Rank #1: Grill A Christian Panel Q&A
Zach and Andrew field open questions to wrap up Spring 2017. Topics include God’s relationship to time, Old Testament weirdness, baptism, and the nature of the afterlife.
Jul 10 2017
Rank #2: The Synoptic Problem
In this episode of Think Theism, Zach and Andrew discuss the origins of the Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Were they copied or written independently? What’s this “Q” document? Does it matter?
Apr 03 2017
Rank #3: Mind, Body, & the Failure of Naturalism w/ Dr. Micah J. Green
Materialism posits that all of reality can be reduced to a physical description of the dynamics of matter and energy. Such reductive scientific descriptions work quite well for most things, but what about mental states and mental activity? Even atheist philosophers like Thomas Nagel have argued that the existence of mental states are fundamentally incompatible with reductive naturalism. This Thursday, we’ll explore this question of mental states, objective vs. subjective descriptions of reality, and how naturalism or theism may account for these states.
About Dr. Green
Dr. Micah J. Green is an associate professor of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University. His research combines experiment and simulation to bring the field of chemical engineering to bear on both nanomaterial production and novel nanotechnology applications. These extraordinary nanomaterials have unique geometries that combine bulk dimensions with atomic dimensions; graphene and carbon nanotubes show promise for use in composites, coatings, batteries, and even 3D printing. For more on Dr. Green’s research, consult his research webpage.
In addition to his scholarly work, Dr. Green serves as the faculty advisor for several organizations at Texas A&M, including Navigators, Ratio Christi, and Christian Grads. Dr. Green has delivered talks on interaction between faith and science, including “Faithful Science“, “Is it Rational to Believe Anything Other than Science?“, and others.
Apr 24 2018
Rank #4: C.S. Lewis & Those That Never Hear the Gospel w/ Dr. Robert Garcia
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” claims Jesus. But what about those that never hear about the way, truth, and life? C.S. Lewis reflected deeply on this question and offered a few interesting perspectives.
Dr. Robert K. Garcia is an Associate professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M and teaches the Philosophical Themes in C.S. Lewis course. You can find out more about the course and Dr. Garcia at http://www.robertkgarcia.com/cslewis
Oct 28 2019
Rank #5: The Historical Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus
The resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Says the apostle Paul, if Christ has not been raised, you are dead in your sins and your faith is in vain. The historical argument for the resurrection of Jesus has played a chief role in Christian apologetics, as well. In this episode, Zach takes a whirlwind tour through the theology of resurrection, the history of the argument, and lastly a survey of the modern formulations of the argument. Resources for this episode, including a copy of the slides, can be found at tx.ag/RCResources
- Theology of the Resurrection: A survey on what we mean by “resurrection”, how it relates to the future Christian hope.
- Historical Context of the Argument: A survey of how the argument for the resurrection was originally formulated and the impact of the Deist controversy on the current form.
- The Argument Proper: A survey of a few different formulations of the historical argument for the resurrection, focusing on the formulation by William Lane Craig.
Nov 04 2019
Rank #6: Sex, Politics, & Natural Law – an interview w/ Dr. J. Budziszewski
In this interview, we talk with Catholic philosopher Dr. J.Budziszewski about everything from his journey out of atheism to Christianity, how to make moral political policy, and the natural laws of sex.
Dr. J. Budziszewski is a professor of government and philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin, where he also teaches courses in the law school and the religious studies department. He specializes in political philosophy, ethical philosophy, legal philosophy, and the interaction of religion with philosophy. Among his research interests are classical natural law, virtue ethics, conscience and moral self deception, the institution of the family in relation to political and social order, religion in public life, and the problem of toleration. You can find his work at UndergroundThomist.org
We are grateful for the team at RED-C Catholic Radio for letting us use their studio for this recording. Check them out at REDCradio.org
Apr 30 2018
Rank #7: What Do We Really Know About Right & Wrong? w/ J. Budziszewski (Veritas 2018)
2018 Veritas Forum at Texas A&M University
“What Do We Really Know About Right & Wrong?” – J. Budziszewski
A noted thinker has warned about a ‘dictatorship of moral relativism.’ But some norms do vary according to circumstances (it would be wrong to drive on the right in England, wouldn’t it?) Besides, some moral questions are confusing (is capital punishment murder?) So is there anything about right and wrong that doesn’t change (like what marriage is? or does that change too?) Can we know it? And is all this just ‘Christian morality,’ or can it have traction in the public square?”
