May 28, 2024

The indefinite hiatus is over and Dr. J is back with a new format and fresh ideas!

In this episode, Dr. J ponders over a tricky subject: What do we mean when we say that someone is or is not a Christian? He also introduces you to a Progressive Mormon who he’ll be critiquing from time-to-time. Sit back and enjoy the program, welcome back to Veracity Hill!

Kurt: Well, a good day to you, and thanks for joining us here for another episode of Veracity Hill, where we are striving for truth on what is a Christian. Wow, glad to be back with you after a number of years, and I’ve got some exciting ideas that we’re bringing to the table here with Episode 201. Thanks for tuning in.

Before we jump into today’s episode, I want to give you just a little bit of a recap about what I’ve been up to. It’s been, for those who are counting, four years since we took our indefinite hiatus. And if you are listening through the Veracity Hill podcast, you know, we did 200 episodes, mostly interview format, 200 episodes over four years every Saturday.

And now I was devoted every Saturday, and I had a joy conducting that. Week in week out and learned a lot through that experience. It was a lot of fun And met a lot of people talked to a lot of fun different people from all sorts of walks of life and then we decided to take an indefinite hiatus.

I was taking a job in St. Louis and well, it turns out that as sometimes is the case with relocating opportunities, the job didn’t quite work out and that was 2020. So it was sort of general things plus worldwide pandemic. So the, the, the blessing in disguise was that the home that my family had been living in, I had been fixing up.

We bought a, a fixer upper. And so the house wasn’t ready to go to market yet when we had moved to St. Louis. So I had made a few trips back to keep working on it. But by the time we realized things weren’t going to work out, you know, we decided that, well, we would just move right back in. So we moved right back into our home here in West Chicago, Illinois.

And the, the almost providential thing about Defenders Media where I’m the executive director, is that I had hired a young gentleman Trevor Fox, in my stead. And before he even knew that we were going to be moving back, he had accepted a position on the board. Elsewhere working at a church as a communications director.

And so through perhaps Divine Providence, I went right back to the seat that I’m in and would love to have gotten the live stream back a little sooner. But there were some staffing issues that we had to deal with. So, Chris, the longtime tech producer went off and took a full-time position at a private Christian school nearby.

We love Chris we still see him from time to time. And he comes into the office from time to time to do some work for us. So, things are going well. But we have a new technical producer now, Gabe. And we’re very excited to have Gabe doing our technical production. We’ve also sort of changed our setup.

So, while you might see the same thing as what happened a long time ago we’ve expanded now into bigger space here. And so Gabe is in another room handling. He’s no longer here up front. And so we’ve had to rearrange some of the setup that we’ve done. But I’m excited to again be coming to you weekend week out.

Generally speaking, now on Tuesdays at two p. m. And, you know, I’m still a little rusty. I, I realize that I forgot to turn the lights on here. So I’ll go ahead and turn the lights on as I get back into the swing of things with the weekly production. Gabe, I hope that’s not going to affect too much of the the video.

But that should make it a little better for folks who can see me. We’ve already got some folks commenting on today’s show topic. And yes, so, so. Yes, over the years I’ve still made some Brassdale content, but it wasn’t the podcast, which is how VH got started So now we are back. We are relaunching.

We’re calling this episode 201 what is a Christian and Today, I’m going to go through and ponder Consider some thoughts about what it means to be a Christian. I have a working definition. I’ll share with you We’ll go and I’ll define two technical terms today. And then in the second half of the program, I’ll be reviewing some material from someone I call a progressive Mormon.

His name is Dan McClellan. So we’ll get into that. I’ll introduce you to him and look at one of the videos that’s relevant to the concept of this label Christian. So I see philosophical dad is watching. It says it can be a label. Yes, but there’s so much there that needs to be unpacked. And What, what uses are labels?

So, we will get into that. And yes, so if you have a comment or question that you would like to ask, there’s a few ways you can get in touch. One way, it’s a little slower. You can go to the website, veracityhill. com. There’s a contact form. Send me a message. I’d love to entertain your comment or question.

Another way that you can get involved as it was so many years ago now, you can call into the show. So the number to call in is 505 2 STRIVE. Yes, that’s the same number. It’s 505 278 7483. If you want to talk to me in live time right here on the live stream, you can call in. I’ve got the system set up. If I, if I, I may be a little rusty, but there should be an auto program, which basically asks you to.

Give a few words about what you want to say and the transcription will tell me your name and what you want to talk about. And so feel free to call in and we can chat person to person. You’ll be able to hear my voice, I’ll be able to hear your voice, but so will the world. So, if you’re not comfortable being live, that’s okay.

Wait till after the program, you can call that same number and leave a message which we can then play. You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to, but would love to engage. I love the spontaneity of engagement. I enjoy some of the social media interactions and but I know some people don’t like it in live time, which is okay, people like to think about things.

So, yes, we’ve still got that same number, 5052STRIVE. And very excited with some of the fresh ideas, and maybe you noticed one thing that we’ve already changed. Well, there have been a couple that we’ve changed. So we’ve got a new logo. The, the jingle is the same melody, but it’s in a, a lo fi format style.

And so it’s It’s sort of changing a little bit, but another thing too is our tagline. So for four years, the tagline was striving for truth on faith, politics, and society. Well, we wanted to be a bit more specific and right away tell you what the program is. So we’re striving for truth on the show topic.

So every week we’ll have a topic, a theme, you’ll know right away what we’re going to be talking about. And very excited to have you watching along and joining us for the conversations that we’re going to have week after week. So okay, let’s jump into it. What is a Christian? Wow. Well, what got me interested in doing this particular question was a, an internet debate that’s occurring, basically, between those who are Christians deconstructing those who are self identified as progressive Christians.

And this debate, there’s some out there, you know, saying that progressive Christians aren’t real Christians. And so that’s an interesting question. What, what is a Christian? What is it, what is required in order for someone to be deemed or ruled a Christian and is self identifying as a Christian?

Good enough. Well, we’re going to get into that. So I have a working definition I want to share with you. And this is not a perfect working definition. The font might be a little too small. Let’s see if I can make it a little bigger. I’m using a computer that is 13 years old. It’s very old. It’s an iMac.

