Matthew Flannagan Interview Transcript

The following transcript is from an Apologetics 315 interview with Matthew Flannagan. Original audio here. Transcript index here. If you enjoy transcripts, please consider supporting, which makes this possible.

BA: Hello, this is Brian Auten of Apologetics315. Today’s interview is with Doctor Matthew Flannagan. Matt is from New Zealand, he holds a PhD in Theology, and a Masters and Bachelors in Philosophy. He and his wife blog at on the topics of philosophy of religion, ethics, and theology. The purpose of our interview is to get to know a little bit more about Matt, his area of expertise, his blog, and his recent debate on morality with Raymond Bradley. Thanks for speaking with me today, Matt.

MF: Not a problem, it’s a pleasure.

BA: Now, for those who are not familiar with you and your work, would you mind telling us a little bit more about yourself?

MF: Sure, in the intro you covered most of it. I’m obviously a New Zealander, I’m from down under. I’m probably pretty new to the apologetics scene internationally. I have a family of four kids. I’m married to my lovely wife Madeleine. We set up a blog in 2006, around the time I was finishing my PhD in Philosophy, and I began writing, putting things on it, and it sort of went from there. So now, I’ve got people all over the world read my stuff and apparently find it interesting. That’s kind of what we’ve got, and we move into lectures and debates and things like that, which I was always doing for many years, but never sort of at the level. When I was an undergrad, I was really an amateur, which I still am at some extent now. But I really didn’t have the sort of moment that I’m starting to get now and the kind of readership and that kind of thing. Certainly not the academic study and background that I’ve developed since.

BA: So, your studies have been in philosophy and theology. So what got you going in that direction, and what’s your passion in those areas?

MF: Actually, it was sort of an accident. I’d finished up in what in New Zealand we call, Second Form, which is your last year of high school. I’d fairly recently become a Christian, probably had been a Christian about a year. And it was sort of just like a rite of passage really, that if you go to Second Form, you go to university, and that was kind of what was expected, particularly that I had reasonable grades in high school. So, I thought like, okay I’ll go to university, and I’ll do a Bachelor’s. My plan was originally to focus on political science, and I had to just to fill out the time table, I had to do these philosophy papers. The pastors I had at the time, there was kind of this feeling that I shouldn’t do that, that was a subject that meant you’ll lose your faith, and it’s full of whackos who tell you crazy things and give you weird ideas. But I had to for time table reasons, so I started the subject, Philosophy, with great trepidation, and after the first couple of lectures, I just loved it. It was just right up my alley in terms of thinking things through, and debating, and asking questions, and really analyzing stuff.

And so I just switched my major, and that’s what kind of what really started off in that direction. I’d always been interested in theology before that, part of me becoming a Christian was because I was just so fascinated by those questions. I began to sort of go to the local library and start reading things, and I read people like Josh McDowell, and a few other people we know sort of from Six Form. So when I was in university, I started doing philosophy, and as issues came up in class, I began to say, well how does my faith relate to this? There was no real Philosophy of Religion course at Whitireia University where I was studying, so I went to the library again, and I pulled a book off the shelf by a man called Alvin Plantinga, and of course I had no idea who Alvin Plantinga was. And I began to read it as an undergraduate first year philosophy student, absolutely crazy thing to do really. I don’t know how much of it I understood, but I began to read that, and I read Richard Swinburne, and I read William Lane Craig, and from there I just sort of took off. I began to spend huge amounts of time reading that sort of stuff, and thinking, wow, this is really interesting – I can see how my faith and my theology relates to what I’m studying. And that just sort of ignited in me a kind of passion for those kinds of things. At the same time at university, the campus was always very secular, there was a lot of hostility towards the Christian faith, there was a lot of stuff being written in the sort of student newspaper attacking Christianity and Christian beliefs, particularly moral beliefs that Christians had.

And so, I began writing in response, and for some reason when I had written in response it really got a reaction. Other people would sort of write and get ignored, but when I’d write something in response, people got very concerted, or they took notice and they got very aggressive, and for some reason I hit some kind of nerve. And so, I continued this sort of culture of sort of studying things, and debating, and dialoguing with people at university, pretty much right through my studies. After I finished my Masters in Philosophy, I decided I wanted to focus on this in more depth, so I did my masters on the sort of the views of reasons for faith and reason of Alvin Plantinga, began reading up on that. So, no one at the university really knew anything about that, and they were sort of intrigued, what’s this guy wanting to read this guy Alvin Plantinga and find out his views on faith and reason? So I did this by myself, and then I took a couple of years off from second university and went to bible college, and then eventually I got into a PhD program at Otago doing theology. And when I arrived at Otago, the same sort of thing happened again, you would get people being very critical, very hostile toward the Christian faith, I would start writing responses, and immediately it would sort of spiral out of control. People would start to writing aggressive things, and I’d write responses, and this whole dialogue would go and end up becoming larger than life.

