Mike Licona – How A Skeptic Came to Believe In the Resurrection

Note: The following transcript is not fully corrected. 

Mike Licona – How A Skeptic Came to Believe In the Resurrection
Is it rational for a skeptic to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. This is the deep questions podcast. And I’m your host, chase Thompson, a pastor and writer in Salinas, California. If you wanna get in touch with me and have a question you want us to cover on the show, I want to point you to our website, which is very simply deep.

Questions, pod.com deep questions, pod.com. We have a contact form there. I would love to know what questions you want us to cover. And I’d also like your comments on previous episodes. I love to hear from critics and skeptics and atheists. Even if you’re snarky because you know what I love critics, skeptics and atheists.

I do wanna mention, as I have the last couple of episodes that the church eye pastor valley Baptist church in north Salinas, California, is hosting a reasons to believe weekend this week. It’s Friday, June 24th with my guest on today’s podcast, Dr. Mike Lacona, it is not too late to register for that. Drop on over to deep questions, pod.com hit the link in the show notes to the event.

Bright it’s absolutely free, and you can come hang out with us and listen to Dr. Lacona. It’s going to be great. So that’s who we’re interviewing today. Dr. Mike Laona went to the same seminary that I did and was mentored by my favorite. Professor Dr. Gary Habermas. And we talk a lot in this episode about Dr.

Habermas. When Dr. Lacona was going through seminary in the 1980s, he went through a season of deep doubt and skepticism, which actually caused him to drop out of ministry for a time while he investigated whether or not Christianity was literal. Factually and historically true. He considered arguments for atheism.

He listened to skeptics. He did a deep dive into the evidence, particularly focused on whether or not Jesus rose from the dead. At the end of that time of doubt and questioning. He came through the other side. Fully convinced that the historical evidence pointed to Jesus being genuinely resurrected from the dead.

So in the nineties, Dr. Lacona began a ministry that seeks to equip Christians, to talk about the resurrection, to understand its historicity and to interact with skeptics and give reasons to believe. Mike has a PhD. The university of Pretoria and he is a professor now at Houston Baptist university. He has written multiple books, including why are there differences in the gospels plus the resurrection of Jesus, a new historic graphical approach, plus evidence for God, 50 arguments for faith from the Bible history, philosophy and science, as well as the case for the resurrection of Jesus that.

Co-wrote with Dr. Gary Habermas. Again, my favorite professor I’ve ever had, so I think this is gonna be a delightful interview. Let’s go to it right now. And we are live with Dr. Mike LA, Dr. Laona. Thank you for joining us, Mike. We appreciate your time here. Before we dive into deep, I’ve already given a bit of an overview for our listeners about who you are, what you’ve written.

What is it that you want people to know about you? If you introduce yourself, what are the couple of things you want to tell a stranger or tell a new acquaintance about who you are? Oh,

well, I guess you could say, I became a Christian at the age of 10 and it was in my mid twenties that I began questioning whether Christianity is true.

And it was just a matter of, for me. If I’d been brought up in a different country that has a, different worldview or religion there, would I be an adherent of that worldview of religion? How do I know Christianity is true? And so I really questioned my faith at that point. And that led me to pursue to see if there was evidence for Christianity and got me involved in Christian apologetic.

By nature. I’m a second guesser, I triple guess, quadruple guess, especially when it comes to things. Important things like my worldview. So that has caused me to force me to ask some of the really deep, difficult questions and try to be as, as honest answer them as honestly as I can.

Fantastic. Well, you and I have a connection.

We, I went to Liberty seminary, I think I was, I, I. A guy who’s been a mentor for you, Gary Haas. I’m trying to think of the year. I think it was 2005, 2006 or seven. I had him for a couple of classes for apologetics. I am a huge fan of all the teachers I’ve ever had. I would rank him and a guy named Dennis Sam at Sanford university.

Who’s a philosophy professor there. Those are I don’t, I wouldn’t say the absolute pinnacle, cuz I’m probably forgetting somebody, but those are definitely two of my three favorite professors of all time. Huge Habermas fan. He’s a brilliant mind, brilliant mind, but also like just a genuine kind of guy.

