Greg talks about whether it was immoral for God to create man, the outward signs of a person’s salvation, where unbelievers go before judgment, the inspiration of Paul’s lost letters, and knowing heaven is real.
- Was it not immoral for God to create man, since man, not God, face hell if he is not saved? God rolls the dice, we pay the price.
- What are the outward signs that a person is saved and going to Heaven?
- If believers go to Heaven when they die (2 Cor 5:8) before the judgment, where do unbelievers go prior to the judgment?
- Were Paul’s lost letters inspired? If so, how could they be lost? If not, were only some of Paul’s letters inspired?
- How do you know heaven is real in the first place?
Melinda: Do we have to change our opening music? It looked like it scared you? You can’t risk a heart attack at your age.
Greg: Well, it comes on pretty strong, but then I was just twitching along to it there a little bit.
Melinda: Okay, I wasn’t sure if I had to do CPR or something.
Greg: Hi there.
Melinda: This is STRask, that’s #STRask because that’s how you send us your questions on Twitter. Tweet, using the #STRask. I’m Melinda, the Enforcer, with Greg Koukl, who everyone’s familiar with, and this is a program or short podcast. Greg’s on a timer. He only gets four minutes to answer the question unless I deem he gets a little bit more. Greg, Lent has begun, are you doing anything?
Greg: Lent has begun? Oh-
Melinda: Well, by the time this posts it’ll be Lent season, yes.
Greg: You know, I’ve got to – I guess you’re right. I mean—
Melinda: Technically tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, but by the time this posts it will be Lent.
Greg: Okay, yeah, yeah.
Melinda: Are you doing any particular devotion or meditation during Lent?
Greg: You know, I haven’t – I haven’t even thought about it. The show that we just did, I made a comment about how I was reading through Psalm 51 for Lent and that’s when it struck me, that was a year ago.
Greg: Because we’re almost there but I guess we are right on top of it. Tomorrow’s Ash Wednesday so, no, I haven’t really thought about it. I actually have been consumed with finishing up—
Melinda: Your book.
Greg: The story, yeah, The Story of Reality, formerly known as Credo. We’re not sure whether we’re going to keep the Credo part but certainly The Story of Reality part. Anyway, I’ve just been consumed with that so I haven’t given much time to anything else. I just now paid my bills for the month. I figured I better get that done before it gets too much later so, yeah, I’m just kind of preoccupied.
Melinda: Yeah, for a few years, and Greg just mentioned he did it last year, Paul Tripp, Paul David Tripp has a really good booklet, which is a devotional but it’s really kind of a meditation on Psalm 51.
Greg: White Than Snow.
Melinda: Devotions, yeah, devotions, poems. I’m not a big poetry person but these poems make you think.
Melinda: Yeah, it’s called Whiter Than Snow.
Greg: From that line.
Melinda: This one’s really good.
Greg: That’s in the line in Psalm 51. That’s how I got on to Psalm 51. I haven’t finished the book, you know, but so maybe I should just finish the book. I should pick up where I left off.
Melinda: That’s a good idea.
Greg: And keep going.
Melinda: Yeah, I always read the entire Psalm every single day, so every day for six weeks and it really begins to sink in. You begin to memorize it and learn it.
Melinda: It beings to inform your thinking and your prayer and stuff. It’s really good. I’ve done that one a number of years now, which it’s been useful to do it more than once but I’m thinking, he’s got a new book out called, Awe, which is kind of rediscovering the awe of God.
Melinda: A-W-E so I’ve been thinking about maybe reading that.
Greg: I wasn’t sure if it was A-H-H-H?
Melinda: A-W-E. So anyways…
Melinda: Yeah, but I mean, I just find Lent and Advent as good times to sort of break off from the kind of the normal reading and to do something in particular and go deeper into-
Melinda: A certain topic or certain Psalm or something like that or a certain passage.
Greg: We both come from traditions where Lent is significant, in Lutheran for you, and Roman Catholic for me. And I have left my Catholicism behind completely, although you know, because of your example, I think that embracing kind of a Lent, Lenten reflections and stuff like that is a good idea and just doing something that shows that we are anticipating or reflecting the events of Good Friday and reflecting on Good Friday and Easter. That is actually a sound tradition and probably we need more of that.
Melinda: I have found, you know, observing Lent and Advent by doing specific devotions prepares for those holidays and it makes them much more meaningful because it’s not just, “Oh, tomorrow is Easter.” I’ve been thinking about it for six weeks.
Melinda: You know, so anyways, let’s move on to the questions.
Greg: All right.
Melinda: Let’s see, first question, it’s really hot in here. Why is it hotter today than usual? Greg’s in here for two hours doing the other podcasts. All the oxygen’s gone already.
Greg: The oxygen was fine until you got in here.
Melinda: No it wasn’t. I’m just talking extra. Okay, first question comes from Twitter, Angelinthewest: “Was it not immoral for God to create man, since man, not God, faces hell if he’s not saved? God rolls the dice, we pay the price.”
Greg: Well, there’s that ticking again.
Melinda: It’s there every time. You just suddenly start noticing.
Greg: Well, it’s, you know, there’s a saying that you can win the argument if you can put the question. You get to control the terms of the question, you know, and, “Was not God immoral when…” okay. Well, what precisely is immoral about God doing what he did? That’s my first question. Well, man ends up in hell, okay? Well, that’s where man belongs if he’s broken God’s law.
Melinda: Nothing immoral about it.
Greg: What was – I think the implication is, it’s immoral for God to make a creature-
Melinda: Take the risk.
Greg: Right, take the risk would be a way of putting it and I guess that’s how they put it, and when there’s this awful thing that’s going to obtain as a result of this risk they’ve got. God does it, the action, and it’s really, we’re the ones who are on the line; God’s not. Well, that all depends. The question is whether there’s a justifiable reason for God taking the risk, okay, and who is in a position to know whether there’s a justifiable reason? Actually, in the new book I spend some time talking about this because it’s part of the problem of evil. Maybe God was not justified allowing evil. Well, who would know that and there are some things we’re in a position to know. Is there an elephant in the room? Well, I guess I would know the answer to that question because of the nature of the thing in question, but would I know if there’s a flea in the room, or a carbon atom for that matter?
Well, that’s different. I could look all over the whole room and not find a flea, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a flea in here, so it may be that there’s fleas that I don’t know about and I’m not in a good position to foreclose on that possibility, I guess is the issue. I could foreclose on the issue of an elephant being in the room. If there’s no- well, I don’t see one, then there’s probably not an elephant in the room. The question is this: was it worth it or was there a risk, more like the elephant in the room or more like the flea or carbon atom for that matter? I think it’s more like the latter than the former.
Melinda: How’s that.
Greg: That is that if God, whether or not God had a good reason, if God had a good reason to allow the evil in the world, or take the risk, or allow that knowing that man is going to fall and suffer hell, would we be in a good position to know that? The answer is, no, I don’t think we would be in a good position to know if God had an adequate reason. We would have to almost be God to be able to know that and so that’s why I’m not willing to-
Melinda: Which is, of course, the position many modern men want to put themselves in.
Greg: Well, yeah, they do. That’s why I’m not willing to accept the challenge as worded, you know, “God took the risk.” There was no risk. I don’t have any reason to believe it was a risk. Then, “Man takes the fall.” Man did the fall. Human beings fell. Now, was it worth it for God to allow that knowing it would happen? Well, we’re not in a position to know that.
Melinda: We don’t have all the data yet.
Greg: We don’t have all the data yet and if it were worth it, we wouldn’t know it. That’s the point I’m making with the elephant and the flea illustration. Consequently, I don’t think we can ascribe immorality to God for setting things up in a way that resulted in some human beings spending eternity in hell.
Melinda: I think, having read your manuscript that you’ve written so far, I think the way you put it in the book is that if there is a God who’s capable of creating a universe that’s good, creating all these things we see, raising people from the dead, blah blah, you know, all the things God could do, we have good evidence to think he did-
Greg: Yeah, right.
