No, not for any of the reasons you think. It’s not so much that he found God, but rather, he found what Jesus finds:
The people who challenged my atheism most weren’t priests, but homeless addicts and prostitutes.
Anyone familiar with down-and-outers will recognize the scenes he describes. Because—contrary to what materialists claim—desperation brings out the animal in some but the stifled saint in others. Call it the refiner’s fire at work if you like.
And there’s this too: When the physicist was a rising young ass working a summer job with laborers,
Preacher Man would question me, “What do you believe in?” I would decline to engage, out of politeness. He pressed me. Finally I broke,
I am an atheist. I don’t believe in a God. I don’t think the world is only 5,000 years old, I don’t think Cain and Abel married their sisters!
Preacher Man’s eyes narrowed. He pointed at me, “You are an APE-IEST. An APE-IEST. You going to lead a life of sin and end in hell.”
He has that preacher and the down-and-outers he later encountered to thank if he doesn’t.
Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose