Dear A&O ministries,
I have been very fond of this ministry for at least a decade now. I began my “religious” experience back when I became a member of the LDS church in high school. Some friends and myself were attending a general conference when I had ventured to cross the street to get some lunch at the nearby mall. A lady was handing me a tracts near the temple square sidewalks which contrasted Mormon grace and Christian grace. On the way back from our trip, heading to Idaho, I had a chance to ponder what was on that tract. I didn’t ever see that tract again, since I think a friend of mine had discarded it. However, it was enough to get me thinking about salvation.
Sometime after that, after I had determined that the LDS church was false, I had become saved through reading some Josh Mcdowell materials. My thirst for spiritual knowledge was huge, and I tried to get my hands on any books that talked about the cults, and apologetics. I began reading Hunt (on Mormonism), and Geisler (on general apologetics) and continued to grow (in some areas) in my faith. During this time I still had a desire to revisit and study salvation. During this time I had been a member of a Church of God 7th day church. I believe to this day I was saved during that time, but didn’t understand some things about salvation. I believed one could lose his salvation and wasn’t sure about the nature of the Godhead. The materials on A&O’s website, and the book The Forgotten Trinity helped me to firmly understand what was meant by the Trinity, thereby preventing me from accepting the COG 7th-day teaching that God was a two-personal being. Near the end of my time at that church, I had left for reasons of disagreeing over the teaching of eternal security, which I had come to realize was true, through various A&O materials, and bible study. Although I had left, the pastor at that church did confess he was wrong about the Godhead and embraced the Trinity through various dialogues we had. I remember the pastor mentioning after having borrowed my copy of The Forgotten Trinity that it was “real heady”! 🙂
As I continued in my Christian growth, I continued in my admiration for Dr. Geisler and Dave Hunt. As I observed over time their various dialogues and debates with James White, I began to wonder about James. I thought perhaps that James was just real arrogant. I thought that maybe the reason Geisler wouldn’t debate him was because James was making a big deal over a minor issue of doctrine as it related to God’s sovereignty in Salvation. Admittedly, I was only reading Dave Hunt’s sections in Debating Calvinism, and Geisler’s Chosen But Free. I did have a copy of James White’s The Potter’s Freedom but mainly for the purpose of giving the appearance that I was an “open minded” guy. God is faithful however. He continued to press me to the point where I had to fully study out the issue, and not just remain satified with the emotional rhetoric of Hunt, and the Thomistic-esque (if that’s a word!) syllogisms of Geisler. I approached TPF thinking that perhaps I could build my own argumentation that would allow for a good response to White. But there was one problem. The Spirit helped me to see that it wasn’t White I was battling, but God’s word, and God himself. White’s work in TPF cut through my empty logic, my pride, and ultimately my arminian system that I wore so proudly. I still pray that Geisler would debate James, and that Hunt would give him a real debate.
Today, I am currently working toward the goal of becoming a pastor and would like to perhaps plant a church. I have had many dialogues with Mormon missionaries, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics, and now Arminians. God has used these times to deliver some Mormons, even allowing me to give a presentation of the Trinity to a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses and more!
I am truly so very grateful to God that I have been delivered through so much false teaching, and that A&O ministries has been there beside me through this whole crazy thing! To the staff of A&O ministries. You guys will perhaps never know in this life how many people you have equipped for ministry, and how God has used you all to help those in error to see His truths.