Melinda: Then there’s good reason to think this is a God who’s-
Melinda: Got reasons we don’t have access to-
Greg: That’s right.
Melinda: And couldn’t comprehend if we did probably.
Greg: Right, right. We have good reason to believe that God is good. We have good reason to believe that he’s wise and therefore this imponderable, I think we can leave in his hands and that’s the way the story leaves it, actually, our story, the Biblical story leaves it, in his hands.
Melinda: In his hands, right, and to finish everything, to execute perfect justice in the end in the future.
Melinda: Next question comes from Welch64 on Twitter, “What are the outward signs that a person is saved and going to heaven?”
Greg: Outward signs, well, a number come to mind that are not necessarily conclusive but, in themselves, I think it’s kind of a cumulative case because what we’re talking about, the way the question is worded, is what we see that allow us to conclude with some confidence that this person is in fact regenerate. James, I think, give us a good guideline there in James 2, the famous, “Show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works.” Notice that the issue he’s dealing with there is, first of all, faith. It is faith that saves, not works, okay, and he is talking about one that says he has faith but he has no works. Can that faith, that kind of faith save him? What James is saying is that there are people who can talk about it and then there are people who show about it and it’s the show about it that counts, not the talk about it, okay? When we see-
Melinda: But we do have to talk about it too.
Greg: Yeah, we do. Well, the talking that he’s talking about is people who are making claim about their own faith, not sharing their faith. That’s the talk that we have to do but when they make claims about their own faith, some say they make claims about their faith but there’s no evidence of the faith. Others make claims and there is evidence. It’s the second that he says we can have some confidence about, okay. There is a demonstration in our behavior that we take seriously what God wants us to do now, but there are people who are moral who are not Christians at all and don’t even claim to be Christians. By itself it is not an evidence. The claim of faith and the evidence of faith going together, that’s really important. Paul also talks about, Romans 8, a kind of trajectory, two trajectories and this is not his word, but mine, but he describes it there and he describes, if you will, the trajectory after the flesh and the trajectory after the spirit.
The people who are after the flesh, those are his words, do the things of the flesh. I think the concept there of doing things of the flesh doesn’t mean that you’re as evil as you can be, it means that you are just carrying out all of the kinds of things that people who are unregenerate carry out. They are on a lifestyle. They’re on a trajectory. They’re doing a – the way they live their lives is a certain way and those who are in that cannot please God. It’s impossible to do so, but Paul says, you are not – to the Romans – you are not in the flesh if the Spirit dwells within you. If you have the Spirit then you are not in the trajectory and the evidence of that is you’re putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and that comes next. All who have the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. They are being led by the Spirit and they are putting to death the deeds of the flesh. Led by the Spirit, sons of God, filled, those are all the same thing, putting to death the deeds of the flesh.
Once again, we’re back to a behavior that we can see. When I look at people who say they’re Christians and I look at their lives and there is nothing in their lives that is evidence for this, that is they look just like everybody else, they’re not nasty, they’re just as nice as the next guy, that’s great, but they’re not Christian. There’s nothing distinctively Christian about their lives. If there isn’t, then I don’t presume they are. There are a lot of people who prayed the prayer, who walked down the aisle, who trusted or they say trusted, but then they’re just on with their life. If I don’t see a life given to the things that God cares about, if there’s no trajectory after the Spirit, then I presume they’re not after the Spirit, they’re after the flesh. If they’re after the flesh, they cannot please God. It’s impossible for them to do so. In fact, they are at war with God and that’s what Paul says in Romans 8.
Melinda: Next question comes from Diashion, “If believers go to heaven when they die, 2 Corinthians 5:8, before the judgment, where do unbelievers go prior to the judgment?” Because hell doesn’t exist yet, right?
Greg: Well, I don’t know. I think-
Melinda: I thought that’s what you said in the past. I’ve heard you say that.
Greg: Well, I don’t know if it exists or not. It doesn’t seem to be populated now because it seems like it becomes populated at the last judgment.
Melinda: At the final judgment.
