Read the story, "The Conversion Experience of James Luther Adams." Use this exercise and questions to help you reflect on Adams' conversion experience and find connections between Adams' theology and your own:
Recall a personal experience you might describe as a conversion experience, in which something occurred that prompted you to change your behavior. Perhaps you no longer acted the same way toward someone or something, or you began a new series of activities or you formed new allegiances. Follow these steps:
- Identify the feeling that prompted the change in your behavior or that accompanied it.
- Then, identify the belief (i.e., thought, concept, or idea) linked to this new change in your behavior.
- How does your new behavior indicate you would like to change, or leave unchanged, the protocol of a social, political, or economic institution in your life? An institution, for example, might be your family, your congregation, government, the market economy, a political organization, or a public or private education system.
- Discern whether the belief linked to your changed behavior helped you interpret and explain your internal feelings to yourself and others about your changed behavior; your way of acting towards others (your ethical behavior); and your way of evaluating and explaining (approvingly or disapprovingly) the behavior of an institution towards others.