My name is Evan Minton. I am a Christian Apologist (someone who defends the faith against intellectual attacks from non-Christians). I was born on June 2nd 1992, and was born and raised in Piedmont, South Carolina, USA. I grew up in a Christian home and accepted the truth of Christianity from a very young age, but never actually committed my life to Christ until I was 17. For as long as I can remember, I've always believed in the existence of God. However, belief in his existence was all I ever gave God. I never prayed to him (except when I was in trouble) and I never read The Bible. All of my Bible knowledge came from my pastor’s sermon, and Bible movies me and my parents would watch on Christmas and Easter. In short, I had “demon faith”. What is “demon faith”? Demon faith is mere intellectual assent to the creeds of the church, and nothing more. It’s pretty such saying “Yeah, I think that’s true” and nothing more. It’s having the beliefs of a Christian, but the lifestyle of a NON-Christian. Craig Groeshel calls this type of person a “Christian Atheist”, “believing God exists but living as if he doesn’t”. James, the brother of Jesus, wrote about this type of faith in James 2:19; “You believe there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe this and tremble.” Yes, Satan believes God exists, but read Revelation 20:10 to find out where he's going to spend eternity! If you had asked me several years ago "If you didn't believe in God, would your life be any different?" if I answered honestly, the answer would be "No. No it would not be any different."
After 4 years of extreme emotional darkness, I gave my life to Jesus Christ at the age of 17. I moved from mere intellectual assent to the creeds, to accepting Christ into my heart. I went from demon faith to Christian faith.
I started studying apologetics in early 2011 shortly after I had stumbled upon Apologetics for the first time on YouTube. I had been struggling with intellectual doubts for months, wondering if there was any good reason to continue to believe the truth claims of Christianity as opposed to other religious systems. I had a profound experience with Christ at age 17, but I reasoned within myself “Yeah, but, other people of other religious faiths have religious experiences too. How is my experience anymore objective or reliable than theirs?” Then one night, I was scrolling down my Facebook news feed, and one of my friends posted a link to a YouTube video called “The Case For A Creator”. I clicked on it, and watched it. It was a documentary hosted by a man named Lee Strobel, based on his book of the same name. It was an hour long. I was floored at what he was seeing and hearing! Here were scientists arguing for the existence of a Creator using science! I had never heard that there was such good evidence for God’s existence prior to this! His faith was revived. I bought all of Lee Strobel’s books and studied them like one would text books. I then bought other books written by other apologists (of whom consist of scientists, philosophers, and historians) and studied them as well.
Today, I no longer struggle with intellectual doubts about Christianity.I know that my Christian faith has a rock solid foundation, a foundation built on facts and evidence, a foundation built on science, history, and philosophy. I believe that we can believe because we use the brains that God gave us, rather than in spite of using them. I have dedicated my life to reaching out to skeptics and doubters with the powerful evidence that confirms the truth of Christianity. This is why Cerebral Faith exists.
My Theological Beliefs
First, let me get the essentials out of the way. I think you'll find that I fall within Orthodoxy. I affirm all doctrines essential for someone to be considered a non-heretic. I affirm
1: The existence of God.
By God, I mean an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, morally perfect, eternally existent, personal being.
2: God created everything that exists.
3: God is 3 persons in 1 divine essence (The Trinity)
God is not a person, God is 3 persons. God exists as one divine entity but this one divine entity consists of three distinct persons. The Father is God, The Son is God, and The Holy Spirit is God. But The Father is not The Son, The Son is not The Holy Spirit, and The Holy Spirit is not either.
4: Jesus is truly God and is also truly a human being. (The Incarnation)
Jesus Christ is God Almighty; the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, morally perfect, eternally existent, personal being who created the universe, but in the 1st century, He gained a human nature. He took on human flesh. Jesus has all of the essential properties that make God, God, and all of the essential properties that make a human being, a human being. Jesus is one person with two natures.
5: I affirm the virgin birth.
Jesus was conceived by a supernatural miracle in the womb of Mary. Mary was a virgin when this happened. So when Jesus was born, He was born of a virgin.
6: I believe that all humans are sinners in need of salvation.
