Kevin James Bywater
I am the father of five children and the husband of one wife. (I felt that should be clarified since I’m also a former fifth-generation Mormon. You know, people assume things.) I’m also a third-generation percussionist. That might be a modest overstatement. I’m rather more a drummer than a percussionist. To my mind, there is a difference.
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In January 2017 we launched the Oxford Study Centre. Our program combines tutorials with world-class Oxford scholars and an advanced worldviews course (that arguably isn’t quite like any other worldviews course). Our students become associate members of Oxford colleges, gain access to Oxford libraries, may (in addition to their tutorials) attend a variety of Oxford lectures, and enjoy a number of cultural excursions. We host undergraduates and graduates, singles and couples, students currently enrolled and those outside of enrollment. Other details may be found at the Oxford Study Centre website, including a downloadable application.
In April of 2017, we became affiliated with Ratio Christi, an international apologetics alliance, thus making our program a Ratio Christi training program. U.S. donors now may give toward our ministry and enjoy the relevant tax benefits. You may donate here.
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I earned a B.S. degree in Philosophy from Utah State University. (Well, some things just are what they are. Why a B.S. and not a B.A.? I lacked the relevant language courses required for a less humorous degree. Then again, what would be more appropriate for a philosophy degree than a B.S.?) I also hold a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry from New Geneva Theological Seminary and have done significant graduate work at Denver Seminary, studying with such scholars as Craig Blomberg, Richard Hess, Daniel Carrol, and Douglas Groothuis. I also have done postgraduate work in New Testament and Related Studies at Durham University, with a focus on Paul’s use of the Old Testament in the opening chapters of Romans.
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As a former fifth-generation Mormon, I have dedicated much of my Christian life to informing Christians about the beliefs and practices of pseudo-Christian religions (otherwise known as “cults”), as well as offering experienced advice on witnessing to members of such groups. (And, yes, I do love and appreciate my Mormon relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Well, I love them all. I may appreciate less than half of them half as well as they deserve.)
From May of 1992 until December of 2016 I was on the staff of Summit Ministries. At Summit I was an administrator, researcher, author, editor, and lecturer. I also founded and became the Director and Resident Scholar of the Summit Oxford Study Centre, a Summit program that began in the autumn of 2008. And I loved my work with our fantastic students, capable staff, and inspiring faculty!
Along with authoring a variety of material on pseudo-Christian religions, Objectivism (as it is so-called, the philosophy of Ayn Rand), the environmental convictions of alternative worldviews, religious pluralism, Islam, and abortion, I co-researched and co-authored (with David A. Noebel and J.F. Baldwin) the book Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism (Summit Press). (It was quite a task wading for six months through the writings of the signatories of the first two Humanist Manifestoes. I’m sure glad that is over. The subsequent therapy was satisfying, though.)
While Director of Summit’s Curriculum Department, I wrote and/or content-edited (in cooperation with highly dedicated and gifted team members) Summit’s video curriculum materials for junior high (Lightbearers Christian Worldview Curriculum) and high school (Understanding the Times Curriculum). While Director of Research I was involved with researching and lecturing and writing, as well as script-writing and interviews for Summit’s ever-increasing video library.
At Summit Ministries’ various seminars, I have lectured on such topics as critical thinking, worldview analysis, pseudo-Christian religions, the New Age movement, Islam, moral relativism, the historicity of Jesus, and various social and intellectual aspects of culture. At Summit Oxford we addressed these and many, many more subjects. We continue to address them, and more, at the Oxford Study Centre!
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Over the years I have come to believe that having a biblically based Christian worldview is more than only having good answers to hard questions, or simply being able to communicate one’s convictions to others. I’ve come to believe that having a biblically informed Christian worldview is nothing less than coming to share God’s affections and aversions. It is coming to desire what God desires and to despise what he despises. And this, I believe, is something to be seen best in our words but in our works, not solely in our heads but in our hands and feet. It is essentially incarnate, something embodied.
My family and I reside west of Oxford, England, and sometimes in Colorado Springs, Colorado.