A Spiritual Zenith: Enter Calvinism (Spiritual Autobio 7)

Buckle up for a longer post this time. I have to mention all the events and people included here, and I don’t feel like artificially breaking this up into separate posts, mostly because I have a lot to cover, and I’m not trying to tailor this series to a popular audience. When one wishes to blog like a champion, one must observe the rule to keep posts short, so as not to lose the interest of the average reader. Since I do not have many readers, nor average readers, I am writing at length today.

See this list for all posts in this series.

Still Floating Along, Not so Alone

Upon returning home from Yellowstone National Park in 2005, I continued working toward my Bachelor degree at SUNY Brockport, leading Campus Crusade for Christ (CC4C) on campus, and practicing evangelism with my mentors Peter and Phillip.

At CC4C, I became President of the club because the other student leaders had either graduated or quit college. With no leadership or ministry experience, and at 23 years old, I stepped into a pastoral role for two dozen young college students. Only two years out of drug rehab, I was relying mostly on zeal, while my learning in the Scriptures still had a long way to go. Continue reading

Aiming for catholic: Paedobaptism (Spiritual Autobio 6)

So far in this series I’ve hovered in the years 2004-2007, because so much of what happened in those years led me to where I am today.

And where am I today, spiritually and doctrinally? (I want to keep within eyesight where this series is going so you can follow along better).

I’m a catholic, orthodox Protestant, but with a very troubled faith in some regards. I have been looking for the Church catholic for 15 years now, and am feeling a bit lost in the woods. The reason this prompted my writing is because I can’t seem to find where I am, spiritually and ecclesially (that would mean in reference to the Church catholic). I know I am in the Body of Christ; I know I am a part of the universal Church, but translating that into concrete worship and service in a local church has proven frustrating.

And what am I? Continue reading

On Men, Shame, and Brotherhood

Alastair here delivers a paper worthy of presentation at any academic conference on earth, but he is not speaking of academic interest in the issues of sex and sociology, but rather the life and death struggle in which the West finds itself, with unlikely prophets like Jordan Peterson as the voices crying in the wilderness. An intense, long read worth your time if you care about men.

Alastair's Adversaria

A couple of days ago someone drew my attention to a Twitter thread by Dr Anthony Bradley that has been receiving a lot of attention. Within the thread Bradley seeks to explain the appeal of Jordan Peterson to young guys to people who don’t know Peterson, or who don’t understand why he so resonates. The following are some thoughts springing out of Bradley’s thoughtful thread, which you really ought to read before reading the rest of this post.

At the heart of Bradley’s argument is the claim that men are struggling with…

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The Pain of Friendship (Spiritual Autobio 5)

The One Thing we All Need

No matter what the Church catholic has to offer to a man, if he can’t find friendship, companionship, and fellowship within her walls, he has very little. Yes, Christ is closer than a brother, in a sense, but until we see Him face to face, His absence is a lot easier to notice than His presence. Yes, eternal life, adoption by the Father, and the Holy Spirit are unmatched blessings, but in the day-to-day experience of a Christian, the bonds of love between brethren is irreplaceable. Forgive me if I’ve spoken improperly here; my words come from a sore place.

Now, keep in mind, this spiritual autobiography is my recounting of my search for the Church catholic. Jesus found me in a jailhouse around my 21st birthday, but I didn’t find His Church after that. For many months and years, I bobbed along in the gentle waves of loneliness, occasionally making friends, even finding mentors like Phillip and Peter. Yet as each season of my life has passed on, the Christian friends and fellowship of those seasons have also passed on, out of sight. I am in terrible grief over this every day of my life, and that is not hyperbole. Although I live without pervasive depression, I am often wracked with anger, fear, and doubt because of the transience of Christian friendship in my life. Keep reading. I may spell all this out slowly, but I mean to spell it all out for you, for myself, for my family. There is something important which is spilling forth in these words.

Desperate for Friendship

As I drifted alone in 2003-4, then finding some non-Christian friends, then a few Continue reading