I live in the USA some distance down the road from where I took the picture above. I study philosophy and Christian apologetics, and I’m interested in cultural issues as they relate to ideas and belief systems. I have completed three graduate programs, totaling an M.Ed. and an MA in apologetics and philosophy from Southern Evangelical Seminary. I work with a college apologetics ministry called Ratio Christi (www.ratiochristi.org). My career is in technical job skills training.
I was always interested in what others believed and what separated one group from another. The closest people I ever had for mentors were a couple of radio folks, Walter Martin, who was an expert in cults, and J. Vernon McGee, who set me on a path of verse-by-verse bible study. The graduate education has given me the tools to understand most of the conversations that go on in theological and philosophical circles, even if I’m not equipped to always join in the discussions.
Since studying at SES, I’ve learned that the philosophical underpinnings have vanished from most Christian theologians and pastors, and certainly have been lost in most churches and believers. The theology and philosophy of Thomas Aquinas provides the foundation for explaining the truths of the Bible to a secular world. Thomas thought through and answered many of the modern questions that are being discussed today in academic circles, and provides answers for the thinking person who is interested in questions of faith.
Evangelical protestant Thomists are not common, but here I am. I believe in the historic theology, reject the divisions over peripheral issues, dislike legalism, will go to the mat for the essential doctrines, and I believe a combination of philosophy, Bible teaching, and shoe leather (not necessarily in that order) can get us out of the current mess that the church is in, which has contributed to the mess the culture is in.
Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. As such, the basis for the faith is the object of the faith, Jesus. But it is also a faith for thinking people, for God invites us to reason with Him, and provides just enough in His Word for the simple person to have something to hang on to, yet He also provides enough information for the most advanced thinkers to spend their lives growing in the sacred romance.
Somewhere in between are the rest of us. In our most quiet and secret moments, we all know that what we believe now will impact our eternal destiny. I urge everyone to stop, turn off the TV and the phone, and spend an afternoon pondering some hard things.
If you have no difficult things to ponder, start here: Existence precedes essence, but God’s essence is His existence, which gives us part of the explanation for why John 14:6 is true. But the simplest person can also read John 14 and be comforted. How wonderful.