The Humble Skeptic Podcast
My name is Shane Rosenthal, and I was one of the original creators of the White Horse Inn, which is a national radio broadcast that has been on the air since 1990. In addition to serving as producer for many years, I also hosted this weekly talk show from 2019 - 2021. But now I've launched a brand new podcast of my own (listen to the pilot episode here). The overall idea of this new venture is to encourage a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to the deeply held beliefs that shape our lives and give us meaning. The reason we need to be skeptical is due to the fact that there are so many competing dogmas to choose from in the marketplace of ideas. To put it simply, they can't all be true! According to Proverbs 14:15, "the simple man believes everything, but the prudent man gives thought to his steps." To put it another way, in order to be wise we need to exercise some level of discernment. Along these same lines, the Apostle Paul encouraged his readers to "test all things," while also reminding them to "hold on to the good" (1Th. 5:21).
In terms of my own beliefs, I've been all over the map. I was raised Jewish, dabbled for a time with atheism, converted to Christianity, and changed denominations on numerous occasions. All of these changes ended up fostering within me a kind of intellectual humility, since I've had many opportunities to reflect on all those times I'd fooled myself into believing something that I later discovered wasn't true. This is why I'm convinced that when it comes to this idea of "testing all things," first and foremost we need to start with our own convictions. And when it comes to testing and evaluating the beliefs of others, it's crucial that we proceed with gentleness and in a spirit of deep humility. We need to ask great questions and learn to become sympathetic hearers. And we should always be willing to follow the truth, wherever it leads.
In my own case, I'm convinced that the truth, rightly apprehended, leads a person to the Christian faith. But I'm also willing to be convinced otherwise. As Paul says, "If Christ is not risen, our faith is in vain" (1Cor. 15:14). Of course, if with me you agree that Christ is risen, we still have a number of important questions to sort through, since there happen to be so many different versions of the Christian faith itself – including counterfeit versions! This is the point Paul was making when he scolded the Corinthians for too readily accepting those who "proclaim another Jesus" or "another gospel" (2Cor. 11:4; cf. Gal 1:6-9). In other words, he seems to be implying that they should have been a little more skeptical and discerning.
This is the approach I plan to take on The Humble Skeptic podcast. I'm hoping that it'll be the kind of program you'll be able to recommend to friends and family members, regardless of where they happen to be on the political, cultural, or religious landscape. My longterm goal for this program is that it becomes the most downloaded podcast in the genre of Religion & Spirituality. To get there, I need a little help on the marketing and promotion side of things. If you are familiar with my work and you'd like to help launch The Humble Skeptic podcast, I'd greatly appreciate your assistance! For more information, visit my new site humbleskeptic.com (which is still under construction).