TMR 173 : Dr. Robert J. Marks II : Evolutionary Informatics

RobertJMarksIIWe are frequently told that Neo-Darwinian theory is true, and that there are robust mathematical models that demonstrate that fact. But is that really so?

This week we are joined by Dr. Robert J. Marks II, Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Baylor University, for a discussion on his newly-published book, Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics, co-authored with the mathematician and philosopher Dr. William A. Dembski and the research scientist and software engineer Dr. Winston Ewert.

Drawing upon his and his colleagues' work on information theory, and their analyses of naturalistic evolutionary models, Dr. Marks argues that there are logical limits to what such evolutionary algorithms can accomplish and that none of the vaunted models lives up to the claims made about it. Rather, each exhibits some form of "active information" unwittingly contributed by the "domain expertise" of its designers, thus (somewhat ironically) serving to further the case for intelligent design in nature. Dr. Marks also addresses AI (artificial intelligence) and argues, contrary to many voices today, that computers will never rise to the heights of human consciousness and creativity.

Dr. Marks's eponymous honours include the Zhao-Atlas-Marks (ZAM) time-frequency distribution in the field of signal processing, the Cheung–Marks theorem in Shannon sampling theory and the Papoulis-Marks-Cheung (PMC) approach in multidimensional sampling. He was instrumental in defining the field of computational intelligence, and with his colleagues developed the temporal convolutional neural network, widely used in deep learning. In 2013 he was listed among "The 50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today" by TheBestSchools.org. A Christian since 1970, Marks is married with three children, three grandchildren, two dogs and a "stupid horse".

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 173 : Dr. Robert J. Marks II : Evolutionary Informatics

TMR 168 : Rev. Dr. Christopher J. H. Wright : Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit

ChristopherJHWright"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."—Paul (Galatians 5:22f)

This week we welcome Rev. Dr. Christopher J. H. Wright for a conversation on his newly-published Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit : Growing in Christlikeness, a gem of a book exploring—in straightforward language, yet covering much theological ground—Paul's teaching on how the indwelling of God's Spirit in the believer can free us from both legalism and selfishness by helping us to grow more Christlike in character.

Christopher Wright is International Ministries Director of the Langham Partnership, providing literature, scholarships, and preaching training for pastors in Majority World churches and seminaries. He has written many books including works on mission, ethics and bible commentaries. He is an ordained priest in the Church of England, and for many years served as academic dean and then principal of All Nations Christian College. He has chaired the Lausanne Theology Working Group, and is the chief architect of The Cape Town Commitment from the Third Lausanne Congress, 2010.

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD :TMR 168 : Rev. Dr. Christopher J. H. Wright : Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit

TMR 165 : Steven Kozar : A Manifesto of Christian Discernment

StevenKozar"We will maintain a healthy skepticism towards all the big-name leaders in the church. We will check everything any pastor/teacher says against God's Word, and when it comes to the most powerful, multimillionaire "Super Pastors," we will assume the worst until convinced otherwise."—Steven Kozar

We are joined by the gifted professional artist Steven Kozar, writer of the Messed Up Church blog, for a conversation centred in his critique of "the Evangelical Industrial Complex" entitled "A Manifesto of Christian Discernment".

Steven Kozar has been a full-time professional artist since 1986, specialising in realistic watercolour technique, and his paintings have been sold in prestigious art galleries across the US and in the UK. In recent years he has been writing the Messed Up Church blog, and lately podcasting, with the aim of helping "hurting and/or frustrated people in the church... filter through all the shallow and confusing things" they've been told by the "Evangelical Industrial Complex" in the hope that they might "come to a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Christian."

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 165 : Steven Kozar : A Manifesto of Christian Discernment

TMR 163 : Dr. Martin Erdmann : Christianity in Conflict with American Civil Religion

MartinErdmann1"American Civil Religion is the most effective rival religion to true Christianity in the US"—Martin Erdmann

This week we welcome back theologian and lecturer Dr. Martin Erdmann, Director of the Verax Institute in Greenville, South Carolina, for a challenging yet enlightening discussion on the important subject of American Civil Religion and its unhappy relationship to true Christianity.

