June 18, 2024

In this episode, Kurt discusses past interviews he had in 2017 and looks ahead to what’s in store for 2018.

Listen to “Episode 77: Reflections upon 2017 & News for 2018” 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. It is December 30th, 2017, the year is almost up. I am sure that you are quite busy with your holiday travels and such. I know that my family has been. We were down in Florida for Christmas, spending time with my in-laws, Michaela’s side of the family, it was great to see them. We try to see them once a year. Of course, we’re Facetiming or Skyping with them regularly, always good to say hi to family and today we’ve got, I think it will be a shorter episode. We’re going to be reflecting upon 2017 and also news that is to come for 2018 and if you can’t notice already, if you’re following us on the livestream, I’m hoping that everything will go okay, but our technical producer Chris is off for the holiday and so it’s just me by my lonesome self, but wait, you say, there is a smiling face now appearing on the screen. Seth Baker is here joining us for the show today. How are you doing Seth?

Seth: I’m doing great. I’m happy to be here with you, Kurt.

Kurt: Good. Seth and I were exploring before the show, hopefully, the audio’s matching up with the video, but of course, if you listen to this podcast on iTunes or Google Play store then you’re not seeing us at all which is okay, so as long as you can hear us that’s what counts. For those of you who don’t know Seth, let me tell you a little bit about him. He filled in for me, was it last month, Thanksgiving time, was that right?

Seth: It was. I think it was the Saturday following the Thanksgiving holiday.

Kurt: Right. So thank you for doing that by the way. Seth is a regional associate of Defenders Media and what makes this a very special time now is not so much that he’s our formal guest today, but he’s a panelist, and this will hopefully be the start of many times he’ll be the panelist because he is moving to West Chicago in May of 2018. He will be an operations associate for Defenders Media and also the associate producer for the Veracity Hill Podcast so I’m very excited about this move for you Seth. Looking forward to having you here in studio on a regular basis so let me ask you what really got you interested in doing apologetics and then so much so that you want to move here to West Chicago and be part of the core team?

Seth: Right. First of all, I’m ecstatic to be moving to Chicago. It’s going to be a new experience for me. I can’t wait to get there in May, but what got me interested in apologetics, really I think it came as a result of trying to evangelize and running into questions I had no idea how to answer. The next step from evangelism was learning how to defend my faith and then also learning what it was that I had faith in. As I shared whenever I was the guest over the Thanksgiving holiday, I shared that I was at KFC and had an atheist co-worker and he had some questions that I hadn’t even thought about and that’s what really led me to studying apologetics.

Kurt: Nice. My experience was I got interested in apologetics in high school, the public school experience I think, talking to people about religion and such got me interested to explore the deeper questions of life so I spent a number of years reading books by different authors, exploring why Christianity had an objective grounding to reality and of course, as I explored more and learned about other religions I thought it fit well, it fit the best out of all the world religions with what we see in the mirror about humanity and I think that’s also confirmed when we look at other things too. For example, I see a number of atheists that have trouble grounding why is it we should have moral values, objective moral values, these are difficulties it seems that continue to present themselves to, especially that worldview. For those of you that are watching along, I see here we’ve got Judy, who’s wished me a Merry Christmas. Thank you so much, Judy, and I’m happy to take any questions that people have today, but otherwise, I think Seth and I are going to be talking about the year, how it’s gone, the shows that I’ve liked, interviews I’ve liked doing, but we also have a number of comments, I do want to do this because I had forgotten to respond to a couple of comments from people. Let me say this. A new comment this week comes from Jim. Jim writes that last week’s episode, my interview with Sean McDowell, Jim says this, “One of your best Veracity Hill episodes. I’m looking forward to getting the latest version of Evidence That Demands A Verdict so thank you Jim for being one of our supporters, for watching the show, and commenting and I hope 2018 will prove to be a year where you have found even more better episodes of Veracity Hill. Also, I want to attend to some questions by Blaine, or comments, objections, really. Blaine commented on our show on net neutrality a few weeks ago where he had some concern that companies can now regulate the internet. Let me say this, Blaine. When I think people voice objections against regulations, I think that they are talking about specifically with regard to the government having regulations and so we don’t want the government to over-regulate. Of course, some regulations are good. One regulation for example, don’t steal from someone. That’s a good basic moral regulation, but when there’s overregulation, that can prohibit companies from succeeding and having there be competition which is beneficial for consumers. If you’re worried about the company regulating, let me tell you this, the marketplace is a great place for ideas and businesses to come and compete so if an internet company were to say, throttle your speed, you might get a new company that’s saying “Hey. We’ll never throttle your speed.” All of a sudden you’ll see how consumers will go that way and so this company then in order to compete needs to match that so I think what you’ll find is while companies might have new policies, often times they’re not called regulations, new policies, they can in the long run be more beneficial for consumers so I wouldn’t be so worried to see what happens with the deregulation that has occurred now as a result of the FCC taking away those Obama administration era policies so, yes, that’s what I want to say to that and thank you Blaine also for watching the show. I know that you are a regular listener and I thank you for your input and I value your thoughts. Feel free to get back at me and also if you want to direct message me, you can email me Kurt@Veracityhill.com. You can also join our free texting plan. Text the word VERACITY to the number 555-888. Before we get to other interviews, Seth, let’s talk more about the year. From the shows that you have watched or listened to, let me first throw this your way because you probably thought this was coming. Mind you, I’m fully aware that you have likely not watched all 51 episodes of 2017, but of the ones that you’ve tuned into, what have you liked?

