About Jonathan McLatchie

Jonathan has been a Christian since 1996, having had the privilege of being raised in a Christian home. He has become interested in Christian apologetics over the last 5 or 6 years. He holds an honors degree in Forensic Biology, a Masters (M.Res) degree in Evolutionary Biology, and a second Master's degree in medical and molecular bioscience. Currently, Jonathan is a PhD student in cell biology. He is a proponent of the scientific theory of intelligent design (ID), about which he has written extensively on Evolution News & Views and Uncommon Descent, in addition to being involved with the Centre for Intelligent Design UK. He is also a contributor to various apologetics websites, including CrossExamined.org, the Christian Apologetics Alliance, Apologetics UK, AllAboutGod.com, and GotQuestions.org. He has also been published in the Fall 2014 issue of Salvo Magazine.

Jonathan has participated in a number of summer internships: those have been with the Discovery Institute in Seattle, with AllAboutGod in Colorado Springs, with Frank Turek in Charlotte, and with Josh McDowell Ministry in Dallas. He is also a two-time graduate of the CrossExamined Instructor Academy (CIA) and the Discovery Institute's student summer seminar program. Between 2012 and 2013, Jonathan served as an employee intern at the Discovery Institute Center for Science and Culture in Seattle, Washington.

Jonathan has also been interviewed on podcasts and radio shows including "Unbelievable?" on Premier Christian Radio, "Apologetics315", "Theology Matters with the Pellews", "Dogma Debate." and Spice FM's Islamic "Eye on the East" program (airing in Tyneside, England). He has also been a featured guest on A9 TV's "Building Bridges" program, an Islamic TV show based in Istanbul Turkey.

Godbuster: A Debate With Elliot George

This week I engaged in a radio debate with an atheist on Unbelievable on Premier Christian Radio (which you can listen to here). My interlocutor was a British atheist, a retired biology teacher who goes by the pseudonym Elliot George. In his book, Godbuster, George attempts to dismantle theistic belief. I knew when I saw the front cover that the book was unlikely to be particularly professional or intellectually challenging. After all, who writes “Dare you read this?” on the front cover of an intellectually serious piece of work? This initial impression was further compounded when I noticed that the book contains no citations or references, except for the occasional in-text citation to YouTube or Wikipedia. Apparently Elliot George was even reliant upon Wikipedia as his source for the ten commandments (p. 125).

The intellectual content of the book is also confronted with severe problems. The book showed little, if any, engagement or interaction with high-level Christian argumentation. No serious Christian arguments were addressed by the book. Instead, George throughout the book persists in attacking strawmen, even redefining terminology to comport with his position. [Read more...]

“Naturalism or Christian Theism: Where Does the Evidence Point?” TreeSearch Founder Blake Giunta Debates Justin Schieber

I want to draw readers’ attention to a great debate that recently took place at the University of Texas at Dallas, between Blake Giunta, the founder of a recently-developed online apologetics resource called “TreeSearch“, and Justin Schieber, the host of the Reasonable Doubts radio show and podcast. Blake posted a postmortem review of the debate at his website. That, along with a video of the debate itself, can be found here. I highly recommend watching this debate for yourself and reading the summary over at the TreeSearch website. Blake is an up-and-coming apologist and has shown himself to be widely read, thoughtful and reflective, and winsome in his approach. I am sure we will be hearing a lot more of him in the future.

Why Pornography Harms

poison

On this blog we have often talked about the same sex marriage controversy and how it poses a threat to both religious liberty and the family unit. However, the elephant in the room that is rarely publicly discussed in evangelical circles is pornography, an evil that arguably poses just as much threat (if not a bigger threat) to the family unit. A 2008 study of 813 college students from six different college campuses participated in a survey [1]. Of young men aged between 18 and 26, a whopping 86% admitted to having viewed pornography in the past year. 48.4% admitted to viewing pornography on a weekly basis. 19.3% admitted to viewing pornography nearly every day. It is a popular myth that pornography is only a guy problem. But, of the young women in the same age range, 31% confessed to having viewed pornography in the last year, and 3.2% confessed to having viewed pornography on a weekly basis. What was particularly striking is that 67% of young men and 49% of young women believed that pornography use is acceptable, which means that many young men (87% of whom were users) were viewing pornography even though they regarded it as an unacceptable practice.

Pornography addiction is a plague upon the modern professing church, and while it is well and good to be criticizing the same sex marriage agenda, evangelicalism would do well to remove the plank from its own eye before removing the speck from another’s. Many within the church are willing to take a stand against the gay agenda, but how many are willing to examine their own hearts and deal with the elephant in the room that is pornography?

But what about church leaders? How are they fairing in keeping their minds pure? According to a 2002 survey of 1351 pastors, conducted by Rick Warren’s website Pastors.com, 54% confessed they had looked at online pornography within the past year and 30% of those had visited within the last 30 days. And that’s just the honest ones!

Many people don’t realize that there are some solid scientific reasons for thinking that the viewing of pornography is harmful to the brain. Pornography is not merely a moral issue, for it hard wires the brain in unhealthy ways. In this blog post, I am not going to present any moral or theological arguments for avoiding pornography — although there are plenty of those. Instead, I am simply going to look at the scientific facts and show why I think the behavior of viewing pornography is harmful, regardless of where you stand on issues of religion and ethics. [Read more...]

Is Intelligent Design A Circular Argument? A Response to Matt Dillahunty

On Sunday night, I called into the Atheist Experience, an atheist TV show based out of Austin, Texas.  It is a weekly call in program, airing every Sunday at 4:30 till 5:30pm Central and can be viewed on ustream. The recording of my discussion with Matt Dillahunty from Sunday night (I am the first and longest caller) can still be found online (mp3; video).

It is unfortunate that the vast majority of callers into the program are not well informed about their own faith, let alone how to defend it rationally. Informed and intelligent Christians rarely call into the program. I am not quite sure why this is, but I would speculate that most educated Christians feel that the Atheist Experience does not offer a fair contest. As I learned on Sunday, it is not easy to have a fair debate when your opponent has control of the mikes, when there is no impartial moderator, and when your opponent is repeatedly interrupting you mid flow, bringing up multiple objections and then perhaps giving you about 3 to 5 seconds at a time to make your case. I understand that they cannot have someone rambling on and on endlessly, but the limitation ought to be reasonable. At the end of our conversation, Matt accused me of employing circular reasoning. When I started to explain why I was not guilty of circular reasoning, he cut me off saying “We’re done.” For sure, I understand that they cannot have one caller take up the whole program. But this was a key point in the conversation. To make a point like that and not allow me to respond suggests to me that Dillahunty is more interested in making himself look good in the eyes of his fans rather than in the objective pursuit of truth. [Read more...]

New Testament: Reliable or Myth? South Caroliners Mark Your Calendars for August 13th!

me_interviewIs the New Testament reliable or is it just a bunch of man-made myths? That is the question I am going to be tackling in South Carolina in just a couple weeks’ time! There will be time for you, the audience, to ask questions after my presentation.

The event will take place on Wednesday August 13th at 7pm in EDT at the BCM Ministry Building at Winthrop University: 620 Oakland Avenue, Rock Hill, South Carolina.

The event is being organized by Ratio Christi at Winthrop University in partnership with Park Baptist Church.

You can find the Facebook events page here. Don’t miss out — mark your calendars now!