April 22, 2024

In this episode, Kurt talks to Chris and Joel about the ups and downs of 2016, with respect to the show and other issues in our society.

Listen to “Episode 25: 2016, Year in Review” on Spreaker.

Kurt: Good day to you and thanks for joining us here on another episode of Veracity Hill where we are striving for truth on faith, politics, and society. This episode today is devoted to a year in review, 2016. There are many different interpretations about how we should look back upon this year. Some think quite a horrible year it was. Some think we should count our blessings wherever we see them and today we’re going to be talking about that here with Joel and Chris and if you want to join our conversation, there’s a couple ways you can do that. If you are a new listener you can text the show. That’s right. Just text the word VERACITY to 555-888 and you can join the texting conversation there. You can also call in right now if you want to have your voice heard. The call number is 505-2STRIVE. That’s 505-278-7483. We just have a few brief announcements that I’d like to be made known. First, for those that have been listening to the show, you have likely heard that Defenders Media has had a matching grant opportunity and it is with great pleasure make known to you that we have accomplished that goal. It was a $12,000 matching grant and so this morning we received, maybe it happened last night. I checked the email and I got an update and it said so-and-so had given this much and I was like “WOO HOO!” because we made the goal so thank you so much to those that chipped in, especially the last two days. We had just about $2,000 to go in the last 48 hours and some people stepped up and really helped out so I want to extend my gratitude and thanks to those that have supported the show, supported the ministry work that we’re doing, it means so much to me that you find value in what we’re doing. Of course, not just earthly value, but heavenly value, spiritual value as well, so thank you so much for those that have chipped in and have helped the show and will continue to help the show and the ministry in general. If you haven’t yet supported the ministry, there are a couple of great opportunities for you to do so, so right now there are two opportunities, really three. Of course you could start supporting Defenders Media and if you wanted to become a new monthly donor, for the next week we’re going to be offering a 16GB flash drive with the Defenders Media logo on it. Those that are watching via Facebook Live, I will show that to you. There it is. Nice swivel there you can see as I model it, and also if you like some of the work that our allied ministries are doing so Risen Jesus and the Library of Historical Apologetics, we are offering USB flash drives with their respective logos on them, so custom logos for their ministries if you become a monthly donor and so basically Defenders Media is looking for people to help out. $10 or more a month even, and if you set up a recurring scheduled donation, we’ll send you a free flash drive. 16 GB for Defenders Media, 16 for Risen Jesus, and it’s a smaller 8 GB for the Library of Historical Apologetics, but it comes pre-loaded with data from the library so that might be fascinating for some people that are interested in their project there at historicalapologetics.org.

That’s sort of more of the formalities. Again, let me just say how grateful I am that we capitalized on that matching grant opportunity. We were able to get all of it. The foundation was generous enough to just offer a sort of dollar for dollar match, but we used everything they were willing to give us which is great. And wow, look at Joel here. If you’re watching Facebook Live you can see here, we’ve got a new TV here and so you can say, I guess I’m in the way a little bit, you can see here the Veracity Hill image, so yeah we’ve got this new TV which we think will be beneficial for the show in addition to the other things that Defenders does. Of course we’ll bring it to events and seminars and such, we’ll use it for powerpoint presentations, conference calls, etc. But here on the show, instead of printing peoples’ picture like I’ve done, the guests’ picture a couple of times, we’ll be able to load it there on the TV screen so my head appears to be a little bit in the way so we might have to move it a little bit over. I might do that at the break, but there we have it, a nice fancy TV. And hey, Joel, this might be a good way to raise more money. We can tell sponsors that we’ll put their ad on the TV.

Joel: That’s right. That’d be great.

Kurt: Not only could they get an ad spot on the web site or an advertisement during the show, but we could throw in their logo.

Joel: Yeah. Guests could maybe Skype in too with video.

Kurt: Yeah! Right! I guess we hadn’t considered that yet, because the audio would still come through here. Good. That’s a good transition. When you’re talking about Skyping and such, the technology has been a little bit of an issue for us here in 2016 and just last week our internet had gone out which is funny because the main crew, Chris and Joel here, were not here and in fact only my brother was here and he was just screening calls so I had to multi-task and maybe if you listen to the show here on podcast downloaded, you missed that spot where the internet cut out because that’s the beauty of post-production, so we’ve had some technical glitches.

Joel: That’s not the only thing either. Remember when we were doing that test day and the power went out?

Kurt: Oh yes!

Joel: Back in the summer.

Kurt: That’s right. Yes. Hence we’ve got a battery back-up for my iMac. So we’ve had some technical incidences here on the show and so we want to thank you our listeners for bearing through those hard times with us and so one of the things our listeners perhaps don’t know this, but we use an xFinity log in for the server with the fellow who’s got the office behind us, so that’s a great way we keep costs down. Of course, he’s doing his thing on his server through Comcast, but then we kind of join that. That’s part of what Comcast offers people. Right? So eventually we might just have to get a designated internet connection because that way what happened last week would not happen and it makes a difficulty for our wireless printer here in the office. I’ve got to create a hotspot on my phone and that’s how I’m able to print.

Joel: I think you should get Comcast. Maybe they’d donate your internet service.

Kurt: Maybe and then we can put Comcast logo here on the TV. Funny. Funny. Okay, so yeah, just looking back here I guess we could start maybe with looking back at our show before we talk about other issues in society because we could do both right? A year in review. Really we could call it a half year in review if we’re talking about the show. This is our 25th episode, so not quite a half year. Next week would be six months, would be 26 weeks, so I’ve got some questions for you guys if you’re keen for these questions and then of course, maybe I can, you guys are like, uh-oh. I was just thinking about the things we’ve learned perhaps on the show and I’ve got a series of questions. My first question to you guys is this. From all the shows that we’ve done thus far, who has been your favorite guest and why?

Voice: Now does that have to absolute favorite or are we allowed multiple choices?

Kurt: Probably multiple choices. Top three. We’ve only done 25 episodes. There hasn’t been a guest every episode. Alright. Top three, and maybe you’ve got different reasons for why.

Chris: I would say my favorite off the top of my head would be during the episode entitled, “Right and wrong as a clue to the meaning of the universe,” Kurt Jaros called in and I got to talk to him for a whole three minutes.

*At this point you all are talking together and I cannot make sense enough to transcribe it all.*

Joel: So the host was your favorite guest.

Chris: I was the host.

*More talking together.*

Kurt: That was the one week I took off. We were out of town in Virginia visiting my wife’s side of the family, but you did a good job Chris. You had a cold which was just…

Chris: I did.

Kurt: Kind of funny, and you did it all by yourself too, everyone else, because it was the Thanksgiving weekend.

Joel: Right

Chris: It was great. I would have the full spotlight while I was here on the studio. We didn’t have the camera on so you couldn’t see it, but it was dark and cold and wintery.

Kurt: Funny. Funny. Well you did a good job. I was listening and of course as you know I called in and we chatted for a bit. Okay. That’s one.

Joel: It was really recent and maybe that’s why it was sticking in my head, and I’m forgetting his name, but I enjoyed the builder of the house, the Florida house….

