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A Conversation with Kirby Anderson

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
July 10, 2021 12:00 am

A Conversation with Kirby Anderson

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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July 10, 2021 12:00 am

7/10/2021 - A Conversation with Kirby Anderson by Truth for a New Generation

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TNG Radio, where today's culture and timeless truths come together. It's reasoned relevant content apologetics, worldview, and answers to the questions that you need to know. From Alex McFarland Ministries, this is Truth for a New Generation Radio.

And now the man who preached in 50 states in 50 days, speaker, writer, and advocate for Christian apologetics, Dr. Alex McFarland. The definition of truth for a new generation, Alex McFarland here, 1 Peter 3.15. Set apart the Lord in your heart. Be ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that you have. Do this with meekness and fear, says the old King James.

Some translations say do it with gentleness and respect. Another verse I think about is Jude verse 3 that says that we are to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. And, you know, when I think about apologists and people who, I could say defenders of the faith, but really they stand up for the truth.

They do what the Bible says and graciously but effectively, fruitfully, consistently, they stand up for the faith. You know, I think of Kirby Anderson and Probe Ministries. It's been my joy to be on with Kirby many times. And here at the booth for AFR at the NRB convention, we've got Kirby Anderson and Stephen Cable, both from Probe Ministries. And I want to say welcome, guys. Thanks for making time to be with us. Kirby, isn't it nice that for once, I think this is the first time, you and I are doing a radio show and we're not a thousand miles apart?

Yeah. It's also nice for me to have you interview me because so many times I've interviewed you and talked about your conferences and all the books that you produced and everything else. And for people that are not familiar, Probe Ministries started almost 50 years ago, 1973. John Buell and Jimmy Williams were individuals that were influenced by people like Francis Schaeffer, who you would know of, and really wanted to help develop this idea of thinking biblically and speaking biblically to the issue.

So speaking on college campuses, producing books and all sorts of things. And really just more recently, we over the last 12 years have said there's some things going on in the culture that you talk about almost every day, Alex. And this is why we'll be talking about the survey today because we felt that it was a need for us to know what is going on in the culture, how can we help people answer the questions that they have. And most importantly, there seems to be a real drop-off in terms of orthodoxy and in terms of biblical ideas.

So that's kind of just a basic understanding of what Probe is and why we're doing what we're doing today. Well, I applaud what you're doing. And I remember 10 years ago the culturally captive Christians survey. I may have been on with you at that time about that, but I remember at least I probably wrote about it for folks on the family and for Dr. Dobson. But Stephen, we welcome you as well.

And Kirby, I hear you everywhere I go on the radio. Stephen, what is your role at Probe? Well, my role, I write radio programs. I handle all of our statistical analysis. I take care of doing our surveys like the one we'll be talking about today. So I have a strong background in that area, and I want to see it applied to help the church move forward. Amen.

Amen. Now, before we dive into the depth of this, where can people find you on the web and some of the results of your analysis of the culture and faith, where can people read that? Well, first of all, the website is So Probe Ministries and P-R-O-B-E. We will be, of course, producing a lot of material from this survey that came out in 2020. And let me give credit to Steve Cable, because when he produced some of the material from the one in 2010, he also took the time. Alex, as you well know, having worked at Focus on the Family, that there are lots of other surveys.

George Barna, Hugh, GSS, Christian Smith. I mean, of course, you're familiar with many of those. Our listeners might say, I don't know that there were that many. But a lot of different people, some coming from a Christian point of view, others just asking basic questions, have been able to give us just an incredible wealth of data.

But then we sort of say, what do we do with it? Because quite frankly, Alex, we'll talk about this a little bit maybe today. Some people haven't taken the time to really dig into the data. Steve Cable has, and I can't think of anybody that understands those surveys better than he does.

So again, if you go to, we even have a special section of some of the various articles already written by Steve Cable. You know, you mentioned some of those names like Christian Smith, whom I've had the privilege of interviewing, and others I can name. I think about Steve Prothero, who I don't even know if he's a Christian, but he is a very astute academic. And he was talking about how he wrote a book called God is Not One. Because so much of the time, the secular world says, well, all religions teach basically the same thing.

