Upcoming Interview on Hinge Podcast about Faith, Doubt, and the Historical Jesus

I have been invited to do an interview on Hinge podcast regarding the life and figure of the historical Jesus (as as well as related issues concerning the New Testament), and the topic of faith and doubt. Hinge is run by two hosts, one a Christian pastor (Drew Sokol) and the other a skeptical atheist (Cory Markum), who together grapple with the mysteries surrounding Jesus of Nazareth, along with other issues pertaining to religion, history, and philosophy.

Hinge Podcast

The interview will be broken into pieces and included as part of a season of podcasts, which will span 10-12 sequential episodes, and will feature interviews with other biblical scholars, historians, philosophers, scientists, and writers, depending on the content of each episode. I will be appearing in at least one of the episodes and possibly more, depending on what rabbit holes we go down during the discussion.

Right now we are scheduled to hold the interview this summer, but the first episode of the season won’t be released until late in the year (with a new episode released each week after that). I’ll post an announcement here once it is up. Until then, you can check out an earlier podcast on Hinge–titled Hinge: The Making Of”–which teases out some of the topics that Drew and Cory will get into when they release the official first season of Hinge later this year.

I greatly look forward to joining in as part of the discussion in this first season!

-Matthew Ferguson

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22 Responses to Upcoming Interview on Hinge Podcast about Faith, Doubt, and the Historical Jesus

  1. Hello Matthew:

    Question: Will they be discussing the topic of Jesus’s resurrection?

    • Celsus says:

      I’m assuming so. I can give a shout out for your book, if you’d like?

      • Hello Matthew:

        A shout out would be appreciate.

        More important would be utilizing the information found in the text and sharing it with your listeners. It is vital for your listeners to know compelling and logical arguments [about Jesus’s resurrection] from BOTH sides of the religious aisle.

        • Celsus says:

          Just to clarify, you have told me that you are Jewish before, but are you a theist, specifically? It might be interesting to discuss your background, if the book comes up, to discuss the different theological perspectives on the resurrection.

          • Hello Matthew:

            A detail biography can be found at michaeljalter.wordpress.com

            The best answer is that I am Jewish, but not frum. Insofar as the second part of your question. Nobody can prove that God actually exists. Since God is outside of space and time and created space and time [and all of its dimensions and universes], we cannot comprehend its existence [especially being a Trinity]. The reason [well at least one] is that humans being physical beings are are trapped in a space and time continuum and cannot comprehend anything outside “those” parameters. [I cannot remember the philosopher] Of course, probably some theists might posit that an an all powerful God and all knowing God could do whatever It wills. However, we are still waiting.

            Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

            Take care.

          • Helo Matthew:

            The philosopher that I was attempting [probably unsuccessful] to paraphrase was Ludwig Wittgenstein [Tractatus logico-philosophicus. I did a fast Google search and came across this article. It is not perfect but … [see the first bullet]

            Now we may procced to the further consideration of these gnoseologic and metaphysical resluts of Wittgenstein, which can easily be interpreted as the main aim and purpose of the entire logico-lingustic system of the work, the ladder on which we may climb up to the realm of metaphysics. We may regard these claims as thee statemensts, the latter two being quasi-contradictory.
            -The methaphisical reality exists outside the universe.
            -Language deals with the universe, so it can’t express methaphyical questions and answers. -Language may be a way to reach metaphysical conclusions, by being used and then being transcended.(Ladder metaphor)
            The contradiction, between the latter two dissolves as we realise that by talking about metaphysich we are already outside the borders of logic and language, so the very idea of contradiction becomes meaningless or at least disregardable.
            Altough language is a quite limited tool, it is still the main form of human thought and the main way of human understanding. In the pursit for metaphysical understanding, we may still use this imperfect tool, until found some more reliable way for getting knowledge, and maybe starting out with the hard and innacurate way of language is the only way to transcend it and procced to the mystical expreience which makes our old tool dispensable, and our knowledge more real, altough nearly impossible to communicate. We have to notice that the use of language as a tool for metaphysical understanding means the same as constructing and practising methaphysical systems, including religions(in the sense of philosophical systems). The curious thing is that the conclusions of Wittgenstein, instead of condemning these systems as useless nonsense(as some other positivists do), give them sense and usefulness and a right to exist, by judging them flawed and imprefecr and in some way nonsense, but at the same time regarding them as tools in the pursuit of true knowledge otherwise unreachable.

            Well, It tried.

  2. David Austin says:

    Michael Alter’s book is a very good resource for researching the resurrection story.

