Introduction: Carson Weitnauer


(Carson Weitnauer) #1

Hi friends,

My name is Carson Weitnauer and it is my joy and privilege to serve as the host of RZIM Connect. I’ll share a bit about myself in the hopes that you will feel the freedom to introduce yourself to the community. No need to give us the whole story - though you’re welcome to do so. I think you’ll find this to be an encouraging, friendly place to grow as a Christian and an evangelist. (Please let me know if you have any problems).

I grew up in Atlanta, GA. My Mom was and is an active Christian. However, my Dad became increasingly skeptical. In middle and high school, my peer group was similarly divided: some close friends were devoted followers of Jesus; others didn’t see the point and wondered if it was just a faith perspective given to children. As I tried to make sense of all that my family and friends shared with me, I was driven to a prolonged, intense search for the truth.

This quest led me to study apologetics and philosophy throughout high school and into college. I attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN and studied abroad for two terms at St. Catherine’s College at Oxford University. During these formative years, my primary philosophical interests were in epistemology (reflecting on the questions, What is knowledge? What does it mean to know something is true?) and philosophy of religion (Is there a God or gods? If so, what or who is the supernatural?). These studies led me to be more persuaded that the God of the Bible is the true God, a God worthy not only of an intellectual commitment, but a whole life commitment of worship and devotion.

Upon graduation, I served in campus ministry for ten years. The first seven years were in association with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship; the last three were with my church home in Boston. During this time I also earned an M.Div. degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA. More importantly, I met my wife, an amazing woman who loves the Lord.

After our first child turned one, I felt the Lord calling us to return to Atlanta, to be closer to family. As we prepared to move, a job opportunity opened up at RZIM. For the first two and a half years with this wonderful ministry, I oversaw the US Speaking team. Then the opportunity came to launch what has become RZIM Connect. As I write this, we’re nearly two years into this initiative. It has been an incredible opportunity to meet new friends around the world, be challenged by diverse perspectives, and continue growing as a disciple of Jesus.

In the past few years, a couple of writing projects have moved forward. My first book was True Reason, an anthology of essays on the difference between atheism and Christianity on the existence and value of reason. My second published work was co-authored with Drew McNeil, a colleague and friend at RZIM, the small group curriculum Everyday Questions.

If you’re ever in Atlanta on a weekend, I’d love to worship with you at my church home - Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, GA!

I’m grateful that you’re here - I look forward to getting to know you through this community. Welcome!

(Angela Martinez Seminario) #2

Wow, excellent introduction, thank you for listen the voice of God and lead us in this new project. Your life story inspire me too. I believe that RZIM Connect will be super important for our community in Latin America, since we have a lot of people in the region that wants to be part of the RZIM family, so "manos a la obra". I was recently very busy with the last conferences in RZIM Latam, but now I want to focus on learn how to properly use this amazing platform, for share the experience and contribute with the growth of the community :slight_smile:


(Carson Weitnauer) #3

Hi @Angela_Martinez_Semi,

Thank you for your kind message! I’ll send you a private message to discuss how we can open up Connect for the RZIM community in Latin America!

(Tim Ramey) #4

Carson, I look forward to meeting you in person. I had the privilege of shaking hands with Drew at the old RZIM site. I plan on getting back to Georgia where, hopefully, I can meet you after all of these email encounters. I would love to see the new facility as well. I am indebted to RZIM for it has grown to be such a critical part of my life. I’m so grateful for Connect. No one can begin to fathom the enormous task that you face to keep things going - and smoothly as well! May the Lord encourage your dear heart, Carson. One of the scriptures that you posted for us to learn was Psalm 94:19, “When the cares of my heart are many, thy consolations cheer my soul.” Remember that if you feel overwhelmed and discouraged, you know that you are doing a great job because the enemy sees how vital this is so he wants to destroy you. If it wasn’t important, he wouldn’t bother attacking you.

May you be granted the wisdom from above as you keep this vital ministry afloat but are also sensitive to the needs of your family, I’m not telling you what to do, but I caution you never to let Connect suck you dry so you have not the time or energy for your family, (as spoken from a man running a lodge with a precious wife getting 7 children out the door and now blessed with 22 grandchildren.) Bless you Carson and to Ivy, Drew and all of the RZIM staff.

(Carson Weitnauer) #5

Hi @Tim_Ramey,

Thank you for your encouragement! I’m grateful for a supportive work environment, a loving family, and a great church home. And now - the opportunity to grow in Christ alongside friends from around the world through RZIM Connect! I’m very grateful for all that God has provided.