Seth: Yes. I think this was a while ago, but your conversation with Paul Copan, it might have been one of your initial podcasts on the “genocide” texts in the Old Testament. I just found that very enlightening to listen to. Listened to a little bit of your interview with Sean McDowell. I actually have the new Evidence That Demands A Verdict sitting on my bookshelf, that I plan to get to in about five years. 

Kurt: Among the other many books that you’ve got reading. You have the book problem. Right? You buy books and then you buy books before you read books.

Seth: Problem is an understatement, but you know that’s a good thing.

Kurt: My wife gives me beef all the time for this. Instead of buying books, if I see a $3 used book that I might, especially if it’s regarding my research, I might splurge, but I’ve really stopped buying new books, and I just, my Christmas list, she gives me, my Christmas list is all just books and so for Christmas here I’ve actually got a few books, let me show folks here, this one, for some reason got like seventy reactions on Facebook on my profile, but this book is The Works of Saint Augustine: Answers to the Pelagians 4. The fourth installment of his anti-Pelagian writings. What makes this book very special to my research is this. Many people who sadly they just simply haven’t taken the time to explore these issues, what many people don’t know is that Augustine’s work on the predestination of the saints was written in response to a letter he received from someone named Prosper of Aquitaine and Prosper had interaction and communication with monks from southern France and these are the monks that I’m studying, their writings, and so seeing here how Augustine responds to them is very fascinating and it really provides all the background context that one would need, and so this book is quite expensive and so I’m very thankful that I got this book for Christmas, because it’s the sort of book I wouldn’t buy for myself. Now, versions I had used before from the library so since I own this now I can mark it up so I’m very much looking forward to doing that, and I’ve got a few other books here. I’ll just be brief. There’s this book by Thomas A. Smith on Faustus of Riez in his work De Gratia or the Grace, the Grace of God, so that’s an excellent book. This is this guy’s doctoral dissertation. One of only two books in English on Faustus so much as I know. I’ve done the research and have explored. I’ve only aware of two books so that’s a very special work. Lastly, Vincent of Lerins, this is a great book on the development of Christian doctrine. A lot of Catholics like Vincent for his argument of church tradition, but Protestants I think can take a clue or play out of the playbook from Vincent regarding good Christian orthodoxy and recognizing non-essentials as well, I think a lot of Christians need to work on that. We’ve got Daniel here commenting. “Seth Baker. You are addicted to books.” This must be a personal acquaintance of yours, Seth. Knows about your book habit.

Seth: Hey, Daniel. I think everybody at Sacred, which is the young adult ministry at Central Baptist Church, here in Clovis, New Mexico, they know full well that I have a book problem. 

Kurt: Right. Nice. So tell me about Sacred. It’s a group you started. Right?

Seth: Yes. We got started in October of 2015 so we’ve been going strong for little over two years and Sacred is actually an acronym that stands for Seeking A Closer Relationship Every Day. Very creative.

Kurt: How long did it take you to come up with that?

Seth: Wasn’t me, and if I did it would have taken me at least a year. I would have come up with YAMS or something, young-adult ministry, but yeah, Sacred is great. I love those young men and women and we’ve just been growing together through studying God’s Word and we also go through apologetics books on Saturday morning so we are going through Paul Copan’s Loving Wisdom currently and we’re almost done with that and who knows what’s next? Sacred has been a great thing. Yeah.

