Andy Miller III
Cover Image for Being a Persuasive Pro-Lifer with Scott Klusendorf

Being a Persuasive Pro-Lifer with Scott Klusendorf

June 6, 2024

Scott Klusendorf travels throughout the United States and Canada training pro-life advocates to persuasively defend their views in the public square. He contends that the pro-life message can compete in the marketplace of ideas if properly understood and properly articulated. This conversation was challenging and helpful.

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Welcome to the more to the story. Podcast, I am so glad that you have come along. This has been a gonna be a great show, not because of anything that I do, but because of my guests. I'm so thankful to be able bring him to my audience, and I know that you will benefit from hearing the message that he has today. But first, I want you to know this podcast comes to you from Wesley Biblical Seminary, where we are developing trusted leaders for faithful churches, and we do that through a host of programs.

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Andy Miller III: from bachelors and masters to doctoral degrees. We have a lay initiative called the Wesley Institute, and we were one of the first seminaries approved by the Global Methodist Church. And it's been an interesting ride for us over the last year. We have added 300 global Methodist church pastors in the last year, you know, we never even had more than one 100 190 students at one time. So we've added more students in the last year than we've ever had

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Andy Miller III: point in our history, and we're at this, the largest point in our history, thankful for this opportunity to serve the Church. So if you're interested in going deeper in your study of God's Word. And you wanna do that as a school that values the inerrancy of Scripture and the promise and power of the sanctified life we'd love for you. Check us out at Wbs. Edu. Also, I'm thankful to my friend Bill Roberts, who's a financial planner. He comes alongside, people helping them think about their

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Andy Miller III: retirement. He does a great job with that. I would really encourage you to take a look at his information at William H. And finally, I love for people. Sign up for my email list at Andy Miller, the That's Andy Miller., and if you sign up for that email list I'll send you a free tool called 5 Steps to deeper teaching and preaching. And if you see on my website. There, we have several courses that are available books, past podcasts. We'd love for you. Check all that out

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Andy Miller III: alright. I am so glad to welcome into Podcast somebody I've wanted to talk to for a long time. His name's Scott Kluesndorf. He's the President of the Life Chain Life Training Institute, and he is the author of a second edition of his book, as well known book, The Case for Life. This one is expanded significantly. It came out in November, author of several, their books and articles. A well known speaker, Scott, welcome to the Podcast.

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sk: Andy, terrific to be with you.

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Andy Miller III: Man I have. I remember I heard you the first time. I don't know. It probably was more than 10 years ago on focus on the family, or something like that.

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sk: Invited me anyway.

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Andy Miller III: Oh, there we go! Yes.

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Andy Miller III: I did. I did, even though I've heard you before. That's why I invited you.

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sk: Oh, fantastic! Well, it's a joy to be with you. Sorry to cut in with my sarcasm. It's my love language.

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Andy Miller III: There it goes. Well, we will pray for your wife. Th's how it goes. Well and interestingly. You know you have an interesting story because you came to the pro life movement and being set, be making this up. Really the Vo. Your vocation and ministry serving in the pro life movement did not maybe not from the usual, a usual perspective. Tell us a little about your story, and how you became to be so passionate about this area.

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sk: Well, Andy, I've always been pro life that was never in question. There was never a time where I thought, oh, it's rationally plausible or morally plausible

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sk: to be in favor of abortion. That never was my way of looking at the world. However, I really wasn't doing much on the issue. I attitudinally felt bad about it, but wasn't acting behaviorally like I felt bad about it, so my rhetoric did not match my behavior on it. Well, that all changed. In November of 1990, while I was serving as an associate pastor of a church in Southern California.

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sk: California.

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sk: the local pregnancy center director invited me to a breakfast she had prepared for pastors, and there was supposed to be at least a hundred of us showing up for this thing, and I showed up, and it was myself.

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sk: 4 other guys and their wives so pretty dismal turnout when the topic was abortion. Sadly, well, thankfully, the speaker that morning Greg Cunningham did not let that deter him from delivering an absolutely riveting pro life presentation. And I like the guy because I thought as I listen to him. He's intelligent, he's logical, he is persuasive. He was a lawyer, so he presented his case in a very

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sk: structured way. I had heard pro life speakers quite frankly, Andy, that had been more emotionally driven, more scattered in the way they presented their case, and I had kind of grown weary of it. But this guy was spot on. But that's not what changed my life. What changed my life is what he did. About. Halfway through his talk he showed an 8 min video depicting abortion. I had never seen abortion, Andy, and as I looked at those pictures I thought to myself.

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sk: I am no different than the priest and the Levite who passed by on the other side of the road. But.

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sk: Hey? I care about this issue, but I don't act like I care about this.

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Andy Miller III: Wow!

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sk: And that day I went home and I took that Vhs tape he showed by the way, Vhs tapes were these rectangular things.

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Andy Miller III: What is that? Yeah, yeah.

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sk: You know. But I showed that to my wife, Stephanie, and she's like, Hey, whatever you're you feel stirring in you, I'm on board and, long story short, 6 months later, with the blessing of the church I worked at, I left that associate pastor's position to go pursue. How might I help Christians better articulate their views on this issue. This was Pre Internet. We didn't have the ability to research things through. Google

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sk: Google did not exist. To my knowledge in 1990, but I was able to go bury myself in the Ucla Research Library. Pull up microfish of documents, remember, microfish, maybe you don't.

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sk: But that's how they used to store things. And slowly but surely, I built a

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sk: a body of knowledge that has helped me equip Christians to make a case for life.

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Andy Miller III: Wow! Now it's interesting. Here you are like, in a full time job as an associate pastor, and you make this pivot. What? How did you functionally do that? I mean, do did you within that 6 months start an organization, raise money that made this possible? I mean, here you are like at this key stage in your life.

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sk: Well, we're having.

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Andy Miller III: Work.

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sk: That's a great question. I think it helped that I had a little bit of the entrepreneurial drive in me to where I was so convinced I needed to do this work. I was gonna do it, no matter what it was going to happen. So that meant that I was willing to endure a lot of hardship. I mean. My wife and I were broke for a number of years. To be quite frank.

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Andy Miller III: Okay.

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sk: Like would figure out how to fund this.

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sk: So I went to work for Center for Bioethical Reform, which was the speakers organization that I had heard at that event. I just hounded him and followed him around until he basically put me on staff. And, by the way, this is good advice to some of your young ministry candidates.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, sure.

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sk: New decides. You want to, mentor

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sk: politely. Just don't go away.

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Andy Miller III: Nope.

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sk: Well stock them, you know, in ways you shouldn't. I'm not saying Show up at their house door. But I would go everywhere. This Guy would speak within a hundred miles of my house, and I would be there listening, mastering the material, learning from him in non verbal ways and in conversation, and that helped me immensely.

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sk: But I think the other thing that helped is I was able to join his organization and raise support through that organization. There are no pro life groups out there, Andy, that have money to take on additional staff. If you wanna work in this field, you're gonna have to raise your own funding, and that's uncomfortable for a lot of people. But here's the question that drove me to do it, anyway.

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Andy Miller III: Okay.

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sk: Are any of the reasons I might give for not asking for support worth the price of children's lives that might have been saved had I been more courageous, and that framing just drove me to do whatever was needed to get funded to do this work. And eventually it happened, and this was all. Before I had any kind of platform at all. I had 0 paid speaking events back then. Nobody knew me from Bob. So

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sk: it was basically raise support or parish.

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sk: And that's what I did, starting out. And then later, when I did have a speaking platform, and I no longer needed that monthly support. I was able to use that money and transfer it out of my account into starting an organization Life Training Institute that could be used to equip pro lifers.

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Andy Miller III: Wow. So so life changing Institute, then tell us about that, and and we'll get into. I wanna get in some of the specifics of the type of things you talk about on a regular basis. But W, as you have then developed a platform online and you, you speak all over the place. What is it that Life Training Institute does.

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sk: Well, here's the question, I asked myself when we started Life Training Institute.

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sk: What can we do better than anybody else in the field? And that's not a prideful question. I'm not talking about better in terms of pleasing to the Lord, or better spiritually, cause we're all flawed sinners. But what I meant was, what is the skill set we bring to this that we think we deliver better than anybody else, and that was easy to answer.