Kurt: Frank McKinney.

Joel: Yes. I really loved that.

Kurt: He was very laid back.

Joel: Yeah. Super interesting guy. Who doesn’t love a rags to riches story and then to do something with the riches later on that’s truly impactful.

Kurt: That’s right. He’s got on January 13th

Joel: The new unveiling

Kurt: Unveiling I guess he’s calling of what he’s calling a micromansion.

Joel: Yeah. But it’s 5000 square feet.

Kurt: Yeah, but relatively speaking it’s a small mansion, but with all of the top level amenities where he just goes all out. I’m sure he’ll get a buyer. Okay. So that’s only two. We can’t really use me. I was just a caller that day, not necessarily a guest.

Joel: Right.

Kurt: I caught you guys on the fly here.

Chris: I think again, I don’t write these things down, I have a memory of a goldfish sometimes, the wonderful woman who’s here representing some of the legal teams.

Joel: Yes.

Kurt: Yeah. Jocelyn.

Chris: Jocelyn. That’s right. I feel like I had learned quite a bit like I was able to like, okay, this isn’t like, I know this isn’t Facebook gossip. This is from the front. It’s actually what’s going on. It’s how this works so I can get my info and I appreciated her stance on things and then her ability to just report, here’s what’s going on, here’s how it works, here’s why it shouldn’t work.

Joel: Yeah. It felt very informational even though there were charged topics which is good. I mean that’s a rarity right there.

Kurt: And it wasn’t a news article with a bias written away with even using language in a certain way. It was she is working this case. Here are the issues at stake and some of the info she couldn’t even tell us because the case is ongoing, but it was neat to see, she’s on the frontlines figuratively speaking of this figurative battle. Just to be clear there’s no physical wagering of war.

Joel: Please don’t do that.

*All talking together*

Kurt: Okay. So there’s Jocelyn and then Frank. Now for me, let’s see, if I had to think one of my favorite guests. One of the guys I liked bringing on was Nick Bird to talk about third party voting. I thought that was a fun episode where we considered all the various ways in which you could waste your vote and you could even waste your vote if you vote for the winner which is something I hadn’t thought about even before the show.

Man: And that one was good too. It sparked a lot of discussion on Facebook.

Kurt: Oh yeah. We heard it from people on that one.

Man: Apparently you can waste your vote.

Kurt: One of the fellows that I also liked talking to is Andy Larson, his work in Christian-Muslim relations. While we’re in apologetics and we talk about the issues, the ideas, he is there reaching the people. He is talking to Muslims. He’s inviting them over. I see it on Facebook. He’s inviting them over. They’re inviting him over. He’s having conversations with people that a number of Christians would be unwilling to have conversations with and so I liked hearing about his story, his background, and the work that he’s doing. It’s a different aspect to reaching Muslims so everyone’s got their different methods, so someone for example, I’d love to have them on the show in the future, David Wood, he’s got a ministry called Apologetics 315. He’s very anti-Islam and he mocks and makes fun of the Koran, but some people might think, “Well that’s bad.” Actually, that’s one of the ways you can reach Muslims because the way that they understand debating, it’s about who wins the point more so than even who’s right. You can attend debates. You can perceive this. So when he does this, his style reaches a lot of Muslims and you can see it on his YouTube channel where people write comments and will even post messages of “Hey, I’m a Muslim but you’ve brought some issues to light and now I’m doubting,” or “Hey. Thanks for all you do. I used to be a Muslim. Now I’m a Christian.” So you can see that he’s really reaching people, even though his style might be off-putting for a lot of Americans, it’s not necessarily for a lot of Middle Eastern folks that he’s reaching through the internet.

Voice: Does he do a good job of separating, obviously he doesn’t mistreat people in that process.

Kurt: Correct, although he might.

Voice: Well some people might perceive that.

Kurt: He pushes the boundaries on say, making fun of Muhammad, but that’s again one of the styles in which, it’s not for everyone, and you’ve got to know your audience. In classical rhetoric, you’ve got to know your audience. In some ways he knows the Muslim audience better than say even I do or a standard academic debater would, so at any rate, Andy Larson, what he’s doing and how he’s reaching Muslims was sort of a great story to learn about and hopefully we’ll bring on more folks like him, kind of hearing more about their stories along the way, more so than ideas. It’s good to hear about the narrative sometimes, so that’s appealing to a lot of people. They like hearing stories. Any other favorite or outstanding guests in your mind?

Voice: I don’t think I’ve had one on the show that I’ve disliked. They’ve all been a pretty good line-up even though there’s been a couple I’ve disagreed with. From time to time, I’ve enjoyed being able to bring everyone into an environment where clearly they care about the issues we’re talking about and they’ve studied and…we can discuss this and sometimes debate it in a very safe space so I think this year so far, even though the year’s over tomorrow, it’s been a great line-up.

Kurt: And we haven’t, I’m trying to think, to the best of my knowledge, well, maybe there was a guest, but we haven’t brought on someone that we knew was not a Christian. Let me put it that way. I could think of maybe a guest or two where maybe I wasn’t quite certain because just the topic didn’t portend to that, and I’m hoping in 2017, one of my goals will be to bring on some non-Christians because we want to have those types of conversations and I’d like to have conversations with some folks out there that I haven’t had a chance to talk to yet and so I think one of the goals, I was thinking about this even earlier today, I thought how do you invite someone onto a Christian podcast when they’re not a Christian? It was just to say, “Well look, we’re not a hostile podcast, but we do want to ask some non-softball questions.” I want to ask them tough questions.

Voice: And hopefully they would to.

Kurt: Oh of course. Yeah. Well I know one guy I have in mind. I would like to bring on Bart Ehrman who’s a New Testament critic. He goes on atheist podcasts. I guess it was a couple weeks, no it was last week on a Christmas episode, I played a six minute clip where he just annihilates the mythicist position and the host of the podcast was a mythicist so he clearly goes on podcasts that aren’t necessarily sympathetic to his position so I’d like to get him on and talk about some of the finer nuances because I think for him he brings up some concerns about inerrancy, whether the Bible’s perfect, but he thinks those criticisms point to the unreliability and I don’t think they sufficiently do so, so I’d like to talk to him about that because he thinks if there are differences in the Gospels, then it’s unreliable. Not necessarily. As Mike Licona has pointed out on this show, we had an interview, was he our first guest on our very first podcast I think? Licona.

Voice: I believe so.

