top of page
Image by Patrick Fore


Image by Olivia Snow

I’m a paragraph. Use this space to tell people more about what you do and the services you offer. Double click here or click Edit Text to get started.


William Lane Craig and Chad Meister, eds. God Is Great, God Is Good: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable and Responsible (IVP, 2009).
In response to biologist Richard Dawkins’s case for atheism in his book The God Delusion, this book offers a wide array of accessible arguments by Christian philosophers and scientists critiquing atheism and offering reasons to believe in God from the origin and design of the universe, the uniqueness of human beings, and the person and resurrection of Jesus.  Also provides rebuttals to Dawkins’s objections from evil and suffering, the interpretation of Old Testament laws, the social impact of religion, and the doctrine of hell.


Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Latest Scientific Discoveries Reveal God, 4th ed. (RTB Press, 2018).
This book by a Christian astrophysicist argues for a Creator based on evidence for the origin and design of the universe found in Big Bang cosmology and discoveries about the finely-tuned features of the universe that are necessary for the universe, solar system, and earth to permit the existence of human life.  Offers interesting summarizes of the history of various scientific theories about the origin of the universe, including rebuttals to the atheism of Stephen Hawking.


David Baggett and Marybeth Baggett, The Morals of the Story: Good News about a Good God (IVP, 2018).
A moral argument showing that God is the best explanation of various moral truths and experiences such as moral goodness, moral knowledge, moral obligations, and moral transformation.


Edward Feser, Five Proofs of the Existence of God (Ignatius Press, 2017).
A Christian philosopher offers five philosophical arguments for an uncaused First Cause of the universe from the existence of change and the contingency or dependence of all finite beings, which implies the existence of an uncaused Creator as their source. These arguments require no specialized knowledge of natural science and are presented in both formal premises and informal explanations.  Also shows that God implied by these proofs is the God of classical theism affirmed by Christian tradition and offers extensive rebuttals to objections.

  • Introduction to Spiritual Growth Plans
    Why we need a plan for spiritual growth We need a plan for spiritual growth because the very nature of spiritual transformation requires our active self-awareness, preparation, and practice. ​ Spiritual growth is very important. Knowing God and becoming like him is the ultimate purpose we exist and will have life-defining impact upon our lives both in this present age and beyond death in the eternal age to come. We devote much energy and effort to planning and growing in every other important dimension of our lives (education, physical health, work, hobbies, relationships, money), so why not our spiritual growth? ​ Spiritual growth is commanded. In the Bible, God addresses us with many commands about how we should live and with truths that explain why those commands make sense. Thus, we are supposed to grow and change spiritually by using our minds to understand and our wills to make decisions and choose a way of life that obeys God’s commands. ​ Spiritual growth happens through personal relationships with God and others. Building quality relationships never happens spontaneously or by accident; rather, all satisfying personal relationships require conscious, intentional efforts and specific practices in order to grow. ​ Spiritual growth is a process of comprehensive change and involves acquiring new habits and skills in the art of godly living. Every process of change and every process of learning new skills and developing new habits requires a vision of the new change, a firm intention to pursue change, and practicing the means that put change into action. Forming a personal intention and translating one’s intention into action requires personal commitments to spiritual growth with realistic but challenging goals and plans to achieve them. ​ Spiritual growth is challenging. It requires pushing back against everything in us that is unhealthy and evil, and that is always an uphill battle. Is it possible to overcome any great challenge without careful thought and intentional effort? What is a spiritual growth plan? An ancient Christian approach to ordering one’s life and making a plan for spiritual growth is called a “rule of life.” In this use, the word “rule” does not simply mean a list of rules. Rather, it means a “standard” used for measuring. In the way that a ruler provides a standard of measuring, so a rule of life provides a standard for describing and measuring what it means for a particular individual, family, or larger community to follow Christ in their unique circumstances and setting. ​ More specifically, a rule of life is a written statement of a set of patterns and practices that enable us to flourish in health and holiness by becoming more like Christ and thus becoming the person God made us to be. It states the commitments we make to particular rhythms and habits of life that represent the specific ways we will obey Christ’s teaching in the particular context and life that we live. ​ As Marjorie Thompson writes in her book Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life: ​ A rule of life is a pattern of spiritual disciplines that provides structure and direction for growth in holiness. When we speak of patterns in our life, we mean attitudes, behaviors, or elements that are routine, repeated, regular. . . It is meant to help us establish a rhythm of daily living, a basic order within which new freedoms can grow. ​ A rule of life or spiritual growth plan is like a trellis for plants in a garden. It doesn’t cause growth (that’s the Holy Spirit’s job). Rather, it supports and guides the direction of our growth. It keeps us rooted in the soil of life in Christ that nourishes and supports us in the right direction to keep growing in a healthy way to produce the most spiritual fruit.
  • Resources for Study
    Ruth Haley Barton, “A Rule of Life: Cultivating Rhythms for Spiritual Transformation“ An article introducing the general idea of a personal rule of life or spiritual growth plan. If you would rather listen than read, try this interview with Ruth Haley Barton: “A Rule of Life: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation” Mike Farley, “Establishing a Spiritual Growth Plan” Some practical guidelines for writing a personal rule of life or spiritual growth plan. Mike Farley, "A Template for a Spiritual Growth Plan" A template to use for setting specific goals for spiritual growth in seven major dimensions of life. These guidelines suggest general categories of action in these severn areas for the purpose of prompting reflection on setting specific goals for action in each dimension of life. “Crafting a Rule of Life” This website organized by Stephen Macchia contains many different creative examples of rules of life prepared by different individuals, which you can see here and here. These examples have varying modes of expression and levels of detail, but they are all useful for stimulating our imagination for different methods of composing our own spiritual growth plans.
  • Action Steps
    1. Check your understanding, drawing on the introduction page and the resources by Ruth Haley Barton. What is a spiritual growth plan/rule of life? Why is developing a personal spiritual growth plan/rule of life a wise and helpful practice? 2. Read the guide to establishing a spiritual growth plan by Mike Farley, and examine some of the sample rules of life found in the other recommended resources. Talk about these ideas with your growth group or other group of Christian friends. ​ 3. Decide how you will organize your own spiritual growth plan and make a plan to get started in the dimension of worship first. ​ 4. Develop a way to track your progress in achieving the goals in your growth plan. ​ 5. Lean on your growth group for support and accountability by sharing your progress regularly with the other members of the group. Pray for each other’s growth often.
bottom of page