In this episode of The Tentative Apologist Podcast we get to sit down with one of the foremost theologians in Canada, Gordon T. Smith. Dr. Smith is President of Ambrose University College and Seminary in Calgary where he also teaches as Professor of Systematic and Spiritual Theology. Over the years Dr. Smith has worn many hats including pastor, professor and now president. He is also a respected author and has established himself as a profound commentator on the nature of conversion, vocation, the spiritual disciplines, and the sacraments. Among his many books are Courage and Calling, A Holy Meal: The Lord’s Supper in the Life of the Church, Transforming Conversion: Rethinking the Language and Contours of Christian Initiation, and his most recent book (to be published in December 2013) Called to be Saints.
In our conversation Gordon and I focused on the question of conversion. What does it mean to convert to Christianity, to become a Christian? Growing up, I understood conversion to consist of praying a sinner’s prayer. And consequently, evangelism consisted of getting others to pray a sinner’s prayer. By the time I got into my teens that picture had expanded a bit to include “The Four Spiritual Laws” as the pathway to Christian discipleship. Thus, evangelism now consisted of a copy of this venerable tract clutched in my sweaty palm with eyes darting about for my next unwitting target.
Gordon Smith offers a different grammar of conversion (and evangelism). It is one far richer, and is sourced in the diverse witness of the New Testament, the vibrant life of the church, and the complexity of the human experience. So join us for a mind-expanding exploration of the contours of Christian conversion.