Why I am not a Pantheist!

Pantheism is the belief that God and creation are one. God isn’t just present in creation. Everything that exists is God including you and me. When I was 17, I got a job working at a Greenhouse site taking care of plants. I worked there every summer until I moved to Portland to go to seminary. While, I worked there I got to know many people who held to a philosophy called New Age (This philosophy holds many Pantheistic beliefs). Whenever the topic of spirituality came up, one of my coworkers would claim, “There is no separation between us and God, we are God.”  While we had a great dialogue about the subject I knew that I could not agree with it. The following three reasons will illustrate why.

  1. It makes God impersonal

If it is true that the universe is God and God is the universe then that means that God is robbed of any individuality or person.  In order for a being to be personal it must have individuality. For example, creation as a whole is impersonal. Why? Because the whole universe is not an individual. On the contrary, my friends are personal because each one of them is an individual.

The Bible depicts God as being an individual that is very personal (James 4:8; Hebrews 12:8). God is so personal in fact that people throughout all cultures call him Abba Father (Romans 8:15). The idea of God being a personal God that wants a personal relationship with humans was a big factor that drew me to the Christian faith in the first place. It still draws me to pray to God today. Therefore a theology that robs God of his person is unacceptable to me not only Biblically but also personally.

  1. It contradicts what we see in nature and humanity

When we see the life on our planet, we see that every being that exists goes through a cycle of life. Creatures are born, they live for a while, and then they die.  This means that a part of God would essentially die every time a creature or plant dies. This hardly sounds like the God of Christianity which is depicted as being immutable (Psalm 90:2).

Moreover, in humanity, we not only see death we also see humans commit unspeakable acts of evil. If humans are God or at least are a part of God why do they do evil acts?  Many people who have pantheistic beliefs might respond that it is simply ignorance that leads to bad deeds. If humanity just would realize that they are God then they would treat others better and the world would be a better place.  But how could our ignorance so easily override our divinity? Moreover there were plenty of Egyptian rulers and Roman emperors who believed that they were divine but that did not stop them from committing many atrocities including torture and murder. A consistent pantheist would have to either say that evil and good are both involved in the divine or that absolute evil and good do not exist.

  1. It contradicts scripture

That is probably my top reason why I do not hold to a pantheistic worldview. In fact, the idea that we could be like God was the first lie that Satan ever told, “That you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen 2). The Bible tells us in the book of Romans that we are dead in our sins (Romans 5:6). This hardly is teaching we are God.

There are a couple of verses that some pantheists have pointed as evidence that humanity and/or nature is the same as God but they all fall short. The biggest one is John 14:12 which says, ”Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” The claim is that since Jesus said that his followers would go on to do all the things that Jesus did and more that means they are God. This logic fails for two reasons.  One, it completely ignores the context of the passage. In John 14, Jesus is giving his disciples some more teachings and warnings before he goes to the cross. He tells his disciples that he will be going away but will prepare a place for them in heaven (vs2-3). He then tells his disciples after being questioned that he is the only way to God (v 6). That directly contradicts the assurance that everyone is God. Two, the promise by Jesus that his disciples would do “greater things than these” was referring to his disciples actions on Earth not who they were. In the book of Acts, the disciples preaching led to 3,000 people coming to know Jesus in one day (Acts 2:41). That was more people then Jesus led while on earth in a year. But that does not mean that they were God. On the contrary, whenever the disciples were worshiped as God or a god they adamantly denied being such (example, Acts 10).

The second verse that is often pointed to as support for a Pantheistic perspective is Psalm 139:7-8 which says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”  This passage is not saying that everything is God but more affirming that God is present everywhere (which is the doctrine of Omni presence). God is present inside a rock, a person, and a mountain for example, but that does not make a rock or a person God any more than me being inside a library makes the library Benjamin.

I can see how believing that nature is divine could lead to an appreciation of the world as well as human beings as a whole. But one does not have to hold a pantheistic worldview to do that. The Bible tells us that “the heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1). The creation is a reflection of God’s handiwork because it comes from God. That alone should give us an awe and respect over creation. Also, because humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), every human deserves respect as well. Finally, because we are not God we need someone greater than us but similar to us to intervene for us to save us from our imperfections and sins. That person is Jesus Christ. In my last blog post in this series (Why I am a Christian) I will explain more about that. My next post will tackle the next worldview that I observed not only in my family but also in the general population in the 21st century: postmodernism.

