Winners of 2018 Christian Worldview Essay Contest
The First Prize of $3,000 and 15 books is awarded to Tabitha Pigeon of Norristown, Pennsylvania for her essay "By Faith Alone, Through Christ Alone."
The Second Prize of $2,000 and 10 books is awarded to Jonťe Lillard of Portsmouth, Virginia for her essay "The Science of Faith: The Emperor Has No Clothes: Richard B. Gaffin Jrís Doctrine of Justification and the Importance of Sound Theological Methods."
The Third Prize of $1,000 and 5 books is awarder to Matthew Koerner of Wyoming, Michigan for his essay "An Analysis of Stephen M. Cunha's The Emperor Has No Clothes."
Congratulations to our winners, and thanks to all who entered. All contestants had to read The Emperor Has No Clothes: Richard B. Gaffin Jrís Doctrine of Justification by Stephen M. Cunha and write an essay about it.
The First Prize winner is Tabitha Pigeon.
Biography: I was born and raised in a Christian home and was taught the Scriptures and catechism ever since I was a baby. My parents had me memorize two catechisms and several Bible verses and chapters. I probably finished memorizing The Catechism For Young Children before I was 8 years old. Soon after that, I began memorizing The Westminster Shorter Catechism and probably completed it before I was 14. I have also read The Heidelberg Catechism and Spurgeonís A Puritan Catechism, but I have not memorized them. Additionally, I have read, listened to, and watched lectures of many theologians especially Gordon Clark and John Robbins.
I believe that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and that the only way to be saved is through faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ. I believe that the Bible alone is the inspired, infallible Word of God, and that it is our only source of truth.
I am in my final year in the Bachelor's program at Faith Theological Seminary. I believe that it is important to be thoroughly equipped with Godís Word and to be ready to give an answer to anyone concerning Godís Word. I do not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future, and I want to be prepared for whatever God has in store for me.
The Second Prize winner is Jonťe Lillard.
Biography: I am a nineteen-year-old resident of Portsmouth, Virginia. Raised in a Christian home, homeschooled from fourth through seventh grade, and educated in Christian private school for the rest of my childhood, I developed a deep love for the Scriptures and the worship of God in music and song. Significant involvement in my church, including two years as an assistant children's church teacher and multiple summers as a Vacation Bible School assistant, as well as service projects undertaken with my family and school groups, instilled in me the value of service and a desire to use whatever talents and opportunities I have for the glory of God and the good of others.
I graduated Salutatorian, with academic distinctions in Bible and science, from Greenbrier Christian Academy in June 2016, and in the summer of 2016, I earned the Girl Scout Gold Award by writing a five-lesson Bible study curriculum titled "No Ifs, Ands, or Buts: Commitment to Serving God," which was presented during a week of Vacation Bible School.
From an early age, I have been blessed with a love for science, especially chemistry and human anatomy and physiology, and am currently in my third year at Regent University in the Biophysical Sciences program. After university, I plan to work for Godís glory in the field of medicine. In my free time, I enjoy reading, crocheting, tennis, playing piano, and writing. I thank God for the opportunity to enter this contest and give Him the glory for this outstanding success (Isaiah 26:12).
The Third Prize winner is Matthew Koerner.
Biography: I was born and raised in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. By the grace of God and through the work of the Holy Spirit, my parents instilled in me a love for God from an early age. My church and school communities also prepared me well for Reformed Christian adulthood. During my high school years, I began to struggle with the idea of whether or not God was calling me to the ministry. Given time and prayerful consideration, I decided to further my education, seeking to become a pastor. To that end, I currently attend a small Christian liberal arts college in Illinois, where I am a senior and am double-majoring in history and theology with a minor in philosophy. It is my prayer that my college education is preparing me well and that I have received a good foundation for going on to seminary in the fall, Lord willing.
Entering this essay contest was very beneficial for me. Writing an analysis of The Emperor Has No Clothes was an excellent exercise in reading comprehension and critical thinking, and hopefully I will use this experience to continue to grow in my ability to do both. I would like to express my gratitude to the generous donors who made this essay competition possible. By encouraging young adults to apply, you get them thinking more deeply about their own faith, as well as their place in the church as they transition into the age of leadership within it. Thank you!