(Dave Kenny) #6

Hi Carson. I am attending the Zacharias Institute this week at the Emerging Apologist program. I hail from Winnipeg, Canada and am currently a volunteer with RZIM here on the Canadian team.

I wanted to let you know that I have recently utilized the Everyday Questions curriculum. I was invited by a church to lead their adult Sunday School class in something related to apologetics, and after searching through much of the RZIM material already available, I made the decision that the Everyday Questions curriculum was the one best suited for the 50 minute class that I was going to be leading.

While your curriculum was not explicitly formatted for and adult Sunday School setting, I wanted to let you know that it still worked really well. I can hardly wait to use the curriculum in its more natural setting, a small group or a home group.

The ‘fictional’ family that you introduced us to in this curriculum was a stroke of genius. This curriculum felt different than any previous RZIM curriculum that I have facilitated. There are 75 people in the class that I am leading, and every week there are 2 or 3 people that come up to me to tell me about a witnessing situation that has just opened up in their lives… they are crediting the course and their new skills as the reason! (of course, we know that God is the reason…)

My only concern about this curriculum is that I have no idea how you can follow it up with Everyday Question 2.0. You managed to cover all of the most common, most critical conversations in this first edition! Thank you for your work on this project. It has been and will be used for the benefit of the Kingdom.


(Carson Weitnauer) #7

Hi Dave, how encouraging! Thank you for sharing this with me. I’m so, so glad to hear it! I look forward to meeting you tomorrow.

(Carson Weitnauer) #8

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(Omar Rushlive Lozada Arellano) #9

I appreciate your introduction, Carson. I read your contribution in your book, True Reason, which is “The Irony of Atheism.” Looking forward to learn more from you and others here in the forum, and get to know the family here in RZIM connect as well. :slight_smile:

(Carson Weitnauer) #10

Hi @omnarchy, I’m grateful you would take the time to engage with the ideas in that chapter of True Reason. It was such a pleasure to co-edit that book and I’ve enjoyed hearing from those who read it.

I’m excited you’ve joined Connect and look forward to our conversations together!

(Carson Weitnauer) #11

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(Daniel) #12

Wow! Great story! :smile:

(Megan Kemp) #13

It’s really great to hear your story, @CarsonWeitnauer! I’d like to use Everyday Questions some day in a small group, and read True Reason!

(Carson Weitnauer) #14

Thanks Megan! If you do, I’d LOVE to hear your feedback!

(Megan Kemp) #15

Just ordered True Reason from Amazon. :+1:

(Carson Weitnauer) #16

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(Gilbert Kiaha) #17

Aloha Mr. Weitnauer! Mahalo’s for your introduction & how our Almighty God continues to move you through the Holy Spirit, AWESOME. I’m currently living on the 9th Island in Las Vegas, Nevada (inside joke because a lot of people from Hawai’i live in Las Vegas, there’s altogether 8 islands & Las Vegas is the 9th). Currently, our men’s bible study group is going through Ravi’s Everyday Questions & next week, is our last week. It’s been amazing of witnessing the presence of the Holy Spirit changing other brothers through this study. For myself, BLESSED of serving a God (Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient) who continues to teach me His precepts, so I can share with the world.

Whenever you’re on the 9th Island/Las Vegas, hit the brother up & you’ll always have a place to stay. This offer goes for EVERYONE on this site.

Lamentations 3:21-23 Amplified Bible (AMP) 21 But this I call to mind, Therefore I have hope. 22 It is because of the Lord’s loving kindnesses that we are not consumed, Because His [tender] compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; Great and beyond measure is Your faithfulness.

Love, Gil & Sammi

(Carson Weitnauer) #18

Hey @polynesianarms, I love your sense of humor! Awesome! I think I would love the original eight islands of Hawaii best - you can’t ever beat the ocean, right?? But it would be an honor to see the ninth one too!

I am SO ENCOURAGED to hear how Everyday Questions has blessed your small group. We’d love to have everyone in your bible study continue the experience here in RZIM Connect. Thank you for reaching out to encourage and bless me!

(Mr Daniel J Ch'ng) #19

Thanks very much for serving in this way. As a new user it has been fascinating to see how you (and and the others on the team) are looking to build an online Christian community. God willing it will continue to be an example of what a Christian community looks like in the wild west of the online world!

(Carson Weitnauer) #20

We would love to have you prayerfully consider joining into this shared mission with us! Together, I think we can create an incredibly respectful and credible context for finding answers to life’s questions.