Sam Ren’s passion for learning has earned him an impressive set of academic accolades. It brought him from his hometown of Sichuan, China, to places across the world. Most importantly, it has led him to discover Christ.
As an undergrad philosophy student, Ren began reading the Bible as part of his studies. Yet God used that practical reason for much more.
“I quickly found that Jesus’ teachings gave me insight into my life and myself,” Ren recalled.
Ren sought further answers so he attended a few worship services and fellowship events at his school. As a part of this campus ministry, Ren would eventually meet his Savior as well as his future wife.
But the faith journey of this lifelong learner hardly ended there. “I still wanted to know more about my faith,” Ren said.
Ren pursued a PhD in religious studies, and as he grew more knowledgeable about the faith, he began to feel troubled by many of the Christians he knew.
“Christians I met loved God, they wanted to serve, but they were making the faith too simplistic,” said Ren.
Ren’s desire to lead Chinese Christians in growing deeper in their faith ultimately brought him to Calvin Seminary, where he is pursuing his Master of Theological Studies degree and gaining new perspectives from Christian scholars like himself.
Studying at CTS has also helped Ren connect with Back to God Ministries International’s (BTGMI) Chinese ministry resources. Most recently, he’s been drawn to an eight-part video series produced by BTGMI with interviews from renowned Reformed scholars including Alvin Plantinga and Richard Mouw.
Ren especially appreciates that the videos help him see how scholars can be more “three dimensional.”
“In China, we Christian scholars like to show our stronger side,” Ren reflected. “But these scholars are so humble, full of love. They talk about weakness. This gives me another picture of how to be a Christian scholar as well as a father and husband—and that’s incredible.”