Monday, July 16, 2007

Busman's Holiday

Readers of my blog will recognize that I'm a Christian apologist. I'm other things, too, of course--husband, father, biologist, and others. But apologist is one of those things I am, and this manifests itself in daily/weekly life in such things as this blog, directing the Acts 17 ministry (including maintaining a website) and teaching at Antioch, and simply defending Christianity in conversation.

But this week I'm on holiday, in Southern California (which happens to be much cooler right now than it is back home in central Oregon). So what am I doing? Apologetics, of course. Specifically, I'm taking classes as part of a Master of Arts program (at Biola University) in Christian Apologetics. The folks lecturing to us are first-rate, and the information content* well worth the time and expense involved. (It's tough being away from family, but this time I brought Nathan with me--he's coaching soccer camps for the Southern California Seahorses in the morning and golfing in the afternoon.)

But what I've enjoyed most about this busman's holiday is spending time with my fellow students. A small sample of these would include a human resource manager from near Buffalo, NY, with whom I've golfed in some of our little spare time, a psychiatrist from the D.C. area, a hip-hop deejay/youth pastor from north of Seattle, a baseball fan from Lincoln, NE (go figure), with whom we took in (what else?) a baseball game (Rangers at Angels), an airline pilot from Sacramento, a Blackhawk (helicopter) pilot from Anchorage (but previously serving in Afghanistan), an evangelist from north of London (but south of Oxford), and a flash designer, song writer/musician, and author from Nashville.

Church planters and youth pastors are well-represented in our numbers. I think this is because these folks are daily and personally reminded that the souls for which they care are being continually bombarded by naturalism and postmodernism, demonstrably false worldviews that nonetheless present obstacles to understanding and accepting the truth claims of Christianity.

But what do all of these folks--with different vocations, avocations, ages, home towns, denominations, and histories--have in common? Just this... a passion for Christ and a confident Christianity (to borrow from the title of the blog of a homemaker from Houston). Each finds the Christian world- and life-view to be uniquely, rationally defensible, and each feels called to be engaged in that defense.

And that shared passion and shared calling mean that it's a pleasure and honor (for me) to spend time wih these folks, learning together, challenging and encouraging one another.

*The phrase 'information content' prompts me to add the tangential comment that we'll be having tea with and a lecture from William Dembski, whose book The Design Inference identifies how we recognize specified complexity (like the information in the genetic code) and offers the "explanatory filter" for determining whether something is designed or not.

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