Christian Apologetic Index
David G. Nesbitt - Kelowna, British Columbia
Sola Gratia, Sola Fide... Sola Scriptura, Tota Scriptura... Solus Christus, Soli Deo GloriaHome / About Me ...
† About MeAcknowledgments | Where I've Been | Where I Am | Where I'm Going
I could not publish a work like this without making a statement about those who have really influenced or inspired me in my spiritual development and growth over the years. Although there are countless people who have impacted and affected my life in real positive ways over the years -- so many I could hardly name them all -- I am only going to name the most prominent Christian influences.Annamarie Nesbitt
My devoted and compassionate bride, whose patience and understanding has been an empowering foundation in my life. I forever praise and thank God for bringing me the most loving and faithful woman I have ever had the undeserved gratitude of knowing. I love you for all that you are, for all that I am because of you, for all that we are together, and for all that you inspire me to become.
Sunday, April 27, 1997. In the little coffee shop inside Ironwood Mall in Campbell River, British Columbia. That date will always be remembered as the day my whole life changed. That was the day that Shad came to sit at my table, and he was in the company of a redhead young man who was immediately impressed by the sight of me reading a Bible in public. Soon the conversation turned to biblical issues and Shad sighed, "I should have known better than to introduce you two."
I was still a Seventh-Day Adventist back then and John was fascinated by a couple particular beliefs of mine. He had asked if I might be willing to elaborate on them, and from that moment on I was committed to a path that would eventually lead to my coming to know the gospel for the first time. Bible studies involving myself, he and his wife, as well as Susan Ogilvie and Shaun Orrick were eventually reduced to much more in-depth studies between just me and him, in which we first explored the doctrine of eternal security that subsequently opened the floodgates of revelation. That was the summer I became a Christian, because I realized that I had only been a student of Adventism up until then.
He was the one that showed me how incredibly inspirational the Bible can be. Through his example I came to realize not only the foolishness of the proof-texting I had learned from Adventism but the unfathomable joy and liberation found in the pure gospel truth of our Lord and Savior. There are still some things we don't agree on because I'm not comfortable with his eisegesis (prejudicial hermeneutics), but that just means we still have years of passionate study left to go between us.
Pastor of Westosha Baptist Church in Bassett, Wisconsin. So very few people have inspired me to the extent and depth that he has. Although our relationship has been on-again-off-again over the last few years, those times when we do manage to fellowship together he always encourages me to deeper levels in my faith and shows me by example how firmly based on reason Christianity is. Fellowship with him has taught me that Christianity is far, far more than a sentimental fideism. I also credit Jeff with introducing me to the inspirational literature of Phillip Yancey whose spiritual insights are phenomenal.
Senior Pastor of Willow Park Church (link) in Kelowna, British Columbia. One of the most Spirit-gifted men I have ever known, whose passion for God is incredibly contagious and whose biblical insight has always had a profound and relevant impact on my life. In the last year or so that I lived on Vancouver Island I was attending a Mennonite Brethren church, so when I moved to Kelowna that's the first church I looked for. And I knew I had found my spiritual home from the very first message I heard Pastor Mark deliver. I have been attending this church for the last three years, and have no intentions of going anywhere else. At least, for as long as Pastor Mark remains.
† Where I've Been
While growing up I discovered that had two fathers that I didn't realize I was being prevented from getting to know -- my biological father and my heavenly Father -- until very late in my life, developmentally speaking.
Although my mother has vehemently denied this, I didn't know I had a biological father until I was very nearly 18 years old. It seems the man I had called "dad" all my life was in truth my step-dad who had adopted me when he married my mother when I was between a year or two old. As soon as I found out I had a biological father, I wanted to not only meet him but live with him. My mother tracked him down for me and I was soon on his doorstep. In meeting my biological father, so many things about me personally suddenly made sense. For instance, I suddenly understood where my artistic talents came from -- my dad's whole family is proliferated with artists. So many people identify things about themselves in either one or both of their parents. When I was growing up, there were characteristics about me that I could not see in either my mother or step-dad... but saw a wealth of in my dad. Like never before I finally began to get a real sense of who I was, and am, as a person.
Although Seventh-Day Adventists vehemently deny this, I was never really introduced to either the heavenly Father or his Son during my twenty years or more as a member of the SDA church because of the Adventist's propensity to focus on the law of God rather than the grace of God. Although they defensively insist that they teach righteousness "by grace through faith," in practice the story is much different, something anyone can quickly realize by engaging in Bible study with them. Their focus is the law, the greatest commandment being the fourth (regarding the Sabbath), and with a fervent passion they await the imminent return of Christ while proclaiming throughout the world the warning of "The Three Angels' Message" (Rev. 14:6-11) which is yet another platform for the law of God generally and the Sabbath commandment specifically. Adventists do not encourage reading your complete New Testament either. While it must be said that they don't discourage it, they also don't encourage it. It's all about proof-texts used to reaffirm that the truth is all about the law. So then it's not surprising that, within this legalistic Cult of the Sabbath, I was never really acquainted with Jesus Christ who alone makes the Father known to everyone that seeks.