Kurt: Probably not the pilot episode, but episode one was Licona and then we also played an interview with him a few weeks back when I saw him in San Antonio. I also like having Mike on the show too. He’s a good guy, great researcher, and we’re going to be setting up too, I know I haven’t announced it yet, but we’re going to be setting up a discussion between Mike and the most prominent Plutarch scholar so those who have been following, Dr. Licona, he’s got a new book, Why Are There Differences In the Gospels?, and he analyzes the biographies of Plutarch to see how Plutarch changes his story when he writes a biography about the same person and the differences there and so these are what are called literary techniques. Look at those literary techniques of Greco-Roman biography. Look at the differences in the Gospels. Ding! You see the same things going on. Of course there’s a difference that some academics have against Mike’s method. It’s not necessarily against the method per se, but against when the method applies, so sometimes maybe you can harmonize the Gospels in a different way, but otherwise I think the contribution Mike’s made has been great, and so we’re going to bring him on to talk with a Plutarch scholar to see if Mike’s research has been good and accurate so that will be a lot of fun and maybe we’ll set that up in February or March or something like that, but I’ve got the book on back order, Oxford University Press has been, they obviously underestimated the power here of this book because they were out initially, like they sold out and then they sold out again and now it’s on back order again, so it’s been a hot seller which it’s Oxford University Press which means it’s a more academic title and academic titles don’t necessarily sell like hotcakes or fresh bread or Dr. Pepper if you’re me. It’s not a pop level read and I know someone who got a copy already and he said it was pretty heavy and if I can, wonder if I’ve got it here, I do. One moment. I’m gonna grab Licona’s doctoral dissertation so our Facebook Livestream can see how thick it is.

Voice: He wrote a small work.

*Kurt mumbling in the background*

Voice: Here it comes.

Kurt: Okay. Thanks for your patience there, as I hit the desk on my way out.

Voice: That’s like 50 point. Right?

Kurt: This is a heavy academic work. This is Licona’s doctoral dissertation. You can see it there.

Voice: Write this paper for school.

Kurt: At any rate, Licona is no stranger to rigorous academic work so his new book, Why Are There Differences In The Gospels?, is academically rigorous, but it’s good. Sometimes if things are challenging, continue reading it and then if you have trouble, reread it again. You’ll find that you understand more as you re-read it. At any rate, we’re talking a lot about that, so we’re hoping to bring him on in 2017 with the, I’m forgetting the Plutarch scholar’s name as well of course, but that should be a very interesting show when we do that. Good. Alright. We’ve talked enough about guests. Let me ask you this. Favorite topic. Not necessarily the guest, the person, but the topic. The issue. Favorite issue we have dealt with. Give me just one because then I want to follow that up with give me a couple of topics you wish we had done or we should do in 2017.

Voice: Pilot episode. Kurt’s life.


Voice: My thing going. I don’t know. Probably, I think recently some of the stuff that McGrew talked about was pretty good when he was on the show very recently.

Kurt: Christianity and philosophy.

Voice: Absolutely, and talking about just how difficult it is to parse these truths because he’s in a book with four other people who are viewing the same text. They’re all coming from the same broader viewpoint. They find it hard to find common ground.

Kurt: That’s right. Yeah. Can be tricky and I’m going to be sympathetic to McGrew’s view, for those of you that remember that episode, that philosophy is good and useful. There’s a saying out there. All truths are God’s truths so if we discover something that is true, that’s because the divine creator has made it so in this world, so even if there’s not a Christian bent, that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Of course that has implications for how we understand philosophy, how we interact with non-believers, so for example can non-believers have some truth in what they say? Some Christians, believe it or not, think no, and I think that’s just absurd. I’ll be honest. I think there is truth in some respect for a lot of the worldviews, but to think that any view that is not Christian can’t, I don’t think that’s accurate. At any rate I’m going to be sympathetic to McGrew’s position and Tim’s such a great guy. We’ve got to have him on just to talk about the library and what all that’s about, the great resources there at his website. Your favorite topic Joel?

Joel: I think it would have to be third party voting. That’s close to me.

Kurt: We did other political shows though too, but I’m trying to think….

Joel: I think that was a really big question this election and so just to get a chance to talk about it and to actually address a lot of the sort of, well to me they’re myths, out there.

Kurt: I’m making a note here so after the break we’re going to talk about that issue. Third party voting and how that turned out when we get to the society in general here. Yeah. Okay what are some show topics you guys want to hear? I know Chris, for you, one thing that you’ve talked about before and we’ve actually had a request from someone, is to do a series of episodes on worldview. We’re only twenty-five episodes in, a lot of ground we’re covering, some of the topics that we’ve done have been broad so I think that’s a very good idea, but other than sort of a worldview series, what are some topics you might like to hear?

Joel: Not so much a topic, but to see some good debate happen I think.

Kurt: Yeah. So bring on some non-Christians maybe.

Joel: Yeah. For sure. Just to have that, I think that is something that’s lacking in our current culture, the ability to talk about something and as C.S. Lewis would say bulverize the other person, and just attack them on character, other superficial things, but to actually talk about the issues and I think we have a chance to do that here.

Chris: I’d say too both of them are kind of connected and they kind of feed off of what Joel’s just saying and I think it’d be cool to have a series or a topic where we take some of the things we’ve heard or some of the things we hear about the truths of Christianity and we teach people who to dumb this down so they can have a very simple discussion with someone, because a lot of the things we’re talking about obviously are very true, but they’re also very complex and we have a limited amount of time and so our man on the street may not be able to….

Joel: Distll it down.

Chris: Being me. May not be able to catch all the things that are going over his head very quickly and then, “How do I take these things that I agree with and discuss it with someone who doesn’t share my worldview?” I think the other one would be, it left my head. I had it just a second ago. Curse. I don’t know.

Joel: I think that’s for me, it’s something that I feel challenged about and I don’t have the opportunity to be part of is healthy debate. When you sit at home and you read the Facebook feed it’s so easy to get worked up into a state of frenzy really. That’s how it is for me. I’m like, “That’s so wrong”, and so, and I realize I wouldn’t have that if I were talking to a person.

Kurt: Good. Yeah.

Joel: And so growing that skill of getting out of your head and into real life environments, I think is useful.

Kurt: I’ve given some talks on internet evangelism, but I think this applies even if you’re doing evangelism and one of the core principles I teach people is the way you write online should be exactly the same way you speak in person. At least for social media. This is for on social media. If you’re blogging, that’s going to be a different style, but social media attempts to be conversational, so in that same way we should seek to treat people as if they were right in front of us so don’t call people names, don’t say they’re stupid or they’re wrong because of their skin color or even their religious beliefs, necessarily that is. Of course this is all contingent on whatever issue you’re talking about, so it’s very important to treat people as if they were there in the same room, and I think when you do that you can have better conversations online. That’s one of my resolutions by the way for 2017 is I participate in online discussions with some people and I think people appreciate that. I think I’m going to try and cut back a little bit. We’ll see. That’s one of the reasons why I started the podcast is to have a more time effective way of dealing with issues and also just I think it’s more beneficial because people can go back and listen to the shows and with social media, they dictate who sees what and then it just gets lost. I had a long discussion, like a hundred comment discussion with someone a couple of days ago and now it’s gone. You’ve got to go to that guy’s page, scroll down, and then you’d find it there. It’s gone. The perk of doing this show is that the resources are always there and searchable. We’ve got to take a break. If you want to have your voice heard, give us a call. The number is 505-2STRIVE. That’s 505-278-7483 and after the break we’re going to be talking a little bit more about society at large, our goals for the future of the show, and I’d love to get your comments and questions about how you’ve interpreted 2016.

