Greg Koukl's Speaking Topics

Question and Answer Forums
Due in part to his three decades of radio talk show experience and extensive interaction in media situations and on secular campuses around the country, Greg excels in open, free wheeling, question and answer forums.

Q&A sessions can be added to the end of any presentation above and are especially valuable when Greg is speaking in secular venues. They can also be done as stand-alone presentations.

The Story of Reality (40–70 min.)
What is Christianity? Is it a religious system? A relationship with God? A philosophy of life? A roadmap to Heaven? Actually, it’s much more than any of those. Christianity is a story, a drama about conflict, love, betrayal, rebellion, self-sacrifice, and redemption. But this story isn’t a make-believe story. It is a story about the way the world actually is. It is the story of reality. 

In this talk, Greg narrates the Christian story—the Christian view of reality or world view—in a way that is refreshing in its simplicity and clarity. Greg describes the basic concepts that form the cornerstones of all world views, and the five simple words needed to outline the plot of the Christian account of reality.

(Includes some Bible exposition)

Tactics—A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions (Course: 4–5 sessions, 45-60 minutes each)
Are you tired of finding yourself flat-footed and intimidated in conversations about your values and convictions? Want to increase your confidence and skill in discussions, no matter whom you’re talking to? Then “Tactics” is for you.

Learn the techniques Greg Koukl has taught thousands of others that will put you in the driver’s seat in every exchange. You’ll learn specific skills to help you initiate conversations effortlessly, stop challengers in their tracks and turn the tables, graciously and effectively expose faulty thinking, present the truth clearly, cleverly, and persuasively.

Your conversations with friends can look more like diplomacy than D-Day. And you will be stronger and better equipped to skillfully present your reasons why Jesus Christ is the truth. 
(Contains material also included in “Columbo”)

Columbo—A Two-Step Game Plan for Maneuvering with Confidence and Grace in Any Conversation (45–90 min.)
Each of us as Christian ambassador faces two daunting challenges when trying to make a difference for Christ. First, we don’t know how to initiate conversations about spiritual things in a way that doesn’t seem awkward. Second, we don’t know how to keep ourselves from getting trapped or overwhelmed by others more aggressive than we are.

In this talk, Greg will teach you a two-step game plan allowing you to maneuver with confidence in any situation, no matter how little you know, and no matter how knowledgeable, aggressive, or even obnoxious your opposition may be. Columbo is the simplest tactic imaginable to help you stop a challenger in his tracks, turn the tables, and then get him thinking. And it can be done in a gracious and winsome way.

If you’re tired of finding yourself flat-footed and intimidated in conversations about what you believe, if you want to increase your confidence and your skill in discussions no matter who you're talking with, this talk is for you. 

(This material is included in “Tactics—A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions”)

Columbo—A Three-Step Game Plan for Maneuvering with Confidence and Grace in Any Conversation (90–120 min.)
This talk is an expanded version of the two-step game plan listed above.

Contend Earnestly for the Faith (45–60 min.)

Decades into the 21st Century, ambassadors for Christ face trouble on two fronts. First, there is an increasingly pervasive godlessness and almost militant hostility to Christianity in the culture. Second, there is a profound biblical illiteracy among believers. Consequently, it has become increasingly difficult to “contend earnestly for the faith,” as Jude 3 admonishes.

Paul faced the same challenge as he passed the torch to Timothy and entrusted the future of the Gospel to a new generation of disciples. His solution to both the trouble in the world and the trouble in the church can be summed up in three simple words: “You, however, continue…” (2 Tim. 3:14).
This talk is a practical encouragement for followers of Christ to fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith.

(Includes Bible exposition)

Truth Is Not Ice Cream, Faith Is Not Wishing (40–90 min.)
Two misunderstandings both outside and inside the church threaten to make our Christian views completely irrelevant. In a relativistic age, we are tempted to think of religion and morality the way we think of ice cream—we choose what we like instead of what is true. We are also tempted to think of faith as a kind of religious wishful thinking that reduces religion to a mere “feel good” placebo. 

In this talk, Greg brings clarity to both of these core elements of Christianity. First, he describes how the notion of truth has fallen on hard times (“There is no truth”), and how to clarify that for followers of Jesus there is a difference between believe and make-believe.

Second, Greg describes why he thinks the English word “faith” has become too distorted for any productive use and should be abandoned for a more accurate—and biblical—alternative. He then demonstrates, using verses from throughout the Scripture, why biblical faith is no leap, but rather an informed step of trust.

