Conversion to Christianity is the religious conversion of a previously non-Christian person to some form of Christianity. It has been called the foundational experience of Christian life. Conversion to Christianity primarily involves belief (faith) in God, repentance of sin, acknowledgement of falling far short of God's glory and holiness and confession of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the all-sufficient and only means by whom one's sin can be atoned for and therefore the only route to salvation (John 14:6). While conversion to Christianity may simply involve a personal choice to identify with Christianity rather than with another religion, many Christians understand it to mean that the individual attains eternal salvation by a genuine conversion experience or act—a "radical transformation of self."
Conversion has also been described as the point of transition from "natural life" to spiritual life. In this sense it is seen as both a "radical change of heart and life" and also a more gradual process in which the convert's spiritual nature develops through Christian culture and education. According to theologian Charles Curran, conversion is the central moral message of Jesus. He describes it as an "awakening to a consciousness of the presence of divine reality" in one's life. The Gospel of Matthew quotes Jesus as teaching, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."
Social scientists have shown great interest in the Christian conversion as a religious experience that believers describe as strengthening their faith and changing their lives. Christianization, defined as the "reformulation of social relations, cultural meanings, and personal experience in terms of (commonly accepted or supposed) Christian ideals," should be distinguished from conversion. Christianization is the broader cultural term, and typically has involved efforts to systematically convert an entire continent or culture from existing beliefs to Christianity.
Read more about Conversion To Christianity: Some New Testament Examples, Methods and Procedures Vary, Conversion Through Salvation, Conversion Through Baptism and Confirmation/chrismation, Conversions/transfers To Another Christian Denomination, Post-Reformation
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Famous quotes containing the words christianity and/or conversion:
“The real security of Christianity is to be found in its benevolent morality, in its exquisite adaptation to the human heart, in the facility with which its scheme accommodates itself to the capacity of every human intellect, in the consolation which it bears to the house of mourning, in the light with which it brightens the great mystery of the grave.”
—Thomas Babington Macaulay (18001859)
“The conversion of a savage to Christianity is the conversion of Christianity to savagery.”
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