First, I want to thank you for stopping by to read my blog. If you have noticed, this blog addresses a wide array of topics from contemporary social issues (such as the Christian response to voting) to contemporary issues within the Church (such as the development of anti-intellectualism within African American churches) to theological topics (such as Reformed sacramental theology).
One of my favorite books that I’ve read in recent memory was Glory Road: The Journey of 10 African-Americans into Reformed Christianity and it caused me to reflect on my personal journey as a believer. In the Afterword of the book, Anthony Carter describes the three common characteristics which connect the stories of the men in the book: Black, Reformed, and foremost, Christian. I think it would be instructive to use the same format and describe myself in three words: Black, scientist, and foremost, a Christian.
On Being Black
In Glory Road, Anthony Carter gives an articulate statement of what it means to be Black that I wholeheartedly agree with.
This means that we have a distinct, if at times, bitter experience. It means that our parents often drank of the waters of Marah in a land that flowed with milk and honey. It means our foreparents felt the lash of the whip and witnessed the horror of babies and loved ones cast down to the depths of unknown graves in an angry deep during the Middle Passage. It means their sweat and blood were fertilizer for a land upon which they could labor and see but never own. It means being African-American. It means we are ever conscious of minority status. It means having a face but often no name. It means having a home, but sensing no country. It means having a voice to cry with, not a voice to vote with. It means having to learn to sing a joyous song in a strange, foreign land. It means learning to live upon a God Who is invisible and trusting His purposes, though they seemingly ripen slowly.
Being Black means that I’m consciously aware of the history of my ancestors and the current status of many of my kinsmen and how these realities shape my view of many social, political, and economic issues.
On Being Christian
This means that Christ is my Lord and I have a heritage in Christ that transcends my skin and ethnicity. It means that the grace of God has appeared to me, bringing salvation according to His good pleasure. I’ve been saved from the just penalty of my sin in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, and to the glory of God alone. This also means that I’m constantly being restored back to God – Christ is actively restoring my affections, my identity, and my image into the image of Christ. Because of the grace of God, I’ve been grafted into the body of Christ and thus, my heritage includes believers from every people and nation. It means that my heroes are not only men like Frederick Douglass, but also men such as Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, John Owen, and A. W. Tozer. It also means that I can look to men like Jonathan Edwards and listen to his ability to articulate the dangers of theological inconsistency in regards to God’s sovereignty in election and yet question his inability to comprehend the dangers of the sin of racism.
In terms of my theological positions, I am a confessional Reformed Baptist who subscribes to the 1689 London Baptist Confession as the most accurate summary of the whole of Christian doctrine. For a brief outline of the distinctive convictions of a confessional Reformed Baptist, see the following five points of Reformed Baptists. For those who would like to know the difference between a confessing Reformed Baptist and a Calvinistic evangelical, see the following blog post from Pastor Jeff Riddle.
On Being a Scientist
I am a professor by vocation and I am professionally trained as an atmospheric physicist with a background in applied mathematics, physics, astronomy, and atmospheric science. This means that I view myself as an intellectual with a biblical worldview and I’ve seen firsthand how a biblical worldview stands in stark contrast with the dominant worldview of today (humanism) and among many fellow scientists (naturalism). As an intellectual, I seek to love and worship the Lord with the full expressiveness and intentionality of my heart, as well as the full engagement of my mind; thus, I stand for an intellectual and experiential piety. This also means that I stand against the anti-intellectualism (and anti-confessional nature) and emotionalism that has crept into many mainline Protestant churches, as well as the cold, inexpressive orthodoxy that has crept into many Reformed churches. As a scientist, I seek to use my intellectual gifts and abilities for the encouragement of other believers (to see one way in which this can be done, see this article on the scientist as an evangelist).
The Intention of This Blog
I have two primary goals with this blog site. First, I desire to present another faithful Christian witness who holds firm to the faithful Word and to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Second, I desire to use my writing to help deepen the walk of fellow believers. I will be posting about once a week and if you would like to follow the blog, feel free to subscribe via email. Thank you and God bless. I also have a complementary YouTube page, Google+ page, and Twitter page in which I post edifying sermons from sound Biblical pastors, music from sound Biblical musicians, and articles from other bloggers.