*break plays*

Kurt: Alright. Thanks for sticking with us through that short break from our sponsors. Usually now is the time for Rapid Questions. Oh boy. Do you guys want to do Rapid Questions or at least one of you?

Chris: Let’s do it but each of us take every other question.

Kurt: Alright. Let’s do that cause you guys have never done it and so we’ll get the game clock going here. Let me find my sheet. That’s another thing.

Voice: All the questions forgotten.

Kurt: We need to find another set of questions.

Voice: If you’d like to have certain questions asked on the show submit them to Kurt.

Kurt: If you would like to submit new rapid questions, please email them to me. Kurt@veracityhill.com. We will implement them. We will add them. I think just the bigger the list the better. We’ve got about twenty-one questions and there are some times we’ve had some other questions that we asked off, but generally we’ve had this list of twenty-one questions that we’ve had for people. If you want to add to this list, you have some goofy questions and you want to know the answers that people will give, please submit them our way. Okay, so just to be clear, who’s going to get the first question then and then we’ll rotate?

Joel: I guess Chris will.

Kurt: Chris gets the first question.

Chris: Alrighty.

Joel: I picked.

Kurt: Okay. I don’t think I’ll ask the second question because I already know the answer, the Taco Bell or KFC one.

Chris: Do you?

Kurt: Chris. For those of you that want a background and maybe this is a show where you get to know us a little bit better, after every show, we have a tradition of going to KFC/Taco Bell.

Chris: Every show.

Kurt: Every show. It’s just a way for sort of us to wind down.

Joel: Start health problems.

Kurt: Yeah. Start health problems. Fellowship with one another, and so I know what Chris gets so sometimes I even order for him funny enough because we are that die-hard of fans so I already know that Chris would say KFC and I also know that Joel would say Taco Bell, so we’re not going to ask that question since we’ve already got the answer to that.

Chris: Ah man. Only twenty questions. We’ll see what we can do with twenty.

Kurt: I think you guys can do it, especially since you’ll be ready for the next one.

Joel: I don’t know, because some of them are weird.

Kurt: Okay. Here we go. Are you guys ready? And for those of you listening, Chris will be first and then Joel.

Chris: Okay.

Kurt: Here we go. What is your clothing store of choice?

Chris: Sears.

Kurt: What school do you go to or did you go to?

Joel: Wheaton Academy.

Kurt: What song is playing on your radio these days?

Chris: Gorilla Glue.

Kurt: Joel. Where would you like to live?

Joel: Where I live really. West Chicago.

Kurt: Chris. Favorite sport.

Chris: Chess.

Kurt: What kind of razor do you use?

Joel: Online company. Dollar Shave Club.

Kurt: What fruit would you say your head is shaped like?

Chris: Passion fruit.

Kurt: What’s your most hated sports franchise?

Joel: Hated sports franchise? The Miami Heat.

Kurt: Favorite movie?

Chris: Ink.

Kurt: Have you ever planked?

Joel: No.

Kurt: Do you drink Dr. Pepper?

Chris: Absolutely not.

Kurt: Have you ever driven on the other side of the road?

Joel: No.

Kurt: Would you drink a Dr. Pepper if it were handed to you?

Chris: Absolutely not.

Kurt: What’s the one thing you’d be sure to keep with you if you were stranded on an island?

Joel: A Bible really.

Kurt: Inner shake flavor?

Chris: Chocolate peanut butter.

Kurt: Celebrity you’re most like? We’re gonna finish this out.

Joel: Oh man. I’ve no idea.

Kurt: No idea.

Joel: I mean, I don’t know.

Kurt: Alright. Chris. Hokey Pokey, Electric Slide, or the Macarena?

Chris: Macarena.

Kurt: And Joel, if you’re a baseball pitch, which one would you be?

Joel: Oh man. Probably I guess a curve ball.

Kurt: Whatever that means.

Joel: Right. What does it mean?

Chris: Whatever that means.

Kurt: It means whatever you want it to mean.

Joel: That’s exactly right. It’s a curve ball. You think it’s going to be one thing and sometimes it does another.

Kurt: Well gentlemen. Thank you for playing rapid questions.

Chris: Absolutely.

Kurt: So we get to know each other a little bit…

Joel: That celebrity question I’ve never been able to answer. People always ask questions like that.

Kurt: I think they maybe think which one they look like, not necessarily one they’re more like.

Joel: I think that’s hard to self-define anyway.

Kurt: We had someone say, I forget who it was, someone said Matthew McConaughey.

Chris: For you?

Kurt: No. No. No. It was a guest and I’m forgetting which guest and I kind of thought and forgive me guest if you’re listening to this show, “Boy that doesn’t make sense.”

Chris: I think I remember that, yeah.

Kurt: At any rate, yeah. Just some goofy questions, if you want to add to this list….

Chris: Haven’t people said Chris Evans for you Kurt?

Kurt: Yeah. On Facebook people say I look like Chris Evans, the guy that plays Captain America.

Joel: A little bit there.

Kurt: Especially when I’m, yeah like this, shaved there.

Chris: And anytime he furrows his eyebrows at me in disapproval I’m like, “There’s Chris Evans.”

Kurt: Yeah. Right. I need to put on like thirty pounds of muscle and perhaps even more so I’d look like him, but I guess I could see it. He’s got more hair than I do.

Chris: A little bit.

Kurt: Just a little.

Chris: A little bit.

Kurt: Okay. Alright. 2016. Have we finished sort of reviewing the show before me move on to, oh. No, we haven’t. You wanted to talk about Os Guinness and before we do that, Michala writes in her favorite guest was Os Guinness and her reason was because I was a major fanboy.

Chris: I heard you got called by him recently too.

Kurt: Yeah. Let me share that story.

Chris: Where’s the phone call? I’m sure you saved it.

Kurt: I’ve got two kids. I’ve got a three year-old. I’ve got a six month-old and sometimes the parents’ sleep schedule’s a bit off. I’m working in ministry. I’m also a Ph.D. student so I can sort of set my work hours sometimes so if I need to take a nap in the morning/sleep in, I’m able to do that. Here’s the downside though. I was really tired because the kids, I think it was Liberty who was up at five or something, so I’m taking a nap. I get a phone call. Usually when this happens, either I’ve already turned it on silent or if it’s not I go to turn it on, I’ll decline the call and put it on silent and go back to sleep, but of course, the name pops up “Os Guinness” and so I jump out of bed, I clear my throat, “Hello. This is Kurt.”

Joel: I’ve been alive and awake for a long time.

Kurt: And so Michala wrote on Facebook that she recounts our conversations, boy that was a strange feeling. What I meant by that was it’s a strange feeling instantly waking up and having adrenaline pumping through your system, because I gotta wake up and talk and have this conversation with Os.

Chris: That happens to me all the time. Not with Os.

Kurt: So that was pretty neat and basically Os was just returning my call and we were catching up a little bit and he was finishing another manuscript of course. He puts out a book a year. Which, of course, they’re great books.

Chris: Like this one, Impossible People.

Kurt: Yes. Which we had that for the show. Sometimes academics have teachers assistants or researchers that help them with their research in academia and some people are okay with this, some people not so much because is it really the one guy’s thought or is it someone else’s thought? Some people are concerned about that.