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sk: and it was this. We know how to convey the pro life position. Clearly we know how to do it in a way that's winsome. We know how to do it in a way that's persuasive.

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sk: and we're good at equipping others to do what we do. So we're not a testimony organization. We don't go around and tell our stories. I very rarely talk about me when I go speak. For example, this week, on Thursday morning I'll be in front of a couple of 100 high school students in Pennsylvania doing an assembly.

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sk: I'm not gonna talk about me. They don't care about me. I'm gonna talk about one thing. Why is the pro life position true and reasonable to believe? And I'm gonna give them reasons. So what we do is apologetics talks. So we're not a testimony organization.

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sk: We're not a post abortion recovery organization. We don't do. Abstinence talks. Now I support those works. Those are all fine ministries. But what we discovered when we started. Lti.

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sk: I looked around and I thought, nobody is doing talks on why the pro life position is reasonable and why the arguments for it stand up in the public square, and why we can give public reasons for what we believe that critics cannot just dismiss as some private religious view.

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sk: So I thought, that's what we're gonna focus on. We're gonna do one thing that we do better than anybody else. The old adage less is more certainly applied here rather than trying to be all things pro life. We picked one thing we thought we could do better than anybody else, and we continue to focus on that one thing.

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Andy Miller III: Beautiful. I love that principle in general, like, E even at a seminary it's tempting for us to say you know what we could do. Hey? We could start a church. We could end up moving us to ourselves, a position where we have a counseling program and not saying, That's it not something that would be beneficial, I'm sure they're, you know, creating a Lab church situation, could. But we wanna focus in

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Andy Miller III: on the work that our scholars do, preparing serving the church, but at the same time serving the church. Now now with with Lti, do you? Have you started to to bring a cohort of speakers around who are also up like, take the same perspective that you do. Is that something that you guys do.

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sk: Well, I've had a team as high as 7 speakers at one time. We're down to 3 right now, and that's because of less being more, it actually helps us streamline what we're doing. But those that have moved on we've been able to place and other ministries and help them start their own organizations that help those speakers thrive. My view of ministry, Andy is a little different than some.

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sk: The people that I get in the game. I don't really view as my people. They're God's people. My job is to get them in the game, and my college pastor had a great phrase. He said, always give away your best talent.

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sk: and we've done that. We have given away some of our best speakers, and that's how you build the kingdom. This really isn't about building Scott's ministry. It's about building the Lord's work, and

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sk: we have an open hand with that. I tell my staff when I bring them on there will come a day, not if. But when when that day comes where you are convinced you can flourish better outside the confines of Lti. Then we're gonna help you do that. We're not gonna clutch on to you. We're not gonna try to guilt you into staying.

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sk: We're gonna release you to be what God has called you to be. So. That's the way I approach this. So our team fluctuates in size, and sometimes we're smaller, just because we've come through a season of giving away. In fact, just

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sk: 4 months ago I arguably gave away the best speaker I've ever had.

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sk: She is just Pop Shelf, a gal named Megan Alman, I mean you can't get me better than she is, and she's joined a friend of mine's ministry, called Apologetics, Inc. Run by my dear friend, Mike Shirard, who and she's flourishing there, and it's great she's helping them, and the kingdom is enlarging, and I'm excited. We're down to Speaker, but you know what it didn't take long before the Lord sent someone else that we have now put on the team. And

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sk: she's gonna be joining us in a a greater role very shortly here. So the Lord takes care of us. I don't worry about that stuff.

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Andy Miller III: Amen. So if you have this very narrow focus, which is incredibly helpful, does that mean you all? Don't do anything of legislation, either. I'm sure you're aware of things are happening, but you don't. You don't try to influence that. And there's other aspects of the pro life movement.

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sk: Well, we don't get involved specifically with a

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sk: particular piece of legislation. Usually we may speak to it, but we're not trying to help shepherd it through a Congressional

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sk: hall or a State House. What we do is we do talk about how Christians have a duty to be engaged politically, that your Christian worldview should apply to all a life, not just some of it.

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sk: And to say, for example, as some Christians do, that we ought not get involved in politics, we should just be about kingdom business is really quite question baking, because it assumes that kingdom business means everything but this little area over here when that's precisely the question under dispute.

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sk: Does the Christian worldview apply to all a life, or only some of it? And we believe it applies to all. And that means then that's going to inform how Christians approach politics. Some people will say, Well, that makes you sectarian. I really don't care, Andy, I'm interested in. What does the Bible teach about? How we apply our biblical worldview.

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Andy Miller III: Amen, I mean, and you have centered a lot of your talks. And I imagine the same thing is true with your team on a basic logical syllogism, and I'd love for you. Outline that. And even as as we work through that, that will then lead to a lot answering several other questions that people have about the pro life case.

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sk: Sure. Well, we tell people all the time. The 3 most important words in pro-life apologetics are

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sk: number one, syllogism, number 2. Syllogism.

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Andy Miller III: I'll let you.

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sk: Yes, with the third one.

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Andy Miller III: Dude let me guess.

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sk: You don't need to have prophetic insight to know this. Okay. But syllogism, syllogism, syllogism. Why is that? Because when it comes to the topic of abortion. People love to change the topic. Now I know you've never done this, but maybe some of your listeners have been in a dispute with their wife or significant other.

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sk: and they were losing every rational mind in the universe knew they were losing, and so they changed the subject on their spouse or significant other. I know you and I are more mature than that.

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Andy Miller III: Sure.

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sk: Those.

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Andy Miller III: Sure.

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sk: Out there might do that.

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sk: and it certainly happens with abortion. People don't want to talk about the main issue. They want to talk about everything but the main issue.

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sk: They want to talk about choice privacy, trusting women, forcing your morality, whatever they pull out of a hat.

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sk: none of which have anything to do with whether or not it's morally permissible to intentionally kill an innocent human being. So by having a clearly stated syllogism, we force people to stay on topic, and we it gives us an anchoring point where we can come back and say, now, remember what I argued a moment ago, how does your objection refute

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sk: that argument?

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sk: So what is the pro life syllogism? Here? It is, premise one. It's wrong to intentionally kill innocent human.

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Andy Miller III: Being staffed.

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sk: Now note something right out of the gate. We are not arguing that killing is always wrong. We're saying it's always wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.

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Andy Miller III: Right.

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sk: Premise. 2. Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being.

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sk: Conclusion, therefore, abortion is wrong. It's wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings. Abortion does that. Therefore it's wrong now, Andy, that syllogism might be mistaken, and I'll tell you how it can be refuted. Here I am coaching people on how to refute my own argument.

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Andy Miller III: Go.

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sk: My argument can be refuted, but you need to do it the right way, and the right way to do it is to show either that the premises do not lead to the conclusion logically meaning the argument is invalid, or you show that one or more of the premises is false meaning. The argument is unsound.

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sk: or I suppose you could show the terms are unclear. Outside of that the argument stands. It doesn't do any good to say, well, that's just your religious view.

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sk: Arguments are sound or unsound, valid or invalid calling an argument religious is a cop out. It's actually a category error, as my colleague, Frank Beckwith, points out, it's kinda like asking how tall is the number 3.

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Andy Miller III: Just.

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sk: It doesn't work. You gotta do the hard work of refuting the argument. It also doesn't work to attack the person. I mean, almost always. Whenever I do my, podcast the comments that come back from critics have 0 to do with the actual argument. There. Here's what they are. Well, you're a man. You have no right to talk about this.

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Andy Miller III: That is right.

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sk: Of course the snarky part of me. Andy wants to look at them and say, How do you know that I'm a man.

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Andy Miller III: And there you go.

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sk: Early.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah.

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sk: Binary culture or non binary culture. Do you really want to be judging my pronouns? I mean that I don't. But the the principle here is arguments don't have gender. People do arguments stand or fall on their merits, not the person making them.

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sk: Give you a related example.

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sk: and I'm sure you know this. One of the most powerful arguments for Theism originated from an Islamic scholar, not a Christian scholar, and it's what we call the Colom cosmological argument. It basically says.

