Greg Koukl: The New Atheism: old arguments, new attitude

This is a lecture that Greg Koukl delivered at the Apologetics Canada conference in March 2011.

The topic tonight is this: have the New Atheists made a persuasive case against God? It’s one hour long.

Speaker bio:

Greg started out thinking he was too smart to become a Christian and ended up giving his life for the defense of the Christian faith. A central theme of Greg’s speaking and writing is that Christianity can compete in the marketplace of ideas when it’s properly understood and properly articulated.

Greg’s teaching has been featured on Focus on the Family radio, he’s been interviewed for CBN and the BBC, he’s debated atheist Michael Shermer on Hugh Hewitt’s national radio show, and did a one-hour national television debate with Deepak Chopra on Lee Strobel’s “Faith Under Fire.”  Greg has been quoted in U.S. News & World Report and the L.A. Times. An award-winning writer, Greg is author of Tactics—A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian ConvictionsRelativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air with Francis J. Beckwith, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published more than 180 articles and has spoken on nearly 60 university and college campuses both in the U.S. and abroad.

Greg received his Masters in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Talbot School of Theology, graduating with high honors, and his Masters in Christian Apologetics from Simon Greenleaf University.  He is an adjunct professor in Christian apologetics at Biola University.  He’s hosted his own radio talk show for over 20 years advocating clear-thinking Christianity and defending the Christian worldview.

He’s one of my favorite speakers – very practical, very realistic, very easy to listen to for non-Christians. He speaks in a normal tone of voice, and he is a regular guy. This is as interesting to listen to for non-Christians as it is for Christians, because he was a non-Christian.

By the way, I posted the entire transcript of his debate with Michael Shermer on the Hugh Hewitt show.

8 thoughts on “Greg Koukl: The New Atheism: old arguments, new attitude”

  1. “This is as interesting to listen to for non-Christians as it is for Christians, because he was a non-Christian.”

    This guy is a great apologist, and one who employs reason and rational thought in refutation of the atheists’ futile [IMO] employment of those same approaches to discerning reality.

    In another video I ran across, Greg addresses the question of evil, effectively stating that it’s an inevitable consequence of ‘moral freedom’, precisely my position.

    I go a little further in postulating that challenges, including the extreme, the dire ones, were possibly intended. We are competitive in our nature; so is God. There are things that we must work to overcome, and I believe strongly in the granting of future compensations. When my team loses badly, there’s always tomorrow.

    I also posit ‘natural evil’ as not intended, a natural result of features of our realm [techtonic plates et al], and that our overseers choose not to micro manage natural events. Is that a godly disclaimer? Hardly.

    In this talk, I’m sure he’ll address the question of evil, and why it’s a non-logical argument against theistic thought. I’m only into it a bit, but looking forward to hearing the balance.

    Has Greg debated Michael Shermer yet? It would be a friendly discussion, and would likely cause Shermer to reconsider his flight from Christianity, based simply on a non granted prayer he once made. Hey Mike, people die sometimes, including one’s girlfriend.


    1. Wow, you’re not kidding about Michael Shermer, either:

      Dr. Shermer characterizes himself as a skeptic. As he confesses in his book, “What I want to believe based on emotions and what I believe based on evidence and empirical data may not coincide. I am a skeptic not because I don’t want to believe, but because I want to know. How can we tell the difference between what we would like to be true or what is actually true” (p. 2)? Dr. Shermer succumbed to skepticism after his girlfriend, Maureen, was critically injured in an auto accident and he appealed to God for her healing. “What finally tipped my belief into skepticism was the problem of evil–if God is all knowing, all powerful, and all good, then why do bad things happen to good people?” “A just and loving God who had the power to heal would surely heal Maureen. He didn’t. He didn’t. I now believe, not because God works in mysterious ways or he has a special plan for Maureen, but because there is no God” (p. 45).


      It’s exactly like Lewis Wolpert disbelieving in God as a child when God wouldn’t help him find his cricket bat. People become atheists as children. Not because they have looked at the evidence, but because they expect God to make them feel good, and he doesn’t perform.

      This also happened to other atheists like Dan Barker and John Loftus. Barker basically was forced by financial concerns (due to his own fiscal incompetence) to alter his preaching and singing to appeal to liberal Christians, finally ending in atheism. Loftus had an affair with a hot-looking church secretary then complained about being judged for committing adultery. Show me an atheist and I’ll show you a person who is unskilled AT LIFE.


    2. In the video, Greg says that he debated Shermer a few years ago in a 3 hour radio debate. I recall hearing a lot of that, but don’t have a distinct memory of how it went.


  2. I believe this talk is from March ’11. Koukl was at an Apologetics Canada conference in both March and November last year, the November one being called Insider’s Perspective. The latter one focused more on his book Tactics though.

    In other news, if you haven’t heard, Apologetics Canada has confirmed William Lane Craig for their 2013 conference. Definitely stoked!


      1. That’s too bad! Vancouver looks gorgeous. Unfortunately many beautiful places on the planet seem like they are very secular (Seattle, San Francisco, New York, various cities in Europe).

        Where would you say are the best non-secular or maybe religious (Christian) places on the planet? Thank you!!


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