They last a long time. But some of the software programs can’t get the type of updates. So you might not be able to see this. I’ll read it out to you here. A Christian is a person who not only believes in their mind that Jesus is the Messiah, but also follows his teachings. which have been faithfully preserved through their recognition of, and development thereof, teachings by the Universal Christian Church.

So that’s a definition that I came up with. I, I could already recognize where there may be some weaknesses. However, one of the things I wanted to do was to avoid the situation of the so called self identifying Christian. And this is someone who says they are a Christian. But, they do not follow the teachings of Jesus.

There are many people out there in American society that we can recognize, perhaps your next door neighbor is someone who’s a Christian so called Christian, calls themselves a Christian, but you know, doesn’t really love their neighbor. And so you don’t really see them following Jesus’s teachings.

So that’s an issue I wanted to avoid. There’s also other issues that may arise, you know? So what about a, a progressive Christian? So someone who might hold to certain ethical views, social ethical views today, which are certainly untraditional, they are novel and yet they, they don’t. Claim to follow Jesus.

Is that person a Christian? Well, so that’s there’s an interesting discussion to be had there So I wanted to share a few technical terms with you Because this does get a little tricky about trying to figure out who and what is a Christian. Well When we say that someone is a Christian and that they follow Jesus What does that mean?

What does it mean? to follow Jesus Well, okay. Well, we follow his teachings. Ah, yes. Okay. So it’s a, it’s about following the teachings. So it’s a, it’s a behavior. It’s a way of living. That is what is a Christian. Well, there’s, there’s sort of this unstated assumption when we say that, and we’re going to get even more into this, but there’s an unstated assumption that we know the teachings of Jesus.

that we can understand the teachings of Jesus, that the teachings of Jesus can be codified. They can be written down and organized. They can be easily understood. They are ethical truths, ethical statements, which can be believed and that we can group them together. Hey, these are the teachings of Jesus.

Now, when we do that, When we do that, we create certain boundary markers that we say, Hey, this is the way we follow Jesus. This is the proper way to follow Jesus. Doing this thing out here, that is not following Jesus. So what we’ve done is we’ve created a boundary, guideposts, fence posts of what the right belief is about the practice of following Jesus.

So, this is a classic dance between two theological terms, orthodoxy and orthopraxy. So those are two technical terms, orthodoxy, orthopraxy. Maybe the only ortho you’ve ever heard of is your orthodontist. And so, we’ve got a little image there. Let’s see if I can blow it up. On the screen, it’s a little pixelated.

Again, this is an old school computer here, and so when I do the Google searches, it’s like, all these weird small images, nothing big. So, it’s an outdated browser. Alright, so there you go, there’s a picture of an orthodontist. What does an orthodontist do? Well, a dentist, as someone that, you know, oversees your oral care, an orthodontist does the same thing as a dentist, but has further education for what?

Making your teeth. Straight. Ortho means straight. Comes from a Greek word. Ortho means straight. Straight or right. So, when we talk about orthodoxy, we talk about right belief. In assent to propositions. Right belief, or right opinion, or conviction. When we talk about orthopraxy, this is orthodoxy. practice. So there is this dance between orthodoxy and orthopraxy.

Well, why do I say there is this dance? Well, another new feature here that we’re integrating, and let’s see if we can get this proper here, is the iPad. I’m going to draw a chart for you, and you should be able to see the chart on your screen, and I would be happy to get your thoughts on what If this chart works.

Now I’m gonna do two charts as I thought about this more. But first we’ll start here, okay? Let me see if I can adjust the color. We’re gonna go with a yellow today just because. But I’ll take color suggestions as well. Okay. So let’s make the X axis if I remember my high school. So we’re gonna go across here.

That is way too fat. We are gonna redo that. Go a little bit more thin. And. We’re gonna have the X axis B we’ll just shorten it for doxy orthodoxy. Okay? And we’re gonna have this one here, and we’re gonna call this Praxia Orthopraxy. Okay? We’ll call it the chart of ortho. Alright, . So we have an X Yxi. A XIS.

Now, why is this important? Well, I think that to be a Christian requires a combination of. Right belief and right practice. Here’s why. Let’s say you have someone who is extremely high on the doxy chart. They have all the right beliefs. I’m not saying what specifically they are. But they have all the right beliefs.

But, they hate their neighbor. They do not bear the, show signs of the fruit of the spirit. They are impatient, hot tempered. This person we would chart down here. In the comments, let me know if you can see the dot. I would love to make sure that everything is going well. And so, this person is high on orthodoxy, but low on praxy.

This person might believe the right things, but are they really following Jesus? Are they doing what he says? We’ll get into that in a little moment. Let’s say you’ve got someone who is high on Praxy, but very low on the Doxy, okay? They don’t have a lot of the right beliefs about Christianity, about following Jesus, but yet somehow they do follow Jesus in the sense that they do what Jesus teaches, even if they don’t believe it.

So, Philosophical dad says yes to that. Good. Glad you’re following along. Thanks for watching. And I know I’ve, we’ve had some interaction. I think you were the, the gentleman that wrote the comment about postmortem opportunities. So yes, thanks for watching today. Okay. So we’ve got orthodoxy, orthopraxy.

So the person who practices those teachings, but doesn’t believe it, right? In order to be a follower of Jesus, like I said, you have to believe he’s the Messiah. That’s my working definition. This person supposedly, suppose this person thinks he’s not the Messiah, but this person loves their neighbor. Well, they’re on this chart somewhere.

Well, so I think that in order to be a Christian, now I’m going to draw broadly here, okay? There has to be a A scope or a zone such that it’s something like this. Okay. Now this is a working chart. I can erase it. I’m open to suggestions, but here we go. So something like this where, you know what, let’s go with a different color.

Let me redo that here.

Okay. We’re going to redo this just so we can stay a little organized here. Let’s go with green. Okay. So, I think it’s something like this. And that in order to be a Christian, you have to be somewhere in this path. Why do I think this? Well, because, as I’ve just said, someone could be high on right belief, but not be following Jesus in their behavior, in their lifestyle.

So, Someone could also reject the claims of Jesus, not believe he’s the Messiah, and yet they practice the teachings of Jesus. So you have this weird phenomenon that I think in order to be a Christian, you have to have this dance between both of them. Okay? So you’d fall somewhere in this chart. Now, why would someone with a low doxy and low praxy Be someone who’s considered a Christian.

