Theology From Below


The Free Theology Mini-Books and Papers on this site are only going to be useful to you if they're true to Scripture, and if they reflect a significant and adequate amount of preparation and research.

Therefore, it's only right and proper that I should tell you about myself, so you can judge my qualifications for yourself.

In addition to these personal qualifications, you may also wish to go take a look at my Doctrinal Position.

My name is M. David Johnson ( the "M" stands for Michael ). I'm 77 years old ( as of September 29, 2022 ) and my wife, Heather, and I are both retired.


Personal Testimony

Who Jesus is, and what He means to me - Jesus Christ is the Son of God: fully God and fully man. He is my Lord and Savior. Acts 4:12.

Why I'm confident of eternal salvation and believe I'm going to Heaven - The blood of Jesus, shed for me. Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9; I John 1:7.

I grew up attending a Methodist Church with my parents and family in California. The folks there were good and kind people, but I don't recall hearing much of a gospel message. My dear grandmother was a godly lady who told me about Jesus, and prayed for me regularly. She was a big influence in my life, planting the seeds of faith. Still, I felt no need at that time for a personal relationship with Jesus.

In 1967, at age 23, I was transferred to Chicago. Shortly after my arrival, I was invited to attend Moody Church by Carl Johnson, who served there as an usher. Since Christmas was approaching, I decided to go. I was challenged by the clear gospel message from Dr. George Sweeting that day. I began attending the Men's Bible Class, taught by Dr. John Elsen, a dear saint and longtime member of Moody Church. Dr. Elsen invited me to his home for a meal, as he did for countless others over the years. In the living room of his Evanston home, he outlined the gospel again, and led me to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit had prepared my heart and, with a burst of clarity, His message made sense.

I didn't know what direction my life would take, but the Lord had it all planned for me. I continued to attend Moody Church, and was baptized there in 1968. During this time, I also met my wife, Heather, and we were married by Dr. Sweeting in 1969.

We have strived to keep Christ the center of our home. We were blessed with two wonderful children who, with their own families, are walking with the Lord. Though we've had our share of struggles and disappointments, the Lord has been ever faithful as we continue to walk together with Him.

My wife and I are members of the Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois. We've been attending there since 2002.


Resume Documentation

These days, so many people seem to have padded and otherwise falsified their resumes. Therefore, I've elected to present full details, including all the copies of certificates and transcripts which I have available.

Abstain from all appearance of evil. ( I Thessalonians 5:22, KJV ).


Formal Christian Education

In 1982, I received a Certificate of Graduation from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois.


In 1984 and 1985, I received a series of Diplomas and Certificates in Christian Education, Bible and Doctrine, and Ministerial Studies from the Berean School of the Bible ( now a division of Global University ) in Springfield, Missouri.


Throughout the subsequent years, I've followed these formal studies with extensive independent reading. My personal theological library now exceeds 16,000 volumes (No, I haven't rented a warehouse: only 500 are physical volumes; 15,000 are electronic volumes in the Logos system; and the remaining 500 are in my Kindle account.

The library includes several systematic and biblical theologies, numerous commentaries and commentary sets, the complete Early Church Fathers, many collections of exegetical sermons and topical studies, a significant collection of Greek and Hebrew language references, and many other types of works. I also maintain library privileges at the Rolfing Library of the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) in Deerfield, IL, and at the Crowell Library of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

I'm reporting all this, not to brag - John Piper wrote, "When we boast in our wisdom we show that we have turned from God to trust in ourselves. We disclose that our satisfaction is not first in God's infinite, primary wisdom, but in our derivative, secondary capacities." ( Battling Unbelief; Colorado Springs: Multinomah, 2007; p.42 ) - but rather to assure you that the Free Books I'm providing here have been prepared with great love and devotion to Christ, and with sufficient research, care, and skill to hopefully make them useful to you.

In addition, I'm currently enrolled in The Log College [ aka The North American Reformed Seminary (TNARS) ], working (slowly) towards a Master of Divinity degree.


Christian Experience

After I was saved in 1967, I served as Church Librarian and as a regular member of the choir at Moody Church in Chicago. I also sang in the 1971 Billy Graham Chicago Crusade Choir.

From 1976 through 1985, at various times, I held the positions of Adult Sunday School Teacher, High School Youth Group Leader, and Deacon at the Northbrook Evangelical Covenant Church in Northbrook, Illinois. I also occasionally sang with the choir.

