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Apologetics Profile
Making a Case for the Christian Faith
Category: Christianity
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James Walker is a former 4th-generation Mormon who converted to Christianity. He is president of Watchman Fellowship, an evange...


by James Walker
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February 22, 2021 01:00 AM PST

[NOTE: This podcast is also available on video here: https://youtu.be/fMUF_y9q1ew]

Chances are, if you are actively sharing your faith on social media to any degree, or if you have children or grandchildren away at college, or if you're out for a stroll in a public park, you may have or will eventually encounter a "street epistemologist." 

What is street epistemology? It is a movement within the atheist and skeptic community which began from a 2013 book A Manual For Creating Atheists written by atheist and philosopher Peter Boghossian. 

Though Boghossian himself is no longer actively involved in the movement today, it nevertheless has remained a popular and growing trend among skeptics in engaging Christians and other theists in conversation with the intent to cause doubt and, as the book title says clearly, create atheists. 

Street Epistemology or SE for short, is a kind of dialectical method that incorporates carefully crafted Socratic-like questions about a Christian's level of confidence in their belief in God. The SE'er will ask several questions, without ever directly engaging in factual discussions about Christianity, but will instead ask specific philosophical questions about how and why a Christian holds to the confidence of their belief, with the intent of causing doubt. 

To this day, it remains a movement within the atheist and skeptic community, though many who practice SE will often converse about other topics such as karma, new age mysticism, other religions, politics, alternative medicines and many others. 

But the most popular videos on YouTube of SE practitioners are those where believers are suddenly questioning their beliefs within the span of a very brief conversation. 

Sadly, this method has had "success" in catching Christians unaware, many unprepared or simply unable to provide solid answers to the questions put to them, especially regarding the definition and use of the word "faith" which to this day remains a primary target of SE disciples. 

It is not a cult or a secret organization with a hierarchy of leadership, but an open and publicly practiced technique, complete with a comprehensive website (StreetEpistemology.com), YouTube videos, and a growing and influential social-media presence.  

On this special two-part episode, Watchman staff apologist Daniel Ray and Watchman Senior Apologist Brady Blevins take you inside the movement and give you a first-hand account of Peter Boghossian, the leading practitioners of SE, how to recognize it, and how to respond with confidence and truth. 

On Part 1 we examine the work and background of Peter Boghossian and talk about the basics of what SE is. 

STREET EPISTEMOLOGY RESOURCES

Daniel has also written a 4-page Profile on Peter Boghossian and produced three additional videos on Street Epistemology for you to share with anyone you know who may have encountered SE online or at college. 

Street epistemology videos featured in this podcast/video

Dr. Brady Blevins, Senior Apologist with Watchman Fellowship, is a featured speaker and writer with the ministry. He also serves as the editor of our Profile Notebook. He holds a BS in Bible and Pastoral Ministries from Arlington Baptist College, a MA in Counseling from Dallas Baptist University and a Doctorate in Educational Ministries from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. For more information: www.watchman.org/staff/BradyBlevinsBio.pdf.

Daniel Ray, Staff Apologist at Watchman Fellowship, is a speaker, writer, and podcast producer with the ministry. He holds a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies from Austin Peay State University and an MA in Cultural Apologetics from Houston Baptist University. He is coeditor and cowriter of The Story of the Cosmos, How the Heavens Declare the Glory of God. For more information: www.watchman.org/staff/DanielRayBio.pdf.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

February 15, 2021 01:00 AM PST

This week's episode of Apologetics Profile is the conclusion of a two part discussion on apologetics and evangelism featuring our Senior Apologist, Dr. Brady Blevins and staff apologist Daniel Ray. In this series, Daniel and Brady discuss practical principles of communication that we can apply to our personal Christian apologetics and relational evangelism.

Dr. Brady Blevins, Senior Apologist with Watchman Fellowship, is a featured speaker and writer with the ministry. He also serves as the editor of our Profile Notebook. He holds a BS in Bible and Pastoral Ministries from Arlington Baptist College, a MA in Counseling from Dallas Baptist University and a Doctorate in Educational Ministries from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. For more information: www.watchman.org/staff/BradyBlevinsBio.pdf.