Well, there’s really a second chart that we need to make and it’s a Three dimensional chart. All right, so we’re gonna scroll and We’re gonna create a new chart here back to the yellow Okay, so this time this chart is gonna look like this. So you’ve got your we’ll call it P for Praxy and That would be the one going up down.

You’ve got your D You For Doxy, left to right, then. We have a T for time. So you’ll have to imagine with me here that this is a three dimensional chart. Now, I remember in high school I did these graphing calculators and you could create, like, these weird 3D images with the various formulas and This is just an iPad, this is a pen, and I’m just It’s not a strong suit of mind.

Time is the key indicator because there are people who are young Christians and they’re just learning about what it means to follow Jesus. This means both learning the propositional truths about following Jesus, but also the applicable ethical truths about following Jesus, what it means to follow Jesus the lifestyle behaviors that are required of following Jesus.

So, For a young Christian, they might not have the right beliefs, and they might just get going with the proper behavior, and that it takes time to mature and develop. So, really the issue becomes more in the long term, when you’re further down this down this line here, okay, let’s put some hash marks, when you’re further down this line, where are you going to be charted?

Because if time goes on, and I’m gonna draw a cone here now, so you have to be really Imagine, imagining with me here. That’s a cone I know it’s not a perfect cone, but as time goes on, if you’re finding yourself outside of the teachings of Jesus, both propositionally and ethically, then really is it, there is a concern about whether you are a Christian.

So, okay, that’s the little chart that I sort of made up. And now I want to get back to some, some further thoughts. So philosophical dad said, yes, it’s a label. But yes, what is that label? What does that mean? What does the label mean that you are, that one is a Christian? So. That’s, I think, the whole debate.

What does it mean to be a Christian, right? And the label has to have some meaning attached to it. How much meaning should be attached to it as well? Because I happen to think as much as I revere Christian history, historical theology, I love historical theology. I think that the, the church actually goes astray, I think, in requiring too much.

So, for example, the Athanasian Creed, which I love, it’s full of theological meat. At the very end, they have, they say, you have to believe all these things in order to be saved. And I’m like, well, wait a second. What about the thief on the cross? He didn’t, he surely didn’t believe these things and he’s saved.

So we can think of examples of persons don’t believe those things and yet we have good reason to believe they’re saved. So I do think that the church goes astray, but. Maybe it just needs further qualification. Someone who is of mature study. Mature under spiritual maturity would believe these things.

I would be okay with that because that person is now further along on the timeline. So, I think maybe it just requires some, some further nuance. We have philosophical I’m looking at the comments. Philosophical dad, the glare. My guess is he’s talking about my bald head. Yes. Yeah, that glare is gonna be there.

So, we’re not in a perfect studio setup and there’s actually a light right overhead. So, there will be a glare, forgive me. I guess just bad genetics. Okay, now I wanted to provide a definition of orthodoxy, and then I want to get into a biblical passage to further talk about this dance. So, Gabe, if you could put up the, uh, picture I sent you of this dictionary definition.

This comes from the, uh, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. And this segment is written by J. I. Packer. So you can see J. I. Packer, very small. Font on the, the bottom there. So this is the definition that Packer provides for orthodoxy. The English equivalent of Greek orthodoxy, meaning right belief as opposed to heresy or heterodox.

The term is not biblical. No secular or Christian writer uses it. Before the second century though the verb ortho doc sign is in Aristotle. The word expresses the idea that certain statements. Accurately embody the revealed truth. Accurately embody the revealed truth. content of Christianity, and are therefore in their own nature, normative for the universal church.

That, that’s the golden statement right there. I’ve highlighted that. Gabe, I see, is zoomed in nicely done. So that’s the key idea here about what orthodoxy is. I’ll read a little further for you. This idea is rooted in the New Testament insistence that the gospel has a specific factual and theological content, and that no fellowship exists between those who accept the apostolic standard of Christological teaching and those who deny it.

You can see there, Packer’s Bible verses, and I’d welcome you to go look those up. We don’t have time in today’s episode to do so, but you can go ahead and cross reference those. The idea of orthodoxy, here’s a little bit of history about why orthodoxy is important. The idea of orthodoxy became important in the church in and after the 2nd century, through conflict first with Gnosticism and then with other Trinitarian and Christological errors.

The preservation of Christianity was seen to require the maintenance of orthodoxy in these matters. Strict acceptance of the rule of faith was demanded as a condition of communion, and creeds explicit explicating this rule were multiplied. So, you’ve got the key idea there, you’ve got the, the gist of what orthodoxy is, and you have The historical background about why it became important.

It’s important for recognizing where those boundary markers are. So why do I say this? Because when many people talk about following Jesus and they talk about the orthopraxy of following Jesus, they cannot do so without a sense of orthodoxy. Like I said, when we create a list of the ethical teachings of Jesus, we are creating boundaries.

For saying, this is how we follow Jesus, and to go outside of that is not how we follow Jesus. That, in and of itself, is an orthodoxy. So, orthopraxy orthodoxy. It’s this fine dance between right belief and right practice. And it requires both. You cannot simply study the doctrines and hold the propositional beliefs in your mind about what is true of reality if you don’t apply those truths to your life.

I haven’t, I’ve come across and encountered a number of people, especially in apologetics. It really is regretful. Persons who, having a, Good intent to study what is true seek so passionately to understand the truth and to defend it and yet They don’t have the love of God in their hearts. There are a number of people I know who sadly are like this and I question their salvation.

We should pray for these people We should love these people, but we have reason to think these people do not follow Jesus Likewise on the other hand, I know some people who Seem to show the love of God in their lives, that they are patient and loving, they’re gentle they give to the poor they show love to their neighbor and their enemies, and yet they reject Jesus as the Messiah.

What are we to do with these sorts of persons? Well, we are to continue to love them, and we can love them by having intriguing conversations on what truth is. And so, likewise, we have both situations here, where we wonder, where are these people? They very well might be outside of that cone. So we need to do what we can to bring them into the cone from both sides.

The orthodoxy, understanding praxi better, and those with orthopraxy, having them understanding doxi better. Okay now I want to get into a biblical passage here, and lest you think I’m giving too much emphasis to orthodoxy let me share a Bible verse with you here about the day of judgment. So, Matthew 25.

