Us: Who We Are
My friends and I sometimes laugh about the amount of writing on this website.
Who’s got time to read it all? Of course, no one really needs to. Anyone can do
the type of studying we’ve done on this website. Some of the research and survey
work can be painstaking and exhausting. And it does take a lot of time. This website
is for people that are looking for some help getting started or who have trouble
finding the time to do the studies themselves. And for people who are already
doing their own studies, our articles might be useful for comparing notes. The
important thing is that every Christian should live as a diligent disciple of
Jesus Christ. And we hope that this website can be a way to help bring those kinds
of Christians together. |
I grew up in Valencia, Spain. I was able to visit the U.S. off and on several
times after I graduated from college. At the time, I was part of a few different
churches in Spain and here in America. I've met some really great people in them.
But real fellowship around the Word of God has been harder to find. And even though
I miss my family sometimes (not to mention Valencia's awesome weather), in this
small church community I feel at home. It's good to finally be around people who
share my understanding of the Bible.
I was raised in a Christian home and grew up going to Church weekly. Going to church and fellowshipping with other Christians was enjoyable but both lacked depth and real substance. After I graduated high school and moved on with a professional career, I became disinterested in Church as I knew it and started living like an unbeliever. Then, in 2006, John got hired where I worked and we started going out to lunch. John naturally started talking about his home church and the kinds of things they were learning. I was curious, so I started checking things out and asking a lot of questions. Once I figured out that there was some actual substance behind the Christian message and that real apologetics and thorough explanations were available, I started coming every week. I’ve been involved ever since.
I have seven kids. So, it's no big surprise that sometimes balancing my time at
work and my time at home can be a bit of a challenge. And since there is a fifteen year age difference between my oldest and youngest kids, there are a lot of other influences I sometimes
have to contend with. A few years ago, Scott and Brian and I put together a "Gospel
Overview" study to help show my kids some of the common themes that come
up over and over again from Genesis to Revelation. It was also a really good way
to introduce my kids to basic biblical history. Having other Christian guys to
study the Word of God with makes things a lot easier.
I grew up going to church and thinking I was just lucky. My church got everything
right. Why couldn't other churches see it? It was so easy. When people asked what
my church believed, I would say things like, "We just go by what the Bible
says" or "just what's in the New Testament." Then, after college,
I realized something. First, I did some reading and found out that my church didn't
just "get lucky" after all. Turns out they didn't have everything right.
Second, I realized that lots of churches and lots of Christians just go through
most of their lives thinking "We just go by what the Bible says" - even
when they haven't even really studied what the Bible says. That was a major turning
point for me. Basically, I realized that we're not called to assume we're right
or to be great guessers. Jesus wants us to actually study, to be students of His
teaching, and to be real disciples. Now when I say, "I follow the New Testament,"
it's no longer because I'm just guessing or assuming.
I stumbled across biblestudying.net years ago when I was doing some online research for a bible study at work. I was impressed, as I had never really seen bible teaching done that way before. In the typical church or Sunday school setting today, you have someone telling you what to believe about Scripture, and because they are supposedly called by God to lead, most Christians just assume they are correct, and rarely question what they are told. Very little evidence is given or expected. The biblestudying.net method of study and teaching was logical, thorough and evidence based. It leaves virtually no stone unturned, and questions are both welcome, and thoughtfully addressed. Biblestudying.net also introduced me to the writings of the early Christians which are an invaluable resource in aiding our understanding of orthodox Christian doctrine. I now ask myself why this information has been largely ignored by modern churches.
I suppose my conversion as a teenage atheist was pretty standard. I grew up reluctant about religion, but after a mild consideration of various books and interaction with Christian friends, I came to affirm the existence of God and embraced mainstream Christianity. However, it wasn’t until after college and getting married that I got serious about Jesus’ teachings and envisioned having a precise and coherent set of beliefs. Early attempts at this proved overwhelming, lonesome, and hit and miss. Even minor progress in critiquing my own practices or beliefs required more time and thought in the Bible than I ever experienced before. What made things better and more efficient was reaching out to others who were trying to do the same thing (so much that we now live close enough to meet for church and study every week). Fortunately, the steady application of objective reasoning to my life as a Christian (although tough at first) has only ever served to invigorate my worship and understanding of God. Now I wonder how I ever did without.
As a former ordained minister and pastor of outreach, I gained experience and success in a modern church ministry context. Despite this, I remained burdened with genuine questions concerning the doctrines I subscribed to and the modern church practices I experienced on a weekly basis. Eventually, I re-committed myself to an
in-depth study of why I believed what I believed. It was in this time of introspection and diligently pursuing the truth that I discovered biblestudying.net. I began to learn more about objectivity, sound bible interpretation methods, responsibility to historical context and the history of the church and the world. It became obvious to me that this group was committed to being transparent, scholarly and exhaustive. They were considerate of all of the conflicting views on a topic before arriving at conclusions: a rare find. Admittedly, their evidence and findings on many topics challenged me, but I gave consideration to them, tested them and worked through hard questions with them. Ultimately, I arrived at many crossroads of change and tough decisions as a follower of Christ regarding ‘How Then Shall I Live?’ The journey continues...