As a fish is unaware of the water in which it swims, so the majority of Americans do not perceive that there exists in the US today a state religion, incompatible with true Christianity, yet not openly opposed to it. Feeding on the many symbols, events, ideals and heroes of America's history and public life, and borrowing from the language and metaphors of Christianity, this state religion vies for the allegiance of every citizen.

Arguing that every state cultivates its own particular brand of civil religion, Dr. Erdmann encourages us to stand firm when our allegiance to Christ is challenged by the state, and advises us to remain vigilant as we approach the days of a global civil religion.

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 163 : Dr. Martin Erdmann : Christianity in Conflict with American Civil Religion

TMR 156 : "Grill a Christian on TMR" - Q&A with David Robertson

DavidAndrewRobertson

"Who made God?"—"Are the Bible's miracles all made up?"—"Does God see us when we visit the bathroom?"

This week we welcome David Andrew Robertson, minister of St. Peter's Free Church, Dundee and Director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity, who joins us for a thought-provoking and entertaining Q&A on Christianity, theism and the Bible. Without any prior warning as to what's coming up, David responds to questions—from the challenging to the just-plain-quirky—based on emails and comments that have come into TMR over the last couple of years.

"David is the minister of St Peter’s Free Church in Dundee, Scotland (a church that is best known for being the church of Robert Murray McCheyne). He is the author of Awakening (a contemporary account of McCheyne’s life), The Dawkins Letters, Magnificent Obsesssion and Engaging with Atheists. He writes regularly for The Scotsman and Christianity Today. David enjoys reading prolifically, playing chess and sampling fine whisky. David is married to Annabel and they have three children: Andrew, Becky and Emma Jane."

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 156 : "Grill a Christian on TMR" - Q&A with David Robertson

TMR 152 : Dr. Krish Kandiah : PARADOXOLOGY

KrishKandiah"Christianity was never meant to be simple"—Kandiah

To begin this autumn's season of programmes here at TMR, we welcome the author, activist and theologian Dr. Krish Kandiah, former President of the London School of Theology and Founding Director of Home for Good, a "young charity seeking to make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable children".

Dr. Kandiah joins us to discuss his award-winning book, PARADOXOLOGY, which explores some of the difficult questions about the Christian faith and argues that it is often through wrestling with the paradoxes of faith that we learn about God.

Krish also introduces us to Books for Life, his inspiring new online media project aimed at encouraging people to engage with high-quality Christian literature through video interviews with well-known Christian leaders.

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TMR 151 : Dr. Mitch Stokes : How to Be an Atheist

MitchStokes"Atheists talk a lot about the importance of scepticism, but the truth is they're not nearly sceptical enough."

So maintains our guest this week, Dr. Mitch Stokes, Senior Fellow of Philosophy at New St. Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho, and author of the new book How to Be an Atheist : Why Many Skeptics Aren't Skeptical Enough, published by Crossway (2016).

While atheists typically advocate a critical stance towards religion, few are willing to adopt a similar attitude towards their own beliefs. Such a double standard sometimes leads to over-confident claims about the certainty of the grounds for atheism—claims which are, at best, logically inconsistent, and, at worst, intellectually dishonest. Turning atheists' scepticism around on their own naturalistic worldview, Mitch Stokes examines two things that such sceptics hold dear—science and morality—and reveals deep inconsistencies among their most cherished beliefs.

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 151 : Dr. Mitch Stokes : How to Be an Atheist

TMR 146 : Rev. Dr. Robert H. Bennett : Animism in the USA - Jesus is the Only Exorcist

RobertBennettMany might suppose that animistic belief is fundamentally incompatible with modern Western culture. "It's something of the past", it might be said, or "a feature of life in other less-'enlightened' places". And yet, argues our guest Rev. Dr. Robert H. Bennett, animism is on the rise even in the USA, and we shouldn't think that Christians always remain unaffected by its subtle, yet often harmful, influence.