Greg: Yeah, and when the Devil is thrown in there, and the prophet, and the beast, and all of those who are-
Melinda: The tract you read, that initiated, pushed you into the kingdom-
Greg: Creator or liar.
Melinda: Kicking them. Kicking the-
Greg: Drop kicking them.
Melinda: Demons and stuff over into the fire.
Greg: Drop kicking them all into the kingdom. Yeah, that was a fairly graphic image. It was a Chick track entitled “Creator or Liar” and it’s something I found in a grocery bag when I was unpacking my groceries in West LA one night in 1973, summertime, and some brave Christian had dropped it in there when I wasn’t looking, right? But I read it and it did have an impact on me and I was particularly taken with this picture of judgment that was characterized there. Yeah, this is there. Hell is a real place. I don’t know if it’s populated now but my sense is that scripture doesn’t speak very much about the intermediate stage or very little actually about heaven. We get some hint of some things from Paul’s comments. It would be better, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,” it’d be better to go with the Lord now than to stay here. He tells that to the Philippians so you know you get the sense but you don’t have such a discussion about people in hell.
Jesus says to the thief, “Today you will be with me in paradise,” so we have this sense that something really fabulous happens to Christians when they die, even though they’re missing their bodies. Their resurrected bodies aren’t with them so they’re somewhat incomplete but they’re still in a place of comfort. When you look at the – hard to know whether it’s a parable or an account – where Jesus describes the rich man and Lazarus in the gospels. Even if it’s an account, we still have metaphoric elements there. How do you describe the immaterial realm and he’s got to use things that we’re familiar with, you know, in Abraham’s bosom, and a great divide, and he sees them, and you know, I’m tormented in this place. Put some water on my lips, whatever. I think these are figurative ways of describing the misery. What we can take away from there, even if there’s figures, is a literal truth that the person who is gone, who is not in God’s favor, is in torment and the person who dies in God’s favor is in comfort.
Whether all the books have been balanced yet, or when that’s all done, you know it’s not entirely clear, until the end, there is a final reckoning. What happens between now and then, it’s hard to know in terms of much detail. We don’t have a lot of granular information to dial that down but we do know that the lost are in the throes of judgment already and the believer is already in the arms of ecstasy so to speak and that’s good enough for me.
Melinda: Yeah, I’m glad to know that. Next question from EdLanderson2016, “Were Paul’s lost letters inspired and if so, how could they be lost? And if not, were only some of Paul’s letters inspired.”
Greg: That’s a really good question.
Greg: I have a thought about it but it’s a perceptive question. People say, “What lost letters?” Well, there’s at least one Corinthian letter lost and we know that because, “How do you know it if it’s lost,” because he refers to it in the Chronicles letters. He makes reference to these letters and so presumably there were more. The answer to this question though is really kind of simple. The answer is, no, they weren’t inspired. The reason I can say that is because God doesn’t lose his letters. Part of inspiration isn’t just the power of God to accomplish the production of scripture that is God-breathed, but it’s also the protection of scripture.
The notion of Canon and inspiration are tied together. They’re joined at the hip. They can’t be separated because it is not just – the question of inspiration – is not just that scriptures are God-breathed, but also which ones are the God-breathed ones and it’s unthinkable, it really is unthinkable in a certain rational sense to suggest that God went through all the trouble to supernaturally inspire these things, but then he couldn’t protect them and then they get lost. My gosh, Paul dropped it. Oh my, what am I going to do. I’m going to have to go through this all again. Hey Paul, sit down, we’re going to do another one, you know?
Melinda: It didn’t get lost in the mail on the way to Corinth.
Greg: Right, that’s right, and so I actually go into a little detail on this in a piece I wrote called, “No Lost Books.”
Melinda: I was going to bring that up, yep.
Greg: Yeah, it’s-
Melinda: By definition there are no lost books of the Bible.