This is a talk that makes crystal clear distinctions that are central not only for evangelism, but also for a solid and secure walk with Jesus.

Atheism: Bumping into Reality (45 min.)
When making our case against atheistic naturalism, it turns out that we have an expected ally: reality. There are important details of the real world that atheists “bump into” all the time that make no sense in their materialistic world, but fit perfectly into the Christian account of reality.

Greg describes the remarkable explanatory power of the Christian worldview over atheism in three different areas that he calls, “the bump of stuff, “the bump of bad,” and “the bump of me.” 

This is a fascinating analysis demonstrating that in the contest between atheism and Christian theism, Christianity “is the best explanation for the way things are.”

Ambassadors for Christ: The Essential Skills (40–70 min.)
An effective ambassador has three essential skills. First, an ambassador must have the basic knowledge necessary for his task (an accurately informed mind). Second, he needs wisdom, the kind of tactical diplomacy that helps make his message clear and persuasive (an artful method). Third, the ambassador’s character (an attractive manner) will either make or break his message.

This talk will give some detail about what steps need to be taken in each of these areas for a Christian ambassador to make a difference in the culture of the 21st Century.

(Includes some Bible exposition)

The Intolerance of Tolerance (45 min)
Why are so many people mad at Christians lately? Why are followers of Jesus often lumped in with other “religious fundamentalists” as a dangerous threat to liberty in America? Greg suggests that the heart of the problem is confusion about tolerance. In fact, things have become so twisted that what used to be called “tolerance” is now intolerance. 

In this insightful analysis, Greg outlines what happened to cause the definition of tolerance to go topsy-turvy. He exposes what he calls the myth of neutrality and the myth of tolerance, and teaches a simple method to disarm the “tolerance trick.” He then closes by sharing what happened when he lectured to a packed audience at Berkeley.

This talk is excellent for either Christian groups or secular audiences.

(Contains material also included in “The Bankruptcy of Moral Relativism” and “Taking Jesus Seriously”)

The Bankruptcy of Moral Relativism (45–60 min.)
Moral relativism—the idea that there are no absolutes when it comes to right and wrong—is deadly to our culture, and deadly to the Gospel. Characterized by comments like “Don’t force your morality on me” and “Who are you to say?,” relativism is the engine that drives political correctness. 

In this talk, Greg exposes the myth of moral neutrality and provides compelling arguments—including the fatal flaws of relativism—to show why neither individual preference nor cultural convention is adequate to make sense of ethics. He then suggests practical tactics you can use to show others they don’t really believe morality is purely an individual matter. You will also learn how this “intellectual” discussion becomes a powerful tool to argue for the existence of God and every person’s need for a savior.

(Contains material also included in “The Intolerance of Tolerance,” and “Taking Jesus Seriously”)

Never Read a Bible Verse (45–90 min.)
Greg calls this teaching “the most important practical lesson I’ve ever learned as a Christian...and the single most important thing I could ever teach you.” His goal in this talk is to rescue believers from a superstitious way of reading their Bibles that causes silliness, confusion, and sometimes even disaster.
In this popular and thought-provoking presentation, Greg challenges the practice looking for secret, personal messages in the text and gives four biblical reasons why this is not a proper approach to Scripture. He then offers specific benefits of reading passages in context, using a handful of iconic texts as prime examples of verses taken out of context. 

(Contains material also included in “From Truth to Experience,” and includes Bible exposition)

Science & Faith: Are They Compatible? (40–60 min.)
The compatibility of science and faith rests entirely upon how one defines those terms. Is “science” an impartial search for truth, or a methodology in which the right kind of answers are more important than the right answers? Is “faith” merely religious wishful thinking, or a step of trust based on the evidence?
Greg reveals how a philosophical commitment to naturalism stifles the search for truth, and that rather than being hostile to science, biblical Christianity is the seedbed that gave modern science its start.

Evil, Suffering, and the Goodness of God (40–60 min.)
The reality of human suffering poses one of the most difficult challenges to Christianity. If God is absolutely powerful and ultimately good, evil would be banished. Instead, He appears too frail to oppose it or too sinister to care, and no one can believe in a God like that.

What is evil and where did it come from? Why does God allow it and what is He doing about it? Greg answers these questions and shows that only the Christian world view is capable of offering a satisfying answer to the problem of evil. You’ll also learn why the presence of evil in the world is one of the best proofs for the existence of God, not against Him.

