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Jon grew up in West Mchigan and attended Zeeland Public Schools before moving on to Grand Valley State University. He began there as a Computer Science major, but, like many college students, decided his origional major may not be the job he wanted for the rest of his life. Having an interest in many disciplines in science, he decided to become a Philosophy major and focus on the Philosophy of Science. This became a major influence in his graduate work, which has accomplished at Western Michigan University. There he studied Philosophy and emphisized the Philosophy of Science and Epistemology (theories of knowlege and justification). After graduation in 2008, Jon began working as a part-time Philosophy instructor at several area community colleges. This remained the case until 2014 when he began working with Timothy McGrew on a grant project for the John Templeton Foundation putting together an electronic, cross-referenced library of historical works dealing with special Divine action. In 2013 he joined with Daniel Moore in order to be a director for the Ratio Christi group at Western Michigan University. In 2018 he got married and moved to Lexington, KY in order to be with his wife Ashley. Jon is now the Chapter Director for Ratio Christi at the University of Kentucky.
Jon was saved as a child of nine in a Sunday school class at Bauer Community Fellowship Church, however, his real spiritual journey started some time later in High School. Jon had some friends who were Jehovah’s Witnesses, and he could not understand why they had believed some of the strange things they believed until he relized they believed because they had been brought up to believe those things their whole lives. Then one day it hit him, the same thing happened to him. That is when he knew he needed to find out if what he believed was true and how he could know that. This began a journey that he is, to an extent, still on.
Of particular significance for Jon was the question of the truth of the Bible. He came to a point in his journey where he had to investigate this issue, so he prayed, “God if this is your Word, then it will be true, but I am preparing myself for the possability that it could be wrong. If it is true, then it will stand up to attacks.” He proceeded to get on the internet and print 50 pages of “Bible problems.” He began going through them one by one. Most could be thrown out immediately. “Noah got drunk.” That’s not a Bible problem, that is a Noah problem. Some, however, were a bit more difficult. “Jesus told his brothers that he was not going to the festival, but then he went anyway. Jesus lied.” He went to his Pastor and told him what about the search he was on, and that he needed to follow the truth where ever it led. Often a Pastor’s response to n inquiry like this is, “It is true,” or “Just have faith,” however, the answer he got from Pastor Robert was, “Yes you do. You do need to follow the truth where ever it leads.” Then he told Jon that he could access any of his books and commentaries. Even if he wasn’t there, Jon could go in his office and use his books. This is what Jon did on a regular basis for the next few years. He was at the church sometimes three times a week bugging his Pastor with questions. Yet, this may very well have saved his spiritual life.
Since that time others have come into Jon’s life, like Tim McGrew, who have and continue to teach and mentor him. Jon has also listened to the entire Defenders and Reasonable Faith podcasts, in which the Philosopher and Apologist William Lane Craig teaches about apologetics and Philosophical Theology. He have also raided the vaults of apologetics315 looking for and listening to many debates and lectures.
Now that Jon has found many answers for himself, he wants to help others to find the answers to their own questions. This is what drove him toward joining Ratio Christi as a Chapter Director. So many young people are leaving the church because they think what Christianity teaches is false and that a person must reject logic, reason, and science to keep holding their beliefs. This is simply not true, and it is Jon’s passion to show that to as many people as possible.
- Western Michigan University, M.A. Philosophy, 2008
- Grand Valley State University, B.A. Philosophy, 2003