You’d find that people always knew who you were and wanted to argue with you and talk to you about things, and some of those at great personal cost. But it kind of for some reason it just seemed to be something that sort of when I responded, people started taking great notice on it, and I don’t know if it was a natural gifting or what it was. And so, by the time we got to setting up MandM, I already was used to in sort of quick response dialogue discussing these things with people and writing things down and what have you. So yeah, that’s sort of how I really got involved with it. But I certainly felt, particularly in New Zealand, there were very few people involved with apologetics. It was often something given lip service in the churches, sort of like something you’ve got to do, but no one really did. And there was kind of this tendency for Christians to accept pat answers or answers that weren’t really rigorous, and also the sort of feeling that if you debate with people or you argue with people, that’s really divisive, or that’s confrontational, or an argument is a bad thing, a negative thing, you shouldn’t be doing that. And as I was at university, that was the kind of attitude I saw at in the church, and I got increasingly frustrated with it because I noticed that at university it actually wasn’t true. I found that people at university would sit up and notice if you gave a credible answer that made them think. If you gave them the pat answer, or you were just nice to them and brushed their answer off, they saw through you very quickly. And they would think, this is a nice person who’s clueless. But when they came at you aggressively, and you kind of held your ground and quietly but calmly addressed what they had in a thoughtful way, and made them think about it, they actually would come back with more questions and there would actually be a genuine interest, and often a genuine spiritual hunger. And I got increasingly frustrated that I felt what the church was sort of doing wasn’t really addressing what I saw happening at campus, and it was very difficult to sort of persuade fellow Christians of the value of this sort of thing. So there’s a sense in which I sort of just went up and did it by myself when I set the blog up.

BA: Now do you have a particular specialty or area you’re pursuing in your studies?

MF: My main area of work is probably ethics, I’m an ethicist, at least professionally. I’ve always been interested in philosophy of religion as well. So I sort of did a broad philosophy degree, and a broad theology degree, but my interest was really in the relationship between the two. I like philosophy of religion, I like ethics, those are my two main areas. I’ve more recently started being involved in some sorts of biblical studies type stuff, not because biblical studies is my area, but it just struck me that a lot of stuff that was going on in philosophy, and philosophy of religion, and ethics, often would appeal to something on the old testament or what have you. And it wasn’t really the kind of depth of looking carefully at that, and because I had theological training, I was kind of aware of questions that would be raised by that, that Philosophers I thought were just brushing over, so some of the more recent stuff I’ve done on the Canaanites and things like that sort of took me by surprise a bit, has been me sort of bringing in some of these biblical studies things that I was sort of just thinking about, and suddenly finding, oh my goodness, people are really interested in this and how this relates to the broader debate about ethics.

So a lot of my work lately has been really in sort of the relationship between ethics and philosophy and theology that sort of thing, you know, God and morality, and how you approach moral questions and how you deal with moral difficulties, in particular moral objections to the Christian faith, that sort of thing.

BA: Now, so I want to ask you a question that goes right along that line. About your series that you wrote, the topic of Joshua and the genocide of the Canaanites. And it got a lot of attention of a lot of other philosophers, and long story short, you’ve been invited to speak on God and the genocide of the Canaanites at the Evangelical Philosophical Society and Evangelical Theological Society’s annual conferences. So, could you tell us more about that topic and why you think it’s caught so much attention and what your angle is on it?

MF: Sure. Well, I think there’s a sense it was a timing thing. I read a lot of apologetics when I was younger, as an undergraduate, and no one really addressed that question I think with any real seriousness. And I think what happened was, 9-11 happened, and this is some armchair sociological analysis, but I think 9-11 happened, and there was sort of a shift culturally where people started becoming frightened of religion again. I think back in the 17th century when you had The Thirty Years War, and that sort of thing, it was this kind of thing that developed in the Western psyche that religion was dangerous, the religious fanatics are dangerous people who will kill you, religion causes atrocities, this kind of thing. And I think after World War II, and World War I, and The Cold War, a lot of that sort of fell into the background. You know, the real threat during The Cold War were the socialists or the communists, and this sort of picture fell out of the backwards. And I think post 9-11, the fear of religious fanaticism is on the table. And I think then you’ve people like Hitchens and Dawkins come out and go through the Old Testament and pull these passages out and say, look religion causes violence, religion is fanatical.

