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About Zach

  • Rank
    Mad Scientist
  • Birthday 12/13/2000

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  • Location
    Dallas, Texas
  • Interests
    Tolkien, Sasquatch, Science, Religion, Outdoorsmanship

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. Zach

    Inquisition: Kymberli Cook

    Kymberli Cook describes herself as a "reluctant apologist," which is an interesting characterization coming from someone who works at the Dallas Theological Seminary's Hendricks Center for Christian Leadership and Cultural Engagement, a position that requires her to professionally support the apologetical initiatives promoted by that institution. I sat down with Kym at the DTS campus to talk more about how a fiery young Christian girl from Kansas found herself working closely with venerable academics like Dr. Darrell Bock and Dr. Daniel Wallace, and what she envisions for the future of the Church. View the full article
  2. Zach

    Inquisition: Allen Hainline

    <p>Over the years, I've found myself occasionally returning to the university setting to meet with, speak to, and encourage students in exploring and challenging their doubts. Allen Hainline makes a habit of it. Allen studied physics from the University of Texas at Austin, later being trained at the graduate level in Systems and Software Engineering. But after a season of skepticism and doubt, Allen found a renewed faith in his childhood religion, and has made a formal study of Science and Religion at Biola University.</p> <p>Allen has been a recurring participant at the Bible and Beer Consortium, having given presentations about the Fine-Tuning of the Universe, as well as debating the compatibility of Science and God with Lydia Allen. His desire to encourage student apologists led him to help found an apologetics ministry at UT Dallas several years ago, which is now a chapter of William Lane Craig's Reasonable Faith. Allen also leads an apologetics ministry at his church, Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas.</p><img src=""height="1" width="1" alt=""/> View the full article
  3. The American Church has flourished over the past several decades by building itself up into a distinct subculture that, for a time, was one of the dominant political forces in American society. That all seems to be changing now, and Ezra Boggs couldn’t be happier. After creating a unique venue for Christian apologetics called the Bible and Beer Consortium, Ezra is hopeful that he can stimulate churchgoing Christians (and interested atheists) to break out of their assumptions, read more books, and think more carefully about God. In the meantime, he plans to continue fostering a safe space for people to question their worldviews, and the worldviews of their friends, family, and neighbors, optimally while drinking a Dragon’s Milk and puffing on a hand-carved pipe. View the full article
  4. Many people describe their lives as a roller-coaster. Ezra Boggs describes his life as being shot into space, then falling back to Earth to plunge under the ocean in a submarine. When Ezra was a child growing up in Texas, everyone with a pulse was a Christian. Reacting against that culture, Ezra first found himself reacting negatively to organized religion, even considering himself to be an anti-theist. But that opposition to God eventually became a strong devotion to the Christian worldview, leading Ezra to enter seminary, take an active role in the Church, and create a unique ministry called the Bible and Beer Consortium that brings together Christians and atheists. View the full article
  5. The Pew Forum and the Barna Research Group have shown that the demographics of the American religious landscape are undergoing a slow but steady shift away from Christianity. In this context, how should the Church respond? Blake Giunta notes that many of the reasons that people give for abandoning Christianity are directly addressable by apologetics, so this provides a unique opportunity for him and other professional apologists to respond to this cultural pressure on the Church. And it also gives him a chance to engage more with academic-minded atheists, in the hopes of bringing some enlightenment to lay atheists and Christians alike. View the full article
  6. Blake Giunta never thought too much about his Christian faith as something objectively verifiable, until a presentation on Christian apologetics changed his mind. He later founded the online ministry BeliefMap, a digital tool designed to give Christians good reasons to defend what it is they believe. Now a student at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Blake talks about his experience as an aspiring professional apologist, from debating Justin Scheiber to sitting down with David Smalley of Dogma Debate. View the full article
  7. Zach

