John Oakes was born and raised in Connecticut. He earned a bachelors degree in Chemistry at the University of Connecticut in 1977. John became a Christian as a graduate student in December of 1978 as part of a campus ministry in Boulder Colorado led by Tom Brown. At the time he was a graduate student of chemical physics at the University of Colorado. Having been part of the campus group for 6 years, it was in 1984 that John earned his PhD in chemical physics.He and Jan were married the same year. In the summer of 1984, John worked as an intern for the Boulder Church of Christ. Following their marriage, John and Jan moved to Spokane, Washington, where John was a chemistry professor at Gonzaga University for two years. From there they moved to San Diego, where they worked in the ministry for about two years. At that time John returned to teaching. He taught at UCSD, Mesa College, and other colleges in the area. While living in San Diego he was asked to speak a number of times to different groups on Christian Evidences. In 1993 John and his wife and three children moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where he had a position as a professor of chemistry and physics at Marian College.In 2000, their family returned to San Diego where John works as a professor of Chemistry at Grossmont College. He and Jan have three children: Ben, 26; Elizabeth 24; and Kate 22 years old.
John is the author of eight books. The first (1999) is “Is There a God? Questions of Science and the Bible,” This book is designed to answer many of the questions raised by modern scientific discovery. As the title suggests, the book covers both the evidence for God from science and the scientific questions raised by the Bible. His second book (2000) is “Daniel, Prophet to the Nations.” This is an exposition of Daniel which combines a discussion of the practical applications of the book with a detailed analysis of the prophetic content in Daniel. His third book (2001) is “Reasons for Belief: A Handbook of Christian Evidences.” This is a general Christian evidences book designed to encourage the faith of believers and to help create faith in non-believers. His fourth book (2005) is “From Shadow to Reality.” This book explores the numerous prefigures, foreshadows, types and antitypes in the Old Testament which bear witness to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, as revealed in the New Testament. His most recent book is titled “That You May Believe.” It is co-written with David Eastman. The book is on the miracles of Jesus, focusing the apologetic aspects of Jesus’ miracles, as well as the theological and practical implications of the wonders and signs worked by Jesus. The sixth, “Apologetic Questions and Unapologetic Answers” (2011) is a summary of the hundreds of questions and answers received at EFC, along with a number of essays on various apologetics topics. The Christian Story: Finding the Church in Church History Volume I (2012) covers the first 430 years of the history of Christianity, focusing in on how we can lean how to “do” church in light of the experiences of the early church. Most recently, John published Mormonism: What Do the Evidence and the Testimony Say? (2012). This book looks at Mormonism from the perspective of the typical Mormon testimony, asking if this testimony is valid. John has also published a number of CDs on Islam, Spiritual Gifts, The Book of Daniel, The Problem of Pain and Suffering and others.
John’s interest in Christian evidences sprang naturally from his being a scientist. He began teaching on the subject almost as soon as he was converted. John Clayton’s speaking was a great inspiration for him. Having a dual PhD in chemistry and physics, and having taught for 28 years has made him uniquely qualified to deal with areas of science and the Bible. Besides science, John is very interested in history, both church history and history in general. He is also interested in philosophy and studies in the Christian Worldview. He has taught a number of classes on the Christian Worldview, Christian Theology and related topics.
He is the president of Apologetics Research Society, a California non-profit corporation. The corporation and its board of directors support the evidenceforchristianity.org website and many other projects. The past six years, they have put on the International Christian Evidences Converence in Irvine, CA Chicago, IL and Houston, TXand again in Irvine. In 2011 they put on a conference on Christianity and the Paranormal and in 2012 the conference was held at UCLA. This year, the theme of the ICEC is Christianity and Culture. It is being held at San Diego State University. John also writes a monthly newsletter, Evidence for Christianity, published electronically by Apologetics Research Society. He is also the force beind the ten-course sequence Certificate in Christian Apologetics offered by ARS.
John teaches classes to adult groups, campus, singles and teens. Subjects he teaches classes on include: God, Science and the Bible; History, Archaeology and the Bible; Messianic Prophecies; Daniel, Prophet to the Nations; From Shadow to Reality; How We Got the Bible; Jesus: Man, Myth or Messiah?; The Bible, From God or Man?: The Problem of Pain and Suffering; Church History; Old Testament Survey; The Book of Hebrews; The Resurrection; Christian World View; World Religions; Induction, Deduction and Revelation: Knowing God’s Will; Mormonism; Jehovah’s Witness; History of Baptism: Into Christ; and Eldership: Qualities or Qualifications? and many more.
He has taught in various locations in the USA including Denver, Milwaukee, Hartford, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Antonio, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Princeton and others. He has given invited lectures at UCLA, Harvard, UC Boulder, UCSB, MIT, Berlin University, Univ. of Philippines, Universidad de Chile Law School, University of Texas, and others. John has taught in a number of international cities, including Toronto, Paris, Milan, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Puebla, Guadalajara, Queretaro, Manila, Tokyo, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Lagos, Nigeria, Edinburgh, Glasglow, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabadh, Mumbai, Delhi, Guatemala City and San Salvador, Caracas, Bogota, Johannesburg, Capetown, Abidjan Ivory Coast, Douala Cameroon, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Moscow, Minsk, Kiev, Lvov, Budapest, Zagreb Croatia, Tirana Albania and Izmir, Turkey, Singapore, Jakarta, Lima, Santiago, Quito, Seoul, Nairobi, Rangoon, Accra and many others.
As far as other interests are concerned, between serving the church in San Diego, his work as a scientist, teaching, and the role he plays as a husband and a father, to say nothing of his being an author, John is not left with a lot of free time. When he does have a bit of spare time he likes to run, get involved in sports and work in the garden.