Dr. Bennett, who is Executive Director of Luther Academy in Fort Wayne Indiana and a specialist in missions, joined us last year to discuss his field-research book I Am Not Afraid : Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare : True Accounts from the Lutheran Church of Madagascar. He now returns to the show to introduce his new follow-up book Afraid: Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare in America, and shares with us his biblical conviction that, in the face of all spiritual deception and oppression, there is only one answer: Jesus Christ.

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 146 : Rev. Dr. Robert H. Bennett : Animism in the USA - Jesus is the Only Exorcist

TMR 143 : Dr. John H. Walton : The Lost World of Adam & Eve

JohnHWaltonDid God really create the world in six days? Or is the Bible actually saying something subtly different? Did God make Eve from Adam's rib? Or is that a misreading of the text?

To discuss these and other absorbing questions arising from his fascinating-yet-controversial book, The Lost World of Adam and Eve, we are joined by Dr. John H. Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School, Illinois. Analysing Genesis chapters 2 and 3 in the context of other Ancient Near East literature, Walton proposes literary and theological understandings of the "Adam and Eve" narrative that in some ways complement—yet in other ways challenge—traditional interpretations.

Prior to his current position as Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School, Dr. Walton was Professor of Old Testament at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for twenty years. Some of his other books include: The Lost World of Scripture, The Lost World of Genesis One, Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament and The Essential Bible Companion.

Slide show image: "Biblical Landscape with Adam and Eve" by Victor Joseph Gatto (cropped, aspect ratio altered) courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum Renwick Gallery.

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TMR 142 : Dr. James W. Sire : Apologetics Beyond Reason

JamesSire

We welcome veteran Christian writer and speaker James W. Sire (PhD, University of Missouri), formerly a senior editor at InterVarsity Press. Author of many well-known books, such as Scripture Twisting and The Universe Next Door, James Sire joins us to discuss his mature approach to Christian apologetics as we explore his latest book Apologetics Beyond Reason : Why Seeing Really is Believing.

Drawing us in with an unusual, but intriguing, argument—"There is everything. Therefore there is a God. Either you see this or you don’t"—James Sire invites us to ask questions about reality and the way in which we read its "signals of transcendence".

"Christian apologetics lays before the watching world such a winsome embodiment of the Christian faith that for any and all who are willing to observe there will be an intellectually and emotionally credible witness to its fundamental truths."—Sire, A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics, p. 26

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TMR 137: Thomas Goehle : America's Post-Christian Apocalypse (Part 2: Faith & Reason)

ThomasGoehle"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence..." Or so said Richard Dawkins at the Edinburgh International Science Festival in 1992. But is that really true? Do faith and reason really not mix? And why do so many people seem to think this?

Joining us, for the second of a short series of interviews, is the writer and researcher Thomas R. Goehle, author of America's Post-Christian Apocalypse: How Secular Modernism Marginalized Christianity and The Peril of Leaving God Behind at the End of the Age. Adopting a very, very broad-brush-stroke approach, in order to trace some of the contours of Western philosopy and theology, we embark upon a whistle-stop tour—from Thomas Aquinas and the Mediaeval Synthesis, through the Enlightenment, and onward into (Post)Modernity—and explore some of the reasons for the unhappy divorce of faith and reason in contemporary Western culture.

Thomas Goehle earned a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy of Religion (honors) from Denver Seminary. He lives in Williamsville, New York where he is working on his next book tentatively entitled Transhumanism, AI, and the Apocalypse.

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 137: Thomas Goehle : America's Post-Christian Apocalypse (Part 2: Faith & Reason)

TMR 134 : Dr. Glenn Peoples : On the Moral Argument for the Existence of God

GlennPeoplesThis week we are joined by Christian philosopher Dr. Glenn Peoples for an in-depth discussion on The Moral Argument for the Existence of God.

Each of us has a sense of what we ought—and ought not—to do in the many and varied circumstances of our lives, but what is the explanation for this ordinary, yet seemingly-unfathomable phenomenon? Does it stem from a God-given human faculty to perceive objective moral obligations? Or is it just an unintended product of our ostensible evolutionary history? Do objective moral obligations even exist? Or is all talk about them merely illusory, misleading or even meaningless?

