Saturday, October 31, 2009

How to Speak to an Atheist MP3 Audio by Dinesh D'Souza

Dinesh D'Souza presents this talk entitled: How to Speak to an Atheist. Check out his book: What's So Great About Christianity. His latest book is Life After Death: The Evidence. D'Souza is an avid debater and has debated Christopher Hitchens and other leading atheists.

Full MP3 Audio here.


What was last year's post? See here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Online Apologetics Academy: Interview with Anthony Horvath MP3 Audio

This is an interview with Anthony Horvath, director of Athanatos Christian Ministries Online Academy of Apologetics. As noted in an earlier post, the Apologetics Academy is beginning the fall semester on Monday, November 2nd. In this interview Anthony talks about the vision behind the course, the classes offered, and explains the sign up process. For those interested in getting further equipped in apologetics, this academy might be what you are looking for. See here for classes offered.

Full MP3 Audio interview here. (14 minutes)


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Presuppositional Apologetics Interview with John Frame MP3 Audio

Here is an interview with John Frame on the subject of presuppositional apologetics. This is originally found at Converse with Scholars. Audio quality is not the best (especially at the start) but the content is excellent for learning about presuppositional apologetics. For more, you can check out John Frame's Apologetics to the Glory of God.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

C. S. Lewis and the Problem of Pain

Here is a lecture by Corbin Carnell on the subject of C.S. Lewis' Problem of Pain by Full MP3 Audio here.


Previously was C.S. Lewis' classic book The Problem of Pain as an audiobook. Originally found at another site. However, there is uncertainty about possible copyright of that particular file (which is not the one pictured).

You may also want to check out Mere Christianity here.

What was last year's post? See here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ethics Course by Ronald Nash MP3 Podcast

Dr. Ronald Nash presents a course in Ethics. Another great resource from More Ronald Nash resources here. Good content with a dry sense of humor.

Now you have to go right to to get the audio. They do not allow direct linking to their audio files. 


Monday, October 26, 2009

Rediscovering the Historical Jesus MP3 Audio by William Lane Craig

William Lane Craig gives this talk entitled: Rediscovering the Historical Jesus. This includes an evaluation of the presuppositions of The Jesus Seminar, as well as an exploration of Gospel reliability. This and other resources found at


What was last year's post? See here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Quote: William Booth on Life

“Your days at the most cannot be very long, so use them to the best of your ability for the glory of God and the benefit of your generation.”

- William Booth

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Book Review: The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins is the famous biologist’s most recent book since his best selling The God Delusion. This is a well-written book, complete with illustrations and beautiful color sections. In it, Professor Dawkins presents evidence for evolution. The purpose of this review is to survey some of Dawkins’ ideas and weigh up the overall logic of his case for evolution; in particular, does Dawkins present a good case that macroevolution is a fact?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Theism & Atheism: Points of Tension

Ravi Zacharias points out that the most important question shared by theists and atheists is the one of how we should live. Zacharias presents a case for why atheists have no acceptable answer for this question, while arguing that Christianity presents a satisfying answer. Found at Veritas.

Full MP3 Audio here. (77 minutes)


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Introduction to Islam Course MP3 Podcast provides an introductory study of the beliefs and practices of Islam. The course demonstrates how Islamic thought is different from Christian thought and how the gospel can be most effectively communicated to members of the Islamic faith. There are 24 separate lectures totaling approximately 16 hours.

Now you have to go right to to get the audio. They do not allow direct linking to their audio files.


What was last year's post? See here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Online Apologetics Academy: Athanatos

The Fall 2009 apologetics course at Athanatos is starting in November. Sharpen your knowledge in the following classes:
• Christ Promised in the Old Testament
• Reliability of the New Testament Documents
• Study in Alleged Bible Contradictions
• Basic New Testament Greek Part 1 &2
• Origins: A Survey
• The Death of Christianity (Free)
• Jesus According to...
• Studies in Atheism
• Hitler and Christianity (Free)

Check them out here.


What was last year's post?
See here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Conversational Evangelism MP3 Audio by David Geisler

David Geisler presents a talk on Conversational Evangelism. He shares tips and keys on "pre-evangelism" and practical apologetics in everyday conversation. See his website: Meekness & Truth for other audio, powerpoints, and resources. Get his book here.

Full MP3 Audio here.


What was last year's post?
See here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fine-Tuning of the Universe MP3 Audios by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards

Here are a couple of great talks from, featuring Privileged Planet authors (book / DVD) Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards

The Fine-Tuning of the Universe (Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards)
MP3 Part 1 Talk | MP3 Part 2 Q&A

Our Privileged Planet (Guillermo Gonzalez)
MP3 Part 1 Talk | MP3 Part 2 Q&A (audio quality poor)


What was last year's post? See here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Quote: Tillotson on Eternity

He who provides for this life, but takes no care for eternity, is wise for a moment, but a fool forever.