From 1985 through 1989, at various times, I held the positions of Adult Sunday School Teacher and Christian Education Chairman at the Glenview Evangelical Free Church in Glenview, Illinois. I also occasionally sang with the choir.

From 1985 through 2002, I served in the Nursing Home Ministry of the Glenview Evangelical Free Church ( 1985-1989 ) and then in the Nursing Home Ministry of the Winnetka Bible Church ( 1989-2002 ), leading Sunday afternoon services as song leader and preacher; researching and writing my own 10-minute sermons ( the attention span of Nursing Home residents is not generally very long ).

In 1985, I established BDS Software to publish the King James Version of the Bible on floppy disks for the Radio Shack Color Computer. This was highly rudimentary as compared to modern programs such as Logos. But it was the only electronic Bible available for the Color Computer at that time. When the Color Computer ceased production, BDS Software morphed into a general computer consulting firm.

From 1989 through 2002, at various times, I held the position of Adult Sunday School Teacher at the Winnetka Bible Church in Winnetka, Illinois. I was also a regular member of the choir throughout that period.

In 1996, I presented advance 10-minute messages to various local churches in the Chicago area on behalf of the Luis Palau "Say Yes" Chicago Crusade.

From 2002 through the present, I've participated in various seminars and round-tables at the Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, IL. where my wife and I are members. For several years, I'ave also been a member of the Orchard's annual to semi-annual Hymn Sing Ensemble.

I also participated in a Saturday morning Bible Study at the North Branch Bible Church in Glenview, IL. In the Fall of 2014, I led an 11-week series on Romans 1:1-4:12; and in the Fall of 2015, Romans 4:13-8:30. I continued in Romans at a slower, more detailed pace up until Covid struck in 2020.

Since 2002, I've also attended various annual Pastors' Conferences at the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida; as well as various annual Theology Conferences at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.

I've been a Gideon for over 25 years.


Secular Education - Part One

In secular life, I graduated from Leigh High School, in San Jose, California, in 1963.


I then served on active duty with the United States Naval Reserve until 1964.

     Honorable Discharge

After that, I completed a B.S. in Engineering Science ( 1975 ) and an M.B.A. in Accounting ( 1977 ) from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

     B.S. Degree
     M.B.A. Degree

I was then inducted into the Sigma-Iota-Epsilon Honorary Management Fraternity in 1979.



Secular Experience - Part One

During my 27-year career as an Electrical Engineer with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, I was a Registered Professional Engineer in both California and Illinois.

     California Certificate
     Last California License
     Illinois Certificate
     Last Illinois License

During that period, I also served part-time as a Real Estate Broker and as sole owner of BDS Software, a computer consulting firm.

     College Real Estate Diploma
     Illinois Real Estate Certificate
     Last Illinois Real Estate License


Secular Education - Part Two

After I retired from the MRWDGC in 1997, I went back to school and obtained an M.S. in Computer Science ( 2002 ) from Northeastern Illinois University.

     M.S. Degree

And, I followed that with a Post-Graduate Certificate in Geographical Information Systems ( 2007 ) from the Pennsylvania State University.



Secular Experience - Part Two

During this first post-retirement period, I performed consulting computer work for various publishing and pharmaceutical firms, capping my second career with a 4-year contract as a Senior Public Service Administrator for the State of Illinois, and finally retiring semi-completely in 2007.

Simultaneously, for ten years (2002-2012), I served as a part-time consultant for Maine Township, Illinois, administering their Local Area Network and 40+ Computers. I also served 2-1/2 four-year terms as the appointed Chairman of the Maine Township Planning Commission.

I'm also serving in my fifth four-year term as an elected Trustee of the Glenview Public Library ( Vice President 2005-2007, President 2011-2012 ).

     Election Certificate


But, even if you find my qualifications to be sufficient, and decide to use some or all of the free mini-books and materials which I've provided here, I still urge you to search the scriptures for yourself; to determine whether or not what I've written is valid and useful.

The Bible is the final and ultimate authority.

Be a Berean!

"Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so." (Acts 17:11, NASB).

If you find anything of value within these pages, please give God all the glory.

If you find anything that is questionable or in error, the fault is entirely mine. Please let me know about any problems, typos, or other errata you may discover:

M. David Johnson