In part one, I explained the experiential scope of Christianity not as a proof of its truth but as a means of demonstrating its practical power in applying through all the moments in time in which a person lives. In comparison, any other material good will necessarily only persist within a finite amount of time due to its inherent potential to be destroyed. That eternal good from which all finite goods proceed from must by necessity be of lesser value than the eternal good. This is not to downplay the good of any person, but it does demonstrate how we should strive for that good which grounds any other good that we enjoy. In this part, I will be reflecting at a more personal level the events that have occurred in my life in 2011. That year, a lot has changed for me in regards to my beliefs, relationships, and experiences.
The Story of RT (January-May)
I’ll start with the beginning of January. This is a time when Tim and I were running a blog called “Rational Thoughts”, which I consider to be one of the best projects that we worked on. The design was simple, the work was mutual, and it was a fairly known blog in the apologetics scene. We even had an active IRC chat. Due to some time constraints, we needed more bloggers so we found two new bloggers that became two of my dearest brothers in Christ: Alfredo and David. Somewhere around this time, I built some respect for natural law because of the recent discussions we had on homosexuality but did not quite understand the metaphysics behind it. Alfredo suggested a book by Edward Feser called “Aquinas” that changed my entire metaphysical perspective of things. I have to say, I probably read that book’s chapter on metaphysics a dozen times. It made modern metaphysics look like drunk mental gymnastics.
Once I understood the necessity of Thomas Aquinas’s metaphysics, everything else fell into place. For the first time I knew what “goodness” is, what simplicity is, what act-potency is, what the soul is, and what God is. The scholastic system of thought is brilliantly logical. Every aspect of its thought is justified by reason and experience such that the simplest truths entail its more complex truths. Contrary to what some suggest, this was not a “dark age” of superstition and blind faith, it is in fact the golden age of reason. Unfortunately, the fact that I adopted this position was not taken kindly by two passionate friends, whose names I will not disclose. After taking a strong position on homosexuality and transsexuality that went against their sense of “identity”, I was attacked as lacking empathy, love, tolerance, and acceptance.
Now, I can rightly be faulted in some sense for having gotten upset at their personal attacks as well as perhaps giving up on the relationship a bit too soon. However, their lifestyle was just so emotionally compelled that no intellectual discussion could ever hope to change their position. Presumably, I rejected their entire identity and because of that, I was not a true friend. To reconcile with them, I had attempted to avoid any discussion on the morality of their behavior but this tragically ended when they discovered I debated the issue of same sex marriage on debate.org. This one girl in particular would always provoke me with her hateful comments and I tried to stand down for a while until I could no longer stand being the only person who was attempting to reconcile. I realized a true friendship would involve the mutual good of the other and that involves rejecting what a friend thinks is good when it is in fact bad. However, since my attempts to silence myself were futile and I already expressed my reasons for my belief, I quickly ended what little I had with them.
The Fall of SAA & RT & RG (February-August)
During and before this drama had unfolded, Tim had the idea of creating “Students Apologetics Alliance” or SAA. Thanks to the support of Wintery Knight, we had created a good site that gained some significant traffic. We got linked by Paul Copan, Apologetics 315, and WK that the traffic literally shut down our site. Apparently, we received too many database requests that it overloaded the bandwidth. This was partly due to our failure to install a proper cache system to handle that kind of traffic, along with the bandwidth sucking plugins we used. Unfortunately, the interest seemed to have quickly died off and the long list of SAA bloggers failed to contribute. We also had gained some competition from CAA or Christian Apologetics Alliance that surprisingly had the exact same idea that we had. Due to the work involved in SAA, we abandoned Rational Thoughts. And tragically, RT had lost its mySQL database due to some sort of error.
We had such high hopes for SAA but something just didn’t click. Everything on RT was lost so we had nowhere to return to except our AIM group chat. The chat was called RationalGang (RG) and had some particularly notable activity during the summer. I had a blast chatting with Alfredo, Tim, Dimmitri, Dunia, David, Justin, Czar and Andrew. Unlike the IRC chat we had before, this one felt more like home because for the most part we all held the same fundamental views and respected each other. The IRC, on the other hand, always had some kind of revolt toward Tim and some other unnecessary drama. That’s not to say that no drama had unfolded in RG but it kind of just felt like family to me. Sooner or later, we decided to create a site based off our group (see here) once we decided that time was available for a consistent amount of writing. It had some regular activity in the beginning but once again, it died off after we got busy with work and school.
Work and Life
Personally, I had been preoccupied with work. In the beginning I had a mentor named “Jay” who was teaching me affiliate marketing and through his methods, I was able to make money in that field for the first time. It was so promising and I already had gotten my ranking up to #3 for two keywords. It required lot of work but was definitely worth it. Unfortunately, Jay disappeared and claimed he had a sickness but it turns out that it was just a lie. I paid about $500 for his training and while I suppose it was not a total loss, it was still quite a shock to me. In any case, I got busy designing a website for a Japanese Church and began considering other careers. During this time, my grandma had passed away which was a major change for me and my Uncle’s dad had died from a stroke. Entire family had been shaken up a bit. Soon afterwards, my mom filed a lawsuit against her employer and is currently without a job. Then Steve Jobs passed away. It saddened me but it also caused me to reflect on his accomplishments and what I could learn from him.
Despite all of this, I experienced something entirely new, something that I never thought would actually happen. I’m afraid I cannot reveal the details of that right now, but let’s just say that it will have life-changing effects. For work, I have found a new mentor who is willing to teach me for free. This guy is a boss at marketing so I have high hopes for the future. Finally, in December I came across a good hosting deal that included a free domain and decided it was time to create Walking Christian. Even before the failures of SAA, and RG, I had already planned to make a blog like this. It’s not that I did not enjoy blogging with Tim but I just wanted something more practical and personal and have more control over the kind of blog I’d like it to be. In a way, I felt constrained in what I could post but on here, I just feel more laid back. With Walking Christian, I’m hoping to do for the mind, body, and soul what Steve Jobs did for technology.