And Prothero interviewed a lot of people, and he said, look, they don't. You know, they all might be wrong, but they can't all be right, which is absolutely true. And folks, if you're listening to this and we're talking about worldview, we're talking about Christianity, one of the things that sets the biblical worldview apart is, well, there are a lot of things, but not the least of which is the empty tomb. Only Christ has a physically risen from the dead savior, validating the man and the message. Jesus is the Son of God. He gave his life for the salvation of the world, and he can be your savior.

He's as close by as a prayer. And so when we talk about the biblical worldview, we're not merely spouting off our opinions or even preferences, but we're talking about objective truth that is real, regardless of who does or doesn't believe it. And so the biblical worldview has been our foundation, and we must rediscover it and pass it on to future generations.

But talking about the data, I'll throw this out to both of you. Where are we spiritually as a nation right now? 330 million Americans, plus or minus. What do we believe, Stephen? Well, we believe a wide variety of things, and basically from a Christian perspective, we're on a downward slope right now. We did a survey in 2010, which was so a downward slope from 2000, and over the last 10 years, it's been dramatic.

The further decline, especially amongst those 18 to 40 years old. You were talking about some biblical worldview principles a minute ago, and if we look at pluralism, 62% of born-again Protestants, that would be us, right? 62% of them are pluralists. They believe that Muhammad, Jesus, and Buddha are equally valid ways to God.

That's kind of mind-blowing. You talked about Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We asked them three questions about Jesus. Did Jesus die to redeem us? Will he come again to save us? And did he live a sinless life while on earth? And less than half of born-again Protestants agreed with those three statements. What blows your mind is how can they be a born-again Protestant and not believe those three things about Jesus? But it's true, because what's happening in our culture today is the culture is continually pounding, pounding, pounding that Christianity is not true, and so you can believe some things about it.

You can treat him as a good teacher, but don't make him your Lord. We've got to take a brief break. Stay tuned. Folks, this is powerful.

You need this. Don't go away. We're going to come right back with more of Stephen Cable and Kirby Anderson on this edition of Truth For A New Generation.

We'll see you next time. You know, Alex has been writing for many years, and one of his classic books is still great today as a basic introduction to the Christian faith. It's called Stand, Core Truths You Must Know for an Unshakeable Faith. This book will help you help your teens get off the roller coaster of doubt and onto solid ground. You'll read about the six pillars of biblical Christianity. They are one, inspiration of the Bible, two, the virgin birth, three, the deity of Christ, four, atonement, five, Christ's resurrection, and six, Christ's return. You know, Alex mixes it up with humor and stories he gleaned from decades of working with youth and encourages teens to build a foundation of faith that will stabilize their lives and help them take a stand for Christ. Simple and straightforward, Stand, Core Truths You Must Know for an Unshakeable Faith, available wherever Christian books are sold. Timeless Truths in a Soundbite Culture.

Truth for a New Generation Radio. Welcome back to the program. Having a great conversation with Kirby Anderson, who I have followed for so many years.

You know, I was thinking about it. This is unique that I'm getting to interview you. Before we go too much further, you're such a great resource, both of you.

Give the website. How can people find you online and avail themselves to your research and broadcasts? And again, it is at And of course, Steve Cable is with me, and I might even encourage people to go there. We're going to be putting up a banner soon so that they can find this survey that we're talking about today. But the previous surveys and the analysis that Steve Cable has done with those surveys is already there.

So I hope they'll go back again and again to the website. And of course, if you want to learn more about politics, economics, apologetics, theology, cults, world religions, history, we have all sorts of different aspects. And there are just hundreds and hundreds of articles that you will be able to find, as well as transcripts of our radio program.

Well, thank you so much. You know, I was talking to James Dobson back in December, about seven or eight months ago. And he was talking about during World War II, how many churches had like all-night prayer vigils. And, you know, we were lamenting the theological and moral state of the culture. And I said, well, you know, but God sends revivals.

