John Lennox talks to Kim Hill about God and science

Radio New Zealand host Kim Hill recently discussed New Atheism, faith, falsification, and much more with professor of mathematics and philosopher of science John Lennox.  It’s an excellent interview.

Listen to it via stream or download it here.

If you haven’t already checked out Lennox’s new website, make sure you do.

Does God Exist? Lenny Esposito vs Richard Carrier

Come to Reason Ministries have posted the audio from the debate between apologist Lenny Esposito and atheist Richard Carrier:

[pk_icon_text icon=”download” icon_type=”dark”] Part 1

[pk_icon_text icon=”download” icon_type=”dark”]Part 2

(If you’re having trouble accessing the audio, you may need to like the Come to Reason Facebook page). The exchange took place on Wednesday, May 23, at the University of California.

Lenny Esposito is president and founder of Come to Reason Ministries. He is a contributor to the popular Apologetics Study Bible for Students and has written articles that have appeared in The Los Angeles Times and the Southern California Christian Times.

 

Richard Carrier is a historian and philosopher, specializing in the philosophy of naturalism and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. He is the author of several books including Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith and Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism.

 

Defending the Historical Credibility of the Gospels and Acts

In a talk originally presented to the Reasonable Faith chapter in Belfast, Timothy McGrew, Professor of Philosophy at Western Michigan University, explores five tests for the historicity of ancient works and applies these to the Gospels and the book of Acts.

Download the audio here and the powerpoint slides here.

Source: Brian Auten

An Interview with Alvin Plantinga

This week, influential Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga talks to Brian Auten from Apologetics315. They discuss Plantinga’s journey into philosophy, neglected arguments for the existence of God, the role of arguments, and more. Get the audio here.

Albert Mohler and Jim Wallis Debate Social Justice and the Mission of the Church

On October 27, Albert Mohler and Jim Wallis debated the question “Is Social Justice an Essential Part of the Mission of the Church?”. If you missed the live webcast, the Henry Center has posted the media from the event:

[pk_icon_link icon=”read_post” icon_type=”dark”]Audio[/pk_icon_link]
[pk_icon_link icon=”read_post” icon_type=”dark”]Video[/pk_icon_link]

In the exchange, Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, argued for the affirmative position – the church must be involved in social justice issues – and Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, argued the negative – while granting social justice as a good and important activity for Christians, he contended that social justice is not the gospel. The exchange highlighted many issues under discussion in evangelicalism today – the nature of the gospel, its definition, breadth, and implications – and while the theological approaches of both participants meant they were frequently talking past each other, it is still worth listening to.

For an excellent review of the debate, check out Matthew Lee Anderson’s assessment here.

Audio: William Lane Craig and Peter Millican Debate the Existence of God

Premier Christian Radio have posted the audio from the debate between William Lane Craig and atheist Peter Millican:

[pk_icon_link icon=”download” icon_type=”dark”]Does God Exist? WL Craig v Peter Millican[/pk_icon_link]

The exchange took place at Birmingham University on October 21 and was organized by the Philosophy Society as a part of the Reasonable Faith UK tour.

William Lane Craig is the Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. Peter Millican is the Gilbert Ryle Fellow and Professor of Philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford University. The tour is co-sponsored by UCCF, Damaris, and Premier Christian Radio.

Audio: William Lane Craig and Stephen Law Debate the Existence of God

The Reasonable Faith UK tour kicked off yesterday with its first event as William Lane Craig and Stephen Law debated the existence of God. The audio of the debate is now available, courtesy of Premier Christian Radio:

[pk_icon_link icon=”download” icon_type=”dark”]Does God Exist? WL Craig v Stephen Law[/pk_icon_link]

The exchange was hosted by Justin Brierley and took place at Westminster Central Hall in London. Be sure to let us know what you thought of the debate in the comments below.

Audio: Trent Dougherty on Faith and Reason in a Broken World

Last month, we had the privilege of hosting Christian Philosopher Trent Dougherty in Tauranga for two events on the problem of evil. Here is the audio from those talks:

[pk_icon_link icon=”download” icon_type=”dark”]Part 1: Faith & Reason in the face of Evil and Suffering[/pk_icon_link]

Does faith make sense given the horrendous evil we see in the world around us?  In this lecture, Trent offers guidelines for the integration of faith and reason and how to think about the problem of evil and suffering.