    Inquisition: Calum Miller

    Being a conservative Christian in the United Kingdom is a very different experience from being such in the United States, to say nothing of setting out to develop a career as a young apologist. Calum Miller is a recently-graduated physician from the University of Oxford, and an academic philosopher who has a strong interest in Christian apologetics. In this short interview, Dr. Miller shares some of his thoughts about growing up in a culture were Christianity is comfortable only if it’s largely ignored, why two of the Four Horsemen hailed originally from England, and what is the best possible future for the Church both in the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States. View the full article
  8. Aspiring apologist Rebekah Valerius suggests that the rise of the "Nones" and the increasing influence of the New Atheists may be a good thing for the Church, prompting a move in the direction of a more traditional, "Nicene Creed" type of Christianity. Her assessment of the state of the Christian religion in America now is one that is driven by fear, manifesting in many negative ways, including the entanglement of religion with politics. As America prepares to move culturally into a post-Christian era, Rebekah wants to see more women involved in the shepherding of the faithful, especially in the realm of apologetics. View the full article
  9. Rebekah Valerius was raised as a Christian with little more than a “Sunday School” understanding of the religion. She struggled with doubt at three critical junctions in her life, first as a struggling young ballet dancer studying far away from Texas in the liberal culture of the Pacific Northwest, later as a student of science frustrated by the seemingly impossible divide between God and evolutionary theory, and finally as a mother, faced with the prospect of bringing children into a seemingly meaningless world. Through these struggles, Rebekah found sanctuary and sanity in an intellectual embrace of her native faith, seeking answers from apologists like William Lane Craig and C.S. Lewis. Now studying apologetics formally at Houston Baptist University, she is excited at the prospect of educating her fellow Christians and skeptics alike about the reasonable faith that she’s rediscovered.<img src=""height="1" width="1" alt=""/> View the full article
  10. What are the sins of the modern American Church, and why does a seminary student think that unless it radically changes soon, it's destined for failure? Brandon Tejedor is not a typical Christian, but he is a much-needed voice of reason from within the Church's hallowed halls. In this second and final part of my interview, listen to find out what he thinks are the challenges facing the Church, the threat of the New Atheism, and his solution to this us-vs-them dichotomy that so far has dominated the discourse between them. View the full article
  11. I first met Brandon Tejedor over a plastic tray piled high with slow-cooked pit barbecue and pickled jalapeños. Though Brandon was Christian seminary student of apologetics, he had come to meet Justin Schieber, an atheist debater whom he respected and admired. In this discussion, I learn about Brandon's story and his difficult and circuitous path between doubt and faith, and what led him ultimately to accept Christ and a life in service to the Church which he frequently criticizes alongside me. View the full article
  12. In the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, what is meant theologically by the use of light? In this third and final part of my discussion with Dan Ray, we talk at length about the underlying mythology of Middle-earth, and how Tolkien's own Catholic faith provided and influence on the metaphysical nature of his fictional world. Brace yourself as I nerd-gush about the particulars of Tolkien's mythology at near Colbert-like levels. View the full article
  13. What does the Cosmos mean to us? Is there an ultimate meaning to be found in it? In this second discussion with Dan Ray, we chat about the question of cosmic meaning in the context of our theological assumptions. Why is it that the exploration of the Cosmos has captured so much of our attention and wonder, why have we spent billions and billions of dollars learning as much as we can about the billions and billions of stars that exist out there? If we take the phrase, "we are stardust," seriously, does it imply that we should look with worshipful reverence to the Heavens? View the full article
  14. Zach

    Inquisition: Dan Ray Part 1

    I received an email out of the blue a few months back from a guy named Dan Ray. He had gotten my information from Ezra Boggs, who runs the Bible and Beer Consortium here in Dallas and Fort Worth. Dan had seen me participate in a debate with Calum Miller on behalf of the BBC, and I had mentioned a few things about the Cosmos that got him thinking. He mentioned that he's working on a Master's degree in Apologetics from Houston Baptist University, and that he had been busy researching the intersection of cosmology, theology, and fantasy literature. I suggested that this might be another good opportunity for an Inquisition, and our conversation was so engrossing that it ended up spanning three separate episodes.
  15. I first met Averroes Paracha at a debate between Justin Schieber and Blake Giunta held at the University of Texas at Dallas. He was introduced to me as an skeptical and agnostic former Muslim with interesting ideas about God. Since that time, Averroes has come to embrace theism, and even Christian theism. He was scheduled to be baptized at the 1042 Church pastored by my former debate partner Dr. Justin Bass, so I met up with Averroes to inaugurate the Inquisition project, find out a little more about his background, and get to know what had led him to discover Jesus Christ.