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Prominent Author Experiences An Almost-Conversion

A classic example of an almost-conversion to Christ happened to Lord Kenneth Clark, one of Great Britain's most prominent art historians and authors, and the producer of the BBC television series Civilization. In an autobiographical account, Clark writes that when he was living in a villa in France he had a curious episode.

I had a religious experience. It took place in the church of San Lorenzo, but did not seem to be connected with the harmonious beauty of the architecture. I can only say that for a few minutes, my whole being was radiated by a kind of heavenly joy, far more intense than anything I had ever experienced before. This state of mind lasted for several minutes … but wonderful as it was, [it] posed an awkward problem in terms of action. My life was far from blameless. I would have to reform. My family would think I was going mad, and perhaps after all, it was a delusion, for I was in every way unworthy of such a flood of grace. Gradually the effect wore off and I made no effort to retain it. I think I was right. I was too deeply embedded in the world to change course. But I had "felt the finger of God" quite sure and, although the memory of this experience has faded, it still helps me to understand the joys of the saints.

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