I'm a person sincerely interested in seeking religious truth, for years I studied and did my best to seek out the truth about God's existence, the existence and nature of the afterlife and which religion might be true and/or endorsed by God. At the end of my searching, I came to the conclusion that Christianity is the religion that God wants me to follow and believe. I hope to help other "real seekers" in their journey to finding the same truth that I did.
I (Dale) was a guest on David Smalley's Dogma Debates Podcast to discuss the important Abraham Test issue and whether it is moral to be willing to sacrifice your child if you knew that a Morally Perfect God told you to do so. After some initial small talk on some side issues, we get straight into assessing this question philosophically in the light of the 3 main sources of Moral disagreement (i) Factual differences, ii) differences on the nature of the affected Moral principle/s & iii) differences on the Moral Hierarchy).
The topic starts around the 1 hour mark.
This was not my finest hour, I was not expecting David to be as emotional as he was in this show. In this old episode of S&S, David Johnson (the Atheist) tries to lay out his case for why he thinks the Bible (or at least some of its passages) is/are "atrocious". The ambiguity of the Creation account in Genesis and the immorality of slavery being allowed and Christian exclusivity are vigorously argued by the Atheist to disprove Christianity. There were definitely some explosive or passionate moments in this one.
It is finally here! Intelligent Design (ID) experts Dr. Michael Behe and Marvin Wallace join me to correct the record about the ID vs. Evolution debate. The very latest in the scientific evidence, experiments and interpretations is discussed in order to provide the truth over and against much of the "fake news" misinformation that surrounds the scientific validity of the "ID" movement and the inference to intelligent design in biology.
In this special episode, Dr. Gary Habermas, fresh from completing the Rough draft of his 5000 page+ magnum opus on the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus, joins me to discuss the very latest research on the evidence from the early Christian Creeds that pre-date the NT writings and in some cases probably go back to the very year Christ was crucified!
This was the continuation of the Round Table we did with S&S hosts (David Johnson and myself) & 4A hosts (Andrew Knight and Matthew Taylor) where we reviewed David and Andrew's performance in their discussion with Justin Brierly and Randal Rauser on the Unbelievable podcast discussing their books.
This was the very first Round Table we ever did, S&S hosts (David Johnson and myself) & 4A hosts (Andrew Knight and Matthew Taylor) review David and Andrew's performance in their discussion with Justin Brierly and Randal Rauser on the Unbelievable podcast discussing their books.
In this special episode, I'm joined by Christian apologist Dr. Tony Costa and Christian defense attorney Teddi Pappas to discuss religion and politics. The show revolves around three main areas of focus in relation to the current political landscape increasingly dominated by cultural Marxist ideology; i) the value of the Gospel truth, ii) Christian morality, and iii) the Christian's attitude toward the government/society.
This is the second episode I've done with Dr. Dale Tuggy on the Trinity. Having covered the philosophical/logical coherence of Trinity Monotheism in the last episode, we now turn to look and see if Trinitarianism and the Trinity Monotheism model in particular is consistent with the biblical material in the New Testament.
In this episode, I continue to assess the warrant for the first of the three premises of our Cosmological argument, this time providing a second Philosophical Argument proving the Universe began to exist by showing that forming an actual infinite via successive addition is impossible.
In this episode, I begin my new solo series on the evidences/arguments in favour and against the existence of God. I start with the Cosmological Argument (aka. the Argument from the Contingency of the Universe) as we assess the warrant for the first of the three premises of the argument.
Fellow Christian, Chris Date, joins me in this episode to discuss the merits of Calvinism and to compare/contrast the Doctrines of "Meticulous Divine Providence" & Predestination/Election within the Calvinist (Compatibilist) vs. Molinist (Libertarian Freewill) perspectives.
Part 2 finishes off our conversation on Calvinism by looking at the soteriological doctrines of Predestination and Election (i.e. is it conditional or not).
