Cristie Johnston interviews Nabeel Qureshi

Nabeel Quershi is the author of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. It is his personal story where he transitioned from a committed Muslim to a follower of Jesus Christ. The book has made quite an impact. Nabeel has now moved to Houston, Texas to receive treatment for Stage IV stomach cancer. Detractors have made the outlandish statement that Nabeel’s cancer diagnosis is due to Allah’s revenge. Unthinkable that people could be so brazen. How does Nabeel respond? What are his thoughts? He is both a father and a husband. Cristie Johnston sat down for one hour and filmed with Quershi asking questions why he disaffiliated from Islam. Interestingly, both Christianity and Islam in North America is experiencing disaffiliation – the phenomenon known as “nones.” Ayaan Hirsi Ali told delegates at the American Atheist Convention, where we were filming, that atheists needed to turn their attention away from “Christians” and focus on radical Islamists.

To secularists, religion is “dangerous.” If you watch Bill Maher or listen to Sam Harris, you are left with the impression that Christians don’t know how to critically think. If we asked professing believers in Christ “critical questions” regarding their faith could they answer? People today query, “Is Jesus the only way to God, the only way to heaven?” Barna research indicates that a significant percentage of Christians, when polled, say there are multiple paths to eternal life.

We remember Nabeel, and his family, in our thoughts and prayers and ask you do to the same. Our documentary journey has taken us throughout the world and impacted us in many ways. Nabeel’s present challenge is no exception.

Cristie Jo: Recently you were diagnosed with stage 4-stomach cancer. What’s your prognosis and how has it impacted your faith?

Nabeel: They didn’t know what stage it was. So I thought, “Ok, this is at least 70%.” Then I had to come back in to get staged. Then later that week on Thursday they said, “This is at least stage 3,” and that meant my survival rate was at best 20%. And then they said, “Come in the next day and we’ll determine whether or not this is stage 4.” And I came back in the next day, and they did a scan and they said “In fact this has metastasized, uh, this is stage 4- stomach cancer,” which has a survival rate of 4%. Um and so you know 90%, 70%, even 20%, you can think, “I can beat the odds. I can do this. I can do this.” But when they come back and say you
have a 4% chance of surviving, you really don’t walk away thinking, “I can do this.” You walk away thinking, “I need miracle.” But here’s the thing—our God exists. Our God is real, and he is a miracle-working God.

Our documentary journey continues. Soon Cristie Johnston and I will film extended interviews with noted atheist Richard Dawkins and Richard Swinburne, a British philosopher. Swinburne is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. Over the last 50 years Swinburne has been an influential proponent of philosophical arguments for the existence of God. You could not meet any more polar opposites that those two people. Stay with us on the journey. Soon we will be filming extended interviews in Oxford, England, with noted atheist Richard Dawkins and Richard Swinburne. You could not find any more polar opposites than these two men.

Read more about Nabeel Quershi at

Researchers, Drs. Jerry and Cristie Jo Johnston, are Executive Producing a quick-paced film via trans continental, staccato interviews documenting the shocking rise of the non-religious.

Jerry & Cristie Johnston Interview Frank Schaeffer … A Self-Described Atheist Who Prays?

We learned something interesting in our two-hour filmed interview with self-identified atheist Frank Schaeffer, son of the late theologian Francis Schaeffer. Frank told us that he prays.

FRANK SCHAEFFER:  “When I pray in the morning when I get up; when I use the words ‘Jesus’, and ‘Christ’, and ‘God’, and all these other things that I was raised with.  And you say to me, ‘Then, why do you use that?’  And I have a real answer for you – although you didn’t ask it.  ‘Because I was raised that way.  You got a problem with that?  That’s who I am.’  And somebody else is somebody else.  But rather than reach for some intellectual explanation like, this is right and everybody else is wrong; or this is the truth; or I put it correctly – I just simply say, ‘You know, at this stage of my life, as a 64 year old, I’m ready to admit that I’m who I am because I was raised that way, because my life experience points in that direction.’  But what I’m very, very certain about is that I’ll never be a None, any more than I’ll be an Evangelical again, because I embrace the fact of paradox itself, which is past explanation.”

