“Burning Questions: Exploring Where the Evidence Leads”, is a DVD series put out by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). This is a course in apologetics and it has six episodes that are about a hour each:
• Episode one: Is there a God?
• Episode two: God and science,
• Episode three: The problem of evil,
• Episode four: Which religion is true?
• Episode five: Can we trust the Bible?
• Episode six: Who was Jesus?
Dr. Andy Bannister hosts each episode and he speaks to representatives of major faith communities including Christians, Muslims, Hindus, atheists and others. He purposely and thoughtfully asks their opinions regarding each of these issues. I’ve seen many of these courses of study over the years, and these apologetics DVDs have one thing that stood out to me and that is that there was no mockery and that all questions are asked in a way that is respectful and people are genuinely interested in what the other perspective is. I think that helps forward dialogue and understanding of both sides. Now people may not agree and that’s obvious because an atheist cannot agree with the Christian with respect to the existence of God but the perspectives are at least examined and looked at.
Episode one is about the issue of whether there is a God. The interviewer speaks with people from several perspectives, but obviously in the format of hour-long DVD, you can never get into the depths of the reasoning that goes along with each perspective. It is very interesting to scratch the surface.
Episode two talks about the idea of God and science and about how for far too long the idea of God and science have been promoted as in opposition to each other where in reality science in many cases started out from people that were followers of God and exploring his universe. God and science are very compatible. It is philosophy and worldview that are really the difference.
Episode three talks about the problem of evil. This is something that from an apologetics perspective, the issue must be really defined. What is evil? How do we know something is evil? What sources do we use to measure evil against? How do other faiths weigh in on this issue?
Episode four addresses one of the more sensitive issues of which religion is true. Not all things can be true when it comes to faith.
Episode five speaks to the reliability of the bible. If people actually looked at the bible objectively they would see a book that is very reliable especially when weighed against the other ancient documents. It is not the bible itself that people object to but the moral claims of scripture when applied to their life.
And Episode six speaks to who Jesus is in history and in scripture. The Christian faith weighs heavily on this.
Any course like this could only start (or continue) study of these weighty topics, but the way it is structured leads the student from the broad topic of God leading them a step at a time into the person of Christ as the evidence suggests, and then leading them to a relationship with Him.
This is a great resource for opening discussion and assisting in addressing the objections of the skeptic. Check out http://burningquestions.ca for more details.