It wasn't until I was 25 years old that I was introduced to the grace of God through the gospel message of Christ, when I met a young man named John Vaten who quickly became my best friend. Intrigued by these unconventional doctrines I believed in -- such as the Mark of the Beast, which I was taught to identify as allegiance to Sunday church observance -- he challenged me to not only elaborate on these ideas scripturally but also to thereby demonstrate the scriptural basis for them. Since I was a devout student of Adventism I lined up a whole stream of proof-texts together to present him... which he then countered with almost the entirety of the New Testament, leaving me to realize the utter paucity of support I had. I even tried to demonstrate for him the teaching I had be instructed with concerning the idea that the Ten Commandments were independent of the Old Covenant, an idea he devastated with one simple verse: "He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments" (Deuteronomy 4:13; cf. Exodus 34:28). From that point on, I knew I would be playing the part of the student, not the teacher. And I had a thousand questions for him. That summer, 1997, I became a Christian. Through my relationship with Jesus Christ, I finally got to know my heavenly Father, and so many things about me spiritually suddenly made sense. Instead of being buried in a sea of doctrines I finally found myself immersed in a dynamic relationship. Like never before, I finally began to get a real sense of who I was, and am, as a soul.
† Where I Am
Secure in my relationship with God through Jesus Christ, born again by the water and the Spirit, I am included in Christ by the word of truth, the gospel of salvation, marked in him with a seal, "the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession." Unquestionably now a Christian, I am no longer content to be a student of any particular denomination. Whereas I was once a student of Adventism, I am now a student of religious doctrines and philosophical ideologies. After spending the first three years as a Christian learning and understanding the pure gospel, and voraciously reading the Bible, I decided to put the brakes on this particular course of study and focus my attention on truth. I was not content to live with a closed mind. But more importantly, after my devestating revelation regarding Adventism, I suddenly became skeptical about everything I believed. Did my beliefs stand up under scrutiny? Could my beliefs hold water?
So for the last three years I have been subjecting my beliefs to open inquiry and critical skepticism from a vast array of sources, while simultaneously avowing to learn all there was to know about these sources. While subjecting myself to the scrutiny of atheism, I learned everything I could about atheism. While subjecting myself to the scrutiny of other religions such as the Baha'i Faith, I learned everything I could about them. I became an insatiable literatus, consuming books, magazines, journals, articles -- on topics that covered religion, philosophy, psychology, as well as a wealth of scientific fields such as cosmology. I have read Dembski's Mere Creation, Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker, Geisler's Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Shermer's How We Believe, St. Augustine's Confessions, Sagan's Broca's Brain, Hawking's A Brief History of Time, Ross' The Creator and the Cosmos, et cetera ad nauseum. I also openly engaged in active debate in live chat environments, newsgroups, and message boards, at times against some of the most intelligent minds out there, whether scientists, pastors, professors, students, etc.
And this website... is a result of that journey, chronicling the state of my beliefs and the reasoning behind them. I am, under the purest definition of the term, a freethinker: one who speculates or forms opinions independent of the authority of others. The skeptics browsing this website I am sure would strenuously object -- for some reason they seem to think you cannot be a Christian and freethinker. Despite their philosophical prejudice, not only can a freethinker settle upon Christianity but a Christian can engage on a journey of freethought that leads them back to Christianity. "Freethinker" is not a synonym for "atheist" or "infidel." A skeptic might object, claiming that my beliefs, ideologies, and opinions are not "independent of the authority of others" because the Bible is my authority. Such an objection is duly noted and filed under "philosophical prejudice" because the Bible is my authority as a result of its standing up under the skepticism I threw at it.
And the reason this website exists, the reason this material is in the public domain, is because I want to not only share the results of my skeptical journey but also continue in this practice of open accountability. Plus there is always the off-chance that a topic I cover somewhere on this website happens to reflect a concern or question someone else has and they might benefit from the direction they're inspired to from my material. Who knows, it could either offer answers to their questions or cause them to question their answers. Either is a positive result, I believe.
† Where I'm Going
I intend to academically further my education by first enrolling in the Bachelor of Arts in Ministry degree program at Prairie Bible College. From there I will either pursue a career as a Youth Pastor or continue to further my education in the Master of Theological Studies degree program at Trinity Western University. Or both, serving in ministry for a while first and getting published, then later acquiring a degree in theology.
But first things first, right?
Copyright © 2003 by David G. Nesbitt. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Inquiries should be addressed to Christian Apologetic Index, 1424 Bertram Street, Kelowna, British Columbia, V1Y-2G2