and culture writer Virginia Heffernan. She has had to endure a lot of grief and ridicule for being open about her Christian faith. She describes her story in part as follows: “I am a creationist. There I said it. At least you dear readers, won’t now storm out of a restaurant like the last person I admitted that to. In New York City, saying you’re a creationist is like confessing you think Ahmadinejab has a couple of good points. Maybe I’m the only creationist I know.”

As one report states, “Heffernan is not the only person in New York City who believes in God, although she has taken a lot of ridicule for her stand. Bestselling author Eric Metaxas, who resides in New York City is a believer. He provides an interesting discussion of creationism, intelligent design and evolution in his thought-provoking book Everything Else You Always Wanted To Know About God.

“Metaxas explains intelligent design along the following lines: ‘It’s the idea that the best available scientific evidence leads to the conclusion that life didn’t evolve by chance but instead appears to have been designed by an intelligent being, or designer. It’s a position that says the universe is too complex to have developed through a series of random accidents and mutations, so that there had to be an intelligent, organizing force behind it. Hence the term intelligent design which is called ID for short.’

“Heffernan, who has read the Bible and Charles Darwin says, ‘I still read and read and listen and listen. And I have never found a more compelling story of our origins than the ones that involve God. The evolutionary psychologists with their just-so-stories for everything (“You use a portable Kindle charger because mothers in the promordial forest gathered ginseng”) have become more contradictory than Leviticus’.”

The article continues, “Heffernan for her part continues to believe in God despite the withering criticism of people like Gawker writer Hamilton Nolan who said, ‘We are not saying you’re a bad person, Virginia, but you should probably expect that, from now on, when people read your musings on, say, the future of internet communications, they might stop, in a moment of gathering doubt, and recall that you are a science-phobic angel-believing climate change skeptic, and that therefore your dedication to facts is somewhat in question.’

Heffernan replies: “It sounds like Mr. Nolan should read Eric Metaxas book and realize there have been 150 years of scientific discoveries since Darwin which supports the belief in an intelligent designer known as God. As Metaxas infers in his book, it’s not scientific to believe that ‘we are all here on this earth by chance’.”

So there you go: two very public figures who are not ashamed to stand up for their faith. Sure, plenty of abuse and mud is coming their way, but they are brave enough and committed enough to keep on being open about their relationship to Christ and the biblical worldview.

May their stories encourage many of us to be far more upfront about our faith, and impel us to be willing to suffer hostility and rejection for the sake of the gospel.


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13 Replies to “A Tale of Two Women – of Faith”

  1. I admire those who have the moral courage and fibre to stand up for what they believe. It doesn’t hurt spiritually to speak the truth about your beliefs, though one may be ridiculed by the non-believers. At least they will have a clear conscience and will be blameless in the eyes of God.
    Leigh D Stebbins

  2. Three cheers for Tim Keller, who’s teaching style is “light, no heat” 🙂 , although I have not heard him preaching, only seen and heard him on a bible study DVD.

    John Angelico

  3. Bill, is it possible in your view to be a Christian and believe in evolution?

    Peter Orvis

  4. Thanks Peter

    Of course it all depends on what exactly you mean by “Christian” and “evolution”. But that is not the direct topic of this post, so it may need to be addressed in a post specifically on that subject.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. Great article and a great example of Christian bravery in the face of persecution.

    I would in fact take this further and state quite confidently the overwhelming majority of television broadcast in general, from sports, to entertainment, to advertising, to media and journalism is sickly saturated in secularity. <– Just added that one to the dictionary. And one can only begin to wonder why? "As Metaxas infers in his book, it’s not scientific to believe that ‘we are all here on this earth by chance’"

    Geoff English

  6. Thankyou Bill for bringing the stories of Kirsten and Virginia to our attention. Your timing is serendipitous, as only today I’ve been compiling a list of prominent Christian women (both past and present) for a particular purpose.

    Kirsten’s story in particular provides both inspiration and evidence of God as a life-transformer. Stories of people converted from atheism to faith are difficult for sceptics to refute. The evidence of a changed life speaks for itself.

    Plus, the number of lives redemptively transformed from despair to hope and darkness to light by conversion to atheism would — I suspect — be relatively negligible.

    Rowan Forster.

  7. There would be quite a number of Christians who adopt an agnostic attitude. They’re neither hot nor cold, I call them Chameleon Christians, you know, the surf of the sea type who live their faith from the confines of their house and church. These folk live a type of Walter Mitty faith, there’s little reality, just pretending. How sad to think that these folk are in danger of being spat out of the Lords mouth.

    Michael Mercier

  8. I believe in Creation from a scientific and theological point of view.
    One of the issues that the evolutionist can’t answer is: when did gender appear in the evolutionary process? Very simple but very profound.
    The other issue is: when did the eye appear?
    It is mathematically impossible for evolution to occur.

    Scott Smith

  9. Thanks again, Bill,for sharing your knowledge and encouraging us all to be unashamed of the gospel. Many Christians don’t realise that allowing the propogation of the Evolution theory as fact denies the Genesis story of Creation,and the existence of sin and the need of a Saviour and therefore the gospel itself loses all its power. This is why so many young people lose their faith at Uni.
    We are part of a support group for Creation Ministries and have been exposed to so many scientists who totally believe the biblical creation account and can scientifically back it up. I wish I had their knowledge and ability but at least we can support them and try and get our churches and friends to hear their biblical and scientific facts. It is so sad to have our churches gullibly believe these atheists who promote evolution and deny God’s truth as he tells it. As Virginia Heffernan says, it is so much more believable than the “big bang theory” and the evolutionary “by chance” happenings. Only today I was looking up a medical book and it was explaining the beautiful “design” of the shoulder muscles and the wonderful fluid action they create in the arm. (I often see the word ‘design’ used in scientific books which is very contradictory to evolving!) How anyone intelligent can think this happens by the “chance coming together of random molecules” is beyond me. It only shows how much the devil seeks to blind people to the truth of our great Creator God.

    Lesley Kadwell

  10. I find these stories of faith and conversion so refreshing. Over these past 6 months, I have attended no less than 4 funerals where there were no prayers offered, no blessings and seemingly no hope for those having died. Their burials were like burying a dog and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who came away feeling quite depressed by these experiences.
    I pray that God will send us more people like Kirsten Powers and Virginia Heffernan to inspire us with their wonderful stories of faith and conversion.
    God is indeed very much alive and among us!
    John Ferwerda

  11. It is interesting to note again and again and, may I add ad nauseum, how the critics of those who believe in creation, like those who tacked Virginia for her believe in it, accuse them of ignoring scientific facts when it is exactly those scientific facts combined with a sound grasp on logic that have persuaded them to believe in creation.
    Those who are prepared to swallow lies for the sake of their self-determined convictions, well, I can’t call them convictions presuppositions also do not shy away from personal insult when their lack of coherent logic forces them to cover up their own intellectual short comings.
    Well, Jesus and Paul warned us we would be percecuted for Christ’s name sake, lets give them plenty of oportunity to.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

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