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Why I am not a Naturalist

For those of you who read my last post, I will be responding to the four worldviews that I explained (Naturalism, Pantheism, Postmodernism, and Theism). This first post will be why I am not a Naturalist/ Atheist.  For information on what Naturalism is more specifically see my previous post “Worldviews.” Growing up, becoming an Atheist was not even a consideration. In fact, as early as I can remember, I was praying to God even before I became a Christian. The prayers I prayed I got from a movie, so I would not say I had a personal relationship with God at age 10, but I nevertheless was not an atheist or agnostic. I was later invited to church by a good friend of mine when I was 13, and as I learned more about God he revealed himself to me as a God who sent his Son to die for me, so that my sin could be forgiven and I could have a personal relationship with him. That drew me to the Christian faith and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 14. Since then, I researched other worldviews and belief systems including Naturalism/Atheism.  I also got to know some Atheists and Agnostics at my high school.  In College, Atheism was rare but I did have a philosophy professor who was an agnostic (someone who believes that God’s existence cannot be known) and a guy in my year who also was an agnostic. As I talked with people who held to a naturalistic worldview and as I researched about it, I saw that Naturalism, while it could give people freedom from moral accountability to a god was not ultimately fulfilling. In fact, I discovered that this worldview had numerous holes logically as well as emotionally. There are many reasons why I object to a Naturalistic worldview but I will explain my top four reasons. And these reasons are nothing new. They have been talked about by Christian apologists for centuries, I just happen to find that they are still to this day, good reasons for not holding a Naturalistic worldview.

  1. Atheism is illogical.

Imagine if I went to the beach and saw on the sand the words “Henry loves Esther” with a heart running through it. Now imagine if I told some friends near the beach that nobody wrote those words, that the process of erosion and the wind and water just happened to produce that message. What would they think of me? They probably would laugh at me and think I was joking at best or unintelligent at worst. They may not know who wrote that message in the sand but anyone would conclude that someone did, even if there were no footprints next to them.  Why? Because that message contains specific information that is not the random look that you would expect from wind and erosion. I believe that our Planet and the Universe are the same. Every life form has specific information that is in its DNA, information about how this life form is from its nose, eyes, blood type and its other features. Essentially DNA is God’s “message in the sand” that is left to us to discover; Darwinian Evolution, if it is true, does not disprove the idea of a designer but only shows the mechanism by which God produced the diversity of life. Everything we see in our manmade world whether it is our houses, cars, or streets, was designed and built by someone or a group.  When there are explosions they do not come uncaused from nothing, they are caused by someone or something. Why should the whole universe be an exception to this? Why can’t the whole universe have been caused by someone and designed by someone? Belief in the existence of God should be common sense and find an echo in every human heart. Paul understood this in Romans 1 when he said, The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20). According to Paul, there is no excuse not to believe in God because God’s fingerprints are all over creation. The mere presence of a physical universe points to a designer. We may not necessarily know who the designer is by looking at creation but it is easy to deduce that a designer exists.

  1. Atheism does not do justice to the reality of evil and suffering in the world

Many Naturalists may be surprised to hear me say that because the presence of evil and suffering is often viewed as being an air tight case against God. The argument goes as follows, if God is all good he would want to get rid of all evil in the world and if he was all powerful he would be able too. Since evil still exists an all good all powerful God cannot. But what if God has good reasons for permitting some evil to exist? What if God uses these evils to bring about an even greater good? The previous argument does not take these questions into consideration. Moreover, just because one cannot understand why God could allow evil and still be good does not mean that a good reason does not exist. Also, even if that argument is true it begs the question, is there any hope that there will be justice for the oppressors and hope for the oppressed? When I was in College, several professors of mine stressed the importance of establishing a “so what” in the paper. You could establish a great argument for the position you chose for the assignment, but if you do not explain the “so what” in the argument, the whole paper is not worth much.  I believe that Naturalists are making the same mistake in regards to the problem of evil. Even if that argument completely disproves the existence of an all-powerful, all good God it does not offer any hope of good triumphing over evil or for justice to be done for agents of oppression. In my last post in this series (Why I am a Christian Theist) I will write on why I think Christianity offers this hope more firmly than any other worldview. Needless to say, a Christian will have different things to say to someone who is suffering from an incurable disease than an Atheist will. Also, Atheism cannot even explain what good and evil mean because without an objective moral law giver (i.e. God) there is no such thing as absolute right and wrong only opinions.  Belief in God is not necessary to be moral, but God’s existence is necessary for objective morality to exist. When we say that an action is wrong for everyone, we are saying that that moral truth transcends humanity because if it did not it would only apply to the person issuing the moral truth and not all humans. If morality is objective and transcends humanity where does it come from? It must come from something or someone that transcends humanity. As a Christian I would call that someone who transcends humanity God. Why do you think that humanity as a whole has a general sense of right and wrong if a transcendent moral law giver had not given us a conscience that helped us with that? The existence of evil is then an argument for God’s existence more than it is an argument against his existence.

