In Peter Byrom's story, famed atheist Richard Dawkins was the evangelist.
Byrom was born and raised in East Sussex, England, to a Christian family. He grew up nominally religious but abandoned the vestiges of his faith when he left home for college.
Duped by the lie that Christianity is incompatible with intellectualism, Byrom dissolved whatever lingering interest he may have had in God and quickly turned to atheism—a transition fast-tracked by a roommate who, like him, was raised to believe in God but had since turned away from his upbringing.
The roommate, Byrom recalled during a recent conversation with CBN's Faithwire, was a fan of Dawkins and urged the new atheist convert to read the evolutionary biologist's book, The God Delusion.
Byrom quickly read the book and was intrigued by the aggressive approach espoused by Dawkins and others like him.
"I was very taken by what Dawkins' definition of faith is," he said. "He said faith is believing something without any evidence. Now I know that's a false definition of faith—that's not what faith means. But at the time, I bought that."
It didn't take long, in fact, for Byrom to buy into the Dawkins dogma—hook, line and sinker.
After reading The God Delusion, Byrom dove headfirst down a rabbit hole of content from Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett, known as the "Four Horsemen of the New Atheism," a term coined in 2006 by journalist Gary Wolf to describe 21st-century atheists who believe religion should not be tolerated as an acceptable alternative to atheism.
There's no doubt, though, Byrom's deep dive into atheist content didn't bring about the result Dawkins may have hoped for. Instead of serving as the sage atheist leading Byrom further and further from faith, the famed author served as something of an evangelist to the then-college student.
Asked how he came to believe in Jesus, Byrom quipped, "There's an extent to which you might have to blame YouTube."
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