Members Interview: David Dowdy

Dowdy and PlantingaHere at Revolution Church I have the privilege of serving and working alongside a number of godly young men and women. This week I took time to interview one of our young guys. David Dowdy has a great testimony of God’s amazing grace, and I am so proud of him and how he has grown over this last year. The photo here is also a personal favorite of mine as it shows a typical Dowdy standing with the esteemed Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga.

1. Tell us your name and how you became a Christian. My name is David Dowdy and I’m an ex-atheist turned Christian. I grew up in a Christian home and did the whole “church thing” for most of my life.  I went to church, youth groups, Bible studies and played in worship bands. By most standards I was a solid Christian and followed most of the “rules” well but deep down I really didn’t know why I was doing any of it. I just felt it was the right thing to do because it’s all that I’d known for my whole life.

My faith began to become shaky my senior year of high school. I had begun to start questioning the validity of theism and, as a result, began to disregard what the Bible teaches. Over the next six months or so I started experimenting with sex, “soft” drugs and alcohol.  During this time my questioning grew more and my apathy toward Christianity grew with it. By the time summer came the following year I had declared myself an atheist and grew to hate Christianity and Christians. I felt that I had been lied to my entire life and that religion was just a primitive way to keep people from acting up and society no longer needed it.

I moved away to college that fall and grew in my hatred and intolerance of Christianity. While at school all I did was drink alcohol, smoke marijuana and sleep with as many women as I could. At first, this life was satisfying and fun but eventually I became depressed. These things were supposed to be what my life was missing. I was having sex, partying and getting scholarships for playing music for the university. I also was carrying a 3.0 GPA and had more friends than I could count. By worldly standards my life was awesome and I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing: getting an education and having fun while doing it. Deep down, when I was alone and honest with myself, I hated my life and nothing brought me peace. I felt like I was alone in the world and that there was no reason for me to be alive. My goal for life was to party as much as possible, sleep with as many women as possible, make as much money as possible and then die. This worldview was hugely unsatisfying so I began to rethink my atheism. I started talking to friends that I used to go to church with and I found that, when we would debate, many of my arguments had major holes in them. My philosophies would often crumble when pushed back on and I would be left speechless, answerless and even more depressed. I didn’t know what to believe so I started reconsidering Christianity.

My conversion wasn’t an emotion filled sob-fest. It was a blind act of faith. I remember praying something like, “God I’m not even sure if you exist, but following Jesus Christ makes more sense than anything else that I’ve tried or heard of. I’m not even sure if I’m just praying to the air. So, please, show me that you’re real so that I can know that I’m not just doing this to make myself feel better about life and death.  God, I’m asking you to forgive me and help me to follow your Son’s teaching”.  This wasn’t exactly the Sinner’s Prayer but it was what I said to God and he forgave me for all my sin and has shown me that he is indeed real. God has used my former atheism and conversion to stand as a testimony to his mercy and patience. I cannot express how grateful I am for mercy and forgiveness. Glory to God alone.

2. How has Revolution been helpful in your own personal spiritual growth? Revolution has been insanely helpful in my spiritual growth. Meeting with Matt and Dave to discuss discipleship and theology on a regular basis is something that you can’t find at most churches. Playing in a theologically sound worship band has also helped me realize that worshipping God is why I was created and that corporate worship is, second to teaching, the most important thing that goes on in the church. Service ministries like the Revolution House and Free Market have also helped me to realize that Jesus Christ calls his people to do more than learn and worship. Those ministries have helped me to understand that we must put movement to our knowledge and actually SERVE the people in our communities in the name of Jesus Christ, because faith without works is dead.

3. Tell us about Shook Like Dead Men and what it has meant to you. Shook Like Dead Men is a band that me and few other guys from Revolution play in. We play Christ-centered hardcore music and proclaim the Gospel from the stage. We do our best to show love and spread the Truth to people who most likely wouldn’t go to church or be received in traditional “Christian environments”. We also try to have doctrinally sound lyrics and teach people fundamental truths about Christianity through our music. This band is a ministry first and has kept me continually learning and studying the Bible so that I can accurately minister to non-believers and believers alike that I meet at shows. It has also served as phenomenal accountability group to me and the other guys in the band. Meeting multiple times a week to worship, write music and discuss our accomplishments and failures is something that I am beyond thankful for.

4. What are some areas of future study and/or Christian growth that you are focusing on this year? This year I want to study more of the Old Testament so I can better understand the New Testament’s content in context. I also want to read more about the history of the Church and different sermons and books by Reformed theologians.

5. What are your future plans? My primary future goal is to preach within the next few years. I want to study and get to a point where I’m learned enough to accurately tell people what the Bible says and what God expects of his people in a way that is culturally relevant to my generation. I also hope to go on more tours with Shook Like Dead Men and grow our number of fans so we can proclaim the Gospel to a larger audience. Other than that I guess my plans for the future are fairly normal for a twenty-one year old. Things like moving out of my parent’s house, getting married and what not. On the other hand my mom makes some awesome food, so maybe I’ll just live with her until I’m sixty or something.

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