Friday, April 30, 2010

Predestination: Why I Sleep Like a Calvinist

At 6 A.M. in the morning, roughly 15 hours before I leave to spend my summer planting trees and writing blogs from within my tent, I am in an interesting mood. There is so much left that needs to be done: I need to get everything packed; I need to put in a full day at work; I need to buy some last-minute items before I go; I need to have a talk with Kendra; I need to leave instructions for other people to take care of my apartment, car, and bills before I take off for three or four months. There is so much that can go wrong. My boss has agreed to pay me out in cash at the end of the day, but he could end up backing out of that agreement; My roommate could move everything around this summer so that I can't find anything when I get back; Kendra and I could get into an argument before I leave; the other contributors to this blog could lose their vision and end up abandoning the project, especially since it can usually take 4-5 months before something like this even starts to draw attention.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Voice: Contributors

Want to know more about the guys who contribute to The Voice? Here you go.

Sean Rice (No Relation to Ryan)
Sean is a volunteer youth worker, a student at Briercrest College in Canada, and an amazing Super Smash Bros gamer. He was first exposed to Reformed theology mid-way through high school and subsequently adopted it in the weeks leading up to his first year of college. In his spare time he likes to ride bike trails, create poetry, read stuff by early Church Fathers, do tricks on diving boards, and read theology texts. November 20th, 2011 will mark his 8th year as a follower of Christ. He is a devoted husband to Kendra; son of Murray and Judy; brother to Caitlin and Amber; and member of First Baptist Church.

Thomas Booher
Thomas is a Calvinist Christian and currently attends a Presbyterian (PCA) church in North Carolina, USA, though he has yet to develop his convictions regarding infant baptism and eschatology. After attending a Christian school all his life, he came to at last discover the doctrines of grace as a freshman in college, which set his life in a new direction. As of August 2011, he will be a student at Reformation Bible College at Ligionier Academy in Sanford, Florida, as a part of the inaugural class. When Thomas isn't studying or writing about theology and apologetics, he spends his time writing fiction, following in the steps of his father who authored The Oerken Leaves. Thomas also blogs at The Tulip-Driven Life.

Ryan Rice (No relation to Sean)
Ryan is a native of Oklahoma City and was introduced to reformed theology as a young worship leader. His passions include his family; his wife Joni, and his two sons Braeden and Charlie. He was accepted to the Master of Divinity Program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX, but felt the Lord lead him away from that area of academia for the time being. He currently serves as an Information Technology employee for the Chickasaw Nation in Ada, OK and resides in Pauls Valley, OK. His passion is to see sinners fall in love with Jesus Christ through the unchanging power of the Gospel, that all who would receive would find power for this life, and hope for Heaven.

Seth C.
Seth is a Reformed Christ-follower from the southeast Bible belt. He is a psychology graduate on a sabbatical from further education, but he intends to move on to a grad program in clinical psychology sometime in the near future. He is very deeply interested in social connectedness between people and what Scripture reveals about psychological and social issues. Seth is also an ardent lover of Victorian literature and classic black-and-white films. He's still grappling with how his personal story fits into God's larger metanarrative. Finally, Seth is crazy about shalom theology; he loves a story that has a happy ending, especially knowing it is our story.

Nic Laughter
Nic is a sinner, but also a chosen child of God, accepted into God's kingdom through His grace alone. Nic loves Jesus and want to serve Him with all of his life; he is going to be a 3rd year student of Theology and Ministry at Briercrest College and Seminary this coming year, and will also be serving in his 3rd year in ministry. Nic converted from Atheism to Christianity when he was 19 years old and since then has been ever-increasing in his knowledge of the greatness of God and of his own depravity. When he's not busy with school, he also loves playing guitar, participating in frisbee golf and eating burritos. His own personal blog can be found (or at least used to be found) at

Laura Kovar
Laura is a vegan, and enjoys cooking and baking. She is also in love with camping and Star Trek. She became a Christian in August 2007 at a King James Only church in Montreal, Quebec, and became convinced of the Holy Spirit's presence in her life. However, she was also indoctrinated to believe the KJV was God's only inspired word, and set out on a journey to find the truth. Though she is still unsure about some things, she is assured of God's grace and eternal salvation. She is currently studying Linguistics at Briercrest, with minors in Biblical Studies and Biblical Languages. She has been bought with a great price, and yearns to serve God with every ounce of herself, sharing His amazing grace with those who would hear it.