Dr. Budziszewski specializes in political philosophy, ethical philosophy, legal philosophy, and the interaction of religion with philosophy. Among his research interests are classical natural law, virtue ethics, conscience and moral self deception, the institution of the family in relation to political and social order, religion in public life, and the problem of toleration. Dr. Budziszewski can be found at his personal website UndergroundThomist.org.
May 07 2018
Rank #9: A Fortunate Universe w/ Dr. Luke Barnes
The planets, stars and galaxies that fill the night sky obey elegant mathematical patterns: the laws of nature. Why does our Universe obey these particular laws? As a clue to answering this question, scientists have asked a related question: what if the laws were slightly different? What if it had begun with more matter, had heavier particles, or space had four dimensions? In the last 30 years, scientists have discovered something astounding: the vast majority of these changes are disastrous. We end up with a universe containing no galaxies, no stars, no planets, no atoms, no molecules, and most importantly, no intelligent life-forms wondering what went wrong. This is called the fine-tuning of the universe for life. After explaining the science of what happens when you change the way our universe works, we will ask: what does all this mean?
Luke A. Barnes is a postdoctoral researcher at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy. His university medal from the University of Sydney helped him earn a scholarship to complete a PhD at the University of Cambridge. He has published papers in the field of galaxy formation and on the fine-tuning of the Universe for life. He has been invited to speak at the 2011 and 2015 St Thomas Summer Seminars in Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology, the University of California Summer School for the Philosophy of Cosmology, and numerous public lectures. His book with Geraint Lewis, “A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos” is available from Cambridge University Press.
Mar 27 2017
Rank #10: Scientific Evidence for God + Naturalistic Alternatives w/ Dr. Michael G. Strauss
Religion and science have been often viewed as incompatible. However, recent scientific discoveries about our universe and planet have led many to reconsider God. In this talk, Dr. Michael G. Strauss surveys three lines of scientific evidence that point towards a Creator: (i) the origin of our universe, (ii) the fine-tuning of our universe for life, and (iii) the planet Earth’s unique features to support life. Next, Dr. Strauss evaluates the leading naturalistic alternatives to theism to explain these facts.
During the talk, Dr. Strauss refers to astrophysicist Dr. Luke Barnes. We recommend checking out our interview with Dr. Barnes below
Michael G. Strauss is a David Ross Boyd Professor of Physics at the University of Oklahoma in Norman; he earned his undergraduate degree in physical science from Biola University and his PhD in physics from the University of California in Los Angeles. He conducts research in experimental particle physics studying the fundamental particles and forces in the universe, and has worked at major international laboratories in the United States and in Europe. Dr. Strauss also speaks at churches, schools, and universities around the world about the intersection of science and Christianity. He is one of the four general editors of Zondervan’s Dictionary of Christianity and Science. His new book, The Creator Revealed: A Physicist Examines the Big Bang and the Bible explores central questions about science and faith in simple and entertaining language, showing how modern scientific discoveries about the origin and design of the universe proclaim the character of God and agree with the biblical story of creation. Find out more at michaelgstrauss.com
Nov 11 2019
Rank #12: Is Christian Belief Warranted Without Evidence?
While there are numerous arguments for the existence of God, most believers accept theism independent of sophisticated arguments and evidence. Are these theists irrational? In this episode, Zach discusses the idea of Reformed Epistemology developed by Alvin Plantinga who argues Christian believers can be warranted independent of evidence.
The core thesis is that while some beliefs require external evidence, a large number of beliefs are properly basic, that is to say, rationally acquired without evidence (consider your own existence as an example). Plantinga argues that if the Christian story is true, then it’s entirely plausible that Christian belief is a properly basic belief. Thus, arguments against the rationality of Christianity must also be accompanied by additional and independent arguments for the falsity of Christianity. Is Plantinga right?
Resources referenced include:
- Warranted Christian Belief by Alvin Plantinga
- Knowledge and Christian Belief by Alvin Plantinga
- Religious Epistemology by Tyler Dalton McNabb
- Master List of Reformed Epistemology compiled by Cameron Bertuzzi
- Plantinga Videos
Oct 21 2019
Rank #13: Cosmological Arguments from Contingency
Andrew surveys a few different versions of the cosmological argument. Then, we discuss a particular version of the argument popularized by Gottfried Leibniz that tries to show that a necessary being who is the explanatory ground of being must exist.
