Greg Viehman explains his transition from atheism to Christianity.
Viehman’s background is in medicine. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Delaware. He attended medical school at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated top in his class. He completed an Internship in Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Viehman completed his fellowship in skin cancer surgery at Duke and co-founded the Cary Skin Center in Cary where he worked from 1998 to 2008. He is now in solo private practice at SeaCoast Skin Surgery in Wilmington, NC. He has further lectured nationally on dermatologic surgery and authored several published scientific research articles (1). This is his story (2).
Viehman’s testimony begins in his pursuit for life’s materialistic pleasures,
“I was going from one thing to the next. So I would buy a new car and when that didn’t do it I’d go out and buy new clothes, or take a trip. And then I went through hobbies. I did triathlons, I did running, I took up wine as a hobby, and on and on the list goes.”
Viehman thought he had achieved everything he needed for happiness. He emphasized his successful career, although he began to feel the lifestyle was never enough,
“It was a combination of you’re sad, you’re empty, and at the same time you’re kind of angry and frustrated because you’re thinking, “Well why?” “What’s wrong with me?” “Why aren’t I fulfilled?” Why don’t I feel I have achieved what I’d worked my whole life for?” So, you’re embarrassed, you’re not going to tell anyone so you keep it inside. Then what you end up doing is you end up taking it out on other people.” According to his wife, Ruth, “He was good but he had a short fuse, he was arrogant, he was always right, he’s the type of person [that is] his own person, he’s the boss. He always did well his whole life, he was always number one at everything.”
One day Viehman became annoyed at his Christian neighbors and this motivated him to obtain a Bible: “I am going to get a Bible and I’m going to prove to them that they’re not practicing what they preach.”
Viehman found that things started to change as he learned about Jesus,
“I realized that Jesus was claiming to be God in the flesh, the God man on Earth and I’d never heard that before. So that quickly got my attention because I realized if it did happen then it was the most important event in human history and if it didn’t happen then it was just a religious fairytale that someone made up. So, I forgot about the neighbors and wanted to find out if this really happened.”
Since the author of the Gospel of Luke shows traces of him being a doctor, Viehman felt he had arrived upon common ground: “I really got interested when I heard Luke’s prologue where he says he checked everything out because he’s a doctor and doctors would normally disprove miracles, not authenticate them.”
Ruth, Viehman’s wife, was already a Christian and she tells how her husband’s irreligiosity caused her significant concern,
“I was worried about his salvation. I would tell my friends at the Bible study that I was worried about Greg. He’s never going to accept the Lord, and when I told Greg that there is a place called hell and it’s real, and if you don’t believe you might go there. And I was praying for him, I really was. It got to a point where I gave up, I was like “God you really got to do something.””
Motivated by his Christian neighbors to read the Bible, Viehman realized that Christianity stood or fell on one the resurrection of Jesus. He wanted to reject it,
“I started to look for every possible explanation that would say it didn’t happen. Maybe Jesus didn’t die, well that wasn’t true even in the Journal of the American Medical Association doctors had concluded that Jesus definitely died. Maybe the apostles stole the body, maybe they were seeing hallucinations; [there were] all these different theories but none of them were credible, none of them made sense. The only explanation from the historical facts was that the tomb was empty and he actually rose.”
The Apostle Paul, an early hostile convert to Christianity after a resurrection experience of Jesus, proved a compelling piece of evidence to Viehman in the larger evidential case for the resurrection,
“The real thing that got me was the apostle Paul because here’s a guy who’s Jewish, he’s killing Christians, he has nothing to gain so what in the world made this guy go and be the greatest evangelist ever? There was only one explanation and that was that he saw the risen Lord Jesus Christ. When I looked at the resurrection, looked at the evidence of these guys and their changed lives I said: I have to believe it.”
During this time of searching, Viehman had a patient unexpectedly ask him if he had “accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal saviour?” According to Viehman,
“I just about passed out, I wasn’t expecting that, and all this other stuff was happening at the same time. So, I was like, how does he know? Why is he asking me this? Who is this guy? And I kind of just bolted out of the room saying I’d be right back because I didn’t know what to do.”
Viehman then engaged in self-reflection thinking he needed to turn his life around,
“There were things in my life that I wanted to change [such as] the anger, the frustration, but that I didn’t have the power to change. And so it all kind of culminated and I broke down crying and asking God to forgive me, and basically just kind of repented of my sins, and asked him to change me. I wanted to live a new life.”
The next morning, Viehman noticed something was very different,
“I was just like completely peaceful, I wasn’t frustrated, I wasn’t feeling angry, I felt content for no reason, so I expected everything to dissipate and go back but as I began to live out the day I realized, heck, there’s something really different. So, if I was different and feeling completely different, I had to have been changed or something in my biochemistry of my body had to be changed. Maybe somehow my antihistamine got switched out for something like valium. So I went and checked my medicines and of course that wasn’t it.”
According to Viehman, the Bible answered his question as to why he felt so different,
“Basically what it said in there [Romans 6] is that when you become a believer and get saved and the Holy Spirit comes into you, which was something I was completely unaware of, that the old person who you were somehow dies. I then cross-referenced that to Galatians 5:22 which talks about how the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and I’m like hey that’s it! That’s how I feel, I got that list!”
Viehman then told his wife Ruth what happened. Ruth saw her husband’s new faith as “a miracle” since she did not “ever think that Greg could change. He was suddenly concerned about other people which shocked me.”
Viehman made it his personal mission to search for the patient who had asked him that unexpected question,
“The problem was his name wasn’t on the schedule anymore. It was handwritten in ink and I knew exactly what it was and it’s not there. I checked for the whole month and the guy basically wasn’t there. His record was completely gone, there was no evidence that he ever came into the office.”
The resurrection of Jesus is true and this caused major changes in Viehman’s life: “I would say that since the day I was saved I’ve never felt alone, I’ve never felt empty, I’ve never felt all that discontentment and stuff.” Ruth says it “feel[s] like I’m married to a different person. I feel like my old husband is not around anymore and I’ve got this new husband who’s awesome.”
Viehman wants to leave the readers of his testimony with these final words,
“Every other religion is man seeking God. Christianity is God seeking man. There’s a real test for Christianity, you call on Christ [and] he won’t just forgive you for your sins but he’s going to change you right now that so you know that it is true. And that’s a big difference.”
1. The God Diagnosis. Available.
2. YouTube (OTG Ministry). Atheist Doctor Converts to Christianity – Amazing Testimonial. Available.