This is the first official post in Viewing Out! Before writing about specific topics in this blog, I want to talk about how I got to this point… being a Christian and posting in a blog. I’m going to break my story up into two parts. In this post, I’ll talk about specific things that happened over the past few years. In the next post, I’ll look at the big picture and explain what I believe God has shown me through those years. So here we go…
To very briefly sum up my background, I grew up in a Christian family in a town with a population that was heavily Christian. I accepted Christ into my life at a young age; I would say 12 if I had to pinpoint it. I went to college at UW-Green Bay and got involved in the Christian student organization Cru, because I wanted to continue the whole “youth group” thing from high school.
The winter of my freshmen year, I went to a retreat with Cru called “TCX” in Minneapolis. A lot of things happened there, but one memorable thing was going to a seminar called “The Reason for God”, which talked about the book with the same title. I did not really think much of it at the time. However, I picked up the book after the retreat, and was very much intrigued by it. The book explained reasons why Christianity is true, many of which were things I had never heard before.
That March, I began to listen to worship songs on Youtube, and started to read the comments below them. The threads were basically one long religious debate. Soon, I was reading the comments on several videos almost every day. The people commenting wrote things that I also never heard anyone say before, like Christianity was copied off pagan religions, or there is no evidence that Jesus Christ ever existed. One of these Youtubers stood out. His user name was mycatistigger, and he would post refutations of Christianity seemingly all day. I would reply back and give “evidence” for Christianity, but he instantly tore all of it down. To say the least, I was questioning my faith and the truth of Christianity a lot at this point.
On Youtube, I met a guy named Paul, who would write comments in favor of Christianity when he thought a thread was getting out of hand. We wrote a few back and forth messages, and he sent me a memorable story, which I placed in the middle of this blog post. He also encouraged me to read “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel when I mentioned the book.
Since then I have been through a long journey of understanding different viewpoints and arguments. Christians such as JP Moreland, William Lane Craig, and Glenn Miller have impacted me through their writings. This post in particular was very helpful. In it, Glenn Miller talks about doubt, trust, and arguments for the truth of the Christian worldview.
And at the same time, atheists like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and David Mills have had an impact on me too. They challenged me with their arguments for atheism, which pushed me towards having the passion I do (which I’ll explain later). And interestingly, these challenges to my faith seemed to come at critical times in my relationship with God.
So that is a very brief synopsis of one aspect of the last few years. In my next post (or two), I will talk about what God has done in my life, in part through these events. And I’ll explain my motivation for having this blog.