Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Brian Auten interviews Jim Wallace of Please Convince Me

I spotted this on Apologetics 315.

The MP3 file is here. (43 minutes)

Details from Brian’s post:

Today’s interview is with Jim Wallace of PleaseConvinceMe.com and host of the PleaseConvinceMe Podcast. As a cold case detective, Jim brings a unique perspective to his approach to apologetics and a very down-to-earth logical style. In this interview, Jim talks about his approach to the evidence (inference to the best explanation), Tactics and apologetics, debate vs. dialogue, pitfalls to apologists, and more.

Topics:

  • Jim’s background as an Catholic-raised atheist, and cold-case detective
  • Jim believed in the progress of science to answer all the unresolved questions
  • How did Jim become an atheist?
  • Why didn’t Jim respond to Christians witnessing to him without evidence?
  • What approach worked to start him thinking about becoming a Christian?
  • What did Jim do to grow as a Christian?
  • How did Jim’s police training help him to investigate Christianity?
  • What investigative approach is used in his police work?
  • Does “abductive reasoning” also work for investigating Christianity?
  • What sort of activities did Jim get involved in in his community?
  • How Jim’s experience as a youth pastor convinced him of the value of apologetics
  • How young people learn best by training for engagement with opponents
  • How Jim takes his youth on mission trips to UC Berkeley to engage the students
  • Is it possible to run an apologetics ministry part-time while keeping a day job?
  • Do you have to be an expert in order to have an apologetics ministry?
  • What books would Jim recommend to beginning apologists?
  • How the popular apologist can have an even bigger impact than the scholar
  • How the tactical approach is different for debates and conversations
  • Jim’s advice for Christians who are interested in learning apologetics
  • How Christian apologist need to make sure they remain humble and open-minded
  • How your audience determines how much you need to know from study

Jim’s reason for becoming an atheist, (his mother was excluded from the Catholic church after her divorce), is one I have heard before. Without saying anything about the Catholic church’s policy. I like the way he eventually came back to Christianity. No big emotional crisis, just taking a sober second look at the evidence by himself, and talking with his Christian friends. I’m impressed with the way he has such a productive ministry, as well.

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Two great podcasts from J. Warner Wallace of Please Convince Me

J Warner Wallace and Please Convince Me

J Warner Wallace and Please Convince Me

Please Convince Me is my absolute favorite podcast. The host, J. Warner Wallace, is a cold case homicide detective. He has a real job! And he talks about Christian things like you might expect a detective to talk – everything is logic, case-making and evidence. Very cool.

Why Being Respected Is Better Than Being Liked

The MP3 file is here.

The most interesting segment starts at 8 minutes and ends at 21 minutes in.

Topics

  • humans have an innate desire to be liked and to fit in with their peers
  • there are times when our desire to do what is right will conflict with the desire to be liked and to fit in
  • 1 Peter talks about how Christian living in the world will often have these conflicts
  • Christians have a different standard and that creates conflicts with the surrounding culture
  • at times like this, it is important for us to be RESPECTED rather than LIKED
  • being a Christian conflicts with the goal of being popular
  • two ways for us to proceed: 1) agree with others, 2) be who you are and let others agree with you
  • James also says that there is a conflict between being friends with the world and friends with God
  • you cannot have both friendship with the world and friendship with God
  • even non-believers understand that there is a conflict between morality and the hedonistic culture\
  • courage is needed in order to resist the pressure to embrace the beliefs of others in order to be liked
  • courage is needed in order to point others to the truth so that they change to match what is true
  • politicians often change their positions in order to appeal to the culture
  • politicians seem to shy away from trying to argue through why others should accept their positions
  • we should seek to influence others by explaining why others should accept what we believe
  • we should have the courage to make the case for what we believe
  • even if people do not accept our beliefs, they will still respect the way we can make the case
  • they will respect our courage in being willing to prepare a case and make the case in public
  • they will respect that we have not formed our beliefs based on feelings
  • we need to get better at knowing more stuff and communicating that knowledge better
  • wanting to be popular is too easy
  • we should take the harder path and desire to be respected instead of liked

Other topics from listeners:

  • the interpretation of “thou shalt not kill” in the Bible
  • can a person still be a Christian if they are not doing works, like tithing or serving in the church?
  • theistic evolution and the presumption of naturalism in science

And here’s another good podcast – it’s on the same topic as the PCM post I linked before.

Stop Teaching Young Christians About Their Faith

The MP3 is here.