Okay, Matthew 25 here. I like the ESV version. You know, if you prefer a a different Bible translation feel free to open up there, Matthew 25. And we’ll get into this concept of the final judgment. When the son of man comes in his glory, I’ll make this full screen here. When the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.

Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will place the sheep on His right, but on the goats on the left, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed me. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me. Notice here what Jesus says. I was this, and you did this. I was this, and you did that. He doesn’t say, I was this, and you believed X. I was that, and you believed Y. He doesn’t say that you believed the right things, but that you did the right things.

Then the righteous, verse 37, Then the righteous will come, will answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the king will answer them, Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers, you did it to me.

Now, on the other hand, you Verse 41, Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me no food. I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger, and you did not welcome me, naked, and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.

Then they will, then they also will answer, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry? Or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to you. Then he will answer them, saying, Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

So, now here, again, it wasn’t, you didn’t believe the right things. It’s that you didn’t do the loving thing for the person who was in need. Here we have praxis. We have praxis, right? We have the, the proper or improper behavior. That’s what we’re told about the final judgment. That should give us Protestants, of which I identify as one.

Now, whether I am one, I guess it’ll be up to you to decide, but I, I consider myself one. I believe the things that the Protestants do. That gives us some pause. There are some, some tricky ideas here. Tricky concepts for Protestants to deal with. Not insurmountable, of course. Just tricky on a, on a first pass.

Some things to ponder over. And as one of my ministry partners knows, I’ve chosen that word ponder today on purpose just for you. So I hope you’re listening and you’ll shoot me a text. Okay. So I have another passage I want to look over. So here’s what’s interesting. Matthew 25, we have the concept of practice at the final judgment.

Let’s turn to Romans two. Let’s turn to Romans two here. All right. Here’s Paul on God’s judgment for all verse 12 for all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law and all Who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law for it’s not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God But the doers of the law who will be justified Golly, when did you hear a pastor give a sermon on this verse?

for when Gentiles Who do not have the law by nature, do what the law requires. They are a law to themselves. Even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts while their conscious also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on the day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

Wow. There’s a lot to unpack there as well, people. who do not have the law, do by nature what the law requires. Like I said, these are perhaps persons who have the Praxy, but they don’t have the Doxy, right? Think about that chart. They, they’ve got the if I can scroll back to the simple chart, okay?

They’ve got the Praxy, but they don’t have the Doxy. And Paul says God’s going to judge these people accordingly. So, I also want to go down skipping to verse 25. Another interesting concept here. For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision.

So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? You see here there’s this, in a sense, relative standard that God will use to judge and evaluate men based on the evidence that they have and how they respond to it. So, it’s a really complex question about what is a Christian.

So, like I said, I’ve come up with this working definition. And it is a label, but it’s a useful label. And, it’s a useful label because we want to recognize who are the people that follow Jesus. Not just With the right beliefs, but the right practice and the teachings of Jesus having been faithfully preserved through the recognition of and development thereof by the, the teachings of the universal Christian Church.

Why that clause? Well, let me spend a few minutes before we take our break. Why that clause? Well, because there are going to be people who say that they believe X, Y, and Z about Jesus. But that’s different from what other people say about what they think about Jesus. Okay? And so this is how heresies arose.

Remember that definition from Packer? Heresies arose because people claimed certain things about Jesus and the Christian church, the leaders of the church said, well, wait a second, hold on. That’s a new idea. That’s a, a novelty. And the novelty would, in most cases eventually, Be ruled a heresy and the novelty would be regarding core Christological doctrines or tenant Trinitarian doctrines Now I want to read a little bit for you from one of my favorite authors a Gaelic monk Of course couldn’t do an episode without a Gaelic monk so called semi Pelagian Vincent of Lorenz I’m fairly certain I’ve read this selection to you at least in some of my recent videos over the past few years So a come on a Tory a come on a tour the come on a Torium written by Vincent of Lorenz Chapter two, he talks about how there are just as many interpretations of scripture as there are interpreters.

So how are we to understand what is the right belief of the church? So he says this, moreover, in the Catholic church itself, all possible care must be taken that we hold that faith, which has been believed everywhere, always by all. This is called the Vincentian canon for that is truly, in the strict sense, Catholic.

Now, mind you, here he means catholic, lowercase c, universal, this is before the great schism, okay? Vincent of Lorenz lived during the 5th century, 400s, okay? So, yeah. There is no sense of Catholic being Roman Catholic, okay? So that’s what he means for this is truly and in the strict sense Catholic which as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare comprehends all Universality this rule we shall observe if we follow universality antiquity consent we shall follow Universality if we confess that one faith to be true which the whole church throughout the world confesses Antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations, which It is manifest, were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers.

Consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself, we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or, at the least of all, all priests and doctors, at least of almost all priests and doctors. The Vincentian Canon, what is believed everywhere, always, Those three concepts help us to understand what is orthodoxy.

What is the belief of the church? And the church over time saw this doctrinal development. And one of the earliest statements by the way, there’s a great book it’s sort of thick, small creeds of the churches. If you want to look at history of the creeds of the churches this is a great little book edited by John Leith.

Creeds of the Churches, a reader in Christian doctrine from the Bible to the present. One of the earliest creeds that began to be formalized is one that Christians, generally speaking, I’ll say everywhere, Always on every Sunday generally speaking, we’ll say the Apostles Creed. Now, maybe they go a little further and they say the Nicene Creed.

Maybe from time to time they’ll swing in some other creeds like the Athanasian Creed or you’ve got the Chalcedonian Creed on Christology. They might bring in some other verses some other creeds. But the Apostles Creed, this is a very simple creed. And I want to talk about why this is important.

Well, let’s read it first, the Apostles Creed, for those who may be unfamiliar. Very simple, and if you were raised in the church, you probably know this, it might be familiar to you. And so I’ve just pulled this from the web from a C R C N A Christian Reformed Church North America, maybe? I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. Well, how did this creed come into the form that it’s in, the final form? Well, we can actually look to some church fathers and what we see in some of their writings.