Greg: There can’t be. There cannot be. There are two ways of looking at books of the Bible and by neither definition can there be lost books. The first way is that the books of the Bible are those that are truly inspired by God and so these are, this would be a high view of scripture and there can’t be any lost books. You can buy books in the bookstore that talk about the lost books in the Bible but they aren’t really lost books because they aren’t God’s books. God doesn’t lose his books. The ones that he inspired, he protects and that’s, it seems to me, that’s just a logical entailment. If God is going supernaturally to inspire the works, he is going to supernaturally preserve them, and this just seems to be what has happened. Those other books might be curiosities. They might be helpful, like any other writing from antiquity of Christian origin, like The Shepherd of Hermas or the Didache or others that we do possess now but had value to Christians but were not inspired books in the technical sense.
Melinda: Didn’t have the authority of scripture.
Greg: Right, this might be the case of these lost letters of Paul, if they’re ever discovered.
Melinda: Next question comes from TommyVaugn, “How do you know that heaven is real in the first place?”
Greg: Well, I probably, well there’s a couple of lines of argument. The first thing I was going to say is because Jesus said so and Jesus has credibility.
Melinda: I knew that was how you were going to answer.
Greg: Well, it’s actually a good answer because-
Melinda: It is!
Greg: There are some things we know by authority and the reliability of the knowledge is based on the reliability of the authority.
Melinda: He’s the one who’s been there.
Greg: He’s been there, yes. He knows it more than anyone. “I go and prepare a place for you,” so upper room discourse. “I will not leave you as orphans. I will come back and get you and take you there.” Now, some people may not be compelled by that argument. All right, fair enough. I understand that. If you don’t think highly of Jesus, then you’re not going to be compelled by that. The irony to me is that they’re, people do think highly of Jesus, generally speaking, so why wouldn’t we take this seriously? Well, we don’t take it seriously if we have kind of a materialistic impulse. That is, we reject the existence of things that are not material but my question would be then, why do you reject them? What are your reasons for that? How did you come to that conclusion, to use our paradigm Colombo question. I just don’t get it. I honestly do not get it. I do not get why somebody would accept the dogma of materialism. I do not see any good reason to believe it. None.
Even the thing that people say, “Well, this is, I can sense it with my five senses,” and my response to this is what I experience every day. “I never experience the immaterial world,” and my response is, “Nonsense. You not only experience it every day, you talk about it every day.” But they have been trained to deny the obvious and to even disregard their own speaking about it. It’s the best explanation for the way things are, is another way that I like to put it. There is an immaterial world so why should we deny Jesus’s statement?
Now, here’s another thing that Lewis has brought up, which is very powerful. In fact, it was one, arguably, the most powerful thing that influence CS Lewis to become a Christian, and this is longing. We have a longing. We have longings for different things, but it’s interesting, he says, the things that we have longings for, we actually have things that can satisfy those longings. We feel thirsty because something can slate the thirst. We feel hungry because we know there is food to satisfy the hunger. We-
Melinda: Crave chocolate-
Greg: Have sexual desire-
Melinda: Because there’s chocolate to be eaten.
Greg: That’s right. We have sexual desires because sexual desires in principle can be fulfilled. We learn the lesson that cravings have fulfillment, okay? Now, next step, we have cravings that don’t have fulfillment in this life. We have a desire or longing for justice to be fulfilled, okay? Justice is not fulfilled in this life, then it must be fulfilled in the next life. We have a longing, there’s this other longing and he just kind of leaves it at longing. Well, he calls it joy, that this taste that we have for something transcendent, and I’ve talked about this in some of my talks, and I hope to include this in the book I’m writing now.
The difficulty is just trying to capture this notion. Lewis is fully capable of doing it but he doesn’t do it in a paragraph. He does it in a whole article, “Weight of Glory,” for example, where he talks about this notion. Then he also has built this notion into Pilgrim’s Regress. It’s a very important part of it but simply put we have this longing for something that is not to be had in this world. We sometimes taste it through a wide variety of experiences. Some things, it seems totally inconsequential, but we touch the transcendent and in a way that deeply moves us. It’s fleeting and then it’s gone. The door is opened and then it closes. Lewis famously was touched by some odd sentence, which if I told you the sentence-
Melinda: It wouldn’t touch us.