Voice: If they feel that way they probably hate Congress again.

Kurt: Right. Right. Where the staff does stuff on behalf of the politician.

Voice: Right. That’s common practice.

Kurt: Right. It is common practice, but maybe in academia it is different because when you’re publishing in your name how much….so there is that debate. The point is with Os, he’s not an academic, he doesn’t hold a formal position at a university, I think. I’m pretty sure he’s just writing. He’s associated with RZIM. I mean, maybe he teaches at some school. At any rate, it’s not his full-time gig being an academic, so the fact that he puts out these books every year and it’s his own thoughts, his own research, I think is just amazing, so a great testament and I have thought, boy we should buy every book he has just so we can have the Os Guinness library. There’s more of the fan boy me coming out. Now Joel, you had some thoughts about that episode, Impossible People.

Joel: It was super interesting and challenging. I mean, the idea about how we interact in the world.

Kurt: For me the concept of Peter Damian, to be unclubbable.

Joel: Yes. Exactly.

Kurt: Yeah. That was….to be able to stand ground in light of persecution and for Peter Damien it was corruption in the church. We don’t even deal with that these days do we?

Voice: Not on a broad scale.

Kurt: Yeah. That may be thanks to Protestantism and its methods which are churches die and churches rise, whereas for Peter Damian, it was before the Reformation, he was dealing with the Catholic church, so that was different when you deal with corruption from within that organization, but how do we be unclubbable people in our society? That was a very fascinating topic among many others here about how we should just engage in our society today in this context and he is again, here I go, he is the Alexis De Tocqueville of our age. For those of you who don’t know who Alexis De Tocqueville was, he was a French sociologist, he observed life in early America, we’re talking 19th century. He saw what was so beautiful about it and I think that’s what Os does. He can just look at us and say “Here. Here’s what you need to do. If you want to preserve these things, here’s what you need to do.”

Voice: Didn’t he write…

Kurt: Democracy in America. Are you talking Os or Alexis De Tocqueville?

Voice: Alexis de Tocqueville. Didn’t he write after the French Revolution? He came over to America specifically to see why did their revolution succeed and why did ours become a very bloody mess?

Kurt: Well, he was in the first half of the 1800’s so the French and American revolutions.

*Kurt and Chris talk over each other.*

Kurt: Very closely. So American revolution was 1776.

Chris: Obviously.

Kurt: I’m not sure if the French revolution was first or after.

Chris: It was afterward. They were like, “Oh wow.”

Joel: You can do this group of colonies to fight a superpower. Tensions were already building.

Kurt: Yes. Yes. You are correct. So 1789 was the start of the French revolution. Right. So it happened a decade after and it went on for ten years.

Voice: It went on for awhile and very very not good.

Kurt: Yes. That’s right. The chopping of heads at the guillotine.

Voice: Someone said a head would roll everytime someone was sitting or knitting by the guillotine and every time a needle would click, a head would drop.

Kurt: What was fascinating about the French revolution was a full out rejection of religion because it was a Catholic country and so there was corruption with the clergy and the priests and so the French populists by and large rejected religion, but you didn’t get that here, or you didn’t have that here, and so that’s what made it for an interesting comparison for De Tocqueville. At any rate, Os is like the modern day…he’s just underestimated. It’s like, when Os passes, forty years later people are going to start reading this guy and be, “Oh my gosh. Why was this guy not appreciated more?” So at any rate, the phone call, Os just finished his next manuscript and I get to preview it so I’m pretty stoked about that. He wants to know my thoughts on it and he’s gearing it towards a secular audience so that’s going to make it a little bit different than some of his recent books towards Christian audiences, so I’m really to use a California term, stoked about the opportunity to check that out. And then of course, great opportunity to bring him back on the show and to talk about that book, so really excited about that. Let’s move along here to reflections of society in general. Let me start first with, let’s talk about third party voting because Joel, you had brought that up. How it was the most relevant aspect to this election.

Joel: For a lot of people.

Kurt: For our show. Well, the episode we did and for a lot of people yeah because the two candidates running were statistically speaking the most disliked candidates in the history of American elections and so this created just an interesting social experiment and so Gary Johnson was the Libertarian candidate and while the Libertarian got 4% I think.

Voice: It was 3.3.

Kurt: Suffice to say that was underwhelming. Some people were hoping he would have done better. For third party candidate, cool, but not quite.

Voice: The hope was to cross 5% which equals federal funding, and the Green party.

Kurt: Jill Stein.

Voice: I think she received 1% roughly so the total third party allotment was pretty historically high actually…

Kurt: I think what makes third parties interesting, people are like, you know Ross Perot, he got way more than that. He was an independent party. That’s the thing. He’s an independent candidate. It’s not so much a party. When you run with a party there are certain benefits, so some people are discontent with the two-party system. You’ve got to start backing those candidates that have a party affiliation.

Voice: Like Ross Perot is a one-off.

Kurt: It’s a one-off. Exactly.

Voice: He was a billionaire.

Kurt: Or like Evan McMullin who was trying to even win Utah, which he didn’t, he wasn’t even competing, he wasn’t close in the end. I think he had like 20% or something. But like you said, it’s a one-off. One and done. There’s no lasting benefit so I think if people are wanting to see some change in the parties then you’ve got to start supporting candidates that are affiliated with those parties. Speaking of parties, I want to bring up something that the GOP put out, their Christmas message has drawn some drama for those of you who aren’t too much into politics. Here we go. The headline on the Hill, “Social Media erupts over GOP statement about new king.” So the GOP, and I just see cause I saw it and it made news, I don’t know what the DNC put out, but the RNC put out sort of a Christmas message and here was what was fascinating, so come, it’s a press statement, and I don’t know if it’s Reince Priebus himself or if it was someone else doing this in his name as we’ve just been talking about. He writes, “Over two millennia ago. A new hope was born into the world. A savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind.” Great. Good so far. Right? But then you get this, “Just as the three wise men on that night, this Christmas heralds the time to celebrate the good news of a new king. We hope Americans celebrating Christmas today will enjoy a day of festivities and a renewed closeness with family and friends.” Now initially the way I interpreted that was making an allusion to, well the concept was a new king. What does that mean? And so my initial impression was is he really drawing a comparison?

Voice: That’s what it feels like.

Kurt: Between Jesus and Trump. Let me say this, on social media I’m Facebook friends with some academics who are not Protestants. They say for Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, this is still a reference to Jesus, calling Him the new king. We sing in our songs “The newborn king.” So in their liturgy though, they say there is this language of new king. Now Reince Priebus is Greek Orthodox so that makes it a bit more understandable, so I think the most way, the most charitable way we should interpret this, is he didn’t know his target audience, because this comes across as too, it’s too ambiguous.

Voice: Until you mentioned Greek Orthodox, I was trying to think of someone who had not been offended by what he just said.

