7 Apologetics Podcasts Worth Giving a Listen + 1

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Other than thought-provoking entertainment, especially when you’re stuck in a car, there are three big benefits to listening to the right Christian podcasts:

(1)  The right podcasts give you access to topnotch Christian scholars and thinkers, and these people have a wealth of experience and knowledge.

(2)  Even as a former seminary student and an avid reader, I’ve come to realize the knowledge I’ve gained from my podcast listening is substantial (and the effort is minimal). Plus, podcasts often point me to books and other resources for going deeper.

(3)  Podcasts are up-to-date, addressing current events and topics of importance to Christians right now.

So, even if you don’t have a long commute, pick a podcast to listen to while you’re folding laundry or mowing the lawn or eating breakfast.  If you can’t listen to a whole show in one sitting, so what? — Listen to it in parts, even if it’s just for 10 minutes at a time.

Way back in 2013, I wrote a blog recommending Christian podcasts, so I figured it was time to update that article. (Plus, I’ve been busy with other projects and ministries, so I’ve been neglecting GFTM!)

The first three podcasts listed below also appeared on my 2013 list. Clearly, these three have been staples of my listening for years. So, where all of these podcasts are recommended, the first three have stood the test of time.

 

(1) UNBELIEVABLE?

Unbelievable-

This British radio show is primarily civil debates/discussions between people of opposing views on various topics, whether it’s Christians debating atheists or other non-Christians or Christians debating Christians about issues within the church.

Justin Brierley, the host, does a great job of fairly mediating the debates/discussions, making sure both sides have time to flesh out their views and that the listener doesn’t get lost if it gets too academic.

Unbelievable? gives you a good introduction at controversial issues and exposes you to opposing views on that issue. The subject matter varies from current cultural topics (transgenderism, social justice, etc.) to topics concerning the existence of God and the trustworthiness of the Bible to other philosophical and theological questions.

Also, check out Justin Brierley’s Youtube series The Big Conversation.

 

(2) STAND TO REASON

STR

Host Greg Koukl has been challenged and tested for the over 27 years he’s been doing this show. He opens most episodes by sharing some thoughts concerning Christianity or a cultural topic, and then he answers callers’ questions on any number of topics encompassing Christianity — from personal application of biblical teachings to interpreting scripture to philosophical issues and apologetics.

Koukl’s ability to confidently, satisfactorily, and evenhandedly answer the vast diversity of questions he receives is testimony to his wealth of experience and what a valuable resource he is. Part of the fun of listening to Stand to Reason is thinking, “Wow, that’s a tough question! How will Greg possibly answer this?” and then listening to Greg’s response.

Also, check out Koukl’s two books, Tactics and The Story of Reality, and Stand to Reason’s website as a resource.

 

(3) THE BRIEFING

breifing

Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the largest seminary in the U.S., examines current world news from a Christian perspective.  New episodes are posted every Monday through Friday. In each 20-minutes episode, Dr. Mohler gives an overview of current events, and then he analyzes them from a biblical worldview.

The Briefing is a great, quick way to keep up on important news and issues that should interest Christians one way or another, some of which get lost in all of the noise of this media age. Dr. Mohler draws from a variety of established media sources, both left- and right-leaning, and he makes all the articles he refers to available on his website.

Dr. Mohler has a background in radio, so each episode is crisp, smooth, and professional. The historical background and insight Dr. Mohler often provides during his commentary is priceless.

Also, check out Dr. Mohler’s other occasional podcast Thinking in Public.

 

(4) THE JUDE 3 PROJECT

Jude3

The Jude 3 Project exists to help Christians “know what they believe and why they believe it” with a distinctive focus on the African American community.

Like most of the podcasts on this list, the Jude 3 Project does a great job of addressing theological, cultural, and apologetic topics concerning Christians, but it also does a great job showing how both historically and biblically Christianity is not just “the white man’s religion.”

The Jude 3 Project has introduced me to many Christian scholars addressing specific topics which concern the African American community (and should concern all Christians) that I wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. The Jude 3 Project is providing an important service (and becoming an important resource) to all Christians.

