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How an Atheist Became a Defender of the Faith

Pastor Mark Clark was raised in a staunchly atheistic household but came to Christ once he became convinced of the power and soundness of Christianity. He writes:

I heard about Christianity for the first time at a summer camp when I was nine years old. I was fascinated by the concept of God. Not enough to get me to attend church or read a Bible but enough that I found myself going back to the camp every year and talking about God. Then I came home to a very different life: Stealing from cars, stores, and the purses of my friends’ mothers—to get money for drugs, partying, and everything else you do when you don’t have God in your life.

Mark began using drugs at eight years old and they became a regular part of his life by high school. Once he nearly died from an overdose, lying glassy-eyed in the street. His parents divorced when he was eight and he developed Tourette syndrome which later grew into obsessive-compulsive disorder.

My father was a classic deadbeat dad. He died of lung cancer when I was 15 and I never got to say goodbye to him. Sitting in that very lonely funeral home, pondering where exactly my father was, I asked myself: “What do I believe? About God, myself, heaven and hell? What do I believe about eternity and morality and my father? Where is he?”

When Mark was 17, he met Chris, a former drug dealer at his school, who had become a follower of Jesus. Mark was intrigued by his life and his passion for God. Chris challenged him to examine his doubts, read the Bible, pray, and think about what he believed about life and God.

I began to wrestle with the existence of God, with questions of suffering and evil and with the reliability of the Bible. I wrestled with the doctrine of hell and how God could allow my father to go to a place of everlasting torment. But the more I explored, the more I saw the emotional power and philosophical soundness of Christianity.

The year I met Chris, I gave my life to Christ and began a journey of total transformation. The most powerful catalyst was the Bible itself. I spent two years reading the Bible. I felt like I had been set free from all the shame, guilt, and powerlessness I had known growing up, and I was confident others would want that freedom too.

People often ask me where my passion for defending Christianity comes from. As a longtime doubter myself, I delight in showing other doubters that Christianity is real—historically verifiable, philosophically compelling, consistent with science, and full of satisfying answers to our deepest questions about life’s purpose.

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