Kurt: And so then I think his fault is for not knowing his audience because America is by and large a Protestant and historically has been a Protestant nation and so I don’t think even a lot of conservative Protestants would interpret that in the way Priebus meant, whatever he might have meant. Of course, after the fact, after there was the outcry he said, oh yeah, the new king is Jesus. So you don’t know the person’s intentions originally. You wonder if they’re being ambiguous on purpose and some of that manages to get the attention, which gives the RNC more publicity. At any rate, so there was that, you know, sort of, well the Hill calls it a social media eruption, but it’s some drama there as to the RNC’s language as to king and new king. Of course if you do think Trump is the king, of course there are memes out there with him having a crown and such, then I think you’ve got a problem. We are not a monarchy. We are a Democratic Republic.

Voice: And checks and balances, I think we’re going to see those happening a lot.

Kurt: Yes. Oh. Speaking of checks and balances and Democratic republic, I don’t know if you guys saw on social media, it was quite fascinating to see the criticism of the Electoral College on Election Day, because Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote and Donald Trump had lost the popular vote, but won the Electoral vote, so I saw a lot of people saying, “Well, this is why the Electoral College is outdated,” and some people even said it’s unconstitutional which is so funny because they obviously have not read the Constitution. But then, December, was it 17 or 18?

Voice: The vote?

Kurt: When the Electoral College voted? I saw these same people saying, “Come on Electoral College. Do what you were meant to do.” Which is that they could change their votes.

Voice: Be faithless electors.

Kurt: Faithless electors. That’s right. It was fascinating to see the shift from the same people saying we should just go with popular vote to saying “Come on Electoral College.” This is why the system works ladies and gentlemen.

Voice: I didn’t want either party to win this time, but I think it’s still a Trump win and even the first Bush win sort of showed the system, the Electoral College working, because otherwise we’d have been in fifty years of Democratic presidents. Almost.

Kurt: When popular vote reigns, I think that’s problematic because we don’t want mob rule, otherwise California and New York would be dictating.

Voice: I mean most people think there should be a pendulum shift just to keep things balanced and that’s happening.

Kurt: At the very least let me say this. I think it was hugely beneficial for a lot of people to become educated on the Electoral College this season because they didn’t know what it is, how it worked. Now they do. Maybe now they can appreciate it for what it is. I’m a fan of it. It’s a good thing. And heck, it’s a great big puzzle piece and we get to have fun trying to figure out how the puzzle pieces fit, and sometimes the puzzle pieces change in their value every ten years so that’s a lot of fun. Okay. Any other thoughts on politics before we get to.

Voice: Well I had a question actually. Some things I’ve been wondering from the election. So the Electoral College, the Electoral votes for a certain state, you get a fixed number of votes per state. Those numbers are different based on population.

Kurt: Yeah. Population trends. Every ten years the census, gosh, what is it? Bureau of Labor and Statistics maybe? The Census bureau.

*multiple talking*

Kurt: They pay people, literally they pay people to go door to door and find out how many people live in which buildings and they start adding them up, so there’s a national census every ten years and based on those numbers, the values of the states change and some of that is because, so every state gets at least two, and those two votes are for the representative of the senators that are in Congress. Then they get more votes contingent upon how many congressional districts or representatives that represent them in the House, in the Capital. Those districts change every ten years and so when a state loses a district because of population trends, then that’s where the Electoral vote will go. Another state may gain a district. And so how are districts changed? Well, Congress capped them. It was capped at a different number, but the cap hasn’t gone with the trends, so now a representative has to represent more people than they used to have to represent, otherwise the House of Representatives would be a thousand reps instead of whatever it is, 430 something, so that’s how the number of the states change over every ten years. So Illinois has lost a vote here and there because we haven’t necessarily lost, I mean this year we actually did lose residents, but if you grow residents, if you don’t grow residents as fast as other states, then that’s also a reason why you might lose a district.

Chris: So I was thinking as a layman who’s not really involved in politics, I was watching the election with bated breath. You and I know this because you and I were talking that night back and forth, but as I was watching the map unfold, certain states turned blue and certain states turned red and I was thinking about, and after the fact because I was watching Trump give his speech and looking at the map now full, I was thinking about why the Democrats might have, people who are typically, I started thinking people who are typically Democratically minded are around our age, for the most part, most Democrats gravitate towards our age.

Kurt: In terms of young people, statistically they tend to be more Democrats than Republics.

Chris: And people our age tend to go like, I’m on my journey in life etc. and so forth and so on, and we go move towards the city and so all the big metropolises are Democratic.

Kurt: Yeah. Thomas Jefferson did not like urban areas.

Chris: So I was thinking like, is that possibly why, first is that why they lost because they’ve left all these states, there’s this huge collection of states that are now red because no Democrats live there and you’re all piling in this one spot.

Kurt: Not necessarily.

Chris: Because they still like. If a census hadn’t been done, even though you’re all here and there’s more of you you still only get 55 votes California.

Kurt: I think the key demographic that Donald Trump reached was white working class which has historically been a Democratic stronghold, and he drew enough voters away because it was about the jobs. The jobs are leaving the country.

Voice: In the states that people weren’t expecting. Michigan and Ohio.

Kurt: This is what’s called the rust belt where Americans used to make steel and a lot of these jobs are gone. Pennsylvania, Michigan.

Voice: And cars. Things out of steel.

Kurt: Right.

Voice: So here’s another question I was thinking of because shortly after every time  an election someone or some states are like “We’re gonna secede from the union.” There’s also whiplash and backlash.

Kurt: You gonna bring up Calexit?

Voice: No. Yeah. I think so. If California left, politically, would Democrats lose those 55 votes…

*talking over each other*

Voice: Would that be the best thing for the Republican party if California just left the union?

Kurt: In terms of your question yes, from the Republican party statement, that’s my neutral answer. Yes. That’s right. Because California would become its own sovereign nation and they would not have any representation in Washington D.C. It’s a very difficult process in order to secede from the union. You not only have to get your state government to vote for secession, you have to get Congress to vote or you have to get, it’s like 2/3 of the states, the convention of the states, to allow you to secede, so it can be done.

Voice: Probably not likely to happen.

Kurt: Hypothetically it can be done, but sometimes when Americans have tried doing this, wars start.

Voice: Every now and then.

Kurt: Every now and again.

Voice: I was just thinking all these people in California were threatening to leave and well if you did, that’d be sad in some ways, but for the Republican party that’d be please. That’d give them victory for the next several years.

Kurt: Not just the presidency but the House of Reps, but the Senate they’d only lose the two votes there. But no, that’s right, in terms of your question, that would be beneficial to the Republican party if Calexit actually happened. Funny enough they say they’ve opened up an embassy in Moscow.

Voice: California?

Kurt: Yeah. The Calexit movement. Maybe they’re like renting office space or something.

Voice: Alright. That’s a very dangerous time to be doing that.

Kurt: Well, we’re already at the hour mark here in the show, but I want to keep going because we’ve got other things we want to talk about.

Voice: Yeah. We can do that. It’s your show.

Kurt: It’s our show. It’s our podcast. We can do what we want.

Voice: Yeah.

Kurt: Let’s move away from politics. Let’s talk about celebrities.

Voice: Oh. Alright.