Fellow Christian, Chris Date, joins me in this episode to discuss the merits of Calvinism and to compare/contrast the Doctrines of "Meticulous Divine Providence" & Predestination/Election within the Calvinist (Compatibilist) vs. Molinist (Libertarian Freewill) perspectives.
Part 1 features our discussion on meticulous divine providence and how the 5 aspects of "freedom" (ability condition, control condition, rationality condition, nature of causation and personal agency) in relation to how a Calvinist would address the issues compared to a Molinist/Arminian.
Was Abraham justified in placing his faith in God and obeying God's command to kill Isaac? I answer yes he was and further I outline some of the relevant factors that account for moral disagreement on this issue; i) Factual differences, ii) Disagreement on the nature of the violated moral principle/s & iii) Differences on the Moral Hierarchy.
In this episode, I'm joined by fellow Christian apologist and philosopher Marvin Wallace, to discuss morality and the field of ethics. We first discuss what differentiates moral truths from non-moral ones, normative ethical theories and the significance of objective morality for Theistic belief.
I'm joined by Dr. Dale Tuggy, a Biblical Unitarian and expert on the issue of the Trinity. In this show, we focus on assessing the logical coherence of a model for making sense of the Trinity; namely the one proposed by Drs. William Lane Craig and JP Moreland, called the “Trinity Monotheism” model.
In this 4th and final S&S episode on Messianic Prophecy, I finish off my minimal case by arguing that the Jewish Messiah must come prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. We address Daniel 9 and Haggai 2 to prove that the Messiah had to come by that time to fulfill his mission in part before that time.
I moderate a discussion on the intelligent design debate in biological cases, specifically the origin of the information in DNA. The debate is between ID advocate David Pallmann from "Faith because of Reason" and Proselytize or Apostatize vs. David J. from the Skeptics and Seekers Podcast (traditional evolutionist).
With Part 3 in our series on Messianic Prophecies and my “Jesus or Bust” circumstantial argument, we will focus exclusively on perhaps the most famous Messianic prophecy of all time- the Atoning Death & Resurrection of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53.
In the second of four S&S shows on Messianic Prophecy, I further my new circumstantial argument from Jesus or Bust using prophecies related to the Messiah's mission from Jeremiah 31:31-34, Isaiah 49:6 & Zechariah 12:10.
Do the Messianic prophecies in the Jewish Old Testament prove that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and that Christianity is true? In the first of four episodes, I begin to lay out my case, not necessarily from fulfilled prophecy but from the fact that there is remarkable circumstantial situation whereby we can prove that either Jesus fulfills the OT Messianic Prophecies or else no one has/can. This unique circumstance in and of itself is enough to warrant that Jesus must be the Jewish Messiah and therefore Christianity is the one true religion of God.
In the very first show of S&S, David the Skeptic and Dale the Christian show their knowledge of the other side by revealing what they think are the strongest and weakest arguments that their respective opponents have to offer.
In this special episode of S&S, I'm joined by David Russell and Chris Date to discuss whether Hell is best thought of as quarantine zone of eternal conscious torment or via an annhilationist/conditional immortality view.
Alright, well after almost a year from my last Shroud Wars Debate, the time has come to once again pit a Pro-Shroud expert vs. a Shroud-skeptical expert to discuss the evidence from the Shroud of Turin. Both Mark Antonacci (Pro-Shroud) and Hugh Farey (skeptic) join me to do just that but this time around, there is a twist, my third guest Teddi Pappas, joins in to play the role of “cross-examiner” to assess both sides post their discussion of each topic.
The 3 main topics of discussion include; The dating of the Shroud, the main image features (ones most relevant to image formation) and assessing image-formation mechanisms.
This is the final solo episode that I posted about the Shroud on the old S&S website. In Parts 9 & 10 of our Shroud series, we shall be assessing the second major “Ordinary Artistic” mechanism- the Powder-Rubbing and/or Dusting technique (Assessing MRF's 5-7).
In Parts 9 & 10 of our Shroud series, we shall be assessing the second major “Ordinary Artistic” mechanism- the Powder-Rubbing and/or Dusting technique (the type of method that Shroud skeptic Hugh Farey favours). Round 1 assesses the mechanism in light of the first 4 "Minimal Relevant Features".