How did you get to know him? How did you form such a deep partnership with Dr. Habermas?

Yeah, well, it was when I started to have questions and doubts about my Christian faith. I had a roommate who was involved in the philosophy and apologetics program at Liberty. I was in the new Testament studies program.

So we didn’t have any interaction with philosophy or apologetics. In fact, at that point, I just didn’t see any use in my life for apologetics. It’s like, well, I’ve got a relationship with the Lord. I believe it’s true. Why do I need to learn evidence? Why are you talking about David Hume from the late 18th century?

Haven’t we gone beyond that? It’s kind of like, yeah, so, But then I needed it. So he, my roommate said, you wanna go see one of my professors, Gary Habermas, great guy. And so I did drop by his office. He was very welcoming. Went in there, sat down and had great conversation with him and he really helped me out.

And then later on, after I left Liberty finished up my coursework, I started to have doubts and raising other questions. And back then there was no email. So I ended up calling him . I ended up calling him. I can’t even, really, I, I have no idea how many times I called him hundreds of times over the years, we have had conversations, not all on doubt or anything like that.

I We became friends and, and really started getting into the nitty gritty of, of things and coauthored a book together. But you know, before then, I don’t know how many calls it. Would’ve been probably I know. Way less than a hundred, for sure. Probably less than 50. But he really helped me through my doubts.

And anyway, we ended up becoming really good friends and he and his wife Eileen have I think for 25 years they have come to our house. This year will be 26. I, if nothing comes up at the Lord willing this will be 26 years. The only one year they missed was COVID the COVID year, a few year, two years ago.

But they spend nearly a week with us around the labor day weekend. So. We have a good time. Some of our dearest friends. Gosh, I,

I, yeah, I, I would say I’m jealous, but instead of being jealous, I’ll just be happy for you cuz that sounds like a great relationship. You guys have written together. One of my favorite apologetics books, the case for the resurrection of Jesus.

What’s it like to write with Dr. Havas, right? With Dr. Have

mass? Well, to, to be honest with you, it was kind of frustrating. It, and UN understandably, so now this was You know, this was back in, I guess, 2002, 2003. And what made it frustrating? Look, he knows resurrection so much better than me.

That wasn’t the problem. The problem was is we kind of had two different objectives in mind, so I wanted to make the book really you know, put uh, you know, know, put, put things in such a manner that would make it easy for the reader to recall. So, for example you know, how do you remember the, some of the evidence for the empty tomb?

Well, we provide three major evidences, the Jerusalem factor, you know, the, the, the fact that Jesus was executed and buried in Jerusalem. So it’d been really difficult for them to proclaim the resurrection bodily, resurrection of Jesus had. Corp’s still been in the tomb, you know? So that’s when the Jerusalem factor, second it’s enemy attested.

You have enemies of Christianity who saying that the tomb acknowledging that the tomb was empty because they said things like the disciples stole the body. Or there was a gardener who reburied the body or that Jesus faked his death and came out of the tomb. So these don’t dispute the empty tomb.

They just give reasons why alternative reasons and why the tomb would’ve been empty. So it’s enemy a tested. And then third, you have the testimony of women who were lowly regarded in the first century whether it’s Greco, Roman or Jewish cultures. So here’s the, what we did is we put together a little acronym.

Jerusalem factor, enemy tested testimony of women. And so we do these kinds of things throughout the book to help the reader assist them in recalling some of this evidence that they can present for the evidence, for the case, for resurrection of Jesus. So that was like something I really wanted to do in a popular level book.

But Gary being the scholar that he. And I was just starting in my scholarship at that point. You know, in a PhD program, Gary wanted to make sure things were just nuanced, just the right way they were. And, and of course, when you, the more you carefully nuance, something that can often take away from the its simplicity.

And so we’re struggling between simplicity and accuracy through nuance. And so that was kind of our struggle. We went back and forth and wrestled. So we, we did come to agreements and, you know, hopefully, you know, we were able to accomplish both in the book. Yeah.

Yeah. , I think, I think it’s a great book and reading it.

