This I Used to Believe: Introduction

May 3, 2009

This I Used to Believe

This is Part 1 of a series on This I Used to Believe.

NPR Radio has a fascinating show called “This American Life” which features quirky, real-life stories with some kind of twist. At times funny, at times dead serious, it offers a fascinating perspective of modern American culture. To be a missionary in a culture, one must be a student of that culture, so I recommend this show.

A friend of mine recommended that I listen to an episode entitled This I Used to Believe, saying he thought of me. So I downloaded it to my iPod and listened to it in pieces as I drove around. The theme of this episode is “Stories of people forced to let go of their firmly held beliefs.”

The second act was stunning. If you have time to listen to entire hour, it is worth it. But if all you can spare is 20 minutes, I urge you to jump to the 18-minute mark for Act Two: “After a woman loses her faith, a football coach—whom she’s never met—tries to restore it.”

I have a lot I want to say about this, but not until you listen to the show. If you have a heart for evangelism in a post-Christian culture, you owe it to yourself to go here and click “Full Episode” to get it streaming to your computer. Like I said, jump ahead to the 18-minute mark if you are a short on time, and listen to Act Two.

Then come back and we’ll talk about it in follow-up posts.

This I Used to Believe series:

  1. Introduction
  2. Evangelism done well
  3. Evangelism gone wrong

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

4 responses to This I Used to Believe: Introduction

  1. Great stuff Jon. Tragic but great stuff. I really believe we are no longer in a time where we begin at reason or intellect. My question is what can we do to prepare for or cooperate with the work the Holy Spirit is doing rather than taking on the convincing role ourselves? We have to fully hear someone’s story not appeal to their reason when reason isn’t what they are looking for or where God is at work in them. I’m tearing up here folks. Interesting how the moderator (atheist) has some deep insights into Trisha’s needs. If God can use an atheist moderator to touch her soul, shouldn’t we learn some better ways ourselves? Ouch!

  2. Terri, you’re giving it away! 😉
    But ouch indeed.

  3. Are we supposed to wait until a prescribed time to comment?
    Jon, I agree that the Coach appealed too much to reason and wasn’t as sympathetic as he could have been to Tricia. However, he got Tricia to think more about God, which I think is great. I agree that it is silly to be talking about evolution and Hitler when it’s clear that this gal was hurting over her friends death.
    I get the feeling you have a strong reaction to this. I didn’t have a big problem with it. The Coach heard from the Lord and was trying to reach out of his comfort zone to help someone. I think that is admirable. We are all human and make mistakes.
    One thing the moderator said was that we don’t use the same terms for things, so that is a big problem in helping others toward God.

  4. Helen,
    Heh, I initially thought about closing comments here in order to consolidate them on the coming post. But I thought there might be a question about how to actually listen to the show. Since all is well on the technical front, I will go ahead and close comments here, and move your comment over once the follow-up post is in place.