Saturday, December 04, 2004

Interesting Christian...

I wonder if Joe Carter, who recently blogged about John Stott, will get around to Anthony Ole, who was recently profiled in the New Yorker. (No link, sorry.)

There's an earlier article from the LA Times, and one from US News & World Report, though.

But for the Christian belief system, Anthony could be an "avowed" Buddhist...

Despite outward success, Anthony felt inwardly bankrupt until he heard a talk by an evangelical author.

"The words that really got to me were: 'You were meant to be a failure. That is the only way God can use you. Look around you with honest eyes. Don't you see that all human effort is futile, empty and vain? All that is necessary for you is: Abandon yourself, pick up your cross and follow Him.' " So Ole Anthony closed his eyes and prayed...

He walked away from his business and said goodbye to dumbfounded friends. His plan was to surrender completely and wait for God to reveal the next step. He said his new faith was tested when he soon found himself homeless. For a while, he worked at a Christian TV station raising money on air - he smiles at the irony. "I would even cry on demand," he says. But the station was sold and everyone was let go. Anthony started living under a bridge in West Dallas. Huddled around the flames that leapt from a 55-gallon drum on a cold spring night, Anthony began to doubt his encounter with God. Maybe he had gotten the message mixed up. So he prayed again: "Did I not hear you correctly?"

He says he heard God's voice again:

"Your warfare is over, so take your eyes off yourself. Let me have the joy of making you what I want. I will supply your every need with no effort on your part. I love you." For Anthony, that settled it. "I really, really understood."

The New Yorker article makes it plainer: this is a guy who understands that suffering isn't to be evaded, but that it is where meaning is found in life.

Anthony is best known for exposing some of the seedier aspects of televangelists, as the above articles make plain.

Again, despite the very Christian worldview...this guy would make for an interesting discussion with Buddhists.

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