Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Learning Apologetics-Part4: The Podcasts

To wrap up this brief series on the various apologetics resources I’ve found useful, I want to address my favorite one…the podcasts.  While reading books, articles, and blogs is extremely valuable, there is nothing quite like loading a podcast and listening to it as you commute to the office, as you go through your workday, or as you (hopefully) follow your daily exercise routine.

I’ve personally found that listening to podcasts not only has the benefit of teaching me new things, but it also focuses my mind as I prepare to engage in the day’s activities.  Because of this, and the wide range of settings where I can use them, using podcasts to learn apologetics has become one of my favorite things to do.

And the good news is that there are some truly excellent podcasts out there!  In fact, I just checked my iTunes player and I’ve got over 1500 podcasts queued up for me to listen to…yes, there are a few that are political in nature, but the majority of them are either philosophical, theological, or apologetic in nature.

Finding Podcasts

In many cases, you can find apologetics websites advertising their podcasts, showing you how to subscribe to them online.  But if you don’t find any of those, I’ve found it useful to go to the iTunes store (and I’m sure other devices such as Zune have similar ways to do this) and use a keyword search to find all sorts of free material to subscribe to.  When I search for content I tend to use keywords like: apologetics, theology, Christiany, philosophy or worldview.  By doing this, you should quickly find yourself with more material than you’ll have time for.

The Podcasts

To help sort through this list, here is my top-10 list of favorite podcasts:

  1. William Lane Craig’s Defenders Class – this is Dr. Craig’s weekly bible class, which he teaches at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.  He records his class and makes it available online for those too far away to attend his class personally.  Dr. Craig’s class is easily the most influential of all of the podcasts on this list.  It serves as an ongoing “college level” class that goes into great depth on all subjects related to Christian theology, apologetics, and (in many cases) philosophy and even science.  Don’t let the depth of content scare you, however.  He makes this material accessible to the layman who has no formal background in any of these subjects!
  2. William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith – while I’m on the subject of Dr. Craig’s podcasts, I want to make sure I don’t forget this additional podcast.  Unlike his Defenders class, this podcast is a series of conversations between William Lane Craig and Kevin Harris (and the occasional guest) on a wide variety of topics related to theology and apologetics.  Here, Dr. Craig addresses current events and the things his ministry is engaged in, as well as addressing theological/apologetics topics and answering questions from his listeners.
  3. Let My People Think – You can listen to the sermons and lectures of Ravi Zacharias each week via this podcast.  And if you don’t know Ravi, you’re in for a huge treat.  Ravi’s lectures are both informative and very inspirational.  Coming from India and having traveled the world extensively, he is both very compassionate and highly educated.  His lectures appeal to both believers and non-believers as he makes the case for the Christian worldview
  4. The Theology Program – This series of podcasts (also available as a series of videos you can purchase and share with your local congregation) is intended to give listeners a firm grounding in Systematic Theology. 
  5. Unbelievable? – This weekly podcast is tied to a radio program broadcast in the UK every Saturday.  Justin Brierley, the host of the show, selects a topic related to theology or apologetics and invites someone from each side of the issue onto the show for a discussion.  Each week, these people engage in a respectful debate on the selected topic.  Because this program offers both sides of each issue, it’s a wonderful way to learn about various topics, get the chance to hear scholars you may never have known about, and hear conversations that may help you when engaging unbelievers on your own.
  6. Stand To Reason – Each week, Greg Koukl hosts a radio call-in program in which he deals with the questions his listeners raise regarding Christian theology and apologetics.  His shows feature a selected topic, and may include interviews of scholars related to that topic, in addition to the call-in portion of the program.
  7. Please Convince Me – This podcast deals with all manner of topics related to apologetics.  This particular program advertises itself as the only one hosted by a “cold case homicide detective”.  Wallace is an excellent speaker, reasoning effectively on different topics on each week’s program.
  8. Cross Examined – Frank Turek is the co-author of the extremely popular book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.  He travels around the country lecturing on this topic, and now runs his own radio and TV show related to Christian apologetics.  Turek is an engaging speaker, well versed with the questions raised by non-believers and able to offer reasoned responses to those questions.
  9. I Didn’t Know That – This podcast is tied to Hugh Ross’ ministry and offers a scientific perspective on Christian apologetics.  Working to demonstrate how science and Christianity are partners rather than enemies, Ross and his organization Reasons To Believe offer some excellent information for those seeking answers about science that are raised by the non-believing community.
  10. Apologetics.com Weekly Radio Show – Finally, I need to make sure I don’t overlook the excellent weekly broadcast happening over at Apologetics.com.  This program also focuses on a wide variety of topics related to Christian apologetics, and they do so in a fun, engaging way.

Just from this list, you can see that there are many resources available for your listening and viewing enjoyment.  The podcasts I’ve selected are ones that I have found to be informative, interesting, and helpful in providing a reasoned defense to the questions being raised by the unbelieving community around us.

Hopefully this series on the apologetics resources I’ve found helpful was enlightening and useful.  Next time I’ll continue with additional topics related to Christian theology and apologetics.

Until then…

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