Reviews from

Faith Is a Choice

Apologetics, anyone?

42 total reviews 
Comment from CD Richards
This work has reached the exceptional level

Just a few comments.

I have no idea how I happened upon your article, as I've neither read nor written anything on this site in months. I've been restricting my Fanstory forays to the forum chats, having had little inspiration for any "creative" endeavours.

In any case, I did stumble upon it, and I'm glad I did. I've given you six stars for the quality of the writing, as you've expressed your opinions and beliefs very well. That said, I agree with almost none of what you've said, and I hope, if I can find some time before I lose the inclination, to post a response from the opposite viewpoint.

Maybe it was the subtext "Apologetics, anyone?" that piqued my interest. I actually attended a theological college many decades ago, where my single subject was apologetics. In any case, since you've directly invited atheists to address themselves to this question, I hope to be able to respond at some point.

Again, congratulations on a clear and well-expressed defence of Christianity. I see it gained third place in the prestigious Story of the Month contest -- good job, and well done.

 Comment Written 08-Oct-2022

reply by the author on 08-Oct-2022
    Hi CD,
    Thank you so much for the six-star rating and your positive remarks on the quality of my writing. Also, thank you for mentioning my third-place win in the Story of the Month contest. I didn't even know I won it, and in fact, I can't find any announcement or indication that it happened. I had actually thought there was more time to vote, and had wanted to read the other stories before casting my own vote. I wonder if they miscounted, and retracted it? I'll check it later.
    I'm sorry you don't agree with most of what I wrote. I assume you mean the actual apologetic arguments, as you wouldn't be inclined to dispute my personal testimony or faith.
    It's very concerning to me that you arrived at your beliefs as an atheist sometime either during, or after your theological education, with a focus on apologetics! I am wondering if you were disappointed or dissatisfied with what you were taught, or whether events happened to, or around you to influence your belief system. However, not all denominations are the same, nor are all theological departments, colleges or seminaries. Speculation won't get me anywhere, of course. I can't say I'm looking forward to reading your arguments, but I'm interested to know how you arrived at your beliefs.
    Like you, I don't spend a lot of time on FanStory, but if you do post it, you can send me a pm to let me know, and hopefully, I won't miss seeing it.
    I hope and pray that you'll have a change of heart, but that's all I can really do, as I've already said my piece. Thank you again for your six-star review, and I appreciate your honesty.
    Best wishes, Mary Kay
reply by CD Richards on 08-Oct-2022
    Hi Mary Kay,

    No, I wouldn't for a second dispute your personal testimony or your faith. It's possible, though, to be sincere and to be sincerely mistaken.

    I'm not sure why you should be concerned that I'd want to present another point of view, or would want me to have a change of heart about airing it. I think free and frank discussion was a good thing. Certainly I wasn't perturbed at reading yours.

    In any case, there is no need for me to mention your piece at all, if that concerns you. If I do get around to penning something, I can always just say it was inspired by a very general "something I read here".

    Have a great rest of your weekend. We've had so much rain here, I'm considering building an ark.

reply by the author on 08-Oct-2022
    Hi Craig,
    I'm sorry, I didn't mean to give you the wrong impression. You are right, that "free and frank discussion is a good thing." My only concerns are: (1) for you, because I would like you to share my present joy and the future destiny promised to believers; and (2) as a passionate believer in Jesus, I'd rather that people were persuaded by arguments for, rather than against, my faith. Because of that faith, I also believe that it is God (the Holy Spirit), and not man, who ultimately persuades us, but if people are looking for reasons NOT to believe, I'd rather not give them any!
    But I do not in any way want to discourage you from posting your views (not that I have the power to do so). My only reason for wanting to know when you post it, is because I am interested in your story and how you arrived at your conclusions. I was not hoping that you would have a change of heart about writing and posting an article, but rather, a change of heart about what you believe -- and as I mentioned earlier, only God could help bring that about. That's between you and Him! I would pray because I care about YOU, and desire greatly that you believe not only in His existence, but also in His love, grace and salvation.
    I'm not afraid of your article or your views! So please don't be concerned about that.
    Cheers to you also,
    Mary Kay
reply by the author on 08-Oct-2022
    I appreciate your sense of humor, about building an ark. I'm wondering whereabouts you live, that you're just getting the rain now. We're in NY, and had it for several days, but now the weather is clear. I would wait before you start building ;-)
reply by CD Richards on 08-Oct-2022
    I'm in Australia, and it's been a very wet few months. It seems always one extreme or another here. Other years, we'll have months of searing heat without rain, and everything dies. The weeds are getting so high, I just about disappear walking through my fields, but it's too wet to mow and our animals can't eat enough to keep it down :) Enough whining though, it's all part of life's rich tapestry ;-)
Comment from royowen
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

I didn't really have a religious upbringing, although back in my day, our parents sent us to Sunday, leaving our upbringing in the hands of moralistic people. I was even an atheist for a short time, but reality is one can't possibly prove there is no God, (although a good argument for the opposite) I didn't come into revelation until I was 41, and really I was a bad boy, but God turned my world right side up, I agree, unless the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us, it's really impossible for the sinful human to truly believe. I'm so happy that I've made a difference as a seed of God. Brilliantly written Mary, open and honest. Blessings Roy

