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Atheist Finds Christ through Christians and Science

Sarah Salviander is research scientist in the field of astrophysics. A lifelong atheist, Sarah became a theist as an undergraduate physics student, when she came to believe that the universe was too elegantly organized to be an accident. She is currently a researcher at the Astronomy Department at the University of Texas at Austin, and a part-time assistant professor in the Physics Department at Southwestern University.

Her parents were socialists and political activists who were also atheists, though they preferred to be called agnostics. In her testimony Sarah wrote:

It's amazing that for the first 25 years of my life, I met only three people who identified as Christian. My view of Christianity was negative from an early age. Looking back, I realized a lot of this was the unconscious absorption of the general hostility toward Christianity that is common in places like Canada and Europe.

So she began to focus on her physics and math studies. She joined campus clubs, started to make friends, and, for the first time in her life, met Christians.

They weren't like [atheists and agnostics I knew]—they were joyous and content. And, they were smart, too. I was astonished to find that my physics professors, whom I admired, were Christian. Their personal example began to have an influence on me, and I found myself growing less hostile to Christianity.

Sarah then joined a group in the Centre for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (CASS) that was researching evidence for the big bang, and that was a turning point in her conversion. She continued: "I started to sense an underlying order to the universe. Without knowing it, I was awakening to what Psalm 19 tells us so clearly: the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

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