Taking the advice of Socrates, I follow the evidence wherever it leads...from religion to skepticism to a relationship with God.
I was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, as an only child and without a father. I was also a sixth generation Mormon. I honestly was not aware that there were so many other options outside of Mormonism growing up.
Neither was I concerned about it, though, since I thought I was secure in my own religion. And in my teen years, like so many, I began experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
In the summer of 1988 I was going into my junior year of high school and was invited by a friend to attend a Christian youth camp in CA. I was given the offer to spend the whole summer at the beach, so why not "stomach" one week at this camp whose attendance was the prerequisite to my hanging out at the beach all summer?
I had been raised as a Mormon with no thought of ever changing to another religion. However, at this time I was very broken and had been using drugs for the last several years as a result of finding my "belonging" in a wrong crowd. But still there was no desire to change religions, as I still understood Mormonism to be the "one true religion" regardless of whether or not I lived it.
My thought was that our heavenly father was still a loving heavenly father and would forgive me of my wrongdoing regardless. I figured that I was bound to end up in one level of heaven, so there was no urgency for repentance. I simply didn't want, nor did I feel the need, to change. It was my heritage for six generations!
I arrived at Hume Lake without any expectations. If anything, I suppose I was looking for girls and a good time, but certainly not God! What a surprise!
I heard a message given by Dave Moore on the topic of "Hell." For the first time in my life I understood my need for forgiveness because I knew down deep I wasn't a good person. Devastated and in tears, I realized I was a sinner and could not merit forgiveness. I thought I was doomed without Christ!
My fear of leaving what I thought was the truth in Mormonism was minimized by seeing Christ's love through people for the first time in my life. Although I had grown up in a religious environment, I never experienced God's love until I met these people and then met their source, Jesus Christ. He was truly a "breath of fresh air."
Because of my feeling of acceptance and love by these people, I asked my mother if I could live in California for the next year. She approved and I packed my bags and moved to California for the next year where I was baptized and discipled.
I went back to Utah to graduate from high school. I found fellowship with some young and passionate Christian friends and I began leading a Bible study with some friends who suggested that I pursue the ministry. Within a few months, I received a phone call from my former youth pastor in California asking if I'd consider interning under him. It was an answer to prayer and a confirmation of God's call on my life.
At this time I recall feeling confused as to whether or not I'd done the right thing. My memories of being a Mormon began resurfacing and I had thoughts such that if I were wrong and had left what was indeed the true church then I was now an apostate, which gave me no comfort!
Further, if Mormonism were found untrue, then does it follow that my newfound Christian faith is not just another deception? After all, I had been deceived once before.
How was I to know that the Bible was God's Word or that God even exists? How could I know that some other major world religion was not correct? Many thoughts like this shook my faith and caused me to dig deep and wide. I developed a love for the truth.
I decided to go off to college to study theology and philosophy. After a little over a year I left to marry my soon to be wife, a gal I knew from high school in Utah and with whom I now have three incredibly wonderful children.
We lived in Utah for three years, where I was a lay pastor in a church. I went back to college and in 1997 I finished a Bachelor's degree in Bible/Theology, as well as a Master's degree in Biblical Studies, while working as a Jr. High youth pastor. Following this I transferred down to Los Angeles to attend Biola university for their phenomenal M.A. Philosophy program, which I completed in December 2001.
After teaching and being involved in pastoral ministry for a few more years, I entered a Ph.D. program in philosophy at Purdue University in 2004 in order to gain credentials from a good secular university for the possibility of teaching and influencing the secular university from within as a professor.
I served on staff with Faculty Commons/ Cru for five years leading the faculty ministry at Purdue while teaching at Indiana University. I have since served as President/CEO of Ratio Christi (ratiochristi.org) for the last six years. We have chapters on 125 campuses. I have taught at Indiana University for twelve years and finished my Ph.D. in philosophical theology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
I love God with my heart, my hands, ...and my head! Regardless of what we do, the greatest privilege will always be following Christ in doing it!
Your life is like a coin, you can spend it any way you wish, but you can only spend it once
Best advice I ever received
Love God and do as you please
My worst subject in school
If I weren't a professor, I would
Be President of Ratio Christi
The Bible and Love Your God With All Your Mind
Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, and The Emperors Club
I haven't visited it yet 🙁
Venti white mocha, non-fat, no whip, extra hot
Nobody knows I
Used to ride with the Hell's Angels
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