My Story

I bet you’re wondering about who I am and how I got to blogging about Christian Apologetics and Theology. My past is somewhat of a roller coaster journey. A lot of pain, endurance, and triumph is to be found. So, buckle up and enjoy the ride.

I was born in 1997 and after a legal battle, my grandparents won custody of me. I lived life in a relatively blessed lifestyle and I am very grateful for it. I grew up in church and was brought up in a Christian home. The rest is the average life. However, as I got to middle school, a lot of things started changing. I began asking questions instead of just taking all that I was given.

So, around the 7th grade, I started rejecting this idea of Jesus and God being real posing questions such as, “Why would a good God allow so much evil exist?” Of course, I didn’t get any memorable answers from my peers or even church. So, I thought maybe this was a problem with all of Christianity. Turns out, it’s not. But I’ll get back to that later. I didn’t come back to Jesus until the 9th grade but not due to a very scientific understanding of God. During my time as an agnostic, I started dealing with depression and was extremely suicidal, even though I had a relatively easy life. I was so distraught and depressed I seriously considered suicide.

I remember the day I got saved very clearly. It was November 11th, 2011 and my youth group that my parents had me attending had a retreat to Lake Okeechobee. On the first night, they had a service at 11 P.M., I was exhausted but decided to go. During the worship, I stood in the back – arms crossed and thinking to myself, “Stupid Christians, worshipping  their imaginations.” As I stood back there I heard a voice, clear as day, saying, “Raise your hands, son.” As I heard this I looked around and, to my amazement, no one was standing near enough to me for me to hear those words so clearly. I shrugged it off, “Maybe I’m hearing things.” Again the clear voice said, “Just raise your hands!” I did because, in my mind, I had nothing else to lose as I was going to kill myself when I got home anyway. So, as I lifted my hands, I felt all my pain and torment being pulled right off of me and I felt this loving embrace fall upon me. I was… happy. For the first time in a long time, I was happy. I then knew that God was real. It didn’t matter to me what I thought science said, I just knew what I felt was more real than anything a scientist ever told me.

I then went to a Christian summer camp for a week and during that, I had a vision. As I laid back onto my bed (it was “nap time”), I put my headphones in ear, blasted some Hillsong UNITED, and said, “God, whatever you want for me, show me. I will follow.” As I shut my eyes, I was instantly taken to a stage in the desert with millions of people there and I was on my knees worshiping with the crowd. Except, I was on the stage with a mic in hand. At that moment I knew I was called to be a pastor. I figured out what I wanted to be and how to be it. I decided to go to Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL to get a degree in ministry. Before I got there, I met my beautiful girlfriend Candice. As of the time of publishing this, we have been dating for a little over two years. She is the love of my life, the one who is able to calm me even when my thoughts are swirling around. She loves God and people and I’m so blessed to even be able to be hers. Now, back to the story.

I got to Southeastern University (SEU) and I loved it here. In my sophomore year here, I ended up taking a class called Theology of God and Humanity which is the first theology class every ministry major at SEU must take.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Matthew 20:28 NLT

My professor, Dr. Davis, has taught me a lot in his theology class and he made a good point, “If you don’t care enough to study to be able to answer people’s questions when they need answers most. You don’t deserve to be a pastor.” I thus decided to study even harder, and to ponder a little longer, to answer the tough questions. That’s how I got here – to this blog. I decided to put my thoughts regarding the apologetics of Christianity out there for people to read and stumble upon. I want to be vulnerable and transparent so everyone can understand the work of God through a sinner such as I. I, like Christ, come not to be served, but to serve. So here I am, an average apologetic – the average apologetic. I’m no one special. I am but a man who wants the world to understand why I, and many others, believe in God and Jesus.

I pray that God would show you the same love and grace he showed me as you go through your daily life. Amen.

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The Problem of Pain – Intro

The Son of God suffered unto the death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like His.

George Macdonald. Unspoken Sermons. First Series.

