Bo Bennett - Christian Nontheism
Posted: 02 May 2011 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Host: Robert Price

Robert “Bo” Bennett wears many hats (author, motivational speaker, black belt Karate master, businessman, etc.) but manages not to have a swelled head to
accommodate them!

His latest book is called The Concept: Introduction to Christian Nontheism, an accessible and engaging presentation of the case for maintaining one’s Christian identity once one has outgrown belief in biblical inspiration, miracles, even God. True, if anyone else in your church found out, they might kick you out, but you wouldn’t have a guilty conscience! How to manage this? Is it a mere mind-game? Why bother? What makes Christianity still attractive once the beliefs are gone? This is one interview certain to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable!

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/bo_bennett_christian_nontheism/

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Posted: 04 May 2011 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I have to shake my head at some of these topics. I don’t even really have much to say about it because I simply couldn’t understand what the point of it was.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 07:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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kennykjc - 04 May 2011 02:41 PM

I have to shake my head at some of these topics. I don’t even really have much to say about it because I simply couldn’t understand what the point of it was.

Yeah, I quit listening halfway through.  Another atheist who believes in belief.  Yawn.  Chris Mooney has by far the best line up of guests for this program, guests who are more appropriate for CFI’s mission.  I like the idea of multiple hosts because it increases the rate of podcast issuance, but I think Robert Price needs to be replaced by someone with different interests.  When he was first announced as a host, I was optimistic, because I really enjoyed listening to him when he was a guest, but this just hasn’t worked out as I expected.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 07:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Chris Mooney has hit his stride the last four or five podcasts. He is now consistently excellent. Karen Stollznow hit the ground running. I have always enjoyed her interviews.


I quit bothering with Robert Price’s CFI interviews a few months ago. The man either annoys me or bores me. I delete his podcasts as soon as they download.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 07:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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DarronS - 05 May 2011 07:39 PM

Karen Stollznow hit the ground running. I have always enjoyed her interviews.

And I never have.  She doesn’t seem to depict any enthusiasm or interest in her guests.  The word “perfunctory” comes to mind when I listen to one of her interviews. No personality comes through the mike.  I think I made the same critique of Chris when he first started, but he’s much better on that now, although you can tell when he’s reading a script.  That was true with DJ, though; his Audible.com advertisements were painful to listen to.  Interviews are best when you feel like you’re listening in to a private conversation between two people, where they’re both relaxed and oblivious to the existence of an audience.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I disagree with that 100 percent, Taylor. The interviewer should always keep the audience in mind. Robert Price is a perfect example. His interviews sound like two people sitting in a room having a conversation, and often leave out background information the audience needs to understand the context.

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“In the beginning, God created the universe. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
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Posted: 05 May 2011 08:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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DarronS - 05 May 2011 08:23 PM

I disagree with that 100 percent, Taylor. The interviewer should always keep the audience in mind. Robert Price is a perfect example. His interviews sound like two people sitting in a room having a conversation, and often leave out background information the audience needs to understand the context.

I don’t think you get my meaning.  Any movie you go to see has the actors oblivious to the existence of a camera; if they acted self-consciously because they knew they were going to be watched by millions of people, the viewers would be become aware of the artificiality of the story-telling environment and lose the suspension of disbelief.  Even when the actors appear to be totally natural, you know that the script was created with great care to depict a story to the audience.

The same thing applies to an interview.  It must appear to be natural, but constructed with great care.  Bob Price fails more in the planning than the execution; he simply has no idea how to identify interviewees that this audience will find interesting or how to script the interview to elicit information that appeals to the audience.  His books, to me, show the same lack of organization and planning.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Taylor, OK. I see your point. My support of Karen Stollznow could have been a reaction to my disapproval of Chris Mooney as a host when first announced. I’ll have to listen to more of Stollnow’s interviews to be sure. If you had been around when Mooney came on as a host you would have seen my vehement opposition of his selection. As I mentioned above, Mooney has been improving and proving me wrong. I think he is doing an very good job on the CFI podcasts lately. Price, however, is akin to chalk on a blackboard.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 08:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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DarronS - 05 May 2011 08:39 PM

If you had been around when Mooney came on as a host you would have seen my vehement opposition of his selection.

I know that many were opposed to his selection due to his “accommodationist” views, but that’s never bothered me about him, even though I disagree with his position.  Overall, he is a good ally in the war on irrationality.

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Posted: 05 May 2011 08:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Taylor - 05 May 2011 08:52 PM

I know that many were opposed to his selection due to his “accommodationist” views, but that’s never bothered me about him, even though I disagree with his position.  Overall, he is a good ally in the war on irrationality.

