Andrew Kole (b. 1936) is one of the most well-known illusionists in the world and was challenged to investigate the validity of the miracles of Jesus Christ from a magician’s point of view. Kole identified as a skeptic of the Christian religion but his investigations soon convinced him that Christ was really his savior.
The Field of Magic
In the area of magic, Kole has a reputation. He has been named “Inventor of the Decade” by the International Magicians Society and has been awarded by The Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood (1). This occupation has also required him to travel, and to date, he has flown to 79 countries (2). Millions of viewers have witnessed Kole perform live given his performances have aired in over 40 countries. Kole has also spent more than 20 years investigating psychic phenomena and controversial mysteries.
Magic and the Bible
In a rather unique essay titled Magic and the Bible (3), Kole says that he was about 25 years old when he “was challenged as a magician and as a skeptic to examine the miracles of Christ from a magician’s point of view.” However, “In making this investigation,” explains Kole,
“I not only discovered that Jesus Christ had to be Who He claimed to be – the Son of God and the Savior of the world; but I also discovered that He is the “magic” ingredient Who really makes life worth living.”
Central to his essay was the question of whether or not his occupation as a magician is unbiblical. Although such a question would be one of great debate between Christians, Kole wishes to use his abilities to draw people to Christ,
“Since that time, in my performances throughout the world I have used my talent not just to entertain people but to share my deep personal faith in Christ… [this presents] the Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit in such an attractive and meaningful manner that people will be drawn to Him”(4).
According to Kole’s own website, his efforts have thus far been worthwhile. For more than 30 years, he has shared this personal experience with audiences on five continents, seeing an average of over 100 decisions for Christ a night (5).
“Over the years thousands have prayed to receive Christ through this outreach, and I have never heard of one person who has turned to the occult or other practices condemned by Scripture as a result of witnessing my performances; however, on the contrary, I do know of hundreds who have turned away from manmade or satanically influenced practices to Christ.”
Kole’s Skeptical Approach
Kole’s story is unique in a context in which a number of illusionists have made it their hobby to investigate the paranormal and supernatural as a means to expose them for their illegitimacy. Some illusionists have in fact been among the harshest of skeptics contending that if one were to examine the supernatural for long enough she would discover it to be little more than a trick. Kole is aware of this,
“when someone arises on the scene that claims to possess some type of supernatural power, it is usually the professional magicians who are the first to investigate these claims in order to expose those who would benefit at the expense of others by laying claim to these powers” (6).
Kole’s intent to study the miracles of the Bible in order to expose them as magic tricks but to then arrive at conclusions contrary to these presuppositions is indeed fascinating. Kole says that in his,
“particular case I do use my art to entertain people for their momentary pleasure. But when my audience goes home, they not only have their watches and pocketbooks, but they also leave with the truth that the God of the Bible is still alive, the same today as yesterday, and He offers them abundant life and love for now and eternity through Jesus Christ.”
1. Inside Magic. 2004. Andre Kole’s Mission of Magic. Available.
2. Andre Kole Ministry. Biography. Available.
3. Koles, A. Magic and the Bible. Available.
4. Koles, A. Ibid.
5. Koles, A. Ibid.
6. Koles, A. Ibid.