Warren McGrew: Christian, husband, father
I am a follower of Christ, a husband and father.
I'm a theology geek, who enjoys studying the Bible and Church history - exploring the origins of various beliefs and considering their validity in light of Scripture. I am active in producing content and sharing what I've learned; often found engaging in both formal and informal theological debate.
I strive to temper my zeal for the truth in wisdom and love, proclaiming and demonstrating the love of God to others.
I was born into a family that affirmed Reformed Theology, also known as the Doctrines of Grace or Calvinism. I grew up reading my King James Bible and A.W. Pink’s Sovereignty of God, being raised in Reformed Churches and sat under Calvinist Pastors. I fondly recall attending Church camp in the 4th grade and painting little Tulips on T-Shirts and studying the Doctrines of Grace.
In 5th grade I fell under conviction for my personal sins and trusted in Christ. I recall walking home from school the next day, a walk which covered several miles, and asking God how I could know that He had forgiven me. I needed to KNOW He accepted me, that my repentance was genuine and that He forgave me. It was a hot Texas day and the sun beat down on me as the asphalt radiated heat back up from beneath my feet. I was about a mile from home and suddenly clouds appeared, covered the sun and a cool breeze followed me the rest of the way home and by the time I arrived, I KNEW He loved me.
I was a Calvinist for about 30 years of my life, during which I’ve been a low and a high Calvinist, an infra and a supra-lapsarian, a compatibilist and a hard determinist. I changed positions as I studied and evolved, but always remained within that Reformed paradigm. I was absolutely convinced Calvinism was true. Over the years I defended it and taught it with increasing conviction. I thought it was essential to Christianity, that it was the Gospel, but then one day while reading my Bible and submitting to the Lord in prayer, I was horrified to discover that those doctrines were in opposition to Scripture. I ran from proof text to proof text, desperate to find something proving Calvinism was true, but all I found was refutation after refutation as the scales of this philosophy fell from my eyes. I realized my entire life I had been reading Calvinism into the text rather than letting Scripture speak for itself.
I remember crying out to God, asking what I was supposed to believe. Was Christianity even true and if so, what did it look like? What was truth and how could I know it? There in the midst of terror and tears the gentle and unmistakable Holy Spirit showed me that I was calling out to Him and that was enough. I had discovered the Sure Foundation, Jesus Christ, and all the rubble I had constructed atop, these brilliant a beautiful structures of men I had worshipped as truth were swept away - and this was precious beyond description.
From there I had to restart my studies and learn what the Bible actually said and what Christianity really is. Over the years since, in addition to Scripture I’ve studied much of the early Church Fathers, the Didache, Jewish and non-Christian contemporaries; along the way I came to better understand early Christianity as well as how many of today’s doctrines came about... and I'm still learning.
What I have discovered is not new, its older than the errors I once confessed. Christian orthodoxy shows us the Holiness of God, the depth of His love and good character, the ugliness and horror of our sin, our need for the only Redeemer Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh... it shows us the living God is far greater than these philosophies or the caricature they painted.
Many ministries list the various academic credentials of their Founders, various theological degrees, etc. In no way do I wish to disparage the importance of study, or diminish how such programs can add to our knowledge. Though, I believe there is a tremendous danger in how most seminaries are managed and viewed among Christian academia and laity alike. They tend to produce men who believe additions to the Scripture (philosophies of men and doctrines of demons) are equal to or surpassing Scripture. So we see error propagate error. Yet, I believe this is often done in sincerity and out of ignorance... believing a lie and thus teaching it as truth with conviction.
"And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified."
Jesus was a carpenter, Paul was a tentmaker, many of His Apostles were fishermen and we see mere shepherds came with wisemen to worship and welcome the Messiah. God has always expressed a love for the common man, the poor, the sick, the broken and hurting. God has a special love for the blue and brown collar.
"For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16)... accessible for any who desire it. James 1:5 tells us if we are in need of wisdom, we need only ask God and it will be given. Sadly, many Protestants have made the same mistake they saw in Rome... creating mediators between God and man, rather than engaging in a personal relationship with our Father. While they may not have Popes, they have equally revered others, sitting at their feet, elevating their words and going to God through them.
As I sit presently, I am the owner and operator of a construction company. I am extremely studious have dedicated countless hours, weeks, months and years to the study of the Scripture. I confess there is some part of me which has seriously considered attending seminary, but I believe God has called me to remain free of such credentials and instead stand on the Word of God while confessing my lack of such things as a means of bringing Him glory.