I can definitely see the Habermas parts. And as I’ve gotten to know you a little bit better through your writing I can see your contributions too, and I think it makes a great blend. One of the things you guys talked about in the book, the overall historical ATEST of Jesus. And I, I know you know this because you’re, you have a very active and popular YouTube channel, which we’ll plug in a few minutes, but there are.

Plenty of pseudo scholars on YouTube that are going to make the claim that Jesus, wasn’t a historical figure. Jesus didn’t exist. And he’s one of the most historically attested figures that, that are out there. And the problem is tons of people, especially like generation Z people and, and millennials are gonna watch these YouTube pseudo scholars.

And they’re gonna think they’re teaching a, very highly intellectual theology, so to speak, , and they’re gonna believe that.

One of your book passages. I’m just gonna read it cuz it’s, it’s just a, it’s a good point that probably not even every apologetics focused, Christian knows. You said that in the book I don’t even know what pages song, cuz I’m looking at the Kindle version,

you and Haas are talking about the historical evidences for Jesus and you bring up Julius Caesar and how only five sources report the military conquests of Caesar within a few years of his death. But then you bring up Tiber Caesar who everybody’s heard of. He was the emperor of AR Rome at the time of the ministry of Jesus.

And you say note that Tiberius is mentioned by 10 sources within 150 years of his death, Tatu sweet S flu tar, plenty of the elders, stray Bo Seneca, vals, Maximus, Zeus, and Luke. And you compare that to the 42 total services that mentioned Jesus when within his lifetime and, you know, mentioning that’s at least four times.

Then the sources in the lifetime of Tiber Caesar. And even when you pull out the Christian sources that mention the life of Jesus, you still have a virtual tie between Tiber, Caesar and Jesus. And I, I just, I, I think the whole argument that Jesus didn’t exist is very silly. And you guys do great work in the book with that,

Let me say something about. There are a lot of sources that mention Jesus and the argument that we presented on about Tiberius. There is some inaccurate information to that that I have to own up to. And it wasn’t Gary’s fault. It was my fault. And I relied, I had asked, I, I wasn’t into the classics Greco, Roman literature at that point.

And I relied on what a historian of antiquity told me when I asked him the question about Tiberius, but he ended up missing a number of ancient sources that mentioned Tiber. And I didn’t know that until a skeptic who was studying his for his PhD at UCLA, I forgot his name. It’s Matthew something.

And he wrote a blog criticizing us for that. And I looked at I looked at, at the evidence summit and said, oh wow, I did get that wrong. So, now that doesn’t really detract, I think from the overall point that’s being made and that is, we’ve got a ton of sources who mention Jesus. Within the first 150 years of his life.

And you are absolutely correct chase that the, the position that Jesus never existed is not a respectable one within academia. There are, are no major historians, new Testament scholars or classist who would say that Jesus never existed. In fact, just a few years ago Richard carrier. Who is a scholar of antiquity.

He has his PhD of, of classics from Columbia. And he said that as far as he knew, there were seven scholars in the relevant fields who said that Jesus probably did not exist. Now that number may have gone up some a little bit since then, but probably not a whole lot. And even if you, even if you increase it, let’s call it a dozen.

Even if you say two dozen, which I doubt there’s that many of bonafide scholars even those who aren’t really respected, but just bonafide scholars in the relevant fields of history, new Testament studies or the classics. I, I don’t think that you’d find two. I I’m two dozen that. Hold such a position.

There, there are far more far more bonafide scientists who would say that the earth is 15,000 years or old or less than there are bonafide scholars who would say that Jesus never existed. So did so. And you know, those who would say the scientists who would say the earth is 15,000 years old or less, they’re in an extreme minority.

You probably have just about as many Holocaust deniers who are professional historians, as you have, who deny that Jesus ever existed. It’s just not a respectable position because the evidence supporting. Jesus as a historical figure is just too strong. I think

that’s an apt comparison between the Holocaust denial and the existence of Jesus, as you say exactly because the, the evidence for both of those things is just overwhelmingly strong.

Listen, I appreciate that you addressed you addressed what you did that that’s really interesting. I find in terms of online debates and online discussions and Polyx and things like that, we very rarely. People that will step back and say, Hey, you know what? I, I, I messed up there. I made an error or whatever, and I I’ve seen you do that before.

