Dr Rosaria Butterfield has a remarkable story to tell. In one sense, conversion to Christ extraordinary (a miracle by the work of the Holy Spirit) and in another, ordinary (every true convert undergoes this transformative work). But what makes Dr Butterfield’s conversion interesting in our modern climate is that fact that she was a lesbian feminist activist at the top of her profession in academia.
Her conversion happened with the help of two instruments. The first was the Bible. As an English professor her job was to read books and talk about them. She did not like Christians and saw herself in a “war against stupid”. Yet she became curious about the Bible and began to study it. She treated it like any other book, reading voraciously, examining the words, thinking about the plot lines.
What’s interesting here is not just that she became aware of a few verses that might convince her. She read the whole Bible – several times – gaining something of the big picture of the God of salvation very quickly. This had a very powerful impact on her.
The second instrument was a local pastor and the Presbyterian church he led. They spent time with her, loved, showed hospitality, prayed. This has a great deal to teach the church about evangelism. As she says, she did not get the “sales talk” that she might have expected from these evangelicals. Her interaction with Christians was deeper than that.
In time (quite a lot of time) Dr Butterfield was converted, as she put it, from unbelief to Christ and everything changed for her.
I recommend that you listen as Dr Butterfield tells her story here:
After this presentation, there was a lengthy Q&A session which is also extremely helpful, full of practical advice for churches on relating to gay and lesbian people:
Her book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert , is available on Kindle, though I have not yet been able to find anywhere in the UK selling a print copy.