For about 12 years now, I have been tuning in every Saturday morning to listen to the Unbelievable? Podcast to hear a Christian and non-Christian engage on a key issue of theological, philosophical and/or scientific/historical debate. The host of that show is none other than Justin Brierly and as a fan of his, I invited Justin on to get his take on various issues that our relevant in sharing the Gospel with people in today’s modern world
Happy Easter everyone, world-renowned scholar, Resurrection expert and my own good friend and mentor Dr. Gary Habermas joins me to discuss his “Minimal Facts Approach” to studying the evidence for Jesus’ Resurrection
After having a great conversation on substance dualism with Robert L. White and Travis R., I realized that I kind of let Travis down by not giving the Meta-Problem of Consciousness my full attention during the show and thus, I took some time after the show to read up on it and present my findings and conclusions for people in this short 30 min presentation.
I’m joined by my friends Robert L. White (Christian host of the Robert L. White show) and Travis R. (Skeptical blogger from the Measure of Faith Blog site) to discuss various issues relating to the Mind/Body Problem. The topics we discuss include the following; i) Introductions as to who we are and laying out of our respective positions on the Mind/Body Problem, ii) The “Meta-Problem of Consciousness”, iii) The “Hard Problem of Consciousness”- What is the nature of mental properties & states (the Differences Argument & Knowledge Argument), iv) The “Hard Problem of Consciousness”- What is the nature of the conscious subject or substance itself (the unity of conscious field, enduring self & Modal arguments for the soul) & v) Addressing the Issue of Idealism (the 3rd Alternative to Dualism & Physicalism).
Luis Dizon, PhD student in ANE studies, joins me to share his extensive knowledge on the various evidences that Muslim apologists and believers use to prove the truth of Islam and how these evidences compare to their Christian equivalents. The pro-Islamic evidences include; i) The “Perfect” Preservation of the Quran, ii) The Argument from Inimitability (or Incomparability) of the Quran, iii) Scientific Foreknowledge Argument, iv) Argument from Prophecy, v) Historicity of Muhammed’s Miracles (vs. Jesus), vi) Ruqyah- Modern Miracle Healings & Exorcisms and finally, vii) Numerical/Mathematical Patterns.
In this episode, the Skeptic tries to argue that Heaven and/or Christian salvation (as disclosed in the Bible) is not worthy of his pursuits. I counter him by explaining that God is our Creator and Designer and would therefore knows what is best for us given our essential nature as human beings; as per classical essentialism and the Bible outlines exactly what we need. Only a defiant and willfully sinful person would deny themselves "the things God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).
In this episode I edited out the Audience Q&A portion of Part 6 after I explain how Criterion B. of my G-Belief Authenticating Event criteria work and then I add in the first part of my assessment of Walter McCrone's "Traditional Painting Hypothesis". It is scientifically proven that this image-forming hypothesis is false!
It is often claimed by Atheists that they simply lack belief in God and what's more they are apparently "rational" in doing so. In this episode we examine whether such people have a reasonable disbelief in God or are espousing an irrational Atheism (as per the Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism/Atheism).
The Atheist host of S&S, David J., is a radical hard-core Jesus Mythicist, but he wants to argue that perhaps the Mythicist movement should include more than simply those that profess disbelief in an historical Jesus figure, but instead anyone who doesn't believe in the full Jesus of Christianity.
In the first part of my study on the Shroud, we shall provide a brief introduction to what the Shroud of Turin is and address issues pertaining to the historical provenance of the Shroud. In the first place, we shall assess whether the Shroud date of origin is even relevant to the truth of Christianity and then we shall follow up with an assessment of the single scientific test that has caused most people to think the Shroud is nothing more than a “medieval hoax”, much to the consternation of pro-Shroud enthusiasts; the infamous 1988 Carbon 14 Dating test.
