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31 October 2011

Unbelievable - the Podcast

Several months ago I discovered a podcast that quickly became my favorite. It's a rebroadcast of a Premier Christian Radio (a UK station) Saturday afternoon program called Unbelievable. There's a lot to love about this program if you're into apologetics.

The element that really hooked me was the subject matter. Things like "Rob Bell Defends 'Love Wins'" (a very controversial book in the Christian community; one that questions the existence of hell and the doctrine of punishment)," "Biblical evidence for the Resurrection" with Bart Ehrman and Mike Licona, "William Lane Craig and A. C. Grayling debate the Existence of God and Evil," etc. There's a periodic staple called "Grill a Christian" in which atheist listeners are invited to call in and ask the "scholar of the day" any question about Christian beliefs, views, etc.

There's also the format; it's quite unique. Typically a topic of the day is the focus and a Christian and an atheist, both with a specialty in that area, are invited to talk about and/or debate the subject. I've been pleasantly surprised to learn (based on calls and e-mails to the show after each debate) that there's a large audience of atheist listeners as well as theists/Christians. Usually in a show like this the subject matter or execution of the program is heavily biased in favor of one stance or the other, but the host of Unbelievable, Justin Brierly, does an amazing job of ensuring equal time for both views, and tends to clarify positions that the debaters present if they're not easily digestible by the audience.

The lure that's made the show long-lasting for me rather than just another Christian/atheist slugfest is the courtesy and grace with which the opponents debate one another. There is appreciation for the other person's point of view and a continued effort to make sure that the tone is kept civil throughout. I have to believe that this is why the show's audience is so diverse. It's what so many people long for -- simple, meaningful discussion -- yet it so rarely happens in this arena. Christians are prone to covering their ears and not listening and atheists far too often offer venom and ridicule instead of meaningful discussion.

To be sure, these two views will never be able to be reconciled. But the openness in discussion is a breath of fresh air. I'm most reminded of the account of the Apostle Paul talking with the Greek philosophers at Mars Hill in Acts 17. Some listened, some debated, some ridiculed, and some believed in Jesus Christ and joined Paul.

I have a 30-minute drive to and from work each day and I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to a large number of archived shows. If you engage in or enjoy apologetics at all, I can't recommend this podcast highly enough.


Wendel said...

I love listening to Justin Bieber debate, sing, and host shows. LOL

Jokes aside. Thanks for sharing... I'll check it out.

Dean Lusk said...

Wow, Wendel...

:-) Cool; hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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