3. Science does not tell us everything

When I was a kid I remember loving science experiments. They were always cool and really helped me to see the natural world in action. As an adult, I still appreciate the scientific process and its contribution to humanity. But people with a Naturalistic worldview tend to appeal only to science to answer life’s biggest questions and that is where their mistake lies.  Science answers how the universe works but it does not answer why we are here, who we are, and what we are to do with our life. Those questions are best answered by philosophy, theology. Using science to answer those questions is like using the Bible to find out the genetics of a particular plant, it won’t work.

But isn’t Theism unscientific? It is true that Theism cannot be proved or disproved by the scientific method. There can be evidence for or against but it cannot be proven. On the other hand Naturalism (the belief that only the material universe exists) also cannot be proved or disproved by the scientific method. So, if Theism is unscientific due to the fact that it cannot be proven by science, Naturalism/Atheism would also have to be equally unscientific. You can be a great scientist regardless of what worldview you hold but your worldview will seek to answer questions that science simply is not designed to answer.

  1. Atheism at its core equals nihilism

Nihilism is the belief that there is ultimately no purpose and meaning to life. If God does not exist, then there is no meaning or purpose to life. You could be a mother Theresa or an Adolf Hitler and it would not make a lick of difference. You would die just like anyone else and you would end at death. Sure your actions would affect future generations but once those generations die and our planet dies, it would have been as if we never existed. None of our actions will have mattered. Lawrence Krauss, physicist and Atheist responded to this by saying that there is no need for absolute meaning and purpose to life because we can and should create our own meanings. The problem in this argument lies in when created meanings contradict. For example, a Christian may have a created meaning that his life is about encouraging more and more people to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. An Atheist may have the created meaning that his life is about convincing people to reject all religious belief.  What happens if these two people meet? Created meanings that contradict is what often leads to wars and conflict. To me, there needs to be a meaning and purpose to life that transcends humanity in order for there not just to be peace but also true meaning. Atheism does not offer that.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I will say that I can understand why some people might go for a Naturalistic worldview. It gives people the freedom to live and do whatever they want without any moral accountability from a creator. It also might give them relief, after all why do I need to worry about what my purpose is when I can make up any purpose I want to. However, Naturalism offers no hope in the midst of evil and suffering, it gives no ultimate meaning to our lives, it flies in the face of existing logic and evidence, and it ultimately misuses science. To me, these reasons far outweigh any potential freedom that might be gained in Atheism. Furthermore, I do not need to worry about my purpose because I know what my purpose is: to glorify God. And this is not a created meaning but an absolute and transcendent one. To me belief in God makes me love the beauty of the universe even more. You will hear more about nature in my next post called, “Why I am not a Pantheist.”

Worldviews

How do you explain evil and suffering? When you look at a beautiful sunset or see any other great spectacle in nature how do you see it? Do you see it as a product of design from a personal creator, do you see it as a product of random chance, or do you see it as an example of how the creation is actually God. How you look at these questions as well as anything else in the world is determined by your worldview.

What in the world is a worldview? It derives from the German word Weltanschauung, and refers to a system of beliefs that seek to answer questions about reality including God, the origin and destiny of mankind and the universe, the nature of truth and how it can be known, the nature of morality, what is wrong with the world, and how it can be fixed. According to theologian Norman Geizler, a worldview is like a pair of glasses that a person puts on and sees the world in. Below I will describe four different worldviews, each one is present in my family. In future posts I will describe my personal interaction with each worldview.

Naturalism

This worldview is held by all atheists, agnostics and existentialists. According to Naturalism, the only thing that exists, has existed, and ever will exist is the material/physical universe. There is no such thing as a soul or spirit or anything supernatural. Everything that occurs can be explained by natural causes.