- John Tillotson

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Featured Podcast: Damaris CultureWatch

The CultureWatch Podcast by the is a weekly podcast featuring interviews and analysis on the relationship between Christian faith and contemporary culture. Keep up to speed on new movie releases, their content, and message.

Subscribe to CultureWatch here in iTunes or RSS feed.

Other Damaris Podcasts here.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Three Good Philosophy Audio Courses

Here are three good philosophy audio courses:
History of Philosophy & Christian Thought
by Dr. John Frame - iTunes

Introduction to Philosophy
by Dr. Daniel Kaufman - Ap315's audio feed | iTunes Video

A Christian Philosophy of Religion
by Dr. Paul Copan - RSS | iTunes | Web

Check out this post over at Cloud of Witnesses for more philosophy audio and video on the web.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Formation of Belief MP3 Audio by Bruce Little

This lecture by philosopher Bruce Little discusses how beliefs are formed. He discusses the nature of beliefs, how they form and their relationship to truth, the notion of persuasion, and how beliefs might be changed. All of this is aimed at a better understanding of what is involved in Christian witnessing and apologetics, with examples from the Bible. Another great audio from

Full MP3 Audio here.


You may also want to check out other Bruce Little audio here and here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dinesh D'Souzas vs. Christopher Hitchens Debate MP3 Audio 2009

This is The Great Faith Debate at UCF in Orlando FL on September 17, 2009. This is... another debate is between Christopher Hitchens and Dinesh D’souza.

Full MP3 Audio here. (1hr 25min)


Monday, October 12, 2009

William Lane Craig vs. Marcus Borg: The Resurrection MP3 Audio

William Lane Craig debates New Testament scholar Marcus Borg on the topic of the resurrection. Borg's position is that the resurrection is "really true," even though it is not "literally true." Daryl Schmidt and Darrell Bock offer further comments. Also added to the WLC Audio Debate Feed.

Full MP3 Audio here. (2hr 14min)


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Book Review: Reason for the Hope Within edited by Michael J. Murray

Reason for the Hope Within edited by Michael J. Murray is a remarkably rich book. It is diverse in its scope, covering a wide spectrum of philosophical issues. Murray points out the goal of the book: “The aim of this book is to take what has been happening in the halls of academic Christian philosophy and make it accessible and useful to church leaders and laity.”1 A dozen or so philosophers contribute essays to accomplish this goal.  Because this book addresses such a wide variety of topics, this review will be a general overview of the content with a notable highlights. In fact, an entire review could be dedicated to each one of these deeply thoughtful philosophical chapters.

Murray’s introduction encourages the reader to move slowly through the book, considering the issues deeply. The issues are weighty and they are treated with appropriate philosophical depth. From an apologetic perspective, a fair amount of emphasis is placed on the honest scope of apologetics: what apologetics can’t do and what apologetics can do: “…there is no sledgehammer apologetics. There are no arguments for the truth of Christianity which force the atheist or non-Christian to their intellectual knees. The unbeliever can always backtrack and give up some other belief instead.”2

William C. Davis, introduces the theistic arguments, pointing out their scope and usefulness:
Belief in God, like any belief, is rationally avoidable, and a determined skeptic will always be able to find a reason – even if somewhat implausible – for persisting in unbelief. […] Arguments for God’s existence are useful, but it is important to be clear about how they are useful. Ultimately, arguments are never more than tools used by the Holy Spirit.3
Davis’ handles the theistic arguments carefully, and shows just how far they go and where they end. He doesn’t try to prove too much. He acknowledges that there is always a “way out” for the skeptic, however implausible. He addresses the common objection that certain theistic proofs aren’t good enough to prove the Christian God of the Bible:
At the heart of this objection is the claim that the Christian idea of God can’t be constructed from the details of our experience. And this is clearly correct! A finite creation cannot require an infinite or eternal creator as its cause. But why think that we need to construct our idea of God only from the uncontroversial facts of this world? This objection is ultimately an attempt to change the subject. The issue is not whether it is possible to assemble our idea of God; rather the real issue is whether the God we know from the Scriptures provides the best explanation for the facts of the world.4
The theistic argument from the fine-tuning of the universe is presented and developed by Robin Collins. His premises follow:
Premise 1. The existence of the fine-tuning is not improbable under theism.
Premise 2. The existence of the fine-tuning is very improbable under the atheistic single-universe hypothesis.
Conclusion: From premises (1) and (2) and the prime principle of confirmation, it follows that the fine-tuning data provide strong evidence to favor the design hypothesis over the atheistic single-universe hypothesis.5
Collins underscores the objective of the argument:
the argument does not say that the fine-tuning evidence proves that the universe was designed, or even that it is likely that the universe was designed. […] Rather, the argument merely concludes that the fine-tuning strongly supports theism over the atheistic single-universe hypothesis.6
An excellence appendix accompanies this chapter, exploring probability calculus and providing further support for the second premise.