Notes can be found here: Cosmological Arguments
Tickets for Veritas 2020 can be found here: tx.ag/Veritas2020
Feb 10 2020
Rank #14: Biblical Inerrancy: Three Views
The authority of the Bible is central to Christianity. Human authors were carried along by the Holy Spirit to provide the written revelation of God. Many Christians believe that God, being Truth itself, could not inspire a collection of documents containing any error, thus, leading to the idea of biblical inerrancy. But what does this mean? What constitutes an “error”? Are modern categories of history and literature appropriate to evaluate an ancient collection? In this episode, Katie surveys three perspectives from evangelical Christians.
- Inerrancy is Too Simple to Describe the Bible: Peter Enns rejects inerrancy wholesale. No matter how defined, inerrancy doesn’t describe what the Bible does.
- Inerrancy Through Accommodation: John R. Franke accepts inerrancy when cast in terms of the Bible as a missional text. Written for people of vastly different backgrounds, God’s Word accommodates to cross various boundaries.
- Inerrancy as Descriptor, not Definer: Kevin J. Vanhoozer accepts inerrancy taking cues from St. Augustine. Inerrancy states what the Bible says is true, but does not tell you what the Bible says. Once inerrancy begins defining particular interpretations, it is (improperly) taking the place of hermeneutics
Each of these perspectives is spelled out in more detail in the book Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy (Zondervan, 2013). Additional contributors include Albert Mohler and Michael F. Bird.
Nov 25 2019
Rank #15: God Dialogues 2017 – Scripture Alone
October 2017 marks 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church at Wittenburg. To commemorate, we hosted a panel discussion between Catholic Anthony Doak and Protestant Trent Cannon on the topic of sola scriptura. Is scripture alone the only infallible authoritative rule of faith or do Sacred Tradition & Holy Magisterium speak with equal authority?Site: thinktheism.org
Apple Podcasts || Spotify || RSS
Oct 27 2017
Rank #16: Do We Need God for Morality? Matt Dillahunty vs John Ferrer
On October 23, 2018 Matt Dillahunty debated John Ferrer on “Do We Need God for Morality?”
Questions of right, wrong, good, and evil are some of the most profound. For many people, God plays the central role of Moral Lawgiver. With this comes the concern that unless God exists, ethics is in serious trouble. As Nietzsche once put it, morality “has truth only if God is the truth—it stands or falls with faith in God”. Could this fear be overblown? Do we really need God for morality?
Sep 16 2019
Rank #17: Dr. Paul Nelson – Interview
Zach and Andrew talk with Dr. Paul Nelson about creationism, intelligent design, and Illustra Media’s new movie Origin.
Apr 17 2017
Rank #18: God Dialogues 2017 – Faith Alone
October 2017 marks 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church at Wittenburg. To commemorate, we hosted a panel discussion between Catholic Aaron Barclay and Protestant Collin Moffett on the topic of sola fide (faith alone). Are Christians justified by faith in Christ alone and not of themselves or does justification require bearing of fruit?Site: thinktheism.org
Apple Podcasts || Spotify || RSS
Nov 09 2017
Rank #19: The Creator Revealed – an interview w/ Dr. Michael G. Strauss
Zach and Andrew interview Dr. Michael G. Strauss, professor of physics at the University of Oklahoma, about his book The Creator Revealed: A Physicist Examines the Big Bang and the Bible. In the first half of the conversation, we discuss scientific evidence for the existence of God from (i) big bang cosmology and (ii) the fine-tuning of the universe. Then, we talk about how to faithfully integrate the findings of science with scripture and whether evolution poses a threat to Christian belief. Lastly, Dr. Strauss offers advice for college students exploring the big questions of life.
During the interview, Dr. Strauss refers to astrophysicist Dr. Luke Barnes. We recommend checking out our interview with Dr. Barnes below
Be sure to check out our previous episode where Dr. Strauss gives his talk on Scientific Evidence for God + Naturalistic Alternatives. Purchase The Creator Revealed on Amazon or wherever books are sold! Dr. Strauss’s website is michaelgstrauss.com
Nov 12 2019
Rank #20: Old Testament Part I: Materials & History
We provide an overview of the material elements related to the composition & formation of the Old Testament, then discuss how this shapes our understanding of inspiration.
- Overall structure of the Old Testament
- Key events in history of Israel
- Important textual witnesses
- What JEDP means
Outline: RC Old Testament Outline
Veritas Forum 2020 “God and/or Evolution?” is on Feb 20, 2020 at 7pm in Rudder Theatre. Featured speakers are Dr. Michael Behe and Dr. Joshua Swamidass. Get free tickets at tx.ag/VERITAS2020
Jan 20 2020