Two Kinds of Conversion

At the recommentation of my friend Tim, I’m reading The Contagion of Jesus, by Sebastian Moore. In it, Moore describes two kinds of conversion. “There is the conversion of the godless to God, and there is the conversion of the godly to the realisation that he has been radically wrong about God, and about what God is asking of us.”

Of the two, it seems to me that the second can often be the far more difficult conversion. Although it is we who are created in the image of God, we have a tendency to create God in our image. And the images we have of God, particularly those that were impressed upon us when we are young, can be very difficult to break.

A necessary starting point is humility. We have to be able to recognize we can be “godly” and still be wrong. Moore gives the example of Saul – he was a godly man, a “Pharisee, trained in the God of law and rigour.” Yet he was dead wrong about what God wanted of him.

Our mistakes may not be as drastic as Saul’s, but we need to be open to the possibility that we can sometimes be wrong about what God wants of us and wrong about our image of God. So we need to be open to the idea that there may be another image, another possibility, and that it may be more right than the one we currently have.