Daniel Howard-Snyder addresses “God, Evil, and Suffering.” He splits the issue into two parts: the practical problem of evil and the theoretical problem of evil. Anyone reading this chapter (not to mention most of the other chapters in this book) will be introduced to the most relevant issues in contemporary philosophy of religion.

John O’Leary-Hawthorn contributes an essay on Arguments for Atheism in which he explores two categories. First, what he calls “No evidence arguments,” and second, “Arguments from the character of religion.” These sorts of categories include the accusation of lack of evidence, the concept of divine silence, evil done in the name of religion, religious diversity, and the psychological origins of belief.

Caleb Miller provides his essay on Faith and Reason. Deals with the rationality of belief and religious epistemology. Regarding religious experience and epistemology, he says that if one has a particular religious experience, “it is rational for me to accept the corresponding beliefs unless there is an undercutting or overriding defeater of those beliefs, i.e., unless there is some good reason for thinking that my experience is illusory or that the beliefs are false.”7

Again it can be emphasized that the scope of essays in this book is very impressive: Pluralism by Timothy O’Connor, Eastern Religions by Robin Collins, Divine Providence and Human Freedom by Scott A. Davison. Thomas D. Senor addresses philosophical issues surrounding the trinity. Trenton Merricks writes on The Resurrection of the Body and the Life Everlasting. He unpacks the concepts of immortality and the resurrection body. Michael J. Murray contributes another essay, this time dealing with heaven and hell. He presents and compares the “penalty” model and the “natural consequence” model. Indeed, not chapters to read quickly or superficially.

W. Christopher Stewart focuses his essay on religion and science. What is their interaction as ways of knowing? Does science defeat religion? He refutes the god-of-the-gaps argument, while pointing out that serious Christians should strictly avoid that sort of thinking. He also elaborates on another argument, namely, that science defeats religion by excluding it. He points out that science presupposes methodological naturalism, not metaphysical naturalism – and methodological naturalism does not in any way exclude religious belief. The rest of this chapter is an excellent exploration of the so-called conflict and of scientific and religious presuppositions.

J. A. Cover dedicates a chapter to miracles and Christian theism. He defines miracles, examines what reasonable belief in miracles requires, and answers objections from Hume and others. He continues by looking at epistemological questions of miracles and evidence. The final two chapters of the book cover the topics of Christian ethics (by Frances Howard-Snyder) and the authority of scripture (by Douglas Blount). These too are both excellent treatments of the contemporary issues in these areas.

As this quick overview has shown, Reason for the Hope Within is an expansive philosophical book, written by excellent philosophers, yet accessible to the layman. This book is highly recommended for the thinking Christian and student of apologetics.

1 Michael J. Murray, in Reason for the Hope Within (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 1999), p. 3.
2 Ibid., p. 13.
3 William C. Davis, Ibid., p. 21.
4 Ibid., p. 35.
5 Robin Collins,
Ibid., p. 53.
6 Ibid.
7 Caleb Miller,
Ibid., p. 145.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Argument from Objective, Nonutilitarian Value

This concludes the series of weekly posts dealing with some basic theistic arguments. The purpose here is to introduce the reader to the idea behind each argument. Strengths and weaknesses will be presented after each summary. These are only summaries and springboards for further study in the theistic arguments. See Reason for the Hope Within for more.

An Argument from Objective, Nonutilitarian Value

While many human activities are pursued because of their usefulness (utility), and some are valuable only in the eyes of a few people (nonobjective), there are kinds of human activity which possess objective, nonutilitarian value. Two obvious examples of this are self-sacrificial love and artistic beauty (which may be useful, but don't need to be). If everything (including humanity) is the result of random, impersonal forces which encouraged only survival, then it seems highly unlikely that the process would yield organisms (humans) which recognized values like these which aren't survival-conducive. But values like these are what we would expect if humans (and the human environment) were created by a personal, loving, and beauty-valuing God. God's existence is a much better explanation for the existence of nonutilitarian value than any explanation without God.

Greatest Strength: Most people can be persuaded through specific examples to concede that survival is not the only objective value, and that self-sacrificial love and beauty are valuable in a way that transcends mere subjective taste.

