Change of Heart …

This encouraging note came in a while back …

My name is XXX. We met at an emerging church convention in YYY in 200?. I was unkind to you and for that I apologize. At the time, I was a … Christian with a fundamentalist understanding of the faith. I was frustrated with college and my sense of self-worth, and clung to a fanatical understanding of faith as a security blanket. I graduated college in August of 200? and have changed since then.
As my college career ended, I had sort of a spiritual awakening, in which I experienced God as a gracious and compassionate being instead of monarchical and condemning. This led to a change in my outlook on faith and now, one might say that I am “emergent” or “postmodern” in my theology. My favorite Christian writer is Marcus Borg and I now attend church at the Salvation Army, because of their charitable work and tolerance toward modern science and Biblical scholarship.
What I am basically saying is that in less than two years time, I’ve gone from being one of your blind opponents to one of your enlightened supporters. Thank you for the kindness you showed me.

Thanks for your note … and your kindness.
Another encouraging note after the jump …

I have been reading your books for a couple of years now; I just recently finished A New Kind of Christianity. I have also seen and listened to you in countless videos and podcasts, including your wonderful Bible commentary series that I recently purchased.
I can’t tell you how much your writing and speaking has helped me to sort through and understand some of the things I have been feeling for a long time. I know you get those comments a lot. But it wasn’t until this morning that I realized how much you have helped me.
As I was reading this blog post, it occurred to me that the thing that has been more helpful to me than the knowledge I have gained from you, is the spirit in which you present that knowledge. I have learned to be more gentle, more gracious, more understanding and tolerant of all viewpoints while still holding fast to what I feel is true and right. In short, you have taught me to be more Christ-like.
I can’t imagine what it feels like to get so much mean-spirited criticism as you do, simply for trying to help others see what God has revealed to you. The fact that you are able to do this and still be the gracious person that you are, speaks volumes about the God you serve.

Thanks so much for this encouragement. Notes like yours make some of the other ones much easier to bear. We’re all in this together!