Also, check out their website for resources.

 

(5) THREE CHORDS AND THE TRUTH

3Chords

Three Chords and the Truth wins the prize for the best balance of being informative and fun.

Each 40-minute episode has three parts. The first part focuses on apologetics – arguments for the trustworthiness of the New Testament and the resurrection of Jesus. Part two is some brief  “geek talk,” where they discuss a “tough topic” in comic books, sci-fi, and fantasy. (Who would win in a fight: Gandalf or Yoda? What’s more powerful: the Infinity Gauntlet or the Elder’s Wand from Harry Potter?) Finally, they look at a classic rock song from a theological perspective.

Honestly, I’ve learned just as much about rock history as Christian apologetics listening to this podcast.

Also, Timothy Paul Jones, one of the hosts, is a wealth of information. Check out his books.

 

(6) THINK BIBLICALLY

thinkingbiblically

I just started listening to this weekly podcast, but it has two top-notch hosts, Sean McDowell and Scott Rae, professors at Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology, a key school in training Christian apologists. The format is easy: a 30-minute interview with a Christian author or thinker.

Looking through their backlog of interviews, I see nothing but names worth listening to on topics worth thinking about.

Also, Sean McDowell, though he’s the one doing the interviewing instead of being interviewed, is a great teacher. Be sure to seek out his other work.

 

(7) APOLOGIA RADIO

apologia

Apologia Radio wasn’t on my 2013 list of podcasts, but I’ve been listening to it regularly almost as long as my “Top 3.” If there’s a podcast on this list that’s going to ruffle a lot of feathers, it’s this one. Apologia doesn’t pull any punches (and they have fun while doing it).

They’re especially good with addressing atheism, abortion, and cults, like Mormonism. They hold strong stances on some theological views, such as Calvinism, presuppositional apologetics, and post-millennialism eschatology. (If you don’t know what those things are, you will if you listen to Apologia Radio long enough.)

Overall, even if you don’t agree with every stance the guys and gal of Apologia take, you will be challenged, and they do a great job of engaging the culture from a biblical worldview.

Also check out Joy of Apologia’s other podcast, Sheologians, and Apologia’s many Youtube videos.

 

(8) THIS AMERICAN LIFE

TAL

Though this wasn’t on my 2013 list, it certainly should’ve been. This American Life is not a Christian show, so it wasn’t on my last list and it shouldn’t be on this list, but I’m including it anyway. I’ve been listening to This American Life longer than every podcast on this list.

Each episode is an hour long and centers on a (loose) theme with (give or take) three true stories connected to that theme. The beauty of this show is that it often centers on people and things you would’ve never heard about anywhere else, and the stories surrounding them are engrossing, entertaining, and often quirky.

I love this show. No, it’s not a Christian show, but it’s professional journalism with master story-telling at its best.

7(ish) Christian PODCASTS worth giving a listen

podcast_radio_old

I have a long commute to work and I love music, but after spending several hours a week in my car, I easily overplay even my newest and all-time favorite albums to where I start to get bored.  Thus, podcasts are a lifesaver.

Other than thought-provoking entertainment, I’ve discovered 3 other benefits to listening to Christian podcasts:

(1)  The right podcasts give you access to topnotch Christian scholars, pastors, and thinkers, and these people have a wealth of experience and knowledge.

(2)  Even as a seminary student and an avid reader, I’ve come to realize the knowledge I gain from my podcast listening is substantial (and the effort is minimal).

(3)  Podcasts are up-to-date and current, addressing topics of importance right now.

So, even if you don’t have a long commute, pick a podcast to listen to while you’re folding the laundry or mowing the lawn or eating breakfast.  If you can’t listen to a whole show in one sitting, so what? — Listen to it in parts, even if it’s just for 10 minutes at a time.

To check out these podcasts, I’d recommend using itunes (go under podcasts and do a search).  This is the easiest option, but I have also included links to the podcasts, usually on the hosts’ websites.  (Click on the address in this article to connect to it.)

