The Christian Broadcasting Network

Browse Videos

Share Email

Agnostic Jew Becomes Joyful Christian

Internationally bestselling author, Andrew Klavan sits down with Scott Ross to discuss his transformation from agnostic Jew to faithful Christian, and God's hand in all of it. Read Transcript

Because I was unhappy as a child,

I became addicted to daydreams.

I became a real daydreamer.

And that really taught me how to write.

SCOTT ROSS: Bestselling author Andrew Klavan

grew up an angry young man.

That's probably why the characters in his books

are usually tough as nails and looking for answers.

Here you are, a Great Neck Jew, Great Neck as in Long Island,


Long Island, yep.

A Jewish background.

Were you religious?

Well we were raised in the religion.

We were taught, sent to Hebrew school,

we would celebrate Passover and Yom Kippur

and such certain holidays.

And we were bar mitzvahed.

But the weird thing about it was my parents really

didn't believe in God.

SCOTT ROSS: Learning rules about a God who didn't exist

made no sense to Andrew, so he threw himself into literature.

ANDREW KLAVAN: Because I didn't get along with my father,

I looked for male role models in fiction.

And I found them in the tough guy fiction

and in Hemingway and Raymond Chandler,

who had this great detective Philip Marlowe.

And I modeled myself after these guys.

And the more I read, the more I found

that Christianity was at the center of almost

every great story that I love.

We didn't have a New Testament in my house, right?

We were Jews.

So I went out and bought myself a New Testament

and started to read the gospel according to Luke, purely

as a piece of literature to find out what

everybody was talking about.

It convinced me that this figure of Jesus

was at the center of Western culture, which I loved.

And he was the center of all the books that I love.

And that was not a religious idea, that was a literary idea.

I didn't believe in it at all.

You were in a search for truth, though.

That was a thing in your gut that you were out

looking for truth.

And this was all part of that, but you didn't recognize it

then, right?


And that was one of the things that

bothered me about the kind of Judaism I was raised in.

Judaism is a beautiful religion, but when you empty it of God

it has no meaning.

And so that's been a very intense quest for me,

to make sure that the things I'm saying

have at least attempt to have a relationship with reality.

NARRATOR: Andrew's search for truth

made him realize that life didn't make sense

without the existence of God.

But he still had no connection to Him.

ANDREW KLAVAN: And so I began in my mind to actually believe

that there was a God.

But I didn't quite know it yet, there

was a little bit of a lack of communication.

And so what I did one day was I did an experiment.

I was reading a book, and this guy before he went to sleep

said a prayer.

And I thought, well if he can say a prayer

I can say a prayer too.

And it sort of seemed random at the moment.

It seemed like praying to a God who wasn't there,

but in my mind I already had come to believe.

And I said this three word prayer.

I said thank you Lord.

And I fell asleep.

And I woke up the next morning and truly everything

had changed.

I mean everything.

There was a new clarity to everything.

My heart was filled with gratitude.

I was experiencing a joy that had been there,

but had been locked away.

And suddenly knowing God opened me up

to my own experience of life.

And my prayers got longer and more elaborate,

and I would pray in my car and all this,

and it transformed my life.

And so one day I was driving in the Santa Barbara hills

and I said the same prayer to God again.

I said thank you Lord.

You've changed everything.

Now what can I do for you?

Like a voice, almost aloud, the words came into my mind--

now you should be baptized.



And I said out loud as I was driving,

I said you've got to be kidding me.

There's a prayer for you.

There's an answer I was not expecting, you know?


And it really did create tremendous problems.

A lot of anxiety in my mind.

My father was still alive, and even though he and I had never

gotten along we'd made a separate peace.

He was a good grandfather.

And you know, I didn't want to start that trouble.

I knew that would really explode.

So I really had to think to myself,

is this voice the voice of God or is it some kind of delusion?

Some kind of crazy idea that's come into my mind?

After five months of looking at it I thought, nope.

You know, this makes perfect sense.

I know exactly why I came to this decision now.

And so yeah, I really understood that that voice

was telling the truth.

Do you consider yourself a completed Jew?

What kind of Jew are you?

I don't like to use words like completed Jew, because I

know some Jews find it, you know, like they are incomplete.

They find it an insult. All I can say is for myself,

I never knew my Jewish self until I found Christ.

And I found my Jewish self in Him.

What's the pursuit now?

What's the dream now?

What's the vision now?

I want to remember people like me who are living in a world

where Atheism is the default setting.

Especially for people who consider themselves


I want to speak into that world that we're all

living in of broken people, of terrible violence,

terrible hatred, terrible sorrow and grief,

and speak of Jesus there.

You know?

Because God is God of the real world.

He's not God of a fantasy world where everything works out

for the best.

He's God of this world of trouble and pain.

And so I don't want to forget the people who are like I was,

sitting there thinking I don't know how to live.

If I can just like maybe put the next step in front of them.

You can't cross the river, you can't jump across the ocean,

you've got to take a step at a time.

And I think that if I can put a step in front

of people that would be great.

I would consider myself a very successful guy.


Related Podcasts | Do You Know Jesus? | Privacy Notice | Prayer Requests | Support CBN | Contact Us | Feedback
© 2012 Christian Broadcasting Network