The Voice: What Do We Believe?

If you are reading something by a contributor to The Voice, here are some things that you can assume about what we believe:

One, we are Evangelical. This means that we hold to the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds; We uphold the Bible as inspired, infallible, and inerrant; We affirm that Jesus stood in our place and suffered to pay for our sins; We affirm that Jesus physically rose from the grave to give us a new hope for life eternal; We believe that our faith in Christ is the only thing that makes us acceptable to God.

Two, we are Reformed. This means that we stand in the tradition of the 16th Century voices of the Protestant Reformation, who declared that we are saved through faith alone, by grace alone, by Christ alone, for the sake of the glory of God alone, and that we have the Bible alone as our inerrant source of Christian truth. This also means that we believe in the God who stands as King over all things, and that He saves those whom He chooses, and that His chosen people can not resist His calling to the faith or subsequently fall from it, because He is both persistent and powerful and faithful to accomplish all that He sets out to do.

Three, we are Complementarian. This means that, to different degrees, we all believe in the God who made human beings distinctly male and female, with pre-ordained roles in the home and the Church, and that He did this to give us a picture of the relationship that He enjoys within Himself as a Trinity being consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe that men are to lead in their homes as loving husbands and within the church as godly and mature pastors.

Fourth, we are Missional. This means that we desire to work as hard as we can to see people come to know God. We work with the Holy Spirit in the task of evangelism, instead of trying to make Him work instead of us. Although we believe that it is ultimately God who chooses and saves whomever He wills, we hold this truth in tension with His command to make disciples. We believe in the God who works with His people and who generously invites us to do His work along side of Him.

The Voice: Why We're Here

Why Does The Voice Exist?
First, this blog exists to take sinful, transformed, Holy Spirit-filled men with similar theological convictions, and to connect them to one another to help encourage and assist each other in their efforts to spread the Gospel. This means that The Voice is meant to be a source of mutual encouragement and education for those who contribute to it; if no one ever visited this blog, it would still serve a worthwhile purpose.

Second, we are educating people about how their Christian faith makes a difference in every day life. It is meant to teach Christianity as a way of life more than it is about teaching an abstract system of ideas and concepts--which means that when we talk about doctrine, we make sure that you can understand how it makes a difference in your life right now. This means that The Voice is meant to be a source of encouragement and education to other Christians, both young and old; if a community began to form around this blog, that community would not be starved of thoughtful conversation and spiritual nourishment.

Third, we want to show non-Christians that the resurrection of Jesus makes a difference. It is our desire to show that Christianity -the belief that Jesus gives us redemption, and therefore purpose, and therefore peace- is alive, and that those who are without Christ need Him desperately, and that nothing in life has any meaning until Jesus gives it meaning. This means that The Voice is meant to evangelize through invitation; if someone who did not belong to the community of believers came to this site, it is our hope that they would find a people to belong to and a Christianity worth believing in.

Why Did You Decide to Start The Voice?
Basically, I (Sean) found that I love The Resurgence, which is a blog run by men who are both Reformed, Complementarian, Evangelical, and Missional. But The Resurgence is mostly for pastors and church planters, and we need people with the same theological convictions to talk to other groups of people, to educate and walk together with the office worker, the highschool student, the basketball player, the kid struggling with their sexual identity, and the skateboarder, explaining what the teachings of the Christian faith mean for them. It's a hole that isn't being filled by anything else in the blogosphere.

Why Do Multiple People Contribute?
Because it lessens the work load. As is sometimes said, "many hands make light work." All of us at The Voice have different experiences and points of expertise, so we all bring something important and different to the table. Really, for something of the scope that we are trying to accomplish here, we don't believe that any one person could carry the burden of running this place alone. We need, as it were, different parts of the body to get the job done.