Since I have an interest specifically in Christian apologetics (the rational defense of the Christian faith) and theology, most of the podcasts here focus on those subjects.  These are the podcasts I most listen to and recommend:

(1) APOLOGETICS 315

www.apologetics315.com/p/interviews.html

Apologetics 315 is a great place for this article to start because it’s a great place for someone new to apologetics to start as well.  The format is simple: host Brain Auten interviews Christian writers, theologians, professors, philosophers, pastors, and pretty much anyone else involved in some sort of apologetics.  Not only have I benefited from the knowledge passed on in the actual interviews, but also I’ve learned of other great podcasts, books, and websites about Christian apologetics by those being interviewed.

The Upside:

Great in-depth interviews with lots of insight!

The Downside:

Some of the interviews/interviewees can be dry.  Some of the scholars use lingo that will lose those not in their field.

Also:

The website Apologetics315.com is a great resource itself!

Some recommended interviews:

Tim McGrew, Ravi Zacharias, Gary Habermas, Alvin Plantinga, Ron Rhodes

interview-brian-auten

(2) UNBELIEVABLE?

http://www.premier.org.uk/unbelievable

This British radio show/podcast is primarily debates/discussions between people of opposing views on subjects that fall into the realm of Christianity, whether it is Christians debating atheists or other non-Christians or Christians debating Christians about issues within the church.  Justin Brierley, the host, does a great job of fairly mediating the debate/discussion.  Some big names on the program include N.T. Wright, one of the world’s leading New Testament scholars, and Richard Dawkins, everyone’s favorite atheist.

The Upside:

Unbelievable? gives you a good look at controversial issues and exposes you to opposing views on that issue.

The Downside:

Episodes tend to be about 1 1/2 hours and sometimes that is barely enough time to scratch the surface of some of these issues.

Also:

The debates in all the episodes I have listened to so far have been civil.  Hopefully, they all are.

Some recommended episodes:

NT Wright on Paul, Hell, Creation, Adam, Eve, & More; Catholic vs. Protestant debate on Sola Scriptura [scripture alone]; Does the rock and fossil record point to Noah’s flood or evolution?; Darwin’s Doubt – Stephen C Meyer & Charles Marshall debate ID [intelligent design]; Is the Mormon Church having a crisis of Faith?

(3) STAND TO REASON

http://www.str.org/explore#&format=PodcastEntry

Another straightforward podcast/radio show: Greg Koukl opens by sharing some thoughts concerning our faith, and then he answers callers’ questions on any number of topics encompassing Christianity — anything from personal application of biblical teachings to interpreting scripture to philosophical issues and apologetics.

The Upside:

Greg Koukl’s ability to confidently, satisfactorily, and evenhandedly answer the vast diversity of questions he receives is testimony to his wealth of experience and what a valuable resource of information one man can be.

The Downside:

A single episode is 3 hours long, so you’ll most likely have to listen in parts or simply skip the calls that don’t interest you.  Also, sometimes I find myself waiting for Koukl’s opening monologue to end so we can get to the callers.

Also:

Did I mention how impressed I am by Koukl’s ability to smoothly answer the vast array of questions he receives in any given episode?

Some recommended episodes:

You’re pretty much at the mercy of what the callers have questions about, so any given episode covers a variety of subjects.  The episode listings give some of the topics covered, so just scan them and see what catches your eye.

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(4) THE BRIEFING

 www.albertmohler.com/category/the-briefing/

Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, examines current world news from a Christian perspective.  New episodes are posted every Monday through Friday, each episode is about 20 minutes long.  Dr. Mohler gives an overview of the news stories, and then he follows with commentary.

The Upside:

Great, quick way to keep up on important news and issues that should interest Christians one way or another (and are not always covered by the mainstream media).

The Downside:

Since it’s a 20-minute podcast and Dr. Mohler covers several stories, don’t expect a lot of depth.  (Though the amount of information he packs into 20 minutes is impressive!)

