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Regis Nicoll Christian Blog and Commentary

Turner Takes A(nother) Turn

  • Regis Nicoll
    Regis Nicoll is a Centurion of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He spent 30 years as a nuclear specialist, and is now a freelance writer who writes on current issues from a Christian perspective. His work regularly appears on BreakPoint online and SALVO magazine among other places. Regis also teaches and speaks on a variety of worldview topics, covering everything from Sharing the Gospel in a Postmodern Generation to String Theory. He currently serves as lay pastor of Hamilton Anglican Fellowship (www.hamiltonaf.org) in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  • 2008 Apr 02
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Media mogul Ted Turner has been well known for his jaundiced view of the Church. But what may come as a surprise about the man who called Christianity a “religion for losers,” is that until the age of 15, Ted considered himself a devout Christian: He attended Christian school, studied the Bible, and prayed for one hour every day, and even had plans to become a missionary. But that all changed after his 12-year-old sister was diagnosed with terminal lupus.

Despite the prayers of family and friends for healing, his sister died after a painful five-year struggle. Not able to reconcile his sister’s death with his faith, Turner turned his back on God. As one observer noted, “It's not so much that Turner doesn't believe in God as he doesn't want to give God, who allowed his sister to be crushed by disease, the satisfaction of recognition.”

Now, it appears that Ted could be turning the corner back to faith. This once vocal critic of religion recently told the AP that he no longer considers himself an agnostic or atheist. He went as far as to apologize, stating: "I regret anything I said about religion that was negative.”

While it is not clear what has caused Ted’s turnabout, what is clear is his admiration for the Church’s work in alleviating human suffering.

Ted Turner, like many other religious skeptics, has noticed that when earthquakes, tsunamis and floods ravage communities around the world, it is not societies of "Brights," rationalists, free thinkers and secular humanists that rush to far reaches of the globe to help victims; it's churches and faith-based organizations who are among the first to arrive and the last to leave.

Says Turner, "Religion is one of the bright spots as far as I'm concerned…The religious community is huge and has a very good reputation for being able to mobilize resources."

Although Turner is far from the faith of his youth, as suggested by his advocacy of his alternate “ten commandments” which include not having more than two children, one cannot exaggerate the significance of a change for one who once was such a public critic of faith. I suspect we’ll be hearing more in the future about Ted’s faith journey.

What do you think of Ted Turher's turnaround? Post your thoughts here.