Kurt: That’s great. Awesome. You have had that heart for young adults to really reach them and it’s true that the college age is just ripe for apologetic work because this is the time in peoples’ lives, I experienced it myself. I would say I was a few years earlier than when most people have it. I was asking the deep questions in high school, but when kids go off to college, young adults go off to college, they’re away from their parents and they’re listening to professors and some of whom their parents likely have not vetted and all of a sudden they’re on their own and they’ve got to think through these things and so if we think we should just send our kids off and expect that they’re going to come back just fine, I think that’s a mistake. This is why apologetics is really important on college campus ministries. You actually gave a talk on that experience at the Defenders Conference last November.

Seth: That is right. One of my talks was Apologetics as Evangelism to the college community and I want to affirm everything you just said, because we don’t live in an America anymore that is really Christian-friendly. We’re definitely post-Christian in our ethics and in our worldview. I make the argument in that talk that really we live in a modernist society that takes faith claims to really be emotive expressions and science is really the only purveyor of truth. You’re absolutely right. Apologetics is a necessity today for Christians that really want to keep their faith and also make an impact in their evangelism. 

Kurt: We’ve got Taylor Lee who has tuned in saying, “Seth is an amazing man, an amazing leader. He’s a man after God’s heart in his witness to so many of us.” Thank you Taylor for your comment there. Yes. I think Seth’s a great guy and it might be sad that he’s leaving Clovis, but I think it’s going to be great for him to come here to West Chicago and all the great work we’re going to be doing together, not just here on the podcast, but also for the various ministries that we do work for so let me…

Seth: Thanks, man.

Kurt: Let me say this. Some people, I recently had lunch with a fellow who, he knew me from the podcast here, but he didn’t know exactly what I do, so let me talk about Defenders Media just briefly. Defenders Media is a non-profit organization that provides media solutions to apologetic ministries. We do web site design, graphic design, social media measurement, marketing, we make banners, those sort of things. But we’re also a support organization for apologetic ministry that don’t have people, say, to help them with accounting, or those organizational needs that the ministry might have. We’re a support organization in that regard. And then of course, we put on events, we sponsor events, coordinate because we want to help get the word out, so we take the time, bring in the speakers, and hope that you guys show up and we have a lot of fun doing that and so that’s one of the ways that we reach out to the local community. Of course, all of our events are open to the public. That’s basically Defenders Media in a nutshell. Of course, Veracity Hill here is one of those apologetic ministries that Defenders supports. That’s what we do and we’ve had a very good year this year. We recently had a $12,000 matching grant so I want to thank all the donors that chipped in for that. Here on the podcast, we did an $800 a month campaign and so let me just throw up the image here. We are 96% of the way there toward our $800 a month goal, this is $800 in new support. What is this support gonna go toward? Well, we would like to be able to pay our technical producer Chris who is off today, and sadly he is missed every day he is not here. We’ll be able to pay him, since he’s kindly volunteered for almost a year and a half now, and also we will have a formal educating budget, where we can spend money to help promote the podcast, the show, get out the viewers, increase those that like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, should be a lot of fun. We also want to in 2018 get over to YouTube and start uploading our videos and increasing our following there. Finally, some of that new support will go to pay me since I took a little bit of a pay cut for my Defenders work when we hired Christiann Snedeker, our director of marketing. With that new support, that’ll help us get a little closer to our long-term goals, we’re slowing increasing every year trying to raise support. If you want to help be a part of this program, if you want to be a financial supporter, we’d love to get your support. Just go to Veracityhill.com/patron. We are 96% of the way there. Help us finish that goal. That would be a great goal for us to complete. If not, it’s still already a success. To get that close is very good so we all want to thank the supporters that have all chipped in, whether it’s $10 or $20 or greater numbers. I thank you for your willingness to support this program. I’ve got some other news coming up later on in the show, but that’s when we’ll maybe to get to talking about 2018. Looking at the time here, Seth, why don’t we take our commercial break so if you’re here following us online, I’d be happy to take any questions that you might have about apologetics, sort of ask me anything if you’ve got any questions like that, we’ll be reading and following along in your comments here, but stick with us through this short break from our sponsors.

*Clip plays*

Kurt: Thanks for sticking with us through that short break from our sponsors. Since, Seth I’ve got you here on the show, I guess for the first time us together, I can think of nothing better to do than to do a round of Rapid Questions.

Seth: I figured this was coming.

Kurt: You expected that. Alright. Good. It had to happen sometime. Might as well be today. So, without further ado, and any further explanation, here we go. 

Kurt: What’s your clothing store of choice?

Seth: Buckle.