Guiding us through the maze of opinions, Dr. Peoples persuasively argues that only within a theistic worldview of a personal God can objective moral obligationswhich we each perceivebe adequately grounded in philosophical terms.

Dr. Glenn Andrew Peoples holds degrees in Music and Divinity, a Master's in Theology, and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Otago, New Zealand. He runs Right Reason, a website and blog on theology, philosophy and social issues, along with the podcast Say Hello to my Little Friend, while continuing to publish and speak in his areas of interest.

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD :TMR 134 : Dr. Glenn Peoples : On the Moral Argument for the Existence of God

TMR 132: Thomas R. Goehle : America's Post-Christian Apocalypse (Part 1: Truth)

ThomasGoehle"What is truth?"—a rhetorical question famously snarled by Pontius Pilate during his interrogation of Jesus 2000 years ago. Yet the question is a real one, and the answer of monumental significance in every day and age. But especially in ours, an age in which the very concept of truth itself is under merciless attack.

Joining us, for the first of a short series of interviews, is the writer and researcher Thomas R. Goehle, author of the important new book America's Post-Christian Apocalypse: How Secular Modernism Marginalized Christianity and The Peril of Leaving God Behind at the End of the Age. Beginning with the thesis of his book—that "secular (post)modernism has increasingly replaced Christianity as the hegemonic authority in our society"—we discuss how some of the negative fruits of the Enlightenment led a spiritually-autonomous humanity into the absurdities of extreme relativism and political correctness, and ask if such a humanity could resist the tyranny of a nascent New World Order.

Thomas Goehle earned a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy of Religion (honors) from Denver Seminary. He lives in Williamsville, New York where he is working on his next book tentatively entitled Transhumanism, AI, and the Apocalypse.

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 132: Thomas R. Goehle : America's Post-Christian Apocalypse (Part 1: Truth)

TMR 129 : Dr. Mike Spaulding : Isn't It Obvious How You Read The Bible?

MikeSpauldingFor TMR's final programme of 2015 we are joined by Dr. Mike Spaulding, Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel, Lima and host of Soaring Eagle Radio, for a discussion on the subject of Biblical Hermeneutics.

Isn't it obvious how we should read the Bible? After all, if it says such-and-such, surely it means such-and-such, and that's the end of the matter? Or is it really always quite so straightforward? Drawing upon his many years of study, grounded in the context of pastoral ministry, Dr. Spaulding guides us through the maze of biblical hermeneutics - observation, interpretation and application - and shares with us some invaluable tools that can help us unlock the plain meaning of the Scriptures.

Mike Spaulding was ordained to the ministry in 1998, and hold a PhD in Apologetics from Trinity Theological Seminary. He is the author of innumerable articles appearing in various publications by LifeWay Publishers, Baker Publishing and several online apologetics ministries. He maintains two blogs  – The Transforming Word and Dr. Mike Spaulding – and teaches on The Transforming Word radio show, heard on radio stations throughout the Midwest United States.

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 129 : Dr. Mike Spaulding : Isn't It Obvious How You Read The Bible?

TMR 124 : Manoj Raithatha : Discovering Jesus Through Asian Eyes

ManojRaithathaThis week we welcome to the programme Manoj Raithatha, head of the South Asian Forum of the UK Evangelical Alliance, who joins us to share his inspiring testimony and to discuss his approach to evangelism and Christian engagement with people from Asian backgrounds.

Manoj Raithatha, who is director of the course Discovering Jesus Through Asian Eyes, has been a teacher, a BAFTA award-winning TV writer and a highly-successful property entrepreneur. Though raised as a Hindu, in 2008 he became a Christian, partly due to the miraculous healing of his young son and the love shown to him and his family during their time of greatest need. Today, Manoj continues to run his property business, but with new God-centred priorities, and heads up Instant Apostle publishing house and the South Asian Forum, a grouping within the UK Evangelical Alliance set up to unite and connect the South Asian Christian community.

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TMR 111 : Dr. Mike Licona : On The Gospels and Their Contradifferences

MikeLiconaWhat are the New Testament Gospels? How should we read them in relation to each other? And are they really "full of contradictions", as some would say?

