Save the Egg: An Interview with the Editor of 'The Poached Egg'

 Greg West, Editor of The Poached Egg

Greg West, Editor of The Poached Egg

Recently, a flurry of articles and news interest have arisen in reaction to polls which indicate that Christianity is losing numbers in the Western World while anti-religious worldviews – like atheism and agnosticism – are on the rise. 

Further analysis into these polls has shown what amounts to a polarization: people with no strong religious opinions used to identify as Christian because of family or social pressure. As social pressures have shifted, so have their loyalties. 

With this polarization, and with the more overt hostility toward Christian belief on the rise, Christians have blown the dust off a long-neglected field of study, and it is increasingly on the lips of the most ground-level believer: Christian Apologetics. 

Christian Apologetics defends Christianity using evidence - like science, scholarship, and philosophy - to show that it is true, and not just blind, baseless faith. 

Websites offering Apologetics materials are helpful to the Christian and Skeptic alike, because they allow either side to form and support their arguments; however most Apologetics websites draw from a limit pool of resources written by the staff members of that organization. 

One website which wrecks the curve and offers a staggering catalogue of articles and information drawn from all over the internet is “The Poached Egg." Formerly part of the larger Ratio Christi ministry, The Egg has never failed to offer top quality articles and resources to the community, touching the lives of many. However, The Egg has recently broken free of Ratio Christi, and is in danger of becoming breakfast for good. This writer recently had the opportunity to interview the editor of The Egg, Greg West. This is that interview:

Mentionables:  

What is your background, and how did you become involved in the field of Christian Apologetics? 

Greg: 

I was raised in a solid committed Christian home but once I got out in the real world away from the Christian ghetto, for many different reasons, I began to wonder if Christianity was really the “one true religion”. Instead of digging deeper and investigating, I used doubt as an excuse to reject Christianity and by the time I reached my mid-twenties I was a professing agnostic. After years of apathy towards Christianity and religion in general, worldview issues and questions began weighing heavily on my heart and mind. 

I didn’t want Christianity to be true because I wasn’t thrilled about being accountable to anything or anyone but myself, but as I began to see that the Christian worldview was the only way everything made sense and fell into place, I began to realize that if Christianity was true, I wanted to be a follower of Jesus because without him, life had no real meaning and it was everyman for himself. I wanted to be someone who accepted and stood up for the truth for what is was and not just what I wanted it to be. I recommitted my life to Christ and in a short time was burdened with a desire to really dig into the truth claims of Christianity. 

I started studying apologetics without even knowing what it was at the time. While browsing a local Christian bookstore I ran across Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ. Intrigued, I bought it and read it straight through almost nonstop. I was blown away that this kind of stuff was not taught in church. Next I devoured Lee’s follow-up book, The Case for Faith, and was even more blown away, because it addressed many issues I had struggled with. Those two books were my introduction to apologetics and I’ve been studying apologetics ever since. 

Mentionables:

So describe what is the purpose of The Poached Egg? What is the need that it fills in the world of Christian Apologetics? 

Greg: 

The Poached Egg (TPE) serves several purposes. First and foremost is to help Christians learn apologetics for their own edification and for evangelism, and to raise the awareness of its need in the church, especially in today’s cultural climate. Second is to provide a huge amount of resources for seekers and to answer skeptics and critics of Christianity. Third, it brings many different apologists and apologetics ministries all together in one place. It gives some of the more established apologists and apologetics ministries more exposure to what they’re doing by helping to expand their audience and it also gives those just starting out an already established audience that it might normally take them many months or even years of work to achieve. A substantial boost in website traffic from an article we feature can be very encouraging to someone just getting their feet wet. 

Mentionables:

How did you choose the title “The Poached Egg”? 

Greg: 

I get asked this one all the time and I never get tired of answering it. It’s a hat tip to CS Lewis’ lunatic-liar-or-Lord argument from Mere Christianity, or what has become known as the “trilemma” argument. He wrote, 

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. 

What it all comes down to is what are we to make of the person of Jesus Christ. If Jesus is God, then to put it mildly, that carries with it some serious implications for our lives. 

Mentionables:

What is the most significant thing TPE has accomplished in the five years you have been doing this? 

Greg: 

The most exciting thing for me is hearing from people who are getting involved in apologetics for the first time or even apologetics ministry because they discovered apologetics via TPE. The New Chapters Formation Director at Ratio Christi (our parent organization) has told me that a significant number of new chapter directors have come on board by way of TPE. Many pastors and youth pastors are also starting apologetics ministries in their church after they started following TPE on one or more social networks. A favorite example is from about a year ago when I had a pastor in South Africa of what we would call a “mega-church” contact me via Twitter asking if I could help him get apologetics ministry into his church. I did a Skype session with him and some of his staff and gave them what advice I could. Last I heard he was enrolled in the Apologetics Certificate Program offered by BIOLA and is working directly with Ratio Christi staff that are in South Africa. That’s the kind of stuff that puts me in “happy dance” mode! 

Mentionables:

What is one of the worst Apologetics arguments you’ve happened across in all your reading? 

Greg: 

I’ve run across some to be sure, but what stands out in my mind the most is the worst objection to Christianity I ran across. It was from a hyper-skeptic who used to frequently comment on many of the articles featured on the blog- this one happened to be a defense of the resurrection of Jesus. I’m paraphrasing him here, but he said that even if Jesus did rise from the dead, then it didn’t necessarily follow that he was divine. I’ll give him that one there, but he followed that by saying that if he did rise from the dead, then someday science will figure out how and why and we’ll then be able to raise other people from the dead. If I didn’t know better from reading some of his previous comments I would have thought he was poking fun, but I’m pretty sure he was serious. 

Mentionables:

What is one of the most intriguing Apologetics articles that you’ve read in recent memory? 

Greg: 

Well, here’s something I’ve read from a couple of different sources, I think first from New Testament scholar Michael Kruger, and it’s something that should have occurred to someone long ago- maybe it did and I just never heard of it- but in a nutshell it’s the idea that when it comes to an argument such as we can never really know what the NT writers originally said because all we have are copies of copies of copies is really not a very good one because today we have manuscripts and manuscript fragments dating back to the second century- so we’re talking ancient writings more than 1500 years old that still survive today- so isn’t it reasonable to assume that the original manuscripts could have existed for a least a few centuries before becoming unusable? I find that idea very compelling. 

Mentionables:

Do you see any expansion or new ventures in the future of TPE? 

Greg: 

Definitely. Of course one thing holding us back is the lack of financial support, but I’m trusting God to provide for that and am not letting that hold me back from taking advantage of opportunities that I’m being blessed with. I’m meeting personally with more pastors and am seeing more opportunities for speaking and teaching, which I’m so thankful for. As far as expanding the reach of TPE itself goes, I’m in desperate need for a promotional budget and the financial resources to be able to hire at least one additional full-time staff member. We need a lot more people to step up and partner with us financially to help make that happen.  

You can find more on The Poached Egg at the following locations: 

http://www.thepoachedegg.net/ 
http://www.facebook.com/poachedegg
http://www.twitter.com/thepoachedegg