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Hey Dave I really enjoyed your post. I don't really have an answer for any of your questions. But I am challenged and encouraged by your response to Paul about your faith. I don't really think if put in a position as you were if I could have come up with as good as defense statement as you. I think it was a good mix of heart and truth. I am challenged to think about what I would say if asked. Thanks for helping me think of this and well done. Honestly I just would have been p.o.'d if someone would have sat in "my" aisle on an empty plane! Just kidding :) Kind of.

Brian B

Great post Dave! It was encouraging to hear how you reflected Paul's world-view and took on his inconsistencies.

It does not seem as though anyone can negate one's experience and definition of meaning as defined by their experience. However, like you did, you can reveal inconsistencies that force a re-evaluation of their beliefs/values/worldview.

Whether or not they admit it, I do think in the re-evaluation they open themselves up however slightly to something new.

Way to be bold!

Fred White

Wow. My first reaction is that was an indepth subject. I think we can only really validate our personal experience with the living God. I liked your assessment of him being his own "GOD." I need to read your blog again and digest this more, but I don't think I could have done a good as you.


It's late and I have too heavy a heart and light a brain to respond fully now. What dominates the topics herein, however, is the ever-growing and deep desire you've had, beginning sometime b/t the cul-de-sac prayer book and "I agree with Dave," for truth and to be a genuine steward of the gospel. You love people and respond to opportunities to share the gospel more than anyone I know. In short...oops, here I go...no steward is worthy; no recipient is either; no listener is capable of "getting it," and no methodology is ever going to cut it in evangelism. I told you I'm tired--if you sound 'hip hop' tired, I guess I'm sounding Calvinistic--but I'm sitting here thinking the first part of my message describes what it's all about: an others-centered love-burden that you didn't learn but God empowered you with, faithfulness to share the gospel. The gospel. THE gospel. That's all he told us to do. "Study to show..approved; be prepared to give..defense; rightly divide..the Word.." Those aren't methods for "meeting people where they are" in generation ___." They are daily habits to grow in the likeness of the Christ who IS the gospel. I love your answer, Dave. Mainly, I love that you gave an answer. I wanted to give Paul a little slap and tell him to work on concealing his messiah complex and ask him when he decided the public would be interested in listening to him have a 1-on-1 conversation with you when he received this evangelistic "calling" to be the mirror. There's my sinful heart exposed after twilight. Your words were far more seasoned with grace, and I think that's why God constantly places "Pauls" in a seat next to you. How humbling to think Jesus wept and shed blood and suffered and died and prayed with His last breaths for the self-righteous and judgemental Pauls and Joes. Thanks for being a steward, bro. I hope Paul has spent as much time thinking about your time together as you have. I hope he knows how much you care for him and Who made that possible. I hope his heart is opened to Love by grace. I hope he comes to understand his strategic seating plan was providential before he decided to travel. I hope we get to rejoice with him one day, before the throne of Almighty God, when we finally recognize the grace that allowed us to be there.

Nick Stewart

Thanks for the thoughts and questions Dave and I want I to respond all the questions but I will only do one because of time. I struggled with the first question during fall quarter and so I will provide my response to that one. I would say since our lives strongly depend on learning from experience, then yes the truth that we accept is strongly associated to our experience. It may be the final measure and end all for what we believe, but it is difficult for someone else to believe and ultimately needs to be accepted by faith. For example, if your mom or dad tells you not to touch the hot stove because it will burn you, that is true and almost guaranteed to be the truth because at some point in their lives, they have “experienced” the results of touching a hot stove. Now, even though we were told not to touch the hot stove, we still end up touching a hot stove at some point in our lives (purposefully or not) and we therefore feel the implications of that experience. Since we have finally felt the pain from a hot stove, we would also strongly argue that one shouldn’t touch a hot stove. So, someone told us the truth from experience but it was not enough, so we experienced and found the truth ourselves, but the cycle continues, which is why faith is more important.


I'm still thinking about this conversation a lot, even though I first heard it awhile ago. I am really amazed at your responses to Paul. I don't know how you had the energy and mindset to engage in such deep topics...except to acknowledge the Spirit's power in you. I think it's obvious that you definitely have the gift of evangelism; I agree with Joe that these types of occurrences happen frequently with you as the Lord places people around you to engage the gospel with them. Thank you for working out of your God-given ability to share His Word.

In answer to your first question, I think a lot of what we believe is based on our experience. However, we cannot say to have experienced everything that we believe is true. At some point, we have to believe truth that is apart from our experience. Maybe a sort of second-hand experience type of thing?

It was fun to read about your trip and I admire the man of faith and reason God has made you to be. Thanks for encouraging me to be bold and share more!


Thanks so much Brian. I have you to thank for any blogging skills i'm starting to get. I agree, the inconsistencies one faces while 'defending' his/her faith can be pretty frustrating. In fact, the example of Galileo constantly comes up, but I truly feel that people with genuine faith in Jesus are becoming modern-day Galileo(s).


Thanks Dad. I'm always challenged by the strength of your faith and your sincere desire to grow throughout your entire life. Even approaching your latter years :), you never stop reading books, listening to sermons and soaking up wisdom from others. i'll look forward to seeing you in a few weeks.


Hey Bro. It's great hear from you. You have always been a far superior writer to me, so I love reading your well-structured replies to everything I post. I have invited some people from completely different spiritual-disciplines, so i'll look forward to reading your interactions with them, as I know you love to engage people who don't share your views. Love you guys.


Nicolai! You are wise beyond your years and I am so glad that you have been responding to my posts/videos, etc. in the web-world. I think Kyra's post, and yours combined have some great points. Kyra said you don't really need to touch the stove in order to believe it to be hot...but at the same time, some 'experience' with it, whether the testimony of another or witnessing the consequences from another, causes one to 'believe' that it will hurt to touch it. I look forward to meeting up with you again soon.


Thanks for all of the encouragement honey and the quality thoughts you offer...always. I am a better man because I get to walk through life with you, and you sharpen me in every way. Thanks for diving into this conversation amidst your commitment to changing diapers and keeping our house relatively sane.


Thanks Aubrey! You're hilarious. I was seriously a little peeved that my aisle was invaded. I could totally see you furrowing your brow when he scooted in...unable to hide your real feelings from being known by the whole world :). We're heading up to Chico today, so hope to see you guys there.

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