This week we welcome Dr. Mike Licona, associate professor of theology at Houston Baptist University, who joins us for an extended in-depth discussion on the New Testament Gospels and the differences between them. Drawing upon his many years of research into the subject, Dr. Licona leads us through the maze of questions often asked about the NT Gospels, and explains how familiarity with the literary conventions of Graeco-Roman biography and historiography can help to provide compelling answers.

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD :TMR 111 : Dr. Mike Licona : On The Gospels and Their Contradifferences

TMR 106 : Nick Peters : On the Plausibility of Christ Myth Theory

NickPetersTo begin the summer season of programmes here at TMR, we welcome back Nick Peters of Deeper Waters Christian Ministries, who joins us for an in-depth discussion on the subject of Mythicism, or Christ Myth Theory.

Was Jesus of Nazareth a real person of history? Or was he, perhaps, originally a mythical character, whose story gradually came to be understood as historical through processes of allegorisation and misunderstanding? Alternatively, was he a Roman invention? With reference to some of the ideas of writers such as Earl Doherty, Richard Carrier, Robert M. Price and Joseph Atwill, we discuss the plausibility of mythicists' attempts to revise the history of Christian origins, and conclude that the hypothesis of Jesus' existence best fits the evidence.

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 106 : Nick Peters : On the Plausibility of Christ Myth Theory

TMR 101 : Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett : Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare

RobertBennettThis week we welcome Rev. Dr. Robert H. Bennett, Executive Director of Luther Academy in Fort Wayne Indiana and specialist in missions, for a fascinating conversation on his research into demon possession and spiritual warfare in the context of Madagascar.

In 2007, while on a trip to Madagascar, Dr. Bennett experienced something that was to have a profound effect on his future research and ministry: in the midst of a Lutheran worship service, right at his feet, a woman began to convulse and receive calm and controlled exorcism ministry from members of the congregation.

Through the field research that followed, Dr. Bennett investigated the indigenous animism of the Malagasy people, and sought to understand the role of exorcism in the mission of the Lutheran Church of Madagascar.

Based on this research, in 2013 he published the book, I Am Not Afraid : Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare : True Accounts from the Lutheran Church of Madagascar, a scholarly work that not only documents his findings and sets them in the context of biblical practice and church history, but issues a challenge to the too-often-spiritually-compromised church in the West: exorcism is, and always has been, part of the ministry of Christ through the Church, and we neglect it at our peril.

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 101 : Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett : Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare

TMR 100 : David Theroux : C. S. Lewis on Mere Liberty and the Evils of Statism

DavidTherouxIn place of our scheduled interview with David Conn, who has unfortunately had to postpone due to illness, we take the opportunity to share a fascinating address by David Theroux, Founder and President of the C. S. Lewis Society of California, entitled: "C. S. Lewis on Mere Liberty and the Evils of Statism".

Delivered as the keynote talk at the first annual conference of Christians for Liberty, at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, on the 2nd of August 2014, this address explores the extent to which Lewis was critical of the modern State, with its tendency towards scientism and technocratic control, and identifies a nexus of beliefs and values - of which Lewis's Christian theism was the foundation - as the motivation for that critique. As David Theroux puts it:

"Throughout his work, Lewis infused an interconnected worldview that championed objective truth, moral ethics, natural law, literary excellence, reason, science, individual liberty, personal responsibility and virtue, and Christian theism. In so doing, he critiqued naturalism, reductionism, nihilism, positivism, scientism, historicism, collectivism, atheism, statism, coercive egalitarianism, militarism, welfarism, and dehumanisation and tyranny of all forms."

In a world in which Christianity and the State are too often seen as natural allies, we offer this address as arguing that what we might call libertarian values are fundamentally consistent with Christian thought.

(The address by David Theroux included in this episode is Copyright © C. S. Lewis Society of California, all rights reserved, and used here with kind permission.)

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TMR 096 : Robert M. Bowman Jr. : On How Bart Ehrman's Jesus Became God

RobertMBowmanWe are joined again by biblical scholar Robert M. Bowman Jnr., Executive Director of the Institute for Religious Research (IRR.org), for an in-depth and penetrating critique of Bart D. Ehrman's book, How Jesus Became God : The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee.

