Steve is available to teach and preach in the New Jersey, Philadelphia, and New York area. See a list of readily available talks and workshops.
Once an ardent atheist, Steve became a follower of Christ in 2005.
He is a chapter director for Ratio Christi (“the Reason of Christ”), an international apologetics-focused campus ministry, at Rutgers University, and he teaches biblical theology and apologetics to high school seniors.
A former English teacher with twenty years of experience, Steve regularly speaks at churches as a “community apologist.” He has trained pastors in Uganda on responding to cults and students in Utah on reaching their Mormon neighbors. He also teaches Bible to high school seniors at a local Christian school.
Steve holds an M.Div from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
A life-long New Jerseyan, he married his wife, Christine, in 2008. God has blessed them with two children through adoption.
Steve enjoys national parks, comic book movies, and collecting action figures for his book shelves, but not as much as jiujitsu and mixed martial arts.
He is author of the forthcoming book Reintroducing Jesus: Finding Jesus of Nazareth in the Misinformation Age.
WHAT'S AN APOLOGIST?
The word “apologetics” come from the Greek word apologia, which means to give a defense. Apologetics is a branch of Christian theology that focuses on both defending the faith and giving logical reasons for following Christ.
The Apostle Peter wrote, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense [apologia] to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Pet. 3:15)
The goal of Confidence in Christ is to build up followers of Christ "so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes" (Eph. 4:14).
“Steven is a former student of mine and I have found his apologetics site as one of the best online anywhere. I regularly teach Master’s and PhD level courses in apologetics and always highly recommend Steven’s apologetics site to my students…
“He also relates to people with whom he disagrees in a cordial, irenic way. He presents his position in a clear, articulate and convincing way, based on facts, reason and compassion.”
-Dr. James Parker, III, Professor of Worldview and Culture, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
My Testimony & Call to Ministry
As I celebrated my 30th birthday, following Jesus Christ as my Lord was as strange a concept to me as declaring Alexander the Great my personal accountant. I had grown up in a nominal Christian home. A skeptic since middle school, by the time I was in college I thought of myself as an atheist or, at least, a hard agnostic.
But at age 31, my wife abruptly ended our marriage. I was blindsided and devastated. Saying it would do me good to get away and do something positive, my older sister invited me to go with her church on a mission trip to build houses for poor families in Mexico. I declined the invitation, quite sure I didn’t want to spend a week around a bunch of Christians prying into my business.
A day or so later, I had a strange moment where I—thick in my misery—spoke to God in my head. It was not a purposeful prayer; I immediately thought, “That was strange. I haven’t talked to God since I was a kid.” With this, I felt a presence (which I now understand to be the Holy Spirit) and an overwhelming sense of peace. This comforting presence was so tangible that I told my sister that I would go with her on the mission trip.
In Mexico, for the first time, I saw Christians living out the sacrificial love of Christ. A friend I made there said to me, “Just because you have doubts doesn’t mean you can’t read the Bible, pray, or go to church.” I found myself unable to argue with that.
Not long after, I prayed for God to forgive my wrongs and make me a new man. I have been following Christ ever since those events in 2005.
(Since people often ask: along with a new life in Christ, God blessed me with a new marriage. I married my wife, Christine, in 2008. We became parents to our son and daughter through adoption in 2015–2016.)
For a longer narrative of my testimony, click HERE.
CALL TO MINISTRY
Yet, the questions I had as an atheist did not go away when I became a Christian. Early in my walk with Christ, I discovered apologetics (a branch of Christian theology that focuses on defending the faith and giving logical reasons for following Christ). Apologetics addressed those questions I had as an atheist and helped greatly in building my confidence to follow Christ.
God wired me up as a teacher and reader who loves to pass on to others the information I learn. I taught high school English for sixteen years, and from early in my walk with Christ I sought out resources to help my knowledge of God and the Bible grow deeper.
In 2011, I started teaching theology and apologetics classes at my church, Point Community Church, but it became clear to me if I wanted to go as deep as I desired, I would have to go to seminary. In 2012, I started attending Southern Baptist Theological Seminary part-time as a distance student. When I started seminary, I had no intention of leaving my teaching position. Many people asked what I had planned to do with my seminary education. I honestly didn’t know. "I just want to learn," I would answer, "and I’ll see where God leads me."
In 2013, taking several my articles from my blog, I self-published a book in 2014 titled Searching the Bible For Mother God about a strange cult that was active around Rutgers University. I contacted Julie Miller of the campus ministry Ratio Christi, which focuses on apologetics, and offered to send her a copy of the book. Instead, she invited me in to speak. After that, I stayed casually involved with Ratio Christi, occasionally coming in to teach or simply sit in on meetings.
In the meantime, God kept nudging me more towards ministry as I continued in seminary. I was ordained as an elder/pastor at my church in 2015. As our church leadership is passionate about planting churches, we started talking about me possibly leading the next church plant. By this time the Lord had utterly convicted me with his words in Matthew 9:37: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” It was time for me to go out into the harvest.
I have heard pastors speak about when considering ministries to get involved in, one should consider his gifts, passions, and opportunities. If someone can find a ministry where all three of these line up, then it is a “no-brainer.” Go do it! For me, Ratio Christi is a “no-brainer.” It is a ministry where my gifts (teaching, discipling young people), my passions (apologetics, theology), and the opportunity (Julie retired and moved to Texas) line up. Ratio Christi Rutgers is an understaffed, important ministry in a large secular university, and though Rutgers has several sound ministries on campus, none do what Ratio Christi does.
In September 2017, I was approved to be a chapter director and supported missionary with Ratio Christi. My prayer is for Christianity to be taken seriously as a viable option in the marketplace of ideas at the university level and for Christians to proclaim Christ with the utmost confidence.