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[COMMENT: I was asked to provide my testimony for an application I was making, and thought it well to publish it here... It is adapted from the introduction to Homosexuality: Good & Right in the Eyes of God? E. Fox]
First, a confession: I have come to describe myself as a Biblical libertarian. I believe in the conservation of reliable truth (a conservative), and also in the open investigation of new possibilities (a classical, Jeffersonian liberal), based on the rules of science (see below). I believe the Biblical worldview is built on freedom (a freewill covenant) from top to bottom, but ordered freedom -- ordered by the law and grace of God. I believe that what we call science arose out of that worldview, aided and abetted by aspects of Greek philosophy. I believe that the spiritual and moral disciplines of Biblical faith lead to continually more substantial, not less, personal freedom, just as (and for the same kinds of reasons that) scientific disciplines lead to enormous freedom. These disciplines are the way of the cross in the trenches -- leading to the fullness of personhood, of relationship, and of culture -- the abundant life promised by Jesus. I believe that God has only truth to offer, and that following Jesus on the way of the cross is a crash course in open, honest truth-seeking at any cost to ourselves, as with Elijah on Mount Carmel (I Kings 18:19 ff.), or, "Come, let us reason together...." (Isaiah 1:18), and living in the Light (I John 1).
When I was seven years old, my closet-Christian mother persuaded my deist father to read to me and my year-older brother from the Bible. He did not feel very comfortable about the matter, but as he read the first chapter of Genesis, it was as if God sat me down in a front row seat at creation, and I watched it all happen. It was a powerful living experience which set the course for the rest of my life.
I reasoned from that experience that if God was the Creator of heaven and earth, that He must have also invented science, so I understood that the alleged scientific disproof of God was bogus. I knew that Jesus was part of the package, but Episcopalians did not, in the 1940's and '50's, talk much about Jesus or pray without a prayer book in our hands. However, in junior and senior high school, the Lord led me to some Baptist and Methodist friends who took me off to Youth for Christ meetings where I learned about a personal relationship with Jesus, and came to know Him more intimately as Lord and Savior.
My brother, a year older, and I slept in the same room and spent many a night conversing about "things". When I was about 10 or 11, he reported learning about "psychology", which he described as a way of someone getting to know what was inside your mind even if you didn’t want them to, and that it was very scary. Something in my youthful spirit sensed and rebelled at the implicit control. I made an inner vow with all the strength that a pre-teen can muster that I would not be afraid to look at whatever was inside myself and that I would not allow any person to control me with "psychology". "No one’s gonna scare me that way!"
It was another turning point in my life, and set me on a course toward honesty and personal integrity which bore fruit as time went on. I won some and lost some of those bouts with emotional and mental control which we all face daily. It took a long time for me to recognize that my birthright to selfhood and freedom, which seemed threatened by "psychology", was from God -- by gift at creation and by restoration through redemption.
God had given me a good mind, and inspired me with enough courage to put it to use. And so college years, seminary, and graduate school were enormously productive, building in me a solid Christian conviction of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Apologetics, explaining faith reasonably, became my driving passion.
I married in 1966. A continual prayer that God would make me the kind of person that other people would feel safe being around was a powerful channel for the grace of God to set my resolve yet once again to be His kind of man.
We were raising three wonderful children. But the marriage was not a happy one, and my wife sued for divorce in 1989. I read a statement at the court trial that the State of Connecticut did not have the jurisdiction to end our marriage. The marriage was a covenant between my wife, myself, and God. And it would take the permission of God to end it, which I was sure we did not have. The judge, to everyone’s amazement, replied: "What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." That did not stop her from doing it, but for just a brief moment, the bench became a pulpit. Deo gratia!
My life's passion has been Christian apologetics, teaching Christians to think again. Christians lost the battle for the 19th and 20th centuries largely because we lost our intellectual integrity, and might lose the 21st as well -- if we do not discipline ourselves to clear and accurate thinking. We have not known how to explain how we know what we know in any reasonable way, and have retreated into our mutually conflicting denominational boxes, much to the delight (and scorn) of the secular/pagan public.
So my life-calling and dedication continues to be developing a Biblical epistemology and worldview, and showing how the Biblical revelation holds the intellectual, moral, and spiritual high ground, and that Christians can, with Elijah on Mount Carmel (I Kings 18), offer an open and honest challenge, winner take all. It is precisely in that open contest that God wins.
NOTE: A much longer version of this testimony is contained in the introduction to Homosexuality: Good & Right in the Eyes of God? (see section G).
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