And as we look through various some of them, I know we’re running short on time before our break here, but the creed of Marcellus or Hippolytus or Rufinus. We can see various segments from texts which we don’t have authors of but there is this creedal formula and in its earliest forms would have been used as a call and response, a question and answer.

So if you were to join the community, you would. I’m going to say these in the affirmative as an answer to the question. So let’s see here if I can pull some of this up. So the here, here’s one from around two 15 a. d. Okay. This is the interrogatory creed of Hippolytus. Do you believe in God, the father, all governing, governing?

Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was begotten by the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and died, and was buried, and rose the third day, living from the dead, and ascended into the heavens, and sat down on the right hand of the Father, and will come to judge the living and the dead?

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, in the Holy Church? And in the resurrection of the body. Now you can see it’s not a perfect match, but you can see how it already has a strong form to it. You even have an Irenaeus statements closely resembling segments of the final form of the Apostles Creed. So why is this important?

Again, we see the development of orthodoxy. These are people who sought to faithfully preserve the teachings of Jesus. And There are a number of ways of determining whether that was the case by comparing with scriptures, oral tradition, for example. Some would look at apostolic authority, okay? So there is this chain of custody that occurs in the early church.

Now, that’s not to go full fledged apostolic secession, as some theologians know about. You have early creedal statements in the New Testament text itself. So Philosophical dad. Yes, you’re commenting quite a bit. Thank you. Yes, that’s right. You have first Corinthians 15 You’ve got creedal statements here in Philippians.

There’s creedal statements These are early creeds that we can even recognize in the New Testament Church. Not only the first century Church Which the did I K has some that’s dated to late first century, but in the New Testament Church itself You see these creedal statements It’s sometimes explicit.

Other times we pick it up as a poetic or very memorable way of of a church teaching being passed on in the epistles. But when I say sometimes it’s explicit, sometimes Paul says, this is a good saying. He’s telling us, what is that teaching? And so that’s a teaching that we saw in the early church. Okay, we’ve got to take a break.

So those are my thoughts on what it is to be a Christian. It’s this fine dance between orth, orthopraxy and orthodoxy. We’ve got that working definition. So what is a Christian? My answer, and I’m, I welcome critique. I welcome loving criticism. I’ll even perhaps take unloving criticism and I’ll think about it, but it might be harder to accept.

A Christian is a person who not only believes in their mind that Jesus is the Messiah, but also follows his teachings, which have been. Faithfully preserved through their recognition of and development thereof, teachings by the Universal Christian Church. That’s a little awkward. I could work on it. The grammar’s a little awkward.

But key phrase there, recognition, meaning it’s nothing new. It was there all along. We’ve only just now realized it. And the development means that we found a way to communi effectively communicate. So for example, the word Trinity does not appear in the New Testament text, but it’s a term. It’s a word that faithfully describes the concepts that we see in the scriptures.

So okay, we’ve got to take a break. First break for episode 201. First break in this new season of Veracity Hill. I’m very glad that you are back watching with us here. And when we come back, I’ll go through some. A couple videos by a gentleman that we will see not just time to time, but perhaps frequently.

And his name’s Dan McClellan, Dan McClellan. But more on that after this short break from our sponsors.

(video plays)

Kurt: Welcome back to episode 201. I know I’m going to repeat that quite a bit because I am excited to be coming back to you week after week. I look forward to the engagement online, the videos as well, the content that we’ll be generating. And so, you know, as we reflected on the first season of the podcast, you know, it’s largely interview based.

And we had some fun segments here or there. And so, the team at Defenders Media and I have been brainstorming, finding ways of fun segments that are engaging and relevant to what Veracity Hill does. And so, we’re going to launch our first new segment which we call Screeching or So, screeching or teaching is a segment on the show where I will be looking at some content out there, some videos very likely, maybe social media posts perhaps some audio of influencers, thinkers out there people who are having an impact and determining whether or not what they’re saying is screeching or teaching.

Or teaching. Okay, we would welcome it. So I want to introduce you to a fellow that wasn’t around four years ago when we took our indefinite hiatus, as I called it back in episode 200. In fact, I think he’s just been around for a couple of years. It’s built a decent large following already. His name’s Dan McClellan.

He’s a sharp thinker. Alright, certainly don’t want to denigrate his intellect. He is a sharp thinker very intelligent. He’s got pieces of paper on the wall behind him, just like me, okay? He’s got them from different institutions, but I want to, we’ll watch two videos. One, I want to introduce you to who Dan is and talk about you know, Basically introduce you to who he is because I want you to have a background because he’s gonna be this face that comes on the program well, we’re gonna be commenting on, free and fair use of course, critiquing sometimes agreeing with him but more times it’s gonna be disagreement.

He fascinates me because he is what I call a progressive Mormon. Amen. Amen. His philosophical way of interpreting the Bible and other documents comes from a critical theory lens, not critical race theory, but more broadly, critical theory. It’s the same sort of concept. And he holds some odd philosophical views, and yet he continues to identify as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

And I just don’t get why. Because the beliefs he holds and what he teaches on his YouTube channel is in direct conflict with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, aka Mormons. So this guy, he’s fascinating to me. So let me introduce you to him. We’re going to watch this video. Then we’re going to watch another one where we’re, it’s going to relate to the content of the first half of the program on our Mormons Christians.

So we’ll look at that. But first let’s watch this two and a half minute clip introducing you to Dan McClellan.

Dan McClellan Hey everybody, my name is Dan McClellan and welcome to my channel. This channel is here to try to help make the academic study of the Bible and religion a little more accessible to the general public, as well as to try to help combat the spread of misinformation about the Bible and religion.

A little bit about me, I have four degrees in biblical studies. My first was a bachelor’s degree in Ancient Near Eastern Studies.

Kurt: BYU, you see it right there in the closed captioning, BYU

Dan McClellan: Studies from Brigham Young University. My second is a master’s degree in Jewish studies from the University of Oxford, where I wrote my thesis under the supervision of Dr. T. Michael Law on anti anthropomorphism and…

Kurt: Let me just pause here and say, it’s odd when people will cite their master’s theses. It’s just not something that folks with terminal degrees do. So It’s just a point of observation here. Obviously, I’m implying a little something too, but you will get the sense that Dan is highly educated.

