My Passion: To Equip and Educate

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How did a former atheist end up writing Christian curriculum at Sonlight? That's a long story that I can't answer completely in one blog post. Fortunately, every now and then I'll contribute a post here and can fill in details as we go. Let's start with who I am.

My name is Robert Velarde and I serve as a curriculum creator on Sonlight's product development team. I'm also father to four wonderful homeschooled children.

Although my bachelor's degree is in music, after I became a Christian I pursued ministry-oriented interests, being especially interested in anything relating to comparative religions and apologetics—the reasoned defense of Christianity. This resulted in many years of service with Christian ministries, graduate studies in philosophy, and a master's degree in religion. As I matured as a Christian, I had a desire grow to write books—something I've had the joy of doing repeatedly now.

At Sonlight I work with a gifted, creative team of dedicated people. I meet with Sonlight's president, Sarita Holzmann, regularly as we discuss ideas, refine products, edit content, and do the best we can to make homeschooling easy and edifying. One of the products I had the pleasure of working on recently is What Good is Christianity?

My passion is to equip and educate Christians so they know what they believe and why they believe it, and are able to understand and articulate their own perspective, as well as opposing viewpoints. In short, every believer needs to develop their view of the world. A robust Christian worldview is integrated into all of life and is capable of intelligently interacting with any ideas and challenges it encounters.

In future posts I'd like to explore in more detail some of the ideas brought up here. I'd also love to hear from you.

  • What would you like me to blog about?
  • Would you like to hear about my life as a homeschool dad?
  • Do you want to know more about Christian apologetics?
  • Is some Bible problem or question about your faith troubling you?
  • What are you doing to equip your homeschooled children in their worldview?

Let me know!

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  1. Stephanie C

    Hi! Nice to "meet" you. :o)

    What do you mean by, "every believer needs to develop their view of the world." It sounds like it could be getting into the postmodern sort of "what does this Bible verse mean to you?" kind of thing. Do you just mean how that person expresses a Biblical worldview in their own terms?


  2. Robert Velarde

    Thanks for your comment, Stephanie! No, I don't mean anything postmodern. In fact, I've written against subjective postmodern views of truth and reality.

    What I mean is that Christians need to develop the biblical Christian worldview in their lives so that it permeates all of life, not just compartments like "sacred" or "secular."

  3. Stephanie C

    Good to hear! Thanks! :o)

  4. I'm Erin.

    I'm always interested in learning more about apologetics.

  5. Robert Velarde

    Thank, Erin. I'll look into posting some apologetics-related content. If you have any specific topics in mind, let me know!

  6. The Reader

    Nice to meet you and I look forward to getting to know you via this blog space. I've missed discussion like this, such as John used to engage in, and I hope that's the void you are planning to fill. Though maybe on a teensy bit less intellectual level, for my sake ;-) Looking forward to anything you care to share in this space.

  7. Robert Velarde

    Thanks, The Reader. I enjoy engaging all kinds of intellectual ideas, so I look forward to more posts along those lines.

  8. Margo

    I am wondering how What Good is Christianity? is different from other worldview curriculums out there, specifically Understanding the Times, which Sonlight also has in their catalog. Could you elaborate on that?

  9. Great question, Margo! Understanding the Times is a wonderful resource,. The approach taken in it is far more apologetics oriented, meaning that it spends a lot of time interacting with competing worldviews such as secular humanism, Marxism, and New Age ideas, while defending Christianity. It's also worldview oriented because it is addressing major worldviews.

    Broadly speaking there are two main kinds of apologetics approaches: positive and negative (I'm not speaking of methodology here, but approaches). Positive apologetics builds a positive case for Christianity, while negative apologetics is largely critical of competing ideas and worldviews. Both positive and negative apologetics are valid.

    What Good is Christianity? leans far more in the direction of positive apologetics, while Understanding the Times is far more oriented in the direction of negative apologetics. Like I said, however, both forms are valid and have their place, but we chose to emphasize more the positive contributions of Christianity in What Good is Christianity? We do, though, spend two weeks addressing contemporary atheism, going so far as to evaluate writings of key atheists, which falls more into negative apologetics.

    Also, while both curricula emphasize history to a certain extent, What Good is Christianity? is very much centered on evaluating the historical record of Christianity in many different areas (some of which are not touched on at all or only briefly in Understanding the Times). For instance, we spend time looking at Christian contributions in music, the visual arts, education, etc. In this sense, What Good is Christianity? is somewhat Schaefferian, harkening to Francis Schaeffer's approach.

    Also, since What Good is Christianity? draws on the writings of several different contributors, we believe this offers a broader perspective than one can glean from just one or even a few authors.

    I hope this clarifies things somewhat. I've also written briefly about What Good is Christianity? in this other blog post.

  10. Mark

    I liked the book by DeSouza, but I didn't like how he just assumes that macro-evolution has been proven true. Do you recommend any resources that don't assume this?
    As you can tell from my question, as a science teacher, I do not think the arguments for macro-evolution are salient and do not wish to teach my students or my own children that they are.

  11. Mark, yes we do add some comments and notes in our Instructor's Guide regarding D'Souza's theistic evolution. A couple of books you may find helpful include Icons of Evolution and Signature in the Cell.