Bad Arguments against Religion (40–120 min.)
It is axiomatic that otherwise intelligent people—doctors, lawyers, professors, academics of all stripes—make fundamental mistakes in thinking when it comes to spiritual things. 

In this talk, Greg examines some of those popular missteps—e.g., claiming there is no truth, confusing faith with wishing, arguing that evil is good evidence against God, assuming science has disproved religion, mistaking intolerance for tolerance—and shows that none of these offers safe harbor for critics.

Is One Way The Only Way? (45–90 min.)
The most offensive element of the Gospel and the most common objection to Christianity is the idea that Jesus is the only way to God. In this age of religious pluralism and political correctness, it’s the first claim jettisoned when Christian groups get the itch to become more “tolerant.”

In this talk, Greg first deals with “dead-end” responses like, “That’s arrogant, intolerant, and narrow-minded.” He gives a simple, but powerful, argument why religious pluralism is false, and then looks at the historical record and asks if we have any good reason to believe Jesus’ own claim about Himself. Finally, Greg explains in detail why Jesus is the only way by giving a powerful and moving account of the work of the cross.

(Includes Bible exposition)

Abortion: Only One Question (40–60 min.)
Our value as human beings is tied to the kinds of beings we are, creatures that bear God’s image. This image is what gives us our transcendent value, requiring us to treat all humans as beings with dignity and worth. Do the unborn fit into this category? 

In this presentation, you will learn to use one simple question to resolve what many think is a complex moral issue. You will also learn how to answer the challenge, “The fetus may be human, but it isn’t a person.” 

Greg has given this talk with great effect to both crisis pregnancy center fundraisers and also secular audiences.

No Pixie Dust: Truths of Spiritual Growth (40–60 min.)
Greg begins this talk with details of his personal journey to Christ, how someone who thought he was too smart to become a Christian ended up committing his life for the defense of Christianity.

He then brings clarity to the confusing nature of real spiritual growth, explaining that much of our frustration as Christians is often the result of unrealistic expectations of what true spirituality is like. Your own view of Christian maturity will change when you understand the four hard realities of spiritual growth that Greg outlines here. This talk is especially uplifting for those who are discouraged in their walk with Christ.

(Includes Bible exposition)

The Bible: Has God Spoken? (40–90 min.)
What kind of book is the Bible? Is it merely a book by men about God? Or are there any good reasons to believe that the Bible has supernatural origins? After all, it was only written by men and men make mistakes. Isn’t it all just a matter of personal interpretation?  

If you’ve been challenged with assertions like these, you need this popular talk. Greg gives six lines of evidence showing it’s reasonable to believe the Bible is not just a human invention.

In the longer version, Greg also tackles the deeply misunderstood issue of transmission of the Bible through time (“the Bible has been translated and retranslated so many times…”), making a complex topic easy to grasp and defend.

Jesus: Man or Myth? (40–60 min.)
There is a reason the ancient historical accounts of the life of Jesus of Nazareth do not start with the phrase, “Once upon a time….” The writers intended to report history, not fairytales or mythology. However, the internet is littered with allegations the Gospels are nothing more than religious plagiarism, a rehashing of dying-and-rising-god fictions of ancient mythology. Can the history in these ancient biographies be trusted?

In this talk, Greg answers that challenge. First, he uses evidence exclusively from secular sources to show that Jesus of Nazareth was a flesh and blood man of history. He then argues there is no meaningful similarity between Jesus and religious mythology that came before him, and even if there were, it wouldn’t matter. Finally, he shows that the Gospels have all the earmarks of reliable historical accounts.

Hell, Yes! The Terrifying Truth (40–60 min.)
Is Hell real? Why would God make a place of eternal torture? Isn’t that unloving?    
In this teaching, Greg talks about why the concept of Hell has fallen on hard times. After dispatching four false views about Hell, he then tells what Hell is like and why it is a good place, not a bad one.
After giving good reasons why we should take Hell seriously. This teaching will not leave you unmoved.

(Includes Bible exposition)

The Heathen & Unknown God (60 min.)
If hearing the name of Jesus is the crux of salvation, entire cultures would be consigned to perdition, reducing the Almighty to a petty racist. Is this just?

In this teaching, Greg will force you to rethink some of your notions about God’s love and His justice. He will challenge the whole concept of man’s noble pursuit of God and the assumption that people go to Hell just because they never heard the name of Jesus.

You’ll learn four things regarding the condition of man, and a four-part response to the problem of the heathen. You will also learn the real reason men are condemned. It may surprise you.

