Monday, April 28, 2008

Me and Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a full time Christian apologist that runs a ministry called Stand to Reason. Of course I'm a skeptic, but as a skeptic I have a lot more appreciation for Koukl's apologetic ministry than for a lot of others. Christian apologists often take an "us vs them" mentality. Atheists are simply evil people without morals that reject Christianity out of rebellion. This is what many Christian apologists think. Koukl's goal is to develop Christians to have a different attitude. He wants Christians to be intelligent and appealing, and he recognizes that this hostile attitude so common amongst Christians is not appealing to the skeptical world. He wants Christians to be "Ambassadors for Christ" and he understands that an ambassador needs to present a positive portrayal.

I suspect he has a lot of success. His ministry seems on the growth path as far as I can tell. Of course I think it's probably best that people not embrace Christianity, but if they are going to embrace it I say it's better to embrace this style than the hostile, buried in your own fortress unwilling to engage the outside world style.

For the skeptic if you like to engage in debate in discussion forums, try the str blog. Some of us I know leave discussions with a bad taste in our mouths after having been insulted and otherwise treated rudely, though we are trying our best to have friendly dialogue. You are unlikely to be treated rudely at str, because I think Koukl and his staff are having success training Christians to interact in a pleasant and engaging way.

Anyway, Greg has a radio show, and so what the heck. I thought I'd call in. If not me, then who, right? I've called in twice to this point and I'll call in again. It's a lot of fun.

Greg is a little funny on the radio though. He's into microphone dominance. Bill and I call him a steam roller. If he gets it in his mind that he wants to say something, it doesn't matter if you're in the middle of a thought or if you're trying to clarify a misunderstanding he has. He's just going to keep right on talking and you will not be heard. This is especially noticeable in my first call to him. What I try to do when I call in is if I feel like the host has said something that I'd like to respond to I'll just say something quickly, like "but." Then I'll go silent. I do it just to let him know I'm there and let him know I'd like to get a word in. Where James White would finish his thought and yet allow me to come back and respond fully, Greg will just keep on going like nothing has happened.

Not that I'm complaining. It's his radio show and this is just the nature of the beast. But when you call in to these shows your just going to have to be content with the fact that you've got a major disadvantage going in. It's unavoidable.

The first call more is just about my presentation of a question. I was cut off because I ran into the commercial break that comes at the top of the hour. Greg came back at the top of the hour and discussed my call a little further, and I've included that portion as well. During the second call I had a better chance to offer a rejoinder.

Discussion #1
Discussion #2

3 comments:

Steven Carr said...

STR once linked to my site, which I was very appreciative of.

They are one of the better Christian sites.

Steven Carr said...

When I say 'once' linked, I mean that the link is still there.

That was very kind of them to link to my site.

philstilwell said...

I started a blog addressing the many fallacies of Greg Koukl I encounter on his weekly podcast.
http://standuptounreason.wordpress.com