And he said, yeah, but Alex, this is different. The church is so fragmented. The church is not really biblically literate. And there's not unity, Dr. Dobson said. He said, you've got to remember, a very critical hour during the time of World War II, there were churches that they would gather with two days notice and have all-night prayer vigils. And we're just not seeing anything like that right now.

So I say that to kind of cue up this line of discussion. We know the Lord can do anything and revive the church. But are we maybe not a post-Christian culture, but a pre-Christian culture? In some ways, I think that's exactly right. When we look and see that less than 3% of those under 40 have a biblical worldview, then when we're looking at the church and we look at the buildings and people in the buildings, that's not the church.

The church are those Christian believers who have a biblical worldview who are able to interact with the culture, with the gospel of Jesus Christ. And when you say it's 3 to 5% of the population, then I think we're exactly what you're saying. We're in a pre, we're in a start again, and the world needs that. There are people out there floundering to find something to believe in. And, you know, in panel discussions, and Kirby, you might speak to why this is serious, but I've had college students say, well, Jesus might have sinned.

Oh, yeah. Yeah, and I'm talking young adults that profess to be believers. And I had a student somewhat challenge me about a month ago and said, well, what would be wrong? You know, he's still a good man, Jesus could have sinned maybe, and I said, no, that's not true, but why is having an accurate picture of Jesus so vitally important, Kirby? Well, certainly, as you just pointed out, and we've done that in surveys, ask, did Jesus live a sinless life? And it's amazing how many times you don't get an answer that's yes.

And so there are a lot of these issues, but these issues kind of fall off pretty quickly. It's like a watershed, if they don't believe in absolute truth, then they're much more open to views like, well, critical race theory, postmodernism that doesn't believe in absolute truth. And we found that a very high percentage of them do not. If they don't believe that there is a personal Satan, well, then they're not going to be very successful in spiritual warfare if they don't even realize their spiritual warfare. And so as a result, once you can begin to deny some of the orthodox foundations of the Christian faith, you are open to anything. Does it not start, and I can be a little bit harsh on pastors because I have been one, and believe me, I know the dynamics of shepherding a local flock, small and large, but I've got to believe that some of the biblical illiteracy over the last three to five decades, some of the blame lays at the feet of the pastors. I think the big thing is the pastors are teaching these truths to an audience that they believe believes them, is already predisposed to accept them because that 40, 50 years ago, that was true.

Today it's not. So they have young people, young adults out there that are hearing them say things about behavior, et cetera, and they say, oh, that's what he's talking about. Well, I'll just turn that off because I know all my friends in the culture are saying that's hogwash. And the pastor thinks, well, he's coming right through.

It's getting in there. One of our fundamental presuppositions, though, we've got to reiterate that the Bible is the authority. And we can talk about evidence and we can talk about so many things to support the tenets of a biblical worldview, but I feel like we have to reiterate to our people over and over the Word of God is infallible, eternal, and for life, faith, behavior, everything, we must draw our conclusions from the Scriptures.

I would think so. And, of course, just to be fair, the pastors may be talking about some of that, but as Steve points out, they may assume that there is more agreement in the pews than there really is. But we, to be fair to the pastors, also have had some interesting situations because, Alex, ten years ago, one of the things that we did was not only do a survey, but we provided material for churches to evaluate their congregation. And I'll use an example from a church just down the road from where we're broadcasting right now in which they actually did a survey of the people in the congregation. And the pastor is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. And so you can actually believe that he was actually teaching godly people and he was teaching biblical truths. But then when we did the survey, we found all sorts of individuals that did not hold to what you would consider to be orthodox Christianity. Now, to be fair, there had been a tornado in one of the churches nearby, so there were probably some people coming from the other church, but there's two parts of communication.

You know that only so well. It's the speaking and the listening. So sometimes it may even be that the pastor is speaking God's Word and making the Bible the authority, but the listeners are just tuning out, or they're maybe redefining it in some significant way. And so that's just, I think, another thing to pay attention to.