Kurt: Let’s be honest. When we have our politicians that are celebrities and celebrities that become politicians that’s a bad precedent for society and that’s the way we’ve gone.

Voice: Well Reagan became a president.

Kurt: But he was a governor first.

Voice: Wasn’t he also an actor before that?

Kurt: Yeah. He was But he, let me put it this way, he sort of transitioned from his vocation, but when we interview celebrities and ask them political questions and hold them as authorities and when we hold politicians and treat them like celebrities, that is a recipe for a disaster, for a bad society. That’s what I meant. So yes, a number of celebrities have passed away in 2016. People say, “Oh what a horrible year It’s been.” Of course, it’s true there has been a gap here now in culture because of the passing of these people, many people, great actors, especially actors that were huge in the 80’s, have passed away. It’s a sad thing for the arts, but we cannot put our faith in culture. Right? I mean, there are some people that think, “Oh what a horrible year it was.” It’s just the arts. Arts is entertainment. Okay? Yes, some of our entertainers have passed away. There are new entertainers. In this year there are born future entertainers. Society is not necessarily about entertainment. Entertainment is an added bonus. I think it’s very beneficial to society to have entertainment, but of course I think we are overly entertained. We can Netflix binge watch. We’re paying men to hit a baseball at 100 mph. We’re paying them $20 million a year to play a game, to play a game. We’ve got other issues at stake here that are more important than the entertainment industry. For some people, I think they’re putting too much of their faith in our culture and I think that’s a problem. It might be a symptom of the problem of how we view not just society but our own lives because, oh, I like watching, I like being able to watch four episodes of Stranger Things, a couple Saturdays ago, which I humbly confess I actually did, but actually up until that point, that was, and my wife will tell you this, that was like the one time we were able to just hang out and relax for like weeks, we’d just been so busy.

Voice: Did you like it?

Kurt: Yeah. Yeah. We did. We watched the whole season. It was good. Very reminiscent of the 1980’s style.

Voice: That’s what made it work. You can’t do that same

Kurt: For some people that don’t have that background though, maybe they didn’t.

Voice: I still think they made it universally sort of comforting.

Kurt: If you’ve seen Close Encounters. If you’ve seen E.T., Stranger Things is a great show.

Voice: When that theme started after the first few episodes I felt like, “I don’t even care what happens next.” I just go to hear some awesome…

Kurt: They got you hooked. Okay. So what are your guys view on, of course I sort of went on a short monologue, what are your views on, and Chris, like yourself. Joel, you work in media. Chris. You do videos stuff though. That’s your bread and butter so I hope I didn’t offend either of you guys with my remarks.

Voice: I don’t think so. It can seem that way at first glance. I know we did lose a lot of entertainers this year that a lot of us grew up with and just drawing from the most recent example of Carrie Fisher, the things I’ve seen people express sadness just from dialoguing with them over the last week or watching their posts on Facebook or in Livestreams, a lot of the things that they’re sad about, cause I feel a sadness, but it’s not as much as some of these people, for instance I see Carrie Fisher, I know she acted, I’ve seen some of her work, she died relatively young compared to what we can live as human beings and that’s very unfortunate so I feel like that’s sad, but people who get more sadder, people who looked up to Carrie Fisher when she was off-screen, and the way she addressed feminism and bipolar disease, and she struggled through that and just helped get those monsters out of the closet for people who are also struggling with that, so for the people who you usually feel the most sad when their entertainer passes is people who looked up to that person as a role model. It was even, it’s kind of passed now, but before this year when Robin Williams died, there was an even bigger explosion because he had touched so many peoples’ lives and when people were down in the dumps, his joy was to bring happiness to people.

Kurt: Good. So it’s not necessarily about the entertainment, but it’s about how they used that platform.

Voice: Sure. Because acting wise, you’re right. Someone will come along and they’ll be the next Carrie Fisher and that will be fine, but you can’t replace that human being and the ideals they had in the way they had them. Our generation’s experiences with those people will never come back again. It’s done. So there is that sadness, that finality there.

Kurt: One of the things I want to bring up here that you made me think of. We talk about 2016 taking someone’s life as if 2016 were an agent or the personification of 2016, but really that wasn’t it. For some people they just passed because of old age. For some people they passed because of substance abuse. So I know Carrie Fisher had struggled with that in the past. Prince passed away because of his Jehovah’s Witness belief that he shouldn’t receive certain types of medication, so he was an opioid overdose. That’s how he passed. Maybe there’s a thing, an opportunity for people to talk about how, yeah, some substance abuse will claim your life, will claim your life younger than you otherwise could live, so we shouldn’t be so quick to personify the year I guess.

Voice: Kurt. Maybe you’ve heard it. There was an atheist awhile ago and I can’t remember his name. He was famous in certain circles, especially articulate.

Kurt: Christopher Hitchens?

Voice: No no no.

Kurt: Antony Flew?

Voice: No. He’s not in our circles, but he was younger and he was giving a commencement speech. He’s an atheist, was giving a commencement speech. I’ve watched the speech, I knew his name at one point off the top of my head, but he was talking to obviously these people who are graduating, gave a lovely speech, very humorous, and at one point he said the difference between worshiping a god and worshiping anything else is that anything else will eat you alive, and then two weeks later he died, he committed suicide.

Kurt: I’m not sure who this was.

Voice: I’ll be able to find the name later but….

Kurt: How right he was.

Voice: How right he was. Whether it’s entertainment or any other thing is that we want, I know not everyone will agree with this, but human beings have a tendency to want to worship something. They give their life to a thing and if you don’t worship something that gives life back.

Kurt: Right. The thing owns you. Either you own the thing or the thing owns you. Alright. So all in all, 2016 wasn’t so bad. I mean, political drama.

Voice: Quite a rise I think. I just hope nothing bad happens in January 2017.

Kurt: But before we get to 2017, what are the good things that happened in 2016? For me, the birth of my second daughter.

Voice: Yeah.

Kurt: The Cubs winning the World Series. I’m not sure which is better. So those are two things.

Voice: We will not play this for in the future.

Kurt: And hopefully she will know that I’m joking. Those are two key things for me that stand out in 2016. How about you guys?

Voice: My brother and I’s business grew 34%.

Kurt: Nice! The Sky Floor?

Voice: Yeah.

Kurt: One of the sponsors of the show!

Voice: That’s right.

Kurt: For those of you that did not know that. Chris?

Chris: I’d say, I mean businesswise, my video business and freelancing took off.

Kurt: Yeah. I was gonna say your work

Chris: is quite good compared to the last decade I’d been doing it. It’s very very good, and I think theologically it’s been a great year for me to explore the soul and how it works and how people, I’ve been helping people through that journey…

Kurt: I was gonna say I can see how you’ve been more active in your church and the things you’ve been doing.

Chris: Yeah. Sometimes through volunteering. Sometimes through just the necessity of it. Yeah.

Kurt: Discipling people and being discipled.

Chris: It’s a lot of fun. I wrote awhile back that nothing brings me more joy than exploring the depth of the human soul and nothing makes my heart more upset than realizing that most people don’t and understand a lot of the problems are because people don’t look right here.