We’re all, none of us are ina. None of us humans are ina and. I, I find it very refreshing to interact with somebody who’s willing to own a mistake cuz we all make them. I’ve noticed especially on some of the comments on the, the airman debates you’ve had with Dr. Airman in the past, I’ve noticed commenters.

We’ll lock in on your willingness to admit when you’re wrong and they’ll view it as a weakness and, and basically talk about how, you know, I’m pretty sure Dr. Laona himself doubts. He’s just putting doubts that God existed. He’s just putting this front up or whatever. In other words, they take. What I think is a strength, a character strength, which is a willingness to own you know, when you’ve made a mistake or when you have a struggle or something like that, they take a character’s strength and they, they treat it like sharks in the water, like some sort of weakness.

But I think in the long run, that kind of attitude and that lack of arrogance and lack. I think there’s things we need to be dogmatic about in the scripture, but in terms of our opinions and our research and things like that, I think we get in dangerous ground when we’re just as dogmatic as you know, the most stubborn people in the world.

And then you just have a stubborn theist or a stubborn Christian debating, a strawberry agnostic or a stubborn atheist. And, and that, I don’t think that really serves anybody. So I, anyway, I appreciate you being willing to address. Let’s talk about the minimal facts argument. We not to spend a ton of time on it.

It’s been covered elsewhere, but can you give us kind of a basic summary of the minimal facts argument and how effective you think it still is in addressing skeptics, tics and questioners? Sure.

Well, when it comes to studying something like the resurrection of Jesus, or even who Jesus actually was, we, we distinguish between.

The Jesus of the Bible, how the Bible presents Jesus and what we can actually prove about Jesus. So that doesn’t mean if we can’t prove it, that it’s not true of Jesus, but it just like with every other historical figure, not everything that’s reported about that figure can be proven. And so when you come to Jesus claiming to be the son of God and performing miracles and rising from the dead being born of a Virgin.

We just have to acknowledge that there, you know, all of that can be true, but it doesn’t mean that we can prove that it’s true. We don’t have enough data to, to, to prove that Jesus was born of a Virgin. I believe he was born of a Virgin. I believe the new Testament authors intended for us to believe that Jesus was born of a Virgin.

You you’ve got Ignatius in the early second century who has ties to those who probably knew the disciples. And, and he says that the Virgin birth, the resurrection of Jesus, the crucifixion of Jesus, these things truly happened. So, you know, where’s he getting his from where’s he getting his information?

At least we know that by the early second century, that people who had pretty, fairly closely tied to the a. Believed not only that his resurrection actually happened, but same thing about his Virgin birth. So we, we’ve gotta acknowledge that there are these things that we can prove, things that we can’t prove.

There’s a lot of discussions, debates among scholars about, you know, what we have about the resurrection of Jesus. If you bring the gospels into. Then you, your skeptics are gonna say, oh, you can’t believe the gospels. We don’t know who wrote them. Their, you know, their authors were biased. They contained all sorts of errors and contradictions.

They were written too long after the events they purport to describe and eyewitness testimony. They’re not rooted in eyewitness testimony. So, I think we, you know, you can discuss those things and some things are more strongly supported by data than others. Like for example, we have far strong. Support for the position that mark received his information from Peter.

And that mark is the traditional authorship of the gospel. Mark is correct. Then we have for Matthew there, there’s some fo fuzziness about Matthew writing Matthew. So some things are stronger than others. So, you know, you can go with a lot of these different discussions that are going on, or you can.

Tell you what? Let’s try to make this as simple as possible and prevent us from spending a lot of time going off on rabbit trails and never really being able to come back because it would just take too much time. And there’s so much to discuss. Let’s just talk about facts that are so strongly supported by the data that a heterogeneous nearly universal or very large consensus of scholars, grant them as facts.

So it’s not just the majority. It’s a very strong majority and heterogeneous, meaning that they’re from all different kind of backgrounds. So you have Jewish agnostic, atheist, liberal, moderate, conservative Christians, they all grant these things. So when you have a Jewish historian or an agnostic of a an atheist historian, who’s willing to grant such things.