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sk: Anything that begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist. Therefore the universe was caused. Now, that's the source, for that argument is not Christian, it is theistic, but it's not Christian.

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sk: Should Christians reject that argument simply because its source is non Christian. And the answer is, no, that would be a case of the genetic fallacy faulting an argument based on its origins rather than its merits. The argument is either a good one or it's not. Its origins are irrelevant to its quality, and our culture today does not know how to separate the argument from the person making it. Suppose you're the worst person in the world, Andy, you are just. You're worse than Stalin.

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sk: And yet you argue that slavery is wrong. Could your argument still be good, even if you own slaves? And even if you do awful things to human beings.

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Andy Miller III: Right, Jeff.

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sk: Because your argument stands on its merits, not your behavior.

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Andy Miller III: Yes, so your arguments don't have feelings, and this is like it's just and and so. But back to your bit, your first premise. So you have intentionally killing. So what's why we why do you use that word intentional?

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sk: Well, because not all killing is wrong. For example, take self defense

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sk: you. You're out with your family one night, and a thug comes along and he wants to harm your wife and kids.

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sk: Your intention in stopping him is to save your family, not to intentionally kill an innocent human being. He's not in the same case or war. For example, a general and a just war can foresee the deaths of civilians, but he does not intend them the way Hitler did when he bombed London during the Blitz in 1940, in other words, killing for the sake of

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sk: preventing a greater harm might be justifiable, for example, and stopping a dictator or stopping a thug from harming your family. In that case it's not that you intend the death of an innocent human being. Your real intention is to protect your family or protect your citizens. So, therefore, killing in those cases does not involve the same moral problem that it does when you intentionally kill an innocent human being.

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Andy Miller III: That's helpful it. And you you, we talk, you say, specific, intentionally killing and innocent.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, human being. Now

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Andy Miller III: we say, innocent. Likely this is helping us, like some people, would be opposed to death. Penalty in any case like it does, doesn't matter at all. But you're trying to delineate probably even other opportunities where there is intentional killing. Is that right?

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sk: Yes, exactly. Now look, the death penalty may be wrong, but it's not wrong. For the same reason abortion is wrong.

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Andy Miller III: Okay.

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sk: Abortion is wrong because it involves the intentional killing of an innocent human being with a death penalty case. Capital offenses involve by definition someone who is not innocent, so there's no parallel between the 2. Now again, maybe there's a Biblical case to be made against capital punishment. I'm open to hearing that. But it's not parallel. There's no symmetry there between the argument we're making against abortion and the argument one might make against capital punishment.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, that's great. So when we when you get into this discussion, is that something that's brought up? Is that a way that people can try to change the subject in the moment. Well.

00:24:04.160 --> 00:24:20.850
sk: Oh, absolutely. It's a subtle add homonym where they attack the person rather than the argument. And here's why it's an ad hominem. They're trying to make the case that you, the pro lifer, are inconsistent. Okay, maybe I am. Suppose I'm the most inconsistent person in the world.

00:24:20.930 --> 00:24:23.759
sk: Could my syllogism still be valid?

00:24:23.760 --> 00:24:24.190
Andy Miller III: Wow!

00:24:24.190 --> 00:24:49.420
sk: Around, even if I inconsistently apply the conclusion. And the answer is, Yes, cause. The argument stands on its merits, on its principles, not me and how I behave. And this is something we have to stress over and over and over again. In fact, sometimes when I'm in front of secular audiences at universities or elsewhere, otherwise open forms.

00:24:49.420 --> 00:25:11.550
sk: I end up coming back to this about every 5 min, because the objection that's brought up inevitably ends up being a subtle ad hominem, or a case of the genetic fallacy faulting an idea based on its origins rather than its merits. Or it's a mere assertion that isn't an argument to begin with. So these are the kinds of things that we just see over and over again.

00:25:12.080 --> 00:25:22.969
Andy Miller III: I? I gotta say, when did you ask the question? When did you take logic? And, oh, have you thanked your logic teacher? Whoever was because I'm telling you, man, you have got you really employ it so well.

00:25:23.670 --> 00:25:39.709
sk: You know it's funny. I I learned logic at a a public junior college near my house in Los Angeles, from a Jewish Jewish instructor named Rosenthal, and the way he would teach logic. It was hilarious. He would bring his sound system to class.

00:25:40.085 --> 00:25:56.250
sk: and he would crank up to de ear busting Decibels, Van Halen, Boston, A/C. DC. Dyer Straits, and he said he put the lyrics of the songs in front of us, and we would analyze them for arguments. That's how I learned.

00:25:56.250 --> 00:26:24.109
Andy Miller III: Oh, interesting! So I mean honestly, that guy, he, he! Even though he's Jewish like he has a special place in the kingdom. If if he comes to Christ, you know. Because you have really deployed this so well. And I look my my logic teacher, Joseph Okello, Dr. Joseph Okello. He's a Kenyan teacher at Asbury Seminary man. He would be so proud of me if I could just be like you, Scott, cause you've got it, my man, I love it. Okay, the other side of this, the human life.

00:26:24.350 --> 00:26:29.380
Andy Miller III: you say, intentionally killing human life. Mo!

00:26:29.420 --> 00:26:38.719
Andy Miller III: One of the probably the chief con arguments against this as well. It's not the same thing. It's not the the life is. I'm I'm just. I'm not.

00:26:38.790 --> 00:26:46.970
Andy Miller III: Don't believe. You know, I don't believe these things, but that's one of the key things that people do is they'll contest that idea that we're talking about the same type of life.

00:26:47.360 --> 00:26:51.779
sk: Well, let's ask a very basic question before we unpack that even more

00:26:52.000 --> 00:27:03.280
sk: the critic needs to answer this, how is it possible for 2 human parents to create offspring that isn't human, but later becomes so

00:27:03.280 --> 00:27:25.139
sk: how is that even possible? They need to argue for that, not merely assert it. And this is a classic example of people making assertions rather than arguments, and the burden of proof is on the critic at this point, not the pro life advocate, if I claim there's a pink elephant swinging above your head right now, Andy. By the way, if you were to look, you didn't. But if you did, you would have done the right thing.

00:27:25.270 --> 00:27:50.010
sk: The burden of proof is not on you. It's on me because I'm the one making the claim, and too often Christians assume the burden of proof when it's not on them to do. The critic is making the claim that there can be such a thing as some kind of entity that's not human that comes from human parents. Okay, I'm open to hearing your argument for that. But really asserting it isn't. Gonna do.

00:27:50.010 --> 00:28:05.399
sk: But let's go further. Living things of any species do not start off as one thing, and then become some species entirely different in the course of their development. And I ask critics, can you name for me some living thing

00:28:05.400 --> 00:28:29.349
sk: that be starts as one kind of species and becomes another? And of course. Inevitably, they say, well, caterpillars become butterflies. Okay, but it's the same species. It's just that the caterpillar changes exter. It's external. Form it does not become some other kind of natural entity in the process of that. Well, then, they say things like, well, an acorn is.

00:28:29.350 --> 00:28:36.109
sk: it's not an oak tree. Okay, you're right. An acorn is not an oak tree, but it is an oak.

00:28:36.230 --> 00:28:53.190
sk: and the oak tree that becomes the mature form with the strong roots and the strong trunk, and is the source of what fortitude is, is the same enduring entity that was once the acorn. And people say, Well, that embryo is not

00:28:53.543 --> 00:29:10.169
sk: a baby. You're right. It's not a baby, but it is a human being at the earliest stages of its development, and the embryo that you once were is identical to the adult human being you are today. There's been no substantial change to your essential nature.

00:29:10.170 --> 00:29:10.550
Andy Miller III: Hmm,

00:29:10.930 --> 00:29:13.800
sk: Started off as one thing, and then became another.

00:29:13.950 --> 00:29:14.610
Andy Miller III: Hmm!

00:29:14.840 --> 00:29:15.880
Andy Miller III: So

00:29:16.360 --> 00:29:28.169
Andy Miller III: when you move through this idea, like if there is, you've I've heard you use an acronym that helps us kind of place this, and like where we can come with a a move against these type of arguments. What? What is that.

