2018: Looking Back

Hello friends and readers,

The year has come and gone at last! Time has certainly flown as I’m sure it has for you all as well. Thank you every one for your support throughout this past year and for reading what I write. I’m truly grateful.

When I look back at the past 12 months, I want to examine both the good and the bad, my successes as well as my areas of improvement and setbacks. So, here goes…

There’s nothing about which I can truly complain. God has blessed me with so much. So much so that even the moments of real difficulty and complexity I can tell are serving a good purpose. This year, I graduated school with a half-decent average, got my iron ring, my diploma in mechanical engineering, to cap off four and a half years of hard work. Moreover, I got an excellent job in the field only four months after finishing school. I moved to a new town, got myself a car (used), and found a super awesome church in town. All of this has been really good, undeserved mercy from God who is himself the source of all blessing.

On the other side of things, this has been a really psychologically and spiritually challenging year for me. I’ve struggled greatly with feelings of sadness, lacking confidence in myself, struggling not to assume the worst of both myself and other people. A lot of this originates in personal sin which I’m slowly uncovering and attempting to deal with in the ways that I know of. But I’m sure it isn’t just my sinfulness that creates this cycle of pain, I’m sure it’s partly just ordinary human responsiveness and emotion for which I ought not be ashamed or apologetic. Keeping in mind, I’m also getting adjusted to ordinary working life outside of school, not constantly surrounded by friends who are my age, as well as still somewhat struggling with the aftermath of a break-up now over a year gone by.

Additionally, I’m caught up in the middle of some weird, complicated family dynamics that I’ve found to be especially challenging. I’m actively seeking guidance from mature followers of Christ at my current local church for these issues. To any of my Christian brothers and sisters reading this, I would much appreciate your prayers as well.

Concerning this blog, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing here and being able to cover a diversity of topics this year such as gene editing, abortion, assisted dying, conscientious objection, and eugenics. Hopefully, I’ve been able to give a good overview of my position on all of these current issues. In the future, I want to cover more of the nuts and bolts of these issues (issues relating to autonomy, human rights theory, etc…).

I’ve also read five books this year which is something I’m particularly proud of because historically I haven’t been a truly avid reader and this year I challenged myself to read more and consistently.

Earlier this year, I read two books. One called Abortion and the Early Church by Michael J. Gorman (1982) which is a survey of the ancient Greco-Roman, Jewish and Christian sources particularly on the issue of abortion and the nature of the pre-born. Really good, concise read. I also read Scripture Alone by James R. White (2004) which gives an introduction to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura from a Reformed perspective. I recommend both of these books.

I also read Theistic Evolution which was released this year, courtesy of Crossway, and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I’ve written reviews for both of these books (click above on the “Book Reviews” header on the website).

The last book I read this year was actually the first volume of Jeff Lemire’s latest comic series called Gideon Falls (released this year). If you’re into comics and horror, I recommend this one. It’s generally well written. The artwork is excellent and the concept is pretty interesting. It digs into topics of guilt, redemption, and original sin. My only qualm is that, considering the religious nature of both the problem at hand and certain characters in the story, the explicit representation of said religion (Roman Catholicism) is pretty surface-level and at times veers into the category of caricature. There is however good nuance that I think adequately offsets the at-times slightly disappointing dialogue. I not only recommend this title but Jeff Lemire’s other recently-closed sci-fi series, Descender.

There you go. Highs, lows. Providence, setbacks. And books.

Hope all of you have had a merry Christmas and continue to have an excellent New Year! And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope this time of year is still equally cheerful!

God bless,

Nate

P.s.: Is there a particular topic you would like me to cover in the future? Is there a book you would like to recommend to me? Please feel free to let me know in the comment section. If you’re new to this blog and you like the content I post, you’re invited to subscribe by hitting the “Follow” button below! One last thing, if you’re a book person, check out my “Bookshelf” and “Book Reviews” pages on the blog website! Thanks!

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