 Comment Written 03-Oct-2022

reply by the author on 08-Oct-2022
    Thank you, Roy, for this beautiful, personal and encouraging review of my post. I appreciate your sharing from your own experience. I was also kind of wild there, in my youth, though I came to rest in Him a bit younger (I was 27). I'm impressed that you were born again at 41, as people tend to be more flexible and open in their younger years (although from my age which is approaching the norm for retirement, 41 looks fairly young now!). But again, it is the Holy Spirit who opens our hearts and reveals the Truth,
    as you also agree! May the Name of Jesus be praised! May God bless you and your family! - Mary Kay
reply by royowen on 08-Oct-2022
    Amen Mary Kay
Comment from K.L. Rockquemore
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

This is a provocative post to be sure.

My belief system is very different than yours. I appreciate the sharing of biblical comparisons and history to explore the delicate topic of Creation.

I think a post like this is an important one.
Your readers will have a variety of opinions, criticisms, revelations, and concerns.
But is that not what writing is all about?

Expressing ideas from the point of view of the writer to cause the reader to "feel," something.?

The readers reaction to this piece is quite extraordinary.

You have done your job as a great writer!

Thanks for sharing.

 Comment Written 02-Oct-2022

reply by the author on 08-Oct-2022
    Thank you, K.L., for your outstanding, thoughtful and very complimentary review. Although your views are different from mine, you were able to see value in my writing. I really appreciate that! Though you may or may not believe in Him, may God bless you, my friend.
    Love, Mary Kay
Comment from GG.
This work has reached the exceptional level

Well thought out, and presented. Your article covers much important detail. Surely God appreciates your faith. Good that you can see the goodness in that individual of a different faith. Even non-believers can recognize Goodness. It is a start for them to maybe question where it originates. One statement I always liked is "Let my body be a temple for the Holy Spirit of the Lord". People of different faith can increase that, with time, if they learn more. Physical life is for growing the soul. Personally, I do not believe ALL people are intrinsically evil, or God wouldn't have such hopes and love for them. Evolution, versus 6000 years God took for creation. Well, God created EVERYTHING, even Time. Even reprieves from physical death. Everlasting Darkness absorbs, dissipates soul energy. Some would entertain dealing with that in return for whooping it up in the biological, matrix infusion time. It is a total truth that if someone encounters the Holy Spirit, they are NOT going to forget it. Write more.

 Comment Written 02-Oct-2022

reply by the author on 07-Oct-2022
    Thanks, Elizabeth, for reviewing my post I'm detail, for the six stars and for all your thoughtful comments.
    Biblically speaking, we do all have a bent towards evil, as it says in His Word that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) God speaks of man's bent toward sin in many other passages, but we were also made in the image of God, which explains our capacity for good. However we need to repent and accept the grace of God offered us in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, for He alone (besides being God in the flesh) was the only person known to have gone through life without sinning. That was the ultimate expression of God's love for us, and if we accept it, we will have Christ's nature within us, keeping us sealed as "His" until the end of time, and set apart from those who do evil. His love is very tremendous and far-reaching. Yes, an encounter with the Holy Spirit is amazing indeed. Thank you for your encouragement to write more. I appreciate it very much. God bless you, Elizabeth. - Mary Kay
Comment from C. Gale Burnett
This work has reached the exceptional level

Mary Kay, I've been away for a bit so did not read your prior posts as mentioned in your author notes. I commend you for the rewrite and explanation. I will comment on this post only.

- You did exceptionally well with your flow of thought and topic paragraph by paragraph;
- I was intrigued and delighted that you told of your own personal journey to the faith you now hold dear because it tells the reader you weren't 'born into' your belief, etc., but had to seek for yourself with heart, mind and spirit;
- I appreciated and thought you were diplomatic in your writing to those of opposing beliefs;
- Amen to your last paragraph. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Light; yes to relationship and no to religion.

Very well written and a joy to read. I'm so glad you shared with us the strength of your unwavering faith.

God bless,

 Comment Written 01-Oct-2022

reply by the author on 07-Oct-2022
    Thank you so much, Gale, for your exceptional, supportive and very thorough review of my post. I apologize for my delay in responding.
    It's always a joy to encounter another sister in Christ, on this site. I love that you are in agreement with my faith and appreciate that you saw the diplomacy to others in my post. May God?s blessings overflow to you and your family! Love, Mary Kay xoxo
Comment from Sandra Stoner-Mitchell
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

There are many people on here that follow different faiths, but at the end of the day, they all lead to God. Whatever name you call Him. I have to say that whether you believe or not, the one thing everyone does when in danger, or think they are going to die, is call on God for His help. Well done, Mary. :)) Sandra xx

