[Originally published in January 2017 as Another Atheist Who Became a Christian]
I recently read an interesting interview with Dr. Yingguang Liu, who was born and raised in rural China. From as early as he remembers, he was taught atheism, and he didn’t know anyone who had religious beliefs. He lived an impoverished life but was an excellent student. Upon graduating high school, he was accepted into medical school and ended up earning his Bachelor of Medicine degree. Because he had experienced treating patients with hepatitis, he wanted to find a cure, so he earned his Master of Medicine degree in order to do medical research. However, he quickly became disillusioned. In his words (which are similar to those of Dr. Judith Curry):
During those years, I learned something about the negative side of science. The equation for a scientific career was: Science + politics = grants = fame + fortune. I was disillusioned by the monopoly and hypocrisy of the scientific community.
As a result of his disillusionment, Dr. Liu decided to work as a physician. He spent four years as an infectious disease expert at Jinan Infectious Diseases Hospital. He then moved to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. at Ohio State University, and that’s where he first met Christians.
A Chinese Bible study group had printed advertisements for a picnic, and he attended it, not really knowing what the group was all about. He said that he was attracted by their friendliness and welcoming smiles, so he started attending their Bible study. During their first winter break, he went to a Chinese Christian conference in Chicago with the group, and at the end of one of the messages, he accepted Jesus Christ as his “Saviour, Master, and Friend.”
Dr. Liu’s story is very meaningful, and I encourage you to read the entire interview. However, I found it particularly interesting because Dr. Liu and I have a few things in common. Besides the fact that we are both scientists, I noticed at least two other things. First, the prophecies in Scripture were very important to both of us when it came to putting aside our atheism and seeing the world in more rational light. As Dr. Liu says:
We surveyed the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation in three months. What impressed me most were the many prophecies and their fulfillment.
Several prophecies about historical events (like the prophecy against Tyre found in the book of Ezekiel) as well as the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament helped lead me to conclude that the Bible was inspired by God.
Second, even though he has probably forgotten more biology than I know, our view of the biological world seems very similar:
As the founding fathers of modern science emphasized, the world can make sense only in the light of benevolent divine design. I cannot comprehend, let alone teach biology, without referring to design and purpose.
I find that to be so very true. The more I study nature, the more it testifies to its Designer. Like Dr. Liu, the only way I can adequately teach and understand biology (as well as chemistry and physics) is from the standpoint that it has all been designed by a Supreme Intellect.
It is inspiring to read about how God spoke so clearly to a man who was brought up in a completely different culture and was raised without any knowledge of Him. Thank you, Dr. Liu, for sharing your story!