That is a bit of a mind-bender. Perhaps, if you can understand ‘paradox’ you may be able to discern Frank’s statement.   While there may be a Nones phenomenon proliferating in America of adults disaffiliating with the organized church or religion, there is no shortage of people who pray.

Only a small percentage of nones are atheists. Indeed, the majority has an interest in some form of spirituality. The current $2.8MM Templeton Foundation research grant, Understanding Unbelief, is a three-year scholarly study profiling nones. Who exactly are they? What is their ethnicity? Why are they leaving? Why do a significant percentage of nones pray. It will be fascinating research.

The late sociologist-novelist-priest, Andrew M. Greeley, in his research center, claimed 78 percent of Americans pray, more than half (57 percent) daily, and that 1 in 5 atheists still pray daily! Since Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440, Google Books claims 129,864,880 books have been authored and published. Did you know that the topic of prayer is one of the most popular topics – over 2,000 different published works on prayer?

After enduring WWII and becoming President, Eisenhower commented to Senator Carlson regarding the White House, ‘Frank, this is the loneliest house I’ve ever been in.’ President Reagan later retelling the story indicated Senator Carlson replied, “Mr. President, I think this may be the right time for you to come and meet with our prayer group. And Eisenhower did just that. In 1953 he attended the first combined prayer breakfast.” History repeated itself today at the Sheraton in Washington, D.C.

What is it about prayer that engages people?


Researchers, Drs. Jerry and Cristie Jo Johnston, are Executive Producing a quick-paced film via trans continental, staccato interviews documenting the shocking rise of the non-religious.

Jerry & Cristie Johnston Interview J. P. Moreland

In our high tech, digital world, do we take the time to think seriously? Are we asking and answering the deeper questions? As we reach for our iPhone every 10 minutes, according to a recent report, when are the moments we drill down deeper about the issues of life and eternity? Are contemporary sermons too shallow? Do we live too much in the area of the euphoria of our faith always subjective to feelings-of-the-moment while suffering from our lack of cognition? Seminar sermons, skyscraper sermons (one story upon another) are giving indication of insufficiency. One in three Millennials has disaffiliated from the church. How can we begin to calculate the future religiosity of the “postmillennial” cohort that now number more than 60 million people? These kids and teens have no concept of life without the Internet and have been called the App Generation and Generation Z.

The Best Schools recently named “The 50 Most Influential Living Philosophers,” and evangelical J. P. Moreland made the list along with Simon Blackburn, Daniel Dennettand others. So Cristie and I flew to Los Angeles and drove to Moreland’s home in Yorba Linda, California for a fascinating filmed interview. When I asked J.P. how he felt about the condition of the contemporary church, he responded, “It makes me sad.”

J.P. Moreland’s background is spread across multiple disciplines: B.S. in chemistry from the University of Missouri; M.A. in philosophy from the University of California, Riverside; and a Th.M in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary prior to earning his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Southern California in 1985. He currently holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University in La Miranda California and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Center on Culture and Civil Society at the Independent Institute. Moreland’s work combines metaphysics, philosophy of mind, chemistry, and theology, and he is known for his defense of the existence of God and the supernatural.

J.P. MORELAND: “In fact, Os Guinness wrote a book a few years ago called The Gravedigger File, where he made the point that some of the very tools the church was using to gain short term success, by making its message easy to understand and making things comfortable for people, ultimately became the church’s gravedigger over the long haul.  And you cannot have a flourishing church if you don’t have Christians valuing learning why they believe what they believe and being able to graciously, without being angry, to speak and dialogue about those in the public square.”

Researchers, Drs. Jerry and Cristie Jo Johnston, are Executive Producing a quick-paced film via trans continental, staccato interviews documenting the shocking rise of the non-religious.