00:29:28.580 --> 00:29:53.339
sk: Well, we use an acronym called sled sled. And that is an argument we use to answer the question of human value. The science of embryology answers the question, What is the unborn? What is the onboard? A distinct living and whole human being? You didn't come from an embryo. You once were an embryo. So the science of embryology is essentially answering the identity question.

00:29:53.340 --> 00:30:05.329
sk: what are we from the beginning? We're distinct living and whole human beings. But then there's a human value question to be answered. What is it that makes humans valuable? In the first place. And here we have a cultural

00:30:05.410 --> 00:30:20.529
sk: collide re happening right now a collision between 2 rival world views of the human person. We have the endowment view which is grounded in the concept of the Amago day, the Declaration of Independence, the writings of Abraham Lincoln, for example.

00:30:20.530 --> 00:30:37.309
sk: that argue that human beings are equal and valuable by nature, not function. What gives you value as a human being is your essential nature, not the performance levels you can immediately achieve such as having self awareness, consciousness, whatever

00:30:37.320 --> 00:31:05.860
sk: the rival to that world view is what we call the performance view. The performance view, unlike the endowment view, says, being human, is nothing special at all. What matters is having cognitive function, the ability to see yourself existing over time, the ability to interact with your environment, the ability to value your existence, and until you can immediately exercise those arbitrarily selected traits.

00:31:05.860 --> 00:31:24.429
sk: You may be biologically human, but there's no you there, and you're certainly not valuable, and having a right to life. You can be killed. Now, of course, that just assumes all kinds of things. It assumes the philosophical anthropology of the human person known as body self dualism.

00:31:24.430 --> 00:31:36.530
sk: which is the belief that the real you has nothing to do with your body, the real you is your thoughts, your cognitive self, your ange, your desires. And, by the way, it's not just abortion where we see this.

00:31:36.530 --> 00:31:37.280
Andy Miller III: Right, so.

00:31:37.280 --> 00:31:44.170
sk: From popping out. It's the whole debate over same-sex marriage transgenderism, I mean. Think about this claim.

00:31:44.200 --> 00:32:09.159
sk: I'm a woman trapped in a man's body. I mean, that was the third 30 years ago. But it's not absurd anymore to a lot of people. Why? Because they've bought into the idea that the real person has nothing to do with their body. Their body tells them nothing about what their intrinsic purposes should be. As human beings. Rather, your body is just mere physical matter, your freedom manipulate any way you want

00:32:09.160 --> 00:32:16.270
sk: the real, you is not your body, it's your cognitive self, your aims, your desires, and

00:32:16.270 --> 00:32:26.680
sk: what you might feel. You are. That's the real you, and therefore it's entirely plausible to say that embryo does not exist until it has a cognitive self.

00:32:26.920 --> 00:32:55.340
sk: It ignores the body completely. Well, that's not the biblical worldview. The biblical worldview is that human beings in their essential anthropology are a dynamic union of body and soul. That's the basic substance view that we hold to you are identical to the embryo you once were, because there was never a time you were some other entity. You were always you. You were always a dynamic union of body and soul, and never were anything less.

00:32:56.030 --> 00:32:59.550
Andy Miller III: And so does that. We say that starts at conception.

00:32:59.880 --> 00:33:00.330
sk: Yes.

00:33:00.330 --> 00:33:12.580
Andy Miller III: That we just like go to that line. And so when we get to a sled, then this kind of gives us some parameters for figure counter. Countering these arguments, I'll tell us what sled stands for.

00:33:12.580 --> 00:33:30.169
sk: Well, what sled does is it helps force the correct question. Our critics love to say that embryo is different from us, and the answer is, yes, he is. But here's the real question. Is he different from us in ways that justify intentionally killing him?

00:33:30.531 --> 00:33:55.820
sk: That's the question we need to answer which, by the way, this isn't a new question. This is exactly the question that Lincoln would press on his opponents, who would argue for slavery? Lincoln's opponents would say that slave differs from us, and Lincoln would say so. But does he differ from us in ways that justify enslaving him? And Lincoln ruthlessly destroyed their attempts to make these differences meaningful.

00:33:55.860 --> 00:34:13.790
sk: and the sled acronym helps us do the same thing with those who argue that the unborn don't count because they're different from us. Yes, they are. But do those differences matter? And there's principally for size. The embryo is smaller than Us. Level of development. He's less developed.

00:34:13.929 --> 00:34:33.329
sk: He's in a different environment, and he's his degree of dependency is more so. Think of the acronym sled. S led to remember these 4 differences. Now let's ask the real question here. Do any of those 4 differences matter such that we can say it's permissible to kill you as an embryo, but not now, as an adult

00:34:33.659 --> 00:34:47.849
sk: size, you were certainly smaller as the embryo. But here's the question, since when does body size determine value? That's what our critics need to answer. They want to assert that or assume that it does, but they need to argue for it.

00:34:47.850 --> 00:35:00.144
sk: How does body size give you more of a right to life. I mean, men are generally larger than women. Do. They deserve more rights than women, simply because they're larger. If any of your listeners say yes, I hope they remain single.

00:35:00.560 --> 00:35:14.669
sk: But think about this Shaquille O'neal, the former basketball star with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was 7 foot 2. He's a foot taller than you and I. Does that mean he's more valuable and human because of it? Clearly, body size doesn't equal value.

00:35:14.740 --> 00:35:21.159
sk: What about your level of development. Yes, you were less developed as an embryo. There's your L in that sled act.

00:35:21.160 --> 00:35:21.730
Andy Miller III: Yeah.

00:35:21.730 --> 00:35:49.970
sk: And my answer to that is so, why does development matter? In the first place, how developed do I have to be not to be killed, and why that level of development, and not something else. And what people love to do is assert categories of value. They don't argue, for it's not enough to say, Well, that embryo doesn't have cognitive thought waves. Yet why are those value giving? In the first place, they need to argue for that, not merely assert it.

00:35:50.263 --> 00:36:11.369
sk: So okay, yes, you were less developed as an embryo. 2 year old girls are less developed than 21 year old, young men 2 year old. Girls do not have a develop reproductive system, yet are they less human and valuable than the 21 year old? Who does I speak to teenagers all the time. I'll be speaking to a group as I mentioned this Thursday in in outside Newark.

00:36:11.430 --> 00:36:40.379
sk: And I'm gonna say to them, you are less developed than your parents. You're less developed than your parents physically, and you're less developed than your parents intellectually, which will come as a complete shock to all of them. But you don't reach your intellectual peak until your mid forties. Does that mean? Mom and dad have a greater right to life than you? Simply because they're more developed. In other words, they, the critic, needs to argue for why development matters. In the first place, it's not enough to just assert a difference.

00:36:40.390 --> 00:36:42.940
sk: And then E stands for environment.

00:36:42.980 --> 00:36:48.689
sk: size, level of development, environment meaning where we're located. And the key question is this, Andy.

00:36:48.720 --> 00:36:53.519
sk: how does where you are, determine what you are.

00:36:53.908 --> 00:37:06.010
sk: In other words, you did not change who you are when you moved from the parking lot into the studio at your seminary. There you change. I'm gonna guess you walk 70 yards at least, or there about.

00:37:06.010 --> 00:37:08.100
Andy Miller III: Sure, sure, that sounds right? Yeah, yeah.

00:37:08.100 --> 00:37:23.940
sk: If if the journey of 70 feet did not change you from one kind of thing to another, how does a journey of 7 inches down the birth canal suddenly transform you from non human, non valuable thing. We can intentionally butcher to a valuable human being. We cannot.

00:37:24.160 --> 00:37:43.620
sk: You gotta answer that question. And again, our critics don't answer how a mere change of location changes your essential nature. They gotta make that argument, and they never, ever do. Then, finally, degree of dependency, how does dependency on another human being mean? We can intentionally kill you

00:37:43.730 --> 00:38:00.079
sk: now. I mentioned to you that I live outside Atlanta, in a little town called Noon in Georgia. We're famous for the walking dead, because that's where they film that show. It's a zombie show. I don't know if you've seen it or not. Some of your listeners probably have. But here's the premise of the story.

