Some flowers will only grow in the most unlikely of places, the orchid is found growing in the smallest of niches with tiny amounts of soil on cliffs and tree limbs. Likewise, God gives us times when there is precious little happening (it seems) to produce some blessed opportunities that would not blossom in the busy “successful” times.
Winter is the slow period here in Hobart, many people finding shelter from the rain and cold indoors. They are not interested in conversations in the mall in the cold. Yet in the midst of the cold and the rain that comes and goes there has been a wonderful collection of conversations that we have been blessed with in the Mall! God is truly generous with His unworthy Tasmanian servants.
Over the last month there has been a wonderful collection of discussions
They approached me after preaching in the afternoon and wanted to talk. It quickly came out that while she was a devout Roman Catholic, he was an agnostic and leaned towards atheism. He was very keen to discuss things and wanted to discuss evidence for God or the lack there of. Our discussion was far ranging but I could see that he had a good understanding of Christian apologetics and many of the arguments I raised he had encountered before. We discussed science and history mostly but there was again and again a point that I reach with atheists and agnostics; skepticism is so strong that evidence doesn’t seem to move them. At this point I asked him “If these things are not convincing for you, what would it take to convince you?
His response was that he would need to see it himself or as it was ~2000 years ago, an eyewitness account that was trustworthily preserved giving extra-ordinary evidence that could only be explained by God acting in history. In all honesty I told him that that is roughly what most people need to be convinced too. From there I related the experiences of Lee Strobel, once also an atheist/agnostic and compelled to find out if there is truth to the claims of Christ. As I shared Lee’s story, I also recommended this extraordinary young man to get the book “The Case For Christ” and read it for himself. We parted ways but I hope to see him and his girlfriend again in the future to continue the discussion
While I was handing out tracts on a street corner Mr A stopped and encouraged me. He said that he had seen me preaching a Speaker’s corner many times and the hecklers who come. Mr A said to ignore the nay-sayers and hecklers, that they had no idea what they were talking about. I thanked him and asked about his story. He was a Christian of many years and a Physicist (which added weight to his comment about the lack of scientific knowledge of hecklers). He had come to Christ at university, having been confronted with an occultist who did things that where physically impossible before his eyes. This encounter with malignant spirituality had sent him on a search for God and ended with faith in Christ.
We spoke together of the craziness of the western world and the instability of the times and the wars and rumours of wars. We praised God that we have security in Him regardless of Australia’s sin and regardless of the warmongers of the world. We also talked about the many evidences for God that I have seen in biology and he has seen in physics. He encouraged me again to keep on with the work.
There have been many others over these last weeks and I often find myself unable to preach with all the enquirers, praise God for the winter months.
Praise God for all His grace!
Hobart Team (TAS)
Elizabeth Street Mall.
Contact us for more information.