Combs-Port Interview

Chris Combs and Daniel Port interviewed me recently on my life and work, as well as my thoughts about cinema as an art medium and on specific films they asked about because they’re my recommendations in my video store (like Pulp Fiction, the Cohen Brothers, my taste in teen films and romantic comedies), and various other related topics (from William Lane Craig to Jesus, philosophy, racism, the Coast Guard, and 80s movies and arcade games). It’s mostly me just rambling on about myself and my thoughts about things as they asked me to do. There was some sound editing that I think removed or compressed some breath pauses, so it sounds a little more frantic than it actually was when we recorded. It’s almost an hour long, and it kind of sounds a lot like an NPR radio interview. If you’re interested, the audio is here on YouTube.

The Goodacre Debate

One of the many things I did when I was in England was go on a radio show that then aired in London just this last weekend (Saturday, December 15th, 2012), called Unbelievable with Justin Brierley, for Premiere Christian Radio. There, I had a cordial and informal debate with professor Mark Goodacre on the merits of the theory that Jesus didn’t exist (but is instead as mythical as Hercules or King Arthur).

Photo of Justin Brierley Speaking at a Podium Justin was an excellent host, and we both mused over the irony of the fact that he had an American in England debating an Englishman in America. I had stopped by the studio in person while I was in London; Goodacre was kind enough to phone in from his office at Duke University, North Carolina, where he’s an Associate Professor of the New Testament. So we were both at a disadvantage, he by being on the phone (having been there myself, I can testify to how difficult it is to carry on a conversation that way), and me by having almost literally just landed after a twelve hour flight from Los Angeles, which had immediately followed a six hour drive by car, and after which we had just enough time to get our bags and drive to the city and drop me off at a tube station en route to Premiere. Fortunately, I’m pretty resistant to jet lag. But it definitely felt weird. I had that “wired” feeling one gets after being awake for far too long.

If you want to listen to the show, it’s available online (for just this week it’s the featured show but after that it will be in their archives; and if that link doesn’t work properly try this) and via iTunes. I will comment on the show here. So if you’re keen to hear my thoughts on it, read on.

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Debates & Interviews

In January (as announced beforehand) I debated the question “Jesus: Man, Myth, or Messiah?” with Douglas Jacoby at Amador Christian Center in the beautiful Sacramento hills. And now the audio of that debate is available (video might come later; if so, I’ll emend this blog and mention it in the comments thread). Ben Schuldt produced a good wrap-up post on it, briefly reviewing the debate and then surveying all the things he would have wanted the audience to hear (he’s well aware that debates are on the clock and thus everything that needs to be said simply can’t be, but that’s what blogs are for, praise Jebus).

Video of my debate with J.P. Holding (also at Amador Christian Center, last year) on the topic of whether the “Text of the New Testament is Reliableis also now available. I had announced that long ago in a comment thread, but have been meaning to blog it up properly for a while, so I’m seizing the opportunity. Not only is the video available (via YouTube) but you can also download our slideshows and view them separately (Carrier’s | Holding’s).

I was also interviewed for the Oklahoma Atheists podcast (yes, people, there are atheists in Oklahoma, it’s not just all rusted cars and missile silos), which is now available. In it we discussed my use of Bayesian Reasoning in Philosophy, especially in The End of Christianity where I apply it to the design argument.

Finally, I was actually on live public radio in Las Vegas a while back, appearing as a phone-in guest (along with a few others) on Conversations with Cogree. One reason I hate doing call-in shows is that phoneline audio quality is usually terrible, and with multiple people and signal delays and no body language to observe, talking over each other is a constant problem. But Cogee does a decent job moderating it all. The theme was “Atheism vs. Faith” and there were multiple believers and multiple atheists, each coming from a very different viewpoint than the other. Everyone was treated fairly. You can listen to an archive of the show.