00:38:00.670 --> 00:38:06.310
sk: The hero of the show is a guy named Rick Grimes. He's a sheriff, a local sheriff.

00:38:06.530 --> 00:38:07.440
sk: and

00:38:07.620 --> 00:38:11.449
sk: while he and his buddy are out on a routine

00:38:11.740 --> 00:38:13.170
sk: criminal arrest.

00:38:13.540 --> 00:38:27.900
sk: Rick gets shot by a bad Guy, and he's in a coma, and his his partner, Rick, takes him to the hospital, and Rick is there, and and while he's in a coma for over 30 days the zombie apocalypse breaks out.

00:38:27.970 --> 00:38:53.469
sk: and the zombies come through the hospital, and they they do in everybody there. But they don't find Rick. Somehow they Miss Rick, his Buddy Shane had managed to hide him well, and so he didn't. Rick didn't get hurt by the zombie attack. Well, Rick wakes up a month later, and he's trying to figure out what happened to the world I once knew. Remember, no one stayed behind to help Rick. He's on his own in that hospital.

00:38:53.660 --> 00:39:04.439
sk: and he wakes up and season one of the walking dead is Rick trying to figure out what happened to the world he once knew. Where's his wife, Lori? Where's his son, Carl? Where's his Buddy Shane?

00:39:04.670 --> 00:39:16.430
sk: Let's change that script, though. Let's say one doctor had stayed behind in that hospital to care for Rick, and while Rick's in a coma, Rick depends totally on that doctor for survival.

00:39:16.460 --> 00:39:31.260
sk: Does that doctor have a moral green light to slit Rick's throat simply because Rick depends totally on him. For survival size, level of development, environment, degree of dependency are not good reasons for saying we could kill you then, but not now.

00:39:32.140 --> 00:39:55.799
Andy Miller III: It's so helpful to be able to have that in mind as we're working through these premises. And when you, when you get to the second premise have have you been? Do you get challenged on that much because you can spend most of your time working through that first premise? Because I think, like most people, just that like, that's where their problem areas come. But would anybody try to say abortion isn't innocently

00:39:55.830 --> 00:40:00.530
Andy Miller III: kill or willfully, intentionally killing innocent human life.

00:40:00.830 --> 00:40:24.739
sk: Yeah, you can get thinkers like Eileen Mcdonough, and to some degree Judith Jarvis Thompson, who argue that the fetus is an aggressor that inappropriately imposes itself on the woman's body. In fact, Mcdonough goes so far as to say that a fetus is basically raping the mother by forcing itself on the mother's body. But wait a minute.

00:40:24.740 --> 00:40:52.500
sk: If the fetus is a rapist, it's a rapist. The mother help create by engaging in an act that is ordered toward procreation. So those arguments really, I think, start to fall apart when you look at them. And then 2, they're based on a very radical concept of bodily autonomy an idea that bodily autonomy is absolute, but I think that can be challenged again. It's not enough to assume bodily autonomy. You gotta argue for it.

00:40:52.500 --> 00:40:52.880
Andy Miller III: Hmm.

00:40:52.880 --> 00:41:06.869
sk: So, for example, if bodily autonomy is absolute, what would be wrong with a mother conceiving a child for the express purpose of aborting the child at 6 months to use its bodily organs to treat disease and other people

00:41:06.880 --> 00:41:30.119
sk: well. Nothing would be wrong with it if bodily rights are absolute which that argument purports that they are, or imagine that a mother is suffering from morning sickness, and she decides to take Thalidomide against her doctors. Advice to help mitigate the symptoms of nausea. Well, as you know, Thalidomide causes children to be born.

00:41:30.120 --> 00:41:59.549
sk: be born with disform limbs, and in some cases no limbs at all. Let's say that mother gives birth to a child at 9 months, that instead of arms, we've only got a pair of flippers. Do we think that mother acted wrongly and harming that child? Well, not if bodily autonomy arguments are persuasive because it is only the mother that has any say at all over this. So I think we can point out where bobly autonomy arguments really run into some counterintuitive counter. Examples here.

00:41:59.970 --> 00:42:17.080
Andy Miller III: Yeah. And when you think about your debating through the year, and that's part of what you I mean, you present to large groups. And you know, high school groups, college groups. But you've also taken formal debates. Tell me about some of those experiences and and how you interact within those environments.

00:42:17.600 --> 00:42:38.800
sk: Well, the person I've debated the most at this point is the former president of the Aclu Nadine Strawson. She was president of the Aclu, for I think 17 years Nadine, and I believe it or not are friends. She's wrong, Andy, but we are friends. It doesn't do any good to hate her, and we don't hate each other. We actually get along quite well.

00:42:38.800 --> 00:42:49.320
sk: And I think that's good, because look, she's no more lost in her sins than I was in mine before God found me. So there's the theological reason to not be

00:42:49.749 --> 00:43:12.859
sk: aggressive and and be a bad neighbor to someone like Nadine. But there's also a a vocational reason to have a friendship. She draws crowds of people to hear my case that would never come here. Me, but they will come here her, so he's doing me a favor as far as I'm concerned, and I am confident enough that my case is solid enough to where

00:43:12.860 --> 00:43:37.700
sk: I'm not going to lose anybody who holds my view, and I only have to gain with people that hold her view. So there's reason to to maintain a friendly relationship here. I think the debate I would direct your listeners to is the one we recently did, or the most recent debate we did at Wayne State University, and that debate is, I think, instructive for a lot of reasons. It's a spirited debate.

00:43:38.930 --> 00:43:53.179
sk: but you'll notice there's no nasty personal attacks. In fact, at the end of it you'll see the 2 of us embrace. We really do get along. And I appreciate a lot of things about Nadine, and the one thing I really like about her

00:43:53.500 --> 00:44:22.329
sk: is that she is a proponent of free speech. She does not like the cancel culture, the woke culture that wants to shut down debate. I can appreciate that about her, and and a little tutorial here to your listeners. Learn to appreciate some things about those you you look at is as intellectual opponents don't just assume that there's nothing good that can come out of them, because they hold a bad position on a particular issue.

00:44:22.770 --> 00:44:30.569
sk: Look for things that you can applaud while you equally work hard to refute the things you find irrational.

00:44:30.570 --> 00:44:31.330
Andy Miller III: Yes.

00:44:31.600 --> 00:44:55.640
Andy Miller III: So when you're working through things that you find irrational, what? What are some of the argue pretty with Nadine, for instance? You've debated her multiple times. Does anything new come, I mean, what? What? Ha! What has is there been anything that's caught you? And you thought, hmm! I haven't thought about that for, or is like challenging that moment, and maybe maybe talk through some of those arguments that you find challenging and how you work through them.

00:44:56.310 --> 00:45:03.960
sk: Nadine's primary argument is, the State should not be involved in the privacy of the home.

00:45:04.200 --> 00:45:19.120
sk: and my way of responding to that in in a debate with her is to say to the audience, she likes to speak first, and I let her. It's fine. I say to the audience, men and women. I agree with everything, Nadine just said.

00:45:19.120 --> 00:45:47.000
sk: She is absolutely correct that there should be no Government interference with abortion. She's absolutely correct. That pro lifers like me ought to butt out of this issue. She's absolutely correct. We should use our tax funding to fund abortions for women who can't afford it, and she's absolutely correct. There should be no State legislation regulating abortion at all. I agree with her completely. She's right.

00:45:47.310 --> 00:45:48.160
sk: if

00:45:48.700 --> 00:45:53.410
sk: and at that point, of course, all the pro life students pass out in the audience. If what

00:45:53.570 --> 00:45:56.930
sk: if the unborn are not human and.

00:45:56.930 --> 00:45:57.490
Andy Miller III: The.

00:45:57.490 --> 00:46:10.469
sk: Can make the case tonight that the unborn are not human. I will concede this debate because I say to that audience, I am vigorously pro choice on women choosing their own husbands, choosing their own worldviews.

00:46:10.470 --> 00:46:31.990
sk: choosing the careers they wish to pursue, the pets, they wish to own the cars, they wish to drive unless they're Prius's. I'm pro choice on all those issues. But some choices are wrong, like intentionally killing an innocent human being simply because he's in the way of something we want. But if Nadine can demonstrate the unborn or not human, I'm with her.