Greatest Weakness: The late twentieth century is replete with efforts to show that the very idea of objective value of any kind is mistaken, and that all attempts to identify objective value (and especially nonutilitarian objective value) are attempts to impose subjective values on others.1

1 William C. Davis, Reason for the Hope Within (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman's Publishing Co., 1999), p. 39.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Closer to the Truth Videos

Closer to Truth is a series of videos on the topics of the cosmos, consciousness, and God. Robert Lawrence Kuhn hosts this series of interviews with world class cosmologists, physicists, scientists, philosophers, and theologians (see list here) on the biggest questions in life. There are numerous videos, but here are a few of note from the webisodes on God:

Alvin Plantinga Videos
Arguments About God?
Arguing God from Natural Theology?
Does Evil Disprove God? (1 of 2)
Does Evil Disprove God? (2 of 2)
If God Knows the Future, What is Free Will?
Arguing God's Existence?

William Lane Craig
Is God All Knowing? (1 of 2)
Is God All Knowing? (2 of 2)
Is God Outside of Time (1 of 2)
Is God Outside of Time (2 of 2)
Considering God's Existence?
Did God Create Time?
Did God Create Multiple Universes?
How Free is God?
Can God Change?

William Dembski
How is God the Creator?
Did God Create Evil?
How Could God Interact with the World?
How Should We Think About God's Existence?
Arguing God's Existence?
Arguing God from Design?
Arguing God from Teleology?
Arguing God from Natural Theology?

Alister McGrath
Arguing God from Natural Theology?

Richard Swinburne Videos
Arguing God from Design?
Is God Necessary?
Arguments About God?

J.P. Moreland
Arguing God from Moral Law?

John Polkinghorne
Arguing God from Natural Theology?
Does God Make Sense?

There are many more videos here. [HT: Apologet]

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Michael Licona vs. Bart Ehrman Debate 2009 MP3 Audio

Michael Licona debates Bart Ehrman on the topic: Can historians really prove Jesus rose from the dead? This is their second debate (first debate here) on the resurrection. Videos here.

Full MP3 Audio here.


You may also enjoy William Lane Craig vs. Bart Ehrman here or James White vs. Bart Ehrman here.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Is Jesus Man, Myth, Madman, Messiah? MP3 Audio by Kenneth Samples

Philosopher and theologian Kenneth Samples of RTB presents a talk entitled: Is Jesus Man, Myth, Madman, or Messiah? This is an outstanding talk with an engaging Q&A by one of today's most outstanding apologists. See also Ken Samples' "Learning Skills 101" series, his Straight Thinking Podcast, and his Without a Doubt podcast.

Four part audio for download can be found here.


Monday, October 05, 2009

William Lane Craig vs. Arif Ahmed: Is Belief in God Reasonable? Debate MP3 Audio

William Lane Craig debates Arif Ahmed on the topic: Is Belief in God Reasonable? Q&A follows. Also added to the WLC Audio Debate Feed.

Full MP3 Audio here. (1hr 50min)


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sunday Quote: Kai Nielsen on Theistic Proofs

"To show that an argument is invalid or unsound is not to show that the conclusion of the argument is false.... All the proofs of God’s existence may fail, but it still may be the case that God exists."1

- Kai Nielsen

See also William Lane Craig's debate with Kai Nielsen: transcript here.

1 Kai Nielsen, Reason and Practice (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), 143-44.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Darwin's Dilemma: DVD Review

Darwin's Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record is a documentary by Illustra Media exploring the Cambrian Explosion: the sudden appearance of major animal types in the fossil record. This review will provide an overview of the content.

As the Darwin's Dilemma website states:
Darwin’s Dilemma recreates the prehistoric world of the Cambrian era with state-of-the-art computer animation, and the film features interviews with numerous scientists, including leading evolutionary paleontologists Simon Conway Morris of Cambridge University and James Valentine of the University of California at Berkeley, marine biologist Paul Chien of the University of San Francisco, and evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg, a Research Collaborator at the National Museum of Natural History.
The first quarter of the 72-minute DVD provides the historical background of the Burgess shale and describes the Cambrian Explosion as a mystery Darwin could not resolve. As Stephen Jay Gould put it: "Nothing distressed Darwin more than the Cambrian explosion." Paleobiologist Simon Conway Morris provides much of the narrative on the Cambrian, detailing the enormous diversification of fossils in the strata. This introduction provides an appropriate historical explanation of how this fossil layer was discovered and explored. Computer animations bring the fossilized animals to life, showing the full body plans and complexity of the most notable animals found in the Cambrian.