    I did, what I thought, was quite a detailed study into the discrepancies in the Resurrection account for a Book Club group (consisting of Christians & Atheists) for one session, but I was staggered by the fine detail that Michael goes into surrounding this narrative.

    I recommend the book highly, and in the interests of full disclosure, I must confirm that I have no financial motive in recommending this book.
    David Austin
    Perth, Western Australia.
    PS. Matthew, keep on doing what you do so well !!!

    • Hello David:

      Thank you for your kind words.

      And, please note that currently Volume II is being edited. Hopefully this text, The Resurrection & Christian Apologetics: A Critical Inquiry [approximately 350 book pages] will be sent to a publisher in the next year. It specifically refutes the assertions of Habermas [Minimal facts], Licona, Craig, Swinbourne, Sean McDowell [the martyrs]…

      • stoic77 says:

        Michael,

        I will be ordering your book this weekend (after payday :). I really enjoyed your exchanges with fellow commentators on the cross examined blog (as well as your guest post, of course). You are civil, respectful and seem like an all around nice guy. Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to delve into your scholarship.

        • Hello Stoic77:

          Thank you for 1) taking time to write, 2) your kind words, and 3) your decision to obtain my text.

          The text is lengthy [in reality about 675 pages omitting the front and back matter], but I can send you a small cheat sheet to help you to use your time wisely. I can also identify 3 minor errors [errata] that you should note. Nothing earth shattering… Just contact me using the e-mail address found on my home page at michaeljalter.wordpress.com If you have further questions about my text [time permitting], I would be pleased to assist you. Knowledge as opposed to alternative facts is vital…

          I look forward to hearing from you. And once again, thank you for your response.

  3. Beau Quilter says:

    Matthew

    I’ve been listening to the first podcast on the HINGE site, and I have to say, I feel like I’m being lied to. They introduce the topic with the suggestion that we are listening to two men with opposite views, a Christian and an Atheist. The presumption presented is that we will be hearing a balanced exchange of views between a scholarly believer and nonbeliever.

    But after nearly an hour of listening, I keep hearing weak apologetic arguments, ranging from the fine tuning of lifer on earth to the apparently rock-solid evidence we have for the resurrection of Jesus, piled on top of each other. These “evidences” are passed along as mysterious “facts” with virtually no skeptical counter arguments offered by the supposed atheist on the team.

    I have come to the conclusion that this podcast is a bald-face deception, purporting to be an open, honest meeting of the minds of an atheist and a Christian, when in reality, the program offers nothing but Christian apologetics. I would not be surprised if the supposed atheist experiences a “conversion” at some point during the series, given that he seems completely ignorant of the false apologetic arguments that he continuously treats with an attitude of wonder and acceptance.

    Just a caution.

    • Celsus says:

      Noted, well, I will prepare hard ball responses to the questions they ask (which they are going to send me a general outline of in advance), and if upon listening to the first season I am disappointed with what they put out (either in the editing or the spin), I guess I’ll write a blog response to it.

      • Beau Quilter says:

        The sound production is good; it’s the “evidence” they offer unquestioningly that makes me suspect the premise they are marketing. it reminds of of Lee Strobel’s pretense of skepticism in “The Case for Christ” and his other completely stacked and one-sided “Case” books.

        It’s good that you are taking precautions.

    • Celsus says:

      I’ll also ask to keep a copy of our original recording, so that I can compare it to the edited version that they split up into different parts of their episode/season.

    • Travis R says:

      Beau,
      Just want to point out that the atheist in question is Cory Markum, who is a fairly prolific defender of the atheist position (e.g., just search his name to see what I mean). Either you’ve misread the situation or he’s playing one helluva long con.

      • Beau Quilter says:

        He must be playing a long game, because in this podcast, he not let’s poor apologetic arguments slip by, he actively promotes them.

        • Beau Quilter says:

          Let me correct this comment, as Corey misunderstood me below. I fault myself – bad wording.

          By “long game”, I didn’t mean to echo Travis’ suggestion of a “long con”. In fact, I think I misread Travis to be saying “game” as well. In other words, I wasn’t trying to suggest that Corey pretends to be atheist throughout all of his public blogging and podcasting in order to showcase an effective “conversion” in the end. (I admit to previously wondering this aloud, just about the podcast alone, and before I was made aware of Corey’s other writing). By “long game”, I meant that, perhaps, Corey was holding back with his atheist perspective (and answers to Drew’s apologetics) until a much later podcast.

