The following is a guest blog post by Mike Burnette. Mike “MoonDog” Burnette is a newly retired U.S. Air Force veteran who has worked 30 years for American Forces Radio & Television and commercial radio stations. Mike has a Bachelor’s in Telecommunications from Liberty University and an M.A. in Public Administration from Bowie State University. He is now a media consultant and creator of “MoonDog’s Media House.” He has proven success increasing the attractiveness and effectiveness of communication, awareness, understanding, participation, and production of key themes and messages for television, radio, and social media. You can view his website at moondogsmediahouse.com.
You could describe me as a binge thinker. Often perfectly satisfied hanging out on the periphery of ignorance. I occasionally strolled into the hallowed halls of academia–mostly when challenged by opposing worldviews–and then only selectively dipping my toe into the apologetics pool. I could bandy about words like existential, presupposition, relativism—and quote what little I understand from Francis Schaeffer—“Ah, what an intellectual high!”
Each binge is informative, satisfying, and provides quick, easy answers in debate to support my Christian worldview—in many cases just to replenish my ever weakening apologetic force-field. I have given my life to Christ and believe there is rational justification for the truth claims of the Christian faith; however, I was not loving God–with all of my mind—it was more like by the seat of my pants.
Truthfully I have never jumped entirely into the apologetic pool and certainly had no idea of how deep the waters ran. That is until I encountered the likes of Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas, Alister McGrath, and John Lennox. Up until then I was quite content challenging my skeptic and atheist friends with my devastating charm and sophisticated good looks—or was it my full-throttled arrogance and freshman understanding of the brilliant text Introduction to Philosophy “A Christian Perspective” by Norman Geisler and Paul Feinberg?!
In my apologetics beginning, Francis Schaeffer’s work and lectures were mesmerizing. I had never heard of the Line of Despair and certainly didn’t like the thought that we as a society had crossed below it. At Liberty University Gary Habermas captured my mind with his philosophy course discussing arguments for God’s existence and uttering such things as “truth is truth regardless of the consequences.” Wow, how cool is that—but what does it mean? …oh well, I’ve got to get to math class. After college, the afterglow of sophisticated academic thought quickly faded, as I settled into blissful ignorance—after all, I’m a radio broadcaster with a show to produce. The fog of success and smog of life began to limit my visibility and to spiritually choke me.
My binge thinking has developed now into a full-fledged addiction—with books by Plantinga, Craig, Copan, Licona, Lennox, McGrath, D’Souza–strewn about the house. I can’t drink in enough. Through the work of these heroes of the faith and the help of the Holy Spirit, I’ve realized that Christian apologetics is the most intellectually stimulating subject one can study. It has provided me the most sound, foundational basis for faith, truth, and life.
I learned through Francis Schaeffer’s book, The God Who Is There, that it was Hegel who opened the door into the Line of Despair, where “all possible positions are relativized, and leads to the concept that truth is to be sought in synthesis rather than antithesis. It was Kierkegaard that took us below the Line of Despair with his Leap of Faith ideas that gave us the total separation of the rational and faith. The gradual shift in our thinking and how we understand truth affects our lives.
I have been guilty of nonchalantly riding the escalator down this negative shift in philosophic, artistic, musical, cultural, and theological thought. Distracted by the view and enjoying the ride without questioning the destination. Esteemed philosopher William Lane Craig has inspired me to link arms and ascend this staircase. He is doing that now with his Reasonable Faith ministry—as he challenges and lectures to the real intellectuals and more educated in our universities world-wide –and gently mows-down popular misconceptions– in his matter-of-fact, irenic fashion.
As the Lord allows I will assist in the ascension of this staircase in the realm of music and culture—and how to best communicate the key themes and messages of warranted Christian belief. As a long-time radio disc jockey, programmer, public affairs director and media consultant I am equipped to speak to it. I have a good grasp of Strategic planning, integrated communication and campaigns; Tactical execution of resources, collaboration, and cross-communication; and effective Operational productions that focus on unique selling propositions, intent, targets, hook, benefits, features, promotions, programming, and personality.
When consulting radio station programming, promotions, and personality–I always say, “All things being equal it’s the personality that wins!” The good news is that all things are not equal in our apologetic battle for hearts and minds. We have the greatest resource of all in God. “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19). Many blessings in Christ to you and your families this Christmas season, as the Holy Spirit guides us out of darkness, toward the light of our Savior, Jesus Christ!
Note: Francis Schaeffer, Hegal, and Keirkagaard references are from Schaeffer’s book The God Who Is There.