So, I think that’s been boiling in the last sort of five or six years in the background and become a bigger issue. Now what got me into it was, I got a book by a guy called Kenneth Kitchen, who’s an Egyptologist at the University of Liverpool. And he was writing a very dry book called On the Reliability of the Old Testament where he sort of goes through different periods of Old Testament history and argues that the basic historical narrative of the bible isn’t taken seriously as a historical record. And he had a section on Joshua. And in this section was this criticism that had been made from archeologists, and the archeologists basically said, well look, if you study in Palestine, if you look at the archeological record, it doesn’t affect the picture of him coming in total conquest, killing everyone, burning all the cities and what have you. The population statistics, the archeological evidence doesn’t support that. Kenneth Kitchen in response sort of responded by essentially saying, well look, the book of Joshua doesn’t say that, and he was pointing out as an Egyptologist that if you read the book carefully, it didn’t actually say that, there was some skirmishes that happened, and these had been sort of put forward in the standard rhetoric of the time. And he went through various Egyptian writers who when they won a battle or won a victory would describe it in terms of, we killed everybody, we wiped everyone out, absolutely everyone was annihilated, we killed everyone, we took them as prisoners.

And when you read the narratives later on in the text, you’d see that, you know, that literally did not happen, this was kind of a rhetorical way of saying, we won. Later on in the same narratives you would see them talking about how many prisoners they took, and the same enemies would appear again at another campaign and what have you. And so he sort of suggested that if you understood the conventions that governed ancient Near Eastern writing about wars, you would find that a lot of the stuff was sort of rhetorical hyperbole. Now I read that and I thought, well that’s very interesting, because I wonder whether you can address some of the moral questions these people are asking from that? Now at the same time as I was sort of reading this, they had a conference at the University of Notre Dame on this very question, and they brought together a lot of philosophers to sort of discuss it. In a paper Alvin Plantinga gave, he suggested this idea as a possibility. And then Nicholas Wolterstorff gave another paper where he argued for it, not on the basis of knowledge of ancient Near Eastern war records or anything like that, he basically looked at the text of Joshua itself, and he points out that early on in the narrative you hear stories about how they went into all these cities and they put everyone in the city to the sword, they left alive no one that breathed, they killed absolutely everyone, they left no survivors, and then a few chapters later, when that very same land in being distributed to the tribes of the Israelites, it says that Joshua handed them on, Joshua saying, now this area here, it’s still full of Canaanites, you’re going to have to drive them out. And they would go in, and there would be so many that often they’d have a hard time. And then when you got to the book of Judges, these very same cities that have been said to have been wiped out were there full of Canaanites, and the city was still occupied. And so Wolterstorff said look, if you read the text in a really strict literalistic fashion, it’s contradictory, but maybe this is some kind of hyperbole, maybe it’s what he called hagiographic history.

And when I heard these papers, I thought, so you’ve got a philosopher of the stature of Nicholas Wolterstorff suggesting this on the basis of the text itself. You’ve got Egyptologists of the stature of Kenneth Kitchen arguing it on the basis of his knowledge of Egyptian writings. So I began reading some of Kitchen’s primary sources and familiarizing myself with some of these sort of Assyrian, Babylonian accounts, and I thought, this is really interesting, I wonder if you can bring these two together. So I wrote this post, this sort of blog post where I put forth Wolterstorff’s argument, and I said, if you take some of the stuff Kitchen’s mentioned, and some of these other writers, the case for this reading of it in a hyperbolic fashion has some plausibility. Well, next thing I know I’m being contacted by people all over the world who apparently have read this and thought that was a really interesting angle, and themselves were trying to write on the topic. Paul Copan, the President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society had just written a book on this topic, and he wrote to me and he said, can you give me some of your sources, can you give me where you got this information from? And it sort of took off from there. And so Copan asked to co-write an article with me, and he offered me a speaking slot at the conference, and I’ve got various different people asking me to speak on this topic. I sent my stuff to Nicholas Wolterstorff and he came right back to me and said, I really appreciate that information, I think it adds to my research. So I suddenly found that I sort of I think timed something and said something at a time when people were looking in this very direction and I sort of found some new ideas, so that’s I guess the story of what happened.

