Mondo and his wife Angela
One of my favorite life Bible verses is Ephesians 2:4-5 where we are told that God “who is rich in mercy, because of His great love for us, Has made us alive together with Christ.” I grew up in the beautiful state of Oregon, but was not raised in a Christian home. Yet, at 18 years old, God reached out of heaven and showed me His mercy by giving me new life and purpose in His Son Jesus. Soon after, God gave me my lovely wife Angela and blessed us with three wonderful daughters (Allie-23 yrs, Emily- 21 yrs, and Sarah-19 yrs).
God then called our young family to Illinois where I served as a youth pastor and senior pastor for 9 years. It was also during this time that I had the joy of getting trained in the backgrounds and theology of the Bible. I attended Moody Bible Institute where I received a Bachelors degree and studied the Jewish background of the Bible along with pastoral leadership. I really had a strong desire to continue to learn the background of Scripture so it would sharpen my ability to teach.
The goal for every Christian is truth, facts, data and to understand the processes which lead us there. We should all endeavor to seek truth through authentic empirical science and understanding the philosophy of science. God doesn’t call us to a blind faith, but as the Creator and Most Intelligent designer of our amazing universe, He invites us to research, study, hypothesize, test and examine His creation in order to understand Him better. We should evaluate all disciplines of research.
Because of the desire to understand and pursue genuine research I went to graduate school at Trinity International University and received a masters degree in Biblical and Near Eastern Archaeology and Languages. We had the joy of learning the richness of the culture, history, theology and original languages of the Bible. In addition, we learned the science and methodology of archaeological/anthropological research. It is true that God does require faith, but He never asks us to have blind faith, but “to always be ready to give a reason (logical defense) of the hope that we have” (1 Peter 3:15). Genuine science and faith are not opposites and I am saddened that many people who say this are misinformed. Most scientific disciplines that now exist were established by scientists who also were theists. Isaac Newton, Maxwell, Faraday, Kepler are just a few. To see a full list click HERE.
God also has given me the privilege of traveling to Israel on seven occasions, Egypt and Jordan twice, Turkey, Greece, Patmos and the opportunity to lead three tour groups through the land of Israel.
After we left the Midwest, God moved our family to serve three years at a church in Washington state and now have the privilege of serving at Tahoe Community Church (since September, 2017). God continues to show me the riches of His mercy in calling us sinners into His service. I thoroughly enjoy the outdoors, trail running, mountain biking, as well as attempting to be an amateur astronomer. If you want to catch a trail, talk theology, or observe the Milky Way, shoot me an email and we’ll make it happen!
My academic interests include Bronze and Iron age Near Eastern Archaeology, 2nd Temple Period, OT/NT Textual Criticism, Historical Geography of the Levant, Biblical and Systematic Theology, and ancient Semitic Languages (and modern Hebrew).
I am currently a student in the PhD program in Biblical Theology and Hermeneutics at Liberty University.
In addition to archaeological pursuits in Israel and Egypt, I have been participating on a project with the Peruvian Ministry of Culture in seeking to ascertain a more definitive genetic history of the Paracas People group. Here is a trailer of the documentary which highlights the results of our research.
Who says we have to be limited to only one discipline? 🙂 I am a C.S. Lewis fan and have spent many years writing a comprehensive study guide on the Screwtape Letters. I have finished Volume 1 and am working on Volume 2 in my spare time.
You can find more info at: www.screwtapestudyguide.com
Some topical papers that I have written that hopefully are enlightening or encouraging:
Is There Really A Separation of Church and State? Understanding the Historical and Judiciary Context