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What's Up at Reasonable Faith?

Time : 13:39

A look behind the scenes at Dr. Craig's recent travels and his very controversial new focus of study!

KEVIN HARRIS: Dr. Craig, you've had a chance to go to Brazil a while back, and I must say it did you some good! You look great! We want to talk a little bit about what has been going on behind the scenes at Reasonable Faith – some of your travel and some other things that are happening and some things that are coming up. I guess the Brazil trip was the big thing.

DR. CRAIG: It was a huge event for us. There is a tremendous following of Reasonable Faith in Brazil both on our Facebook page and in media. I have, I think, seven books now that are translated into Portuguese and published in Brazil. So there was great interest in this ten-day speaking tour. It took us to three different cities at which I spoke at conferences, universities, churches – a wide variety of venues. Although we were in different cities and were speaking to different audiences (I could have given the same talks again and again), I wanted to get these talks in Portuguese for our international YouTube channel. So I actually gave thirteen different talks on this trip with Portuguese translators so that now we have thirteen new videos in Portuguese on our YouTube channel to help reach and build the Portuguese church.

KEVIN HARRIS: I've noticed that we get plenty of questions from South America, from Brazil, and from the area, so a lot of people are paying attention to Reasonable Faith from that area.

DR. CRAIG: They really are. The Portuguese church is hungry for this kind of material because the church there tends to be extremely charismatic, very emotional, and so people who are asking intellectual questions are often unsatisfied with what they get in church. They really are hungry for this kind of material. It's exciting to see them reaching out and accessing our Reasonable Faith website and YouTube channels.

KEVIN HARRIS: I'm sure you have plenty to say about what you observed in the state of the church. We have a podcast coming up where we're going to talk about how the prosperity gospel (so-called) is widespread. We'll take a little time to talk about Brazil there as well in that podcast. Anything, just as kind of a teaser, as far as some of your observations?

DR. CRAIG: I think one of the things that struck me about the trip was the number of young, bright people who want to be involved in Reasonable Faith chapters. We have a couple of Reasonable Faith chapters there. One of the directors, Leandro Borges, traveled with us on this trip, and everywhere he would set up a Reasonable Faith booth and offer to people the opportunity to found a Reasonable Faith chapter in their city or university, and there was tremendous interest. Leandro did this all on his own expense. It was really extraordinary. He was so invaluable to us as a translator and guide and going around the country. The interest there among the younger generation in this kind of apologetics material was striking.

KEVIN HARRIS: Very good. Our executive director, Michael Lepien, really keeps things humming along at Reasonable Faith. Talk about some of the things that he's uncovered as far as statistics.

DR. CRAIG: We just had our semi-annual board meeting, and Michael included a sort of state-of-the-ministry report. What it showed is that when you compile the stats (the Google Analytics and other sites provide) for people coming to the website, going to the Reasonable Faith Facebook page, watching the YouTube channels, and so forth, we are impacting every month of 2018 more than one million people. By that I mean not just impressions (casual observers); these are engagements. These are people who engage with the material – they like a Facebook post, they watch a video, they read an article on the website. We have this tremendous audience of engaged viewers and listeners – over a million a month. And what's interesting also is that these stats do not include this podcast or the Defenders podcast. We don't really have any firm analytics on how many people are listening to those every week. We hope to get them, but those numbers would need to be added to this one million, several hundred thousand every month, as well as people who come to the speaking engagements or read a book. All of that is not included. So the Lord has really gone beyond my wildest dreams in terms of the number of engaged people that we are impacting every month through our multifaceted ministry.

KEVIN HARRIS: That's a lot of people. And growing, it seems.

DR. CRAIG: Yes, exactly!

KEVIN HARRIS: Any other travels?

DR. CRAIG: Well, I also was at this Dabar Conference at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School on the historical Adam. That conference that I went to the previous year was so provocative that I realized this is an area of my understanding of Christian theology that is deficient and needs to be strengthened. So I have purpose to embark on a serious in-depth study of the question of the historical Adam. It was fascinating being at this conference at Trinity interacting with Old Testament scholars like John Collins and Richard Averbeck, with biologists like Joshua Swamidass, as well as with philosophers like Michael Murray, and theologians at the conference. It was a tremendous intersection of scholars working in this multidisciplinary question. So that conference was very valuable.

KEVIN HARRIS: I want everyone to tune into the next podcast because we'll talk about that very subject some more. What's coming up in the future?