A respected New Testament textual scholar and a gifted writer, Bart Ehrman argues that neither Jesus nor his earliest disciples considered him divine in any sense during his earthly ministry; but that, following his Resurrection (or, at least, following his disciples' belief in his Resurrection), a process quickly began whereby Jesus became viewed as increasingly exalted, leading to his eventually being considered equal to God.

But how secure is Ehrman's thesis? Did Jesus really "become" divine, in the eyes of his followers, after his death? Or did Jesus appear on the scene as God Incarnate: a reality experienced by his disciples and expressed in the pages of the New Testament?

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 096 : Robert M. Bowman Jr. : On How Bart Ehrman's Jesus Became God

TMR 091 : Debate : Nick Peters Vs Ken Humphreys : Jesus (Never?) Existed

NickAndKenWe are joined by Christian apologist Nick Peters and atheist author Ken Humphreys for a lively, informative and very friendly debate on the historicity of Jesus.

Whatever we may think about Jesus - whether we acknowledge Him as Lord and Saviour, or not - one thing we can surely all be agreed on is that he existed and walked in Palestine 2000 year ago. Not so, according to Ken Humpreys, director of the website JesusNeverExisted.com, who opens the debate defending the propostion that the New Testament Jesus is a fictional character. Arguing against this position is Nick Peters, founder of Deeper Waters Christian Ministries and host of the Deeper Waters Podcast, who maintains that the evidence we have clearly and persuasively indicates that this same Jesus was (and is) a real person of history.

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 091 : Debate : Nick Peters Vs Ken Humphreys : Jesus (Never?) Existed

TMR 087 : Dr. Angus Menuge : On Libertarian Free Will

AngusMenugeDo we have free will? Or is it just an illusion? Do we have souls? Or are we entirely material beings? And what does it matter anyway? To discuss these questions we are joined by Dr. Angus Menuge, Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Concordia University Wisconsin and current President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society.

Dr. Menuge studied at the University of Warwick (BA) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (MA, PhD), and joined Concordia University in 1991. His research interests include philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, Christian apologetics and the work of C. S. Lewis. His academic book Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science (Rowman and Littlefield, 2004), which defends the concepts of agency and intentionality against naturalistic alternatives, was the first book-length study to relate Intelligent Design to contemporary issues in the philosophy of mind.

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TMR 078 : J. P. Holding : Hitler's "Christianity"

JPHolding

Was Hitler an atheist? Was he an occultist? Was he a Christian, as some allege today? ("This murderous, genocidal psychopath, one of the most evil men in history, was a devout Christian. Deal with it!") Or was he, perhaps, something else altogether?

Joining us this week is J. P. Holding, President of Tekton Apologetics Ministries and author of the book Hitler's Christianity, who maintains that Hitler was indeed something else altogether: an adherent of so-called "Positive Christianity." Rejecting large portions of the Bible as too Jewish, despising biblical teaching, and even claiming that Jesus was really a blue-eyed and blonde-haired Aryan, Postive Christianity was an influential New Religious Movement in Germany during the first half of the Twentieth Century that distorted Christianity by combining it with ideas of racial purity and Nazi ideology. It is here, argues J. P. Holding, that we get the closest glimpse of Hitler's religious views.

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TMR 076 : Max Andrews : Molinism - A Glimpse into the Mind of God?

MaxAndrewsIf God knows the future, how can I be free? If there's human evil in the world, how can God be good? If people live beyond the reach of the Gospel, how can God be all-loving?

This week we are joined by the philosopher Max Andrews for a fascinating look at the mind-bending and strange (yet potentially illuminating) world of Molinism, a philosophical position on God's omniscience and providence that offers potential solutions to a whole host of theological conundrums.

Max Andrews is a Philosophy PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, whose research centres in the ontology of the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics and in the problems associated with cosmological fine-tuning. Already published in several journals, Max Andrews has presented at conferences of the Evangelical Philosophical Society and Tyndale House in Cambridge (UK), lectured at Liberty University (US) on a wide range of philosophical and analytical-theological subjects, and published two ebooks, The Problem of Existence: Existential Reflections on Pain and Suffering and An Introduction to Molinism: Scripture, Reason, and All that God has Ordered.