Continuing on in our final S&S Shroud Wars Debate series, we come to Round 4 whereby, once again, Shroud skeptic Hugh Farey will have to battle it out against a Pro-Shroud expert, this time around we are joined by Joe Marino to discuss 3 major topic areas. The topics include; i) Discussion of the dating evidence for the Shroud (includes Joe Marino’s notion of the invisible re-weave hypothesis to explain the 1988 C-14 dating & both the textile evidence and Pontius Pilate coins which are purported to put the Shroud firmly in the 1st century A.D.), ii) Discussion of the evidence showing the Shroud is or is not an artistic image from the medieval era, and iii) The anatomical, forensic and medical evidence proving (and/or disproving) that the Shroud’s image formation involved an actual human corpse.
Buckle up for another wild ride in the 4th and final installment of the Shroud Wars quadrilogy!
Well folks, its that time again! Round 2 of our Shroud Wars series. The topics include; i) Contra-Medieval Evidence #1– The Argument from Art History/Numismatic Coins via the “Odd Features” & other Points of Comparison (6thcentury A.D. or earlier), ii) Contra-Medieval Evidence #2– The 3 Physical Tests Conducted by Fanti (FTIR, Raman Spectroscopy and Tensile Strength of the Flax tests- combined c. 33 B.C +/- 250 years with a claimed 95% degree of certainty) & the Micro-Chemical Comparison Tests conducted by Ray Rogers (c. 250 B.C.-70 A.D.), iii) Contra-Medieval Evidence #3– The Argument from the Link to the Sudarium of Oviedo (6th or 5th century A.D. or earlier) and iv) Contra-Historical Jesus Case– Alan establishes that the Shroud probably did not belong to the historical Jesus and/or a Jew form the first-century A.D.
In the final part on the question of Shroud historicity in our series on the Shroud; I present some of the evidences both for the Shroud dating back to 1st century Judea and also provide interesting links with the historical Jesus himself. Furthermore, I try to fairly represent the Shroud-skeptics’ many claims that the evidence from the Shroud suggests that it can’t date to the first-century and/or have belonged to the historical Jesus (a Jewish man).
Part 2 in our Shroud study outlines the Pro-Shroud case for the historicity of the Shroud of Turin, here we provide 3 major “historical anchor evidences” which can be used to conclusively establish that the Shroud very probably dates back centuries prior to the medieval era- taking the Shroud all the way back to the 6th century A.D.
These 3 prominent “anchor evidences” include the evidence from; i) The Hungarian Pray Manuscript/Codex (1192-1195 A.D.), ii) The Art History & Numismatic (Coins) Dating Arguments (early-mid 6th century/ 540-550 A.D.), and iii) The Sudarium of Oviedo (400-570/614-711 A.D.)- the strongest evidence
In Part 5 of our Shroud study, we will finish off discussion of the final two “Minimal Relevant Features” (MRF’s) which will be used in evaluating the various image-forming mechanisms in Criterion B (upcoming Podcasts). This episode, we look at some of the various anatomical accuracies and bloodstain features present on the Shroud Man’s images, while also surveying 7 Additional “MRF’s”. In addition, we tackle various Skeptical Counter-features related to these features as well as overall Counter-facts.
This will be the first of two Podcasts discussing what I call the Shroud images’ “Minimal Relevant Features (or MRF’s for short), whereby I will discuss the first 5 such features which are relevant to the question of what mechanisms can account for how the images might have been formed.
Hypotehtically, if one could prove that the historical Jesus predicted his death and subsequent Resurrection/Vindication and further prove that Jesus was in fact risen from the dead, might one obtain double warrant from the circumstance of the prior prediction of such an amazing event? I answer "Yes" and surprisingly, my Atheist interlocutor also answers "yes" as well!
In the third installment of our Shroud Wars debate series, two Shroud experts, Bob Rucker (Pro-Shroud) and Hugh Farey (Shroud Skeptic) go head to head to battle it out on the 1988 C-14 dating and how the images may or may not have been formed artistically.
