Richard Dawkins’ former “right hand man” Josh Timonen has come to believe in Jesus Christ.
Dawkins, one of the modern “New Atheists,” is a household name, and probably one of the best-known atheists in the world. He’s written myriad books, including his 2008 bestseller The God Delusion and his 1986 book The Blind Watchmaker.
According to Timonen, though he grew up in a Christian household, he quickly fell away from the faith. After rejecting Jesus’ existence as a concoction of myths, Josh decided to become an atheist.
For five years, Josh Timonen was Dawkins’ “right hand man,” helping Dawkins create his website, produce documentaries and sell merchandise.
Josh earned a public “thank you” from Dawkins in The God Delusion; Dawkins even dedicated his book The Greatest Show on Earth (2010) to Josh.
But after marrying and having a daughter, he and his wife were looking for a place for their daughter to find community. They found it at a local church, though they originally did not plan on becoming Christians.
After meeting several individuals in the church, Josh was prompted to begin reading Scripture; he started by reading the entire New Testament.
Josh also read The Case for Christ by journalist and Christian convert Lee Strobel. Shortly after reading that book – and others – Josh realized that there is good evidence to believe in the real life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; as a result, he decided to place his faith in Jesus as the Messiah.
Timonen’s process of conversion took place over the past three years. He recently made the revelation of his conversion on a recent episode of The Living Waters Podcast. Living Waters is a ministry founded by Ray Comfort.
“I had to deal with the fact that it was real, that Jesus was real,” Josh said in the interview.
Jesus actually lived, He actually died, and He actually rose. And I have to deal with that. I can’t just push that aside and say, ‘Oh, it’s a myth.’ No, these are real events.
And then, I’m being asked to do something. It’s a personal thing between Him and me. And that’s where it kind of struck differently.
Josh – despite rejecting Christianity in his early adulthood – considered the evidence for Christ and did not find it lacking.
It’s vital for modern Christians to realize that doubts about one’s faith are not problematic. Only unaddressed and unanswered doubts are.
We read in 1 Peter 3:15:
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect (ESV).
In his book Questioning the Bible, author and apologist Jonathan Morrow makes the following point:
Today, virtually all professional New Testament scholars agree that Jesus claimed that the kingdom of God had arrived in His ministry. … “There is more historical evidence for the existence of Jesus than there is for the historical existence of Julius Caesar” (emphasis in original).
Christians are not called to a blind, unintelligent faith, where we check our brains at the front door of our churches. Rather, we have faith in Jesus Christ because we have good reasons to do so.
Praise God that Josh – after considering the evidence – has placed his faith in Christ. If you’re reading this, consider taking a moment to pray for Josh and his new walk with Jesus.
And if you’re having doubts about your faith, Focus on the Family is here to help. Consider the following resources.
Christian author and apologist Lee Strobel recently appeared on the Focus on the Family Broadcast to discuss his new book The Case for Heaven. On the broadcast, titled “Believing in the Hope of Heaven,” Strobel examines why our culture chases immortality and the evidence for the existence of the soul.
You can also purchase a copy of The Case for Christ here.
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