From start to finish of Not God’s Type, Holly Ordway gives an honest account of her exploration into Christian theism (specifically Catholicism) from atheism, all the while reflecting on different writings that influenced her thinking and change of heart. She writes in a way that is very “simple” (I use this word loosely), not to write that her thinking was weak, but that her writing is welcoming to any person who is a novice to the philosophical arguments for the existence of the God of the Scriptures. Although Ordway is not writing this book as textbook on the Gospel-sharing technique, her relationship to her fencing coach is a lovely example for all Christian people of how to connect with others with different worldviews from one’s own view of God.
Dr. Ordway‘s love for fencing plays quite an important role in the book, from her participation in the sport (and her connection with her coach, who got her thinking about Christian theism) to her using some aspects of it as analogy of sorts to shed light on her steps toward, and ultimate conversion, to Christianity. It is very interesting that a person who had a love for the same sport that Ordway deeply loved is the one who helps her, as a sort of ‘guide’, to gradually changing her ideas on God and what she had for so long considered the truth. This part of book shows how atheists and theists actually can connect with each other in other adventures in life. In too many narratives and discussions, one may get the feeling that there is an ever-widening gulf between theists and atheists. But here in the words of Ordway, we see how believers and nonbelievers can have a respectful and loving dialogue with one another on the “big questions” of life, such as the existence of God and the logic in following Jesus the Christ. This is not what she is necessarily going for, but it something that did catch my attention.
This book is a good read for anyone that desires a simple and honest narration of a person who shows that being an intellectual does not have some “anti-religion” prerequisite to it. Dr. Ordway‘s casual walk from lacking a belief in God to proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ is worth the time of any Protestant (like myself) or Catholic. For some Christian Protestants, there might be a problem in reading a book by a Christian Catholic, where she expresses her conversion to Catholicism, but if one can mentally leave their denomination at the door, they might just take something away from reading this semi-autobiography. The book is presenting the possibilities for how people may come to Christ are endless. It is beautiful that we (the Body of Christ) are such a rich tapestry of believers and our testimonies and stories and thinking should and does reflect this.
(Originally posted on my old and now defunct “Watch Your Theology” website [2014 – 2015].)