Book Review – Turning to God: Biblical Conversion in the Modern World (29/12)

When is a person considered a christian? When someone converts! But what really is conversion? More importantly, what does the bible talks about conversion?

Turning to God: Reclaiming Christian Conversion as Unique, Necessary, and SupernaturalDavid Wells writes in this perceptive book, many helpful points on what conversion is. It was surprisingly to know that this book was originally published in 1989, and has now (rightfully) been republished again. In this day and age, conversion has often been termed as “the sinnner’s prayers” or “inviting Jesus into your heart”. Such terminology is not only unhelpful, but reflects a rather shallow understanding of conversion.

Wells shows the readers what conversion is first, he defines it as unique, necessary and supernatural. It is supernatural because only God can convert someone, it is unique because conversion denotes not just a mere change in behaviour, but in allegiances, it is necessary because there has been and will never be anyone who’s born a christian. Next, Wells shows from the bible says about conversion. I found the introduction and the first chapter the best part of the book and would certainly be well worth the money for these two sections.

Next, Wells moves on to talk about insiders and outsiders. In the first chapter, Wells shows how within the bible itself, two types of people are converted, those who are more familiar with the bible (Old Testament teaching), the insiders, and those who are not (outsiders). This then forms the basis of how conversion would look like in each of these two groups.

This two sections would take up most of the book. What is very helpful is that Wells provokes the reader to think about what conversion means in each of the groups. Far too often conversion is a blanket term for anyone who’s coming to be a disciple of Jesus. But conversion necessary means differently for people of different cultures or religion.

Well this will not be easy reading, this will no doubt be a fruitful reading. Wells raises important points for christians to think of. Diligent readers will find this book most helpful.

Ratings: 4.5 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping).