About Me

My name is David Bonner. I am a guy on a journey, burned by fundagelicalism and walking my way through modern Christianity and wrestling with all its baggage.

My history is storied. I grew up in the Roman Catholic faith, and looked into Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) in college. I was involved in Fresno Evangelical Free Church (today the Bridge) in 1999-2000, and Campus Crusade for Christ at Fresno State in 1999-2000. I moved to Milwaukee for education and helped plant a Crusade Chapter at Marquette University (2000-2002). In Milwaukee my church home was Wooded Hills Bible Church outside Germantown from 2002-2005. I became a member of Wooded Hills, that is the only church to date where I have been a member. I also attended Elmbrook’s 20 Something Program as well. In Washington, D.C. I attended National Community Church, McLean Bible and was baptized at Fairfax Community Church. I had a prolonged faith crisis that consumed half my thirties. And against this crisis I was unsuccessfully invited to a former Sovereign Grace Ministries Church called Redeemer Arlington.

Personally I am a nerd for history, theology, and trains. I like to joke around and have fun. My pet peeves are fundamentalism, fundamentalism 2.0 (Neo-Calvinism) and seeing people harmed by religion. Feel free to email me, if you live in the Washington, D.C. area I would be happy to meet you.






Grew up in Fresno – Roman Catholic (until 1994)

Exploring Mormonism in Montana (1995-1996)

Charismatic Catholicism/Roman Catholicism (1997-1999)

Campus Crusade Fresno State (1999-2000)

Fresno Evangelical Free (1999-2000)

Move to Wisconsin

Campus Crusade Marquette University (2000-2002)

Wooded Hills Bible Church (2002-2005)

Elmbrook Church Activities (2002-2005)


Move to the Washington, D.C. Area

National Community Church 2005-2009

McLean Bible “Frontline” 2005-2009


Faith Crisis and Exploring Atheism 2009-2013

Unsuccessfully Recruited to Redeemer Arlington 2011-2013


May 8, 2013 hit bottom; came when I was working out of a faith crisis. Sought forgiveness from 140 people from May 2013 until June 2014 (still working it BTW…)

Fairfax Community Church 2012-2014

39 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Wow, I can relate. I hope your struggles have given you more trust in Christ as you Lord and Savior. I tried myself to flee my trust in Christ because I was so disappointed by the unkindness of his followers but I could not. I pray it is the same for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was sad and disappointed to hear about the Elverson church situation. You mention Dave, Merle, and Verna Stoltzfus but I was wondering why Esther and Carol were not referenced in the coverage?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the website. Stay strong and keep your eyes on Him. I know, personally, that you can find the best and the worst of people in Christian groups. Don’t let the tares blind you to the wheat. We are out there and you’ll know us by our fruits as I can tell by yours. Its frustrating, heartbreaking, and sometimes you wonder how messed up this all is if we’re all supposedly living out the same faith, but there are pockets of great people and sometimes just single people you’ll meet to encourage you to keep the faith. Follow Him and you’ll be just fine:)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I was raised in a Catholic home. My parents were God fearing people who taught me right from wrong. I discovered The Word of God- His love letters to us on my own, I studied the true history of the New Testament church from Christ’s day thru to the the 17th century and later. I saw that man distorts the truth to further his own agenda. Jesus NEVER said that men should be celibate. That something mystical happens when you celebrate the Last Supper. this is not what Jesus intended. Arrogant men made that part up. Jesus also said forgive 70×70 and that ” Revenge is mine” sayeth The Lord”. We are to go to our brother alone and or with another brother in Christ and help them when needed. It is not the mark of a well educated, and wise man who spends his time adding to the potential pain of others. A true Disciple of Christ does not use this type of Rhetoric on the internet and spend his time trying to find other miserable people to whine with him. Read the new Biography of Eric Liddell, a man who had a heart to please God first. You will not find peace in a search to destroy others.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Francesca,
    Is there a certain story that is troubling you?
    Usually, an exhaustive Matthew 18 process unfolds behind the scenes before something goes public.
    God does call us to expose evil deeds. (Eph. 5)
    And warn of evil elders (I Tim. 5)
    The steps taken are laid out in Scripture… never fun, but sometimes needed so that vulnerable sheep do not get fed upon by the wolves of some churches.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This blog is very troubling. It seems to be written by someone very self absorbed and does not reflect an interest in building up the Body of Christ, but rather to tear it down. Please check Paul’s advise to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:8-19. The writer seems to be viewing his life through his ” rear view mirror” and looking for events to justify his own “feeling” focused mind set. To be attempting to rake up stories that should be left to personal struggles he is using this vehicle to create dissension among the brethren. i.a.s Colorado

    Liked by 2 people

      • You, David Bonner, are not the one to post other believers sins. They are between them, the offended person or persons and God. You are an Anti-Christ, an evil sinner putting yourself in place of God. Shame on you. Take down wondering eagle, repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one true Judge not you.


    • 4larspolly: You are missing the point. This is an author’s introduction/bio. It is necessarily about the author. I think you might lighten up on the judgement thing a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t agree. David is actually a very caring person. I see his writings as being birthed out of a desire to help the hurting. Probably because of how he has been hurt himself by people trapped in religion and controlled by their egos and puffed up by their own. His blog has given a voice to many who have been silenced and abused by religious bullies. Thank you David Bonner for caring enough about the hurting and brave enough to live before God instead of being controlled by fear of man. Your blog has made a difference for many. If there has been disunity caused by your writings it is not because of what is written here, but rather because some who read this know you are pointing out their own sin and are arrogant and stiff necked and still refuse to admit their error (or be willing to see the error of those they defend). It’s that behavior that has caused the dissension in the body, not your writings that expose that behavior.
      Thank you for exposing the evil intentions of many who have tried to control others (and are now trying same on you) by attempting to silence and calling those who expose evil the gossips, or bitter, or prideful or hurtful to the body. I can’t thank you enough David for exposing these things. You are doing what Jesus tells you to do in Ephesians 5:11 by “having nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of Darkness, but rather expose them.” Thank you for continuing to attempt to purify His church by exposing sinful cover ups. The ones that are being exposed (and those defending them) are the ones that don’t like your work. So, Chin up and carry on brother. You are loved much and appreciated by many. The true church of Jesus is arising and being united by the Holy Spirit on a foundation of truth.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Hello! I just read the first part of your post about McLean Bible Church ( I stopped after the Lon part because I didn’t have time to finish reading but hopefully I will get back to it soon). We missed each other by about a year: I attended there from 1999 to 2004, also involved in frontline.

        Having worked as a volunteer in some of the ministries, I got to see behind the scenes a bit, not in the inner circle by far, but a bit below the surface. I don’t know enough (and haven’t had time to read your links to the Gospel coalition stuff or D Platt yet), but I’d like to address your surmising about Lon’s motives in expanding “his empire,” as you say. While I admire your desire to put truth out there, I encourage you to consider whether your assumption about his motives is filtered through all the hurt and heartache you had at other churches and your crisis of faith. I’ve actually gotten to hear Lon explain some of the history of the church expansion in a small group setting as he spoke to volunteer leaders, and I can assure you that, at least in my duration at MBC, it was not about Lon trying to expand an empire. He was running with a vision he had to impact Washington DC for Christ, and was as surprised as anyone by how his moderate large church grew exponentially during the early frontline years, so much so that they needed to pursue a new building. They want seeking to be big as a goal, but they were responding to the overwhelming desire of people to come to their church. I attended at the old building and the place was so chock-full of people that they had to work out an arrangement with a local school down the road to shuttle people from the school’s parking lot to the church because they were so packed out with people. You were right, lawn has the heart of an evangelist, and he did not want anyone to miss out hearing the good message of Jesus Christ. So he was all too happy to try to expand. I encourage you to be careful when you try to ascribe motives to someone when you don’t really have any true knowledge about that. I am well aware that McLean Bible Church is not perfect, but I would encourage you to keep your criticisms based entirely in fact, not in speculation. Any truth that you might be bringing to light is discredited by your speculations and you will lose your audience if you continue to do that. Furthermore, I was very disappointed that you speculated with no evidence that you wondered whether McLean Bible Church could be covering up sexual misconduct. I daresay you planting such suggestions in peoples’ minds with absolutely no evidence is very devious. I think you should go back to that post and edit out that part. It really makes you look bad. I share this because I want you to succeed if there is truth that needs to be shared, but in order to do that, you must be above reproach yourself.
        Blessings to you.

        Liked by 1 person

    • You sound just like the boilerplate response from attack dogs of an abusive Pastor/Dictator that spam watchblogs when their MoG gets scrutinized, SCRIPTURE Zip Code and all.
      What makes you different from them?

      P.S. You forgot to use the B-word: “Bitter”.


  7. Pingback: Reviewing an Old Eric Simmons Article on 9 Marks’s Regarding Missional Life; Did Redeemer Arlington Live this out with an Agnostic at the Time? | Wondering Eagle

  8. Hi David,
    Many thanks for writing about the John Smyth abuse and taking part in the discussion. We (John Smyth survivors) think you might be interested to see the messages and short videos we have posted on Twitter @AndyMorseUK which reflect some of our opinions on the Church and Justin Welby.
    Best wishes,
    Andy (Morse)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. David:Thanks for sharing your experiences, views and thoughts, and providing a place for others to share as well. Many people have been hurt by their fellow brothers/sisters in Christ. Quite a few of us have had our moments of doubt, confusion, disillusionment. I have had a few rejections in my life and some are not easy to get over, especially the ones you did not see coming. Sometimes things happen to us that turn our world upside down, And we begin to wonder: DOES ANYBODY CARE? DOES GOD CARE? WHERE IS HE???
    For me, I was drawn back to the word of God. II Cor. 3-11, I Samuel 30:1-6, Rom 8:31-39, II Peter 1:1-11. were some of the passages I studied that helped me, perhaps others may be encouraged as well. (II Cor. 1:4)

    Liked by 1 person

    • OOps, meant to write : II Cor. chapter 1, vs. 3-11……the other bible ref. are good….. my bad….

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hello my name is John Hulstine and I wanted to thank you at Wondering Eagle for your blogs and articles on 9Marks. I found that your site was very helpful when I ran into a church affiliated with 9Marks and The Gospel Coalition. When I got out I was bewildered at what I had experienced. From reading the posts on your website I realized I was not alone in my experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I went to a 9Marks lite church and eventually had to leave. I could have been more gracious about it but I felt something was wrong and I became disillusioned. I actually met and talked with D.A. Carson. I liked and do respect him. Sometimes not all are bad actors in an entity. I do not know his heart or his personal feelings about 9Marks but he was a founder of the Gospel Coalition.


  11. How do I email you? I had a question about the Mennonite Church in Eleverson, PA back in late 1970’s thank you…I tried your email provided it said it wasn’t a good email..


  12. David,
    I am so sorry for the spiritual abuse you have endured, and can sympathize with your desire to spare others from a similar ordeal, and to have abused people share their stories to stave off abusive patterns of leadership.
    In your personal story, I’m missing an important detail. Perhaps you imply conversion by your dated baptism. But, it is interesting that through your explorations from Roman Catholicism to Mormonism to campus ministry (CRU) to the Sovereign Grace movement you don’t specify a time of actual conversion to personal faith in Christ Jesus. Is this an intentional omission, or seemingly unimportant as you critique the faith of leaders within Calvinistic movements? Trying to understand.


  13. Dave, I was wondering the same thing as Craig A. Could you please respond to his inquiry?
    Also, to what are you currently holding /believing in your faith?
    Thank you 😊


  14. I concur with Harry and Craig. Seems more like a quest for religion, or spirituality, or life structure instead of eternal life through Jesus for forgiveness of sins.