Greg: It would mean- It’s like, Caspar the great is gone, or something like that and it was something from an old mythology, but it was, something deep inside him was stirred. He’d seen it when, as a child, he’d look through the windows and see the fells, the hills around his homes. I think when people look at a sunset, or they hear a piece of music that touches them deeply, or they watch a child being born, or they see an act of heroism, there are all kinds of things that stir something deep and profound inside of us that’s transcendent.
Melinda: A couple of things that do it for me is first, home and family, but of course even on earth home and family can never be perfect. We lose people, you know?
Greg: That’s right.
Melinda: But the other one, and this… I don’t… this isn’t… I’m not being silly in the least, but it’s the final – and it’s one of the reasons I love the movie – it’s the final scene of White Christmas and I almost get teary just-
Greg: Uh huh, yeah.
Melinda: You know? Just, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it but just conjure that up. It’s this, they’re all dressed in beautiful red, the Christmas trees, they open the back doors and the snow is falling, and they’re all singing “White Christmas” and it’s just sort of this perfect picture of something we long for but it didn’t exist then and it doesn’t exist now.
Melinda: But I feel it when I see it and I cry every single time.
Greg: Yeah, I see that you’re tearing up right now and that’s sweet.
Greg: It does show that there’s a wide range-
Melinda: Of what will touch us.
Greg: Of things that can touch that deep, transcendent thing inside of us and it’s not just emotions. It’s not even… you were able to describe the circumstance and we could all kind of see that, okay yeah. In the case of many things, even in my own life or Lewis’, they just seem to be not necessarily connected to the transcendent-
Greg: But it doesn’t. There’s a little doorway to it and sometimes it’s just the least – I actually, when I see Acts of Valor, I’m deeply touched. Or even great moments in sports. We saw The Miracle, or Miracle the other night about the hockey team, the US hockey team-
Melinda: Oh yeah, uh huh.
Greg: Winning gold against the Russians. I’m telling you there are, it’s not the win, it’s particular things that happen as they are challenged and they move toward the win that touch me deeply. Anyway, there are these things that touch us that are transcendent and different things for different people but this suggests that there’s something beyond just molecules clashing in the universe. We need not dismiss those things.
Greg: I think these are clues. I talk about this in the book a little bit that I’m working on, The Story of Reality, that we had a perfect beginning and we will have a perfect ending. There was a perfect beginning. There will be a perfect ending, at least for some. The word says, God has put eternity in our hearts, and I think there’s a memory of what it used to be like.
Greg: It creates a longing for that to be that way again.
Melinda: Mm-hmm. I think a lot of people suppress the transcendent because they’re trying to satisfy those desires with things here in ways that twist those things.
Melinda: Things that could be good but they become twisted.
Melinda: Food, sex, alcohol, gaming, all kinds of things, we lose ourselves in those things to try to satisfy those desires but those aren’t the proper fulfillment of those ultimate transcendent desires.
Melinda: Some people aren’t aware of them because they’re trying to suppress them and fulfill them.
Melinda: A lot of the misbehavior and the suffering that people go through is because they’re trying to fulfill these ultimate desires with temporal fulfillment.
Greg: In Mere Christianity, Lewis says, we are satisfied with too little. We are making mud pies, basically, you know, and we don’t even comprehend what a trip to the oceanside would be like. We’re satisfied with too little. Who was it, Pascal called it “licking the earth,” a great illustration or word picture there. I encourage people to read, “Weight of Glory.” It’s an essay, the first essay in a book of essays, book titled, Weight of Glory. It’s not the whole book, it’s just the first essay. There are other good essays in it but I encourage people to take a look at that because in this short fifteen or twenty pages in book form, Lewis develops this whole notion that we’re talking about.
Melinda: Before we go, just quickly talk about the cruise coming up because-
Melinda: If people are thinking about it, it’s getting time to book it. It’s still several months away but it’s time to book trips and we’ve settled on the particular topics each of the speakers is doing and I know John Stonestreet’s going to be sharing from a couple of his books. And J. Warner Wallace, one of his talks will be sharing from his new book, Forensic Faith, which I got to read over the weekend. It’s not out until January but it’s good-
Greg: Oh my goodness.