Certain things they they’re doing so not because they have a bias for Christianity it’s because the evidence is so strong that it compels them to grant them as facts. And you say, okay, well, let’s just take these facts that are virtually undisputed or granted by this heterogeneous, very strong, very large majority of critical scholars who study the subject and, you know, specialists on this and let’s take these facts and, and.

We’ll build hypotheses that attempt to account for these facts. And let’s just see what we come up with because if a hypothesis cannot account for even the facts for what they’re so strongly supported by the data that nearly everyone agrees on them. Well, then hypothesis is almost certainly mistaken.

So let’s just see where we’re at there. And when you do that, chase, the resurrection hypothesis by far comes out better than any competing hypothesis. So I think it’s. Simplistic argument. It’s, it’s able to present things very clearly more clearly than if you’re taking a whole lot more data into consideration.

I think it actually ends up being stronger and more persuasive. I completely agree

with that. I think one of the things skeptics need to account for, and generally, I don’t think they do very well is there’s there’s, you know, his story of. Graphically in, in, in terms of rock solid bedrock, historical proof, we may not be able to beyond a shadow of a doubt, convince everybody that Jesus rose from the dead based on, you know, what documents we have right now.

I completely believe that with all my heart and I believe the evidence surely points that way. But one thing that really is beyond a, a shadow of a doubt in terms of discussing with atheist and skeptics is number one, the fact. Jesus is the single most famous person that ever lived. You can verify that scientifically by looking at the amount of times, his name is mentioned in pretty much every book that’s ever been written.

Another thing you can, beyond a shadow of a doubt demonstrate is the spread of Christianity and how it is spread around the world. And. Come to dominate the lives of over a billion people. And you have to have a reason. I, if you don’t believe in the resurrection, if you don’t believe in the holy spirit, if you don’t believe in the power of God, if you don’t believe in any of those things, you have to have a reason to account for how Jesus became the most famous person that ever lived and how his message spread all across the world, to where it, you know, it dominates the lives of over a billion people.

And you can’t give a military reason for that. You can’t give a financial reason for. I guess you could vaguely argue that it happened through the power of the Catholic church, but I think this very weak argument and, and I, with you, I, I completely agree that the, the resurrection is the answer for that and that there are a certain set of facts that even.

Atheists scholars who study these things, agree with that. Explain it. And of course, you know, Dr. Habermas is, is probably the one that’s sort of famous for coming up with the minimal facts. Argument. I, I I took one of his classes remotely and I, but the best class I took was an intensive one week in Virginia.

That, that I was in his class. I think it was just for this regular apologetics 500 class. And one thing that kind of blew me away about Dr. Habermas was, I don’t remember. I wanna say it was towards the end of the class. He just started talking personally with us, you know how those intensives are.

You’re basically in class eight hours a day, five days a week. But in one of those, those classes, he just kind of let the veil down. He started talking about his first wife and her, her, her illness, her struggle with cancer. I was crying, just listening to him because he was so raw. He was so open about it.

He just basically, you know, ripped out his heart and showed it to us in a, in an incredibly. Appropriate winsome and, and engaging way. Honestly, listening to him, talk about that really equipped me to pastor and to talk to other people about suffering because I kind of grew up in an age where men don’t talk about that kind of stuff a whole lot.

They don’t talk about their feelings and growing up in the south people don’t talk about doubts a lot. Well, Dr. Havas did, and you do, and. Completely appreciate that about you. That you’re very honest about those kind of things. Look, spoiler alert. Every Christian person deals with doubt from time to time, they just don’t talk about it a lot.

So can you talk about doubt, maybe share some of some of, not necessarily, I you can share your struggles if you want to, but share how that’s become part of your ministry, how you deal with that.

Well, I. Have experienced out several times throughout my life. I think it’s important for Christians to recognize that doubting is normal.

You had CS Lewis had been an atheist, then he became a Christian and in his book mere Christianity, he talks about how, as a Christian, there are times he says it’s because of changing mood. And the one that you may be in at a particular time that mood may has led him at times to doubt where things really look to at the moment to be improbable.

