Interesting testimony here from a French atheist who became a Christian theologian. Disclaimer: I don’t know Guillaume Bignon myself, and haven’t verified his account.
Here’s a snippet:
I started thinking about the whole thing. What good reason was there to think God exists, and what good reason was there to think atheism was true instead? This step was important, because my own unbelief was comfortably resting on the fact that (smart) people around me didn’t believe in God either, but it was more a reasonable life assumption than the conclusion of a solid argument. So I started to take the question seriously, to objectively assess its credibility. But of course, if I was going to refute Christianity, I first needed to know what exactly it affirmed. So I picked up a Bible to figure it out. And at the same time, since I’m a scientist, I figured there was at least one experiment that could be carried out to dis-confirm the belief that God exists
And I love the description of his first visit to church:
Frankly, I went to that church like I would go to the zoo: to see some weird exotic animals that I had read about in books, but had never seen in real life. Only at the zoo, there are bars to separate you from the animals. Not so with church.
Read the rest of the testimony to find out what the experiment was, and if it worked…
As I read the testimony, it struck me that the transcendental of beauty played an important role, at least early on in the process.