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TMR 065 : Dr. Gary Habermas : The Minimal Facts Approach to Jesus' Resurrection

GaryHabermasWe are joined by one of the world's leading experts in Resurrection Studies, Dr. Gary Habermas, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University, for an in-depth discussion on the historical case for the Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead.

How might we persuade people of the truth of Jesus' Resurrection? Must we appeal only to the divine authority of Scripture and hope that people will agree? Not according to Dr. Habermas, who explains how his "minimal facts approach" (which relies only on historical data agreed by the vast majority of professional scholars in the field) bypasses such appeals to authority, and has the power to persuade - through logic and historical reasoning alone - that Jesus did in fact rise from the Dead.

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 065 : Dr. Gary Habermas : The Minimal Facts Approach to Jesus' Resurrection

TMR 059 : Dr. Paul L. Maier : Jesus Never Existed? ... Give Me a Break!

PaulMaierWe are joined by Dr. Paul L. Maier, Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University, for a wide-ranging, informative and entertaining interview on the evidence for Jesus' existence outside the Bible, and on the historical reliability of the New Testament. In characteristically ebullient and academically-combative style, Dr. Maier dismisses popular claims that "Jesus never existed" and that "Jesus is a myth", and demonstrates that the New Testament evidence for Jesus is corroborated by secular writings from antiquity.

Dr. Maier also addresses the so-called gnostic gospels, New Testament apocryphal writings, Joseph Atwill's hypothesis that Jesus was a Roman invention, Bart Ehrman's misrepresentation of textual criticism, the Birth Narratives, and answers questions commonly asked about the reliability of the New Testament.

(We apologise for the sound quality of this recording, which, at times, was plagued by technical difficulties.)

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LISTEN / DOWNLOAD :TMR 059 : Dr. Paul L. Maier : Jesus Never Existed? ... Give Me a Break!

TMR 048 : Dr. Michael J. Behe : Intelligent Design

MichaelJBeheThis week, we are joined by Dr. Michael J. Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, for an in-depth (and sometimes slightly technical) interview on the theory of Intelligent Design (ID). Author of two iconic books on ID - Darwin's Black Box, and The Edge of Evolution - Dr. Behe explains how his research into the complexity of biological systems at the molecular level led him to question the adequacy of the Darwinian paradigm, and why he now believes that the data point towards Intelligent Design.

We also discuss empirical research indicating the limits of Darwinian processes, the logical status of ID theory, and Dr. Behe responds to objections to ID raised at the famous Kitzmiller vs. Dover court case of 2005.


[Intelligent Design, ID, evolution, Darwinism, Creationism, Michael Denton, Kitzmiller vs. Dover, Establishment Clause, inference to the best explanation, irreducible complexity, bacterial flagellum, intracellular transport, Type III secretory system, TTSS, haemoglobin, thalassemia, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, G6PD, E. coli, malaria, sickle-cell disease, protein bonding, Flying Spaghetti Monster, FSM, Pastafarianism, David Hume, William Paley, Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Kenneth Miller, John McDonald, Judge John E. Jones, Richard Lenski, Big Bang Theory, Walther Nernst, peer review, God of the gaps fallacy, self-organisation, chaos theory, complexity theory]

LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 048 : Dr. Michael J. Behe : Intelligent Design

TMR 036 : Robert M. Bowman Jnr. : The Word-Faith Movement

RobertMBowmanThis week we are joined by Robert M. Bowman Jnr., Director of Research at the Institute for Religious Research (IRR.org), for an in-depth interview on the history and teachings of the Word-Faith (or Word of Faith) Movement within Christianity. Born out of the "faith-cure" teachings of the late 19th & early 20th Centuries, and developed and popularised in recent decades by flamboyant evangelists and preachers like Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland, Word-Faith teaching now reaches the homes of millions through TV broadcasts around the globe. Promising health and wealth in the name of Christ, and assuring its followers that they have delegated spiritual power from God literally to speak miracles into their own lives, this unbiblical distortion of Christianity sets unrealistic expectations, and often leads to disappointment, and sometimes even to rejection of Christ.