(Includes Bible exposition)

The Trinity: A Solution, Not a Problem (40–60 min.)
The Trinity is confusing, irrational, contradictory, and unimportant. Right? Not so. It’s vital to our understanding of the nature of God and much less complicated than you think. In fact, it’s a solution, not a problem.

In this teaching you’ll learn a simple, clear, and accurate definition of the Trinity. You’ll understand what the early church taught. You will also learn an irrefutable scriptural proof for the deity of Christ.
(Includes Bible exposition)

Decision-Making & the Will of God (3 hours)
This talk will make many listeners upset—at first. But many have told us that once they clearly understood the biblical teaching on the subject (it’s not what most Christians think), it changed their lives dramatically.    

In this careful analysis, Greg puts to test the conventional understanding of “finding” God’s will and being “led” by the Spirit by looking very closely at both the teaching of Scripture and the ways the apostles themselves made decisions.

By the end of the talk, you will see decision-making in a completely new light. You will have the tools you need to make sound choices leading to a deeper sense of relief and freedom in decision-making than you’ve ever known before.

This talk couples well with “From Truth to Experience” for an all-day seminar.

(Includes Bible exposition)

From Truth to Experience (1–3 hours)
The church is in a desperate struggle for the souls of men, yet our chief spiritual weapon in the battle—the truth of Scripture—is often neglected. Instead, our efforts are often directed at something else: satisfying an unhealthy hunger for an experience of personal revelation. We desperately want God to speak directly to us in some fashion.

In this thought-provoking talk, Greg examines three entrenched traditions in Evangelicalism that he argues have undermined our pursuit of biblical truth. Each has had a relativizing influence in the church, has contributed to biblical illiteracy in our ranks, and has led us into foolishness and danger. The antidote is simple: When all else fails, read the directions.

This talk couples well with “Decision-Making and the Will of God” for an all-day seminar. 

(Contains some material also included in “Never Read a Bible Verse,” and includes Bible exposition)

Faith or Works? Paul vs. James (40–60 min.)
Is a person made right with God through faith alone, or by some combination of faith plus human effort? Are we justified by faith or works? At first glance, Paul and James don’t seem to agree. Paul seems to say that we are justified “apart from the works of the law,” while James writes that justification is “by works and not by faith alone.”

In this insightful talk, Greg resolves this apparent contradiction, at the same time painting a powerful picture of what genuine, saving faith looks like.

(Includes Bible exposition)

The Invisible Man: The Case for the Soul (1–2 hours)
In a world increasingly dominated by science demanding empirical proof, the soul is easily dismissed as “the ghost in the machine.” Whatever cannot be reduced to something physical simply doesn’t exist.

The question of the soul—what philosophers call the “mind/body problem”—is central to classical Christianity. But how can we know if souls are real? And why does it matter?

In this fascinating talk, Greg turns the tables on science and reveals what cannot be seen from a microscope, offering five separate arguments—including powerful evidence from Near Death Experiences—that human beings are more than just their physical bodies. Greg shows that not only is it reasonable to believe in the invisible self, it also has eternal ramifications.

Setting the Record Straight: The Bible & Homosexuality (40–60 min.)
This talk has a single objective: to determine what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. Is the Bible pro-homosexual, as some claim? Have students of the Scripture been mistaken, deluded or misguided for centuries? Or has God already weighed in with clear guidance on this issue?

To answer these questions, Greg takes a close look at three passages: Sodom and Gomorrah, the Levitical Law, and Paul’s references to homosexuality in Romans 1. When Greg is finished, you will see that the Scripture is so clear on this issue that one wonders how it could be misunderstood. Greg then answers common objections against the classical view, including the claim that homosexuals are “born that way.”

(Includes Bible exposition)

When the Bride Is a Groom (45–60 min.)
Few issues are riding the cultural wave as high as the issue of same-sex marriage. But when challenged to defend the traditional view of marriage, too many Christians have little more to offer than “because the Bible tells me so.”

In this timely teaching, Greg presents effective arguments in defense of traditional marriage and answers the objections of critics. He shows the danger of giving in to the pressure to be politically correct, and then documents what the campaign for same-sex marriage is really about…and it’s not civil rights.

In the longer version of the talk, Greg sets the stage by showing what the Bible clearly teaches about the homosexuality. 