Kurt: Taco Bell or KFC?

Seth: KFC.

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

Seth: Anything Christian rap.

Kurt: Favorite sport.

Seth: Basketball.

Kurt: Most hated sports franchise.

Seth: Baltimore Ravens.

Kurt: Do you drink Dr. Pepper?

Seth: I don’t.

Kurt: Okay. This is not gonna work. Have you ever driven on the other side of the road?

Seth: I have not. Nope.

Kurt; Would you drink a Dr. Pepper if it were handed to you and be careful how you answer.

Seth: I would to appease you.

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

Seth: Firestarter.

Kurt: What is your inner shake flavor?

Seth: Chocolate.

Kurt: The hokey pokey, electric slide, or the macarena?

Seth: Macarena.

Kurt: If you were a baseball pitch, which one would you be?

Seth: Fastball.

Kurt: Alright. Seth Baker. Thank you for playing that round of Rapid Questions. Well done. The firestarter, that’s a very practical idea.

Seth: I don’t know. That’d be top spot for sure, under so much pressure, I just had to fire someone.

Kurt: But if you’re Tim Hsiao of course, you keep your firearm. That was his answer when we had him on the show, for hunting purposes. That was probably my favorite answer of every time we did rapid questions this year. If I had to say what was my favorite answer for that question, that was it, Tim’s answer there. That was the one. 

Seth: How many people have completed because some people sit there and deliberate?

Kurt: The more strongly academic minds, I shouldn’t necessarily say that because some academic minds are very strong, of course, and they are socially gifted. They can answer questions quickly. But those academic minds which may not have the social graces, they take longer to think about…but the idea is to get through all of the questions and I don’t think we’ve had anybody that has ever gone through all of them. The list is just too big. There are 21 questions and we’ll probably have to modify, in 2018 we’ll have to come up with new questions, a new round. I think that’d be a lot of fun. 

Seth: You presented me with a false dilemma however in one of those questions. Whenever you said Taco Bell or KFC…

Kurt: Right.

Seth: One or both?

Kurt: You could have both. Of course, the question is this: If you could only choose one, which one would it be? Of course, when you move here, you can have both whenever you want after the show because for those of you who don’t know, after every show, the panel and our technical producer, we go out to eat at the great Taco Bell/KFC located not three minutes down the street from us.

Seth: AKA Heaven.

Kurt: Pretty close I think. I think pretty close. It’s great. I’ve been able to build nice relationships with the folks there at Taco Bell/KFC. They were sponsors for our March event and so they gifted us with the lunch for the march, what date was that, Ted Wright came to town. We talked about the reliability of the Bible and Ted’s an archaeologist at Epic Archaeology. That was a lot of fun. KFC was kind enough to become one of our sponsors for that so it’s great to have built that relationship with the managers and slowly begin to build up that relationship to the point where we’re talking to them about faith issues so we can even reach out to them. It’s a good opportunity for that. Seth. I promised you we’d talk about my favorite episode, so what I’ve had to do is go through here, I’ve gone through the website here. In fact, your Paul Copan episode was in 2016 so you’ve got to give me a new one. Figure that out, and I need to plug in my laptop so while you talk about that, pick one from 2017.

Seth: Okay. Matthew Bates book Salvation By Allegiance Alone has long been on my Amazon wish list, but that’s the case with about 10,000 other books, but his discussion of the word pistis, I found very enlightening, how the word faith in English doesn’t carry the weight of the word pistis in Greek and how it deals more with lifestyle, living under the lordship of Christ rather than just some sort of intellectual assent or mere belief so that was great. That was a great episode. Your dealing with the problem of evil. I always like to hear multiple defenses or theodicies. I like to see different approaches to the problem of evil and the more that I read, the more I see that, one, obviously the logical problem has no weight behind it at all. It’s been completely abandoned.

Kurt: It’s stalled. Yeah. Atheists even grant that.

Seth. Yeah. J.L. Mackie and who is the other guy? 

Kurt: Let’s not get too heady for people. Logical problem of evil, what do we mean there? What we mean is some people object, they say if God exists and He’s all good and loving and all knowing, yadda yadda yadda, and evil exists, those are contradictions in terms. Therefore God cannot exist, since we know evil exists. That is the logical problem of evil. That problem has been solved by the great Alvin Plantinga who posited, “Wait a second. Doesn’t this God who exists, didn’t He create humans with free will and they create acts of evil?” Nevertheless, while there are still some concerns about, say, different types of evil or the severity of evil, the mere existence of evil is not sufficient for disproving the existence of God. That’s the background there, but you’re right, talking about the problem of evil, it’s interesting to see how different Christians even deal with it, their solutions, some of them embrace, they hold to different models of divine sovereignty that I think are problematic. I wouldn’t embrace those difficult models, but we can talk about that for another episode. Let me scroll through and see…

Seth: Yes. Give me like Kurt, maybe your top five, top three episodes this year. No order. No order necessary, but just ones that you found, ones that you enjoyed.