BA: Some of our new listeners may have listened to your recent debate with philosopher Raymond Bradley, and that was on the topic of morality. Is God the source of morality? So, do you think that debate as well was significant for you as it relates to this topic?

MF: Absolutely. That was significant to me in many respects. I think Ray Bradley in that debate raised some questions or criticisms that atheists often raise, and usually when they raise it, they do it in a context where it’s strictly speaking irrelevant. You’ll hear a debate about the existence of God, and they’ll grab the bible and they’ll pull a passage out of context and they’ll say, look at this terrible thing the bible says. And the Christian thinker will rightly say, well look, we’re not debating that, we’re debating the existence of God. Or the debate will be about the sort of metaphysical relationship between God and morality, and people will do this and say, look we’re not actually talking about whether the bible is correct, we’re talking about the relationship between God and morality. And so I think this sort of thing had been used by Dawkins, and used by Hitchens, and I think several atheists were starting to use it in the philosophical writing, I found that Walter Sinnott-Armstrong has used it, I found Michael Tooley in his debate with Plantinga had used it.

Louise Antony had used it in her recent writings and in response to William Lane Craig. In each case it was sort of a tangential point so it hadn’t been addressed. So I think Ray had made this a center point of his case against Christian morality. So having this debate enabled me to start getting some of these ideas that I’d been working on and put them out there in a public debate of that context just to sort of test them. The other thing with the debate with Ray Bradley is, for me it was a real step up because Ray Bradley is a very formidable opponent. He’s an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Auckland University, he’s a former head of department, he was a world class logician at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, he had twenty years experience debating Christian apologists, and he debated William Lane Craig, who anyone who knows about him knows that he’s probably the best Christian apologist in terms of debating in the world. And many people, I myself do not share this opinion, but many people feel that Bradley is one of the few people that ever bested Craig or won against him. So, I was very very nervous coming to that sort of debate, and certainly in New Zealand which has a reputation of the skeptic groups here, he was kind of like the great champion.

So, I sort of was aware, here I am, I’m going to America to speak on this stuff, here’s this guy in New Zealand who argues against Christian morality, uses these kinds of arguments as the center piece of his argument, and he’s if you like, in New Zealand, one of the leading sort of outspoken atheist apologists, this is really going to be a test. I really sort of have to see if my ideas can cut it, if I can kind of step up to that sort of challenge and say something credible that can stand up to that sort of criticism. So for me, it was a real very nerve racking, very frightening experience, but one that I felt I rose to, and I certainly won the debate it happened I felt that I actually had the answers, I could address what he said and I certainly got the impression that the audience had been quite pleasantly surprised by the fact that I could respond to what he said. So that was a real interesting experience. The other thing is, because of my blog and the whole internet now, you can do something like that at Auckland University, have it audio’d, and everyone in the world can hear the discussion. And so we were able to get the audio out pretty quickly, get other people around the world to hear it, you know, the videos going to come, and I think that enabled me to sort of not just be this kind of blogger in New Zealand who’s written something on this, but being able to be a person who says, now I’m going to speak at a major conference and now I’ve kind of stepped up and debated it against a major person who uses it in his arguments. So that I think is starting to put those kinds of questions out there.

BA: Were there any points or complaints that Bradley seemed to raise that you thought were strong points, or particular focal points that most critics would use?

MF: Well, I think that the difference is, Ray used an argument that I think is often used in a sort of more tangential context by skeptics, they’ll often through it in as a barb, and he made it center stage, and his basic complaint, he was arguing that God was not the source of morality, and he really was trying to argue against the existence of God, but instead of using the sort of standard argument from evil that atheists often use, his complaint was essentially to sort of say that there are certain things we recognize as wrong. It’s wrong to kill innocent people, it’s wrong to torture people, it’s wrong to commit cannibalism or things like this. And then he would go through the bible and say, if you read the bible, you’ll see that God does these things. And he’ll go through various passages in the bible which on a surface reading suggests that, and then he would sort of turn around and say, so I indict God as a mass murderer and as a horrible being and this sort of thing. And that was really his major complaint. Now strictly speaking, it actually doesn’t address the issue of God’s existence, because you don’t actually have to actually believe the bible as inerrant to believe in God.