00:46:32.478 --> 00:46:56.879
sk: So that's how I frame this debate. In other words, I'm not gonna let her talk about choice, and who decides forcing morality or any of those other issues. We're gonna talk about. What is the unborn. That's the question in this debate, and she doesn't really make a case that proves the unborn aren't human. Her principal arguments are miscarriages happening up to a third of all pregnancies. Alright.

00:46:57.020 --> 00:47:10.929
sk: How does it follow that because nature spontaneously triggers a miscarriage, that a. The embryos in question are not human? Or B. We may intentionally kill them.

00:47:10.930 --> 00:47:37.179
sk: I mean, earthquakes happen in Third World countries and ha! And and you'll kill thousands of people. Does that justify mass murder? Of course not. So that argument is an entire non sequitur. It does not work at all. It simply does not follow that because nature does. X, we may intentionally do. X. That's not gonna work. That's the is OP fallacy on display. Right there. I think another argument she likes to make is the idea

00:47:37.180 --> 00:47:55.880
sk: that people disagree on when life begins. Why, you know, the Supreme Court recognized in the Casey decision that there's no consensus on when life begins, and it's and she'll argue that the the Row Court said the same thing. Alright. How does it follow that? Because people disagree?

00:47:55.910 --> 00:47:58.390
sk: Nobody is right.

00:47:58.540 --> 00:47:59.400
Andy Miller III: People want.

00:47:59.400 --> 00:48:08.209
sk: Disagreed on whether women should have a right to vote, or whether black kids could go to school, does it follow? There were no right answers on those issues.

00:48:08.210 --> 00:48:08.690
Andy Miller III: Right.

00:48:08.690 --> 00:48:20.090
sk: The absence of consensus, as Hadley Arcos points out, does not entail an absence of truth. You gotta do the hard work of investigating a matter. So those are some of her key points.

00:48:20.090 --> 00:48:45.080
Andy Miller III: Yeah, I. That same argument, the apps that absence is something that people will often say the absence of a consensus. Well, people disagree about these Scriptures or people disagree, or you know there's Calvinists in our in Arminian, Calvinism and Wesleyans. And so, since there's a difference, and then nothing could be true. Let's just not talk about, but that just assumes that there isn't a truth that there isn't something that is right. And like, ultimately, like we're gonna try to bring our arguments together

00:48:45.080 --> 00:48:52.089
Andy Miller III: together to get to what is the truth. And we we might end up. There might be things that we do disagree about, but that doesn't mean there isn't truth.

00:48:52.330 --> 00:49:02.550
sk: That's exactly correct. And, by the way, if the absence of agreement means nobody is right, the relativist is mistaken because non-relativists disagree with the relativist.

00:49:02.550 --> 00:49:03.800
Andy Miller III: Right, sure.

00:49:03.800 --> 00:49:06.599
sk: Their their whole case. There is self refuting.

00:49:06.600 --> 00:49:08.970
Andy Miller III: Right. It's a law of non contradiction.

00:49:09.578 --> 00:49:34.599
Andy Miller III: Now, we're recording this in May of 2024. And there's a Presidential election happening. And a couple of months ago Donald Trump Trump came out in favor of Ivf. How do you help us? Can you help us think about ivs at Beth? Ivf. I'm not speaking very clearly here today, Scott, as we're working through this. And as we're thinking about the presidential election, this is gonna come to the fore.

00:49:35.270 --> 00:49:48.329
sk: Yeah, here's the problem with Ivf Ivf in vitro fertilization involves putting sperm and egg together in a test tube rather than the woman's body, which is what naturally happens in the Fallopian tube.

00:49:48.420 --> 00:49:55.769
sk: The problem with it in my mind is not that the process itself is intrinsically evil. What's

00:49:55.900 --> 00:50:21.209
sk: problematic is how we treat the resulting embryos. Often what happens is these embryos are screened for defect before they're implanted, and if they, if they hint at any defect. They're discarded and destroyed, or use for medical research, or we end up saying that, hey? We don't want all these embryos we created. So we're going to selectively reduce them, meaning kill off the ones we don't want.

00:50:21.210 --> 00:50:34.159
sk: So the problem with Ivf largely involves treating children who are image bearers as mere commodities for parental fulfillment, and there's a real mindset there that is deeply troubling to me.

00:50:34.260 --> 00:50:41.849
sk: So when Donald Trump or anybody else gives a blanket endorsement of Ivf as being a moral good.

00:50:41.900 --> 00:50:57.070
sk: Anybody with a pro life world view is gonna recognize. Wait a minute. You gotta hedge that. That's not a good thing to say, and you can't claim pro life credentials and urge that we rush steam full steam ahead on Ivf.

00:50:57.230 --> 00:51:10.289
sk: regardless of how we treat the embryos that just doesn't jive with a pro life world view. Now, that does raise the question, what should pro lifers do when you have an imperfect candidate running?

00:51:10.600 --> 00:51:32.170
sk: And here's the election in front of us right now. You have 2 very flawed men. Both of them are morally flawed. Joe Biden is a known plagiarist. He's a known liar. He's a known moral failure. And his marriage. There's a lot of things that we could point to. Donald. Trump is a lot of those things, too.

00:51:32.310 --> 00:51:32.710
Andy Miller III: Yes, but.

00:51:32.710 --> 00:51:46.239
sk: We have 2 candidates, both with flawed character, but one has really flawed policies that impact millions. And so what should a Christian do when given that choice. Well.

00:51:46.839 --> 00:51:51.479
sk: I suppose one could say, I'm just gonna sit the election out. I'm not gonna

00:51:51.640 --> 00:52:16.249
sk: be involved at all, and that might be defensible. But I think what Christians have a duty to do is vote to limit evil and promote the good insofar as possible. Given the hand you've been dealt in a particular election cycle. Look! Politics is always going to involve flawed candidates with flawed

00:52:16.300 --> 00:52:43.519
sk: character and sometimes flawed policies. But some policies are worse than others, and I think we have a moral obligation to apply our Biblical worldview in a way that limits evil and promotes the good insofar as possible. I'm not here trying to endorse a candidate. I'm just saying what the principles are that should guide us. I'm not interested in sectarian politics that says I'm always going to vote Republican, no matter what.

00:52:43.540 --> 00:52:53.449
sk: Look. If the Republican party ditches the principles I care about, I'm going to ditch them. My support for the Republican party is contingent, not absolute.

00:52:53.450 --> 00:52:53.830
Andy Miller III: Amen!

00:52:54.210 --> 00:53:18.579
sk: Democrat party were to suddenly wake up tomorrow morning, and miracle or miracle start advocating for what lines up with a Biblical worldview, I would switch party affiliation. So it's not a blind adherence to a particular party. I'm just asking the question which one in the real world lines up best with what I think is our duty to limit evil and promote good.

00:53:18.770 --> 00:53:48.560
Andy Miller III: Yes, I I remember when Donald Trump spoke out about this. You know he made the Ca. His case was, well, there's these beautiful, beautiful babies that have come around, and like not contesting the fact that that process has led to there being beautiful babies. But it did kill innocent human life. So like this is this is what happens. I remember when I think it was 2,000 when bush and gore were running, and I at the college, I went to Christian College. I went to there as a

00:53:48.832 --> 00:54:06.569
Andy Miller III: kind of party, hosted by the college Democrats and College Republicans for the debate, and I remember listening to that debate being around a bunch of other students, and the question came to George W. Bush about his pro-life status and pro-life opinions. And he, he said, really, clearly, and it was the first time I had heard it like this. He's like my job

00:54:06.570 --> 00:54:16.729
Andy Miller III: is to defend the life. Think about the life of all Americans, and he just brought it back to this basic idea of

00:54:17.260 --> 00:54:33.620
Andy Miller III: perpetuating and making life good for all people, either those inside or outside the room, and I remember just being really convinced in that moment, and some people would accuse me and have accused me of being a one issue voter. How is it that we can look at

00:54:34.040 --> 00:54:58.820
Andy Miller III: abortion and the pro-life cause, and see this as something that's worthy of pointing our direction? I heard some per one person say it. At 1 point they would vote for a pro-life Communist. Dog catcher, if if there was somebody who was, you know, pro choice. So I'm I'm curious, like, how how do we think about that? And how could you help us think about that issue of being a one issue voter.