For a Naturalist, mankind is no different than any other animal. Humans, like other living things, arose by chance through the random process of evolution as well as the entire universe. And just like any other animal, humans will one day be extinct.

Most Naturalists rely heavily on the scientific method to determine truth. Only that which can be proven by science or observed with the five senses can be trusted to be true. If there is something that cannot be proved or disproved by the scientific method, then it is rejected as false or superstitious (i.e. belief in God, fairies, unicorns, etc.).

While Naturalists do not have an absolute standard by which they judge morality, most agree that evil exists in the world. Many point to ignorance as the source of evil: either ignorance in the form of religion or just lack of education in general. The solution to the problem of evil is more education. If more people were educated in sound science instead of religious superstition, the world would be a better place, or so they say.

Pantheism

This view is held by New Age believers, some Buddhists, and Hindus. According to Pantheism, God and creation are one and have always existed. Some believe that there is some distinction between God and creation but even with those exceptions God may be greater than the universe but as the universe changes so does God.

Like Naturalists, Pantheists believe that there is no difference between humans and other animals. However, as previously mentioned, Pantheists do not deny the supernatural as Naturalists do, but they see both animals and humans as being God. They are all part of the one divine reality. Individuality is an illusion.

Unlike Naturalists, Pantheists place little stock in logical reasoning to gain truth. For them truth can only be experienced by being one with the divine. Any other source of truth is relative. Because God for them is impersonal, he does not provide absolute truth to human beings personally.

Pantheists are divided when it comes to moral values. Some believe that there is no distinction between good and evil. Others believe that as long as you do not hurt another human being or animal then the act is fine. Evil acts are the result of being ignorant of the divine within themselves. Once humans are more aware that they are really divine then evil no longer has any hold.

Postmodernism

Postmodernism is not just a worldview, it is also a philosophy. Because of this, one could hold to Postmodernism in conjunction with another worldview. According to Postmodernism, all reality is socially constructed. There is no such thing as absolute truth. Therefore an Atheist could claim that God does not exist and a Theist could claim the opposite yet the postmodernist would say that each claim is “true for them.”

Each individual postmodernist have their own beliefs regarding the origin of humans and their view of morality. But all Postmodernists agree that humans are almost completely socially conditioned. Nobody is autonomous or free from their society. From birth, society conditions them on what to believe about themselves, others, the universe, etc. Morality is also relative. The only absolute moral truths that exist are tolerance, the freedom to believe what you want, and the refusal to claim your own truth as somebody else’s truth.

For Postmodernists, the problem with humanity is that for most of human history, people have made absolute truth claims. People have claimed their religion is the only way or their god is the only god. This has been the cause of most wars throughout history. If everyone would just admit that their truth is not absolute, but only personal to them, the world would be a much better place.

Theism

Last but not least is the worldview of theism. This worldview is held by Jews, Christians, and Muslims with slight variations. In Theism, a personal God created the universe and everything in it. God and creation are distinct but God’s amazing creativity can be seen in nature. The study of science is designed therefore to figure out how God’s creation works.

While God created everyone, he created humans in his image. They were put in charge of God’s creation to care for it and were in direct relationship with him in the beginning. However, humans rebelled against God and chose to say, “My will be done” instead of “thy will be done,” and thus humans being became sinful both by choice and by nature.

That is the problem with humanity according to Christian Theism. It is not ignorance or absolute truth claims, it is sin. Because we have rebelled against God, we are separated from him. And if we die in our sinful condition, the sentence is death and we will be forever separated from God in hell. The way to fix this problem is not through more education, people will still be selfish anyway. It is not through realizing that we are divine because we are not. It is realizing that we are sinful in the first place that we need God. For God sent his only son to die in our place and take our punishment. All we have to do is admit we are sinful, believe in Jesus, and accept him as savior and Lord of our life. Once we do that, God sends the gift of the Holy Spirit which helps us to obey God’s commands and to live a moral life.

In Theism (in all three forms), truth is absolute. It is a reflection of the true lawgiver, i.e. God. If God says that something is wrong, then it is wrong regardless whether someone believes differently. For theists, this makes morality objective rather than subjective.