7: Jesus died on the cross to atone for the sins of humanity.
8: After dying on the cross, Jesus miraculously rose from the dead.
9: Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead.
10: I believe that we are saved only by faith in Jesus Christ. Good works do not earn us salvation.
These beliefs are essential for someone to be an Orthodox Christian, and I affirm all of them. However, not all issues are make-or-break issues for salvation and orthodoxy.
THE SECONDARY ISSUES
The following are a list of non-essential doctrines that I believe are true.
11: I affirm some form of Old Earth Creationism. I'm certain that the universe and Earth are billions of years old, but I'm on the fence about whether God created miraculously and separately over Earth's 4 billion year history, or whether He used an evolutionary process. I may fall off of one side of the fence someday. I used to be a convinced Old Earth (Special) Creationist, but now I'm on the fence between Old Earth (Special) Creationism and Evolutionary Creationism.
12: Regarding Old Earth Creationism, I am not sure which interpretation of Genesis is the best.
I think The Day-Age View, The Framework Hypothesis, and John Walton's Functional Creation view all have their strengths, and I'm currently in the process of deciding which one to adhere to. I used to be a convinced Day-Ager, now I'm just not sure.
13: I affirm accommodationism, not concordism.
That means I believe that The Bible contains depictions of ancient near eastern cosmology which is an incorrect and primitive view of the universe. God used the faulty scientific understandings of the ancient Israelites as a springboard to teach them theological truths about Himself. God was more concerned with teaching the initial recipients of His Word 3 things: (1) History, (2) Morality, and (3) Theology. The Bible correctly teaches all 3 infallibly. However, teaching the initial recipients correct science was not on His To-Do List. God worked around and through the faulty science of their day to teach truths about Himself. As Galileo Galilei put it "The Bible teaches you how to go to Heaven, not how the heavens go."
14: I affirm Arminian soteriology.
We Arminians believe that men are inherently sinful and depraved. We have sin natures that affect every area of our being (Total Depravity) and are not able to come to Christ unless The Holy Spirit sends us grace to enable our wills to choose Him (prevenient grace). Without prevenient grace, man would never choose to come to God, but would always spurn Him. However, we believe God's grace is resistible, not irresistible. We believe God wants the entire human race saved and that therefore Jesus died for the entire human race (and not only some, as Calvinists teach). We believe that apostasy is possible. Election is primarily a corporate matter.
I believe that God has 3 logical moments of knowledge; Natural, Middle, and Free. God knows what everyone could do (natural knowledge), would do (middle knowledge), and will do (free knowledge). Human beings have libertarian free will. God uses His middle knowledge (what we would freely do under any given circumstance) to meticulously orchestrate events throughout all human history. God meticulously controls what happens in the world, yet human free will is not violated in the process.
16: Partial Preterism
I believe that the majority of eschatological prophecies were fulfilled in the first century. All of Jesus' Olivet Discourse was predicting the fall of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D 70, most of Revelation was predicting the events of A.D 70, and many of the epistles also talked of the events of A.D 70 as "Soon" to come to pass. Jesus "came" in A.D 70 in judgment against Jerusalem for rejecting Him as the Messiah. But this was only "A" coming, not "THE" second final coming. This is where the "Partial" in Partial Preterism comes in. I do believe Jesus will return visibly, in His human nature, to judge the whole world. But that's not the event Matthew 24-25 and Mark 13 were predicting. I also believe in a future rapture and bodily resurrection, as 1 Thessalonians 4 predicts.
17: I affirm the Eternal Conscious Torment view of Hell.
People endure torment in Hell for eternity. They are not annihilated.
18: I am a Protestant
I adhere to the 5 Solas set forth in The Reformation. Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), Sola Christus (Christ Alone), Sola Fide (Faith Alone), Sola Deo Gloria (To The Glory Of God Alone), Sola Gratia (by grace alone). We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of God alone according to the Scriptures alone.
19: With Regards To Original Sin,
I believe all humans inherit a sinful nature from Adam that inclines us towards wrong doing, but I don't believe anyone is held accountable for Adam's sin but Adam.