Lately I have been thinking: how did I get here? Ten years ago I was fervent convert to Roman Catholicism (la fuerza católica, one college friend labelled me on his AIM buddy list). Fifteen years ago, I was a sort of spiritual seeker. Twenty years ago, I was a fervent “born-again” Christian who thought that literally signing a contract could grant you eternal salvation. In fact, I have been baptized three times into what people consider the three major “branches” of Christianity: Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy.*
“The Three Baptisms of John Martin” is a title that has been echoing within me for some time. Yes, this the beginning of a conversion story. I don’t usually read conversion stories, and the only such narrative which sticks in my mind (and which I unequivocally recommend) is St. Augustine’s Confessions. However, I recognize that the conversion narrative can serve as a powerful witness, and St. Augustine provides both the prototype and potential of the format. I am wary of writing my own story, first because I am reluctant to share to the online public some details of my private life which were instrumental to my conversion(s), and second because of the narrative fallacy. Nevertheless, I will begin my story tomorrow with my apocalyptic childhood.
* Before you cry “heretic!” dear reader, I am not an adherent of the branch theory and am using the term in the conventional sense.