00:54:59.080 --> 00:55:28.519
sk: There are always other issues. Look, of course, abortion isn't the only issue, any more than rescuing Jews was the only issue in 1940 or freeing the slaves was the only issue in 1860 S. But some issues are dominant, and it's wise for Christians to pay particular attention to those dominant moral issues. And what I would like to point out is that some candidates disqualify themselves based on the positions they hold.

00:55:28.520 --> 00:55:51.009
sk: Even if there are other things they do that are good. For example, imagine a head of state that had a wonderful education plan would do wonderful at educating. Students also had a great healthcare plan that would cause people to live longer, but he believed it should be legal for you to beat your wife, and would work to keep that practice legalized.

00:55:51.130 --> 00:55:59.220
sk: Wouldn't that disqualify him, even though he had other good traits? In other words, his good deeds would not overwhelm his bad ones?

00:55:59.220 --> 00:55:59.780
Andy Miller III: Right.

00:55:59.780 --> 00:56:04.859
sk: We would disqualify him based on that, or imagine a culture that said to blacks.

00:56:05.060 --> 00:56:16.780
sk: We will protect you as long as it meets with popular approval in a pluralistic society. And although we want to reduce racial genocide, we're not going to make it illegal.

00:56:16.840 --> 00:56:39.409
sk: Well, someone who held that position, in my view, would be disqualified from holding public office because they were fundamentally denying the natural rights of a particular class of human beings, and therefore, on that basis alone they would be disqualified. Now, that doesn't mean the other party and the other candidate are a hundred percent correct on everything.

00:56:39.410 --> 00:56:51.199
sk: But it does mean that particular candidate of the party that supports legalized wife beating or legalized racial genocide is disqualified in virtue of the principles they adhered to.

00:56:51.930 --> 00:56:53.250
Andy Miller III: Yeah, interesting.

00:56:53.690 --> 00:57:01.240
Andy Miller III: Scott, would you tell us a little bit about your new book, or the the updated version of your book, and what you've done in that, and why people might want.

00:57:01.240 --> 00:57:01.560
sk: Yeah.

00:57:01.560 --> 00:57:03.979
Andy Miller III: And particularly if they have the first edition.

00:57:04.470 --> 00:57:08.129
sk: Well, let me pardon me. I'm gonna show you a graphic here.

00:57:08.130 --> 00:57:13.815
Andy Miller III: Okay, great looking forward to it. And while he's getting that folks, I just wanna encourage you to look up

00:57:14.409 --> 00:57:39.770
Andy Miller III: scott's ministry. And this will. This will be something that'd be incredibly helpful for and go to Youtube and find the debate said he's done. I found it'd be very helpful. One time I was brought into situation here. Since I've been at Wesley Biblical Seminary, where there's reporters who knew of our activity. Particularly at you know the Dobbs case. Women health happened right here, and so, because Wbs is so connected to that. They came and interviewed me.

00:57:39.980 --> 00:57:51.379
Andy Miller III: And what I did Scott is, I went back and found as many interviews like this that you have done, and I just got that locked into my mind, so that I was ready to deal with that camera crew when they came in.

00:57:51.380 --> 00:57:53.550
sk: Yup, here's the visual bottom.

00:57:53.550 --> 00:57:53.910
Andy Miller III: Okay.

00:57:53.910 --> 00:57:57.099
sk: Is the first edition. Tom is the second.

00:57:57.100 --> 00:57:58.080
Andy Miller III: Okay.

00:57:58.080 --> 00:58:06.258
sk: You know it always bugs me when authors do a revision, or they do a second edition, and all you get is some fancy new artwork on the cover

00:58:06.890 --> 00:58:27.540
sk: you you drop a a truckload of money and you didn't really get anything more. I promise you. The second edition of this book has 8 new chapters, 8 new chapters, and 10 rewritten ones. It is a total update and rewrite. And there is a lot of new content there, for example.

00:58:27.540 --> 00:58:45.519
sk: there's a whole section in there on what it means to argue. Well, like what we started with on the the program here. What's a good argument. What's the correct way to answer for an argument? We lay a lot of groundwork before we even get into arguing for the pro life use, so that we argue correctly.

00:58:45.520 --> 00:59:07.150
sk: Then there's a whole new section on what are the underlying worldviews that make abortion plausible. For example, there's a whole whole chapter on the woke world view. How is the woke world? View the critical theory worldview driving the abortion debate that's in there. There's a whole section on how postmodernism impacts the abortion debate.

00:59:07.150 --> 00:59:18.379
sk: How does philosophical naturalism impact the abortion debate? These are important things to look at? I'll tell you why, Andy, we're talking to people who do not come to the abortion debate

00:59:18.500 --> 00:59:22.510
sk: completely free of presuppositions. They're bringing their world.

00:59:22.510 --> 00:59:22.990
Andy Miller III: Right.

00:59:22.990 --> 00:59:37.600
sk: To the table. If you don't understand that underlying worldview that they're coming from, you're gonna talk right past them. Then in later in the book. There's a whole section on. Who are the major thinkers? Who are the people in Academia driving this debate?

00:59:37.600 --> 00:59:54.210
sk: So there I engage people like Peter singer, Michael Tuli, David Boonen, Kate Griesley, who's a newcomer to this debate, but very persuasive, very winsome, and her arguments need to be engaged. So I give the readers an overview of what she are using, and

00:59:54.210 --> 01:00:01.259
sk: spend some time in interacting with her arguments. Then there's a whole section on. What does a pro-life church look like, you know, people.

01:00:01.260 --> 01:00:01.610
Andy Miller III: 'kay.

01:00:01.610 --> 01:00:14.680
sk: I love to tell pastors you gotta be pro life. Okay, what does that mean? Practically it's not enough to just shout a conclusion to a pastor. Here's what a pro life church does. And I give 4 things that a pro life church needs to do.

01:00:14.720 --> 01:00:41.439
sk: Then there's a whole section that is, gonna make some people uncomfortable where I make the case, that it's not enough for you to just read the book and become philosophically pro life. You need to get about working in your community to reach 500 students on the pro life issue. And I give you a game plan for doing this, how do you start by reaching out to local home school networks and then jump from there to reaching church youth, groups and

01:00:41.440 --> 01:01:04.259
sk: local Catholic and Protestant high schools. It really doesn't take much to reach 500 high school students in your community. You'd be surprised. And then I give you a blueprint for what your presentation might look like. So this book is a mix of both the academic and the the doing part. Here's what it means to live this out, and it's what I've learned

01:01:04.340 --> 01:01:08.630
sk: over the years of 34 years of doing this. I've joked with my wife.

01:01:08.962 --> 01:01:29.689
sk: It's a good thing I'm not a word of faith, Guy, but I've joked with my wife, I said. You know, if my plane went down in a blaze of glory, everything that's been in my head for 34 years is now on paper. It's here, so you know it would not represent the end of me. If that happened. I pray it does not. I want to be here for a lot of time, but

01:01:30.090 --> 01:01:32.849
sk: at least it's out of my head and onto paper.

01:01:32.850 --> 01:01:54.649
Andy Miller III: Yeah. Oh, I'm so glad that you've done that. I I'm tempted to ask you, you know, okay, what? What are those 4 points for a church. But here's why I want to tell people do get the book, get the book this is important thing to be able to pick up on, and I could look back at my own work as a local church pastor before I came to serve in the seminary. And I think this is area where I was weak. I think I would have. I think you would have heard

01:01:54.650 --> 01:02:14.720
Andy Miller III: several times a year me make a a, an argument and a sermon, but may maybe in light of the work that I was doing in I was Scott. I was with the savage army for 15 years, and you know we were. We had our our own kind of programs that were heavy on our shoulders. But sadly, even though the savvy army has

01:02:14.720 --> 01:02:35.530
Andy Miller III: a a pro life statement doesn't stand up for these matters, and because, like, it's maybe makes it a little bit more too controversial. And we don't wanna get out of, you know, be less popular with certain donors, and that's that's too bad, because there, there the theology is there, and I just look at what I had done, and I didn't do it. I didn't do well enough, and.