That Christianity’s true. But then he turns right around and he says, but when I was an atheist, there were times when Christianity seemed to be terribly probable to him. So, atheist. You have Anthony flu, perhaps the most influential atheist philosopher or the latter part of the 20th century. He and Gary Habermas were really good friends.

And Gary told me that one time he was riding in the car with, with flu and he said, Hey Tony, do you, do you ever doubt your atheism? And flu said, I doubt my atheism all the time. So it’s not. Christians who doubt everybody doubts or I should say people of all different worldviews doubt, not everybody doubts.

I know Christians who have never doubted my dad never doubted William Lane. Craig told me that he has never doubted. So it, it just depends. There’s there’s different people like that, but you go back and just a one biblical example, there are others, but John de Baptist, so John de Baptist was in a sense Jesus’ wing man.

Right. And. But he’s in prison at one point and he sends two disciples to Jesus to ask him, are you the one or are we to expect someone else? So it’s like he was doubting, doubting is normal and there are various reasons for doubt, in the case of John NA Baptist, it was probably because life circumstances at that point, weren’t good for him.

He was in a dungeon facing execution and it’s like, where are you? I have served you my whole life. I’ve pointed to Jesus, and now you’re just leaving me in this cell to rot. And we can get in a, a, a, a position like that and start doubting. We have difficult times that we go through in our lives and it causes us the doubt.

God, where are you? We ask the same kind of question that John was asking at that time. So doubting is normal. I think it’s important to recognize that there is good evidence for the truth of Christianity. Study arguments for God’s existence, such as the cosmological argument for first calls of everything.

For a designer of the universe and life itself can see this through astrophysics and molecular biology books have been written on this stuff. You can see it through. The demand for a Supreme law giver, the, the necessity of it. If we’re going to have moral absolutes and then you’ve got the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.

So there’s some really good evidence that Christianity’s true. I think a third thing that we have to take into consideration is that absolute certainty is an unreasonable expectation. For a lot of things in our lives, we make decisions because we think it’s the best decision at the time. In fact, there are some things we might have, we might feel an absolute certainty that it, it is the best decision.

And then it turns out not to be. So I think we, we can go by probabilities, confidence. We’re looking for reasonable confidence or a high amount of confidence, but absolute certain. Is just something that it’s an unreasonable expectation. We’re looking for probability, not certainty. And then finally, I would say that faith is more, much more than an absence of doubt.

Faith is actually acting upon your beliefs so you can have doubt, but still have belief. So it’s like the, the man who wanted his son heal. He Jesus said, I, I can do this. If you believe it’s it’s possible, if you believe. And he said, Lord, I believe help. My unbeliev. You got Peter gets out of the boat during the storm when Jesus is walking on water and Jesus says, come.

And so he gets outta the boat and starts walking on the water with Jesus, but then he gets fearful and he starts the sink. And Jesus says, why did you doubt? Right. Well, A Greek word, just Tazo means two things. It means to think two things simultaneously. So it’s like Peter thinking, wow, this is really cool.

This is really amazing. Jesus is the son of God, but how can I be doing this? You know? And, and it’s like, you have these two thoughts. That’s what doubt is. So, but it’s what you act upon. Peter had doubt, but he still acted upon it and got out of the boat. And I think how that applies to us in our everyday living.

We might have lingering doubts at times, and maybe something comes up, whether it’s a temptation in our life and to, to, to do wrong, to sin, to do something and we might have lingering doubts and we’re thinking to ourselves, you know, I might go ahead and do that if I weren’t a Christian, if I didn’t believe Christianity were true, I would go ahead.

I’d probably just go ahead and do that. But I do think Christianity’s true, even though I have doubts and. Faith win Christ wins here, and I’m going to continue to live as though it’s true because I do believe it’s true. Although I have some lingering doubts and that’s why James, the brother of Jesus could say you know, I will show you my faith by my word.

So, it’s, it’s actually, it’s not the absence of doubt it’s actions. It is proceeding on the basis of the faith that you have. So I think those four things you keep that in mind the doubter can really be helped in. If they practice those four things. Absolutely.