 Comment Written 01-Oct-2022

reply by the author on 04-Oct-2022
    Thank you very much, Sandra, for your excellent, honest and supportive review. Jesus was much more than a good man or a prophet; He was God in human form. Many people believe that all religions lead to God; but Christianity (or "the Way," as it was called, originally) is the only faith in which God, the Father, has a Son called Jesus. In the Bible, it says, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.? (Acts 4:12 NKJV)
    A famous writer, C.S. Lewis, once wrote that for Jesus to make the claims that He did, He had to be either a liar, a madman, or telling the truth. And there IS such a thing as absolute truth. Jesus was willing to die for our sins; He wasn't afraid of the consequences of His awe-inspiring claims.
    You're right, that people call upon God when they're in danger, or fear they're going to die. We are all, actually, going to die sooner or later (unless Jesus comes back for us, first). It's best not to wait until that day, to decide which God we will call upon.
    God will judge people according to how well they follow their conscience, which includes people who follow other belief systems. But I'm not taking chances with anything less than the full salvation promised, that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus can be fully trusted! May God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit bless your life with His grace and saving faith. Thanks again for your lovely review.
    Love, Mary Kay xoxo
Comment from Debi Pick Marquette
This work has reached the exceptional level

I rarely have time to review, and was not looking for one when I stumbled upon your post. I was checking to see if mine were on the home page. I don't believe in coincidences so I believe that my eyes wandering to the story side was a Devine interception. After I saw the title, I had to click on it and so very happy that I did.
This was so beautifully written, with the strong argument of our only salvation that is available to us in this lifetime. I loved your story and you are pure delight to have gotten to know through your writing. I hope we stumble upon each other more in the near future. Thank you so much for the fellowship, as all writings of God's Truth is so beneficial in strengthening our faith. Thank you for this beautiful and Truthful message Mary!!!

 Comment Written 30-Sep-2022

reply by the author on 04-Oct-2022
    You're very welcome, Debi, and thank YOU for such a thoughtful, uplifting and exceptional review of my post. Yes, "there is no other name given under heaven, whereby we must be saved." I have to look up that scripture, to see if I quoted it exactly right, and to find its reference. But anyway, it's true!
    It is a joy to me, also, to meet another sister in Christ. May God "give you the desires of your heart, and make your plans succeed--" another verse I need to look up.
    Blessings and love, Mary Kay xoxo
reply by the author on 04-Oct-2022
    The full text and references of those two verses:
    Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.?
    Acts 4:12 NKJV

    May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
    Psalms 20:4 NIV
Comment from Alcreator Litt Dear
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

Truly felt, realized and believed in God, of 20,000 religions, you have discovered relations, a true relation of Jesus Christ with you the believer, God took only six days to create the world, Jesus died but resurrected; He is there just to help us who believe in God; Jesus is your friend, saviour, Lord and you replied the atheist beyond logic for truth and relationship; well said, well done, post god speed more, share post not 4 self-joy-pride but 4 God and readers worldwide Alcreator Litt Dear (DR)

 Comment Written 30-Sep-2022

reply by the author on 04-Oct-2022
    Hi Alcreator Litt Dear, Thank you for your lovely, supportive and excellent review. Yours was the first I received, since I revised my post, and I found it encouraging. You're absolutely right, we need to post for the glory of God and to spread His truth for the benefit of others, not for personal gain. May the Good Lord bless you and keep you and your loved ones, my friend. You included "DR" after your name. Did you get a doctorate? If so, Congratulations! - Mary Kay
Comment from GeraldShuler
This work has reached the exceptional level

I agree to the max. Too many Christians try to talk to unbelievers as thouh they understand what we understand. They don't. The Bible says that to the world all of this is foolishness. You spoke truth lovingly and graciously.

 Comment Written 09-Sep-2022

reply by the author on 04-Oct-2022
    Thank you very much, Gerald, for your kind, supportive and exceptional review. The six stars are awesome! Please excuse my delay in responding.
    I appreciate your comments, with which I'm in total agreement. It's always a blessing to meet a brother in Christ. May God bless you richly, in His Wonderful Name.
    - Mary Kay
Comment from Theodore McDowell
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

A good reply to a post. I am coming into the middle of this. A thought-out and thorough review. I too, however, would have preferred a private message response, since this is a response to a review and, as I understand it, responses are not the place for arguments. Anyway, your argument was persuasive.

 Comment Written 09-Sep-2022

reply by the author on 03-Oct-2022
    Hi Ted. Thank you for your fine and thoughtful review. Actually, the original post (which I have now reworked to be less personally directed and not confrontational) was in response to HIS reply to MY review of HIS post, and in this whole exchange, there were some elements of debate. My subsequent reply just became too long for the reply box, but you're right, I should have used a private message, and I could have shared my general argument as a post without reference to any person. I think it's too late for a personal message, but I've done the best I can to remove anything that might offend this individual as a person. I have learned by this experience to slow down a little, and think more carefully before I react.
    Thanks for your honesty, and may God bless you and yours. - Mary Kay
reply by Theodore McDowell on 03-Oct-2022
    No problem. Don't stress about it, Mary Kay.
reply by the author on 04-Oct-2022
    Thank you, Ted. You're very kind.