Apologetics Blog Post 4

A Change of Mind.

 

I’ve spent a lot of time travelling and working alone. It isn’t always easy and it was certainly harder when I was in a bad place with my faith. I remember one time when I was in Iceland, I was alone, it was raining, cold and I had just left all my friends and family for the next year and I had no idea what was coming next. I was exploring this beautiful country and seeing some of the coolest waterfalls I’ve ever witnessed. It should have been a magical time, but instead I look back at my time there with a bit of a bad taste. Without God in existence I would struggle to find the beautiful moments in my life and would find it impossible to find my meaning.

                During the next few weeks I managed to make it to my bible school and started building up my faith again. I started reading the Bible each morning again and truly praying, none of this fake stuff I did for my parents and pastors at home. It was a crazy transformation that caught me off guard. I first saw it in my photography. I had been on a cold streak for big hits for several months. I couldn’t find inspiration anywhere and I had been in plenty of beautiful places recently. Alaska, Iceland, Banff, and now Norway.

Even with all the travel I couldn’t find inspiration, but on week 4 of my bible school it started coming back. All of the sudden I was able to find shots that not only made me happy, but also inspired those who saw them. I changed my whole view on photography, instead of trying to be famous and get on the cover of every magazine I decided I wanted my photography to inspire people to go outside and explore God’s creation. Once I had that mindset shift everything changed. My work travelled more than it every had in my life and It was amazing to see the reaction from my audience. I felt like God had affirmed my gift and I was excited to travel down this road with him.

If God didn’t exist there would be a loss of purpose in my life. I look at my life now and compare it to a few years ago and I can see that if God wasn’t there, then I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my life. I would be looking for earthly pleasures and focusing on myself, but God has left us the word to read, and a beautiful world to explore. He wants a relationship with us and if we let Him, He can show us this world in a whole new light.

Apologetics Blog Post 3

This week I interviewed my flatmate, Aaron Hamstra, about his belief in God and what sorts of roadblocks and highlights he’s had in his faith journey. Similarly, to myself and the author of the book “Thinking,” by Andy Steiger, Aaron has a strong faith background, believing in God and trusting his works. I asked him about some parts of his faith that were easy and others that were hard. He told me, “I think that in my life, trusting that God is real is easy, but knowing why I trust He’s real is hard. I couldn’t tell you why I believe, I just do. One road block for me would be the whole science thing. The big bang, evolution and the fossil records, I don’t know where that fits into my faith.” As we discussed this we realized how hard it is to be educated, even at a bible school, to the degree where you can have a dispute over your beliefs and feel confident in why you believe in God. It’s a tough thing to realize that our faith isn’t held on by anything solid. It’s our own trust and upbringing that give’s us this faith that God is real.

 In the book, Steiger talks about the Christian tradition being one that is made of knowledge and has cases built for it over years, having lines of evidence that cumulatively are pointing towards a divine creator. (38) This is something that I struggle with. I can read about evidence and philosophical ideas that point towards a creator, but I don’t know if that is something I truly put my faith in. It’s a learning point for myself I now realize. I would like to learn and trust more in what may be right in front of me, pointing towards God. 

                Further along in our conversation, we started talking about pitfalls in our faith. What things in life hold us back from pursuing Jesus? For Aaron he believed it would be money. He worries about not having enough money or having too much. It’s a theme that sometimes makes him worry too much. For myself, success is my biggest worry. I spend a lot of time wondering if I will ever be “successful” and build a life for myself. As we talked about these pitfalls, we realized that it is something that we can mitigate. We just need to be disciplined and continue to trust in Jesus’s moderation of these in our lives.

                After my readings in the last chapter and after talking to Aaron I realize that faith is a difficult thing to argue and discuss. I am really impressed with all the arguments for believing in God in “Thinking” (38,41,49) as they really made a lot of sense to me. The fact that science started from religion really baffled me and is something that made me really question some of my thoughts of science. I learned a lot though writing this and I’m excited to see what else I learn in this course.