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In high school, I rarely took classes with other Christians. This wasn’t intentional. It was the outcome of taking “advanced courses” in a school with “advanced students” who had rejected Christianity by middle school. So though I craved the presence of other Christians—a presence which Dietrich Bonhoeffer observes ‘is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer”—it wasn’t to be had.
Worse still, my colleagues relished taking opportunities to bash Christians. I vividly remember their taunting questions. “How can you be in this class and be a Christian?” “Don’t you know the Bible is riddled with contradictions?” And, most painful of all, “Don’t you know that Christianity is the White Man’s religion? As a Puerto Rican, how can you believe that supremacist trash?”
Wave - Questions - Ground - None - Friends
Fearing that this tidal wave of questions would drown me, I looked for high ground. I saw none. My Christian friends lacked good answers. And I was scared that my parents wouldn’t have any either. Finally, filled with desperation, I asked my youth pastor for help. He directed me to apologetics.
While reading books by Ravi Zacharias and William Lane Craig, I encountered names I couldn’t pronounce—writing in the margin, “How do you say ‘Nietzsche?’”—and ideas and arguments that encouraged, perplexed, or both. These were the first theology books I read. And they were my first exposure to philosophy.
Zacharias - Craig - Argumentation - Faith - Kalām
Zacharias and Craig used philosophical argumentation to defend the Christian faith. The Kalām Argument, the Argument from Morality, the Argument from Consciousness—these formal arguments cut my philosophical teeth. And they gave me resources to stem the tide of my colleagues’ pointed questions.
Seeing that philosophy was helping me, my Dad encouraged me to study it during college. Since he was paying the bills and I liked the idea, I did. This proved revolutionary. My professors showed me that philosophy is more...
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