Truth can be known in primarily two ways: through revelation, and through the five senses. In revelation, we learn about what God is like and that is through prayer and reading the Bible (or in the Muslim view, the Koran). Using our five senses and the scientific method, humans can learn much about the universe. And since God created the universe, studying the physical world can teach us something about God.

Conclusion

If you have read this far I congratulate you for being a real trooper. In future posts I will explain my personal interactions with each worldview, and why I personally and logically do not believe in the first three worldviews. In my last post in this series, I will explain why I am a Christian Theist.

Who is Jesus? 1st Century vs 21st Century

Matthew 16:13 “Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”        

Because Jesus had not spoken plainly to the crowds it is understandable that there was some confusion as to who Jesus was.  Was He John the Baptist raised from the dead as Herod thought (Matt 15)? Many Jews also believed that the living breathing Elijah would return before the Messiah came. Was he Elijah? He certainly performed miracles in a similar way that Elijah did. Was Jesus really one of the prophets whom God brought back to announce destruction to the Romans?  Jesus’ own disciples might have also been confused. Could Jesus be the Messiah? If so, why are the Romans still here?

Jesus, therefore felt a need to clarify his identity, to the people who needed to know it the most, his disciples. The confession given by Peter on behalf of the other disciples is not the same as confessing that Obama is President of the United States, or that Tiger Woods is a great Golfer. While all these statements are true, they do not necessarily have a huge bearing in our lives. We will probably carry on with our lives in a similar way regardless who the great sport players are and who is our President. But if Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God is true, then He has much to say about how we conduct our lives and must be taken seriously,

There is just as much confusion as to who Jesus is today. Some think that Jesus was a pacifist, whose ultimate goal was to bring about peace on Earth. While Jesus certainly preached about peace (Matthew 5:8, Luke 6:27-36), that was not all he was about.  Some think Jesus was a feminist who wanted to liberate women from oppression. While He certainly did open the door for many women to follow Him (John 4), that is not all He did. He spoke about himself to men as well and chose 12 men to be his closest followers (Luke 6:12-13).

Some say that Jesus was just a great teacher but not the Son of God. Jesus certainly was a great teacher. But if it is true that is all he is, why did he claim to be the Son of God (John 3:16, Matt. 26: 63-65 etc.)? In the words of Atheist turned Christian C S Lewis,

You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

Other people see him as a new Age Spiritist or a Hindu mystic.  Both of these options are impossible since Jesus was a Jew and never claimed that everyone was God as New Age people often claim. Some say Jesus was a delusional person but if so how could He have impacted so many people in a positive way?

The people of the first century have more excuses then we do of not knowing who Jesus is. While they did have access to the Old Testament Prophecies, the New Testament has not been written yet, and Jesus had kept his identity silent to the masses. However, there should be no confusion today who Jesus was. You want to know who Jesus is, read the Bible! Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (For more info on the reliability of the Gospels as historical documents see my previous article on the four Gospels). In all of these documents and from historical witness, Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, the only way to have forgiveness of your sins and to come into a relationship with Him. Either Jesus’ claims about Himself are true or they are not.

At the beginning of this article, I quoted Matthew 16:13-16. If Jesus had existed in the 21st century here is how I think the conversation would have gone.

“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say that you are just a great teacher, others say that you are a pacifist, and some say you are a New Age Spiritist or delusional.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 

While the misconceptions are different in this century than in Jesus’ day, the true answer is the same, “You are Christ, Son of the living God.”

How do you respond to this claim?

 

Why 4 Gospels?

The leaders of my life group at Gateway Church gave me the honor of teaching a series. As I loved studying the Gospels and knowing it is rare that churches study the Gospels individually, I recommended that we go through the Gospels, one week each. The leaders approved, and the series has been a joy so far. As I have been preparing for the series, I started to wonder, why are the 4 Gospels instead of one? One Gospel, will often repeat what was already said in another one. Certainly, it would be much easier if God combined all 4 into one Gospel.

God certainly could have inspired just one Gospel if he chose. There are many people in scripture where there is only one account of him or her. For example, there is only one account of the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), there is only one version in the cannon about the birth of the church (the book of Acts), and none of the OT prophets have multiple books covering their prophetic ministry (there is a little bit in the Kings of Isaiah but not to the extent of what is covered in the book of Isaiah). 