Yep. I have to agree with you there. And I have a standing offer to buy Mooney dinner and drinks next time he is in Austin.

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Posted: 06 May 2011 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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DarronS - 05 May 2011 07:39 PM

Chris Mooney has hit his stride the last four or five podcasts. He is now consistently excellent. Karen Stollznow hit the ground running. I have always enjoyed her interviews.


I quit bothering with Robert Price’s CFI interviews a few months ago. The man either annoys me or bores me. I delete his podcasts as soon as they download.

I am close to a similar opinion.  As a long-time listener I really enjoy listening to both Chris Mooney and Karen Stollznow as interviewers, I find them very enjoyable inheritors of the show I was introduced to when DJ Grothe was host.

As for Robert Price, I really enjoy listening and learning from his lectures, speeches and debates, but I cringe at his interview style.  He pontificates or engages in oratory rather than focussing on the person being interviewed.

As a case in point, this particular episode we are discussing here (Bo Bennett - Christian Nontheism) is perfect as an example:  At about 22:20 into the episode, he begins nearly 4 minutes of rhetoric and I was beginning to wonder if the interviewee got disconnected in some way.  That is not an interview, at least not a good one overall.

I think that both Mooney and Stollznow do a much better job of questioning the interviewees in a way that more directly gets them to explain their opinions and probes into the corner cases.  On those occasions where a notable difference of opinion appears to be obvious, the probe into those differences seems more focussed on really trying to get the point of view of the guest.  And in the areas of agreement, their episodes do well to get the guest’s take on the matter without repeatedly repetitive exposition by the interviewer.

I view the interview style of Robert Price as genuinely effusive, but verbose to the detriment of the topic and guest.

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Posted: 09 May 2011 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I’m sorry, but Karen bores me to tears. The people she interviews are just so uninteresting and she doesn’t do much to make me see them (or her) otherwise. Price does get on his soap box at the drop of a hat (sorry to mix my metaphors) but I’ve always enjoyed hearing animated curmudgeons lecture.

Chris is solid as long as he doesn’t have a “hostile” guest and is right now the hands-down best interviewer. I did think it was funny, though, when he and Price did that Left-Right cross-interview thing and Price kept making these conservative arguments that eventually got so outlandish I was SURE he was just trying to get Chris to object with his own views, but all Chris ever did was concede almost every point.

All in all, no worse than when D.J. Grothe utterly failed to take Benjamin Wiker to task over his distortions of Charles Darwin and the theory of natural selection.

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Posted: 10 May 2011 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Okay, not the greatest interview ever, but much of the above characterizations are innacurate. He does “believe in belief” and makes that quite clear. Price, although wordy, helps to clarify the position by talking about the “sense and taste of the infinite” and that you can talk about that as long as there is “no cheating by throwing in truth claims.” The likely problem here is that this is not the usual target audience for CFI, Bennett is still very tied into a Christian community, due in large part to family. He is finding ways to draw the lines in that community and to maintain his intellectual honesty. If the atheist community (if there is an atheist community) is going to reach into the larger community and engage people like this who are in transition and trying to maintain lifelong relationships, it is important to understand what that is like and find ways to make that transition less painful.

Bennet draws the line at the valuable parts of the community he came from, the friendships and the morals but stops before accepting the complete package including miracles and all. He distinguishes himself from Unitarians or liberal Christians and those distinctions are important.

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Posted: 22 May 2011 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Everyone’s a critic.  I have no problem with any of the interviewers.  Price has the perspective of a Biblical scholar and raises many interesting bits of background information.  Mooney has his perspective and maybe is less obvious about inserting it into the program.  Stollznow has the clearest voice (I love that weird scottish accent smile ) of the bunch and seems to be best at refraining from injecting her own perspective of the bunch, but it is all a matter of individual style.  I like the fact that there are multiple hosts each with their own distinctive style.  IMHO, all of them are doing a great job in their own way.

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Posted: 23 July 2011 02:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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@pckizer:
The same opinion with me.

As for Robert Price, I really enjoy listening and learning from his lectures, speeches and debates, but I cringe at his interview style.  He pontificates or engages in oratory rather than focussing on the person being interviewed.

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Posted: 03 October 2011 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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My wife is a Christian Non-Theist.  She goes to church once in a while for the community.

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“I am neither a Christian, nor an atheist, I’m not Jewish or Muslim … my religion is written on a piece of parchment called the Constitution”

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