 

[Word of Faith, Word-Faith, Health and Wealth, Prosperity Gospel, positive confession, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, Jan Crouch, Benny Hinn, E. W. Kenyon, A. J. Gordon, William Branham, Charles Capps, Frederick K. C. Price, Joel Osteen, John Osteen, Latter Rain Movement, Trinity Broadcasting Network, TBN, eschatology, New Age, Faith-Cure Movement, Restorationism, Seed-Faith]

LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 036 : Robert M. Bowman Jnr. : The Word-Faith Movement

TMR 027 : Guest Episode : Two Classic Interviews on God, Atheism, Science & Belief

WardPlantingaSmIn the media, "celebrity becomes more important than Truth, and rhetoric is more important than Truth." (Ward) For the "half-term" break we take the opportunity to present a Guest Episode courtesy of the Centre for Public Christianity, based in Australia. In two separate, but related, interviews, the U.K. philosopher-turned-theologian Keith Ward (one-time Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University), and the U.S. theologically-motivated analytical philosopher Alvin Plantinga (currently John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana), give their reactions to the so-called "New Atheists", and ponder some of the deepest questions in life.

LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 027 : Guest Episode : Two Classic Interviews on God, Atheism, Science & Belief

TMR 025 : Prof. Edgar Andrews : Who Made God?

EdgarAndrewsMy guest for this interview is Prof. Edgar Andrews, Emeritus Professor of Materials Science at the University of London. With his book "Who Made God?" as our focus, we explore the explanatory limits of the natural sciences and discuss how his concept of the God Hypothesis offers a coherent explanation of reality. Prof. Andrews also expresses his concern about the increase in atheistic propaganda in the mainstream media, and shares his experience of debating Richard Dawkins at the Oxford Union in 1986 on the motion: "That the doctrine of creation is more valid than the theory of evolution."

LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 025 : Prof. Edgar Andrews : Who Made God?

TMR 024 : Ole Anthony : On Fleecing the Flock

Ole"Televangelists have called him a cultist, a fraud, and the Antichrist. He says he's just doing what Jesus would want." (The New Yorker)

Ole Anthony, founder and president of the Trinity Foundation in Dallas Texas, joins us to discuss the work of his foundation investigating fraud and other abuses of the public trust within the religious broadcasting industry. After decades of research into televangelist 'household names', such as Robert Tilton and Benny Hinn, Ole Anthony shares with us what motivates him to pursue this difficult ministry.

LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 024 : Ole Anthony : On Fleecing the Flock

TMR 018 : Sermon : Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum

KHFTsm...and I await the resurrection of the dead. Are there any good reasons to believe that the Resurrection of Jesus was a real event in history? In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul claims there are, and draws our attention to an impressive list of early eye-witnesses who testified to seeing Christ Resurrected from the Dead.  ...an outdated message? ...too familiar and conventional to take seriously in a world of skepticism?  ...or a reality, when understood, to force the greatest paradigm shift of all?

LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 018 : Sermon : Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum

TMR 007 : Chris White : Zeitgeist & Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind

CWChris White, prolific producer of countless painstakingly-researched "debunkumentaries", joins me to discuss his work on 'Zeitgeist : The Movie', the teachings of David Icke, The History Channel's 'Ancient Aliens' series, and his documentary 'The New Age & Its Relationship to the Antichrist.' ...is Jesus a myth? ... are we all the products of extra-terrestrial genetic engineering? Chris White explains.

LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 007 : Chris White : Zeitgeist & Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind

TMR 003 : 'Proof' at Last! Jesus was Married

papyrus180x120cKarenLKing2012Following the announcement in the New York Times that "A Faded Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife", the media was buzzing with speculation as to whether or not Jesus was married: " 'Proof' Jesus was married found on ancient papyrus..." said the Mail Online! But just how much proof - or rather 'proof' - was there? And did it matter anyway?

LISTEN / DOWNLOAD : TMR 003 : 'Proof' at Last! Jesus was Married

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