I think the answer to this question can be found by looking at the Gospels individually.  The Gospel of Mark, depicts Jesus as a suffering servant who has come to serve others and give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Matthew sets out to show that Jesus is the new Moses, the King, and the Messiah who fulfills Old Testament prophecies (Matthew 5:17-20). Luke, on the other hand, depicts Jesus as the great physician who is compassionate and who’s goal is to save the world, not just Jews (Luke 4:18-19, 3:23-38). Finally, John depicts Jesus as the incarnate God, who became flesh so that man could have eternal life with him (John 1:1, 14, 3:16). 

All of these depictions from the 4 Gospels are complementary, not contradictory, but why not put them all in one book? While I would never claim to know exactly why God decided to inspire 4 Gospels, I will bring to mind a possible reason. I think that God knew that if he put all 4 of those emphases in one Gospel, we would not notice the themes as well. All 4 images of Jesus would be jumbled in the text as well as in our minds. By inspiring 4 Gospels, and by having each author talk about different sides of Jesus, it insures that each aspect of who Jesus is will stand out. If all 4 points of view were put into one book, we would not be able to notice them as much. And since we are dealing with Jesus who is the central figure of the Christian faith, it is essential that we understand who Jesus is as best we can so we can follow him better. By reading just Mark, we can see the suffering servant depiction clearly, and in Matthew the Messianic Kingship and so on.

Another related question is, why only 4? There were at least 20 Gospels floating around that could have been included in the canon. The answer to this question is a little easier and there are 5 reasons; 1: the other 16 gospels are Gnostic in origin and have many heretical teachings that were inconsistent with what the church already knew about Jesus, 2: these other gospels also written much latter, the earliest of which was written in the middle of the second century, 3: The 4 canonical Gospels are based on eyewitness testimony. Matthew and John were written by the apostle Matthew and the apostles John and Mark and Luke were mentored under the apostles. 4: The 4 canonical Gospels are much more consistent with what the early church already knew about Jesus and with each other. 5: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, were written in the same century that Jesus lived and thus much earlier and closer to the events than the other gospels. 

Knowing this, and having read the 4 Gospels myself, I am confident that God intended for 4 and only 4 Gospels to be in the canon. The message is the same in all 4, he is the hope and savior of the world, and we must turn to him to be saved. For those who come to him, he gives eternal life so that we can have a relationship with him and serve him (John 1:12, 3:16, Mark 10:43). There is no higher calling and no more undeserved privilege then to serve and be in relationship with the creator of the universe.

About me

Welcome to my blog. I am very happy that you have decided to stop by in the midst of your busy schedule.  A little bit about me, I grew up in Lexington KY and became a Christian at age 14. Since then I have been studying the Bible and praying to God to learn more about him. I studied apologetics so that I could be equipped to answer objections to the Christian faith. When I was 16, God led me to preach my first sermon in church, and since then I have felt that God has called me to some form of ministry to serve him.  As I got to College age I grew  more interested in the Bible and how Christianity compared to other religions. As a result, I went to College and majored in Religion with a focus on World Religions. I also was a communication major.  During the 4 years in College (Berea College) I had a lot of ministry opportunities and met and befriended many people. But I also had a lot of trial and hardship.  However, both have made me stronger in the Lord. I enrolled at Mutlnomah Biblical Seminary in the Fall of 2010. While I was in seminary I not only learned more about the Bible, I also met my future wife Rebekah and we got married on December 15, 2012. Today I am about to graduate from Multnomah with my M Div in Theological studies.   I can’t wait to see how God  will use me and those around me as I leave seminary and pursue vocational ministry or a secular job.

This blog will be my reflections on Biblical, theological, political, and apologetic issues.  Some will be academic, some will be more personal, and some will be articles from others that I find intriguing. Regardless, all of my posts are designed to start conversations and open minds and hearts. Feel free not only to read my posts but also comment. I only ask that you keep your comments civil and respectful. You do not have to agree with each other you don’t even have to agree with me, but please show respect to your brothers and sisters as fellow image bearers (Genesis 1:27).

Finally I would encourage you to look into the life of Jesus if you have not already. He was not only the most compassionate person who ever lived, he died for all of us so that we could have the opportunity to know God personally (John 3:16).  Since I gave my life to Christ, God has guided and transformed me to be more like Christ even in changing the way of my thinking (Romans 12:2). I still have a long way to go, that is why I do want your impute on any of my posts.

Enjoy the blog and if there is a topic or an issue that I have not addressed that you will like to be posted, please let me know.