Pastors, you're going to have to be more diligent than ever before, and maybe even begin to have some of your sermons start with the assumption that you're really dealing with non-Christians, because on one or two, sometimes a dozen different issues, they're not thinking like a Christian should be thinking. Time fleets away. We've got to take a brief break. Stay tuned, folks.

We're going to come back with Stephen Cable, Kirby Anderson of Probe Ministries, on this edition of Truth for a New Generation. America today is like a patient struggling to live, yet is being forcibly euthanized by her, quote, doctors. The life force within the patient fighting for survival is the honest citizens like yourself, the team of, quote, caregivers are the local and national leaders actually contributing to the demise of the patient. The economy is crashing. Crime is exploding. The Constitution is being abolished. The assault on America, how to defend our nation before it's too late by Alex McFarland, has one single purpose, to get you prepared. Learn the real source of America's current problems that no one else is talking about, and what you can do now to face tomorrow, regardless of what tomorrow brings. The assault on America, how to defend our nation before it's too late.

Available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and local Christian bookstores. Are you tired of liberal agendas ruining our country, but you don't know what to do about it? That's why Truth and Liberty Coalition was founded. We want to equip you to take back our country and impact the world. Here's how we do it. We educate through broadcasts, conferences and our website with resources that inform, equip and motivate. We unify by collaborating with like minded organizations like the Family Research Council, the Family Policy Alliance and My Faith Votes. We mobilize by providing practical tools you can use to impact your local community.

As Christians, we are called to make disciples of nations. Together, we can change the course of our country for good. Join Truth and Liberty to connect with believers and organizations who not only want to see a change in our nation, but a community that is actually doing something about it. Join us online for our broadcast and subscribe for relevant updates on our website, In the midst of a culture obsessed with relativism, Alex McFarland is a voice you can trust to speak the timeless truths of Christianity in a timely way. You're listening to Truth for a New Generation radio. Welcome back to Truth for a New Generation. Such a privilege to be talking to an apologist and worldview speaker for whom I have the utmost respect, Kirby Anderson and also Stephen Cable. Hey, I do want to remind everybody our next Truth for a New Generation apologetics conference is coming up October 15th through 17th. This year we're in Myrtle Beach. And listen folks, it's a restaurant, Mecca, although I hate to use the word Mecca, but lots of hotels, great restaurants. You have every reason in the world to go to Myrtle Beach.

Okay, but listen, here's the best reasons. Frank Turek, E.W. Jackson, Sandy Rios, more than a dozen speakers. I want to see you there because at TNG Fall 2021, we're going to be talking about the origins of the woke movement, a Christian response to wokeness, critical race theory. So many of the worldview voices that are battling for the souls of this nation.

You can go to my website, which is Please pray, promote, plan to attend. Guys, I want to get back to talking about biblical worldview. And Stephen, during the break you were making a point that we might be sharing biblical truth, but if the ears of our listeners are in some other place, it's going to roll off like water off the back of a duck. Could you reiterate that for the listeners, please?

Right. If we're going to be sharing Christ with a Muslim, for example, we need to know a little bit about Islam and what their worldview is and how they think about things so that we can talk about the issues where Christianity creates a big difference. Same thing when talking to today's American young adult. They don't have the view of the Bible, the view of Jesus Christ that they may have had 20, 30 years ago that they had when I was a young person. They have a view that says, you know, God may have created things, but He's not involved anymore. And Jesus may have been a good guy, but no more than that. And so you don't come at it from the standpoint of, well, you know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and He said that we should do this. You've got to go back to those basics and that God created the world, but He's involved in it today. And Jesus Christ is the Son of God who gave His life for you, and the resurrection is the thing that tells you that it's true.

I'm glad you said that. The resurrection is the thing that tells you it's true. Stephen, if somebody said to you, give me the top one or two reasons that you believe Christianity is true. One, you would say the resurrection, right? How about you, Kirby, if somebody said to you, give me one or two reasons to believe that Christianity is true, what would you say?

