Because the evangelical community celebrates and promotes conversion as an event, rather than a process. Though our personal experience must not define the exact paramaters for every conversion, the Spirit of God captured me over a period of time...I was 26, totally ignorant of the gospel, in jail, read a pretty-whacked book that led me to the Book...and in reading the Book I was convinced of the reality of the gospel and turned from sin and turned to the Savior.
Gasp...I didn't even pray "the prayer." I simply believed, trusted, clung to (and cling to) the gospel and the Lord Jesus.
Here's a snippet from early in the book:
"...spiritual birth, just like physical birth, is fundamentally a process. The delivery of the baby is an important event, but it is clearly understood to be the result of something that took place earlier followed by a season of gestation (pregnancy). Furthermore, the event of the delivery is not the end of the process but is just the beginning of a new chapter in life begun nine months earlier."
Jerry Bridges writes, "'Born again' is a common expression that few people understand. In a compelling way Stephen Smallman helps us understand that it is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. This book will prove profitable to all who read it."
I'm a confessing bookaholic. There are few books I reread.
This is one.
I urge you to read it.
And, if you order it from Amazon off the link below, your purchase will put a few pesos in the account of a home missionary...me!