Kurt: I’m gonna pull a street epistemologist move or a response to street epistemology. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s an atheist movement trying to seek debunk and help quote/unquote Christians come away from their faith. It’s an awful movement and this is why apologetics is so important. So here’s the maneuver. Help me calibrate what you mean, my top five or top three. Top five or three personal, like interviews, or the best well-produced, what would you mean there?

Seth: Let’s go personal.

Kurt: Okay. 

Seth: I want to pick your brain a little bit. Which ones sound the most enjoyable. Which did you learn the most from?

Kurt: Just a few weeks ago, for the love of historical theology, I was hanging out with Augustine Casiday and that was a blast because I look up to that guy and he’s just a brilliant thinker and it’s so great to have him on the show, to talk about just the project of historical theology and rediscovering what people believed a long time ago, people that were a lot closer to these events and formulated these beliefs. When we talk about the Trinity, these people dealt with and helped to formulate and recognize these doctrines. They didn’t create the doctrines. They recognized what the Bible is teaching and sometimes it took years to learn how to parse out what exactly the Bible teaches. That can happen. That episode was a lot of fun because I was basically nerding out talking about my research and, of course, his background, he’s gone into a different field than my current research right now, but still a lot of fun because he knows his stuff. He was worried too, he was like “I’m not sure I’ll be able”, I said, “It’s fine”, and he was totally going off. That was a lot of fun. That was a few weeks ago. Let’s see. We’ve had a lot of good interviews. I know you talked, the one with Matthew Bates on Salvation by Allegiance Alone, that was a good one. Harmonizing science and faith with Fuz Rana. I had a lot of fun there. Let’s see here. I like the theme of the worldview series that we did. We interviewed an atheist, a Muslim, some other folks. We just talked about other worldviews. I think that was fun. Of course, if you’re a long time listener and you’ve got a topic that you’d like requested or a series, that’s how that series came about, because a number of people requested it. We’re happy to do a show on a number of different topics. We want to be able to help you to learn more about something you’re interested in. The purpose of the show is striving for truth in these areas that we’re exploring and so if you have some question about some topic or difficulty, please write in to us, comment to us, let us know what you want to hear about, and we’ll talk about it, we’ll bring on a guest, a scholar in that field to talk about it. We might even bring a variety of scholars together to talk about this. Shameless plug for next year’s Defenders Conference, September 28-29. Mark your calendars because we are going to be talking about the supposed divine genocide commands. We are going to bring Christians from a variety of perspectives to talk about their interpretations of the Old Testament passages where God instructs the Israelites to go wipe out everyone, including the women and the children and the animals, and you’re like, “Well wait a second. If God’s so loving, how could He allow this to happen?” I was talking to someone a few months back and she had said, “The Bible says that?” She didn’t even know. She didn’t even know. Yes, it does in fact say that in a number of different places in the Old Testament, so how are Christians to understand this? We’ve got to be prepared to give a defense for what we believe so if an atheist comes up to you and say, “Hey look. You believe in an evil God”, what do you say? What’s your response? You’ve got to be prepared. September 28-29. Fly into Chicago because we’re going to have amazing speakers. We’ve already got a couple of them formally booked. A few of them are still double-checking and waiting to get back to me. Two of those games, John Walton of Wheaton College and Paul Copan is going to be coming in so I want to encourage people from all over the country to fly in for this event. It’s going to be a lot of fun hearing all these different perspectives. I think it should make Seth, for an interesting roundtable discussion.

Seth: Yes. I’m excited. Hopefully, by that time, we will have a theistic voluntarist to join the discussion. Now a theistic voluntarist is somebody who believes that moral values and duties stem from God’s will, so that God could have commanded that murder be good, sleep around be a good thing, but Copan, he is not a theistic voluntarist.

Kurt: Neither is Walton.

Seth: And neither is Walton. I’m sure it’s a rare breed for sure.