You know, you mentioned John, the Baptist Jesus called him the greatest human being, essentially that was born up until that time.

Jesus said, you know, there’s nobody ever been greater born to a woman than John the Baptist. And yet here we see kind of towards the end of his life when he is in the dungeon, when he is when things have changed, he’s gone from being you know, at the pinnacle of ministry in Israel to. A dungeon waiting to have his head cut off by just in, in the most ridiculous way possible.

And, and he’s wrestling with doubt there. And, you know, if the greatest human born up until the time of Jesus might wrestle with doubt a little bit, I guess it’s probably not surprising.

That’s right. And Jesus said that to John while he was doubting, right. While he was doubting, he called him. Said no, no one born a woman is greater than John de Baptist.

Excellent point. That’s what he proclaimed in the midst of hearing that John was struggling well in a minute, I wanna talk about Dr. Irman, but I do want to ask you about your professorship, your apologetic work at H B. Tell us about the master’s degree there. Yeah,

well, I was hired 10 years ago. I’ve been there 10 years now.

To, to come and, and to teach there. And so I, I teach in the fall, I teach two basic courses on Christianity to undergrads. And and then in the spring semester, I teach two courses for graduate students. Those in the Christian master of arts and Christian apologetics program. So we have that there at HBU.

They can, you can do it on campus or you can do the entire. Distance. So it’s an accredited program. We’ve got fantastic faculty, William Lane, Craig, Mary Jo sharp, and Nancy Pearcy and just so many others who are, are teaching in the apologetics where we got Michael Ward. Who’s, you know, the, probably the, the, the finest CS Lewis scholar in the world.

So we’ve got a, I, I, I know I’m leaving out some people here, but I just can’t keep going on, but we’ve got some fantastic faculty. In our program there at HBU. And again, it can be done entirely at a distance. So really excited about that program. Anybody who’s interested in learning Christian apologetics, it, I think is the best one in the country.

Best one in the

world. Yeah. And that’s that’s HBU is Houston Baptist university and the website, hbu.edu. Do you guys have like a, a special website for the apologetics

we do program? I’m not sure the URL, but if you, if you go there to hbu.edu, just go up to the search and, and type in apologetics and you’ll see the program.

Yeah, we have a page just for that and it will come up. You can see the faculty members, you can see our, our program. We have two tracks. You can go cultural apologetics. That’s more like CS Lewis and thinking about how to incorporate that within artistic work. And then you’ve got, what’s called philosophical apologetics.

That’s, you know, arguments for God’s exists. It’s looking at things through scripture as well, doing biblical stuff. So kind of like, you know, what side of the brain you’re dealing with the left side or right side. Are you more the, are artistic kind. You’d wanna do a cultural apologetics if you’re more the, you know, just gimme the facts, that kind of person give it to me in bullet points.

That’s more like me. You know, then you’re looking at philosophical apologetics track, so it’s pretty cool. We’ve got really unique program in that sense. So we have fantastic faculty. We’ve got two tracks that you can go on and it’s a, it’s a tough program. It’s may be the toughest apologetics program out there.


Well look, William Lane, Craig is one of the most brilliant Christians that ever lived. I, that I can imagine sitting in his classroom would be a little on the intimidating side. I hope he’s not too bad of a. Too bad of a grader, right?

yeah. Yeah. He’s, he’s amazing. You know, there’s like, he’s just in a different league from all the rest of us.

He’s just amazing. He

he’s got, he’s got some kind of mind, almost like a mutant or something. And I think that is an excellent place to end part one of this fascinating interview with Dr. Mike Laona. By the time you’re able to download this episode, part two is going to be available in your podcast feed.

So go ahead and pick it up in that episode, upcoming, we are going to be talking to Dr. Laona about Dr. Bart. Irman the most not. And famous religious scholar in the United States of America today, maybe in the entire world. We’re also going to ask Dr. Lacona questions about how he would share his faith.

If he just had a 92nd elevator ride or how he would share his faith, if he had a one hour airplane ride with somebody. So you’re gonna wanna stay tuned for that. It will be in your feed as you hear this. Thank you all for listening. Good day to you. And God’s speed.

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