Also:

Being a SBTS student, I was, of course, aware of Dr. Albert Mohler, but when I first listened to the podcast, I was surprised (and impressed) by his smooth, radio-friendly voice, which reminds me of newscasters of old.

 

(5) BACKPACK RADIO

http://backpack.podbean.com/

I like Backpack Radio because the hosts take theology and apologetics seriously without taking themselves too seriously.  So don’t be surprised to hear some talk about G.I. Joe, Star Wars, or Mr. Bill between serious discussions about our faith.  Hosted by Vocab Malone, a former hiphop artist and current seminary student and pastor, along with two senior pastors, Vermon Pierre and Bob Korljan.  Pastor Bob, being the older, more experienced pastor, is a great foil and “straight-man” to Vocab’s youthful energy and goofiness.  The show is meant to have a “street level” young, urban feel.  It does this well without overdoing the whole “street” thing or underplaying the Word.

The Upside:

A good balance of seriousness and fun that few can pull off.

The Downside:

Sometimes the goofing around can get them off subject (but this also gives Backpack Radio its unique charm).  Also, they don’t usually have the “big names” some other podcasts do, but again, this gives the show its unique charm; the guests tend to be “everyday” types as opposed to fancy-pants scholars, which is part of their “street level” flavor.

Also:

Backpack Radio introduced me to quality Christian hiphop!  Thanks!

Some recommended episodes:

False Teachers & Lyrical Theology; Being Black and Reformed; The Mailman Apologist; Reformation History; Facebook Epistemology

BackpackRadio

(6) WAYNE GRUDEM’S SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY

http://christianessentialssbc.com/messages/

http://www.waynegrudem.com/

Wayne Grudem is one of the top biblical scholars in the world, and his Systematic Theology book is required reading for many seminary students.  These podcasts are recordings of classes Dr. Grudem taught at his church, going through his entire book subject-by-subject, covering all of the essential teachings of Christianity.  Do you have questions about the Atonement, the Trinity, or the inerrancy of scripture?  How about miracles or church government?  The person of Christ or the Holy Spirit?  It’s all covered (and more)!  Dr. Grudem also interacts with the class in discussions and addresses questions, which furthers understanding.

The Upside:

Like his Systematic Theology book, Dr. Grudem explains Christian theology in a clear, easy-to-follow manner that is not light on scriptural support or depth.

The Downside:

The series has long been finished, so there won’t be any new episodes posted.

Also:

Despite being a “big name” in the Christian academic world, Dr. Grudem’s humility comes through in these podcasts, and he’s a great teacher.  To have access to him, thanks to modern technology, is a huge blessing.  (And he might have one of the most contagious laughs I’ve ever heard.)

(7) SERMON PODCASTS

OK, maybe you don’t want apologetics, philosophical or theological arguments, or debates.  You just want to make it through the day and you need to be fed by God’s Word.  Most pastors post their sermons on itunes or their churches’ websites.  So, a simple search should bring up plenty of options.

Don’t have anyone in mind?

You can’t go wrong with sermons from pastors/authors Tim Keller or John Piper:

Tim Keller:

http://connect.pure.com/p#!/it/content/podcast/5228578-timothy-keller-podcast

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/redeemer-free-sermon-resource

John Piper:

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/by-topic

(8) RADIOLAB “THE GOOD SHOW”

Finally, I’d like to recommend a specific episode of NPR’s Radiolab, one of my favorite non-Christian podcasts/radio shows.  Radiolab is a science-based show that takes a theme each episode and explores it through highly entertaining and interesting segments.  “The Good Show” (Show #901 – Season 9) attests to altruism in nature, and indirectly confirms the Christian worldview of loving our neighbors, sacrificial love, and turning the other cheek.  The hosts start the show by stating that evolution is based on meanness (survival of the fittest), then they ask: Is there niceness in nature?  Trust me; check it out.  (Then let me know what you think.)

http://www.radiolab.org/archive/   *Season 9: The Good Show – show #901

**If you check out any of these podcasts, please be sure let me know in the comments below & to share your thoughts on them!**

Grudem

Essential reading & reference…