Well folks, its finally here! Round 1 of the big showdown between Dale (Pro-Shroud) and his nemesis Alan (the Shroud skeptic). The topics that will be covered in Round 1 include;
i) What is the Relevance of the Dating to Begin With? Even if the Shroud is Medieval, who cares!
ii) Pro-Medieval Evidence #1- The Memorandum of Bishop D’Arcis (1389 A.D.).
iii) Pro-Medieval Evidence #2- The Archeological Evidence from the Pilgrim’s Badges/Medallion (1349-1356 A.D.).
iv) Pro-Medieval Evidence #3- The 1988 C-14 Dating
I really like Anthony Magnabosco, his approach to ding Street Epistemology whereby he respectfully probes people of various worldviews to understand why they believe what they do is a very inspirational and I think, even as an Atheist, many Christians could learn a thing or two from Anthony’s respectful yet probing approach that allows people to be challenged to think harder about their beliefs without feeling defensive.
The former Christian co-host of Hinge and Room for Doubt comes on our episode to explain his recent deconversion but explains that he still sees many of the arguments for God and Jesus to have merit. He explains that he feels "Christ-haunted" listen to an Atheist and a Christian try to engage in a hypothetical tug-of-war to persuade him off the fence one way or the other.
In this special interview, Shroud expert and scientist Kelly Kearse has reached out to me to say that he’d like to provide a unique perspective on the Shroud’s bloodstain images specifically. He has authored multiple academic papers on the Shroud’s blood images (some of which are included in the sources section below). Kelly is also a member of STERA, Inc.’s Board of Directors. What conclusions can we glean from the Shroud’s bloodstains; is it real blood? What are their features and properties? What significance do they have in terms of natural image formation mechanisms and its possible link to the historical Jesus? All this and more is answered by this honoured guest.
Barrie Schwortz is one of the foremost experts on the Shroud of Turin. And we have him for an interview. Dale and Andrew pepper him with audience questions. Barrie is gracious and informative. David even pops in for a question of his own. No matter what you think about the shroud, you will want to listen to this one. This episode was done in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the scientific STURP (Shroud of Turin Research Project) Group in 1978.
In this really long episode 2 Atheists (David & Andrew) and a Christian (Dale) debate the Logical Coherence of various Philosophical models of the Trinity and Incarnation. Round 2 focuses on the Incarnation specifically.
In this really long episode 2 Atheists (David & Andrew) and a Christian (Dale) debate the Logical Coherence of various Philosophical models of the Trinity and Incarnation. Round 1 focuses on the Trinity specifically.
Dr. Sean McDowell is a famous biblical scholar and Christian Apologist. He is the son of legendary Christian apologist Josh McDowell but Sean stands out on his own as a world’s expert in the area of the historicity of the “12” Apostles of Jesus. Sean was kind enough to come on my Podcast and share some of his insights with the audience.
In this special treat, I (Dale the Christian) and my non-Christian university professor, Paul Bali, join Andrew and Matt as guests on the Ask an Atheist Anything Podcast. We discuss issues pertaining to the freedom of expression, the relationship between science and philosophy and how religious knowledge can impart wisdom for people seeking truth. It was a great show, enjoy 🙂
In this show, we tackle the question when it is that an Atheist bears the burden of proof when dialoguing with a Christian. Specific discussion on the burden of proof revolves around my use of Bayes Theorem, prior probabilities, the shifting of the burden of proof and my beloved Molinistic Defeater- all this and more is tackled by the Atheists in this episode.
Dr. Gary Habermas was not only one of own personal mentors during the time I was dealing with my own doubts, but he has come to be a personal friend of mine. My Atheist co-host David calls Gary- "the Dean of Doubt", and I'd have to agree with that assessment as he helps various people deal with their doubts all the time and has even categorized three different types of doubts; i) Intellectual Doubts, ii) Emotional Doubts and, iii) Volitional Doubts.
Dr. Craig Keener, a highly respected New Testament scholar known for his meticulous and comprehensive research details his research on the historicity of the biblical book of Acts. His commentary on Acts, takes an in-depth look at the socio-cultural historical context and is quite simply (in my view) the most well documented and researched Acts commentary ever written. His magisterial commentary utilizes an unparalleled range of ancient sources and offers a wealth of fresh insights and he shares some of those insights with us.
