Josh’s job with an international mission organization requires cross-cultural awareness and a genuine willingness to understand others’ views.
While different cultures comprehend God within the context of their surroundings and experiences, Josh has seen how that can sometimes lead Christians to pin judgment on others and warns that can “shut the door to conversation.”
His time at SES taught him how to approach conversations with humility and armed with a powerful defense of Christianity.
After earning an associate’s degree in computer information systems, Josh studied to be a mechanic and found a job with a North Carolina-based outreach in 2012—the same year he enrolled at SES. He’d fix missionaries’ cars during the day and take one seminary class at a time until he finished his bachelor’s in religious studies in 2017.
“They not only taught you the truth, but they taught you all the main objections to it and how to explain why the truth is the truth,” he said about SES.
A class on world religions with an SES professor has helped Josh respond to people of other faiths. An ethics class with Dr. Land helped him understand how our culture has gone sideways and how to view controversial issues from a Christian perspective.
Josh said the ethics class paired well with a course on the problem of evil with Dr. Geisler—since evil and suffering can often be barriers to people trusting God.
Josh now works in missions and—in non-COVID times—has led trips to places like Ethiopia, Thailand and Greece. He walks with new missionaries through their journey, opening their eyes to what it means to live the missionary life.
Occasionally, though, someone will start down this path without fully understanding the Gospel.
He saw that once with a young woman who wanted to intern with his organization, but hadn’t heard the Gospel before. He explained it to her and said “she ended up reading the Bible for the first time.”
This is the value of apologetics, he said, and a seminary like SES—to meet people where they’re at and be prepared to explain why we believe.
It’s not about an argument, but about conversation—offering a different angle, a different nugget for people to chew on.
“You can tell by the look on their face, I didn’t think about that before,” he said, reflecting on the past several years of sharing his faith.
With the training he received at SES and “wealth of information” he learned from Scripture, Josh acknowledges there’s so much more to learn. It’s impossible to get a complete grasp on an omnipotent God.
Bearing that in mind is critical when pointing others to Christ and keeping the door open for conversation.
“We must get away from pride and move toward humility.”
You, too, can learn how to defend the faith “with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). See what classes SES has to offer.