Kurt: Yeah. I’ve reached out to one who might not phrase it in the philosophical way that you have, but nevertheless, I think would be consistent with that worldview. I’m hoping to hear back, because yes, that would make for a very interesting panel discussion, having these different, and mind you, Christian views too. I’ve thought about how far that spectrum goes. I came across one name who is a Christian professor at Eastern University and he thinks that God never actually said those things, that it’s just the Israelites’ interpretation of their experience. Right? How far, I’ve had to think about that, in setting up an event, how far of the spectrum of views should one present. I’ve got to think more about that, but, of course, if people are really interested to learn more about that, then let me know and maybe that will give me a stronger consideration to bring that speaker in. Mark your calendars, September 28-29, here in the western suburbs of Chicago where we host the annual Defenders conference. We would love to meet you and to see you there in nine months now so we’ve got event planning. People don’t realize how much effort it takes to really plan the event and execute it. It’s a lot of work, and this year actually, looking back to 2017, this year we hired a seasonal event planning assistant, Cathy, who was very helpful for us at the event you’re at Seth, just in November so looking forward to utilizing Cathy’s experience and resources and knowledge for our future events. It’s a blessing to have that, especially since it’s just seasonal so it helps keep the budget in check for our small non-profit. Alright. Let’s see. How did we get off on that track there? Although, before we leave that track, Mary is suggesting a sacred trip to Chicago. She’s saying “Let’s go.” Mary. That sounds great. I’d love to meet you and again, it’ll be a lot of fun, so if you want to learn about the different perspectives on the supposed divine genocide commands, those will be the keynote sessions and there will be breakout sessions on other topics, so stay tuned and eventually we’ll have the website up to date on that, TheDefendersConference.com so stay tuned to that website for changes that are coming. Let me give you one more episode here. Let’s see here. I did an interview with Nick Byrd, second interview I did with him. This is episode 50. More thoughtful atheists or theists. Let me say a word about Nick. I like Nick a lot because he’s really interested in the academic side of things. He studies philosophy. He also studies psychology. Having his perspective is intriguing for his willingness for also seeking out truth. I’m glad to sort of have that collegial relationship with Nick. I was hoping to see him. He’s actually in Tallahassee, and I was hoping to see him on my trip down recently, but he was off visiting with family, so I was unable to meet him, but I hope one day to meet him. It’ll be cool, because I like his passion for learning and looking at different issues from that integration between psychology and philosophy. He’s really interested in how people think. That’s a good word about Nick Byrd and his academic work.

Seth: And Nick Byrd is an atheist. Is that correct?

Kurt: This is the cool thing. I don’t exactly know. I don’t know exactly where he stands on these issues. Nevertheless, for what we’ve brought him on to talk about, he’s come prepared to present the research about what other people believe or how they believe or what study X found or, I remember there was something called like a metastudy, a study of studies. Yeah. Again, he’s just been a great person to chat with, and I don’t know where he stands, but in some ways that’s okay. As long as what he’s presenting here are the facts of what we have discovered, and of course, there’s always an interpretation of facts as well, so that’s always can be up for debate upon whether that metastudy had the right biases, because some biases are poor biases. Some poor biases are good and normal. For example, if I say there is a tree right there and there is, in fact, a tree, that’s a good bias. Right? I’m observing something from reality. When someone says, “Hey look. There’s a pink elephant right there”, that is not a good bias.

Seth: And somewhere, Immanuel Kant is rolling in his grave.

Kurt: Yes. Mind you, Seth, most listeners won’t understand that joke, but I get it. 

Seth: My apologies.

Kurt: Maybe you’ll learn that when you get here. You have to explain things, which is okay, but for Immanuel Kant, there was a distance, if you will, a gap between what’s in the mind and the objective world. If I had to say it very simplistically, that would be that.

Seth: Getting into trouble, my apologies. Bringing up the logical problem of evil.

Kurt: Quite alright. I would say I appreciate talking to Nick and I want to bring him on at least once a year because it’s just so much fun talking to him. Chatting with Andy Bannister was fun on the show on Islam. 

Seth: And you had Dr. Leighton Flowers.

Kurt: Yeah. Leighton. That was also another fun one because in terms of my personal stuff, I agree with Leighton on a number of matters and so I appreciate his ministry work there.

Seth: I do as well. 

Kurt: It’s always nice when you can folks, while I appreciate the striving and seeking for truth, all the more so when guests are just relaxed. You’re shooting the breeze. It’s like you’re getting a meal with them. Andy Bannister was like that. I think it may have been in 2016 Frank McKinney, he was one of those episodes where it’s just like instant connection and you’re just hanging out and chatting with people. Those are a lot of the fun episodes because you’re just having so much fun and then it’s just all of a sudden twenty minutes. It feels like twenty minutes. Sixty minutes and it feels like you’ve only been there for such a short amount of time. I would say those are my favorite episodes.

