Step Into The Story Podcast

Carolyn Weber on Being Surprised by Jesus

Carolyn Weber arrived at Oxford University skeptical of anything related to organized religion. Though she was studying world religions at the time, she couldn’t buy into the idea of a loving God. After all, her own father had never been a constant presence in her life. Why should her Heavenly Father be any different?

When she began attending Oxford, perhaps the world’s most famous gathering place for intellectuals, the last thing she ever imagined was finding God. And yet, that’s exactly where God met her.

This is the story Carolyn tells in her memoir, Surprised by Oxford. Now, that story is being made into a feature film by Ryan Whitaker, son of Michael W. Smith.

As she looks back on that young girl moving to England, Carolyn sees that her heart was yearning for something greater. “I was definitely longing for something,” she explains, “but I didn’t have a concept or a name for it. It was as I arrived at Oxford, thinking that I was going to have this packaged up life, I realized as I started studying religions and meeting Christians and having these dynamic conversations that the longing was really growing and getting more of my attention.”

Curious about the things her Christian friends were saying, Carolyn snuck into a nearby church and picked up a Bible. What she found was not what she expected: “It was a beautiful work of art. It was the best creative non-fiction I’d ever read. But it was also life-changing.”

On this episode of STEP INTO THE STORY, hear how Jesus met Carolyn in the most unlikely of places and transformed her life forever.

Carolyn Weber is currently a professor at New College Franklin. She has had an illustrious teaching career, serving on faculty at Oxford, Seattle University, University of San Francisco, Westmont College, and others. She was also the first female dean of St. Peters College, Oxford. Her other books include Holy Is the Day and Sex and the City of God.

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