Well, again, the resurrection, of course, in 1 Corinthians 15. But let's add something else that surfaces in the survey, and that is, is the Bible true? Because what we're finding, Alex, is you've got with the Generation Y, Millennials, and Generation Z, more and more of them are saying, well, I'm not sure it's true in all areas. And so that's a challenge that comes either from science or it's a challenge that comes from sexuality.

As a matter of fact, we have whole sections which we have asked questions about in terms of sexuality and science. Maybe we can come back and do a future one on that because what happens is either they go and they take a science class and they begin to say, you know, I really am pretty convinced that evolution is true, so how does that fit in? So I begin to think maybe the Bible is not scientifically accurate. Or on sexuality, I've got friends that are part of the LGBTQ particular group, and some of the things the Bible says don't seem right. And so that whole issue of the authority of the Bible, as you pointed out just a few minutes ago, is really key. And if you begin to compromise on that, it's in a watershed that takes you in the wrong direction on all sorts of other issues. That's why I encourage pastors and small group leaders and Sunday school teachers and moms and dads, teach through the book of Genesis, and for goodness sakes, believe it.

You know, and maybe on another show we can talk about that, but let me throw a new wrinkle in here, at least in my experience with, I would have said college through high school now, I would say even down to middle schoolers. Questions of power and motive, because we're living in a time when there is the mindset, and secular education and the secular media have certainly encouraged this mindset. But if you say, look, the Bible is true, Jesus is real, the Gospel is relevant, there seems to me among young people this idea, okay, what's your angle? Are you trying to play me? You're an authority figure. What are you trying to do here? So my twofold question is, do you guys think this is the case, that people, you can have all the evidence in the world, and we know we do, but they're suspicious of our motive, and they think that we're coming over them somehow from a power base. How do you address the millennials and younger, their questions of power and motive?

Do you see what I'm asking? Well, and I think, first of all, what you would want to do is maybe diffuse some of that, because in some respects, this is a generation where everybody's been selling them something. And so they're, okay, what are you selling? And so there is the old philosophy that they don't really care what you know until they know you care. So you've heard Josh McDowell and you and many other people, Sean McDowell and all sorts of people, J. Warner Wallace, a lot of us, when we do apologetics, we say, you really have to develop a relationship.

And if you don't have a relationship and they just perceive that you are, quote, selling something, selling the gospel, well, that's the end of that, or the power trip as well. So I think there is a sense in which I've said before that I think Christians should be the best citizens. We, after all, should have humility of mind. And Philippians 2 talks about that in terms of the fact that even Jesus actually humbled himself, and we should follow that same thing. We should be good stewards of the resources we have. We should also follow the golden rule, treat other people as we'd like to be treated. So if we are seen as people that are humble, gracious, and loving, then that whole question about power and authority fades away a little bit, because you seem to be real, or the key word for a typical millennial, authentic.

And that's going to make a big difference in terms of the kind of impact that you'll have on those individuals. And as you know, if you look at the media and portrayals on television and movies, what Christians are portrayed as just the opposite of what Kirby is saying, so that we have to take the step to actually address that and explain it. It says there's nothing in it to be gained from me. There's no place in the Bible that says I receive 1,000 bonus points for every person I bring to heaven with me. It's only for you.

The only reason I want to share is to help you. Yes. Well, this is wonderful. You know, regrettably, we've got to pull away, we're out of time for today. In your research, which is just impeccable, and I applaud you for the work you do, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, said the local congregation deserves the highest scholarship the church has to offer. And you all certainly personify that. Folks, you've been listening to Truth for a New Generation.

I hate we're out of time. We're going to visit with these guys again soon. Let me encourage you to rise to the challenge of 1 Peter 3.15, knowing what you believe and why.

And as a representative of Christ, always be ready. Call 1-877-YES-GOD and the number 1, or give online at While you're there, listen to program archives, read Alex's blog, invite Alex to speak at your event, or contact Alex with a question or comment. Thanks for listening today, and join us again next time as we bring you more Truth for a New Generation on TNG Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-23 12:54:53 / 2023-09-23 13:05:56 / 11

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