It’s a two-for-the-price-of-one sale this week at Three Chords and the Truth: The Apologetics Podcast! (Actually, it’s “two-for-the-price-of-none,” since you don’t actually have to pay to listen to the podcast anyway.) In any case, the focus is apologetics in the early church. The festivities begin with church historian extraordinaire Stephen Presley, who joins us to talk about the greatness of U2 and how Christians did apologetics in the second century A.D.
A second-century pastor named Irenaeus of Lyon turns out to be the star of the discussion with Stephen Presley, which gives Timothy an opportunity to recite his favorite lines from Irenaeus’ dismantling of the Gnostic heresy: “Behold, these four powers—the Gourd, the Hollowness, the Cucumber, and the Pumpkin! They have together begotten a crowd of delirious pumpkins.” (No, we’re not joking; Irenaeus actually did include these words in a theological treatise in the second century A.D. Also, “Dëlïrïöüs Pümpkïns” would be an amazing name for a band.) Timothy sees these words as a prophetic foreshadowing of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” the greatest Halloween program ever produced.
But this is not just the story of Augustine.
This is also the heartwarming story—soon to be turned into a Hallmark holiday film—of the musical redemption of Josh Chatraw.
Josh is a world-class apologist who produces outstanding books. When it comes to music, however, his responses tend to fall a bit short. In his first appearance on this program several months ago, Josh mentioned Kenny G, a recording artist whose saxophone playing sounds like an overchilled choir of flatulent poltergeists. (Also, “Flätülënt Pöltërgëïsts” would be another excellent name for a band.) This could have prevented Josh from ever returning to Three Chords and the Truth, but your intrepid cohosts are more forgiving and gracious than you might have guessed. As a result, they’ve given Josh a second chance. In this program, Josh Chatraw begins his long journey toward redemption and recovery by appealing to the blues. Much hilarity and deep discussion of Augustine and early church apologetics takes place along the way.
This week’s Toybox Hero Tournament turns out to be so difficult that Garrick and Timothy are unable to decide who is the winner. The combatants are a weapon from Garrick’s middle child and a superhero from Timothy’s third child. The result is a Toybox Hero Tournament in which the outcome is up to you, the long-suffering listeners who must vote on a winner. Visit Garrick and Timothy on Twitter at Twitter.com/ApologeticsPod to let us know who should win.
The new cover art for this season was created by Dani Wallace (daniwallace.myportfolio.com).
This Week’s Guests to Talk about Apologetics in the Early Church
Stephen Presley is associate professor of church history at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He specializes in patristics with an interest in the intersection between the history, theology, and exegesis of the early church. Dr. Presley received his Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where he carried out his research in patristics.
Josh Chatraw is the director of New City Fellows at the Center for Public Christianity and resident theologian at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. His writing and speaking focuses on public theology, apologetics, and culture. His latest book is Telling a Better Story: How to Talk About God in a Skeptical Age.
Links to Click
Truth Matters: book by Andreas Köstenberger, Darrell Bock, and Josh Chatraw
Truth in a Culture of Doubt: book by Andreas Köstenberger, Darrell Bock, and Josh Chatraw
Telling a Better Story: book by Josh Chatraw
Liberty in the Things of God: book by Robert Louis Wilken
Against Heresies: book by Irenaeus of Lyons
Confessions: book by Augustine
City of God: book by Augustine
A History of Apologetics: book by Avery Dulles
How to Make Three Chords and the Truth More Amazing than It Already Is
Support the show and spread the word! Here are a few ways to do that:
2. Leave a rating and review on iTunes to encourage other people to listen to the show.
3. If you purchase any of the books mentioned in Three Chords and the Truth, consider using the Amazon links provided in the show notes. The show will receive a small percentage of each sale.
4. Visit our Patreon site where you can support the podcast, suggest future songs or topics, and order Three Chords and the Truth merchandise.
The Closing Credits
Three Chords and the Truth: The Apologetics Podcast thanks B and H Academic for their sponsorship. Music for the podcast has been licensed through Artlist.io and performed by Trent Thompson. Brief excerpts of music played in each program are included solely for the purposes of comment and critique as allowed under the fair-use provision of U.S. copyright law. “The fair use of a copyrighted work … for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, … scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright” (U.S. Code § 107, Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use).