01:02:35.530 --> 01:02:36.020
sk: Well in your.

01:02:36.020 --> 01:02:36.530
Andy Miller III: And patience.

01:02:36.530 --> 01:02:47.869
sk: So in your case it sounds to me it was more a matter of not principle being misguided. You just didn't know what a pro life pastor looked like, what should I be doing?

01:02:47.970 --> 01:03:09.349
sk: The more problematic stance is the one you just described. The church leader who says, Listen, my job is to respect a consensus in my church. No, your job as a pastor is to forge a Biblical consensus. Your job is to help people arrive at a Biblical position, not respect whatever unbiblical worldviews they hold.

01:03:09.750 --> 01:03:16.375
Andy Miller III: Wow, yeah. Contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Yeah, we for I like that. I like that language that's really helpful

01:03:16.790 --> 01:03:20.299
Andy Miller III: sky. Is there anything coming up soon that you're excited about?

01:03:21.380 --> 01:03:21.770
sk: Well.

01:03:21.770 --> 01:03:22.610
Andy Miller III: And be doing.

01:03:22.760 --> 01:03:41.699
sk: I'm just concluding a season of doing a lot of fundraising banquets for pregnancy centers that help women with unplanned pregnancies. And even there we teach apologetics. We give people the case for life. In fact, they all leave that banquet, knowing how to defend their pro life view. In a minute or less

01:03:41.984 --> 01:04:01.359
sk: they all leave, knowing how to do that. I lock the doors until they demonstrate they can do it. No, I don't go that far, but they know how to do it. And then, this summer, coming up, which I'm really excited about, this is the time when I reach the most students at Christian worldview conferences and forms. I'm involved as a faculty member at Summit Ministries.

01:04:01.360 --> 01:04:01.830
Andy Miller III: Oh, yeah.

01:04:01.830 --> 01:04:14.809
sk: Out in Colorado that equips pro life and and church going kids how to defend their Christian worldview before they go off to college, so they don't lose their faith. They actually thrive, conveying their faith.

01:04:14.900 --> 01:04:23.369
sk: And I teach there and looking forward to doing that that kicks up in about 2 weeks here. So that's what's on my plate moving forward. And I'm excited about that.

01:04:23.520 --> 01:04:37.143
Andy Miller III: I love it. I I remember hearing so I can't remember where it was. It might have been on a famous podcast like, maybe Joe Rogan, or something like there's some somewhere else. But somebody took your argument, and it got to be kind of national news. Somebody had like heard it. Do you know what I'm talking about? Like there was somebody.

01:04:37.360 --> 01:04:39.639
sk: Might have been felt. Seth Dylan, the.

01:04:39.640 --> 01:04:40.090
Andy Miller III: Yeah.

01:04:40.090 --> 01:04:41.180
sk: Level, one b.

01:04:41.180 --> 01:04:41.560
Andy Miller III: Yeah.

01:04:41.560 --> 01:04:43.580
sk: Yeah. Jeff is a good friend of mine.

01:04:44.444 --> 01:04:55.040
sk: and he's read the case for life. He's a good friend, and he's fully capable of defending what he believes. So it's not like I was the guy that made him who he was. He's on his own plenty, capable.

01:04:55.040 --> 01:04:59.106
Andy Miller III: Yeah, I loved. I loved it when I heard that. I'm like, Wait, I know where that comes from. It's

01:04:59.310 --> 01:05:24.299
Andy Miller III: well, Scott, my, the last question is this, I I, the name. My podcast is more to story. I always ask people, I. I like to think of that in a theological way that there's more than just getting our sins forgiven. There's sanctification that we have the privilege of God intersecting in our lives in such a way that we can become more like Christ, and we can be holy. But I'm also interested in knowing. Is there more, the story of Scott Cluesendorf. You're on all kinds of podcast debates, conversations. There's might maybe not.

01:05:24.300 --> 01:05:32.679
Andy Miller III: You said all of your thoughts around that book. But is there something else about you that might be fun for my listeners to hear something. Maybe you do. Maybe a hobby or something like that.

01:05:33.350 --> 01:05:52.279
sk: Well, I do dabble in theology. I'm not gonna claim the credentials. You do so. But I love reading Pauline literature. I love reading the Biblical concept of justification, how we get right with God, and how that relates to sanctification of how we become more Christ like.

01:05:52.370 --> 01:05:55.979
sk: but a hobby of mine. I'm a bit of a car guy.

01:05:55.980 --> 01:05:56.910
Andy Miller III: 66.

01:05:56.910 --> 01:05:58.110
sk: Board, mustang.

01:05:58.460 --> 01:06:00.259
sk: beautiful vintage, car.

01:06:00.260 --> 01:06:01.380
Andy Miller III: Color is yours.

01:06:01.810 --> 01:06:03.170
sk: Vintage, Burgundy.

01:06:03.170 --> 01:06:05.298
Andy Miller III: Vintage. Burgundy. Wow. Okay.

01:06:06.100 --> 01:06:11.629
sk: So I love it. It's a beautiful car it's fun. It's a way to decompress.

01:06:11.720 --> 01:06:15.149
sk: My wife has a corvette, so we're a house divided.

01:06:15.150 --> 01:06:16.399
Andy Miller III: Oh, my goodness!

01:06:16.400 --> 01:06:20.329
sk: Yeah. Her father, who's 90, still buys Corvettes and.

01:06:20.330 --> 01:06:21.330
Andy Miller III: But okay.

01:06:21.330 --> 01:06:31.490
sk: We? He gave her one for a song, and we now have one. It's not like I have all this money to go buy these things that. But we've been blessed with them, and they're kind of fun.

01:06:31.530 --> 01:06:50.630
sk: So that's a way I kinda decompress. I'm also a huge Anglophile. I go to the Uk as often as I can. It's my happy place, and once a year I go over, take a solo trip for 10 days, and just relax outside Oxford and think about life. Where do I want to go next in terms of what I'm working on? And

01:06:50.660 --> 01:06:52.150
sk: those are kind of my hobbies.

01:06:52.150 --> 01:07:14.629
Andy Miller III: Yeah, I love that. I'll be going to England. My my area of research is nineteenth century Methodist movements, like the Salvation Army. And so that means I spend a lot of time at the Lambeth Palace Library, the John Islands Library at Manchester, and those have then the savvy army's on archives are there, so I'll be there in June as well for 20 days. I know I know what you mean. There's something about going back.

01:07:14.630 --> 01:07:15.430
sk: Chanting.

01:07:15.430 --> 01:07:15.715
Andy Miller III: Yeah.

01:07:16.000 --> 01:07:37.139
sk: Enchanting. By the way, I love it in June, in the sense that the days are long. You walk outside at 11 Pm. You can still see sunlight, and the sun comes up at 3 45 in the morning. It's incredible. Of course the tubes are packed out, and the airfares and hotels are ridiculously priced, but it is a cool time to be there.

01:07:37.140 --> 01:07:44.530
Andy Miller III: Yeah. Well, and tell your father-in-law if he keeps buying corvettes, and if he needs to give one to somebody, there's a school in Mississippi, where there's like the academic.

01:07:44.530 --> 01:07:46.829
sk: I know a Methodist guy who wants one. Yeah.

01:07:46.830 --> 01:08:16.499
Andy Miller III: Right. It's great. Well, Scott, thank you so much for your work. It's been so formational for me and my own arguments, and challenging, too, even today, of like things that I need to do and how I can be stronger. Appreciate the way you responded to God's call so clearly when you're associate pastor, and you walk through that. And your faithfulness, I think, is something that God is rewarding, and even if it doesn't lead to rewards for you. There are probably thousands and thousands of people who are live today because you've helped them make strong arguments. So thank you so much for your ministry, Scott.

01:08:16.500 --> 01:08:27.761
sk: Well, I am thankful the Lord uses flawed people who are still working on their sanctification, and have a long way to go for his kingdom purposes. So to that end I'm grateful to be part of his plan.

01:08:28.050 --> 01:08:28.830
Andy Miller III: Amen!

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