Kurt: Well. Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. Yeah. That’s right. So those are a couple of good things then at least.

Voice: Oh yeah. There’s lots more really.

Kurt: Yeah. A lot more. We can count our blessings because, and the way we should count our blessing and be thankful for every good gift that the Lord gives us is because it could be otherwise. We could have a different life and the blessings we have or some of the blessings that we have, we may not have. Life could be different. I think that’s very important to recognize and that’s why we should be thankful to God for every good thing that we have as James says. So 2017. Joel. Back to you. You said you hope something bad doesn’t happen.

Joel: To just not ruin it for the internet. 2016’s so bad.

Kurt: Like Mark Hamill passes away.

Joel: 2017 is the savior year for some of these people to come erase 2016 so I’m just hoping that happens.

Kurt: Isn’t that fascinating how we still desire as a society for a savior.

Voice: Always. Yeah.

Kurt: Always. A political savior. For a lot of people Barack Obama was a political savior.

Voice: And for a lot of people…

Kurt: Trump is. I’m telling you there’s not gonna be much change. It’s gonna be the same.

Voice: I mean things will change, but the significance of all of them is up for grabs in terms of our existence.

Kurt: For me, one of the political issues I’m very concerned about is our national debt. That’s not going anywhere.

Voice: It’s going to possibly skyrocket.

Kurt: Possibly skyrocket. A number of the studies even during the primary election season in analyzing Trump’s policy, it’s just going to get bigger, and even if it stays steady, it’s still there. It’s not going to be zero tomorrow, so we shouldn’t put our faith in politicians. If you want to make a bigger impact, if you want to see the change, here’s a Gandhi quote, go be the change. And even so our celebrities, we shouldn’t put our faith and trust in them. We shouldn’t put our value in them. Of course Chris as you said, they do good things. What are your hopes for the new year? Any resolutions? Cheesy resolutions?

Voice: I’m trying not to do resolutions.

Voice: That’s my resolution.

Kurt: To not do resolutions?

Voice: Yeah. Right. It’s really easy. Except for you make that one and then you’ve ruined it.

Kurt: Right. Self-defeating.

Voice: Yeah. It’s pretty much an infinite loop.

Voice: It’s a resolution just to get out of bed every day.

Voice: Yeah. I think I just want to be challenged to be more intentional with people. That’s probably something a lot of people think every year or want to do, but sometimes it feels like life is just flying by, especially when you have young kids, and it seems like every night’s 11 PM and every other time it’s Saturday, because you just have this routine and it’s great, it’s beautiful, but it’s just always happening and so you’re putting down these days and wondering where has the time gone and so to kind of take a step back from that and say these are the people my wife and I want to be intentional within the next quarter and break it down and to actually do that, I think that’s what I’m looking for.

Voice: That can be hard, especially as life becomes more complex.

*talking over each other.*

Voice: You still only have 168 hours in the week. If you try to be intentional it’s pretty hard.

Kurt: Yeah. Right. Right. And as I mentioned part of the purpose of creating the podcast was for me to more effectively use my time so I absolutely know what you guys mean with everything that I’m doing with the ministry, with Defenders, Ph.D. work, some weeks it’s like, what’s that? Wait. I’m in a Ph.D. program. You’ve got to carve out time. You’ve got to make time for things and some of that’s just getting down to priorities, what’s a priority in your life. So for the show, we’re hoping that we had mentioned how we’re wanting to bring on different guests. I told you a little bit about some of the topics that I have in mind. One of our financial goals actually though for the show in what I call phase two. Phase one is start-up. Phase two is make this a radio, a formal radio ministry. I’d love to get the show in different radio markets across the country and so for that to happen it’s going to take a chunk of money. You’re talking, I think it’s something like 3 grand or 4 grand a month coming in, because it’s expensive, but it’s a good ministry I think to be able to reach people and even still if we don’t raise enough money to get in the radio markets, to get enough money where we can do online advertising and just help give the show more exposure, I think it’d be a great benefit for Christians to learn how to think well about issues, to become exposed to different ideas that they’re unfamiliar with, and that way when they become exposed to them in real life, in their relationships, they won’t be so off-putting. They’ll know what that view is, and that’s very important. If you want to critique a view, you’ve got to first know what it is. You can’t straw man something, because then people feel misunderstood. So to get the show out there for more Christians and also for non-Christians to see, hey, there’s some Christian guys that are actually talking rationally about these things so that’s part of the reason for doing the show as well as to reach non-believers, to show them, hey, no, we can’t have good reasons for being Christians and we should and we should and of course what does that all entail? It of course entails bowing our knee to Jesus to be the Lord of our life. Not just the Lord of our lives, but the Lord period, so the Scripture says when He returns every knee shall bow. We should just start bowing now.

Voice: Get a head start.

Kurt: Yeah. Eternity starts now. If you think you’re going to wait later. I know people that say, “Oh I’m good.”

Voice: We should make that our new slogan. Veracity Hill.

All: Eternity starts now.

Voice: And right when we say that BOOM and then the radio show starts. ETERNITY STARTS…now.

Kurt: There are podcasts that have that type of intro. Not exactly my…

Voice: We’ve got less than 24 hours to convince him that it’s going to be next episode 2017.

Kurt: Well let me close out the show with this. There’s a song people like to sing at New Year’s. You might know what that song is. Any guesses?

Voice: Auld Lang Syne.

Kurt: That’s it.

Voice: What was it?

Voice: Auld Lang Syne.

Kurt: Yeah. Auld Lang Syne. I say it with the S. Syne.

*Talking over each other.*

Voice: I was just thinking would old acquaintance be forgot.

Kurt: Yeah. That’s it.

Voice: That’s it?!

Kurt: Now here’s the thing. A lot of people don’t know the lyrics. They just hear it and…

*Nonsense singing together*

Kurt: So let me read you the lyrics here from the great and mighty Wikipedia. And of course I say that tongue in cheek.

Voice: If we all donated $3 right now.

Kurt: Wikipedia’s really good at that. Their viewership is ginormous. Alright, so here are the lyrics.

Should old acquaintance be forgot and never thought upon?

The flames of love extinguished and fully past and gone?

Is thy sweet heart now grown so cold?

That loving breast of fine that thou canst never once reflect in Auld Lang Syne?

So it’s an old Scottish poem where we think fondly upon times past basically. So that’s what it’s about. If you need to look up those lyrics. Just do a quick Google search. Auld Lang Syne and you’ll be able to read about the history of the song and you can even hear it in different versions on Wikipedia so that’s what it’s about. From all of us here at Veracity Hill and on behalf of Defenders Media, I want to wish you all, I hope you’ve had a great 2016, but wish you all a happy 2017 and we’ll talk to you in the new year. That does it for the show today. I’m grateful for the continued support of our patrons and our sponsors, Defenders Media, Consult Kevin, The Sky Floor, Rethinking Hell, The Illinois Family Institute, and Evolution 2.0, and thank you for the tech team Chris and Joel, my steady crew there, and I want to thank you for listening in and striving for truth on faith, politics, and society.

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Kurt Jaros

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