Dan McClellan: And the source text of the ancient Greek translation of the book of Exodus. My third degree is a master’s degree in biblical studies from Trinity Western University in lovely British Columbia, Canada, where I wrote my thesis under the supervision of Dr. Craig Broyles on the conceptualization of deity in the Hebrew Bible through the methodological lens of cognitive linguistics.

Kurt: Okay. I got a pause there. That is a mouthful. What does he mean? Let me try to simplify this for you. And we can just look at the closed captioning here. His thesis on the conceptualization of deity, so the concept of God, the concept of God, in the Hebrew Bible, so for Christians, the Old Testament, the concept of God in the Hebrew Bible through the lens of cognitive linguistics, so studying language, right? How we think about the concepts, what we think about language itself, philosophy of language. Okay. So that was his third degree and that was his master’s thesis.

Dan McClellan: …through the methodological lens of cognitive linguistics. My fourth degree is a PhD in Theology and Religion from the University of Exeter in the UK, where I wrote my doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou on the conceptualization of deity and divine images through the methodological lenses of both cognitive linguistics and the cognitive science of religion.

Kurt: Again, a mouthful it’s a bit academic. The concept of God and divine images through the lens of cognitive linguistics, there it is again, and science of religion. All right, so science of religion is fascinating. This comes from a more sociological outlook What we observe about religious people rather than the study of theology itself. That’s a separate way of studying God, if you will.

Dan McClellan: A revised version of my doctoral dissertation was published in 2022 by SBL Press. As an open access volume entitled atonized divine images, a cognitive approach, and you can freely access that volume through the link on my link tree. Now I am an active member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

Kurt: He doesn’t hide it.

Dan McClellan: In fact, I was an employee of

Kurt: He worked for the church!

Dan McClellan: …the church for over a decade. I worked as a scripture translation supervisor up until January of 2023. However, I am not here to represent the church neither as a member nor as a former employee. I…

Kurt: Yeah, he, he, he certainly is not representing the church because what he teaches on his YouTube channel is explicitly contrary.

It is contradictory to various doctrines both core doctrines of God, but also ethics with the Mormon church. This guy really is fascinating to me.

Dan McClellan: I’m not here to defend, share, or spread their ideologies or their doctrines.

Kurt: He calls them ideologies.

Dan McClellan: …as best I possibly can, a critical academic approach to the study of the Bible and religion.

And obviously pure objectivity is not possible.

Kurt: That’s not obvious to me, Dan.

Dan McClellan: But as a specialist in the cognitive science of religion, I spend an unsettling amount of time thinking about my own biases and how they influence my work. So…

Kurt: Let me follow up with what I said. We can’t be, you know, objectively pure.

I think we can know things. There are some things with which we can know with pure objectivity. Even just simple things. We can give some examples. So, obviously, a loaded one, I’d say Joseph Smith made up the Book of Mormon. And That’s what the vast majority of the world believes. I, I see no reason for thinking that he received the Revelation.

You also think that the Book of Mormonism has no historical grounding. We’re going to get into this, of course, through videos in the future. So, really it is fascinating that I think we can. Come to conclusions, objective conclusions of reality. Now, surely there’s a lot of things where our biases play in.

And so we’ll get into that more as the videos go along.

Dan McClellan: So, I work harder than most to try to recognize and ferret out any such biases and any such influence in my work. So I hope while you’re on my channel you will find something educational, you will find uplifting, maybe even entertaining. And I appreciate your time very much.

Kurt: All right, so that’s Dan. And now I wanted to get into one video. He’s got a lot of videos. You can see here he’s got, you know, 52, 000 subs. He’s got a lot of videos. So let’s jump into one video related to our topic today about what is a Christian. I just searched his channel for the word Christian. I thought maybe there might be something on there about whether Mormons are Christians.

And lo and behold, this video just came out last month in March of 2024. And there’s our friend Michael Jones, Inspiring Philosophy. So this is a response video Dan does to Michael on the no true Scotsman fallacy. So you’ll have to bear with me a little bit. I’ll help Wade through this discussion.

But, why is this important? You’re going to see in this video, Dan is going to say some peculiar things. And we’re also going to recognize some of his assumptions on our debate, on our internal discussion from the first half of the program. So, without further ado, we’ll get this playing. The first minute will be Michael describing the No True Scotsman’s Fallacy, and then Dan will jump in.

Michael Jones: We Christians are not committing a no true Scotsman fallacy when we know Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and even some progressive Christians are not really Christians.

Dan McClellan: Alright, let’s see it. And the fit for this video is dead.

Kurt: Dan has that catchphrase. Alright, let’s see it. And he’s wearing like a new

shirt in every video.

Michael Jones:…recharacterizes the situation solely in order to escape refutation of the generalization. To better explain what that means, we can look at the original example that Anthony Flew came up with when he coined the fallacy. No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge. But my Uncle Angus is a Scotsman and he puts sugar on his porridge.

But no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge. As you can see, for the first person, what makes someone a true Scotsman is some arbitrary or ad hoc reason that really has nothing to do with being a Scotsman.

Dan McClellan: So this is not accurate. The fallacy does not depend upon the identified feature being arbitrary or meaningless.

The fallacy depends upon a generalization being altered. So that the boundaries are constricted and a provided counterexample is definitionally excluded. So a no true Scotsman fallacy is when we start with a generalization and someone provides a counterexample and then we change the generalization in order to omit that counterexample.

Kurt: So let me say here, I am not interested in going Knee deep into the weeds on who’s right, Michael or Dan, but basically what follows here is what I’m interested in. So I’m happy to use Dan’s explanation here and to work from there.

Dan McClellan: There are multiple steps in a no true Scotsman fallacy. So just denying broadly that Mormons are Christians is not even eligible to be considered a no true Scotsman fallacy because there is not a generalization that has been altered.

Someone is just asserting necessary and sufficient features for membership in the category of…

Kur: Alright, so now we’re in it. Okay? So Dan is saying here that you can’t say Mormons are not Christians because you’re just making an assertion. Alright, you’re just putting it forward. Alright?

Dan McClellan: Christian.

Michael Jones: And this is not what we Christians are doing when we note someone like a Mormon is not really a Christian. Because we’re not dismissing their claim to be a Christian from an arbitrary reason, but from a meaningful reason.