Often many people of course do, and I myself would believe in inerrancy in some sense of the word, but the question of whether God exists is a totally different question to whether or not the bible is the word of God. And the question of whether God’s commands constitute our moral duties is quite different to the question of whether or not you know those commands through the bible, you might know it through your conscience or something else. So, strictly speaking, it was an irrelevant point, but I think it is the point that lots of skeptics make, they have this view of Christianity as historically this oppressive thing that brought about The Crusades, and The Inquisitions, and what have you. And they see God as this really evil being who really loves violence and is blood thirsty, and this is what you see in the bible. And I think that’s at the backdrop of a lot of contemporary atheism, and as long as it’s at the backdrop, it’s never addressed. And I think what was great about Ray was he brought it to the forefront, and he says, this is my main argument, I’m going to lay this on the table. And that enables you to start asking questions like, does God have duties the way we do? Is that a reasonable assumption? And are you actually reading these texts in a sensible way?

Our skeptics who do this, are they actually reading the text with understanding, trying to read it in context, trying to understand the kind of literary conventions they’re dealing with, trying to understand how these passages fit in a broader narrative, trying to understand what the author was doing with these, and how these function in the religious community’s use of this text, or were they just looking for passages, pulling them out of context, and misunderstanding them? And I think skeptics have been doing that for a long time and getting away with it. And so I really like the opportunity to be able to say, actually, let’s hold on here, let’s look at that passage you used. You’ve really misused how this passage is used. And when you started doing that, it became very clear to me that a lot of these skeptics had almost the most extreme fundamentalist view of the bible you could imagine. They have this kind of view that everything in the bible must be a hundred percent literal, there’s no figures of speech, there’s no idioms, there’s no genre apart from pure description as if you were filming it with a video camera, that the bible must be verbatim, dictated word of God, and if there’s any ambiguity, somehow God didn’t say it. And you start realizing that really what’s going on here is there’s a fear of a certain kind of religious fundamentalism that nobody really has, that they have created this kind of caricature of and they’re railing against that, and I think once you start to address that, it becomes a very interesting question because this isn’t so much people objecting to God, this is people objecting to a caricature, this is people objecting to a kind of stereotype that’s been whipped up in our culture through fear and ignorance and often ignorance of history, of what actually did happen in the Middle Ages, and what have you. And this whole picture is motivating a lot of contemporary atheism, and if we can address this picture and show, hey look, you don’t understand Medieval History, you don’t understand why The Inquisition happened or The Crusades happened. You know, you don’t really understand this text that you’re using and put some of these things to the forefront and start saying, hey look, Christianity is not what you think it is. I think that really opens up a lot of dialogue that hasn’t really been opened up in a lot of these kinds of discussions.

BA: You mentioned that you feel that the audience were satisfied, that you gave an adequate answer to some of the things that were raised. How do you feel that debates like these are helpful for those who are listening?

MF: I think they are helpful. I think one of the problems people have with debates is that they make one of two fundamental mistakes with them. The first mistake they think is that when you have a debate with someone, if you don’t convince the person you’re having a debate with that night on the spot, somehow you’ve wasted your time. Where as I always go into debates, particularly against someone like Ray Bradley, with the attitude that really, I’m not going to persuade Ray Bradley of anything. The question is, what did the audience see? So the first thing is, the point of a debate is to get third parties to look at the exchange and then get something out of it.

The second mistake I think people make with debates is they expect on the spot decisions to be made. I think contemporary Evangelicalism has really made this error at times of, you know, we need a decision for Christ. We need a commitment, and so some of the churches I used to fellowship in when I was a bit younger, a teenager, had this kind of thing that, we get up, we preach a sermon, and we have an altar call, someone makes a decision and therefore saved. And I think in reality, being a disciple of Christ is a process, it takes a period time, and often what these debates do is they expose people to a line of thought or a line of thinking that they hadn’t had before. You’ll get at a debate Christians who come along who are Christians and they’re going to go away Christians. You’ll get atheists who go along who are atheists and they’re going to go away atheists. Then you get some other people who might be atheists in some sense of the word, or skeptics in some sense of the word, but largely because they’ve heard a whole lot of things, they think a whole lot of things, and they’ve really never heard an alternative. And when they come along to something like this and they hear someone like Ray Bradley give these objections, or someone like myself give some answers, there’s this kind of, huh, I hadn’t thought of that before. That’s interesting, I’m going to check, I’m going to look into that. And there’s a softening. Or you’ll get this kind of response I’d say numerous times, it’s like, I thought all Christians were foolish, ignorant, morons. I thought the Christian guy was just going to get wasted, and was just going to preach hell fire and brimstone or something, and he didn’t, and that’s changed my image, and this is something to think about. And I think it’s those kinds of moments which set people on a train of thought that down the road may lead to a more sensible conversion later on, and that’s one thing that happens.

