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Radio Free Mormon: 198: Defender of the Faith, Lecture 10, Grace v. Works

This is Lecture 10 in my twelve-lecture Institute class on Defending the Faith taught at the University of Texas at Austin in the spring semester of 1989.  In this class I show how to use the Bible to confute Born Again Christians who believe salvation is by grace alone!


14 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 198: Defender of the Faith, Lecture 10, Grace v. Works”

  1. I’m not sure I understand the point of you posting your old lectures at UT Austin. You were in a different place back then so why broadcast information that is out-of-date so to speak?

    1. I do so not only because I think it is amazing I still actually have the tapes from those lectures, but also because it is a snapshot of a very important time in my life; one where I demonstrate how immersed I was in Mormon apologetics.

      I like to think that gives me some sort of street cred when it comes to where I am today.

      I am where I am now because of where I was then.

      I also hope it will stand me in good stead when the time comes for my disciplinary hearing. ;^)

  2. I have been anxiously waiting, and now Iā€™m sitting down to listen! I enjoy all your podcasts because they are thought-provoking and you have a great style. And I especially like your Defender of the Faith series.

    I love that your goal is not just to tear down but to be intellectually honest, wherever it leads. I appreciate it so much. Thank you!

  3. I rather enjoyed the podcast. Reminds me of the old days when I used to bash born again doctrine and defend working Mormonism. But in the end it’s just two stupid religions trying to tell everyone what they have to do to get saved by relying on some Jew murdered on a cross and by making sure you do enough good deeds to avoid getting judged as no good lazy slouch. I don’t need any of it! Forget Christ. Forget the bible. Forget animal and human sacrifice! I don’t want any of it.

  4. Beggerzcant B. Chooserz

    I was so excited to see a new podcast this morning. I really look forward to RFM, but then I saw what it was about. I Realize that RFM needs a break every so often and can just put these pre-recorded shows out there for an easy one. We all need a day off every so often. I guess I’ll just have to wait another two weeks for the next one. Thanks for all the others- I love them.

  5. RFM

    I enjoyed this trip back through time and had the following observations.

    1. For a young guy, you really knew your stuff and one might say that you spoke “as one having authority”. The tone of the students’ voice during comments/questions reflected their respect for your knowledge.

    2. You seemed like a 100%, all-in TBM apologist, both convinced and convincing.

    3. I loved the fact that there was a little kid(s?) squawking in the background. Presumably some of the students were young married couples and couldn’t afford babysitters, and there’s no mention of it. Nobody seems to mind. That scene is SO Mormon–the tolerance of infants’/toddlers’ noisy presence at random church functions is, to me, one of the delightful cultural aspects of Mormonism.

    4. I like that you had your own list of 3 great heresies.

    5. I liked the reference to the “Boxer” — you had a penchant for incorporating popular music even back then (but didn’t include the actual music.

    Question — What are your feelings as you listen to your younger self who was in such a different place than you are now?

    1. Hi, Rick!

      So glad you liked it! I know these “Defender of the Faith’ episodes are not popular with everyone.

      The little kid making the noise was actually my 1-year old daughter! So she got a pass!

      As to my feelings now, I am glad I still have these tapes to listen to. I think they show the time and effort I had spent in mastering the apologetic literature, even back in 1989, when I had been a member only a little more than a decade. I think it helps give me some street cred even now.

      I also think a lot of my comments and insights are interesting. Some I disagree with now, but most I actually find myself agreeing with.

      I think it a solid contribution to the field of Mormon apologetics.

      I have sometimes thought it would be funny if the 1989 RFM ended up converting the 2020 RFM back to the church.

      Thanks for listening!


  6. I agreed with a lot of the insights also.

    In terms of the 1989 RFM vs the 2020 RFM conversion showdown I think it’s a standoff, where the exuberance and certainty of young 1989 RFM can’t overcome the experience and wisdom of middle aged 2020 RFM. And while the middle aged 2020 RFM might venture a few arguments, he knows 1989 RFM pretty well and knows that trying to change 1989 RFM is not viable. And perhaps 2020 RFM does not want to try to change 1989 RFM because that’s in part what made 2020 RFM who he is.

  7. Do you still have the handouts from this lecture or the whole series? I think it would be fun to look up all of the scriptures you referenced.

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