In February 1983 I gave my heart and life to Jesus Christ. These last 30 years have been a wild ride and an adventure I will never regret. Please permit me a little self-indulgent reflection on how all of this came about.
My faith journey began as a child. Our family went to church; I went through confirmation class and professed my faith in Christ in 1965. But as I entered my teen years, I abandoned the faith of my childhood. By the time I started college I gave no thought to the things of God and doubted whether one even existed. Darwinian evolution was the foundation of my understanding of the origins of life. Naturalism was the lens through which I viewed the world.
Until my junior year, nothing had shaken that perspective. Then I took Dr. Watson’s physiology class where I gained an appreciation of how we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. I marveled at the intricate complexity of the human body and rejected the ridiculous, irrational claims of evolution. We cannot go “from goo to you by way of the zoo” as Frank Peretti puts it.
My rejection of Darwinian evolution had nothing to do with faith or religion. It just no longer made sense.
As an Animal Science student, I could see how an animal from the same family or genus might evolve into different species. Even many creationists believe in that process of speciation or microevolution. That is simply an extension of selective breeding that we use in livestock. You start with a genetically diverse animal. As you select for certain traits you concentrate some genetic traits and eliminate others. But the idea that you can start with a genetically simple organism, such as a single-celled animal, that rapidly evolves into a genetically more complex organism didn’t (and still doesn’t) make sense.
So where did that leave me?
The only conclusion I could come to was that we are products of a brilliant design. If we are designed there must be a designer. And so I took my first baby steps on my journey of faith. Those steps had no impact on how I lived my life, but I went from being an atheist (or something akin to it) to being an agnostic. Little did I know what God had in store for me.
Next: Part 2 – The November to Remember
God’s grace to you,
Steve Jennings, Executive Director