I think the other thing that it does, is Christians that go along can get exposed to a kind of level of understanding their faith and a way of defending their faith, and answers to questions that often are just suppressed. They’ve gone to church and thought oh I’ve got these questions, but I’ve got to have faith so I can’t answer them. And so they’ve had a kind of very dumbed down faith or had a faith that really hasn’t addressed some of these deep initial questions, and so there’s this kind of problem with the way their faith is integrated in their lives. And they get relieved when they here, oh my goodness now I actually see that there are some things I can look at, now I can see there’s somebody who can answer these questions. So I think these debates have this function, and certainly, talking to people who were at the debate. A lot of the people who went along to the debate, many of them it was the first or second time ever that they’ve seen a debate like that. They haven’t really been involved in that kind of apologetics thing that goes on. They haven’t really ever considered the value of a theologian debating a philosopher on this topic or seen that as some how, oh my goodness, that’s a scary thing. And so a lot of people I think went along just out of curiosity say, what is this thing, how does it work?

And so I talked to a lot of people who thought, well I was genuinely impressed with the dialogue, I was genuinely impressed that these issues got hashed out, that there were things said, and I think a genuine surprise that it didn’t turn into a kind of slanging match where everyone just talked over one another and nobody said anything. And I think that’s what sometimes that’s what people expect, they expect when they hear a dialogue or debate that alright, this is just two polarized viewpoints, they’re not going to say anything of interest, they’re just going to talk over the top of one another, and it’s a waste of time. And I think if debates are done well, people can move away from that kind of dialogue, and you can actually get a kind of dialogue that actually serves an important function I think.

BA: As far as other projects you might be working on, are you going to continue to pursue this focus, or do you have other things that we should be expecting?

MF: I’m going to continue to pursue this focus, but I am trying to work on other things at the same time, partly because this focus was an accident that arose out of another project that I was working on, and this is a whole project that I’ve been thinking about and that is, I think there’s, the whole relationship between God and morality really, and one of the things I kind of noticed that prominent in the literature was this question, well, if you say that right and wrong is ground in God’s commands, what happens if God commands something horrible? And I think this question is central to a broader debate about the whole role of religion in public life, a broader debate about the whole role of religion and culture, a broader debate about the whole role of God and morality, and I think I was just addressing this question out of part of that broader debate. So, I would like to work on that and write some things on that whole broader question.

So that sort of I thing I’m working at long term maybe turning into a book down the trek. Another thing is, I have done a lot of work on the morality of feticide from a Christian perspective, which I did my PhD thesis on, so I’m actually working on getting a book together on this topic as well. And I got into some of these issues from that. I noticed that in the debate about the morality of abortion, often people would say things like, well you can’t have religion in public life, because if you do, all these atrocities happen. Or, you can’t appeal to religious ethics, because after all, what if God commanded this, then that would be right, and as a result this theory’s wrong. So it struck me that there were these kinds of questions in the background of a lot of moral debates in our culture about things like abortion or what have you, and so I sort of wrote on them a little bit in my PhD thesis while I was working on another project, and that is the morality of feticide, which I’ve done a lot on, so I want to kind of get that into book form, get that published, get that sort of out there, and then I can move across to some of these other issues and write some more stuff on those.

BA: We’ll definitely be looking forward to further work, and your contribution, it’s excellent and it’s great to see. Would you mind pointing our listeners to your blog, I know it really helps when you do it with a Kiwi accent.

MF: Well it’s funny, my surname’s Flannagan so everyone thinks I’m Irish, but it’s

BA: Well Matt, thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, it’s been interesting.

MF: You’re welcome

Written by

Brian Auten is the founder emeritus of Apologetics315. He is also director of Reasonable Faith Belfast. Brian holds a Masters degree in Christian Apologetics and has interviewed over 150 Christian apologists. His background is in missions, media direction, graphic design, and administration. Brian started Apologetics315 in 2007 to be an apologetics hub to equip Christians to defend the faith.

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