(Contains some material also covered in “Same-Sex Marriage Policy Briefing”)

Monkey Morality (45–60 min.)
Can Evolution explain ethics? Is morality in humans just a sophisticated adaptation “designed” by natural selection to promote the survival of the fittest? Or is there a deeper explanation?

In a careful, step by step fashion, Greg refutes the assertion that morality is simply an accident of nature. He explains how the evolutionary process cannot, even in principle, account for ethics and how all such attempts collapse back into relativism. Finally, he argues powerfully that the only reasonable explanation for the morality that needs explaining is not Mother Nature, but Father God.

Taking Jesus Seriously (40–60 min.)
Recounting three rapid-fire, intense encounters in national media, Greg demonstrates that although there is almost universally high regard for Jesus, neither non-Christians nor a massive number of Christians take Him seriously. 

In this talk you will learn what the historical record reveals that Jesus claimed about Himself and why we should believe Him. Then Greg tackles the difficult issue of why Jesus made the radical—and deeply politically incorrect—claim that He was the only way of salvation. This talk contains a very moving characterization of the sacrifice at Calvary and ends with Greg’s description of what happened when he lectured to a packed audience at Berkeley.

(Contains material also included in “The Bankruptcy of Moral Relativism,” “The Intolerance of Tolerance,” and “Is One Way the Only Way?,” and also includes Bible exposition)

Why I’m Not an Evolutionist (50–90 min.)
Evolution is one of the most controversial—and contentious—issues of our time. To many, those who deny evolution are in the same class as flat-earthers.

In this talk, Greg carefully outlines why he rejects evolution—not for religious reasons, but for scientific ones. He exposes the weakness of the two essential pillars of Darwinism in a way anyone can follow. He then gives three powerful empirical reasons to take Intelligent Design seriously. 

There is no need to pit “faith” against fact to refute evolution. An awareness of a few scientific realities is all you need.

This talk is excellent for either Christian groups or secular audiences.

No Other Name (45 min.)
Many Christians have been misled by what Greg calls the “confused confession,” that Jesus may be the way for Christians, but that doesn’t mean He’s the way for others. This confusion is a result both of the pressure of religious pluralism in our culture and also a similar distortion within the church called “inclusivism.” 

In this talk Greg shows it’s not bigotry to deny that all religions lead to God, but simple math. He then does a thorough biblical analysis of this issue, explaining the similarities and the differences of Old Testament vs. New Testament salvation—removing all biblical ambiguity personal faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation under the New Covenant.

(Contains material also included in “The Intolerance of Tolerance,” and “Is One Way the Only Way?,” and also includes Bible exposition)

Two Miracles (45 min.)
This talk looks in theological detail at the two most important events taking place during the most important week of the life of the most important man who ever lived: the miracle of Jesus’ death on the cross and the miracle of Christ’s resurrection.

In it Greg reveals the most important Christmas verse you will never hear on Christmas or see on a Christmas card, the specific reason why Jesus is the only way of salvation, and the four basic facts virtually all historians agree on that lead to the unmistakable conclusion that Jesus rose from the dead.
(Contains material also included in “The Story of Reality,” and includes Bible exposition)

No Road Kill (40–60 min.)
In this talk, Greg takes his decades of experience addressing audiences all over the world and distills the basics of communication into three simple principles that will help them avoid the most dangerous pitfalls to persuasive public speaking and put together a presentation that is clear, compelling and effective.

The Bible: Fast Forward (Friday night/Saturday seminar, eight 50-minute sections)
This course gives a practical historical overview of the Old Testament, emphasizing the unfolding plan of salvation as God reveals it through His covenants with the nation of Israel, and the fulfillment of those covenants in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. 

In this seminar, Greg will explain the flow of salvation history from Abraham to Jesus in a way most Christians have never understood before. Participants will learn the 12 main historical events of the nation of Israel from the call of Abraham to Jesus the Messiah; the basic elements of the Abrahamic, Mosaic, and New Covenants and examine their relevance for us today; and how the events, covenants and promises of the Old Testament come to their perfect focus and fulfillment in Christ.

Includes 150 page syllabus in printable PDF format.

Any Old God Won’t Do (50–60 min.)
Most people believe in God. But the word G-O-D won’t get them very far. The real question is: “Is your understanding of God accurate, and how can you know?”

In this practical talk, Greg tells why the old adage “All roads lead to Rome” is misleading and false. He outlines three different questions used to test a religion for truth. He then shows why belief that Christianity is the one true religion is reasonable.

Worshipping God your own way is not as important as worshipping God His way. This teaching helps you to know the difference.