B.J. Condrey was born in the small town of Winnsboro, Texas in 1978. He is a husband to Allison Condrey and a father to Ezra Condrey. After serving as a pastor in the local church in various capacities for over a decade, he began teaching philosophy. He has a B.A. in both Psychology and Philosophy as well as a M.A. in Philosophy. He has taught philosophy at four different schools including Whitworth University and Gonzaga University. He and his family now live in Edinburgh, Scotland where he received a partial scholarship to work toward his doctorate in the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh.
When you read the list of the nine fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, some translations use the word “longsuffering” rather than “patience” (e.g. The New King James Version). If you have ever thought about patience, prayed for patience, or actually tried to be patient, then you understand why the words are sometimes used interchangably.
The main reason I am writing this blog is because I want you to read something that I read today that really hit my heart. In my PhD work, I sometimes like to return to more basic, introductory texts about ethics and Christian ethics to be reminded what it is really all about. Introductory texts often do a great job communicating why the subject is important. In addition, these texts usually do a good job relating the subject to questions that we are all asking. The book I am currently reading is Happiness and the Christian Moral Life by Paul Wadell. In my reading today, he discusses the virtue (what he refers to as a “skill”; I might add that I am not particularly fond of framing the fruits of the spirit, or virtues as a skill, though they no doubt make us more skilled at living the life to which we are called) of patience. What he had to say was simply striking. The text is below.
May we long for Christ. May we cry out for holiness from the bottom of our hearts. May we settle for nothing less. May we realize that these are not mere virtues that will make us better humans. They are, above all else, the means by which we can glorify God as well as embody Christ in a broken world (an incarnate eucharist) and thereby offer people living bread.
I am almost finished with writing the unit titled “The Problem of Pain” for the C.S. Lewis course. In the first assignment, I include a short video by William Lane Craig. He is one of the best Christian apologists in the world. Like Oxford Mathematician and Christian apologist John Lennox, he does more than reason intellectually. He understands that he is talking to real people in the real world. The bottom line is that both the quantity and quality of suffering in our lives and throughout the world demand a compassionate and intelligent response.
No Christ-follower can ultimately answer the question as to why God allows so much pain, but we can at least show that we care and that we have attempted to think through the issue. If you are going to think through the Problem of Pain in a clear, responsible way, then you must make two distinctions. They are as follows:
The Intellectual Problem and the Emotional Problem of Evil
Moral vs. Natural Evil
To watch an excellent video concerning the first distinction, click here.
What if God cares about more than just the internal state of your heart? What if the planet matters? Click on this link if you want to be challenged. We can all do something and then encourage others to do the same.
I am currently writing a course for Enlightium Academy titled, “The Works of C.S. Lewis.” I am having a ton of fun writing this course though at times it has been a bit challenging. In the unit requiring students to read the majority of Lewis’ book, The Problem of Pain, they are required to watch a video where Oxford Mathematician John Lennox, my absolutely favorite Christian apologist, delivers both a sophisticated and compassionate response to the question, “Where is God amidst suffering and evil?” You can find the video by clicking here.
I watched this video in its entirety this morning and built the assignment. After doing so, I felt inspired to do something new with my website. If you now look at the homepage in the upper right, you will see “Links.” I want to help other Christians find the amazing online sources that are available to us all. We all need help, and the help we need takes different forms throughout the various seasons of our life. The video I mentioned earlier was originally posted on The Veritas Forum, a website dedicated to Christians and non-Christians alike who are asking difficult questions in relation to the Christian faith and what is revealed in the Bible. You can find the following description on the Veritas website:
How can we mend a broken world? How should we seek justice? What is the good life?
The Veritas Forum helps students and faculty ask life’s hardest questions. Many of the world’s leading universities were founded to answer the big “why” questions. Our mission is to help them confront these questions anew. The first Veritas Forum was planned by students, faculty and chaplains at Harvard University in 1992. Since then, over 200 universities in North America and Europe have hosted over 2,000 Forums.
The Veritas Forum is committed to courageous conversations. We place the historic Christian faith in dialogue with other beliefs and invite participants from all backgrounds to pursue Truth together.
The material on this website is stunning. Some of the top intellectuals in the world are asked to address certain topics related to Christianity in a way that is understandable for us all. Keep an eye out in the weeks and months to come as I continue to add to the list of links that I believe can help you and I fulfill the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:36-40).
If you have any recommendations, send me a message.
If you have read some of my blogs over the past year, you know that I currently work for Enlightium Academy. Considering the fact that I am a full-time PhD candidate, this online job has been a HUGE blessing for my family. I am so thankful.
This last Tuesday, May 8th, I had the privilege of giving a 10-15 minute talk (via Zoom) to celebrate teachers and what we do. Building the talk was somewhat challenging because I did not want it to be boring or cliche. I mean, what can be said that hasn’t been said to teachers one hundred times? Anyway, I did my best and enjoyed the opportunity and privilege. I have included the manuscript in case you are utterly bored in life and want something to read. Also, I hope the words stir and inspire your heart if you teach in any capacity.
If interested, a recent article that I wrote has been posted on Enlightium Academy’s website and is now available for reading. I have worked for this private, online school for two years. It has been a wonderful experience.