[pk_icon_link icon=”download” icon_type=”dark”]Part 2: Exposing Atheistic Naturalism’s Answer to Evil[/pk_icon_link]

Atheists claim that naturalism (the view that only matter, energy and time exist – with no God intervening from the outside) gives a better explanation of suffering in the world.  In this talk, Trent shows that naturalism’s attempt to answer the problem of evil and suffering backfires at every turn.

Special thanks to Rodney Lake for the audio and Brian Auten for helping us to host the files.

Trent Dougherty is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University.  He has a PhD in Philosophy of Religion, Epistemology and Probability Theory from the University of Rochester and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He has published articles and book reviews in many journals including Religious Studies Review, Notre Dame Philosophical Review, Philosophia Christi and many others. He is also the editor of recently published book, Evidentialism and its Discontents.

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Small Group Resources

Small groups are a great setting for apologetic learning. Within the context of a discussion group, ideas can be more thoroughly examined, questions openly explored, and difficult concepts unpacked. Of course, as followers of Christ, our goal is never just head knowledge but to see God’s truth lived out in us. And small groups offer the advantage of not only enhancing learning through interaction, but in providing an environment of support for participants to apply and personalise truth in their own lives.

With an array of apologetic resources available, starting up a group can be a lot less intimidating than it once might have been. Study guides, DVD presentations, workbooks, and other materials offer enough scope to accommodate the academic level of the participants and the apologetic experience of the facilitator. You don’t have to have to have a theological or philosophical degree to be able run an effective group.  If there is a hunger for hearts strengthened by a deeper faith and a more robust intellectual life within your congregation, there’s little excuse for not running an apologetics program at your church.

Here are a few of those resources that are available:

Foundations of Apologetics Curriculum

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This is an excellent series that probably stands as the benchmark for small group resources. Produced by RZIM, the series includes 12 one-hour DVDs with accompanying workbooks. The series broaches a comprehensive range of apologetic arguments and strategies and features lectures by Ravi Zacharias and others including Alister McGrath and John Lennox.  You can purchase the whole set ($149 USD) or the individual titles ($19 USD) if you prefer. You can also preview the DVDs on YouTube (for example here).

Content:

1. Introduction to Apologetics: Conversations That Count
2. Truth and Reality
3. The Existence of God
4. Establishing a Worldview
5. The Trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures
6. The Uniqueness of Christ
7. The Trinity and Apologetics
8. Pluralism: Do All Religions Lead to the Same Goal?
9. Faith, Reason, and Integration
10. God, Evil, and Suffering
11. Seeing & Exploring Cultural Connections
12. Reasoning From The Scriptures

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If you’re not interested in the DVD presentations, I’d recommend the Critical Questions series that RZIM also puts out. There are four discussion guides (’Is God Real?’, ‘What is truth?’, ‘Who was Jesus?’ and ‘Can I trust the Bible?) and each contain six sessions and are written by some of the top evangelical scholars, including William Lane Craig, Scot McKnight, Paul Copan, and Darrell L. Bock. The titles weigh in at around $6 USD each. One of the great things I like about this series of books is that each session focuses on a passage of Scripture and develops the discussion from there.

Crucial Questions by R. C. Sproul

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Sproul, founder and president of Ligonier Ministries, is the one of the most prominent apologists alive today and the prolific author of more over 60 books. This series of booklets that he has written deal with such topics as the true identity of Jesus, the will of God, the value of prayer, and the trustworthiness of the Bible. The booklets are succinct but solid discussions of questions at the core of the Christian life and make a great option for small groups. Each usually goes for $7 USD but Westminister Books currently has an offer where you can grab them for $4.90. You can also download pdf samples of the books on the WTS store website (for example here).

Content:

1. Who is Jesus?
2. Can I trust the Bible?
3. Does Prayer change things?
4. Can I know God’s will?
5. How should I live in this world?

The Truth Project

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The Truth Project represents an effort to redress the failure of many Christians to think consistently and faithfully from within the Biblical worldview. Produced by Focus on the Family ministries, the Truth Project is a DVD-based curriculum comprised of 12 one-hour lessons taught by Dr. Del Tackett. With each lesson tackling a fundamental aspect of life, the series is a good introduction to the Christian mindset and deeper philosophical ideas at the heart of the Biblical worldview. This is an exciting course, but it is not cheap. To buy the DVD set (includes 7 DVDs (13 one hour lessons)) on the Focus on the Family site, it will cost you $250 NZD.