Dan McClellan: So that has no relationship to a no true Scotsman fallacy. So if someone just says, oh Mormons aren’t Christians because of X, that’s not a no true Scotsman fallacy.

However, if they say, well Christians believe this, And somebody says, well, what about Mormons? And they say, well, real Christians or authentic Christians or Orthodox Christians or historical Christians or something like that, that then becomes a no true Scotsman fallacy.

Kurt: Yeah. So here, Dan is right.

You wouldn’t say that, well, that’s not a real Christian. You would just say, that’s not Christian. You’d say what Mormons believe is not Christian. That’s all you have to do to avoid the no true Scotsman fallacy. You wouldn’t actually say there’s. That that’s not a real Christian, what Mormons believe isn’t real Christianity.

You just say, it’s not Christianity. Plain and simple. So, but, this gets even better.

Dan McClellan: Let’s see, because the generalization has been altered to definitionally exclude the provided counterexample. And in that case, it doesn’t matter if the feature that is identified is meaningless or meaningful or arbitrary or not.

Because what matters is whether or not the generalization has been altered.

Michael Jones: Words have to have a coherent meaning.

Dan McClellan:No, they don’t.

Michael Jones: And we Christians…

Kurt: What? What?! This, this is mind boggling to me. You got this sharp guy, highly educated, and what does he say?

Dan: Because what matters is whether or not the

Kurt: Let’s replay this.

Dan: generalization has been altered.

Kurt: Here we go.

Michael Jones: Words have to have a coherent meaning.

Dan: No, they don’t.

Kurt: Words, Michael says words have to have a coherent meaning, and Dan says no they don’t. I’m sorry. Dan, if you’re watching this Michael’s not saying that words have intrinsic or absolute value. He’s saying they just have to have coherent meaning.

And you’re objecting to that. This is wrong on so many levels. Words are symbols of sounds, and the speaker creates meaning to the sound, or the written symbols. So, there is authorial intent. Now, maybe you want to say there’s, like, reader response intent, that we can’t really know. Think, like, Gadamer, right?

We can’t really know what the text says. So we give it meaning. Okay, let’s say that’s your view here I’m not saying that is because I haven’t watched enough of your videos, but I’ve watched enough that intrigued me If that’s your view, you’re still saying that there’s coherence because the self at least creates something from the symbols so the symbols mean something but Even that is just totally bunk, because when you are listening to Michael, you are understanding what he’s saying.

So you are interpreting meaning that Michael has conveyed through the video, through the audio, the words themselves. And you have, or you are at least trying to, understand him. So I think it’s just outrageous to say that words don’t have coherence. They don’t have to have coherent meaning. What, they could have incoherent meaning?

They could have no meaning? What are you even talking about in linguistics, if that’s the case? Please, I welcome a response. I’d welcome a discussion on this. But, this is one red flag, I would say, where you can begin to see some peculiar philosophical assumptions that Dan has.

we Christians are allowed to define the boundaries of our own belief system.

Michael Jones: And what we mean by the term Christian, which we use to describe ourselves.

Dan McClellan: So that would be all and good if all people who identified as Christian had a seat at the table and had a hand in determining

Kurt: There it is. Let’s go, let’s go back. We’ll replay this. This is critical. Also I see philosophical Everything I’ve said to you Dr.J has no meaning. That’s exactly the point. That we use words to communicate to each other. So there is I’m not saying there’s absolute meaning. It always means the same thing in every context because language does evolve. But there’s still a general understanding for communication to exist. So yes, funny point, philosophical dad.

Nicely done. Okay, let’s go back here because we want to define what a Christian is and look at how Watch! How Dan defines it. He doesn’t define it. He just, he slips it in. You ready? Here we go.

Michael Jones:To define the boundaries of our own belief system and what we mean by the term Christian, which we use to describe ourselves.

Dan McClellan: So that would be all and good if all people who identified as Christian had a seat at the table and…

Kurt: Boom! There it is. Did he catch it? All people who identify as a Christian. This was the problem we wanted to avoid at the outset So, I’m gonna start with a quick set of today’s core program when we’re trying to figure out what is a Christian.

The problem is one of the problems is that people will call themselves Christians, but they do not follow Jesus. Okay, they do not follow Jesus, both in the ethical practice and the propositional beliefs we can hold about who Jesus is, all right? But yet they’ll say, oh yeah, I believe in Jesus. I’m a Christian.

How many people in America say, I’m a Christian, but don’t do X, Y, and Z. They don’t love their neighbors. They’re filled with hatred. They’re they lose their tempers. They’re sleeping around with people. They are physically abusive, right? I mean, those are all hall hallmarks of people who are not following Jesus.

So. That’s the issue I want to avoid, and that’s Dan’s standard. It’s anybody who self identifies as a Christian. That’s a terrible way of trying to figure out who is a follower of Jesus and who is not.

Dan McClellan: …and had a hand in determining what the criteria and methodologies were going to be for drawing the boundary around the concept of Christian.

Kurt: Okay, alright, this is easy. This is really easy. Because it’s not up to anybody who self identifies as a Christian to determine what a Christian is. It’s the people who follow Jesus. So those are his disciples and his disciples passed along the teaching, the apostolic teaching again, this is an apostolic succession, but the apostolic teaching, which has been faithfully preserved.

And so the apostolic teaching has been faithfully preserved throughout the early decades and centuries of the Christian church, plain and simple. Those are people who believe. What Jesus taught, believe the truths about who he is and also follow the ethical practices. All right. So it’s not anybody who just wants to say I’m a Christian and that they get a seat at the table.

You have to first decide who does get a seat at the table, and it’s not going to be the people from a thousand, you know, 5, 000 miles away who were never part of the, the receiving the apostolic teaching. If you just say that you follow Jesus, that’s not good enough. In fact, that’s a terrible methodology for determining who even gets to determine the criteria.

Dan McClellan: It’s not what’s going on here because this creator has already drawn the boundaries Creator, come on, it’s Michael Jones Around the people who get to draw the boundaries. And so, the boundaries have already been drawn before we even get to drawing the boundaries. And that’s just flagrant circular reasoning.

Michael Jones: A Christian is someone who…

Kurt: Like I said, it’s not It’s not circular reasoning, because if you have to decide who gets a seat at the table, we would dismiss at the outset anybody who self identified, who only Self identifies as a Christian because even when they say that word they meet there’s meaning What does it mean when they say that they are a Christian?