Daniel Ray, Staff Apologist at Watchman Fellowship, is a speaker, writer, and podcast producer with the ministry. He holds a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies from Austin Peay State University and an MA in Cultural Apologetics from Houston Baptist University. He is coeditor and cowriter of The Story of the Cosmos, How the Heavens Declare the Glory of God. For more information: www.watchman.org/staff/DanielRayBio.pdf.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depressionby Zack Eswine: https://amzn.to/3rw7ADD

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

February 08, 2021 01:00 AM PST

This week's episode of Apologetics Profile is the first of a two part discussion on apologetics and evangelism featuring our Senior Apologist, Dr. Brady Blevins and staff apologist Daniel Ray.

Last week we concluded our discussion with professor of communication, Dr. Steven Beebee, about the legendary Christian apologist C.S. Lewis and the skills and techniques he used to be such an effective communicator. In this series, Daniel and Brady discuss practical principles of communication that we can apply to our personal Christian apologetics and relational evangelism.

Dr. Brady Blevins, Senior Apologist with Watchman Fellowship, is a featured speaker and writer with the ministry. He also serves as the editor of our Profile Notebook. He holds a BS in Bible and Pastoral Ministries from Arlington Baptist College, a MA in Counseling from Dallas Baptist University and a Doctorate in Educational Ministries from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. For more information: www.watchman.org/staff/BradyBlevinsBio.pdf.

Daniel Ray, Staff Apologist at Watchman Fellowship, is a speaker, writer, and podcast producer with the ministry. He holds a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies from Austin Peay State University and an MA in Cultural Apologetics from Houston Baptist University. He is coeditor and cowriter of The Story of the Cosmos, How the Heavens Declare the Glory of God. For more information: www.watchman.org/staff/DanielRayBio.pdf.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depression, by Zack Eswine: https://amzn.to/3rw7ADD

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

February 01, 2021 01:00 AM PST

Are we consciously aware of how we choose our words? Are we cognizant of what kind of tacit impressions our words have on others? Are we loving our neighbors in such a way that we can understand their language? Their experiences? Can we translate what we know to those who have little familiarity with what is so familiar to us? 

How can we effectively share the Gospel with those who are lost? How do we plant seeds? How do we water? How do we harvest? Shockingly, much of the work of evangelizing and discipleship is in wisely using our words. Jesus commands us to go into all the world, proclaiming His truth, but do we know the world well enough to be able to communicate effectively and redemptively with them? Do we have the right words? 

On part two of our conversation with professor of communication Dr. Steven A. Beebe, we explore more in depth about how C.S. Lewis’s conversion to Christianity equipped him with the remarkable ability to reach an enormously broad audience, even long after his death in 1963. How is it that Lewis could be such an effective communicator? How did his Christian faith inform the way in which he communicated and what can we learn in our own attempts at sharing Christ with others? 

From a small biscuit tin garden made by his brother to his trip to the Whipsnade Zoo in the sidecar of his brother’s motorcycle, to the prolific volumes of correspondence and professional writing, Lewis’s life stands as an example of the impact we can have if we too, by the grace of God, choose our words carefully.

ABOUT STEVEN A. BEEBE: Dr. Beebe is Regents' and University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Texas State University. He served as Chair of his department at Texas State for 28 years and concurrently as Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication for 25 years. Prior to joining the faculty at Texas State he was a tenured member of the Communication faculty at the University of Miami for 10 years. He is author and co-author of fourteen books (with editions totaling more than 75 books) that have been used at hundreds of colleges and universities (including international, Canadian, Russian and Chinese editions) by several million students throughout the world. Steve’s research focuses on instructional communication and communication skill development.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

January 25, 2021 01:00 AM PST

We at Watchman Fellowship are committed to helping and equipping the church to effectively communicate the Gospel to those of other religions and worldviews. But such communication is never really easy.

  • The first step in being able to successfully articulate the Gospel is a relatively simple one, though -- Being familiar with the message
  • The second step is to know the language of your audience. Are they Mormons? Atheists? Muslims? Jehovah’s Witnesses? 

The wisdom and skill in effective communication is to be able to translate the message of the Gospel to your audience, using reason, imagination, metaphors, story, and parable, just as Jesus did. If you’ve ever tried sharing the Gospel with people, you have likely experienced the need to further clarify what you are trying to share to people unfamiliar with language that is familiar and common to you. How do you explain the atonement to atheists? The Trinity to Muslims? The Deity of Jesus to Jehovah’s Witnesses? 

