Friday, January 1, 2010

Koukl-Shermer debate

This debate--between Gregory Koukl and Michael Shermer--was broadcast earlier this week on the Hugh Hewitt radio show. You can get the transcript of it here. Most readers of this blog know that Greg Koukl and I co-authored the book, Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air (Baker, 1998). Greg is a good friend, and a devout Christian. With graduate degrees in philosophy and apologetics, he is also the President of Stand to Reason, a Christian ministry that does outstanding work. (Although Greg has published a few essays critical of Catholic theology, he does so in a respectful manner, though I don't think he fully understands Catholic soteriology or the Church's view of Scripture. Nevertheless, virtually all of Greg's work focuses on those issues and questions about which Catholics and Protestants share common cause. For this reason, I encourage Catholics to mine Greg's website for his valuable insights). His debate opponent, Michael Shermer, is an atheist, and founding publisher of Skeptic magazine. He is also an historian of science with a strong academic pedigree (including a PhD from Claremont Graduate University). Both Greg and Michael are accomplished speakers and debaters, though I think that in this encounter Greg gets the best of Michael.

Greg's most recent book is entitled Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions (Zondervan, 2009). I highly recommend it. Greg, as his style, suggests and models many insightful ways by which Christians may share their faith and moral convictions. Both Catholics and Protestants will profit from this work.


K said...

I agree with you Dr. Beckwith, Koukl got the better of Shermer this time. I had hoped that the objective vs. subjective morality issue could have been revisited at the end. I couldn't believe Shermer was positing an 'both/and' with regard to morality being subjective and objective (I simply did not understand his point.). Greg certainly can think on his feet well. Its a shame there are nearly no persons in Australia who are of the caliber of Dr.Beckwith or Koukl who are defending classical Christianity in the public square. Best,-KJ

Paul Rodden said...

Although Catholic, I have been a fan of STR for a few years. (I first came across Greg on the Veritas site)

Greg is brilliant on relativism, however, there's one thing that puzzles me about this, and that is how he doesn't see Protestantism as falling fowl of relativism itself. Doesn't he hoist himself on his own petard?

I asked this in the STR comboxes once when it was relevant to the discussion, and I was slated, but also, Amy Hall wrote me a personal email which, in essence, told me to shut up.

Or, am I wrong and have I misunderstood something?

Did co-authoring the book have any part to play in your reversion?

If you know of something I can read on the subject of theological relativism, I'd be grateful if you could suggest it.

Thank you.