I was raised in a very pious Christian home. My parents were loving, dedicated, faithful. They were committed to seeing me and my brothers grow up in the Faith and to become leaders in our churches and our families, following God wholeheartedly in the world and in the church. Daily prayer time and Bible study were a regular part of our upbringing. By the time I was in high school I had read every book in the Bible several times. One of my lasting memories of my mother and father will always be their daily prayer time-- before we were supposed to be awake-- heads bowed over their Bibles and interceding for our family, our [future] wives, and the world around them.
I was always that kid growing up. I had all the right answers in Sunday School, and breezed through the tiny Bible school where I spent one year after high school. I have never ever allowed myself to doubt the tenants of the Reformed tradition in which I was raised. My TULIP was tight as a drum and not relaxing for anyone.
And then I went for a semester to a very Calvinist institution and saw the level of hubris I had achieved in my 19 years. I couldn't take it anymore. I still thought I was correct, but I wasn't willing to be so smug about it. I wasn't going to sit around judging other Christians as being in a lower caste of redemption because they didn't believe the way that I did. When I transferred to the school where Felicity and I eventually met and formed a relationship, my uptight Protestant upbringing was relaxed and my receptivity to other religious backgrounds was high.