Content:

1. Veritology: What is Truth?
2. Philosophy and Ethics: Says Who?
3. Anthropology: Who is Man?
4. Theology: Who is God?
5. Science: What is True?
6. History: Whose Story?
7. Sociology: The Divine Imprint
8. Unio Mystica: Am I Alone?
9. The State: Whose Law?
10. The American Experiment: Stepping Stones
11. Labor: Created to Create
12. Community and Involvement: God Cares, do I?

Tactics in Defending the Faith

23231This DVD package is focused on the ‘how’ of apologetics, rather than the content of apologetic activity itself.  Made available by Stand to Reason ministries, the set includes six one-hour interactive sessions with additional directions for discussion, role-playing, self-assessment quizzes, recall exercises, and other memory tools. The package is primarily for Christians who already have some familiarity with apologetic arguments but wish to sharpen their skills in presenting the truth clearly and persuasively. With PowerPoint slides and printable material for both group leaders and participants, the package costs $49.95 (USD).

Stand to Reason also has several other resources that are worth looking into, including their Ambassador Basic Curriculum and the Ambassador’s Guide to the New Atheists.

Reasonable Faith

The third edition of William Lane Craig’s textbook is a comprehensive introduction to the defense of the Christian faith and I’d recommend this only for a serious and committed group. Despite that disclaimer, Craig’s book is not pitched soley at academics or pastors, but is both accessible and enormously rewarding for the Christian layperson willing to invest the effort.  The 416 page book includes discussion of the  relationship between faith and reason, the existence of God, the problems of historical knowledge and miracles, the personal claims of Christ, and the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. Along with the freely available online resources (study questions and powerpoint slides), the book is an ideal tool for those who want to go deeper into the latest Christian arguments in astrophysics, philosophy, probability calculus, and Reformed epistemology. Order the book from the Biola University website here or Amazon.

Battling Unbelief

sgbu_mediumUnbelief is not just for nonbelievers. Christians too can encounter doubt and skepticism. In fact, at the heart of our sin is often disbelief in who God is and in His promises for our lives. This DVD series, developed by Desiring God ministries, focuses on combating the practical outworking of unbelief in the lives of Christians.  The 12- week guided group study, divided into five manageable daily segments, seeks to help Christians wage war against such sins as anxiety, pride, shame, lust, despondency, and more. You can purchase the DVD set with presentations by John Piper and 12 Battling Unbelief Study Guides for $59.99 USD or get individual copies of Piper’s book for $11 USD.

Content:

1. Introduction to Battling Unbelief
2. A Passion for God’s Glory and Your Joy
3. A Passion for Practical Holiness
4. Is It Biblical? (Part 1)
5. Is It Biblical? (Part 2)
6. Origins of Radical Love (Part 1)
7. Origins of Radical Love (Part 2)
8. Battling the Unbelief of Anxiety
9. Battling the Unbelief of Covetousness
10. Battling the Unbelief of Lust
11. Battling the Unbelief of Bitterness and Impatience
12. Review and Conclusion

Also worth investigating are Piper’s excellent series Seeing and Savoring Christ and Don’t Waste Your Life.

Christianity Explored

The Christianity Explored Course is directed at those who have not made a commitment to Christ but are wanting to discover more about what it means to follow him. The course has been around for over ten years and offers a much better alternative to other courses like Alpha. Intended for a ten-week period, the series takes participants through Mark’s Gospel and raises questions that cut to the heart of Christianity, including ‘Who is Jesus?’, ‘Why did he come?’ and ‘What does it mean to follow him?’.

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The DVD set (with 14 talks) – $79.
Christianity Explored Study Guide – $4.99
Christianity Explored Leader’s Guide – $9.99
Christianity Explored DVD Starter Pack (includes 9 study guides, 3 leader guides, DVD, and How to run the course manual)  – $149.99

Content:

Preface: Before we begin
Week  1: Introduction
Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Jesus – Who was he?
Week 3: Jesus – Why did he come?
Week 4: Jesus – His Death
Week 5: What is Grace?
Week 6: Jesus – His Resurrection
Exploring Christian Life:
– The Church
– The Holy Spirit
– Prayer
– The Bible
Week 7: What is a Christian?
Week 8: Continuing as a Christian
Week 9: Choices – King Herod
Week 10: Choices – James, John & Bartimaeus

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