On this special two-part episode with communications professor Dr. Steven A. Beebe, we look into the craft and techniques of communication used by C.S. Lewis. How have Lewis’s works become so widely popular and influential in communicating the Christian faith to people? What can we learn from Lewis as we try to communicate the truth of God’s word to a non-Christian world that neither understands nor accepts it? 

In part one, Dr. Beebe shares how he became interested in Lewis and how Lewis’s ability to communicate makes his readers feel that they have a genuine relationship with the author. 

ABOUT STEVEN A. BEEBE: Dr. Beebe is Regents' and University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Texas State University. He served as Chair of his department at Texas State for 28 years and concurrently as Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication for 25 years. Prior to joining the faculty at Texas State he was a tenured member of the Communication faculty at the University of Miami for 10 years. He is author and co-author of fourteen books (with editions totaling more than 75 books) that have been used at hundreds of colleges and universities (including international, Canadian, Russian and Chinese editions) by several million students throughout the world. Steve’s research focuses on instructional communication and communication skill development.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

January 18, 2021 01:00 AM PST
In part two, Dr. Brady Blevins and Daniel Ray conclude their discussion of the controversy surrounding Bikram Yoga and its fugitive founder who fled the US refusing to pay a $7 million court-ordered judgement.
Bikram Choudhury and his trademarked Bikram Yoga has attracted significant media scrutiny as accusations from former students and associates have multiplied. The media accounts mainly focused on these credible abuse allegations and on fact-checking questionable claims Choudhury has made about his past. This episode of Apologetics Profile goes beyond those concerns to examine the underlying doctrines and theology at the foundation of Bikram Yoga and to evaluate those beliefs from a Christian perspective.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

January 11, 2021 01:00 AM PST
In this episode, Dr. Brady Blevins and Daniel Ray discuss the controversy surrounding Bikram Yoga and its founder. Facing a warrant for his arrest from the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Bikram Choudhury, the guru who founded Bikram Yoga, has fled the United States refusing to pay a court-ordered judgement of about $7 million in damages. This judgement resulted from a wrongful termination and sexual harassment lawsuit filed by his former legal adviser, Minakshi Jafa-Boden. But as Daniel and Brady discovered, the legal, ethical and spiritual controversies surrounding Bikram Yoga go much deeper than this one lawsuit.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

January 04, 2021 01:00 AM PST
In part 2, James Walker continues his discussion with Naomi Wright about her unique journey out of a polygamous cult led by her father to faith in Jesus Christ. Her religion was a radical breakoff of a controversial sect founded by William Branham. Her father borrowed many of Branham's doctrines including "serpent seed," legalism, works-based salvation and anti-Trinitarianism then added in other elements from Oneness Pentecostalism. On this doctrinal foundation, he introduced the practice of polygamy and the claim that the group's leaders were immortal.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

December 28, 2020 01:00 AM PST
James Walker interviews Naomi Wright about her unique journey out of a polygamous cult led by her father to faith in Jesus Christ. Her religion was a radical breakoff of a controversial sect founded by William Branham. Her father borrowed many of Branham's doctrines including "serpent seed," legalism, works-based salvation and anti-Trinitarianism then added in other elements from Oneness Pentecostalism. On this doctrinal foundation, he introduced the practice of polygamy and the claim that the group's leaders were immortal.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

December 21, 2020 03:00 AM PST
Daniel Grissom was one of Jehovah's Witnesses when he first connected with James Walker and the Watchman Fellowship ministry team. By God's grace, Daniel left the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society for the grace of Jesus Christ and now serves on our Board of Directors. In this episode (part two) we conclude our discussion. Daniel talks about the importance of discipleship and how to talk with the Jehovah's Witnesses when they knock on your door:
  • Is the average Christian church equipped to help former Jehovah's Witnesses transition to the true gospel of the grace of Christ?
  • What is one of the best questions we can ask a Jehovah's Witness?
  • How can a "SEE" (significant emotional event) be a catalyst for spiritual transition?
  • Besides the Bible, what one book helped Daniel clearly see the Jehovah's Witnesses errors?
  • Why did Daniel join the leadership team as a board member at Watchman Fellowship?
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FREE: We are also offering a free subscription to our 4-page bimonthly Profiles here: www.watchman.org/Free.

SUPPORT: Help us create more content like this. Make a tax-deductible donation here: www.watchman.org/give.

Apologetics Profile is a ministry of Watchman Fellowship
For more information, visit www.watchman.org © Watchman Fellowship, Inc.

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