Topics:

  • our nation is becoming more and more secular
  • secularism makes it harder for us to defend our faith and values in public and influence the culture
  • why is secularism happening? it’s because young people are walking away from the faith
  • young Christians are leaving the faith in high school and college
  • this is where the real battleground is – and that’s where apologists need to focus
  • we need to be focused especially on junior high school and high school, and to a lesser degree college
  • it’s good that we have lots scholars working physics, philosophy and biology
  • but what we really need is ordinary Christians to get serious about apologetics and work on young people
  • some people believe that there is no great youth exodus problem: are they right to doubt the statistics
  • it’s undeniable that young people are inarticulate about their faith – that much is certain
  • what young people in church actually believ is not Christianity, but moralistic therapeutic deism
  • young people: life is about feeling good, being liked, and nice people of all religions are saved
  • young people think that there is so little substance to Christianity that it can’t even be discussed
  • the focus among young people today is not on true beliefs, but on being kinds to others
  • even in churches, there is higher respect for helping others than on having knowledge and evidence
  • instead of focusing on the worldview that grounds good works, the focus is on good works
  • young people have learned to minimize discussions about specifics of theology
  • teachers and college professors are hostile to public expressions of evangelical Christianity
  • television is also hostile and much less Christian than it used to be
  • even if young people come back to the church, they come back for the wrong reasons
  • the adults come back for tradition and comfort but they don’t really believe Christianity is true
  • they want to pick and choose what they believe based on what they like, like going to a buffet
  • they return to church when they have kids so that their kids will absorb values – but not truth
  • that’s what we have sitting in the pews: people who think Christianity is false, but “useful”
  • and that’s why so many christians are so liberal on social values (abortion, same-sex marriage)
  • they don’t really accept the Bible as authoritative, they pick and choose what they like and don’t like
  • if Christianity is taught as “useful” then they will dump it when they find something more “useful”
  • people who leave the church are exposed to Christianity, but it doesn’t stick
  • young people lose their faith before college, and then when they escape the nest, they act it out
  • the disconnecting from the faith occurs in high school, but it only becomes public after they leave home
  • young people are becoming more focused on redefining “the good life” with consumption and materialism
  • the typical experience of young adults involves alcohol use, drug use, and recreational sex
  • young people actually want more than niceness – they want real answers to serious questions
  • young people have doubts and questions, but no one in the church or home is equipped to answer them
  • adults have to be involved in the education of young people
  • parents who are engaged in teaching their children Christian truths see much better retention rates
  • we need to stop teaching people (one-way preaching) and start training them (two-way interactive)
  • when you give a young person a definite goal – a fight with a date certain – then they will be engaged
  • when people know that they will fail unless they can perform, then they will be more engaged in learning
  • church needs to be in the business of scheduling battles, and then training young people for the battles
  • there is no sense of urgency, risk and purpose in young people, so the teaching is not effective

I’m absolutely sure you will love these podcasts. Give them a listen! I’m pretty sure that he will put me in jail if you don’t listen to them. So, um… please do!

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Do people choose their religion based on their country of birth?

This podcast is from Jim W. Wallace of Please Convince Me. (H/T John Barron)

Topic:

Do people choose their religion based on the country of their birth, or based on peer pressure from their local community, or based on pressure from their family?

The MP3 file is here. (31 Mb, 67 minutes)

Summary:

  • people in the early church did not become Christians because of peer pressure
  • Christianity thrived in an environment of hardship and persecution
  • even today, Christianity is thriving in China, in a hostile environment
  • Christianity is actually growing the fastest in non-Christian countries
  • in America, the two fastest growing religions are Islam and “No religion”
  • the entertainment industry, mainstream media and university are anti-Christian
  • many people become Christians on their own, which no family/community pressure

If you listen to his read e-mails, he mentions my post on the hiddenness of God and plugs my blog! Wow!

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Brian Auten interviews Jim Wallace of Please Convince Me

I spotted this on Apologetics 315. This is really well done.

The MP3 file is here. (43 minutes)

Details from Brian’s post:

Today’s interview is with Jim Wallace of PleaseConvinceMe.com and host of the PleaseConvinceMe Podcast. As a cold case detective, Jim brings a unique perspective to his approach to apologetics and a very down-to-earth logical style. In this interview, Jim talks about his approach to the evidence (inference to the best explanation), Tactics and apologetics, debate vs. dialogue, pitfalls to apologists, and more.

Topics:

  • Jim’s background as an Catholic-raised atheist, and cold-case detective
  • Jim believed in the progress of science to answer all the unresolved questions
  • How did Jim become an atheist?
  • Why didn’t Jim respond to Christians witnessing to him without evidence?
  • What approach worked to start him thinking about becoming a Christian?
  • What did Jim do to grow as a Christian?
  • How did Jim’s police training help him to investigate Christianity?
  • What investigative approach is used in his police work?
  • Does “abductive reasoning” also work for investigating Christianity?
  • What sort of activities did Jim get involved in in his community?
  • How Jim’s experience as a youth pastor convinced him of the value of apologetics
  • How young people learn best by training for engagement with opponents
  • How Jim takes his youth on mission trips to UC Berkeley to engage the students
  • Is it possible to run an apologetics ministry part-time while keeping a day job?
  • Do you have to be an expert in order to have an apologetics ministry?
  • What books would Jim recommend to beginning apologists?
  • How the popular apologist can have an even bigger impact than the scholar
  • How the tactical approach is different for debates and conversations
  • Jim’s advice for Christians who are interested in learning apologetics
  • How Christian apologist need to make sure they remain humble and open-minded
  • How your audience determines how much you need to know from study

Jim’s reason for becoming an atheist, (his mother was excluded from the Catholic church after her divorce), is one I have heard before. Without saying anything about the Catholic church’s policy. I like the way he eventually came back to Christianity. No big emotional crisis, just taking a sober second look at the evidence by himself, and talking with his Christian friends. I’m impressed with the way he has such a productive ministry, as well.

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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