Over the course of the next week or so I will be critiquing a book by one of my favorite authors and contemporary theologians – C.S. Lewis. You may know him by his famous work for children – The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I am fairly new to the works of C.S. Lewis, but I knew his implications well enough. He lived a life of war, writing, skepticism, and as a layman. He would have seen the tortures that humanity could produce as he was alive to witness the horrific nature of both World War I and World War II. The Problem of Pain is an apologetic book written to answer the skeptic of Christianity who questions, “Why would an all-good God allow suffering and pain in this world?” This is a highly complex question with an even more complex answer as we will uncover as we dive deeper into this book. However, let me introduce how I view the problem of pain in my point of view and my history of pain.

While I was in the fourth grade I was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD for short. I was no longer considered “normal” by society’s standard and I would have a long journey ahead. The school recommended to my parents that I be put into ESE classes and be separated into a room of people who also had mental disability. I lived a life far from normal. There were times where I struggled with my own identity and questioned why I was dealt this hand. I was raised in church and was raised to believe that God had a reason for everything. But as time progressed, the pain felt worse and worst of all – I refused to believe in a God that would let someone suffer to even worse degrees than I.

I wouldn’t have called myself an atheist per-say. I would’ve fit better into the agnostic label. I believed that there may be a higher being, but one that was not worthy of my worship. Long story short (I will save my salvation story for another time), I eventually came back to Christ and became a born-again believer. However, I would search for the answers to my childhood questions of God. One of these questions would be why would an all-good and all-powerful God allow people to suffer? It’s a demanding question that I struggled with many years. There are many ways to explain it, as I learned in my theology class in university. One that I will cover here is called the calculation, or calibration, of negation.

The idea behind the calculation of negation is fairly simple. In order to understand an act, we must understand the effect of the absence of that act. Here’s an example. When I was in the tenth grade, my family went on a road trip to Arizona. We were on our way back to Florida when my dad had a seizure while driving. It was a horrible situation. We were supposed to be home, instead we were three hours away in a hotel room as I watched my father, the man I admired as the strongest, at his weakest moments – helpless, scared, and physically weak. My dad never lost his humor though, and for that I was thankful for. Eventually, the doctors found that his major coronary artery was clogged at an alarmingly high percentage. They installed a stint and thus extended his life.

To fully understand why God allowed this terrible event to occur, we must understand what would happen if it didn’t occur. Let’s say, hypothetically, that my father never had that seizure. Well, according to the doctors, he would have likely died of a heart attack. Because of his seizure, they found the clogged artery and performed a life-saving operation. In the end, sometimes pain occurs because it will eventually show us something we didn’t know before.

Now, let’s look to the preface. One thing I love about C.S. Lewis is that he’s humble. He consistently humbles himself by stating that he is no special theologian and is simply a “layman and an amateur.” He goes on to explain that he is not worthy to explain how to get through pain and get through tough times. His sole purpose is the address the problem of pain from an intellectual point of view. He goes on about his convictions.

… nor have I anything to offer my readers except my conviction that when pain is to be borne, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all.

C.S. Lewis. The Problem of Pain. Preface.

As we dive deeper into this book, we will then discuss more into detail the reason of suffering and the problem of pain. I am looking forward to delving deeper into this theological issue that I am sure many people have struggled through.

May God grant you wisdom everywhere you go and in everything you do. Amen.

In The Beginning…

…there was a dream. I always wanted to make a blog. Since I was in middle school, actually. Here I am, finally doing it. To cut straight to the chase, this blog will challenge the faith of the Christian believer and (hopefully) will share some insight into why a Christian believes in God.

You know, there are plenty of people out there that don’t believe in God. I know, it’s crazy to think that when Jesus says to go out and make disciples of the nations, he meant it! Jokes aside, the Bible tells us to be ready in and out of season and to always be ready to defend our faith. So, here I am, defender of the faith.

I’m not sure how often I will make posts. I may do it once a week, once a day, or maybe occasionally. I may even have guest writers produce content. In the end, I just want to show people the rational conclusions of their faith. So, if you have any questions contact me and just tell me whether you want a personal answer or think that I should make a post about the topic. I’m also open to suggestions and discussions!

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect

1 Peter 3:15 NIV