Oh, well, I believe X Y Z boom now We’ve got criteria. So Dan, I know you’re highly educated. It’s this is really annoying to me That you wouldn’t even think two steps beyond what you’re proposing here

Michael Jones: It holds to Orthodox beliefs and doctrines the faith that was handed down from the Apostles and what is taught in Scripture If you reject an essential doctrine like the Trinity or the physical resurrection of Jesus, you’re rejecting an essential aspect of what it is to be a Christian. Therefore, we will not accept that you’re a Christian.

Dan McClellan: So there are three main fallacies going on here. First, we have that

Kurt: Alright, let’s see it.

Dan McClellan: Circular reasoning of drawing boundaries so that we can determine who gets to be in the group that draws those same boundaries.

Kurt: Nope, we’ve already defeated that one.

Dan McClellan: But we also have an appeal to definition, this notion that you can reduce conceptual categories, and particularly social identities, to a short list of necessary and sufficient features.

Kurt: Yes, yes you can. So, it’s, it’s not a fallacy. When someone says, I am a Christian, what do they mean? What do they mean when people say that term?

There is meaning with the term.

Dan McClellan: But that’s not how conceptual categories and particularly social identities are developed, are learned, or are used. So appealing to such features is a fallacy. And finally, this list of necessary and sufficient features actually excludes pretty much all Christians who lived before Christianity.

During the life of Jesus or within two or three generations of his life since the Trinity and the concept of Jesus as fully God and fully man are much later and very complex.

Kurt: All right, so this is Dan’s best critique here The best critique here is that well even in the early church. They didn’t have the the concept of the Trinity Doctrinally developed.

All right. Well, so let’s deal with this go back to my second chart Right when I Created the time, the 3D time cone between orthodoxy, orthopraxy, and time. In that same way, I think we can say that the definition of a Christian has evolved, it’s grown, it’s gotten better. As time has gone on, we have better understood the faithful teaching of the apostles.

We’ve better understood the teachings of Jesus himself as we have spent time to sit down and reflect on these things. Now, what caused that development was the pursuit of truth was the pursuit of individuals who believed that the scriptures taught one thing. And others thought, no, that’s not quite right.

That’s not quite what has been taught, what has been passed on, what the scriptures themselves say. And so we have these heretical debates that more times than not resulted in, in a viewpoint or even a person being deemed heretical. Okay. So Arianism. A classic example, Pelagianism, another one. So Arianism is a Trinitarian and Christological heresy.

So these things developed over time as we could think more and reflect on what Jesus’s teachings were. So it is a, what you present here, Dan, is a good critique. It’s a good concern, but it’s not insurmountable because we can have broader latitude. More forgiveness on people believing inaccurate things about the text.

If things are young, immature, not developed, but we’re looking at fully or more, more fully developed doctrine and mature, spiritually mature individuals.

Dan McClellan: philosophical frameworks that developed within specific historical and social contexts. And so nobody living in the first, second, and even into the third centuries CE would have qualified as Christian according to this specific list of necessary and sufficient features.

And while apologists will insist that, Even though we don’t see the articulation of these ideologies until the fourth and fifth centuries CE, we can assume they were in circulation earlier. The data don’t support that and that’s not the academic consensus.

Kurt: Okay, we’ll probably stop there for time’s sake but we do see the concepts before their proper formal formulation, before their canonization.

You do see some of the concepts being presented. And the question is, do those concepts fit faithfully with the teaching of the church? That’s the question. Okay, so, John 1 demonstrates Arianism is false. Alright, so if you want to be an Arian, you could do that. That’s just beyond the boundaries.

It’s beyond the fence posts of what it means to be a Christian. All right. Now, the Mormons believe in multiple gods, existence of multiple gods. Jesus is simply an exalted man, was created that God the Father had physical relations with Mary. And that’s how Jesus was born. Okay. That is so far from what even the early Christians believed about Jesus.

It is so beyond. It’s a novelty. It is a novelty to the Christian teaching. So Mormons are not Christians. For that and plenty other reasons and we should be able to get more into that on future episodes of Veracity Hill as we look more at Dan’s videos from time to time We might not look at every week, but he’s got so many and again, he’s just this fascinating figure to me who is highly intellectual, but we’ll see how his philosophical underpinnings and assumptions lead to faulty conclusions.

So we will look at those from time to time. And coming on the program in future weeks will be one of my ministry partners, who’s an ex Mormon. So highly well versed. So those will be opportunities to look at more of Dan’s videos. Okay. So, that does it for the program today. I very much appreciate you watching, listening in and joining me for our relaunch podcast episode 201.

What is a Christian? I would love your thoughts. What do you think is a Christian? If you haven’t already comment in the chat, send me a message at veracityhill. com or even call into our line to let me know what you think about the program. about the topic. The number to call in is 505 2 STRIVE. That’s 505 278 7483.

Yes, we’ve saved the same phone number after four years. Four years podcast on, four years hiatus, and we are back. I’m very glad for it and looking forward to next week’s conversation as we look at the concept of skepticism. And we’ve got a guest joining us the Faithiest Atheist will be joining us. So I’m looking forward to that interview and discussion.

With him. So that does it for the show today. I’m grateful for the continued support of our patrons. Those are the folks that chip in just a few bucks each month to help us out, not just with this program, but with the Veracity Hill ministry, the speaking, teaching ministry in general. If you enjoy some of the content here and you’d love to support my work through Veracity Hill, you can go to veracityhill.

com slash donate and become one of the monthly partners with our ministry. I also want to thank our sponsors Defenders Media, apologetics315. com, and Rethinking Hell. And thank you to the tech team, Gabe! A well done job very glad to have you in the, the tech seat, and looking forward to working on, Continuing to grow and improve the program here.

This isn’t just a regular live stream, like, hey, I’m gonna go live at so and so, like so many people do, but I, I really do view it and treat it as a program where we’re spending time meeting and brainstorming and thinking about the program that we produce here. So, last but not least, I wanna thank you for listening in and for striving for truth on what is a Christian.

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Mark Lester

Mark Lester is a Media Associate at Defenders Media, 501c3 and contributes to the work of Dr. J through Veracity Hill.

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