Friday, November 17, 2023

"What matters is not where you start but where you end up"

Ayaan Hirsi Ali's account of her recent conversion to Christianity has been criticized by many non-believers but also by some Christians. Alan Jacobs has a different take:
Freddie (like many people, it seems) is critical of the reasons Ayaan Hirsi Ali has cited for her conversion to Christianity. I’m not. My view is that everyone has to start somewhere — she’s very forthright about being a newcomer to all this — and what matters is not where you start but where you end up. One person may seek a bulwark against relativism; another may seek architectural or linguistic or musical beauty; another may crave community. Christian life is a house with many entrances. I became a Christian because I fell head-over-heels for a Christian girl who wouldn’t date me otherwise, so how could I judge anyone else’s reasons for converting? As Rebecca West said, “There’s no such thing as an unmixed motive”; and God, as I understand things, is not the judge but the transformer of motives. It’s a how-it-started, how-it’s-going thing, but often in a good way. Or so my experience suggests.

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