Seth: Great. And speaking of that, when was the first Veracity Hill episode?

Kurt: Ah. Yes. The first one, I don’t think I have to look this up. I can get you the month. It was July of 2016. We’ve been doing it for a year and a half. That’s excluding the pilot introductory episode where I laid down my vision for the program. Let’s see here. Yeah. July 7. It says here that I talked about my spiritual walk and beliefs and Defenders and all of that, so that was the very first episode. We’ve had a lot of good and big names. We’ve had smaller names, but that’s alright. It’s fun to go into areas that maybe people haven’t even explored before. We want to challenge people to think well, to recognize that there are alternative views about different issues. I remember once in one of my, the very first conference I put on when I was with my former organization, one of the fellows was a retired Methodist pastor and he said to me, he said, “Kurt. You’re presenting issues I didn’t even know where issues.” Let me say, it’s not that I’m presenting or that we’re presenting issues just because for the sake of presenting alternative issues. That’s what it’s about, but it’s about recognizing sometime in our life experiences we do not discover issues outside of our own experiences. Not that I’m sounding like some social justice warrior, or something like that, recognizing the other side, but we need to be prepared so when an atheist comes to you and brings this objection, you have to be aware of what that is in order to respond to it.

Seth: In doing apologetics on Saturday morning, we have been confronted with issues that we had never even thought about. This morning we were talking about the incarnation, Jesus being both God and man and all of the problems that come along with that, intellectual problems, how to make a model of the God-man and that just leads into other questions of the atonement, the Trinity. Mason, one of my buddies, pointed that out this morning, but what a great thing it is to ask those questions because you just get your mind expanded. Then you reveal those question question, those questions that underlie other important questions and that seems to be a good definition of philosophy.

Kurt: Yeah, and it’s a testament to the network, the web of our beliefs, how sometimes we will hold some ideas very firmly, and from that we form other beliefs that we have, and you’ll discover as you being exploring some issue over here and begin to formulate a firm belief, that might modify how you have to approach this issue over here, or you might have to reevaluate that initial issue that you were thinking about. That’s definitely right, how we think of core Christian doctrine, non-essential Christian doctrine. It’s all part of this web of beliefs that we have. Some people talk about it as like a bullseye, but I think really the network is a great idea of communicating how all of that works in our minds and in our worldviews. 

Seth: What is great is that analogy of the spider web, how those that are more close to the center carry more weight and some of those surrounding strands can be broken and replaced and make a more coherent structure of our beliefs.

Kurt: That’s right. Seth, I know we’re running low on time so before I forget, I want to talk about what’s coming up in 2018. We’ve got some great things on the horizon. Of course, we’ve already mentioned you are moving here. Let me get that image back up. You’re moving to West Chicago. You will be the operations associate for Defenders Media here and then you’ll be the associate producer for the Veracity Hill Podcast. We’re excited to have you come join the core team here in West Chicago. Many people may not know this, but in fact it is the case that West Chicago is home to the international Veracity Hill Podcast. In fact, it might be the only that’s coming out of West Chicago, Illinois, but nevertheless, it’s an international program. We’ve got out of all the podcasts in West Chicago, I think we’ve got the most reach. Chris likes to joke about that, of course, and Chris is missed today. It is six degrees here. He’s probably out lollygagging in the tundra of the suburbs here or wherever he is off today, he loves winter and it’s a winter wonderland here in West Chicago right now. What else does 2018 hold? Well, let me say a couple things. First, Defenders Media has reached out to one ministry in particular that we’d love to partner with. Please pray for that connection. No forthcoming announcement yet, but I ask for your prayers in that regard. It would be great for us to partner with them. Also, let me talk about Veracity Hill here. Help us get Veracity Hill on the radio. Let me talk about this for a minute. Part of the long-term goal of Veracity Hill has been to become a radio ministry and so in order to do that we’ve had to take baby steps and the Chicago market is very expensive to air a radio program, so I thought as we raised money in future years that we will begin starting in smaller markets and build ourselves up, however, we have come into an interesting and unexpected situation where one donor has pledged if we were to get on the radio here in Chicago, he’d pay for half of the cost, half of the weekly cost. It costs $200 a week to air the program on AM 1160 here which is a very well-known and listened to Christian radio station, WYLL and so that one donor’s pledged to cover 50% of the cost or $100 a week. We’ve also received a pledge, a promise from a foundation to give $50 a week, or 25% of the total cost, so that leaves 25% left or $50 a week or roughly it’s like $208 a month, so if you want to help Veracity Hill get on the radio here in Chicago, then I would love to get your support again. This opportunity has come faster than I anticipated, but we’re looking for $50 per week or again roughly $208 a month. Even if you can just chip in, begin to chip in and support our program, that will help us get Veracity Hill on the radio here Saturday mornings at 8 AM in Chicago and WYLL also reaches up into Milwaukee, so there’s a real good chance here we’ll get a lot of exposure for the show, a good time slot, and again we can’t make it happen without your help. I know we’re kind of doing a fundraiser on top of a fundraiser, but this kind of was dropped into our lap. Perhaps it’s the special providence of God. Of course, it’s most certainly the general providence of God, general being because He set up the world in such a way that people can do these sorts of things, but we would love to get your support to bring Veracity Hill on the radio. Again, I’ll put up that image here. Help get Veracity Hill on the radio, and so with your support we can make it happen, so thank you again for being our support, even just watching the program, like the videos that we put out, put a review on iTunes, share the video with your friends, tell folks about it. We’d love to get your help. Spread the news about our programming, and get us on the radio. We can’t do it without your support. I want to thank all of our current sponsors and patrons that we have for their existing support already for this program. Seth. I’m trying to think ahead. We’ve already talked about the conference, that one opportunity that might be coming, your moving. I think I’ve covered everything I wanted to talk about for 2018. Did I leave anything out?