Dr. Lydia McGrew provides a different approach to reading the Gospels (and the Bible as a whole) in terms of assessing their reliability. She believes that Mike Licona's "composition/literary devices" approach is based on his misreading Plutarch and that it’s therefore inaccurate to draw the conclusions he’s drawn using that source. Further, she thinks that any differences in the gospels can be reconciled through commonsense harmonization efforts.
Dr. Michael (Mike) Licona discusses his views on the Gospels and how his research on their reliability; he argues that the majority of New Testament scholars now hold that most if not all of the Gospels belong to the genre of Greco-Roman biography and by comparing the Gospels to the works of Plutarch, he discovers that this genre permitted some flexibility in the manner that historical events were narrated via the use of various “compositional devices”.
We interview Robert Stanley from the Right to Reason Podcast to discuss various issues including; i) Is the Bible true?, ii) Religion and Politics- Is a Theocracy a good thing? and, iii) The Morality of the Bible.
Miracles. What are they? How does one identify and evaluate them? Are there any actual examples of such that Christians can point to? Two Christians and an Atheist come together to have a respectful and substantive dialogue to find out if there answers to these important questions.
The human predicament is something that continues to baffle the world's best and brightest- Why am I here? What happens to me when I die? Most thoughtful people throughout history have felt existential pains of wanting our lives to "mean" something, something that is supremely valuable and worthwhile in terms of a ultimate purpose. In this discussion Marvin and David assess whether such a "meaning" exists and whether it even matters or not.
In this episode, I interview my former University professor on his area of expertise; prophecy. As a non-Christian he has an interesting take on what prophecy is and offers his open-minded view on how communications from "higher beings" like God, might be understood, identified and used by us as human beings in terms of our religious beliefs.
This is the final part of my lecture series on Substance Dualism (i.e. the existence of the soul). Here we look at 4 skeptical arguments against the existence of the soul and evaluate 4 main physicalist theories of what the conscious subject entails.
his is Part 3 of series on Substance Dualism- here we address the second issue of contention of the Mind-Body Problem- providing Positive arguments for the existence of a non-physical conscious subject.
How does one go about Identifying and Evaluating Miracles of God in general. I argue that the Specified Complexity" criteria of Intelligent Design proponent Dr. William Dembski is the key.
Plus, I give my brief take on modern Miracle Healings specifically in this regard.
This is the second part of the series on the existence of the soul & substance dualism- here we assess the nature of mental properties and states (the first issue of contention of the Mind-Body Problem).
This is the first of 4 supplemental episodes on the nature and existence of the human soul (i.e. substance dualism); this will be an general introduction to the series and provide an explanation as to what the Christian position of substance dualism is about.
Robert Stanley of the Right to Reason Podcast hosts both Dale (Christian/Jesus Historicist)and Kevin Francis (atheist/Jesus Mythicist from the Left at the Valley Podcast) to discuss the subject of Jesus Mythicism- did Jesus really exist or not? Listen and find out!
In Part 1 of this series on Jesus Mythicism (originally posted on the S&S show), I evaluate the evidence from 4-5 ancient historians; Thallus & Phlegon, Cornelius Tacitus, Suetonius and Flavius Josephus to see if they can provide positive proof that an historical Jesus probably did exist. Do any of them accomplish this aim?- Based on at least 2/5 of these ancient historians, the answer is a resounding "Yes"!
In this short introductory Podcast, I outline the main mission statement of Real Seeker Ministries. Essentially, I want to help provide real seekers with answers to life's most fundamental questions regarding the existence of God, religion and our ultimate purpose in creation. After years of dedicated research, I don't claim to know all the answers with absolute certainty, I'm still a real seeker myself, but I've concluded that Christianity provides such answers along with the necessary warrant to think that those answers are in fact true. Join me as I outline why I think this is the case.