DR. CRAIG: We've got, of course, this fall the Evangelical Philosophical Society meetings and the Evangelical Theological Society meetings in Denver, as well as the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature which I participate in every year. But then with the new year I'll be out at Talbot to teach my two-week course in philosophy there. I've just received an invitation from Ben Shapiro while we're in L.A. to do a one-hour interview with him in his studio there that would be on his podcast. He is apparently one of the most-watched podcasters that is out there today – tremendously popular. He did a very positive recommendation of my book, On Guard, recently, although as a Jewish man he expressed reservations about the part dealing with who Jesus was. But I am anxious to follow up with him on that and talk with him about it, and so when I'm out there in Los Angeles in January I hope to do this interview on his show.

KEVIN HARRIS: That's gonna be great. I like him a lot. He makes so much sense. He's a young guy. He is just one of those guys that everybody is paying attention to. Somebody asked me the other day, You know, he's Jewish. What does he think about Jesus as Messiah? And I said I don't want to know! I like him too much! I'll look into that later.

DR. CRAIG: Well, I want to ask him.

KEVIN HARRIS: Yeah, which is good.

DR. CRAIG: Then after that we've got a number of international trips that are in the works. One that is pretty certain is Denmark. I'll be going to Denmark to participate in a number of philosophy conferences and hope to conjoin with that some evangelistic speaking at universities or in churches. Then we are working on a UK trip again, back to England. This would have an unusual focus. It would be on British prep schools like Harrow and Eton and Wellington and Winchester. These are elite schools – boys’ schools – that prepare the future leaders of Great Britain. The number of kings and prime ministers that are graduates of Eton is just astonishing. We had hoped to do this last year but it had to be postponed. So we're looking to do it now this year. Then finally we're working on a trip to South Africa. We've been contacted by folks there. Years ago Michael Licona and I did a wonderful speaking tour of South African universities, and we're looking to possibly repeat that. So there are quite a number of things in the works as well as some domestic speaking engagements here in the States.

DR. CRAIG: Bill, people sure like the videos – the Zangmeister videos – that have been put out.

KEVIN HARRIS: Yeah, this is what we found in the board report. When I started Reasonable Faith, shortly after founding the ministry we set a goal that by 2020 we would be reaching 1 million people per month. I thought it would be through the website. But it's not. The website is really a minor facet of the outreach of Reasonable Faith. It is these videos that are exploding – the two YouTube channels, the International YouTube channels, the Zangmeister animated videos. I got a Facebook message from a woman the other day that just illustrated why this is so. She said, My husband and I are interested in understanding why Christianity is true; not just God's existence, but Christianity. Could you recommend a video that we could watch. We know there are good books on this but neither of us likes to read. We prefer to watch videos. I thought in our culture today it is so visual that this has got to be the focus of our outreach – providing these kinds of video materials that can then be backed up and sustained by the website. But it will be these visual media that will be, I think, the way in which we impact the most people.

KEVIN HARRIS: Any more in the works? Thinking about any other topics?

DR. CRAIG: Yes. Zangmeister is working right now on two videos on the resurrection of Jesus. He recently completed the video, “Who is Jesus?” – about the claims of Christ to be the Messiah, the unique Son of God, and the divine-human Son of Man. But now this will be followed up by evidence for the resurrection and how do you best explain the facts. We're going to be using a Scottish voiceover for those videos. You may have noticed that in all the videos we use different English accents (Irish, Indian, American, Canadian, South African). We've reserved the resurrection videos for a Scottish accent. I'm looking forward to those being done. Then we'll probably take a pause on producing another English language video (because that pretty much completes your case for Christianity) and have Zangmeister work on getting these translated into other languages. We have a number of the videos already in Portuguese. We have people in the West Bank in Israel working on Arabic translations of the videos. As you can imagine, this isn't just a matter of subtitling or dubbing. The whole video needs to be redone graphically in order to put it into these other languages. So the Zangmeister is working with folks in these other countries to make these sorts of videos available for use in places like Brazil and Spanish-speaking countries. We're finding now, at last, tremendous interest in Latin America and Central America in our Spanish materials. That's very gratifying. We'll want to produce more of these videos in these other languages.

KEVIN HARRIS: Exciting as usual, and I'm sure that you covet everyone's prayers as you go through all these things that God and Jan would keep you.

DR. CRAIG: That's exactly right. We just thank the Lord every day for the tremendous ministry that he's given Jan and me! We're really having a blast.[1]


[1]                      Total Running Time: 13:34 (Copyright © 2018 William Lane Craig)