    I’ve yet to hear David’s sins. He’s quick on informing us of the sins of others, most notably the sins of Trump. I think that David doesn’t believe he has sinned. Which of the ten commandments does he admit to violating? He doesn’t. Yet, for all have sinned. Atheists think they are moral good people in general. So they could care less of the ten commandments. They only care of the behavior of others, instead of looking in the mirror at themselves. So i don’t think David believes he needs a savior. He just wants religion.

    Ed Chapman


  15. Interesting story, I’m a Christian. I grew up going to a Oneness Pentecostal church, came under conviction about five years ago, while under the pastorship of an elderly man of God, converted about two years ago and struggled with things and letting go for a while, one day something finally broke, and it’s been two years since receiving the Holy Ghost, and I still ain’t tired of it.

    Pastorship has changed once, and we used to have dead services because of attendees (honestly, including myself), while the pastor was doing everything God commanded him to do. Now, we have moves of God, and I can’t help but be drunker in the Spirit than Cooter Brown ever was on his natural drinks. I got that NEW WINE, now. That’s my story, seeing you gave yours. I have a blog, and probably should post the whole thing there…

    Don’t wanna offend anybody here, but I cannot apologize for that.


  16. Praying for you, sir.

    Dig deep into the Bible. Consider seriously Eternity everyday.

    If you are honestly seeking Truth and not just desiring to hurt others because you don’t yet know Truth, you will find it!


  17. Love the tagline. That is me. Faith, pissed at fundamentalism and have always struggled with doubts as a thinking christian. Well, not always. When I was introduced to Jesus at 10, I did not have such silly questions as the existence of God, the problem of evil, or Was Jesus truly both God and Man? The problem of evil has not been such a burden for me, as when you follow history, life has always been brutal and ugly with some bright spots.

    Jesus physically, mentally, and spiritually took on that brutality personally. There is evil of such a horrific level that you cannot but believe there is a spiritual reality, and thus the opposite is real. It is a mystery and no amount of apologetics will answer that.

    Some days I am 80% Christian others 50%. I truly understand atheism but since I only hit below 40% belief on rare occasions I have never been sucked into the Borg.

    As Peter aptly put it, “Where else is there to go?”


  18. Saw the article on Piper about Trumpism.

    It is plain as day that evangelicals were putting their hope in Trump which is idolatry plain as day. And it is very possible that God removed Trump so that His people would hope in Him again and realize that this world isn’t there home but Heaven is (actual Christian Nationalists).

    The picture you provided of John Piper probably was a point to make John Piper look stupid. Maybe not. But probably so. That isn’t good.


  19. I was wondering after all you have seen and gone through if you are still able to call yourself a Christian?

    I do not ask this to judge but I hope you have not thrown out the baby with the bath water. I know I have come close to that but I still hope in Christ.


  20. Church and church family can be messy, extremely messy. When we look at people instead of Jesus, when we focus on what people say instead of pursuing the Spirit of Christ speaking through the scriptures, we end up in a ditch every time. As humans we a prone to extremes. The Bible says, “Seek first the kingdom of God.” Everyone has as much of God as they really want. If you love God and truly love others, you will not abuse or misuse others. If you truly love God, you will give yourself to meet other people’s needs. If you truly know how to love like Christ.


  21. I am my biggest problem. In a practical, everyday perspective sanctification is: “God delivering me from me.” Although others might impact my life (in real world relationships this is unavoidable) they are not the source of problems and dynamics that should influence my life with Christ and my life with people in the family of God. Grace and forgiveness are needed because God knew that we could not cultivate and maintain healthy, Christ-centered relationships without them. Sure there are consequences to actions and attitudes, but if God has placed me in a church, my responsibility is to listen and obey his direction for my and my interaction with people in that body of believers. As long as I keep Christ in the center, I can navigate the wackadoodle-knuckledhead stuff that is inevitable in every church family. Even the healthiest of nuclear families have their personal and personality problems. I have five children and they each have their own perspective. Christ is the hub of our family and what He says in His word is the issue whether I or anyone in my family may feel or think otherwise.


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