When I initially told my Christian friends I had joined the philosophy club at the university, I was surprised by their reactions. Coming from my solid evangelical fundamentalist roots, I knew I was doing it so I could infiltrate the group and eventually tell them all about the gospel. I was bored with reaching out to dumb freshman; I wanted a challenge. But my friends' worried look on their faces communicated apprehension. Why would I hang out with a bunch of atheists and agnostics who have so passionately rejected the 'light and truth' right under their skeptical noses? I mean if they ask such deep questions why haven't they already seen all of God's obvious answers? Why should I waste my time with them?
I memorized the Euthephro-Socrates argument on morality and the existence of God; armed myself to the teeth the day we talked about Kafka's "Metamorphosis" and generally went toe-to-toe with the group as a whole. It fired my senses; I felt so alive giving them the rational arguments of why they needed to consider the divine. But they kept firing back things about injustices of the church and all the black marks in the church's history file.
One day I invited the philosophy club over to my house for a barbeque. My little boy asked one of them if they wanted to pray before we dived into the food. "No, no, that's alright," he said, "but you can pray if you want to." He chuckled. And that's just what my son did. It was one of the most simple yet honest prayers I ever heard him pray and he even included the guy's name into it. When my son was finally done, I looked up and saw tears welling up in the guy's eyes. It blew me away. Something deeper than all my rational arguments just happened there and it affected the both of us.
A little while later one of my Christian friends who knew of my 'mission' asked me how it was going with the philosophy club and all. I said that I was learning tons by asking a lot more questions and that the experience was helping me to connect with God in whole new ways that I had never known before. The brow was furrowed deeper than before. "How could that be?" exclaimed my friend.