Thursday, December 07, 2006
You Tube and Apologetics
You Tube is now the rage, taking the net by storm, and all that. I wonder if there is any video there on apologetics. If not, perhaps someone could post a short lecture on the reasonableness of Christianity. Would it be censored? Would it do any good? What do you think? Or is it that all the content is entertainment and no instruction? I have only seen musical performances and a few short clips from elsewhere. Tell me what you think.
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Perhaps you should be the first. There are a lot of ways to do it. One thing is when discussing archaeology with it's relation to the Bible you could use power point slides. I've got a whole set of slides related to Biblical Reliability that I use when I speak to middle school kids.
The other day I searched youtube for footage of an old Keith Green concert. Not only did I find it (great stuff!) but also found a rare clip of him leading a bible study.
Unfortunately, I think he was much better at musical performance than biblical exposition.
Sounds like you're still thinking on how to positively influence the mostly negative but highly-accessed public technology that surrounds us. I still think (as I have commented before)that Wikipedia is a prime place for that kind of project.
Plenty of stuff out there. Search for apologetics and you'll find CARM's Matt Slick introducing himself. Search for W.L.Craig (hilarious for instance when inviting his muslim oponent to become a Christian based on the evidence) or Craig Blomberg (teaching at Denver himself).
The downsides are (1) that every search result will always contain trivial and/or disgusting entries, (2) that the comments are very annoying (for instance comments claiming that W.L.Craig has lost this or that debate whereas he obviously did a great job), (3) that youtube is a place where stupid people do a lot of stupid things (if you hate tv, you abhor youtube).
But then again. I wouldn't mind watching a Groothuis lecture.
Jay Smith, an evangelist and apologist in the UK has been making what I think is excellent use of YouTube to interact with the claims of Islam.
I think it's pretty much hopeless: in a 5 minute video there simply isn't scope for a serious scholarly inquiry into much of anything. To be honest, this is also the reason that I don't think public debates are the best forum for apologetics, though this is a grey area and there have been some excellent debates.
My countersuggestion would be to spread the word regarding good sources of classic works of apologetics that deserve to be rescued from obscurity. To that end, I suggest that people might want to begin exploring some of the great stuff that can be found here and here
You're right about a public debate not being a good forum for apologetics. We shouldn't however view you tube so much a public forum as an online video library. Used in that way it might help spread apologetics info. Not primarily in the sense of witness to the world, but rather as as tool for apologetics adepts like myself.
The W.L. Craig debate I referred to in my earlier post goes on for about 2 hours if I'm correct. So forget the 5 min. pep-talks. They have little value and their content is effectively undone by the nonsensical comments below each clip.
Once again, it should be used as a resource for Christians rather than a witnessing platform.
Can you give us a URL for the 2 hour WLC debate? I wasn't aware that one could post things that long on the site.
Check out this link
I found the Craig debate here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=arRWrDeU4RU
In response to yossman:
There is a difference, as John Mark Reynolds has said, between watching TV and making TV. It would be beneficial if we, as Christians, turned off the TV and read more. But it would also be more in keeping with the ideals of Christian living to create and export "culture" (apologetics being just one example) to both that format, and others; youtube being a prime example.
I asked Craig Blomberg is he knew he was on YouTube and he said, "What's that? The seminary filter won't let me get there!"
Tim: Brian beat me to it: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arRWrDeU4RU).
Brian: You're quite right about the fundamental difference between TV watching and TV making. There is a similarity too: On TV people search for what they want (sex, violence, triviality) and they get it served. On You Tube people upload what they want (sex, violence, triviality) so other people can get it served.
Yes, Christians should use all available avenues to proclaim the gospel and engage culture. And it is being done. Look at the apologetics and theology stuff available on the internet. It's quite impressive.
There is also a danger to Christian TV as can be seen with many so-called TV-evangelists. I tend to be rather hesitant when it comes to blending media and communications with the gospel. It tends to become too smooth and the Spirit gets replaced by the specialists. Being photogenic becomes more important than having a prayer life. Anyways, don't comment to this on this thread. It's an altogether different topic.
As far as You Tube is concerned: use it to up and download resources not as a platform for proclamation.
Well, sorry Craig Blomberg. Here is part 1/6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15vgqDurL6U&mode=related&search=
I think Dr. Steve Cowan has some video on there along with some other guys from the Apologetics Resource Center.
There are plenty of apologetic stuff on youtube. But there's some in google video, too. You can see a debate between Eddie Tabash and William Lane Craig on google here.
Also, there's a video of Greg Koukl.
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