Mitchell Recommends: Steve Reads Christian Apologetics

27 May

Here is the link to Steve’s youtube channel, and the specific playlists for the apologetics series can be found here. (No affiliation)

Steve Shives has a series on youtube called “An Atheist Reads”, in which he examines works of Christian apologetics and criticises them (or rants about them). While I don’t always agree with 100% of what he says, the vast majority of his criticisms are spot-on and I really enjoy listening to him do this. It’s certainly much more pleasant than reading the apologetic works would be. I’ve found that Steve does a good job of presenting the arguments the books are making while he criticises them; he definitely doesn’t quotemine or strawman, and while it’s obviously not the same as reading the books yourself it’s still a very good way to get a sense of what they argue. The snark and anger make it bearable, and he is very thorough. He’s also usually very good on sexism and gender issues.

I’ll admit this certainly isn’t for everybody – the videos can be rather dry most of the time, and if you don’t have a preexisting interest in the subject I suspect they may bore you. But if it does sound like something you’d be interested in, you should definitely check him out; if you have the time for it, his videos are well worth watching (or at least listening to; while watching will allow you to see some hilarious facial expressions, and he usually displays the text of quotes as he’s discussing them, you can get all of the substantive content auditorally).

(For the record, I was originally made aware of these videos by Daniel Fincke at Camels With Hammers, some time ago)


Posted by on May 27, 2014 in mitchell


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5 responses to “Mitchell Recommends: Steve Reads Christian Apologetics

  1. Ignostic Atheist

    May 27, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    I’ve watched a few full books worth, but the problem with the videos is the problem with apologetics: you keep hearing the same shit over and over again.

    • mcbender

      May 28, 2014 at 1:18 am

      Yes, that’s a good point. I do find the different approaches the apologists themselves take interesting sometimes, but as you say it can get repetitive (that’s not really Steve’s fault, though!). I sometimes like to put these on to listen to in the background while I’m doing something else, I find it’s less noticeable that way.

      That said, for whatever this is worth, some of the earlier ones – in particular, Mere Christianity and The Purpose-Driven Life – do seem to be quite different from the rest, which tend to be of a kind

      • Ignostic Atheist

        May 29, 2014 at 10:40 pm

        Oh dear lord, he’s doing Ray Comfort. This will be both incredibly painful and a joy to watch.

      • mcbender

        May 30, 2014 at 1:06 am

        Yeah, that one looks like it’s going to be a doozy. I wish him the best in doing it; I certainly couldn’t. I hope he has plenty of booze or whatever else he might want to self-medicate with; I think he might need it. I might need it just listening to these, honestly.


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