In the next fifteen minutes the documentary explores the development of Darwin's theory. This describes what Darwin expected to find in the fossil record, including step-by-step transitional forms. He was puzzled by not finding these transitions in the fossil record. However, he assumed the fossils were out there and that more time was needed to discover the transitional forms.

The documentary explains that according to contemporary estimates, some 90% of earth's history took place before Cambrian era. The Precambrian body plans were very simple, yet the Cambrian body-plans were much more complex. An analogy is provided: If 24 hours represents the history of the earth, at the 21st hour the major animal forms emerge in the span of 2 minutes, and are still will us today.

Half way through the documentary, further Cambrian fossils are discussed: the Chinese Chengjiang fossils, which were remarkably well preserved and many of them soft-bodied. Yet, they differed very little from the fossils found in other places in the world. In addition, small soft embryos were discovered in the Precambrian strata. If these can be preserved, why are other more complex forms found in the Precambrian strata? According to evolutionary biologist Rudolf Raff, "All of the known body plans seem to have appeared in the Cambrian radiation."

Three quarters through the documentary, young Darwin takes his voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle and the documentary describes Darwin's evolutionary model. It is described as simple to complex; gradual change over a long period of time. This view is described as "bottom-up," simple to complex.

The documentary makes the case that most of the major phyla first appear in the Cambrian strata. In the fossil record, the body plans don't gradually increase in complexity over time. The fossil record shows a sort of "top-down" model, with the phyla being established early and variations of those phyla following. This suddenness in the fossil record of the Cambrian is troublesome to Darwin. Yet, 150 years after Darwin, the same basic problem is still unsolved. Richard Dawkins is quoted: "Without gradualness… we are back to a miracle."

At the fifty-minute mark, the documentary begins to explore the structure of DNA. Just how much change in complexity is needed to create the diversity of body plans? Impressive computer animations show DNA while describing the mechanisms of mutation and natural selection. Next, Dawkins' idea of "climbing Mount Improbable" is illustrated: the idea of building a Cambrian animal one step at a time, one beneficial mutation at a time gradually over the course of a long period of time.

The documentary examines what sorts of mutations are needed to accomplish these transitions. And of probabilities? The probability of generating just one protein by mutation is about 1 in 10(74). This is compared to a blind man looking for one marked atom in our galaxy. In addition, the case is made that DNA mutations alone cannot make the necessary changes to the body plans themselves. To this point, the documentary has focused on showing the inadequacy of Darwin's theory to account for the fossil evidence or the DNA changes needed to produce the body plans found in the Cambrian strata.

At the one-hour point in the documentary, a case for intelligent design is more directly presented by looking at the information-rich qualities of the DNA instruction code for life. This case consists of a few main keys:
• Top-down pattern of appearance of the phyla
• Hierarchical arrangement of parts
• Absence of transitional fossils
• Information comes from intelligence
Each of these points is more fully developed in the last fifteen or so minutes of the documentary. It is not possible (nor the intention) of this review to lay out or defend the full case that is made in the DVD. Accordingly, the potential critic would be advised to view the DVD for himself.

In sum, the documentary is indeed a fascinating case for intelligent design. The production quality of the documentary is well on par with the first two DVDs in the Illustra Media series: The Privileged Planet and Unlocking the Mystery of Life, both of which are highly recommended. Get the DVD here. Learn more about the documentary here.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Argument from Religious Experience

This continues the series of weekly posts dealing with some basic theistic arguments. The purpose here is to introduce the reader to the idea behind each argument. Strengths and weaknesses will be presented after each summary. These are only summaries and springboards for further study in the theistic arguments. See Reason for the Hope Within for more.

An Argument from Religious Experience

A great many people both throughout history and throughout the world have had religious experiences. These have typically included not only an awareness of a divine presence but also a qualitative change in the behavior of the one having the experience. The existence of God explains this data much more easily than conjectures about psychological disorders, mass deceptions, or fraudulent reporting.

Greatest Strength: The pervasiveness of religious experience is well documented and accompanied by credible reports of lives being changed for the better.

Greatest Weakness: Although religious experience in general is widespread, specific experiences vary considerably.1

1 William C. Davis, Reason for the Hope Within (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman's Publishing Co., 1999), p. 38.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Doug Geivett vs. John Shook: Does God Exist? Debate MP3 Audio

Philosophers Doug Geivett and John Shook debate the topic: Does God Exist? Moderated by Eddie Tabash. This debate took place in Buffalo, NY on July 31, 2009. Videos here.

Full MP3 Audio here. (2hr 15min - audio improves after first opening statement)


See also William Lane Craig's debate with John Shook.

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