Nathan Oates Part 1

We speak with Pastor Nathan Oates of Emmaus Church Community in Lincoln, California, about his changing faith.  Nathan and Mark grew up together in the same Nazarene youth group.  Nathan shares his testimony and the account of his own journey from youth to his founding of the Emmaus Church Community in this first of two episodes.

You can join us on Facebook in the First Non-Denominational Church of the Relatively Elect.  Please comment there about your own changing faith.

You can also visit LeeAnn’s blog.

Fr Rebholtz and Buddhism

Father Brian Rebholtz was a follower of Shin Buddhism before starting his Christian journey in young adulthood.  Now he is the Priest-in-Charge at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Auburn, California.

Pete Enns Part 2: How the Bible Actually Works

Pete Enns

Pete Enns returns to join us in this second installment of a two episode series as we explore questions related to his latest book, How the Bible Actually Works.  Topics include sharing a changing faith with others, how the work of theology is applying scripture to the reality of the present, and changes in how our current knowledge of human sexuality is factored into reading the writing of St. Paul.  Pete’s comment about the genetics of homosexuality probably refers to the study published in Science, 2018 Oct 26;362(6413):385-38.

 

“The Reason to Start” by Robert Gacek licensed through AudioBlocks.com, 2019.

Pete Enns Part 1: Pete’s Own Faith Change

Pete Enns

Pete Enns has been one of the most influential authors and podcast hosts in the realm of (former) Evangelicals recently and currently experiencing significant faith changes.  Pete shares with us his own personal account of chaining faith.  Come back next month as we explore questions related to his latest book, How the Bible Actually Works.

 

“The Reason to Start” by Robert Gacek licensed through AudioBlocks.com, 2019.

Seminex as Seen by Pastor Art Otto

Seminex, a seminary in exile, occurred  in 1974, when Concordia Seminary lost its faculty and students in what became the seminal event of a larger division that affected the entire Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.  Art Otto had graduated from the seminary just 9 years earlier and was still working with Concordia students at a Missouri Synod church nearby when it all hit the fan.  Art shares with us his perspective as a student of the same Concordia Seminary professors who taught from the historical-critical method of the study of scripture.

Video:  Seminex: Memories of a Church Divided

“The Reason to Start” by Robert Gacek licensed through AudioBlocks.com, 2019.

God Can’t | Dr. Thomas Jay Oord

Dr. Thomas Jay Oord, theologian, philosopher, scholar of multidisciplinary studies, and award-winning author, joins us to discuss themes in his latest book, God Can’t.

Dr. Oord shares with us his own experience of changing faith, including a period of atheism during his senior year in college.  Although he returned to a Christian faith, he admits he does not have the certainty he had before he started answering the tough questions many of ask.


“The Reason to Start” by Robert Gacek licensed through AudioBlocks.com, 2019.

 

 

Meet Tyler Dumont

Lucy, the Black Cat, did not interrupt the recording once. Good Lucy.

Tyler describes himself as a student.  With hopes to go on to seminary, he is certainly a true student of the Bible and of the Faith.  He speaks of starting life in a Fundamentalist environment, finding value in his roots, and his own journey to find his Faith in Jesus Christ.

See Tyler preach at Incarnation Anglican Church.

Follow Tyler on Instagram.

“The Reason to Start” by Robert Gacek licensed through AudioBlocks.com, 2019.

Father Josh

Father Joshua Lickter of Incarnation Anglican Church in Roseville joins us to share his own Changing Faith over his lifetime to end up as the Vicar at Incarnation.

Fr. Josh with a mullet

Faith in 2018

Here we are in 2018.
First, I want to stop anyone from reading further who feels that their faith can be hurt by introducing ideas counter to what they have been taught in church.  Ideas are like viruses.  They are contagious and cause change.  I have experienced this firsthand.  I allowed myself to ask questions which were “off limits” to someone with a secure faith.  There were many uncomfortable apparent inconsistencies and contradictions in scripture, the church, and Christians.  I would have simplistic explanations for all of them until I couldn’t take it anymore.  The cognitive dissonance was more than I could tolerate.  At that point I allowed “what if” questions time in my thoughts.  From there things continue to unwind like a cheap sweater (but I really do feel better).  So, don’t keep reading if you are not already tripping down this trail.

Really, stop.

For those of you already infected, I’d like to update you on our current situation.  Reading has continued, and I’d like to share some of it.  One of the most influential authors has been Pete Enns.  I have read two of his recent books, The Sin of Certainty, and The Bible Tells Me So.  The titles say it all.

I have also done a side-by-side comparison of two books that seems to be giving opposite arguments for the existence of an eternal hell.  They are Love Wins by Rob Bell and Erasing Hell by Francis Chan.  I found Rob Bell to have the more compelling argument.  I felt Francis Chan believes in an eternal hell because Christians are “supposed” to, and not because he finds it to be in the character of God as revealed in a progressive revelation throughout the entirety of scripture.

Rob Bell also came out with What is the Bible last year.  It was similar to The Bible Tells Me So.  I prefer Pete Enns.  I think both books are good.  I just relate more to the academic approach from a Harvard Doctor of Philosophy in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.  Both books express the need to read the Bible as a text written by people living in a particular time and place for a particular purpose instead of treating it like an inerrant and infallible telegram from God.

I also read a book by a Nazarene college professor Thomas J. Oord who went to NNC with my brother.  His Uncontrolling Love of God was published in 2015.  He is attempting an explanation to the ever vexing question:  How can God be all-good and all-powerful if there is evil in the world?  I found his delving into the physics of creation to be intoxicating.  As a person educated in the sciences I could not get enough of this.  I immediately followed Uncontrolling Love of God with another author Oord references, John Polkinghorne.  I completed reading Quarks, Chaos, and Christianity to become more comfortable with a better explanation of self-imposed limitations on God which were discussed by Oord.  If you enjoy Physics and would like to explore the theological implications of particle physics I can’t recommend Polkinghorne enough.

It was interesting to find that Polkinghorne and the celebrated author, C.S. Lewis, are both Anglican.  This sparked yet another journey.  Instead of just reading different authors, LeeAnn and I decided to take a sabatical from our long-time home Nazarene church and visit some mainstream denomination churches in the area.  We have enjoyed and continue to enjoy exploring the world of churches that do not have statements about scriptural “inerrancy” or “infallibility.”  This includes, but is not limited to, Greek Orthodox, Methodist, Lutheran, Anglican, and Episcopalian churches.  We have not left our home church.  I am pleased that my home church articles of faith do not proclaim infallibility or inerrancy of scripture.

One thing I want to emphasize is that I do not feel a sense of loss or dread.  I am driven by the pursuit of Truth, even if it does not turn out to be exactly what I always thought the church was teaching as I grew up.  It is exciting, and I am happy about discovering more about God.  I actually view this as God revealing His true self to me in his gentle manner.

Please comment on your own similar journey.  We love sharing this experience with others who understand coming from a conservative background to a more open understanding based on experience and reason.

Genesis Author

Changing FaithIn this installment we take on the issue of the authorship of the Pentateuch with Dr. Gawayne Vaughan.  Two articles providing opposing views on the subject are discussed.  The articles can be found online at Answers in Genesis and Biologos.  Please comment below if you also read the articles and would like to join in the discussion.