Often I’m asked about my overall background as well as my qualifications to discuss the issue of predestination vs free will. To be honest, in one respect, I have no qualifications in that I'm not a pastor and I have no seminary degree (which sometime I think nowadays makes me more qualified!!). My degree is in Business Administration and my work background for 30+ years is in Logistics. I am politically and theologically conservative and am a Southern Baptist.
I try not to portray myself as something I’m not and when I am asked the question “who are you and what is your background?” I am reminded what Patrick of Ireland, aka Saint Patrick, wrote in a defense of himself:
“I am Patrick, a sinner, most uncultivated and least of all the faithful and despised in the eyes of many.”
My only qualification is I have a Bible and have been an Adult Sunday School teacher and love apologetics. I try to be a Berean and encourage others to be as well. As Luke wrote in in Acts 17:11
"Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."
It is my hope that no one blindly accepts anything on my site, but search the scripture themselves, just as I hope no one blindly accepts the writings of people like John Calvin or their favorite Reformed Theology pastors
Many years ago I became good friends with a pastor who, when I'd ask him theological questions, wouldn't always give me an immediate answer but would encourage me to search the scriptures, look up the original meanings and context of words and phrases, tell me to pray about it, and then we'd discuss my question and what I had learned. That, I hope, helped me to become a Berean and it sparked my interested in apologetics.
Though I do use various commentaries, I recall my pastor buddy telling me when I asked for his recommendations regarding which commentaries to use that “the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible.”
The way I got into the Calvinist debate was mostly by accident. As an adult Sunday school teacher the issue of Predestination vs. Free Will kept coming up and my opinion would be asked. At first I had no strong opinion one way or the other but as I started researching the topic I did start forming my opinion. While admittedly I did initially lean a little on the free will side when I started looking into the matter, I was open to the possibility that I had missed or misunderstood something. So rather than trying to “prove” free will I actually took path of trying to convince myself that predestination was the correct doctrine. So as to not take away teaching time in Sunday school I began writing down my position, along with my sources, to hand out. My original intent was to keep it simple and have a one page handout. However, each time the topic came up my adult students would have new questions and as I addressed them my one page handout steadily grew. Then to make my position paper more available I put it on-line.
Once I put it on the Internet I received many pro and con comments and arguments to what I had written. To address specific “Yeah, but what about THIS Bible verse….” I continued to add to my website.
Now, for all those in the Reformed Theology camp who want to “debate” or argue with me I ask, “why?" If you believe I am wrong, then why try to convince me that I am wrong? As a Calvinist you should believe that I am predestined to be wrong and that I have no choice in my belief, therefore you are going against God by trying to convince me of anything I have no choice in. Same thing for those of you who think I am misleading folk. If predestination is correct "I "can’t possibly be misleading anyone, as I am only doing what I was predestined to do? You should be celebrating my site and what I was created to do. And for those Calvinists who get some sort of kick by e-mailing me personal insults, that is another indication that YOU have not read and understood the Scriptures, that is not the way Jesus and the Apostles instructed us to deal with people that we disagree with.
Hopefully this answers your question about my background or qualifications. You are free to agree or agree to disagree with me, which is your choice. As I have stated I will not "debate" anyone over Reformed Theology. It has been my experience that if someone's mind is already made up then the discussion is not profitable and is a total waste of time, keeping both sides distracted from doing other things the Lord would have us do ... and that distraction makes Satan happy...