Melinda: And he’s going to- yeah, see, I got to read it and yours.
Greg: I didn’t know he was done with it. I had dinner with him last week and he didn’t tell me that.
Melinda: Yeah, and I was so impressed with some of it. I thought, boy this would be really good for the cruise.
Greg: He’s going to work it in?
Melinda: One of the topics-
Greg: That’s great.
Melinda: Is going to be from the new material in the book.
Greg: I know that he’s going to be speaking on Cold Case Christianity stuff, Reliability of the Gospels, and Cold Case Resurrection. That’s part of the-
Melinda: He’s not doing Cold Case Resurrection with us. We’re switching.
Greg: Oh, that’s the switch.
Melinda: I have to update your information. Yeah, he’s still going to be doing-
Greg: Oh, my goodness.
Melinda: The Reliability of the Scriptures.
Greg: Well, that’s very important.
Melinda: Then he’s going to be doing on, I can’t remember exactly how it’s worded but “Investigative Practices to Approach the Gospels Like a Detective.”
Greg: Mm-hmm, that’s right. Well, we also have John Stonestreet. He, of course, with Break Point and Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. We’ve known John for a long, long, long time.
Greg: I guess close to twenty years now, and done lots of stuff with John and boy he, talk about two peas in a pod. We are, all of us, all of the guys presenting here-
Melinda: Three peas in a pod.
Greg: Yeah, J. Warner, three peas in a pod. We just think the same way. We’re committed to the same things. We love communicating these things in a way that people can get it. We throw the ball so people can catch it. He’s going to be talking about amusing ourselves to death, for example, and how do we thoughtfully examine culture in a way that we’re not transformed by it but become salt and light to it. He’s going to be talking about God’s audacious plan to change the world through everyday people.
Melinda: The first talk he did at Rethink, I heard that talk. I’m telling you, this was eighteen hundred kids-
Greg: Yeah. Like high school kids.
Melinda: And you could hear a pin drop in that place.
Melinda: They were listening and it’s challenging for adults too. It’s very, very, very good. Then you’ll be talking about your new book, The Story of Reality-
Greg: That’s right.
Melinda: Which I’ve read what you’ve written so far and it’s excellent.
Greg: Thank you.
Melinda: People are going to really enjoy hearing about that.
Greg: Also, I’m going to spend some time giving some guidelines on how to think clearly, you know?
Greg: It’s called “Primer on Clear Thinking,” and I want to just lay out some basic principles for critical thinking skills. It’s not that hard.
Greg: I think this is just going to be great. Now, that’s just the conference part of the cruise.
Greg: The cruise is still the cruise. It’s still Alaska. It’s still-
Melinda: All good.
Greg: Juneau, and Sitka, and Ketchikan, and Victoria BC and-
Melinda: Free time at all the ports. The day you’re in Glacier Bay it’s all free. The speakers are around the ship. You could talk to them. We have opportunities to sit down and have breakfast with them.
Melinda: A very small group just a-
Greg: I really enjoy that.
Melinda: Just a Q & A conversation so lots of informal time just to talk.
Melinda: A good time to make friends with other like-minded Christians, ambassadors.
Greg: We have built some relationships in our last cruises that continue to this day.
Melinda: There was one wedding out of it.
Greg: That’s true too.
Melinda: But we don’t guarantee that.
Greg: If people want to get more information and to book the cruise and again, I think Melinda’s point is a good one, this is the time to do it. Contact Inspiration Cruises. The number’s 800-247-1899, that’s 247-1899 or you can go on the web online to inspirationcruises.com/str and make that forward slash STR and you get all the information.
Melinda: Yep. In the past we’ve had some extended families that decided to do it together.
Greg: That’s right.
Melinda: Very often we’ve had couples who decided to make it an anniversary trip.
Greg: That’s right.
Melinda: Well, that’s it for this week. You can send us your questions on Twitter. Use #STRask, that’s the name of the podcast. There’s a new episode posted every Monday. I’m Melinda, the Enforcer, with Greg Koukl, with Stand to Reason.