      • cmarkum86 says:

        *bats eyelashes* You’ve defended and flattered me in one fell swoop sir! Thank you kindly!

  4. cmarkum86 says:

    Geezsh. WWDD (What would Dawkins do), eh?

    As I’ve told you elsewhere Beau, the “Hinge podcast” to which you refer is a demo (not by any means an official Hinge podcast episode) that was researched and written primarily by Drew Sokol (the Christian co-host) before I (the atheist co-host) was ever involved. Indeed, initially the podcast itself was going to be about Drew and his doubt solely from the Christian perspective, that is until Drew decided he wanted to do something new and unique and reached out to me instead. We then took the material that he had accumulated and the original outline for the demo and attempted to adapt it as best we can, rather than starting purely from scratch. I should also say that Drew and I went back and forth for weeks over the demo in question before eventually just deciding to release what we had and just make sure to write the official episodes for Hinge together. A better sample of what’s to come with Hinge is the official podcast that we have out on Itunes now, “Hinge: The Making Of” (in particular, the third episode, which is about me moving to Philly to work on Hinge and was written by the two of us).

    As to the accusation of this podcast being a dishonest (and I must say, rather elaborate) attempt at Christian apologetics, perhaps even hilariously culminating in me converting to Christianity (cue the Kevin Sorbo scene), I can only smile in response (I genuinely giggled at the thought). If anything, I foresee my Christian co-host going the opposite direction, though not so much from Hinge specifically but from his reoccurring periods of doubt and what I see as a complete lack of anything resembling a satisfactory response to the problem of suffering in this world. I honestly think the dam is going to break for good one of these days. For real tho.

    Anyway, sorry for the confusion Beau and I hope this is enough to allay your concerns. I must say however that your response to Travis R’s rather insightful (and flattering 🙂 ) comment was puzzling; once presented with the evidence that I happen to spend an inordinate amount of time defending the atheist position, your conclusion was that I “was indeed playing a long con”? Really though? Personally, in your epistemic situation I’d sooner believe that the atheist in question had some undisclosed financial motivations driving his odd behavior than I would believe that he was a covert Christian agent engaging in theological subterfuge (again, this should be a movie with Kevin Sorbo)…but that’s just me I guess.

    • cmarkum86 says:

      Oh and for the record here’s some shtuff I’ve written http://www.atheistrepublic.com/blogs/cory-markum. Please excuse the grammar but it should at least be sufficient enough to prove my unwavering fealty to the four horsemen of the new atheist apocalypse!

      • Beau Quilter says:

        I’ve already taken a look. But there’s no need for unwavering fealty. The four horseman weren’t purists.

    • Beau Quilter says:

      Hi Corey

      My little exchange here on Celsus occurred before our long email exchange.

      Hey, I’m frankly thrilled to know that you actively defend the atheist position. And though I first considered whether you were a narrative convert-to-be in the podcast in my first comment, I think you missed the intent of my “long game” (not con) comment, which (after Travis R’s assurances) was to suggest alternatively that you are saving your atheist counter evidences for much later in the podcast series, not to suggest that you are “conning” us with false atheism.

      I will give “Hinge: The Making of:” a shot.

      Perhaps you should remove the demo podcast from the web now that the version on ITunes is available.

      Because listeners to the demo (like myself) may not know your web presence as an atheist defender, probably won’t know the little excuse you’ve just given above, explaining why you used material put together by Drew with little input from you, and simply won’t understand why a purported atheist blogger would sit idly by on a podcast that unquestioningly claims:

      that the chances of intelligent life occurring on any planets has now been determined to be so low as to be virtually impossible (the latest argument from fine-tuning)

      That Julius Caesar’s “Gallic Wars” is the “one” bit of evidence the Gallic Wars took place, and that the nine independent attestations of Jesus’ Resurrection (never actually listed) are better than all the evidence we have that either the Gallic Wars or the great fire of Rome ever took place

      That surely any first century reader of apostle resurrection witnesses could simply “check” their stories (someone needs to to talk to Drew about the dating of the gospels, the size of the Roman Empire, and the rate at which corpses deteriorate in the Middle East)

      I think the only remotely “atheist” response I heard from you on that demo was that it just seemed “crazy” to you …

      So, yes, I would rate that demo right up there with a Kevin Sorbo movie.

      But hey, I’m so glad to hear that you are, in fact, this highly touted, humorously snarky, atheist blogger who foresees a big deconversion for his theist partner Drew in the near future. That guy, the witty atheist with a skeptical eye, was conspicuously absent from the demo.

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