Seth: I don’t believe so, but it’s going to be an exciting year for Defenders Media and Veracity Hill and I’m just really excited to get there and get to work.

Kurt: So here’s the question I’ve got for you. In Clovis, do you have any Taco Bell/KFCs, you know, the two-in-one units?

Seth: We do not have the two-in-one units, but they are about a quarter mile away from each other…

Kurt: Yeah, but when it’s cold outside.

Seth: This is true. Yeah. Good point.

Kurt: All the more reason for you to move here.

Seth: That’s right.

Kurt: And I’ll tell you this. Taco Bell/KFC used to have Dr. Pepper. Then they got rid of it. Then I put in some requests and eventually, it was several months later, they brought back Dr. Pepper. I think it was due to my…..

Seth: but[NP1]  yours was open.

Kurt: Oh. That’s right. Very much looking forward to that time that we’ll have in 2018 together. I wish May were coming sooner than it is, but I guess we’ll just have to be a little patient with that. Alright. I guess that does it for the show today. Seth. Thank you so much for joining us on the panel here, virtually, all the more better when you’ll be here in person, but nevertheless, thanks for joining me on this year-end show today.

Seth: Thank you, Kurt. Yeah. I’m excited about the future and I appreciate the opportunity to be on with you today.

Kurt: Alright. Thanks. We’ll touch base. Stick on the line here and we’ll touch base momentarily. Alright. That’s it for 2017. What a beautiful opportunity I have had here to bring this program to you week after week. We haven’t missed a week and I’m so thankful for your support in making this program happen. I have enjoyed learning myself, hearing from different guests that we’ve brought on from different perspectives, from areas that we just sometimes don’t have time to research and look into. Nevertheless, we want to learn a little bit and be well-informed citizens and to be good disciples, to love God with our minds, explore these issues, and so I’m aware that not everyone is able to produce a podcast like this, so I thank you for your support of this programming, and very much look forward to what 2018 holds for all of us. If you want to stay updated on things that are coming your way just text the word VERACITY to the number 555-888 and you’ll be able to stay updated with what’s coming up on the program, show topics, guests that are forthcoming, or big news as well. Very much looking forward to sharing more details with you about that. That does it for the show today. Again, I want to wish everyone a fond farewell for 2017. Looking forward to coming to you in 2018. I’m grateful for the continued support of our patrons and the partnerships that we have with our sponsors, Defenders Media, Consult Kevin, The Sky Floor, Rethinking Hell, The Illinois Family Institute, Evolution 2.0, Fox Restoration, and Non-Profit Megaphone. I want to thank, Chris, our technical producer, for the work that he’s put in this year, and for our panel guest today, Seth Baker, who will be joining us in studio beginning in late May of 2018, and last but not least, I want to thank you for listening in and for striving for truth on faith, politics, and society. 

 [NP1]Unclear at 53:00

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Michael Chardavoyne

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